This is such an honour, and I’m overwhelmed! Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North) is shortlisted for The Arthur C. Clarke Award 2018.
The shortlist was announced today at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival by award director Tom Hunter. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors! Below is the full shortlist of novels. And there’s time for you to read them ALL before the winner is announced in London on 18 July.
Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill (Gollancz)
Dreams Before the Start of Time by Anne Charnock (47North)
American War by Omar El Akkad (Picador)
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (Sceptre)
Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed (Tinder Press)
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (Fourth Estate)
My thanks to the jury for all their dedication in reading 108 submitted novels! The jurors are:
Dave Hutchinson, British Science Fiction Association
Gaie Sebold, British Science Fiction Association
Paul March-Russell, Science Fiction Foundation
Kari Maund, Science Fiction Foundation
Charles Christian, SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival
Want to know more about the novels?
Alasdair Stuart gives his thoughts on the six novels today on Tor.com and refers to the “scalpel-precise character drama of Dreams Before The Start of Time.”
I’m delighted with his assessment of the book:
In 2034, Millie and Toni are trying to figure out whether they want to be mothers. Their choices, the obstacles they face, and the consequences of their decisions will change the lives of people for generations to come.
Charnock’s work is focused on character, and this is a deceptively small-focus, intimate study. It’s reminiscent of Cloud Atlas in a way, pinwheeling between characters as we move forward in time—but as the novel progresses it becomes clear just how wide a remit Charnock is aiming for, and just how successfully she covers it. This is a novel about the evolution of family and humanity and how inextricably they’re tied together. It’s a unique, challenging, and immensely successful story.
Alasdair Stuart says good things about the other books, too! See here.
I’ve just returned home to Bute after a remarkable weekend at Follycon in Harrogate where I’ve enjoyed many fascinating conversations with authors and readers, and to top it all… I’ve come home with the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Shorter Fiction for my novella, The Enclave (NewCon Press). It’s a huge honour given the shortlist and previous winners and it’s particularly exciting to gain this award in the BSFA’s sixtieth year. I was thrilled to receive the award from acclaimed author Nnedi Okorafor. The Enclave is set the world of my first novel A Calculated Life (47North). The whole experience of returning to a familiar world was intensely rewarding and certainly enjoyable.
My novel Dreams Before the Start of Time was shortlisted for the Best Novel Award, which was actually awarded to Nina Allan for her wonderful novel The Rift. We were delighted to celebrate together!
— Glyn Morgan (@GR_Morgan) March 31, 2018
In accepting this award I took the opportunity to thank my family. I’m actually very fortunate, even unusual, as an author in having close family members who are excellent beta-readers, each bringing something quite individual to my manuscripts. I value their insights and suggestions enormously. Whenever I send a manuscript to Garry, Adam and Robert, I always say something along the lines of: “I know you are busy but it would be great if you could find time to read this and comment.” They know that what I’m really saying is this: “Drop whatever you are doing!!! Read this carefully, give it your undivided attention and get back to me without delay.” They have never disappointed me.
Congratulations to all the BSFA Award winners, see here, and all the nominees. Thank you to publisher NewCon Press for inviting me to write a novella. And many thanks to the BSFA, and BSFA members for voting!
Also from Harrogate
The stand-out event for me was a three-way discussion about the 1960s/70s New Wave science fiction movement, which can be seen as a resurgence of surrealist writing. The discussants were John Clute, Kim Stanley Robinson and Christopher Priest. Their conversation conveyed an enthralling mix of facts, reminiscence, personal anecdotes and the end-result was a fresh, even revisionist, account of a revolutionary period of fantastical writing.
I’m so delighted, a tad overwhelmed, that Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North) is short listed for the British Science Fiction Association 2017 Award for Best Novel, and my novella The Enclave (NewCon Press) is short listed for the BSFA’s 2017 Award for Short Fiction. Here’s a link to the full announcement.
Congratulations to all the other shortlisted writers and artists, and thank you to all the lovely BSFA members who read my books and voted in the second round of the awards process.
I’ve already read Nina Allan’s The Rift and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West and I’m thrilled to be on a shortlist with such wonderful novels! I’m adding all the other books and stories to the top of my reading pile, right now. Why not read some of the shortlisted works and make your own guess at who will gain the most votes in the final round? The award winners will be announced at Eastercon in Harrogate on Saturday 31st March.
And how wonderful to see Marcin Wolski shortlisted for the cover artwork of 2084 Anthology (Unsung Stories).
Here are the full short lists:
Nina Allan – The Rift (Titan Books)
Anne Charnock – Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North)
Mohsin Hamid – Exit West (Hamish Hamilton)
Ann Leckie – Provenance (Orbit)
Best Shorter Fiction
Anne Charnock – The Enclave (NewCon Press)
Elaine Cuyegkeng – These Constellations Will Be Yours (Strange Horizons)
Greg Egan – Uncanny Valley (Tor.com)
Geoff Nelder – Angular Size (in ‘SFerics 2017’ edited by Roz Clarke and Rosie Oliver, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
Tade Thompson – The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Tor.com) Read more
Following a hugely successful Kickstarter by publisher Unsung Stories — thanks to all of you who pledged — the 2084 anthology , edited by George Sandison, is now published. I’ll be part of the launch event next Tuesday (3 October) in London, so if you’re in the neighbourhood please drop by!
