Next Year’s Art Awards

Has 2011 brought any science fictional artistic highlights with it for you? Cover art? Print? Paintings? Watercolours? Mosaics? Sculptures? What work from this year so far might you consider nominating for next year’s awards?

I left this question until last for a specific reason: Eastercon begins tomorrow. And at Eastercon – and quite likely other conventions this weekend – there will be an art show.

For those of you attending Eastercon, consider, as you walk around the art show, if any of the work there strikes you as worth nominating for next year’s art awards. Indeed, consider keeping this in mind at whatever conventions – or other venues for sharing science fictional artwork – you run across this year.

There’s nothing the least bit wrong with nominating good cover art; but it’s not the only place that good science fictional artwork is being produced.

Next Year’s Short Story Awards

What about the short stories of 2011 so far? Three months in, and what highlights have stuck with you? What short stories have you read recently, from this year, which you would seriously consider nominating for next year’s science fiction awards?

P.S. Thank you for all your award nomination suggestions so far!

Next Year’s Non-Fiction Awards

What has caught your attention amongst potential non-fiction nominations for next year’s science fiction awards? Any journal articles? Magazines? Podcasts or radio shows? Blog posts? Any notable books of criticism or new collections of essay from the first quarter of 2011?

Contest: Guess the Winner of the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award

This contest is now closed! The winning book will be announced on the evening of 27 April and a winning entry chosen at random from those who guessed correctly at some point after that.

In just over four weeks, we’ll find out which book has won the Arthur C Clarke award for the best work of science fiction published in the UK in 2010. The jury will meet for a second time, to whittle the six shortlisted novels down to a single winner.

The jury doesn’t yet know who will win. I don’t know who will win; but perhaps you do? Or at least have a hunch about it?

***

The Clake Award has a second contest for you this year! A month ago, we asked you to guess which six books would be on the shortlist. Three of you correctly guessed four of the six books. This time around, you need to guess only one book.

There’s a real prize for this contest too. It consists of two books, both generously donated by NewCon Press.

The first is Fables from the Fountain, the forthcoming anthology edited by Ian Whates from NewCon press. Fables is a collection of all-original stories written as homage to Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales from the White Hart and published in honour of the Clarke Award’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The volume includes new stories by Stephen Baxter, Ian Watson, Paul Graham Raven, James Lovegrove, Neil Gaiman, Colin Bruce, Liz Williams, Charles Stross, Eric Brown, Steve Longworth, Henry Gee, Andy West, David Langford, Andrew J Wilson, Peter Crowther, Tom Hunter, Adam Roberts, and Ian Whates. If you can’t wait on the off-chance you’ll win it, you can order a pre-copy of Fables here, with a share of profits going directly to support the Clarke Award’s current fund raising efforts. (A good cause!)

The second part of the prize is Celebration, an anthology of all-original stories published in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of the BSFA (which publishes Vector, of course), also edited by Ian Whates. It includes stories, original to this volume, by Ken MacLeod, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Watson, Tricia Sullivan, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, M. John Harrison, Molly Brown, Brian Stableford, Dave Hutchison, Liz Williams, Brian Aldiss, Martin Sketchley, Alastair Reynolds, Ian R. MacLeod, Christopher Priest, Adam Roberts, and Stephen Baxter.

To enter, comment on this post. Your comment must contain two things: the name of a single one of the six shortlisted books; and an explanation of why you think that book will win. No entry is valid without both parts.

Your explanation can be anything you like: your personal favourite, the one you think the judges will pick, a random guess, or a simple ‘because’. We want some kind of justification for the choice, whether minimal or essay-length.

You may not enter this contest if you are a current Clarke award judge, a family member of a current judge, or if you are on the board of Serendip or the BSFA. You may not enter the contest multiple times: only your first entry will be entered into the contest. You are welcome to enter from wherever you are: the prize can be shipped internationially.

The winner of the prize randomly drawn from among all the correct, valid entries. This contest will be judged by Tom Hunter, director of the Clarke Award, and his decision in all aspects of the contest is final.

