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Arthur C Clarke Award

Entry updated 16 August 2023. Tagged: Award.


This award has been given since 1987 for the best sf novel whose UK first edition was published during the previous calendar year, and consists of an inscribed bookend and a sum of money from a grant initially donated by Arthur C Clarke. In 2001 the prize money – until then a constant £1000 – was increased to £2001 as a gesture to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); it has since risen by £1 annually to reflect the year. The announced shortlist and the subsequent winner are both chosen by a panel of judges whose membership varies from year to year. The judges are drawn from such organizations as the Science Fiction Foundation (of which Clarke was Patron until his death), the British Science Fiction Association (of which Clarke was President) and the Sci-Fi London sf Cinema festival; a previous supplier of judges from the early years of the award was the International Science Policy Foundation. The annual awards presentation currently takes place at Foyles Bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London; former regular hosts have included the above-mentioned Sci-Fi London film festival and, before that, the London Science Museum.

Clarke's generosity was all the more notable, in hindsight, in that the award has frequently gone to rather non-Clarkean books; the first award, for novels published during 1986, interestingly went to a novel published and marketed as non-genre. At the 2016 presentation it was announced that Ebooks and self-published novels would henceforth be eligible. The awards are listed below by date of announcement.

Pat Cadigan and Geoff Ryman have both won the Clarke Award twice; in 2010, China Miéville became the first three-time winner. [DRL/PN]



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