2009 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions

Spring! And a young fan’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of the Arthur C Clarke Award. This year’s shortlist is due to be announced in mid-March, but for the first time the Award is officially announcing the list of submitted works, and very generously they’ve decided to do it through Torque Control. Administrator Tom Hunter writes:

The Arthur C. Clarke Award was originally created to celebrate science fiction literature at its best. One of the things that most struck me when I became the Award’s administrator was the volume of creative and original talent we were seeing submitted every year.

Speculation and active debate have always surrounded the announcements of the shortlists and the eventual winner. By announcing the full list of eligible books for the first time I hope we can also highlight the strength and diversity of current science fiction, create more conversation and debate and show the awesome challenge that faces the judging panel every year.

And so, without further ado, here are the submitted books:

Clarke submissions 2009

This image is deliberately tiny because last year, certain people had too much fun reverse-engineering a list of submissions from a similar picture, and have indicated that they would like to play the game again. Far be it from me to stand in the way of people having fun, so: have at it!

(For everyone else, I’ll update the post with a proper-sized image and the full list later.

Here you go, all forty-six books, in alphabetical order by author:

The Ashes of Worlds by Kevin J Anderson (Simon & Schuster)
Line War by Neal Asher (Tor)
The Heritage by Will Ashon (Faber & Faber)
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)
Neuropath by Scott Bakker (Gollancz)
Matter by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
Flood by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
Weaver by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
City at the End of Time by Greg Bear (Gollancz)
Kethani by Eric Brown (Solaris)
Necropath by Eric Brown (Solaris)
Sputnik Caledonia by Andrew Crumey (Picador)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (HarperCollins)
Incandescence by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
Infoquake by David Louis Edelman (Solaris)
The Broken World by Tim Etchells (William Heinemann)
Omega by Christopher Evans (PS Publishing)
Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton)
Principles of Angels by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz)
Eve: The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales (Gollancz)
The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton (Macmillan)
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann)
Template by Matthew Hughes (PS Publishing)
The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt (Harvill Secker)
Song of Time by Ian R MacLeod (PS Publishing)
The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (Snowbooks)
The Quiet War by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
Dark Blood by John Meaney (Gollancz)
The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Gollancz)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker)
Debatable Space by Philip Palmer (Orbit)
House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
Swiftly by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Going Under by Justina Robson (Gollancz)
The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor)
DogFellow’s Ghost by Gavin Smith (Macmillan)
Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic)
The Dog of the North by Tim Stretton (Macmillan)
Halting State by Charles Stross (Orbit)
Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Orbit)
The Margarets by Sheri S Tepper (Gollancz)
Blue War by Jeffrey Thomas (Solaris)
Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber (Tor)
Martin Martin’s on the Other Side by Mark Wernham (Jonathan Cape)
Winterstrike by Liz Williams (Tor)

As I posted in the thread below: 13% of this year’s submissions are by women, and 17% are ‘mainstream’ in origin, both figures down slightly (I think) from the last few years. And as Nick asks: what would your shortlist be?

112 Responses to “2009 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions”

  1. Jonathan M Says:

    I thought Neuropath was only published in Canada

  2. Niall Says:

    Nope, published by Orion over here. (With a mass-market paperback due in April.)

  3. Martin Says:

    The new Egan covers might be ugly as hell but you can definitely tell who wrote them! I can only get about half of the rest.

  4. Liz Says:

    Row 1:
    The Ashes of Worlds, Kevin J. Anderson?
    The Line War, Neal Asher
    The Heritage, Will Ashon
    ?
    Neuropath, Scott Bakker
    Matter, Iain M. Banks

    Row 2:
    Flood, Stephen Baxter
    Weaver, Stephen Baxter
    City at the End of Time, Greg Bear
    Kethani, Eric Brown
    ?
    Sputnik Caledonia, Andrew Crumey

  5. Niall Says:

    All correct so far. I’d have impressed if you got either of those two question marks!

    Fun with stats, part one: 35% of this year’s submissions appear on the Locus recommended reading list (or on last year’s list, in the case of a couple of books that were first published in the US in 2007).

  6. Martin Says:

    Poor Kevin J. Anderson, I wonder why his publishers bother.

  7. Abigail Says:

    Some easy ones (but I protests – the image wasn’t quite as tiny last year).

    Row 3, second from the left: Incandescence by Greg Egan
    Row 4, fourth from the left, The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
    Row 5:
    The Night Session by Ken MacLeod
    ?
    The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
    ?
    The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
    Row 6:
    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
    ?
    ?
    Swiftly by Adam Roberts
    ?
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi
    Row 7, second from the left: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

  8. Abigail Says:

    Also, row 4, fourth from the left: The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton.

  9. Niall Says:

    (but I protests – the image wasn’t quite as tiny last year)

    Yeah, but everyone found it easy last year. :-p

    Fun with stats, part two: 13% of the submitted books are by women. None of them appear on the Locus list.

  10. Martin Says:

    Song Of Time by Ian R MacLeod is next to The Night Session and the third in those Justina Robson books is next to Swiftly.

  11. Abigail Says:

    OK, two more and then I go back to work: on either side of Swiftly, House of Suns by Alistair Reynolds and Going Under by Justina Robson.

  12. Nic Says:

    1st row, 4: The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan?

