The Arthur C. Clarke Award Submissions List — and contest!

The Arthur C. Clarke Award Submissions List — and contest!

At long last, the submissions list for the 2017 Arthur C Clarke Award is out!

The Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy at Anglia Ruskin University is delighted to host a competition for readers to guess the short list.

The winner, thanks to the generosity of the Arthur C Clarke Award, will receive copies of all six of this year’s shortlisted novels.

To enter, post a comment in reply to this post with a list of six books (no more, no fewer), selected from the list of 86 eligible submissions, along with a rationale as to why you think that shortlist will be the ones which the judges have chosen. Pingbacks won’t be accepted as entries.

Your rationale can be anything you like, whether brief or detailed, whether your guess is based on extensive reading or randomly guessing; but you must provide one in order to have a valid entry for this contest.

The Nitty Gritty Details

You may not enter this contest if you are a current Clarke Award judge, a family member of a current judge, or someone who has access to the currently-embargoed press release containing the shortlist. 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 internationally.

The winner will be the person who has correctly guessed the most shortlisted books. In the event of a tie, the winner will be randomly chosen by Tom Hunter, Clarke Award Director, from those who correctly guessed the most shortlisted books, and his decision in all aspects of the contest is final.

The deadline for your six guesses, posted as a reply to this post along with your rationale for your guess, will be 23:59 GMT on Tuesday, 3rd May.

The List Itself

Note that this is a submissions list, of the books submitted by their imprints, for consideration by the judges. It is a not a longlist.



This is a complete list of every eligible title submitted for consideration for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award.

This year the judges received 86 titles from 39 publishing imprints and independent authors.

Savant— Nik Abnett (Solaris)

The Power — Naomi Alderman (Penguin Viking)

Necrotech— K.C. Alexander (Angry Robot)

All the Birds in the Sky — Charlie Jane Anders (Titan)

War Factory — Neal Asher (Tor)

Creation Machine— Andrew Bannister (Bantam)

Starbound— Dave Bara (Del Rey)

The Medusa Chronicles — Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

Daughter of Eden — Chris Beckett (Daughter of Eden)

Songshifting — Chris Bell (wordsSHIFTminds)

City of Blades — Robert Jackson Bennett (Jo Fletcher Books)

Sockpuppet — Mathew Blakstad (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Hatching — Ezekiel Boone (Gollancz)

Good Morning, Midnight — Lily Brooks-Dalton (Wiedenfeld & Nicolson)

Morning Star — Pierce Brown (Hodder & Stoughton)

Lament for the Fallen — Gavin Chait (Doubleday)

A Closed and Common Orbit — Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Rise of Io — Wesley Chu (Angry Robot)

Forsaken Skies — D. Nolan Clark (Orbit)

Ancestral Machines — Michael Cobley (Orbit)

Dark Matter — Blake Crouch (Crown)

The Destructives — Matthew De Abaitua (Angry Robot)

Zero K — Don DeLillo (Picador)

The Tourist — Robert Dickinson (Orbit)

The Blood of the Hoopoe — Naomi Foyle (Jo Fletcher Books)

The Many Selves of Katherine North — Emma Geen (Bloomsbury)

Survival Game — Gary Gibson (Tor)

New Pompeii — Daniel Godfrey (Titan)

Front Lines — Michael Grant (Electric Monkey)

Ninefox Gambit — Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

The Bastard Wonderland — Lee Harrison (Wrecking Ball Press)

Graft — Matt Hill (Angry Robot)

The Last Gasp — Trevor Hoyle (Jo Fletcher Books)

Europe in Winter — Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)

The Fifth Season — N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

A Field Guide to Reality — Joanna Kavenna (Riverrun)

The Man Who Spoke Snakish — Andrus Kivirähk (Grove Press UK)

False Hearts — Laura Lam (Macmillan)

Nemesis — Alex Lamb (Gollancz)

The Sign of One — Eugene Lambert (Electric Monkey)

The Wolf Road — Beth Lewis (Borough)

Death’s End — Cixin Liu (Head of Zeus)

The Disciple — Stephen Lloyd Jones (Headline)

Infinite Ground — Martin MacInnes (Atlantic Books)

The Corporation Wars: Dissidence — Ken MacLeod (Orbit)

