Courttia Newland

Courttia Newland’s novel A River Called Time is on the shortlist for the Clarke Award 2022 announced on Friday, July 8, 2022.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain for a book first published in the United Kingdom. The award, established with a generous grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, was first awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood for her model The Handmaid’s Tale. Lauren Beukes won the award for Zoo City in 2011 while Namwali Serpell won in 2020.

The judging panel for this year chaired by Dr Andrew M. Butler features Phoenix Alexander and Dr Nicole Devarenne for the Science Fiction Foundation, Crispin Black and Stark Holborn for the British Science Fiction Association, and Nick Hubble for the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival.

The panel has announced the shortlist of six writers that includes Courttia Newland’s novel A River Called Time set in Dinium, a version of London where most live among squalor, disease, and violence, although a wealthy few occupy “the Ark”, an elite enclosure in the centre of the city.

Dr Andrew M. Butler, chair of judges, said this after the final vote was cast: ‘I always view the shortlist as a snapshot of the richness and variety of the genre – space operas and dystopias, debutants and veterans, page turners that you can swallow whole and books that make you want to linger on every sentence. We’re slowly seeing a wider range of authors getting published in the British science fiction market, so we get to see a wider range of ways of reimagining the world. If science fiction is a toolbox, then we need to keep our tools sharp by approaching the material from different angles.”

Responding to the award Newland tweeted, “Such a supreme honour to be on this list with such great books. Thank you Clarke Award and judges!”

The winner will receive a trophy in the form of a commemorative engraved bookend and prize money to the value of £2022.00; a tradition that sees the annual prize money rise incrementally by year from the year 2001 in memory of Sir Arthur C. Clarke.