The Winner

And the winner of the 2008 Arthur C Clarke Award is …

Black Man by Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan

Congratulations to Richard Morgan; and of course, it’s an excellent book, which you should all go and read right now. Or, if you prefer, you could look at my photos from the award party and ceremony, over here. Paul Billinger has some here, including a good one of the judges.

I haven’t seen many reactions around yet, but Abigail Nussbaum is pleased. Jeff VanderMeer also thinks it’s a good choice, and has a short piece up at the Amazon blog. Instant Fanzine considers it “the least slapfightlicious choice.”

UPDATE: Paul Raven’s happy (but it’s the only one of the shortlist), Joe Gordon is chuffed, and Jonathan and James report they enjoyed attending the ceremony, and the Guardian implies that Richard Morgan is a genetically-modified assassin. (They also — mistakenly — give the impression that Paul Billinger was a voting judge; in fact the Chair’s role, which Paul carried out very well, is to moderate the discussion.)

Over on the Guardian blog, Sam Jordison reports on a night in the new world of SF. Two things strike me about this report: first, it’s great to hear that the passion involved in the decision was visible to an observer; second, I really regret not knowing that he was there, because I’d have liked to thank him for his continuing series of Guardian blog posts on past Hugo Award winners. I very much hope he gets a chance to post about his reaction to Black Man.

Elsewhere, Joe Abercombie is pleased the award went to an unashamedly sf novel, Philip Palmer enjoyed himself, and the post-presentation Gollancz meal seems to have gone well. (As for the tiny trousers mentioned in both posts, I can only assume that Adam Roberts has been supplying Lilliputian assistants to his fellow writers, and is now running a premium clothing-replacement business.)

Sci-Fi London have footage from the ceremony here, while the text of Paul Billinger’s speech can be found here. And io9’s take: “Shockingly, Science Fiction Book Wins SF Book Award”.

2008 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist

It may look as if everything is normal, but actually, I’m in Switzerland, where I’ve just had an absurdly early breakfast in anticipation of a long day’s work. But I’ve found time (and some internet) to bring you the shortlist for the 2008 Arthur C Clarke Award anyway. (OK, I wrote most of this post at the weekend. But the principle stands.) Am I good to you, or what?

Tom Hunter, Award Administrator, says:

Featuring visions as diverse as a dystopian Cumbria and a future Hackney, time-travel adventures in 1960’s Liverpool and an alternate world British Isles in the throes of terrorist attack, through to tech-noir thrillers and a trawl through subconscious worlds where memories fall prey to metaphysical sharks, the Clarke Award has never been so close to home and relevant to the British literary scene.

The Clarke Award has always been about pushing at the speculative edges of its genre. It’s one possible map amongst many, never the whole territory, and this year’s shortlist stands as both the perfect introduction to the state of modern science fiction writing as well as a first tantalising glimpse of possible futures to come.

And those books? Read on.

Shortlist overviews
Abigail Nussbaum at Strange Horizons
Adam Roberts at Futurismic
Lisa Tuttle in The Times
Steven Shaviro
Tony Keen

A poll

The H-Bomb Girl by Stephen Baxter

The Red Men by Matthew de Abaitua

The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod

Black Man by Richard Morgan

So. Run the numbers. Six novels, five publishers. Four stories set in the future. Three first-time nominees — two debut novels, in fact. One young adult book. What else?

(When everyone in the UK’s woken up, there may well be some discussion here, here and here.)

John Jarrold
Abigail Nussbaum
Paul Raven
The Guardian
Martin Lewis
Jeff VanderMeer