    3rd row, 1: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

    4th row, 1: Principles of Angels by Jaine Fenn?

    6th row, 5: Going Under by Justina Robson

  13. Nic Says:

    Bugger, The Steel Remains is on the 5th row, isn’t it? And is the one next to Jaine Fenn that brick of an EVE online book?

  14. Niall Says:

    Nic:

    The Steel Remains is on the 5th row, isn’t it?

    Yep. All correct otherwise, though.

  15. Nic Says:

    4th row, end: The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

    7th row, 5: Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross

  16. Niall Says:

    Remaining gaps:

    Row 1, book 4
    Row 2, book 5
    Row 3, books 3, 4, 5, 6
    Row 4, book 5
    Row 5, books 3 and 5
    Row 6, book 2
    Row 7, books 1, 3, 4 and 6
    Row 8, books 1, 2, 3 and 4 (or 2, 3, 4 and 5 if you use the same numbering as the other columns. All four, anyway.)

  17. Liz Says:

    Helpful hint: they’re in alphabetical order.
    Current consensus:
    Row 1:
    The Ashes of Worlds, Kevin J. Anderson?
    The Line War, Neal Asher
    The Heritage, Will Ashon
    ?
    Neuropath, Scott Bakker
    Matter, Iain M. Banks

    Row 2:
    Flood, Stephen Baxter
    Weaver, Stephen Baxter
    City at the End of Time, Greg Bear
    Kethani, Eric Brown
    ?
    Sputnik Caledonia, Andrew Crumey

    Row 3:
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
    Incandescence by Greg Egan
    ?
    ?
    ?
    ?

    Row 4:
    Principles of Angels, Jaine Fenn
    That brick of an EVE Online book
    The Temporal Void, Peter F Hamilton
    The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway
    ?
    The Invention of Everything Else, Samantha Hunt

    Row 5:
    ?
    The Night Session, Ken MacLeod
    Song of Time, Ian R MacLeod
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley
    ?
    The Steel Remains, Richard Morgan

    Row 6:
    The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    ?
    ?
    Swiftly by Adam Roberts
    Going Under, Justina Robson
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi

    Row 7:
    ?
    ?
    ?
    ?
    Saturn’s Children, Charlie Stross

  18. Ian Sales Says:

    3rd row, 5th from left – Omega, Christopher Evans
    4th row, 3rd from left – some fat Peter Hamilton tome?
    4th row, 5th from left – Template, Matthew Hughes
    5th row, 3rd from left – The Affinity Bridge, George Mann
    6th row, 2nd from left – Debatable Space, Philip Palmer

  19. hoggy Says:

    7,4 – Halting State

  20. Niall Says:

    Ian: yep!

    Fun with stats, part three: 17% of this year’s submissions are “mainstream” (counting, for instance, Anathem as genre despite being published by Atlantic), a slightly lower proportion than has been the case in the past few years.

  21. Liz Says:

    3,3: Infoquake, David Louis Edelman
    3,4: The Broken World, Tim Etchells
    3,6: Blonde Roots, Bernadine Evaristo

    5,5: Bone Song, John Meaney

  22. Ian Sales Says:

    2nd row, 5th from left looks a bit like The Crystal Cosmos by Rhys Hughes, but isn’t that a novella?

  23. Niall Says:

    Liz: Yes to the first three, no to 5,5.

    Ian: Now that you mention it I can see the resemblance (at this resolution, anyway!), but it’s not The Crystal Cosmos.

  24. Nick H. Says:

    Bone Song was close, but it’s actually Dark Blood, if I’m not wrong.

  25. Ian Sales Says:

    8,4 – Winterstrike, Liz Williams

  26. Nic Says:

    8,3: Martin Martin’s on the Other Side by Mark Werham

  27. Nick H. Says:

    8,2: David Weber, “Off Armageddon Reef”

  28. Nick H. Says:

    Oh, and 7,6 is The Margarets by Sherri Tepper.

  29. Nick H. Says:

    “All correct so far. I’d have impressed if you got either of those two question marks!”

    The first one is Paul Auster’s “Man in the Dark”.

  30. Liz Says:

    8,1 is Blue War, Jeffrey Thomas.

    Assuming all the above guesses are correct, the ones remaining:
    2,5
    7,1
    7,3

  31. Niall Says:

    Nick: OK, I’m impressed. I thought it just looked like an indistinct blur.

    Liz: yep, that’s what I’ve got, too. Any advances on the missing ones, or shall I just post the list now?

    (Fun with stats, part four: I’ve read 35% of this year’s submissions …)

  32. Nick H. Says:

    Two of the missing ones are nagging me, but I shall have to declare myself out now, as I have to leave the house.

    I look forward to seeing people making the own shortlists out of the full longlist once I get back.

  33. Tom Hunter Says:

    Glad everyone’s having fun with the long list so far!

    “I look forward to seeing people making the own shortlists out of the full longlist once I get back.”

    And that’s certainly one of the many reasons why I hoped the full list would be of interest to the sf community and beyond, not to mention why Torque Control seemed the ideal venue to share this with everyone. Thanks to Niall and the BSFA for the help and enthusiasm so far.

  34. Liz Says:

    Aha! 7,3: The Dog of the North, Tim Stretton. Which doesn’t sound terribly science fictional.

