The shortlist for the 35th Arthur C. Clarke Award science fiction book of the year was released on June 30.
The six shortlisted titles are:
- The Infinite – Patience Agbabi (Canongate)
- The Vanished Birds – Simon Jimenez (Titan)
- Vagabonds – Hao Jingfang (Head of Zeus)
- Edge of Heaven – R.B. Kelly (NewCon Press)
- The Animals in that Country – Laura Jean McKay (Scribe)
- Chilling Effect – Valerie Valdes (Orbit)
Dr Andrew M. Butler, Chair of Judges, said:
To everyone’s surprise, each of the titles is a debut novel. This has never happened before.
Tom Hunter, Award Director, commented:
As we announce our 35th Clarke Award shortlist I’m reminded of Sir Arthur’s wish that the prize continue to reflect the best of UK science fiction, and not one fixed definition of it.
With SF publishing in the UK currently thriving and over 100 increasingly diverse titles again submitted to our judges this year, a single definition of science fiction in the 2020s was always going to be a challenge but with this shortlist I believe our judges not only met the challenge, they’ve raised the bar.
Whether its SF for readers of all ages, works in translation, books from the heart of SF publishing, our vibrant small presses or literary imprints embracing their speculative fiction sides, our judges have created a definition of the best of science fiction literature today that is uniquely their own yet instantly recognisable.
A complete list of all eligible titles submitted to the judging panel can be found here.
The award’s judging panel members and supporting organizations are:
- Stewart Hotston, British Science Fiction Association
- Alasdair Stuart, British Science Fiction Association
- Phoenix Alexander, Science Fiction Foundation
- Nicole Devarenne, Science Fiction Foundation
- Nick Hubble, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival
The winner will be announced in September 2021.
[Based on a press release.]