Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles and published by Picador has been announced as the 36th winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction literature.

The winner was revealed at an award ceremony hosted by the Science Museum, London, and the prize presented by Dr Glyn Morgan, lead exhibition curator for the museum’s current blockbuster exhibition Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination.

Chair of the Judges, Dr Andrew M. Butler said: “This year the judges considered about a hundred novels with remarkable commitment and rigour. Every stage of zooming in on the winner was the conversation of informed readers at the top of their game. Deep Wheel Orcadia is the sort of book that makes you rethink what sf can do and makes the reading experience feel strange in a new and thrilling way. It’s as if language itself becomes the book’s hero and the genre is all the richer for it.”

Dr Glyn Morgan said: “It’s really exciting to bring the Clarke Award back to the Science Museum as part of the launch celebrations around our landmark new science fiction exhibition. It feels like the genre is more relevant now than ever. Not only are the issues it grapples with routinely the topic of headlines and popular discussion, but the modern genre is also more energetic and vibrant with a diverse and more representative range of writers. Today could be science fiction’s most important era as it equips our global culture not only with blockbusters and bestsellers, but also with the tools to imagine the future and choose a path for ourselves, our societies and our world.”

Harry Josephine Giles receives 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.

The judging panel for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2021 were:

  • Crispin Black, British Science Fiction Association
  • Stark Holborn, British Science Fiction Association
  • Phoenix Alexander, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Nicole Devarenne, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Nick Hubble, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival
  • Dr Andrew M. Butler, non-voting Chair of the Judges, Serendip Foundation

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