    2,5: Necropath, Eric Brown

    7,1 I admit defeat on.

  35. Graham Says:

    I am an imperfect soul who has not read everything listed above, but my shortlist would be Anathem, Gone-Away World, Halting State, Knife of Never Letting Go, Quiet War, Song of Time.

  36. Niall Says:

    I am an imperfect soul who has not read everything listed above

    I think we can take that as a given for anyone who might reply to this thread.

    I have difficulty whittling it down to fewer than nine or so, but today my shortlist would probably be Flood, The Gone-Away World, Swiftly, Song of Time, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and The Invention of Everything Else. Those are all books I would like an excuse to re-read; with Anathem, much as I enjoyed it, for now once feels like enough.

  37. Graham Says:

    Yes, but I’m more imperfect than most because I didn’t even italicise the titles in my post…

  38. Liz Says:

    I would go for Anathem, The Gone-Away World, Song of Time, The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Steel Remains and House of Suns right now. I suspect the latter two would be displaced if I had read more than a quarter of the longlist, and The Steel Remains is only SF if you squint a bit but I do like it.

  39. Niall Says:

    Have you read the Quiet War yet?

  40. Ian Sales Says:

    Aren’t The Dog of the North and The Steel Remains both fantasy and so ineligible?

  41. Graham Says:

    Ian: Steel Remains is ostensibly fantasy in a frame that might just be sf and which later volumes will probably unpack. (There was a review in Vector, I think, suggesting that it was sf missold as fantasy, but that’s a whole other conversation.)

  42. Niall Says:

    Where there’s a question as to whether something is sf or not, most publishers seem to err on the side of letting the jury draw the lines, which on balance seems the right approach to me. But sometimes there are books that do seem so clearly fantasy as to be missing the point … having skimmed it, The Dog of the North looks like one of those to me, though The Steel Remains, as Graham says, is much more arguable.

  43. Graham Says:

    By the way, Ian, your librarything debate over the worthiness of Fee Fie Foe Wossname was one of the highlights of the last few days interwebs for me…

  44. Ian Sales Says:

    When the “author-not-author” started posting great swathes of the novel, I beat a hasty retreat. I quote enjoy the cut and thrust of a good forum argument, but that was pure blunt force trauma.

  45. Tony Keen Says:

    I haven’t read most of the submissions, but I’m still prepared to stick my neck out in certain areas. I will be utterly astonished if The Gone-Away World isn’t on the list, even more than I was when Brasyl wasn’t on last year’s – it has Clarke shortlist all over it. Flood also looks like the sort of book Clarke juries like, and I think it has a good chance. I still think Swiftly might be there. Apart from that, Knife of Never Letting Go and The Quiet War. And I have this fear that those who celebrate the ambition of City at the End of Time, rather than lament its dullness, will see that on the list. Curiously, I seem to have left no place for Anathem. And though there was a buzz about The Steel Remains before it appeared, that died off quite quickly, and I don’t expect to see it there.

    Full disclosure suggests I should admit that this list only has three of the books in the list I predicted two months ago (then I included Anathem, Halting State and the turned-out-not-to-be-eligible UFO in Her Eyes, with no Ness, McAuley or Bear). And also I only got one prediction right for the BSFA shortlist.

  46. Niall Says:

    And I have this fear that those who celebrate the ambition of City at the End of Time, rather than lament its dullness, will see that on the list.

    My fear is that Little Brother will be shortlisted.

    UFO in Her Eyes was published last week, though, so now you can see what I was on about! My copy (I read a proof) is apparently on its way to me from Amazon right now.

  47. Liz Says:

    I haven’t read The Quiet War, no. It sits on my shelf and taunts me. Matter, some of Flood, Little Brother, The Night Sessions, and Halting State are the other ones I’ve read.

  48. Ian Sales Says:

    I’ve read Matter, Kéthani, Template. The Night Sessions, Debatable Space and House of Suns, and I don’t think any of them are really shortlist material. Sitting on the shelves and waiting to be read are The Knife of Never Letting Go, Going Under, Halting State, Necropath and Omega.

  49. Martin Says:

    17% of this year’s submissions are “mainstream”

    So any more than one non-genre SF book on the shortlist and we will know it is those bloody activist judges trying to stuff their agenda down our throats again.

    I may have just re-read that John Jarrold thread.

  50. Nick H. Says:

    At this point in time, my shortlist would be Flood, The Gone-Away World, The Quiet War, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Debatable Space, and Halting State. I like The Steel Remains, but it’s not SF enough for me to be comfortable with.

    It’s possible that, had I read more books, my choices would be different. Probable, actually.

  51. Inversion Layer Says:

    What is this ‘agenda’ that Martin speaks of?

  52. Tom Hunter Says:

    Great to see so much conversation (and variation!) on people’s suggested shortlists so far. One of the things that’s fascinated me most in the two previous years is not so much the way opinion collects around certain nodal books, but the level of difference that occurs in the rest of the selection. Especially perhaps when it’s people you know, and whose opinions you trust, who are being asked to select their own choice of six.

    It just goes to show the full scope of the challenge the judging panel take on each year.

    Want to make an ‘I Told You So’ style prediction without going public just yet? Feel free to email me at clarkeaward at gmail dot com and I’ll happily back you up / quietly delete the message and never mention it again as appropriate when the shortlist comes out next month.