Tom writes that

“The recent guess the shortlist competition with Torque Control was so much fun we thought we’d do it again. The secret aim with the last comp was to show that guessing the right shortlist combination is much harder than it looks, and with something like 25 million combinations of books possible, guessing 6 books from a selection of 54 you can see why.”

“Now the odds are shorter, but I don’t think that makes the choices involved any easier…”

The deadline for your guess and explanation, posted as a reply to this post, is Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 23:59 BST.

On guessing the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist

Thank you for all your enthusiasm in trying to guess what the jury would choose for the Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist!

Out of the six most-voted for novels, only two of them were on the shortlist the jury actually chose which just goes to show, yet again, that it is a challenging award to second-guess. Of the actual list, The Dervish House received 40 guesses, Zoo City 30, Lightborn 14, Monsters of Men 4, Generosity 3, and only one person thought that perhaps Declare, originally published a decade earlier in the US,  might make it onto the shortlist. I suspect that most people didn’t necessarily vote for what they would personally have nominated for the award (based on what they have read in the last year) but the books which, thanks to buzz and pre-existing awards and nominations, seemed most likely to be respected by other people. Not that there isn’t overlap between the two categories!

Of all the entries in last week’s contest, no one guessed the whole shortlist. No one even guessed five out of the six books. Three different people, however, submitted guesses which correctly identified four of the books which were on the actual shortlist: Niall, Lal, and Kev McVeigh. Good instincts, all of you, and congratulations on getting more right than everyone else who entered the contest!

With a three-way tie and only one set of prizes, our contest judge, Clarke Award Director Tom Hunter, put all three names into a hat and had an independent assistant blindly pull one of the slips of paper out of it.

And that is how we now have a winner of copies of all six of the short-listed books, plus a copy of the forthcoming anthology, Fables from the Fountain, edited by Ian Whates and being sold in honour of the Clarke Award’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The prizes were generously donated by the Clarke Award and NewCon Press.

And so – congratulations to Lal, our contest prize winner! Tom Hunter will be in touch with you soon if he has not already done so to arrange for prize delivery.

Contest: Guess the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist

This contest is now closed and no more entries will be accepted. The results will be posted on Friday, March 4th.

It’s that time of year. The list of eligible submissions for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award is out! And this year, in honour of the award’s twenty-fifth anniversary, we’re pleased to be able to run a contest with real prizes (not just glory) in conjunction with the list’s release.

The goal is straightforward: guess the shortlist for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The prize is quite a good one, thanks to the generousity of the Clarke Award and NewCon Press! If you win, you will receive copies of all six of the shortlisted works, plus a copy of Fables from the Fountain, the forthcoming, limited-edition anthology edited by Ian Whates from NewCon press. Fables is a collection of all-original stories written as homage to Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales from the White Hart and published in honour of the Clarke Award’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

To enter, comment on this post. Your comment must contain a list of six (no more, no fewer) novels from the full list of eligible submissions. Pingbacks won’t be accepted.

You may not enter this contest if you are a current Clarke award judge, a family member of a current judge, someone who has access to the currently-embargoed press release containing the shortlist, or if you are on the board of Serendip or the BSFA. You may not enter the contest multiple times: only your first entry will be entered into the contest. You are welcome to enter from wherever you are: the prize can be shipped internationially.

If no one guesses all six entries correctly, then the prize will go to whoever guessed the most correct winners. If there is a tie for the most correct winners guessed, then the winner will be picked from a hat from among the tied entries. This contest will be judged by Tom Hunter, director of the Clarke Award, and his decision in all aspects of the contest is final.

As Tom observes,

The idea behind releasing the full submissions lists is pretty simple. Every year we reveal our shortlist of the six best science fiction books of the previous year, as decided by our panel of independent judges, and every year we enjoy, well, passionate conversation around those choices.

For me this is exactly how things should be, but at the same time I’m keen for people to understand just how complex the judging process is, and how many different variants there can be when you have 54 great books in play and you have to narrow those down to just six of the best as it were.