Into Everywhere — Paul McAuley (Gollancz)

Burning Midnight — Will McIntosh (Delacorte Press)

This Census-Taker — China Miéville (Picador)

When the Floods Came — Clare Morrall (riverun)

Sleeping Giants — Sylvain Neuvel (Michael Joseph)

After Atlas — Emma Newman (Roc)

The Sudden Appearance of Hope — Claire North (Orbit)

The Last One — Alexandra Oliva (Michael Joseph)

South — Frank Owen (Corvus)

The Girl with Two Souls — Stephen Palmer (Infinity Plus)

The Girl with One Friend — Stephen Palmer (Infinity Plus)

The Girl with No Soul — Stephen Palmer (Infinity Plus)

Empire V — Victor Pelevin (Gollancz)

Outriders — Jay Posey (Angry Robot)

Medusa’s Web — Tim Powers (Corvus)

The Long Cosmos — Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter (Doubleday)

The Gradual — Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

Revenger — Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

Invasion — Luke Rhinehart (Titan)

Waking Hell — Al Robertson (Gollancz)

The Lazarus War — Jamie Sawyer (Orbit)

The Trees — Ali Shaw (Bloomsbury)

The Core of the Sun — Johanna Sinisalo (Grove Press UK)

Dark Made Dawn — J.P. Smythe (Hodder & Stoughton)

The High Ground — Melinda Snodgrass (Titan)

The Nightmare Stacks — Charles Stross (Orbit)

Hunters & Collectors — M. Suddain (Jonathan Cape)

Occupy Me — Tricia Sullivan (Gollancz)

Fair Rebel — Steph Swainston (Gollancz)

Central Station — Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

United States of Japan — Peter Tieryas (Angry Robot)

The Devil’s Evidence — Simon Kurt Unsworth (Del Rey)

Radiance — Catherynne M. Valente (Corsair)

Behind the Throne — K.B. Wagers (Orbit)

Escapology — Ren Warom (Titan)

Every Mountain Made Low — Alex White (Solaris)

The Underground Railroad — Colson Whitehead (Fleet)

The Arrival of Missives — Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)

Underground Airlines — Ben Winters (Century)

Azanian Bridges — Nick Wood (NewCon Press)

The Lost Time Accidents — John Wray (Canongate)



  1. mark mardell 1 month ago

    All the Birds in the Sky — Charlie Jane Anders
    A Closed and Common Orbit — Becky Chambers
    Europe in Winter — Dave Hutchinson
    Ninefox Gambit — Yoon Ha Lee
    The Gradual — Christopher Priest
    The Nightmare Stacks — Charles Stross
    These are simply the best on the short list of those I’ve read – but also displays the huge range of speculative fiction available from Hutchinsons’ mysterious Europe which says much about our own times, to the literary mysticism of The Gradual to Stross’s exciting and witty tale to Chambers gentle and loveably space opera to the intriguing oriental world building of Ninefox to Ander’s meditation on friendship, science and magic.

  2. I’ve read only a few, so going off of covers & premise and such.

    I’m expecting/hoping for Underground Railroad and The Fifth Season, and I’d like to see at least one or two works that wouldn’t have anyone asking “but is that Science Fiction”, and having read Ninefox Gambit, I’m hoping they’ll be better than Ninefox Gambit. Let’s throw in Priest’s The Gradual because of past Clarke associations, and Death’s End on the strength of my having enjoyed the first one. We could really use some spaceships at this point. (Aside – there seem are a lot of books that take as their premise a few people cut off from a world destroyed)
    Lets round things out with Central Station and After Atlas.

    So – Underground Railroad, The Fifth Season, The Gradual, Death’s End, Central Station, After Atlas.

    But really, I’m curious to see what the shadow jurors have to say, and also what the actual shortlist is, because I’d like some help sifting the gold and the dross in this list 🙂

  3. Niall 1 month ago

    (Is that the Mark Mardell who referenced Charles Stross in his US election coverage four years ago, I ask myself?)

