Contest: Guess the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist

This contest is now closed and no more entries will be accepted. The results will be posted on Friday, March 4th.

It’s that time of year. The list of eligible submissions for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award is out! And this year, in honour of the award’s twenty-fifth anniversary, we’re pleased to be able to run a contest with real prizes (not just glory) in conjunction with the list’s release.

The goal is straightforward: guess the shortlist for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The prize is quite a good one, thanks to the generousity of the Clarke Award and NewCon Press! If you win, you will receive copies of all six of the shortlisted works, plus a copy of Fables from the Fountain, the forthcoming, limited-edition anthology edited by Ian Whates from NewCon press. Fables is a collection of all-original stories written as homage to Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales from the White Hart and published in honour of the Clarke Award’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

To enter, comment on this post. Your comment must contain a list of six (no more, no fewer) novels from the full list of eligible submissions. Pingbacks won’t be accepted.

You may not enter this contest if you are a current Clarke award judge, a family member of a current judge, someone who has access to the currently-embargoed press release containing the shortlist, or if you are on the board of Serendip or the BSFA. You may not enter the contest multiple times: only your first entry will be entered into the contest. You are welcome to enter from wherever you are: the prize can be shipped internationially.

If no one guesses all six entries correctly, then the prize will go to whoever guessed the most correct winners. If there is a tie for the most correct winners guessed, then the winner will be picked from a hat from among the tied entries. This contest will be judged by Tom Hunter, director of the Clarke Award, and his decision in all aspects of the contest is final.

As Tom observes,

The idea behind releasing the full submissions lists is pretty simple. Every year we reveal our shortlist of the six best science fiction books of the previous year, as decided by our panel of independent judges, and every year we enjoy, well, passionate conversation around those choices.

For me this is exactly how things should be, but at the same time I’m keen for people to understand just how complex the judging process is, and how many different variants there can be when you have 54 great books in play and you have to narrow those down to just six of the best as it were.

Personally, I’ve never managed to correctly guess all six in advance, and I’m the Award Director, so just to warn you this game is harder than it looks, and good luck everyone.

The deadline for your six guesses, posted as a reply to this post, is this Wednesday, 2 March at 23:59 GMT.

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66 thoughts on “Contest: Guess the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist

  1. OK, my guess: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi; Zoo City by Lauren Beukes; The Dervish House by Ian McDonald; Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness; Generosity by Richard Powers; and How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. Some calculation and some wishful thinking in there!

  2. I want to play!

    Decisions, decisions. Do I post an ‘aspirational’ list in which I put the 6 I want to see honoured most? Do I post a ‘cynical’ list of the dull but worthy choices? Or do I try to actually win the competition by predicting the tastes of judges I don’t know? Do I go for the new hot names or the old reliables?

    Here are my guesses, in any case:

    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)

    it is of course a mixture of all of the above options!

  3. Okay, I love a contest! I’m going for:

    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
    Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
    The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell
    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

    There we go!

  4. Here’s my guess:
    Zero History by William Gibson
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    C by Tom McCarthy
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

  5. My Guess:

    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Kraken by China Miéville
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

  6. I’m guessing:

    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)

  7. Okay:

    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford; The Dervish House by Ian McDonald; Zoo City by Lauren Beukes; How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu; Feed by Mira Grant; The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

  8. Ok – my guess…

    Ok – guessing here :D

    The Wind Up Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Quantum Thief – Hannu Ranjaniemi
    Finch – Jeff Vandermeer
    Holy Machine – Chris Beckett
    The Silent Land – Graham Joyce
    Zoo City – Lauren Beukes

  9. Interesting longlist! The shortlist is tricky, but my six picks are:

    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

  10. I have nothing to lose! And probably nothing to win, given how random my guesses are.

    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell (Pan Macmillan)

  11. This is my guess:

    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Holy Machine by Chris Beckett
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

  12. My guesses:
    – Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
    – New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
    – The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
    – Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)
    – How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    – Salvage by Robert Edric (Doubleday)

    I am depending on the jury to, as usual, confound everyone with their choices…

  13. Playing it safe:

    Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts
    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan

  14. My guess

    – Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    – Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (Corvus)
    – Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
    – The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    – Zendegi by Greg Egan (Gollancz)
    – New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)

    I fully expect to be wrong. There always seems to be at least one book from left field which I had previously not considered reading.

  15. Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
    The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (Orbit)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (Harper Voyager)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

  16. Mainly guessing, although McDonald seems to be a favourite.

    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts

  17. Obviously at least one of these titles will be controversially excluded in favour of something leftfield:

    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan, The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

  18. Watch by Robert J Sawyer (Gollancz)
    The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (Orbit)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    On the Third Day by Rhys Thomas (Doubleday)
    The Age of Zeus by James Lovegrove (Solaris)

  19. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

  20. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    Generosity by Richard Powers

  21. Interesting, very interesting.
    Looks like this years Mieville (overrated, interesting ideas not too thoroughly examined) could be The Windup Girl, and this years non genre candidate to upset the old fogeys is Generosity.

    so, here’s my choice:
    The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
    How To Live Safely – Charles Yu
    Lightborn – Tricia Sullivan
    The Dervish House – Ian McDonald
    Generosity – Richard Powers
    Zoo City – Lauren Beukes

  22. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)

  23. I think this will probably be playing it a wee bitty safe. Here goes, anyway!

    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Granta)

  24. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
    The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

  25. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollanz)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)
    The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)

    Think, hope or like.

  26. My guesses:

    Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (Corvus)
    A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)

    Cheers,

    John

  27. My guesses:

    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
    The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
    Declare by Tim Powers (Corvus)

  28. My effort:

    1. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    2. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollanz)
    3. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    4. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    5. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    6. The Passage by Justin Cronin (Orion Books)

  29. My list:
    1. Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    2. Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)
    3. Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
    4. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    5. The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton (PanMacmillan)
    6. Zero History by William Gibson (Penguin)

  30. Zoo City – Lauren Beukes
    The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi
    The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
    Finch – Jeff Vandermeer
    Kraken – China Mieville
    Terminal World – Alastair Reynolds

  31. The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis (Seren)
    Zero History by William Gibson (Penguin)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)
    The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (Orbit)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

  32. New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)

  33. 1. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    2. Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    3. Zero History by William Gibson (Penguin)
    4. Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    5. C by Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape)
    6. The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Pan Macmillan)

  34. 1. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    2. Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
    3. New Model Army by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
    4. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    5. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
    6. Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)

  35. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks (Orbit)

  36. Yikes. Cutting this down to six wasn’t easy. But I’ll have a punt on these:

    1. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    2. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    3. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
    4. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    5. The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell (Pan Macmillan)
    6. Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)


  37. Here are my six, chosen in about thirty seconds.

    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Granta)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)

  38. My husband made me do it :)

    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    Kraken by China Miéville (Pan Macmillan)

  39. Here are my guesses:

    Zoo City by Lauren Buekes
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan
    Red Plenty by Frances Spufford
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

  40. I’m only going to go with books I’ve read – who am I to judge what I haven’t read? I suspect only one or two of these will actually make it onto the shortlist though:

    Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
    Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
    Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
    The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Pan Macmillan)
    The Noise Within by Ian Whates (Solaris)
    The Technician by Neal Asher (Pan Macmillan)

  41. Resisting the urge to “vote” for my favourites:

    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
    Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

    And one lucky dip please!

  42. Here’s what I think will be on the list, which is not necessarily what I think *should* be on the list. Ahem.

    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    Holy Machine by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
    Finch by Jeff VanderMeer(Corvus)
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit)

  43. 1. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    2. the Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    3. Kraken by China Mieville
    4. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    5. Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
    6. Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan

  44. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Kraken by China Miéville

  45. Huh.

    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
    The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Dervish House, Ian McDonald
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lightborn Tricia Sullivan

    … and, uh, eh … let’s say

    Terminal World, Alastair Reynolds

    Not the ones I’d picked myself, but on the other hand, probably not the ones that’ll be picked for the shortlist either.

    //JJ

  46. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)
    Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz)
    Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne (Pan Macmillan)

  47. 1. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    2. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    3. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    4. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    5. Finch by Jeff VanderMeer
    6. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

  48. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Surface Detail by Iain M Banks
    The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    New Model Army by Adam Roberts

  49. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
    Kraken by China Miéville

    And for a great outsider, I’d go with The Silent Land by Graham Joyce.

  50. 1) Finch, Jeff Vandermeer
    2) Stone Spring, Stephen Baxter
    3) Terminal World, Alastair Reynolds
    4) WWW: Watch, Robert J. Sawyer
    5) The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross
    6) The Wind-Up Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi

  51. “The results will be posted on Friday, March 3rd.”

    Do you mean Friday, March 4th, or do you mean Thursday, March 3rd?

  52. I think my email was typed in incorrectly. That probably means I’ll win from luck and no one will be able to get in touch with me.

  53. @Tom
    Can’t count Tom. Would have added Declare and gotten it wrong anyhow, although despite that – because I am a man and thought Lauren would be in I am not stupid. So that’s ok then!

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