Personally, I’ve never managed to correctly guess all six in advance, and I’m the Award Director, so just to warn you this game is harder than it looks, and good luck everyone.

The deadline for your six guesses, posted as a reply to this post, is this Wednesday, 2 March at 23:59 GMT.

2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions

I am the bearer of exciting news today.

Firstly, I bring you tidings of fifty-four novels, the eligible submissions for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Secondly, as has been the case for the last two years, the submissions list comes with a contest. For the last few years, here at Torque Control, the contest has been informal, a lively round of guessing the longlist from their miniaturised covers.

This year, the competition is rather more, well, competitive: guess the shortlist, before it is released this coming Friday. The lucky winner will receive copies of *all* the shortlisted novels, plus NewCon press’s forthcoming short story collection, Fables from the Fountain, published in honor of the 25th anniverary of the Clarke Awards! For full details – and to enter the contest – see the separate contest details post.

The Clarke award doesn’t have a longlist as such; what follows is a list of the 54 eligible novels, submitted by 22 different publishers and imprints, one of the highest submissions rates the Clarke award has had. From these the jurors pick the shortlist and, once they have all read them again, they will choose the winner in time for the prize to be announced on Wednesday, 27 April at SciFi London.

Submissions include two past winners (Tricia Sullivan and China Miéville), 11 previously-shortlisted authors (Stephen Baxter, Ian McDonald, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Chris Wooding, Iain M. Banks, Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross, Peter F. Hamilton, William Gibson and James Lovegrove), and one past judge (Francis Spufford). To add to the statistics collection, the list below is sorted by publisher.

And here is this year’s eligible submissions list:

Black Hand Gang by Pat Kelleher (Abaddon Books)
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
Generosity by Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
Declare by Tim Powers (Corvus)
Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (Corvus)
Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
On the Third Day by Rhys Thomas (Doubleday)
Salvage by Robert Edric (Doubleday)
Bring Home the Stars by Jennifer Kirk (DS Press)
Sylvow by Douglas Thompson (Eibonvale Press)
Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna (Faber & Faber)
Paradise by Glenn Myers (Fizz Books)
A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
Above the Snowline by Steph Swainston (Gollancz)
Absorption by John Meaney (Gollancz)
Eve: The Burning Life by Hjalti Danielsson (Gollancz)
Guardians of Paradise by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz)
New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
Veteran by Gavin G Smith (Gollancz)
Watch by Robert J Sawyer (Gollancz)
Zendegi by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Granta)
For the Win by Cory Doctorow (Harper Voyager)
Things We Didn’t See Coming by Steve Amsterdam (Harvill Secker)
C by Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape)
Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)
Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (Orbit)
The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
The Unit by Terry DeHart (Orbit)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
Version 43 by Philip Palmer (Orbit)
The Passage by Justin Cronin (Orion Books)
Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne (Pan Macmillan)
Empire of Light by Gary Gibson (Pan Macmillan)
Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Pan Macmillan)
The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell (Pan Macmillan)
The Technician by Neal Asher (Pan Macmillan)
Zero History by William Gibson (Penguin)
Pornogram by Osric Allen (Robert Temple)
The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis (Seren)
The Age of Zeus by James Lovegrove (Solaris)
The Noise Within by Ian Whates (Solaris)
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)

So, what do you think of this year’s submissions?

If you’d like to guess and potentially win the award’s shortlist this year, see the contest details post. (Entries must be received by the end of this Wednesday, so submit your guess sooner than later!) Guesses posted in the comments to this post may make good conversation fodder, but won’t be eligible entries for the contest.

BSFA Nominees So Far: Best Novel

And the final category: Best Novel. As for the other lists, everything below has received at least one nomination. The five books with the most nominations at the end of today (23.59 GMT) will go forward to the shortlist. So, last chance: send your nominations in!

