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Clarke Awards 2010 shortlist includes Robinson, Roberts and Mieville among others

31/03/2010. Contributed by Stephen Hunt

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This year's shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke Awards includes a cracking line up of literary talent including Gwyneth Jones, China Miéville, Adam Roberts, Kim Stanley Robinson, Marcel Theroux and Chris Wooding. It's going to be hard for the judges, including's own Paul Skevington, to pick from such an outstanding selection.

Tom Hunter, administrator for the Arthur C. Clarke Award told, “Shortlist time has to be one of the most exciting moments in the Clarke Award calendar, and I’m very excited to be able to present such a strong and challenging shortlist this year. The greater purpose of the Award is to promote UK science fiction literature and the sense of wonder, speculation and imagination for which the genre is most renowned. The selection of a final winner is always a difficult choice, but in the meantime I’m greatly looking forward to the conversation to come.”

The books in this year's final selection are...

- Spirit: The Princess of Bois Dormant
By Gwyneth Jones (published by Gollancz).

- The City & The City
By China Miéville (published by Macmillan).

- Yellow Blue Tibia
By Adam Roberts (published by Gollancz).

- Galileo's Dream
By Kim Stanley Robinson (published by HarperCollins).

- Far North
By Marcel Theroux (published by Faber & Faber).

- Retribution Falls
By Chris Wooding (published by Gollancz).

Spirit: The Princess of Bois Dormant is best described as a science fiction take on the Count of Monte Cristo, with the female princess Bibi escaping a prison planet, and reemerging into society as the mysterious revenge seeking Princess of Bois Dormant.

The City & The City is a murder mystery of the new weird with Inspector Tyador Borlú investigating a killing in a fantasy city that crosses over into Earth's realm at the borders.

Yellow Blue Tibia is a SF thriller set in present day Russia where a group of Soviet science fiction authors who were once ordered by Stalin to fake a story about alien invaders during the cold war find their fake starting to come true.

Galileo's Dream is a sprawling science fiction epic where time travelers are visiting Galileo in the Italian renaissance with a scheme of their own in mind against a backdrop of a future solar system in conflict.

Far North has echoes of a great many Westerns as a law enforcer called Makepeace straps on his gun and travels an arctic wasteland that is our own world during an ice age. Think The Road featuring Clint Eastwood's man with no name.

Retribution Falls proves that no modern shortlist is complete without at least one steampunk or dieselpunk novel. Airship captain Frey leads the dirigible Ketty Jay on a rollicking adventure in the first of a series.

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. A prize of £2010 will be awarded to the winner along with a commemorative engraved bookend.

The judging panel for the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award are Chris Hill and Jon Courtenay Grimwood for the British Science Fiction Association, Francis Spufford and Rhiannon Lassiter for the Science Fiction Foundation and Paul Skevington for Europe's most popular science fiction website, SF Paul Billinger represents the Arthur C. Clarke Award as the Chair of Judges.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 28th April at an award ceremony held on the opening night of the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival:

This year’s six shortlisted titles were selected from a long list of forty-one eligible submissions put forward by seventeen different publishing houses and imprints.

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