Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Clarke Award Nominees

Location: Sci-Fi London at Foyles Bookshop in London, United Kingdom.

Comments: In 2014, when writing about the Clarke Award nominees, I wondered if the locus of science fiction might move to United Kingdom, given the attacks mounted by conservative authors upon the Hugo Awards. Now 2015 has rolled around, and the attacks have turned into a full-scale ideological assault that has, at least this year, produced a Hugo ballot of highly dubious quality. In contrast, both the Clarke and BSFA Awards have produced excellent nominee slates, studded with great fiction. In short, while American awards seem to be stumbling as their spiritual leader is hounded by yapping cretins, the British-based awards are hitting their stride. If the politically-driven onslaught that has assailed the Hugo Awards continues for a few more years, then my prediction that the locus of science fiction will move to the United Kingdom seems likely to come to pass.

The mere existence of the Clarke Award (and other awards) is why, as with all rage-filled campaigns, the Sad and Rabid Puppies are destined to be frustrated no matter how many times they choose to redefine their goals. The worst possible outcome for the Hugo Awards would be for the awards to be, as one Puppy organizer gleefully hopes, "left as a smoking crater". An only slightly less bad outcome would be for the Hugo Awards to become a battle of opposing slates, destroying the anarchic expression of love that the award has traditionally been. Even if either of these come to pass, then the Puppies will have actually achieved nothing. Fans whose affection for the genre is fueled by love will migrate elsewhere, leaving the Puppy organizers standing amidst the ruins they created wondering why they still don't get any respect. Having the Hugo Awards be sucked dry of credibility or even destroyed would be mourned, but there will always be awards like the Clarke Awards, the Nebula Awards, and the BSFA Awards that will take note of and honor good quality genre fiction. So let the Puppies wail and gnash their teeth. Their ranting will never get them what they desperately want, and ultimately, they will be unable to destroy fandom, because they simply do not understand it.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

What Are the Arthur C. Clarke Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 2014
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2016

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