Pulitzer Prize winning book The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. The much-lauded book follows the fate of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Cora’s journey takes her across history and reality, and the book is more a meditation on history and humanity than anything else.
The winner received a prize of £2017 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.
Andrew M Butler, Chair of Judges, said, “I'm delighted the judges chose Colson Whitehead’s intensely moving The Underground Railroad. It's a gripping account both of humanity’s inhumanity and the potential for resistance, underpinned by science fiction's ability to make metaphor literal.”
The complete shortlist was:
A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee
After Atlas, Emma Newman
Occupy Me, Tricia Sullivan
Central Station, Lavie Tidhar
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
Award Director Tom Hunter added, “2017 marks Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s centenary year, and The Underground Railroad is a much-deserved winner, a tribute to Sir Arthur’s original intent that the award be as inclusive as possible in defining its genre, and a book that demonstrates science fiction’s uncanny ability to be both of the moment and an enduringly powerful message for futures to come.”
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