2013 Winner

Chris Beckett has become the twenty-seventh winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for his novel, Dark Eden.

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The award ceremony was held at a special celebratory event hosted by the Royal Society, London, and introduced by a panel on near-future science chaired by editor-in-chief of SFX Magazine, Dave Bradley.

A full video of the evening can be watched on the Royal Society’s website here.

Set on Eden, a distant alien planet with no natural light source, the book follows the story of The Family. The 532 descendents of the planet’s original discoverer’s who crash-landed generations ago and are still waiting for Earth to find them again and take them home.

Speaking for the award, Chair of the Judges Andrew M. Butler said:

“The judges worked incredibly hard and we enjoyed lengthy, informed, discussions about the strengths of first the submitted books and then the shortlisted books.”

“Dark Eden fuses rich biological and sociological speculation. Beckett really makes you care for characters who are stranded light years from an Earth they have never really known. It’s a great book, and this is a well-deserved win for Chris Beckett.”

A special award ceremony and public event on science and science fiction was hosted by the Royal Society, London. Presenting the prize 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.”