  53. Peter Wilkinson Says:

    Incidentally, if Gwyneth Jones shoots someone at Gollancz, I will entirely understand her reasons for doing so. I would assume that the reason that Spirit is missing from this list and other 2008 lists (such as the list of BSFA Award nominations) is that everyone is assuming that it is a 2009 book – but the official publication date was apparently 29 December 2008.

    That is not to say that I would have expected to see Spirit on the Clarke shortlist or, given the competition, have put it there myself – but if I were a Clarke judge, I would definitely have wanted to consider it. It seems crazy that it was not submitted.

    And, given that most awards tend to be arranged by the calendar year, 29 December seems a very odd date to publish any book that might reasonably be considered for an award.

    That is, of course, unless Gwyneth Jones wants to avoid going through all the awards hoopla – in which case, everything I have said above is simply wrongheaded.

  54. Ian Sales Says:

    I’d have thought it only fair to consider the book a “very early” 2009 publication. I also don’t quote understand your comment “That is not to say that I would have expected to see Spirit on the Clarke shortlist”. She’s won it once, so is she now no longer good enough to do so again?

  55. Ian Sales Says:

    Gah. I seem to have trouble spelling “quite”. That’s two comments now I’ve written “quote” instead…

  56. Niall Says:

    What is this ‘agenda’ that Martin speaks of?

    I think he is being satiric.

    Obviously, given those proportions, if there isn’t a mainstream novel on the shortlist, then the judges are a bunch of lightweights, or reflexive anti-literary philistines. No other possible explanation!

  57. Graham Sleight Says:

    Peter: Just as a purely factual point, I received a review copy of Spirit from Gollancz with a press release giving a pub date in Jan 2009. However, the book carries a copyright date of 2008, and was available for sale before the end of 2008. In that context, I would argue it was indeed a 2008 book (and indeed it shows up on the 2008 Locus list); but equally, I think it’d be a perfectly legitimate decision for the Clarkes to defer consideration of it till next year. What this Gollancz mess-up means for its Hugo eligibility, heaven only knows.

  58. Jason M. Robertson Says:

    To generate a shortlist from a combination of my own biases and inferred biased from the praise of others I’ll postulate a shortlist as follows: Incandescence, The Gone-Away World, The Quiet War, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Anathem, Halting State.

    If we’re not just doing wishlist shortlists, but predictive ones, is the 2009 judging panel locked in and perusable somewhere?

  59. Niall Says:

    Tom:

    One of the things that’s fascinated me most in the two previous years is not so much the way opinion collects around certain nodal books, but the level of difference that occurs in the rest of the selection

    Yes. One of the things I like about the award is that, simply by virtue of the judges not all being my friends (and thus sharing similar tastes), I can be pretty confident that at least one of the picks will be an interesting book I haven’t read, or haven’t thought of reading.

    Jason:

    is the 2009 judging panel locked in and perusable somewhere?

    If you mean “who are the judges”, they are: for the BSFA, Ruth O’Reilly and Chris Hill; for Foundation, Rhiannon Lassiter and Robert Hanks; and for SF Crowsnest, Pauline Morgan

  60. Inversion Layer Says:

    Re Spirit the decision based on what Gollancz said is that for the Clarke it is a 2009 book so will hopefully be submitted for the next award.

  61. Liviu Says:

    I finished 24 of the books above (1,2,5,6,10,11,14,15,19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 41,42,44, 46)

    I plan to read 8 (not own yet), 12 (own), 17 (if I can get an affordable ed), 25 (own), 29 (not own yet),

    I may try 3, 16, 39

    I tried 9 and 31 and they are not for me

    I know that 7, 13, 23, 26, 35, 43 are not for me so I would not read them even if paid

    I have not heard of the other 6 but I will investigate them (4, 18, 20, 24, 37,45).

    My top 5 picks would be:

    Anathem – should win all sf awards for 08 being a once in a decade novel

    The Quiet War – simply excellent

    Gone Away World – flawed but audacious

    Winterstrike – too similar voices in the two main characters, but very intriguing and another unusual, not more of the same novel – first read for me from Ms. Williams work, made get a lot of her back list and read several more novels so far

    Incandescence – General Relativity: the novelization – pure sf at its best; flaws galore as a literary piece, but still way better than the sf classics there, and the same sense of wonder, no-one can do better that a lot of Egan work brings to the table

    If Spirit would have been on the list, it would have been my second pick.

    , tried another 6 that are not for me, know that several are definitely not for me, and I have several I plan to read at some point, some that I own some that I do not but may get, only about the Hunt, Gonzalez, Auster and Wernham books I have not heard.

  62. Liviu Says:

    Sorry, the last paragraph was part of the initial post before I decided to list the books, so should be disregarded –

    When perusing the list more carefully I found out that actually I have not heard of 6 books, not of the 4 mentioned, the rest I included in the detailed comment above

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  64. Cheryl Says:

    As far as Spirit and the Hugos is concerned, it is definitely a 2008 book. You can’t argue against a date on the copyright page. But if some kind company were to publish the book in America then it would probably get another year of eligibility (and stand a rather better chance).

