Clarke award shortlist

So, the 2012 Clarke award shortlist was announced this morning and, as has become the custom, the genre corner of Twitter has lit up like a Christmas tree as commentators register their surprise. That’s one of the things I love about the Clarke’s – the shortlist is never predictable. In fact there is now an annual “Guess The Clarke Shortlist” competition (hosted by the BSFA’s Vector with a prize of the shortlisted books supplied by the Clarke Award). Looking at the list this morning, I’ll be pretty surprised if anyone wins that particular prize year. Here they are:

  • Greg Bear, Hull Zero Three (Gollancz)
  • Drew Magary, The End Specialist (Harper Voyager)
  • China Miéville, Embassytown (Macmillan)
  • Jane Rogers, The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)
  • Charles Stross, Rule 34 (Orbit)
  • Sheri S.Tepper, The Waters Rising (Gollancz)

For me this is a pretty classic shortlist, sketching the compass from core SF works to contemporary boundary pushers to  the edge-of-genre/published-as-mainstream stuff that brings new names into the frame. Of this little lot, I’ve read 1.9 of them – the Stross and (most of) the Mieville – both of which I’ve enjoyed. Stross’s was especially good I thoughtm and it’s nice to see it here. At the margins, I’ve heard many good things about the Rogers but Drew Magary is an entirely new name to me. And the trad SF works are both surprises. I’d not heard terribly good things about the Bear, but the Tepper is the biggest surprise for me. I didn’t even know she had a book out in 2011!

So, lots to talk about, but more importantly lots to read. I’ll certainly be tracking down the Rogers and the Magary.

Thanks Clarke Award judges!

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