Friday 4 March 2011

Arthur C Clarke shortlist announced + my thoughts

So... the Arthur C Clarke shortlist has been announced today. I actually got a look at this list a couple of days back - which is why I didn't join in with the competition/speculation about who would figure on the shortlist.

This year we have the following six novels:

• Zoo City – Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
• The Dervish House – Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
• Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
• Generosity – Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
• Declare – Tim Powers (Corvus)
• Lightborn – Tricia Sullivan (Orbit)

My response to Tom went as follows:

Wow, what a very interesting shortlist!! After last year's Gollancz dominance, I am loving the fact that the six shortlisted books are across six publishers. That is very refreshing to see, and shows the breadth of excellent science fiction being produced.

Hah, I called three of those correctly not too long back ;-) Wouldn't have even got close to the other three - which shows, I think, some real out-of-leftfield curveballs. It's no wonder everyone is failing to guess.

Happy because I only have to buy two of these books (Generosity and Declare) to make sure I can read them all. Nice to see two women this time round.

Finally, intrigued by the fact that Monsters of Men is the THIRD in a series - will this put some people off reading it? Or will Patrick get more interest for the trilogy as a whole.

Good job though, will enjoy reading these :-)

I do think it's a good list. It's very different from the feel of last year's - for some reason to me it feels so much more diverse.

Anyway, expect to see reviews of these six novels over the next month or so appear on my blog, with accompanying dissection as to why I believe they earned their place (or not!) on the shortlist, and then a final decision from me about which one should win in my very humble opinion.

I am very much looking forward to this!


  1. I'm really disappointed with the list to be honest. Having taken a look at Monsters of Men, Declare and Generosity I can't say I'll bother buying at them - they look dreadful. My loss obviously. I thought Lightborn was bad so I'm going for either The Dervish House or Zoo City to win. Well, they are the top 2 I'd pick anyway. Feel this list is deliberately contentious?

  2. I love the fact that I have only read one of these as it means there are so many cool books out there for me to read. I loved Zoo City and it deserves all the plaudits it is currently receiving.

  3. Zoo City (and cannibal penguins) FTW!

  4. Wasn't Declare published an absolute age ago?

  5. I got the list a few days ago as well and started reading Lightborn because of it. So far it's meh and I'm struggling to get through it. Dervish House next then Zoo City but honestly none of them made my TBR pile until the list came out. Does that say more about me or the list?

  6. I'm also in the Zoo City fan group! I really enjoyed that book but I don't know if I'd say it was amazing. I haven't read any of those other books and some of them I haven't heard of.

  7. Declare is so good I've read it twice. It needs an editor, of course, but still, a great read. It was published ten years ago, but not in the UK. And McDonald is without peer. So this will be an interesting year.(I was greatly disappointed with Generosity, although I have liked Richard Powers' books in the past.)