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.
Greg Bear, Drew Magary, China Miéville, Jane Rogers, Charles Stross and Sheri S. Tepper are the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s premier prize for science fiction literature.
The six shortlisted books 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)
This year’s six shortlisted titles were selected from a long list of 60 eligible submissions put forward by twenty-five different publishing houses and imprints.
Award Director Tom Hunter said:
“ The definition of science fiction is many different things to different people. It can be a vision of the future, a reflection of our contemporary concerns and technological advances, a vast galaxy-spanning exploration or an alternate history of worlds that might have been.
“Every year the judges for the Clarke Award are tasked first to make their definition of science fiction, and then to define those books they think best showcase the genre. The task of turning sixty books into a shortlist of just six is no simple task, and I hope science fiction readers everywhere will appreciate both the challenge of making the selection and also the challenge any shortlist can make to our preconceived notions of the SF genre having any one simple definition.
“The Clarke Award shortlist this year is, in my opinion, a greatly exciting selection, and one that follows behind two equally exciting prizes I always watch with great interest; the British Science Fiction Association Awards and the Kitschies. Three genre prizes with different backgrounds and different approaches, but when read together can offer a deeply encouraging indication of both the strength and breadth of science fiction literature today.”
The winner will be announced on Wednesday May 2nd at an award ceremony held in partnership SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival. The winner with a cheque for £2012.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.
2012 Submissions list
Every year the organisers of the Arthur C. Clarke Award release the full list of novels submitted for consideration by the judging panel.
This year twenty-five publishing imprints submitted a total of sixty individual novels to be considered for this year’s prize, the winner of which will be announced on May 2nd 2012.
Submissions include four past winners (Ian R. MacLeod, China Miéville, Christopher Priest and Neal Stephenson) as well as ten authors who have previously been shortlisted (Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, James Lovegrove, Adam Roberts, Justina Robson, Sheri S. Tepper, Charles Stross, Connie Willis and Chris Wooding).
Award Director Tom Hunter said:
“This is the fourth year that we’ve released the full lists of books put forward to be considered for the Clarke Award, and I think it’s a great opportunity for all science fiction fans, readers and followers of the prize to more fully appreciate the range, scope and complexity of the genre and the depth of discussion that goes into selecting a shortlist of six books from an initial list of sixty.
“We need to remember that this is a list of all of the books put forward for consideration, not a long list. To be eligible for the Arthur C. Clarke Award a book needs to be actively submitted by its publisher for consideration and one of those first considerations for the judging panel is often the definition of science fiction itself.
“This can be one of the most hotly debated conversations that surrounds the Clarke Award, and it’s worth mentioning that while publishers are invited to submit titles to be considered as a work of science fiction it is the task of the judges, not the publishing companies, to decide how a particular book best fits within that definition.
“Judges, publishers, authors and readers are all a part of that debate, what some people have referred to as ‘the Conversation,’ and the Clarke Award is all for taking that conversation as far as possible. This was true 25 years ago when Sir Arthur first founded the award as a means for promoting the genre, and it’s possibly even truer today in our thoroughly networked world.
“While I have to leave the public speculation about our shortlist to others, I’m greatly looking forward to the future of the conversation that comes with it. It looks like being a fascinating year.”
- Embedded by Dan Abnett (Angry Robot)
- Dead of Veridon by Tim Akers (Solaris)
- The Departure by Neal Asher (Tor UK)
- Novahead by Steve Aylett (Scar Garden)
- Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
- Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear (Gollancz)
- The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown (Solaris)
- The Great Lover by Michael Cisco (Chomu Books)
- Random Walk by Alexandra Claire (Gomer)
- Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey ((Orbit)
- Sequence by Adrian Dawson (Last Passage)
- The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (Canongate)
- The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
- Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing (Abaddon Books)
- Bringer of Light by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz)
- Final Days by Gary Gibson (Tor UK)
- Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt (Tor UK)
- The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Orbit)
- The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman (Michael Joseph)
- Dead Water by Simon Ings (Corvus)
- The Ironclad Prophecy by Pat Kelleher (Abaddon Books)
- 11.22.63 by Stephen King (Hodder and Stoughton)
- Shift by Tim Kring and Dale Peck (Bantam)
- Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith (Newcon Press)
- Echo City by Tim Lebbon (Orbit)
- Nemonymous Nights by D.F. Lewis (Chomu Books)
- The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove (Solaris)
- Wake Up and Dream by Ian R. MacLeod (PS)
- The End Specialist by Drew Magary (Harper Voyager)
- Germline by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit)
- Savage City by Sophia McDougall (Gollancz)
- Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan)
- Equations of Life by Simon Morden (Orbit)
- Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (Picador)
- Hell Ship by Philip Palmer (Orbit)
- The Shadow of the Soul by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
- The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky (Hodder and Stoughton)
- The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris)
- The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
- Here Comes The Nice by Jeremy Reed (Chomu Books)
- The Demi Monde: Winter by Rod Rees (Jo Fletcher Books)
- By Light Alone by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
- Down to the Bone by Justina Robson (Gollancz)
- The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (Sandstone)
- Regicide by Nicholas Royle (Solaris)
- Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer (Gollancz)
- War in Heaven by Gavin Smith (Gollancz)
- Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic)
- Rule 34 by Charles Stross (Orbit)
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Hodder and Stoughton)
- The Waters Rising by Sheri S. Tepper (Gollancz)
- Osama by Lavia Tidhar (PS)
- Dust by Joan Frances Turner (Berkley UK)
- The Noise Revealed by Ian Whates (Solaris)
- Zone One by Colson Whitehead (Harvill Secker)
- All Clear by Connie Willis (Gollancz)
- Blackout by Connie Willis (Gollancz)
- Son of Heaven by David Wingrove (Corvus)
- The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood (Picador)
- The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)