Chris Beckett was presented with the Arthur C Clarke Award 2013 yesterday evening at a packed event at the Royal Society. Many congratulations! I hope this award will create a bigger readership for his brilliant book, Dark Eden.
And I’m holding off to the second paragraph to say – I told you so!
Yesterday I stuck my neck out and said Dark Eden was my favourite on the shortlist (and I’ve read and reviewed them all on this blog over the past month). It was the second book I read on the shortlist and here’s the review.
In his acceptance speech, Chris Beckett said that Dark Eden started out as a short story and his daughter Nancy told him to turn it into a book. Well done, Nancy! He also told the audience that as a child he shunned sunny days and lay in his room, on the floor, day-dreaming about imaginary worlds. And now he knows it was all worthwhile – all that day-dreaming was a ‘rational career move.’
I’d previously read Beckett’s novel The Holy Machine and it’s on my list of favourite dystopias. In fact, I’ll need to update this list to include Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars – also up for this year’s Arthur C Clarke Award.
This is such a satisfying end to a month of reading and reviewing. But I think I need an antidote novel after all those dystopias and post-apocalyptic scenarios.
I’ve just remembered that I’d intended reading all the shortlisted novels for the Women’s Prize for Fiction… hmm, might have a dibs at that.