The shortlist for the 37th Arthur C. Clarke Award science fiction book of the year has been announced, and it includes authors that have never made the shortlist before.
The annual award is presented for the best science fiction novel of the year, and selected from a list of novels whose UK first edition was published in the previous calendar year.
“This year we’ve shortlisted authors that have never made the Clarke Award’s top six before,” said Chair of Judges, Dr Andrew M. Butler. “It’s always good to see new authors or authors new to science fiction standing out from so many submissions. I look forward to what I suspect will be a passionately argued decision.”
The six shortlisted books are:
VENOMOUS LUMPSUCKER by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)
THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE by Aliette de Bodard (Gollancz)
PLUTOSHINE by Lucy Kissick (Gollancz)
THE ANOMALY by Hervé Le Tellier, translated by Adriana Hunter (Michael Joseph)
THE CORAL BONES by E. J. Swift (Unsung Stories)
METRONOME by Tom Watson (Bloomsbury)
The judging panel for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2023 were Dave Hutchinson and Francis Gene-Rowe for the British Science Fiction Association, Kate Heffner and Nicholas Whyte for the Science Fiction Foundation and Georgie Knight for the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival. Dr Andrew M. Butler represented the Arthur C. Clarke Award directors in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges.
“Our judging panel this year decided their shortlist from a submissions list of books received that offered over 988,000,000 possible mathematical combinations,” added Award Director Tom Hunter. “The outstanding quality and variety of titles received this year may have been a challenge for our judges, but it also speaks volumes about the enduring popularity and diversity of contemporary science fiction literature.
“We thank all of our judges and welcome all of our shortlisted authors to the Clarke Award family.”
The award was originally established by a generous grant from Sir Arthur C. Clarke with the aim of promoting science fiction in Britain, and is currently administered by the Serendip Foundation, a voluntary organisation created to oversee the on-going delivery and development of the award.
This year’s winner will be announced on Wednesday 16 August 2023 and will receive a trophy in the form of a commemorative engraved bookend and prize money to the value of £2023; a tradition that sees the annual prize money rise incrementally by year from the year 2001 in memory of Sir Arthur C. Clarke.