  65. Tom Hunter Says:

    Following on with the debate re Spirit, this is certainly something that was brought to our attention in the close of 2008 and, for the record, we are considering this as a 2009 publication from our point of view and it will be considered as such if submitted as part of the round for next year’s Award.

    I’m only saying if here because I wouldn’t want to assume, but I would like to say that the kind folk at Gollancz have been excellent and timely at submitting books to us this year, as have many other publishers. This is very much appreciated and, I hope, a sign of the continued importance the Clarke Award continues to play twenty-three years on from its first shortlist.

    In case you’re wondering, one book that was definitely published in 2008 and is definitely missing from this year’s submissions list is Stephen Hunt’s The Kingdom Beyond The Waves.

    As noted in the thread above, Stephen and the SF Crowsnest team have again joined the SFF and BSFA in putting forward a judge towards this year’s panel, as well as offering us lots of other support.

    In our first conversation, Stephen and I discussed how any of his own work would necessarily be deemed ineligble as a result. Neither of us have really mentioned that anywhere since, but in the spirit of this thread it seemed appropriate to mention now, if only so I could say a public thank you for all the people who’ve given something of themselves to the Award now and in previous years. It is remembered and it is very much appreciated.

  66. Martin Says:

    You can’t argue against a date on the copyright page.

    I guarantee the internet will prove you wrong!

  67. kev mcveigh Says:

    No submission for Peter Ackroyd’s The Casebook Of Victor Frankenstein? What is the mainstream coming to?

    I have in fact read exactly 0% (ok I read the first few pages of one so far and will get around to reading it soon…) of this list and therefore my predicted shortlist is:
    The Knife Of Never Letting Go
    Matter
    Anathem
    The Quiet War
    Song Of Time
    AN Other that I have never heard of.

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  70. Linda Palapala Says:

    Shortlist:

    1) The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
    2) Matter by Iain Banks
    3) House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

  71. Peter Wilkinson Says:

    Ian

    When I said:

    That is not to say that I would have expected to see Spirit on the Clarke shortlist

    I was commenting on the book, not the author. It is a good book but it didn’t strike me as particularly “pushing the envelope”, which is something that Clarke judges (whether intentionally or not) seem to look for.

    Having said that, the same could be said for several of the (about 10) books on the list that I have read so far – on that basis, 2008 generally seems to have been a year for good but not great books – and if I were choosing six books from Spirit plus the ones I have read, Spirit would be among them. But there are about 35 (including all the “mainstream” ones) that I have not, at least as yet, read.

  72. Ian Sales Says:

    Tom: point taken. I’ve not read Spirit yet, although I plan to start it soon.

    If I were to guess at the shortlist – and chiefly from comments and/or reviews of the various books – then I’d probably go for:

    The Heritage by Will Ashon
    Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
    The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson

  73. james Says:

    Doublespeak?

    Spirit, Gollancz (29 Dec 2008)

    ‘Following on with the debate re Spirit, this is certainly something that was brought to our attention in the close of 2008 and, for the record, we are considering this as a 2009 publication from our point of view and it will be considered as such if submitted as part of the round for next year’s Award. ‘

    ‘The prize is open to any full-length novel, written in English by an author of any nationality, provided that the novel is published for the first time in the United Kingdom between 1 January and 31 December of the year before the prize is awarded. ‘

  74. Tom Hunter Says:

    Hi James

    An interesting point, but doublespeak? No, not really, or at least I don’t think so.

    I think it’s pretty evident from earlier comments on this and other sites that there was some degree of general confusion with regard to the official publication date for this one book.

    As Graham noted above, there was a general impression that this was a 2009 publication. It appears to have made it out a bit early in some quarters and did indeed turn up on the Locus lists and so forth.

    To be clear, it’s not on our list primarily because it wasn’t ever officially submitted, and neither were we expecting it to be. When it did make the Locus lists for 08 this was flagged to us at the time, as I said before, and the very reasonable (I think) decision under the circumstances was to continue with our original information in good faith.

    Maybe you don’t think that’s a reasonable position? If so, I’d certainly welcome your and other people’s thoughts.
    Right now though I’m not quite sure what exactly it is you’re questioning. Presumably you’re saying that the Award shouldn’t consider Gywneth’s novel eligible as part of its 2009 round of submissions?

    If that’s the case then we couldn’t be further from doublespeak. There was some confusion and, as noted above, a decision was made.

    I think it’s a pretty open, honest and fair decision, but I’d be happy to debate that further if that helps, either here or please drop me a line direct: clarkeaward at gmail dot com

    On a final note, one of my main intentions in releasing this full list was to address exactly the issue of which books are under consideration for the shortlist selection, so from my point of view the more I can help to clarify this for everyone the better.

  75. Promotii si altele… « Cititor SF Says:

    […] aparut recent si lista lunga cu nominalizarile la Arthur C. Clarke Award. V-am dat doar link-ul si o sa revenim cand se vor mai cerne din […]

  76. Jonathan M Says:

    I’m glad some people are talking about Incandescence for the short-list. I thought the sciency stuff failed to really work at all but there was some really interesting stuff going on in the background.

    Rather that than the utterly predictable Anathem.

