Picador’s Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has been announced as the 29th winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, one of the main UK prizes for science fiction literature.
The award was presented at a ceremony held in the Foyles bookshop flagship store on Charing Cross Road, London, in front of an audience of science fiction writers, publishers, academics and fans.
Chair of the Judges, Andrew M. Butler said, “Station Eleven is a novel that straddles the story of a global apocalypse (the Georgia Flu that wipes out 99% of the human population) and its survivors 20 years later. While many post-apocalypse novels focus on the survival of humanity, Station Eleven focuses instead on the survival of our culture, with the novel becoming an elegy for the hyperglobalised present.”
Emily St. John Mandel’s fourth novel has also garnered praise across the science fiction community, with previous Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Lauren Beukes calling it “a firework of a novel” and Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin selecting it as his favourite book of 2014 and calling it “beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac.”
In his welcome speech, award director Tom Hunter responded to recent controversies within the wider world of science fiction prizes, saying, “It’s important to remember that prizes like the Clarke Award are first and foremost celebrations. We celebrate new books and new writers, but most of all we celebrate alongside all the readers and lovers of stories who are given a unique invitation to encounter something new, something strange and something wonderful whenever a new shortlist is announced. The love of books and the sharing of stories is the true legacy we should aim to create.”
Well done, Emily. Station Eleven is a cracking novel.