Six-Legged Bambi and Time Travel? The finalists of the 2024 Clarke Award (news)

Hold onto your spacesuits and snorkels, SFcrowsnest chums. The 2024 Arthur C. Clarke Award has unveiled a shortlist that promises a wild ride through the uncharted territories of the future, replete with an ensemble cast featuring aliens, octopuses, and a curious creature resembling a six-legged Bambi. This year’s competition could well be the intergalactic Olympics of science fiction.

Championing the vibrant depth of the genre are six trailblazing authors, each a first-timer on the Clarke Award shortlist, showcasing narratives from the eerie depths of the oceans to the expansive reaches of outer space. Their stories are filled with satire, time travel, and a dash of cosmic mischief, keeping the pages turning as if powered by their very own hyperdrive.

Chain-gang All-stars — Nana Kwame Adjei-brenyah.
The Ten Percent Thief— Lavanya Lakshminarayan.
In Ascension — Martin Macinnes.
The Mountain in the Sea — Ray Nayler.
Some Desperate Glory — Emily Tesh.
Corey Fah Does Social Mobility— Isabel Waidner.

Chair of Judges, Dr Andrew M. Butler, couldn’t hide his excitement, noting that the selection process involved “a bit of time travel, some diving suits for deep-sea adventures, and an imaginary safari to spot a six-legged Bambi.” With the returning judge Stark Holborn and fresh faces Nic Clarke, Tom Dillon, Dolly Garland, and Glyn Morgan at his side, Butler revealed that reaching a final decision this year was as tough as choosing a favourite star in the sky. Award Director Tom Hunter was thrilled to announce a record-breaking participation from 50 publishing imprints, a testament to the burgeoning scene of UK science fiction. “It’s like discovering an uncharted planet in the realm of publishing!” he exclaimed, suggesting that defining what makes a story fit into the sci-fi category is becoming as complex and thrilling as the plots of the novels themselves.

Scheduled for 24th July 2024, the winner announcement is eagerly anticipated. Will it be the tale of tech-savvy thieves, the chronicles of deep-sea discoveries, or the space epic that takes home the trophy—a stylishly engraved bookend—and a cheque for £2024.00? This figure not only honours the legendary Sir Arthur C. Clarke but also rises each year, promising a richer future for the writers who dare to imagine it.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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