  77. Ian Sales Says:

    Interesting criterion for a science fiction award – the “sciency stuff” failing to work…

  78. kev mcveigh Says:

    James:
    Historically Clarke Award judges have occasionally adopted a degree of flexibility with regards to eligibility in grey areas. In 1990 the decision was made to withdraw from consideration Dan Simmons’ Hyperion until the publication of Fall Of Hyperion at which point both books were considered as one, The Hyperion Cantos. in 92 the jury decided that a submission, whilst an excellent book in itself was not SF, and so Sarah Canary received a separate honourable mention.
    There have almost certainly been other cases I am less aware of. The publication of this list and the explanation of Spirit’s absence is both within the ahem spirit of the Award and a more transparent view of the process and surely that has to be good.

    Tom:
    I’d be more curious to know if any titles were specifically requested by the judges from outside the usual genre publishers, and if any were declined.

  79. geoffnelder Says:

    Congrats to all who made the longlist. [Rest of comment deleted because this is a place to discuss other peoples’ books, not a place to advertise your own. — Niall]

  80. Tom Hunter Says:

    Great fun indeed to see so much comment, opinion and variety of shortlist suggestions these past few days. Thanks everyone.

    “I may have just re-read that John Jarrold thread.”

    Martin, I think that’s possibly one of favourite online commentaries on the Award (after this one of course) and falling somewhere just behind Sam Jordison’s blogging of last year’s ceremony and Aint It Cool News calling for us to be boycotted back in 2007. For those who missed that last one you can still find it here, though do need to scroll down a bit: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33406
    Fortunately for me, all of these pieces ended up as being a great way to meet new people and get their input on the Award.

    Kev:
    I’ll do my best to come back with a more detailed answer your question shortly.

  81. NextRead » Links: Saturday 14th February Edition Says:

    […] I’m going to start with a list. The 2009 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions via Torque […]

  82. gav (nextread.co.uk) Says:

    I thought I’d have a better look at the list.

    I’ve read:
    Infoquake by David Louis Edelman (Solaris)
    Debatable Space by Philip Palmer (Orbit)
    The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
    Kethani by Eric Brown (Solaris)

    I’ve got copies of:

    The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Gollancz)
    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker)
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor)
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic)
    Halting State by Charles Stross (Orbit)
    The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton (Macmillan)
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann)

    And I’m interested in reading:

    The Line War by Neal Asher (Tor)
    The Heritage by Will Ashon (Faber & Faber)
    Matter by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
    Flood by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
    City at the End of Time by Greg Bear (Gollancz)
    Incandescence by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
    The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (Snowbooks)
    The Quiet War by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)

    I have no idea what the merits of the unread ones are. The Night Sessions might have enough about it to make it a contender. Not that the others aren’t good but the bar is high.

  83. Jeff VanderMeer Says:

    I wasn’t aware the Clarke was for fantasy. Have you changed the criteria or am I simply misremembering? I.e., if it is SF, I’m just curious as to how Steel Remains or a few of the other books qualify?

    JeffV

  84. Ian Says:

    Jeff:

    Do you not understand the meaning of “submitted”? These are the books that were _submitted_ for the Award by their publishers. It is not a “longlist” of books chosen by the jury for consideration, it is not a judgement of merit for books that should be considered, it is just what it claims to be, in plain English.

    What the jury might decide in terms of what may or may not be “best”, “science fiction”, “novel” or “published in the UK in the previous year” have all been challenged in previous years, but the jury don’t have the ability to determine what publishers might submit for consideration. I’m not quite sure why so many people are misinterpreting what this means, but this list tells us not much more than a list of what has been published, and of that what publishers have decided is worth being considered. Some of those publishers might have an overly optimistic view of what might qualify, and as we’ve seen in previous years, sometimes they decide NOT to submit something they would be worth considering. But to read things in to the submission list is even more disingenuous than previous year’s commentators reading agendas in to the shortlist.

  85. Neal Asher Says:

    On past performance can publishers be overly optimistic?

  86. Tony Keen Says:

    I do worry about the misuse of the term ‘longlist’. That implies that some initial judgment has been made, which isn’t the case here. Congratulating someone for being on this list is congratulating them for having a publisher with the nous to send six copies in the post. The same is true with the list of nominations for the BSFA Awards. Being on that list means no more than one person thought the work concerned was worthy of nomination – yet sometimes a big deal is made of this.

    Should someone write to The Guardian?

  87. geoffnelder Says:

    I think you guys are being too hard on authors and publishers. Yes, the longist is just a list of nominations but damn it selling books is soooo hard that we are obliged to jump at any hint of recognition even if it is from only one appreciative reader.

  88. Cheryl Says:

    It is a losing battle, Tony. This year I have seen a whole bunch of people claiming that they were “nominated” for the Campbell simply because they appear on the list of eligible writers. In the past I also seen people claim that they were “Hugo nominated” writers because one person put their work on a nominating ballot. Some people will claim anything if they think it will make them look good. But actually in most cases it makes them look bad.

  89. Tom Hunter Says:

    “Should someone write to The Guardian?”

    That’d be me. The Clarke Award has had a really good relationship with The Guardian for the last couple of years so I’ll definitely be chatting to them some more over the next few weeks.

    I also took the liberty of correcting the reporting via Chinese whispers over at The Times: http://tinyurl.com/avvg4g

    I think I, and especially Niall, did our best to make clear exactly what this list was and why it was being released in the original blog post. For the record Torque Control is the one site I chose to directly release this news, for all the reasons posted above, and all other coverage and linkage is gratefully appreciated but not inspired by any PR work on my part.