  • The Technician by Neal Asher (Tor)
  • A Festival of Skeletons by RJ Astruc (Crossed Genres)
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
  • Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne (Tor)
  • Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
  • The Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
  • The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell (Tor)
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
  • Engineman by Eric Brown (Solaris)
  • Guardians of the Phoenix by Eric Brown (Solaris)
  • Farlander by Col Buchanan (Tor)
  • The Orphaned Worlds by Michael Cobley (Orbit)
  • Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard (Angry Robot)
  • Zendegi by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
  • Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (Voyager)
  • Empire of Light by Gary Gibson (Tor)
  • Zero History by William Gibson (Viking)
  • The Places Between by Terry Grimwood (Pendragon)
  • The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton (Macmillan)
  • Horns by Joe Hill (Gollancz)
  • Alison by Andrew Humphrey (TTA Press)
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
  • The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (Vintage)
  • Absorption by John Meaney (Gollancz)
  • Kraken by China Mieville (Macmillan)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (Sceptre)
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Walker)
  • City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton (Tor)
  • Silversands by Gareth L Powell (Pendragon)
  • The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
  • Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
  • New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
  • Time Crystal vol 1 by Wyken Seagrave (Podiobooks)
  • Birdbrain by Johanna Sinisalo (Peter Owen)
  • The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (Orbit)
  • Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)
  • Above the Snowline by Steph Swainston (Gollancz)
  • The Scarab Path by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)
  • Orgasmachine by Ian Watson (Newcon)
  • The Noise Within by Ian Whates (Solaris)
  • City of Dreams and Nightmare by Ian Whates (Angry Robot)
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)

BSFA Nominees So Far: Best Short Fiction

Not surprisingly, the longest list so far: here’s all the works of short fiction that have received at least one nomination from BSFA members. Send yours to awards@bsfa.co.uk by the end of the day.

