Shadow Jury 2018 FAQ

What is the Arthur C. Clarke Award?

Established in 1987, the Arthur C. Clarke Award is a juried award designed to highlight the best science fiction novel published in Britain in a given year. It is also intended to bring science fiction to the attention of the wider public.

What is the Arthur C. Clarke Award Shadow Jury?

An initiative developed by Nina Allan in 2017 and hosted by the Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Shadow Jury is a panel of talented, passionate members of the SF community who come up with their own personal recommended reading lists and winners for a given year.

What is a Shadow Jury?

Over the past five years shadow juries have convened for literary awards such as the Giller Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (now the Man Booker International) and the Baileys Prize. They provide valuable publicity to the long- and short-listed books as well as an archive of reviews.

How Does the Shadow Jury Work?

When the Clarke Award submissions list is made public, each juror will come up with his or her own reading list for discussion. These could be books they have already read, books they are keen to read, or a mixture of the two. They will then review each title on their reading list, and identify the book they would have chosen as the winner if the list had been chosen by the official jury. Lastly, they will review each book selected by the official jury before coming together to vote on the shadow winner who will be announced the day before the official winner.

What’s the Goal of the Shadow Jury?

Literature only flourishes when critics, fans, and readers are paying attention to it and talking about it! We have noticed that in other genres, shadow juries have provided a sense of excitement and personal involvement on the part of readers. Our goal is to start a lively and informed discussion about SF, and in that sense, we see ourselves as working in parallel with the Award, not competing with it.

Who are the Shadow Jurors This Year?

You can find a complete list here.

How Can I Participate?

We thought you’d never ask! You could check out this year’s submissions list, make your own shortlist, and pick your own winner. Use the hashtag #shadowclarke for any Tweets or posts you write. You can also use that tag to find other participants and engage them on social media or in blog comments.


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