  90. gav (nextread.co.uk) Says:

    I thought all publicity is good publicity?

    Seriously though they might be only the submitted names but seeing the volume of books released it still represents some sort of selection even if it’s not judge driven.

    How many make it to the official list?

  91. Tony Keen Says:

    Tom, I agree. You’ve handled this announcement perfectly clearly – it’s just a pity that others have read more into it than is there.

  92. Tom Hunter Says:

    There’s a school of thought in PR circles that you should weigh your media coverage rather than read it, so certainly from that angle I think we’re definitely ahead (which isn’t to say I subscribe totally to that school of thought, of course).

    As mentioned elsewhere this is a first-time experiment for us to release this full list in this way, so we’re all learning as we go. Certainly so far I think the benefits are way ahead of any misunderstandings from some well-meaning quarters.

    In terms of how many make it on to the official list, you’re pretty much looking at the full thing, with the main notable exceptions already being mentioned up-thread. These days I’m glad to say we have a very open and two-way dialogue going with the vast majority of publishers (and sympathetic insiders stashed elsewhere in the industry when we need them).

  93. Abigail Says:

    No, Geoff. The longlist is not a list of nominations, as several people here have pointed out and as the original post clearly states. The only recognition involved is on the part of publishers, who recognize that in order to get a book on the shortlist, it must be submitted to the judging panel. No appreciative readers are involved.

  94. Geoff Says:

    So submitted by a publisher is not the same as nominated by a publisher? I didn’t appreciate the difference. Humble apologies.

  95. Tom Hunter Says:

    Thanks Tony, it’s a definite learning curve and one of the many cool things I’ve learned already is that there’s a new book person at The Times I wasn’t aware of but I can now call up and say hi to come shortlist time…

  96. Science Fiction Awards Watch » Blog Archive » What Constitutes a “Long List”? Says:

    […] There is an interesting conversation going on at Torque Control over the decision of the Arthur C Clarke Award to publish a full list of all books that have been submitted to the jury. Some writers are apparently now claiming that they have been “nominated” for the Clarke, and others are taking exception to this as all that has actually happened is that their publishers have put their books forward for consideration. A related issue is whether it is good for the Award to get publicity, even if that publicity is incorrect in some way. Read the whole thing here. […]

  97. Abigail Says:

    No, because the publisher has no authority to nominate anyone. All they can do is submit books for the judges to consider as potential nominees. It’s no more a value statement than being entered in a race.

  98. Tom Hunter Says:

    “Some writers are apparently now claiming that they have been “nominated” for the Clarke…”

    Is this true? I certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest that. Simply some enthusiastic coverage from the bookish parts of the mainstream press picking up on the news circulating in the more frequented sfnal territories, which personally I find very encouraging on the whole.

  99. Tom Hunter Says:

    l’esprit d’escalier:

    What I should have added in my last post is if anyone does have example of people misunderstanding the difference between ‘submitted to’ and ‘nominated for’ please do let me know but please don’t post them publicly here. I wouldn’t want any genuine misunderstanding being taken out of context and am quite happy to follow up as and when needed; it’s part of the job

    I know I’ve posted my contact details already, but here they are again for ease: clarkeaward at gmail dot com

  100. kev mcveigh Says:

    Neal: re Overly optimistic, I remember receiving Dragonlance books during my tenure as a judge.

  101. Tom Hunter Says:

    Hi Jeff and Kev

    Apologies for the delay in coming back with answers to your above queries. They seemed very linked to me, and I wanted to give you the best answer I could.

    “I wasn’t aware the Clarke was for fantasy. Have you changed the criteria or am I simply misremembering? I.e., if it is SF, I’m just curious as to how Steel Remains or a few of the other books qualify?”

    I’m glad you asked this Jeff. One of the main reasons for me deciding to highlight the full submissions list for what I believe is the first time this year was to address queries we’ve had exactly how the shortlist decisions are made and the process that lies behind the Award’s organisation.

    Last year for instance Graham Sleight suggested here (sorry, I don’t have the link to hand) and in Vector magazine that perhaps the judges ought to make more of a public statement around their selection, perhaps at a Con or in a press statement, which lead to some very interesting debate.

    I have some personal reservations about this idea, many more logistical than objecting to the principle behind Graham’s ideas. As an ex-judge himself I can definitely see where Graham is coming from on this, and am happy to take the feedback onboard. My decision to release the longlist of eligible books that have been put forward was directly to show the full range of works the Award considers in any one year and the particular challenges involved in arriving at a final shortlist. Just scanning back up the thread here I can see a microcosm of debate to come, and people have been very honest in saying they haven’t even read of lots of the books yet.

    I also think part of the surprise and suggestions of behind the scenes agendas around shortlist time may have partly arisen because people are seeing shortlisted books for the first time, rather than having considered and debated them through the previous year. This isn’t to say you should agree with that final selection, or indeed that I’d necessarily want you to (I’m not part of the selection process and find out the winner and exactly the same moment everyone else does) but I thought it might be helpful and interesting to see the selection more from the judging process perspective rather than just the final outcomes.

