The Clarke Award is given to the best science fiction novel of the year, pulled from a shortlist of novels whose UK first editions came out in the previous calendar year. It was originally established by a generous grant from Sir Arthur C. Clarke in 1987, and is now overseen by the Serendib Foundation.
Dark Eden, out from Corvus in the U.K., describes itself thusly:
You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of Angela and Tommy. You shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, hunting woollybuck and harvesting tree candy. Beyond the forest lie the treeless mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among you recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross between worlds. One day, the Oldest say, they will come back for you.
You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of two marooned explorers. You huddle, slowly starving, beneath the light and warmth of geothermal trees, confined to one barely habitable valley of a startlingly alien, sunless world. After 163 years and six generations of incestuous inbreeding, the Family is riddled with deformity and feeblemindedness. Your culture is a infantile stew of half-remembered fact and devolved ritual that stifles innovation and punishes independent thought.
You are John Redlantern. You will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. You will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture in to the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden.
This year’s nominees included:
- Nod By Adrian Barnes
- Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
- Intrusion by Ken MacLeod
- 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
This year’s judging panel consists of Juliet E. McKenna (BSFA), Ruth O’Reilly (BSFA), Nickianne Moody (Science Fiction Foundation), Liz Williams (Science Fiction Foundation), and Robert Grant (SCI-FI LONDON film festival).
Congrats to Beckett and the nominees!