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Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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Clarke Award

By Adam Roberts | March 19, 2009
Categories: Book News

Rather startled, to be honest, that Niall has taken my earlier whinge as a commentary upon the Clarke shortlist as a whole -- it's really no such thing, and provides commentary only upon a writer's individual crumbliness, which is presumably banal enough news not to need wider distribution. As far as Clarke commentary goes, I'll instapundit thus: it looks, at first blush, a solid list, with some strong books on it. I'm not the only person to be a little surprised at the absence of Baxter's Flood (his Weaver would be just as valid a title there), Harkaway's Gone Away World or Ness's Knife of Never Letting Go. But otherwise: Anathem's presence has the feel of inevitability; I thought The Quiet War a very very good piece of writing (and would happily see it beat Stephenson to the prize); House of Suns is not Al Reynolds' best book, but it's a perfectly good book for all that; and whilst I didn't go overboard on Song of Time plenty of people were properly moved by it, so it clearly works brilliantly for some. I haven't read the other two, but will remedy that soon.

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3 Comments to-date;

3 Responses to “Clarke Award”

  1. Tony Keen Says:
    March 19th, 2009 at 7:34 pm


    Much though I like Weaver, which is a very good novel with lots of good stuff in it, I could never see it as Clarke shortlist material. Flood on the other had, I could, and I'm sorry it isn't. It is several stages beyond Weaver in terms of excellence.

    But isn't it nice to have Baxter back at the top of his game, with three really great books in a row?

  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    March 19th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Tony, you're probably right. There's some great writing, especially in the first half of Weaver, but Flood is much more of a Stephen Baxter novel. Which, clearly, is a good thing.

  3. sophie Says:
    March 24th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I think its funny that our daughters are communicating on the phone via club penguin and i am talking to you via your website..i can't comment on the shortlist at all, but we are reading neil gaiman in our book group next..american gods, don't think it will rival germinal which i loved..
    my personal favourite kipper etc book is the rope swing..i have read it 3 times through the 3 kids and it always makes my laugh...sad or what....