Chris Beckett’s novel Dark Eden has won the 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award.
The winner was announced May 1 at a Royal Society event in London, and introduced by a panel on near-future science chaired by editor-in-chief of SFX Magazine, Dave Bradley, Professor Ian Stewart FRS, Professor Shelia Rowan, Rachel Armstrong, and Adrian Hon. A full video of the evening can be watched on the Royal Society’s website here.
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
The book is chosen by a panel of judges invited from the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation and the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival. This year’s judging panel was composed of Juliet E McKenna, British Science Fiction Association, Ruth O’Reilly, British Science Fiction Association, Nickianne Moody, Science Fiction Foundation, Liz Williams, Science Fiction Foundation, and Robert Grant, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival.
The winner receives a prize consisting of a number of pounds sterling equal to the current year (£2013 for year 2013).
Presenting the award, Ian Stewart FRS, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, commented:
It’s no surprise that science fiction has been influenced by science, but there is a good case to be made that sometimes science is influenced by science fiction. Fiction can sometimes stimulate the imagination in a way that dry facts cannot. Ideas that first appeared as fiction can become fact, and scientists who read SF when they were young can be motivated, perhaps subconsciously, to work in areas or on problems related to the SF stories.