The 2007 Arthur C Clarke Award

And the shortlist is:

End of the World Blues, Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Gollancz)
Nova Swing, M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, Lydia Millet (Heinemann)
Hav, Jan Morris (Faber)
Gradisil, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Streaking, Brian Stableford (PS Publishing)

EDIT: the official announcement is now up on the Clarke Award website, Paul Kincaid has linked to some reviews of the nominated books here, and there are some reactions here, here, and here.

15 thoughts on “The 2007 Arthur C Clarke Award

  1. I was another of the judges; I’m afraid that talking about the books that didn’t quite make it is verboten. But there were several other books that we really regretted being unable to shortlist.

  2. What Graham said. I now intend to mostly shut up about the Clarke for a while, wait (impatiently) for other people to start reading and discussing the nominees, and turn my attention to the queue of overdue reviews I’ve accumulated …

  3. Martin: chance would be a fine thing. (‘There is one, and only one, standout title on this year’s Arthur C Clarke award shortlist … where the other five are embarassing and total failures, one novel will surely come to be seen in future centuries as the defining literary work of our age’ etc etc).

  4. I think the Stableford is a pretty adventurous choice actually. He might be a grand old man of British sf but he is hardly seen to be at the forefront of the modern genre. It is also pretty unusual for a small press novel to be shortlisted.

  5. “Roberts, Harrison, Reynolds, Stableford: not a very adventurous
    list is it?”

    Reynolds isn’t on the list. I’d agree with Martin that it is actually quite adventurous to shortlist Stableford; and that it’s refreshing to see a small press acknowledged … some of the best work published in the genre these days comes out of small presses. Moreover, Millet and Morris are hardly SF stalwarts, so they seem to me to be pretty interesting names to put on the list. Actually, I’d say it’s adventurous to nominate me (I never get nominated for prizes). But on that I’m hardly in the best position to say. I daresay you’re right, I constitute an unadventurous sort of shortlisting. But that aside the list seems to me very intriguing.

  6. I suspect Martin W meant ‘Grimwood’ when he said ‘Reynolds’.

    Personally, I would say that the list is more adventurous than last year, where only Ishiguro is really outside what one might describe as ‘the usual suspects’. I think you have to go back to 1999 to find a shortlist that’s more adventurous than this one, though you could make an argument for 2005’s. (Fortunately, the shortlists, while not, as far as I can see, yet up at the official site, are still to be found at the old official site – http://www.appomattox.demon.co.uk/acca/shortlists.htm – and also show that Adam’s ‘I never get nominated’ suggests he’s forgotten the 2001 shortlist ;-) )

    But in any case, the criticism seems to me to be beside the point. The Clarke jury’s job is to pick what they feel to be the best sf books published in the preceding year, not necessarily to come up with the most adventurous or eclectic list of same. That they sometimes do produce adventurous or eclectic shortlists (though not nearly as often as those who criticise the award for pandering to mainstream literary fiction imply) is a fortunate byproduct, but not their raison d’etre.

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