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Monday, February 27, 2012

The 2012 Arthur Clarke Submissions, Contest to Guess the Shortlist and Comments (by Liviu Suciu)

As seen on Torque Control from which I c/p the list below, the submission list for the 2012 Arthur Clarke award has just been published - note that it is not a longlist in the accepted meaning of that term, just the list of what books publishers have submitted and were deemed eligible. This year's judges have to go through all these 60 novels and pick the six book shortlist.

In addition, Torque Control is running a "guess the shortlist" competition HERE. Opened until March 11 and requiring to pick what you believe the shortlist is going to be and a rationale for your choices, the competition offers as prize copies of all six shortlisted novels. More details are offered at the link above, while I am reproducing - with links to FBC reviews of the books in cause and a little better formatting that is trickier to add in an un-editable comment as opposed to an editable post - my entry in the contest as it encompasses my current thinking about the shortlist.


Of the books listed, I opened 34 (edit: actually 35 on a recount) and read end to end 16, while of the rest 18 (actually 19) there are 3 or 4 (edit: actually more like 5-6) I plan to read as time goes by. I think the following six books will make the shortlist:

1.The IslandersChristopher Priest
2. EmbassytownChina MiƩville
3. OsamaLavie Tidhar
4. Bringer of LightJaine Fenn
5. Mr. Fox Helen Oyeyemi
6. The Testament of Jessie LambJane Rogers

1,2. excellent books, but the authors almost guarantee the shortlist anyway

3. this one is among the ones I have and plan to read as I like Mr. Tidhar’s Bookman series, but irrespective of its merits, title, subject and international author almost guarantees it too

4. this one I rate a high chance as it’s essentially the only core-sf written by a woman in the list outside of the boring to dreadful Willis duology and the very mediocre Tepper; I have not yet read it as I was quite disappointed by book 3 after I really enjoyed books 1 and 2 and I am essentially waiting for book 5 to see if I continue or not with the series.

5 and 6 are more speculative guesses, but I think that gender parity/minority representation/mainstream works will bring those two in the list.

Loved the Jane Rogers novel and I would add it to my choice of a six book list though I disagreed with the heroine’s choices, while Mr. Fox is another one I have and plan to read but its “book in a book” subject is one that puts me off badly, so despite really loving White is for Witching and enjoying the few pages I browsed in this one, I have been putting it off for a while now.

Personally I would choose 1,2,6, Greg Egan, Adam Roberts and James “Corey”.


Here is the submission list with a "rd" added to the books I read and an "op" to the ones I have but only opened. Actually in quite a few cases I read enough to make my mind about the books I marked as opened, but I did not turn all the pages as in the Willis mammoth disaster that would have been a complete waste of my time for example.

Of the rest, many are by authors or with subjects I have no interest in and only a few - most notably Michael Cisco's novel, though I bought a few of his previous novels and have been trying to enjoy them with no success so far - intriguing enough to take a look.

Embedded by Dan Abnett (Angry Robot) op
Dead of Veridon by Tim Akers (Solaris)op
The Departure by Neal Asher (Tor UK) rd
Novahead by Steve Aylett (Scar Garden)
Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz) op
Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear (Gollancz) rd
The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown (Solaris) rd
The Great Lover by Michael Cisco (Chomu Books)
Random Walk by Alexandra Claire (Gomer)
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (Orbit) rd
Sequence by Adrian Dawson (Last Passage)
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (Canongate)
The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (Gollancz) rd
Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing (Abaddon Books)
Bringer of Light by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz) op
Final Days by Gary Gibson (Tor UK) rd
Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer&Michael Cassutt (Tor UK) op
The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Orbit) rd
The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman (Michael Joseph) rd
Dead Water by Simon Ings (Corvus)
The Ironclad Prophecy by Pat Kelleher (Abaddon Books)
11.22.63 by StephenKing (Hodder and Stoughton)
Shift by Tim Kring and Dale Peck (Bantam)
Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith (NewconPress) op
Echo City by Tim Lebbon (Orbit)
Nemonymous Nights by D.F. Lewis (Chomu Books)
The Age of Odin by JamesLovegrove (Solaris) op
Wake Up and Dream by Ian R. MacLeod (PS)
The End Specialist by Drew Magary (HarperVoyager)
Germline by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit) op
Savage City by Sophia McDougall (Gollancz)
Embassytown by China MiƩville (Macmillan) rd
Equations of Life by Simon Morden (Orbit) rd
Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (Picador) op
Hell Ship by Philip Palmer (Orbit) op
The Shadow of the Soul by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky (Hodder and Stoughton) rd
The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris) rd
The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz) rd
Here Comes The Nice by Jeremy Reed (Chomu Books)
The Demi Monde: Winter by Rod Rees (Jo Fletcher Books)
by Light Alone by Adam Roberts (Gollancz) rd
Down to the Bone by Justina Robson (Gollancz)
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (Sandstone) rd
Regicide by Nicholas Royle (Solaris) op
Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer (Gollancz)
War in Heaven by Gavin Smith (Gollancz) op
Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Atlantic) op
Rule 34 by Charles Stross (Orbit)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Hodder and Stoughton)
The Waters Rising by Sherri S. Tepper (Gollancz) op
Osama by Lavie Tidhar (PS) op
Dust by Joan Frances Turner (Berkley UK)
The Noise Revealed by Ian Whates (Solaris) rd
Zone One by Colson Whitehead (Harvill Secker)
All Clear by Connie Willis (Gollancz) op
Blackout by Connie Willis (Gollancz) op
Son of Heaven by David Wingrove (Corvus) op
The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood (Picador)
The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding (Gollancz) op


Busana Muslim said...

Thank you for taking the time to write on this topic.

Ron Buckmire said...

See I read and loved Blackout/All-Clear but found Embassytown ALMOST un-finishable.

The Ian Whates stuff is absolute crap. I read the first one and have no interest in seeing how it ends up.

Loved James SA Corey. May check out the Christopher Priest. I am a huge fan of the film adaptation of The Prestige.


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