    My guess:

    The Power by Naomi Alderman
    All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
    Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
    Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
    Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
    Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood

  4. J Turner 1 month ago

    The Fifth Season – Superb world-building and great characterisation make for one of the most readable fantasy voices around.
    Daughter of Eden – A hugely anticipated end to a fantastic science fiction series that explores society and our roles in them.
    Morning Star – Triumphant finale to an action-packed roller coaster of a series
    Revenger – Space pirates. That is all.
    The Medusa Chronicles – Tribute to one of the greatest science fiction writers from two modern masters.
    The Long Cosmos – infinite worlds and infinite imagination.

  5. Wilbur 1 month ago

    The Destructives — Matthew De Abaitua
    Infinite Ground — Martin MacInnes
    The Gradual — Christopher Priest
    Hunters & Collectors — M. Suddain
    Central Station — Lavie Tidhar
    Radiance — Catherynne M. Valente

    Rationale: simple, they’re on top of my wish list.

  6. Jim N 1 month ago

    All the Birds in the Sky — Charlie Jane Anders
    A Closed and Common Orbit — Becky Chambers
    The Destructives — Matthew De Abaitua
    Ninefox Gambit — Yoon Ha Lee
    Dark Made Dawn — J.P. Smythe
    Central Station — Lavie Tidhar

    • Author
      admin 1 month ago

      Don’t forget to leave a rationale for your choices to be eligible!

  7. Martin 1 month ago

    I have only read two of the submitted books. First was Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan which I think does everything you’d want from a Clarke winner but not very well together. Still, I definitely wouldn’t bet against Sullivan being nominated again. Second was The Arrival Of Missives by Aliya Whiteley which was superb and I would be very sad to see not shortlisted.

    There has been a lot of buzz about The Power  by Naomi Alderman and that seems like it would fit well with the award. The core genre book with the buzz seems to be The Fifth Season  by  N.K. Jemisin. You can apparently read this as fantasy or SF but that doesn’t usually bother the judges.

    Finally two well regarded genre novels that might be different enough to stand out form the pack: All the Birds in the Sky  by Charlie Jane Anders and Central Station  by Lavie Tidhar.

    I’d say Ninefox Gambit  by Yoon Ha Lee was in the latter category too but think that is a bit of an acquired taste. On which note, I’m looking forward to reading The Destructives  by  Matthew De Abaitua, Zero K by  Don DeLillo and Hunters & Collectors  by M. Suddain but suspect they will all be too divisive.

  8. andyl 4 weeks ago

    OK here is guess.

    I have read 32 of the submitted books.

    The Sudden Appearance of Hope – Claire North. I enjoyed this a great deal and it seemed to have a greater depth than the surface thriller that takes up much of the book.
    Radiance – Catherynne Valente. There were plenty of books I enjoyed more than Radiance, but as usual Valente’s writing is first rate.
    Central Station – Lavie Tidhar. Plenty of references to classic SF which will help it. May be hindered by the fix-up nature and episodic feel of the narrative.
    The Gradual – Christopher Priest. Surprisingly straightforward for a Dream Archipelago novel but effective nonetheless.
    The Power – Naomi Alderman. Not read this but it is getting so much buzz I am including it (and buying a copy to read).
    I think the judges will pick something from “outside the genre” for the 6th and I am weaker there. But maybe Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes. Purely based on newspaper reviews.

    Even coming up with my list was hard. There were plenty of books which might make it. For example De Abaitua’s The Destructives even though I didn’t think it was as good as last year’s If/Then. Reynolds’s Revenger seemed almost effortless but we had a heartland SF winner last year. The Core Of The Sun wouldn’t surprise me if it made it either. The only book I really struggled with was Sullivan’s Occupy Me there were flashes of brilliance but it didn’t quite hang together for me, although it may reward a slower, more thoughtful, second read. It is certainly the kind of book I can see a judge arguing to include on the shortlist. Finally there were a number of works which were parts of series which I thought worthy but the series nature will probably harm their chances. The secondary world fantasies may also face an uphill battle but you never know, that depends on the judges and one of them, Fifth Season, can be read as SF and features excellent world-building.

  9. Mel 3 weeks ago

    My List:
    Central Station – Lavie Tidhar
    The Core of the Sun –  Johanna Sinisalo
    The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin
    The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
    The Power – Naomi Alderman
    Europe in Winter – Dave Hutchinson

    My Rationale:
    The wisdom of the crowds and a short historical inquiry. So first I took all the shortlist of the shadow jury and the ones given above and calculated the average short list. Then swithched out the Gradual for Europe in Winter, just on the gounds that every dream archipelago book so a has not made it onto the short list and every Europe book has.

