“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke
The prestigious Arthur C. Clarke award shortlist has just been announced. The award aims to honour the best science fiction novel of the year – 124 books were submitted and six have make the shortlist. The judges have selected a fantastically varied list from Simon Stålenhag’s graphic novel The Electric State to Ahmed Saadawi’s politically nuanced Frankenstein in Baghdad, as well as novels in the cyberpunk and military space opera genre. The judges will have a really tough time deciding who the final winner will be!
The 2019 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist:
Semiosis / Sue Burke.
“Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits… Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Also available as an ebook.
The electric state / Simon Stålenhag.
“In late 1997, a runaway teenager and her small yellow toy robot travel west through a strange American landscape where the ruins of gigantic battle drones litter the countryside, along with the discarded trash of a high-tech consumerist society addicted to a virtual-reality system. As they approach the edge of the continent, the world outside the car window seems to unravel at an ever faster pace, as if somewhere beyond the horizon, the hollow core of civilization has finally caved in.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Frankenstein in Baghdad : a novel / Ahmed Saadawi ; translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright.
“From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi — a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café — collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he’s created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive–first from the guilty, and then from anyone in its path.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Also available as an ebook.
Rosewater / Tade Thompson.
“Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Recently the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award winners were announced. The Best Crime Novel was awarded to Fiona Sussman for her novel titled The Last Time We Spoke.
The Best First Novel prize was awarded to Finn Bell, for his novel titled Dead Lemons.
The Ngaio Marsh Awards originated in 2010 for excellence in New Zealand crime, mystery, and thriller writing. In 2016 the award for best First Novel was added and in 2017 another category was also added for the Best Non Fiction.
We send our congratulations to Wellington author Catherine Robertson on winning the Fiction Award for her novel titled The Hiding Places, at the Arts Festival Library Carnival in Nelson.
This is her fourth novel, the first The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid, was published in 2011. Although extremely busy with her writing and also her Masters in Creative Writing study at Victoria University, Catherine has always been very generous with her time at Wellington City Libraries’ events. We wish her well for a very promising future.
Paul Cleave has won this year’s Ngaio Marsh Award for his crime novel titled Five Minutes Alone.
This is his eighth crime novel, the first was published in 2006 and was titled The Cleaner. This is the second time he has won this award, winning previously in 2011, with his novel titled Blood Men published in 2010.
His novels have been translated into fifteen languages, and many have been shortlist for international crime writing awards.
The Ngaio Marsh Award made annually for the best crime, thriller or mystery written by a New Zealand citizen or resident, began in 2010. It show cases some of the best writing in this genre, and this year’s short-list is no exception. Featuring five of the country’s best known writers, the decision of the judging panel will be difficult.
The shortlist is:
Paul Cleave for Five minutes alone
Barbara Ewing for The Petticoat men
Paddy Richardson for Swimming in the dark
Tina Shaw for The Children’s pond
Paul Thomas for Fallout
The winner will be announced on 4th October in Christchurch.
The British writer Jim Crace has been awarded this year’s IMPAC Dublin Literary Award of €100,000 for his novel titled, Harvest. Set in a small English village before the industrial revolution, this novel was also short-listed for the Man Booker prize in 2013.
Jim Crace is the author of 10 other novels, and two collections of short stories, the first titled Continent began his published career in 1986. His work has received numerous literary awards.
The Canadian writer Emily St John Mandel has won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award for her much acclaimed fourth novel titled Station Eleven. Set in the Year Twenty it follows a troupe of actors and musicians as they cross a devastated America bringing entertainment to the isolated survivors.
Previous winners of the prestigious science fiction award have been Margaret Atwood, China Mieville and Neal Stephenson.
Ten novels have been selected from nominations to make up the shortlist for this year’s IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. One of the literary world’s largest annual awards, all nominations are made by 150 libraries from 39 countries.
This year’s shortlist has a true international flavour, with novels from Russian, Moroccan, Nigerian, Brazilian, and Irish authors. Also along with American and British authors there are two Australian authors listed. The winner will be announced on the 17th June 2015 in Dublin.
The 20th year for this fiction prize, previously known as the Orange Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction recently announced the shortlist of six titles. The list includes only one American writer, Anne Tyler, for her recent novel titled A Spool of Blue Thread.
The winner will be announced on 3rd June 2015.
Australian writer Richard Flanagan has been awarded this year’s prestigious literary prize, The Man Booker, for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. This is his sixth novel and is based on his father’s war time experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war working on the notorious Burma Railway.
Richard Flanagan was born in 1961 Tasmania, where he still resides. He was presented with the £50,000 at a ceremony in London, for the 46th year of the prize and notably the most contentious, as this was the first year to allow entry of any novel published in English.