  • “Flying in the Face of God” by Nina Allan (Interzone 227)
  • “The Phoney War” by Nina Allan (Catastrophia)
  • “Feet of Clay” by Nina Allan (Never Again)
  • “Darwin Anathema” by Stephen Baxter (The Mammoth Book of Alternate History)
  • “Our Land” by Chris Beckett (Conflicts)
  • The Heart of a Mouse” by KJ Bishop (Subterranean)
  • “Hanging Around” by Neil K Bond (Shoes, Ships and Cadavers)
  • Hothouse Flowers” by Chaz Brenchley (The Bitten Word)
  • “Sussed” by Keith Brooke (Conflicts)
  • “Have Guitar Will Travel” by Chris Butler (The Immersion Book of SF)
  • The Nightmare of You and Death in the Room” by Christopher Adam (Hub 126)
  • “In the Long Run” by David L Clements (Conflicts)
  • “A War of Stars” by David L Clements (Analog Jan/Feb 2010)
  • “The Maker’s Mark” by Michael Cobley (Conflicts)
  • “Where the Vampires Live” by Storm Constantine (The Bitten Word)
  • “The Shoe Factory” by Michael Cook (Interzone 231)
  • “The Shipmaker” by Aliette de Bodard (Interzone 231)
  • “Spare Change” by Jay Eales (Murky Depths 12)
  • On Not Going Extinct” by Carol Emshwiller (Strange Horizons)
  • The Mad Scientist’s Daughter” by Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons)
  • Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain” by Yoon Ha Lee (Lightspeed 4)
  • The Issuance of One Hundred and Thirty-Six” by Mark Harding (Future Fire 21)
  • The Red Bride” by Samantha Henderson (Strange Horizons)
  • “The Pearl Diver with the Gold Chain” by Paul Hogan (GUD 5)
  • “Ne Cadant in Obscurum” by David Hoing (The Company He Keeps)
  • Dali’s Clocks” by Dave Hutchinson (Daybreak)
  • On the Banks of the River Lex” by NK Jemisin (Clarkesworld)
  • Reflection” by Jessica E Kaiser (Future Fire 19)
  • “Hibakusha” by Keevil Tyler (Interzone 226)
  • “The Earth Beneath My Feet” by James Lecky (Jupiter 29)
  • “Torhec the Sculptor” by Tanith Lee (Asimov’s Oct/Nov)
  • “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life” by Rochita Luenen-Ruiz (Interzone 229)
  • Second Journey of the Magus” by Ian R MacLeod (Subterranean)
  • Havana Augmented” by Tim Maughan (M-Brane 12)
  • “War Without End” by Una McCormack (Conflicts)
  • Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots” by Sandra McDonald (Strange Horizons)
  • “Hirasol” by Melissa Mead (Bull Spec 2)
  • The Isthmus Variation” by Kris Millering (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “The Untied States of America” by Mario Milosevic (Interzone 228)
  • “The Raft of the Titanic” by James Morrow (The Mammoth Book of Alternate History)
  • “Trouble with Telebrations” by Tim Nickels (Catastrophia)
  • “The Cloth From Which She is Cut” by Gareth Owens (Fun With Rainbows)
  • Abandonware” by An Owomoyela (Fantasy)
  • “Fallout” by Gareth L Powell (Conflicts)
  • “Pallbearer” by Robert Reed (The Mammoth Book of Alternate History)
  • “Psi.Copath” by Andy Remic (Conflicts)
  • “Partly ES” by Uncle River (Albedo One)
  • A Serpent in the Gears” by Margaret Ronald (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “Red Letter Day” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Analog)
  • “In the Face of Disaster” by Ian Sales (Catastrophia)
  • Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra” by Vandana Singh (Strange Horizons)
  • “A Winter’s Tale” by Sarah Singleton (The Bitten Word)
  • “Songbirds” by Martin Sketchley (Conflicts)
  • “Coldrush” by Kari Sperring (The Bitten Word)
  • “Star in a Glass” by Vaughan Stanger (Music for Another World)
  • “The Shostakovich Ensemble” by Jim Steel (Music for Another World)
  • “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog)
  • “I Won the Earth Evacuation Lottery” by Tim C Taylor (Shoes, Ships and Cadavers)
  • To Soar Free” by Todd Thorne (Lorelei Signal)
  • “The Insurance Agent” by Lavie Tidhar (Interzone 230)
  • Cloud Permutations by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  • “Lode Stars” by Lavie Tidhar (The Immersion Book of SF)
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time” by Catherynne M Valente (Clarkesworld)
  • “Dark Mirrors” by John Walters (Warrior Wisewoman 3)
  • “A Walk of Solace with my Dead Baby” by Ian Watson (Shoes, Ships and Cadavers)
  • The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld)
  • “The Cruel Ship’s Captain” by Harvey Welles and Philip Raines (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet)
  • “Mano Mart” by Andy West (Shoes, Ships and Cadavers)
  • “The Abomination of Beauty” by Ian Whates (The Bitten Word)
  • “Several Items of Interest” by Rick Wilber (Asimov’s)
  • “Arrhythmia” by Neil Williamson (Music for Another World)
  • “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too)” by Bill Willingham (Masked)

BSFA Nominees So Far: Best Non-Fiction

Slightly later than planned, here’s the current list of works which have received at least one nomination in the Best Non-Fiction category.

  • The The Wonderful Future That Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute, and Other Predictions from the Past by Gregory Benford (Hearst)
  • Blogging the Hugos” parts 1-4 by Paul Kincaid (Big Other)
  • Review of With Both Feet in the Clouds: Fantasy in Hebrew Literature, edited by Hagar Yanai and Danielle Gurevitch, by Abigail Nussbaum
  • From Utopia to Apocalypse: Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe by Peter Y Paik (University of Minnesota Press)
  • The Outer Alliance Podcast 1, Julia Rios
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in Space by Mary Roach (Oneworld Publications)
  • Review of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, by Adam Roberts (Punkadiddle)
  • Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber)
  • The Notes From Coode Street podcast, by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K Wolfe
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords ed. Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea. (Mad Norwegian Press)

Some interesting nominations there, notably Red Plenty and the podcasts. Wonder if any of them will make the ballot? But also a relatively small selection compared to some previous years. What’s missing? There’s still time to send your nominations to awards@bsfa.co.uk.