    I made some public comments around the shortlist last year about how the Award oftened pushed at the edges of the genre boundaries. This was taken in many instances as tacit admission that there was indeed an agenda behind the selection process, though I’m glad that others saw through this, and I made an equally public retraction to try and clear up the matter. It is true as people have noted that the Award criteria can be broader than what they might consider SF, and it has been suggested that the Award takes steps to offer more precise guidelines about its own definition of what constitutes a science fictional work.

    Again, I can see where this arguement is coming from, but we have aimed to avoid being actively proscriptive in advance of each year’s submissions. The judges put forward by our supporting organisations are all people with knowledge and experience of the genre, and their perspective coupled with the particular list for any one year and the debate that surrounds it (privately and then in public) is what allows the Award to offer far more than just the sum of its constituent submitted parts. This is kind of more what I was getting at when I suggested the Award had often pushed at the boundaries of the sf genre.

    Kev:

    “I’d be more curious to know if any titles were specifically requested by the judges from outside the usual genre publishers, and if any were declined.”

    I partly delayed answering this question because I needed to find out the answer myself. I’m not directly responsible for the day-to-day of securing submissions so I didn’t have a ready answer.

    While I was finding this out I was also thinking about the best way to answer you.

    There’s a big part of me that thinks it’s not appropriate for me to discuss the actual route to submission for any one author or particular work. My feeling is that, with the best will in the world, this might create the idea that certain books are being prioritised because they have been requested or similar whereas in actuality we might be requesting a conversation about a particular book precisely because we don’t know if it’s a suitable candidate.

    What I can do is outline the current process we go through.

    Each year a general call for submissions is sent out across the UK publishing industry. I think it’s fair to say as an organisation we have a very good relationship in each house and that along with the main call we are also actively involved in dialogue through the year. It’s certainly not right to think we just send out a call and then sit back and see what turns up in the post.

    This is part of the reason why it’s hard for me to answer the question in terms of individual books. For instance a publisher might actively indicate they want to submitt a book but then we don’t hear anything for a while. I may follow up on this to find out what’s happening, but I’m always careful to ensure that the decision to submit is there’s. Am I lending more preferential weight to certain books by doing this? Definitely not, this is simple administration and logistics (is it in the post?) and equally you may well be surprised sometimes at exactly which books soemtimes need chasing up.

    That’s the business end. The judging panel is also active in looking at the field as a whole, and blogs like Torque Control are extremely valuable for this. Decisions to request books don’t take place in a vacuum, rather the Award is very much an active part of, and informed by, the wider SF dialogue, even if some of our conversations take place behind the closed doors of a shortlist decision meeting.

    To finish up this rather long post, for me being involved in the Award is all about furthering the promotion and discussion around science fiction literature and the supporting community we’re all a part of. As i’ve noted before the release of this list has been a definite learning curve, and I think the Award this year will be all teh stronger for it.

    Thanks again everyone for all your support and commentary.

    Tom

  102. Blue Tyson Says:

    I ‘ve read these

    The Line War by Neal Asher
    Matter by Iain M Banks (Horribly, horribly padded and tedious)
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
    Incandescence by Greg Egan (Decent, but only better than Teranesia, not the others)
    Infoquake by David Louis Edelman
    The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton (see Banks)
    Template by Matthew Hughes (Decent)
    The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
    Dark Blood by John Meaney
    The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan
    Debatable Space by Philip Palmer (One of the worst books I’ve seen in a long time and I tend to like this sort of thing, unreadable)
    House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds (His weakest book so far)
    Going Under by Justina Robson
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi
    Halting State by Charles Stross (Good book, but someone has to go)
    Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (See Reynolds)

    The ones I’d consider would be

    Dark Blood by John Meaney (Gollancz)
    The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Gollancz)
    Going Under by Justina Robson (Gollancz)
    (which are fantasies, of course, so separate out as not SF)

    The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor)
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (HarperCollins)
    The Quiet War by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
    Infoquake by David Louis Edelman (Solaris)
    The Line War by Neal Asher (Tor)

    Halting State by Charles Stross (Orbit)
    House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

    Drop the two H’s off if have to make it 5?

    The only other ones I am likely to read are the Baxter and MacLeod, my guess is they wouldn’t make the list, likewise Thomas or Mann from bits I have seen.

  103. Neal Asher Says:

    I wonder who wrote ‘The Line War’? I know I wrote a book called ‘Line War’.

  104. Niall Says:

    Sorry about that — I’ve made the correction in the original post.

  105. Amazon Book Award » Blog Archive » SF/Fantasy Update: Awards and the Passing of Philip José Farmer Says:

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  106. Reasons to care about Racefail « Torque Control Says:

    […] Futures … on 20 Fragments of a Ravenous…Amazon Book Award … on 2009 Arthur C Clarke Award…Jonathan M on Out with the old …Niall on Out with the […]

  107. The 2009 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist « Torque Control Says:

    […] 2009 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist March 17, 2009 — Niall Forty-six from seventeen publishers have become six from four. There are two previous winners among the […]

  108. Clarke Commentary « Torque Control Says:

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  109. Judging the Clarke award « Rhiannon Lassiter’s blog Says:

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  110. Notes on a Shortlist « Torque Control Says:

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  111. 2010 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions « Torque Control Says:

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  112. Women and the Clarke « Torque Control Says:

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