News item: 29 July 2017
On 27 July 2017, the Arthur C Clarke Award went to Colson Whitehead for his novel The Underground Railroad (2016). As is traditional, the trophy takes the form of a bookend and is accompanied by a cheque reflecting the year of presentation – this time, £2017 sterling.
From Colson Whitehead’s acceptance speech: “Way back when I was 10 years old, it was science fiction and fantasy that made me want to be a writer. If you were a writer, you could work from home, you didn’t have to talk to anybody, and you could just make up stuff all day. Stuff about robots and maybe zombies and maybe even miraculous railway lines. Fantasy, like realism, is a tool for describing the world, and I’m grateful that a book like The Underground Railroad, which could not exist without the toolkit of fantastic literature, is being recognized with the Arthur C. Clarke award.”