Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven has won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award! The UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction was announced on May 6 at Foyles Bookshop by Tom Hunter, Director of the Clarke Award.
Published by Picador in the UK and Knopf Doubleday in the U.S., Station Eleven imagines a post-apocalyptic world through the eyes of the Traveling Symphony, a band of roaming revelers. As they put on ragtag renditions of plays like Shakespeare’s King Lear—trying to keep alive the best parts of the world that has since ceased to exist—they also cross paths with self-styled prophets and other survivors.
However, in conversation with Sarah McCarry, St. John Mandel explained that she didn’t want to write a novel set 20 years after the apocalypse that was necessarily horror. But it’s not speculative fiction, either: Station Eleven began as a literary novel set in the future, ultimately bending multiple genres in its path. Niall Alexander praised the novel, saying, “what takes shape, in time, is a truly transcendent Iñárritu-esque epic about remembering and forgetting, complete with impeccably crafted characters and an abundance of love for the little things that make life worth living.”
The author tweeted a very sweet reaction to her Clarke Award win:
Oh my god. I am slightly beside myself over here. https://t.co/lyd3T3DU9m
— Emily St. J. Mandel (@EmilyMandel) May 6, 2015
Congratulations to Emily St. John Mandel!