    • Mel 3 weeks ago

      Damn I meant grounds not gounds

  10. Charles S. Allen 3 weeks ago

    1. All the Birds In the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: This is my pick for the Hugo this year! It mashes up sci-fi and fantasy to make the case that SF/F geeks can defeat the corporate overlords! Timely and fun!

    2. The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter: This is GLORIOUS! To write the sequel to an Arthur C. Clarke Hugo winning novella from 1972, expand the story, even stay in that false universe’s future conceits, is a shoe-in for this award! Baxter has been nominated the most here, but never one. It’s time! Reynolds’ other work, Revenger, is good, but not anywhere near how good Medusa is. How can you not give the Clarke Award to a Clarke Sequel? This is not only short-listed, it is my prediction for the WINNER.

    3. Close and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers: Honestly, I haven’t read it yet. The noise surrounding it is cool, and it is my current top next-to read, and I’m psyched about it. That’s all the justification I have.

    4. Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee: This is the worst thing Lee has written, and it doesn’t deserve to be on any list. It acts like gore is poetic, and provides a clunky, incomprehensible fake society to be the mechanism for this dreadful mistake. However, this has been highly anticipated, and though I hated it, I have to admit the Awards people are often mistaking art for mere wishful thinking. We love Lee’s short stories, and this has a lot of feel-good from the industry.

    5. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This actually WON the Hugo last year! Its sequel is being touted for further awards, and the final volume in the trilogy is hotly anticipated. This is EPIC SF/F and deserves every award it gets. This is going to become a “classic” in literature. It is really THAT GOOD!

    6. Death’s End by Cixin Liu: Arthur C. Clarke ihas always been about epic science, and no one on this list explodes with epic science like this book. Just cracking the covers could put your eye out from the scientific ideas bursting from it! There are enough brilliant conjectures here to compose several novels, but are crammed into one. Actually, it has pretty big plot holes, and the author waxes pedantic at times. It shouldn’t win, but the mass of extraordinary ideas alone place it on this list.

    There they are, my 6-pix and even who I hope wins!

  11. C. 7 days ago

    I have read 23 novels out of the submission list. Some were fun, some I couldn’t finish, some were amazing and, in the case of one, it took me a week to realise how great it was. These aren’t the novels I would choose for a shortlist (though some overlap), but they are the ones I think the jury might pick.

    1. N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season. I’m taking a gamble here on the basis the jury will read the scifi hints and consider them enough to make it scifi rather than fantasy. The novel uses an original and terrifying setting, the characters are remarkably drawn and empowering, and the writing is wonderful, varied and would put to shame some of those “proper literature” novels. But is it scifi? Well… It’s written “Earth” on the title of the trilogy, isn’t it? (Admittedly, when I reviewed it, I tagged it in the fantasy category, but hey! Nobody’s perfect!)

    2. Nick Wood, Azanian Bridges. There are two uchronias on the submission list that bring us to places where segregation and racism are institutionalised, a topical theme. Out of these two, I think Azanian Bridges has the most chances of making it to the shortlist, based on the narrative choices, particularly the cleverly organised alternating points of view and the mythological references.

    3. Lavie Tidhar, Central Station. Despite not having liked it, I think its original form (it reads as a collection of sketches linked by the characters and the setting) and its description of marginalised people left behind in the shadow of a space station will be much in favour with the jury.

    4. Dave Hutchinson, Europe in Winter. Why? Brexit.

    5. Aliya Whiteley, The Arrival of Missives. I’m taking another gamble but it’s so well written and with such a striking way to argue for feminism, that it’d be a pity if it weren’t picked. The novel amazingly masters the brief form, a feat too rare to go unnoticed, and manages to cram into 83 pages some remarkable characters, an intriguing story, an elusive scifi concept neatly used and a striking feminist pamphlet.

    6. Naomi Alderman, The Power is also a feminist novel but will there be two on the shortlist? You know what? There should be, because both are exceptional. The Power was continues the conversation about feminism in scifi novels, from Octavia Butler to Elisabeth Vonarburg without forgetting Margaret Atwood. But it is also a very powerful novel (no pun intended) that stands on its own.

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