South African author Lauren Beukes was today announced as winner of the 25th Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s premier award for science fiction literature. She received a cheque for £2011.
Beukes, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, describes herself as a “recovering journalist, TV scriptwriter, award-winning columnist and writer (aka glorified typist)”. She is the author of two other books – Moxyland (2008) and Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa’s Past, a rollicking collection of biographies of real-life renegades and raconteurs (2006). The latter book was nominated for the 2006 Alan Paton non-fiction award – South Africa’s leading book award. She has also written numerous short stories and contributed to various publications.
A 2010 profile in South Africa’s Sunday Times described her as “a pretty blonde with a wicked tongue and a penchant for speculative science fiction (with a side helping of political satire and social activism).”
Beukes’ Zoo City, published by Angry Robots, came tops from a shortlist that included five other titles.
- Zoo City – Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot) – WINNER
- The Dervish House – Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
- Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
- Generosity – Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
- Declare – Tim Powers (Corvus)
- Lightborn – Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)
This year’s six shortlisted titles were selected from a long list of fifty-four eligible submissions put forward by twenty-two different publishing houses and imprints. Award Director Tom Hunter noted that the number of submissions this year was among the highest ever.
“The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Arthur C. Clarke Award was always going to be a landmark year, and we couldn’t have asked for a more fascinating and exciting shortlist to get the celebrations started,” said Hunter.
“Fifty-four eligible books is one of the highest submission years we’ve ever had, and when you look at all of the reviews, debate and online commentary that’s surrounded many of these titles you can see just how hard the judges’ deliberations were this year.”
The judging panel for the 2011 Award included:
- Jon Courtenay Grimwood, British Science Fiction Association
- Martin Lewis, British Science Fiction Association
- Phil Nanson, Science Fiction Foundation
- Liz Williams, Science Fiction Foundation
- Paul Skevington, SF Crowsnest.com
Paul Billinger represented the Arthur C. Clarke Award as the Chair of Judges.