Jane Rogers is the 26th winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award with her novel The Testament of Jessie Lamb.
Originally published by Sandstone Press and now by Canongate Books, the novel is set in a near-future world living in the aftermath of biological terrorism and the release of the MDS (maternal death syndrome) virus. Narrated by 16-year old Jessie Lamb, the novel follows her decision to volunteer for an experimental programme to carry an immune embryo to term, a choice she can’t hope to survive.
This year’s prize was presented by author Jeff Noon, whose novel Vurt won the award in 1994.
Addressing an audience of science fiction publishers, writers and fans, Jeff declared, “SF has more margins and edges than all of the other genres put together. That’s why I love it” before announcing Jane Rogers as the winner of this year’s prize.
Speaking after the ceremony, Award Director Tom Hunter said:
“The Testament of Jessie Lamb is a fantastic novel and I’m thrilled to have it join the Clarke Award’s winning list of best science fiction books of the year. A big part of our role at the award is to listen out for all the buzz and chatter around the books being submitted, and it was fascinating to watch the positive word of mouth for the book spreading across the science fiction community over the past year; something I hope will only continue to grow now that Jane Rogers has won this year’s award.”
The announcement was made at the award’s official ceremony held in London, Piccadilly on the evening of Wednesday 2nd May at an exclusive event held as part of the popular SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival.