Aug 4, 2018

Arthur C. Clarke Award 2018



The Arthur C. Clarke Award winner was announced last month from a short-list of six. This award was originally established by a generous grant from Sir Arthur C. Clarke with the aim of promoting science fiction in Britain.

The annual award is presented for the best science fiction novel of the year, and selected from a list of novels whose UK first edition was published in the previous calendar year.

The winner is Dreams Before the Start of Time by author Anne Charnock



The Award Director Tom Hunter said of this novel:

“This is a much-deserved win for a writer whose time has definitely come. Charnock’s multi-generational vision of expanding human reproductive technologies is smart, science-literate fiction that embraces the challenge of humanising big ethical questions, and succeeds by exploring possible future scenarios that feel utterly real.”

You can see more about Dreams Before the Start of Time below along with the other five books short-listed for 2018.

Have you read any of these books yet? Let me know what you thought.

Dreams Before the Start of Time

Anne Charnock
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.


‘This is an excellent novel, and a worthy successor to the very wonderful Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind.”Adam Roberts, author of The Thing Itself

In a near-future London, Millie Dack places her hand on her belly to feel her baby kick, resolute in her decision to be a single parent. Across town, her closest friend—a hungover Toni Munroe—steps into the shower and places her hand on a medic console. The diagnosis is devastating.

In this stunning, bittersweet family saga, Millie and Toni experience the aftershocks of human progress as their children and grandchildren embrace new ways of making babies. When infertility is a thing of the past, a man can create a child without a woman, a woman can create a child without a man, and artificial wombs eliminate the struggles of pregnancy. But what does it mean to be a parent? A child? A family?

Through a series of interconnected vignettes that spans five generations and three continents, this emotionally taut story explores the anxieties that arise when the science of fertility claims to deliver all the answers.

Sea of Rust

C. Robert Cargill
An action-packed post-apocalyptic thriller from the screenwriter of Marvel's Doctor Strange.

HUMANKIND IS EXTINCT.

Wiped out in a global uprising by the very machines made to serve them. Now the world is controlled by OWIs - vast mainframes that have assimilated the minds of millions of robots.

But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality, and Brittle is one of the holdouts.

After a near-deadly encounter with another AI, Brittle is forced to seek sanctuary in a city under siege by an OWI. Critically damaged, Brittle must evade capture long enough to find the essential rare parts to make repairs - but as a robot's CPU gradually deteriorates, all their old memories resurface.

For Brittle, that means one haunting memory in particular . . .

American War

Omar El Akkad
Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war.

Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during war - part of the Miraculous Generation - now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family's role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle - a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfar
Set in the near-distant future, Spaceman follows a Czech astronaut as he launches into space to investigate a mysterious dust cloud covering Venus, a suicide mission sponsored by a proud nation. Suddenly a world celebrity, Jakub's marriage starts to fail as the weeks go by, and his sanity comes into question. After his mission is derailed he must make a violent decision that will force him to come to terms with his family's dark political past.

An extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist-and risk everything-in the name of love and home, by a startlingly talented young debut novelis

Gather the Daughters

Jennie Melamed
Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers--chosen male descendants of the original ten--are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.

The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly--they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers' hands and their mothers' despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.

Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.

Borne

Jeff VanderMeer
In a ruined city of the future, Rachel scavenges a strange creature from the fur of a despotic bear.

She names him Borne.

He reminds her of her homeland lost to rising seas, but her lover Wick is intent on rendering him down as raw material for the special drugs he sells. Nothing is quite what it seems, and if Wick is hiding secrets, so too is Rachel – and Borne most of all.

The above links will be affiliate links, so if you going to make a purchase any of these books from Amazon I'd appreciate you using the link. Doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!


Sign up for my newsletter so you won't miss a thing.


Subscribe

Then head over to my Facebook page The BistroMath to join the conversation. You can also follow me on Twitter or Google+. To do so click on the images below.

 Twitter    Google+    YouTube   TheBistroMath