Early reviews, I’m bound to say, are pretty glowing.
Unsung Stories is teaming up with the Post Apocalyptic Book Club to host this special panel event as part of the club’s Dark Societies series.
Leila Abu el Hawa will discuss these 15 dystopian short stories, inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, with contributing authors Malcolm Devlin, Aliya Whiteley, Anne Charnock, Lavie Tidhar, E.J. Swift.
Full list of contributors in no particular order: Jeff Noon, Christopher Priest, E. J. Swift, Courttia Newland, James Smythe, Lavie Tidhar, Aliya Whiteley, David Hutchinson, Cassandra Khaw, Irenosen Okojie, Desirina Boskovich, Ian Hocking, Malcolm Devlin, Oliver Langmead and Anne Charnock.
I’m delighted to be in such fine company!
How Writers Write
The UK contemporary feminist website The F-Word has published my essay today: Time to Cut the Cord with the Stone Age.
I’m really delighted to raise the issues of future reproductive technologies in this forum. This is the subject matter I delve into in my latest 47North novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time.
So timely too. It’s now official in Nature – news was circulating last week – that scientists in the US have successfully used CRISPR gene editing on human embryos to delete the gene for a heritable heart condition. All experimental at this stage, but bound to be highly controversial.
No doubt this major advance will be discussed next week at my panel at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki: Human Reproduction in Science Fiction. See my events page.
And now I really must pack my bags for Nine Worlds and Worldcon 75! Hope to see some of you there.
“Your books always break my heart. You’re like a really bad boyfriend. I know you’re going to leave me emotionally wrecked, but I can’t stay away :-)”
How sweet! I like the smiley face, too. This particular message appeared in my inbox last week. I shall frame it!
Over on Twitter yesterday, top marks to reader Mark Gerrits for selecting four great images for his tweet:
And what are ‘the critics’ saying? I’m bowled over that two reviewers, in particular, found time to review Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North) last week, seeing as they’re Shadow Jurors for the 2017 Arthur C Clarke Award. I’m referring to Megan AM (From Couch to Moon website) and Nina Allan (The Spider’s House website). They’re part of a team of nine critics who are currently reviewing science fiction novels released in 2016 and drawing up a Shadow Shortlist which they will reveal on 2 May—one day before the official Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist is announced. Exciting stuff.
I blush as I copy and paste Nina Allan’s comments:
“I greatly admire this book. I love the music it makes when listened to in consort with its equally accomplished predecessor. Most of all, I’m delighted and inspired by Anne Charnock’s writing talent, her contemplative, forensic, insatiably curious approach to speculative fiction. The three novels she has produced to date constitute a significant literary achievement in their own right, as well as being the springboard from which – I feel sure of it – Charnock will leap towards still more confident advances in the novels to come.”
No pressure, then. Read the full review here.
This near-future novel suggests what it will mean to be a parent, a child, a family when science offers new ways of conceiving and giving birth — when artificial wombs free women from the pain and dangers of childbirth, when eggs can be created from stem cells, when a man can create a baby without a woman, and a woman can create a baby without a man. How will these breakthroughs affect relationships and the status of motherhood in society?
In other words, as a writer of speculative fiction, I give myself license to imagine both the intended and unintended consequences!
Dreams Before the Start of Time, published by 47North, received a boost pre-release, receiving a starred review from Publishers Weekly. And today, release day, I’m thrilled to bits to read this review on From Couch to Moon.
Here are snippets of early reactions to the novel: Read more
I’ll keep this as brief as I can for all you lovely but busy people: I’m in a fab line-up of authors for the short story anthology 2084 (Unsung Stories), and any support for the Kickstarter will be massively appreciated! There’s a special edition of the anthology with its own cover art for the Kickstarter campaign. Fingers crossed we meet the target.
Stories by Jeff Noon, Christopher Priest, James Smythe, Lavie Tidhar, Aliya Whiteley, David Hutchinson, Cassandra Khaw, Desirina Boskovich, Ian Hocking, Oliver Langmead and me.
My own story, “A Good Citizen” imagines a future with weekly referendums and a universal wage. Picture a world with a recurring nightmare of near-Brexit proportions!
Early reviews for Dreams Before the Start of Time
Publishers’ Weekly has given a starred review to my upcoming novel. This is a brilliant start for Dreams Before the Start of Time, my third novel. For those who don’t know PW, this New York-based magazine reviews some 9,000 novels a year and gives a starred review to those ‘of exceptional merit’. It’s a go-to magazine for those in the publishing industry. So needless to say I’m pretty chuffed. Read more
All three formats of my first novella, The Enclave, have now been released by NewCon Press: eBook, limited edition hardback and paperback!
I’ve always stated that I’d never write a sequel to A Calculated Life (47North). And I haven’t done so!
The Enclave cuts across the world of A Calculated Life with a cast of new characters. I felt strongly that I had far more to say about the lives of the unenhanced, fully organic population living out in the enclaves. And it was immensely rewarding for me to return to that world.
It’s a standalone novella (a smidge over 20,000 words). If you’ve read A Calculated Life, I hope you’ll enjoy the occasional echo from that novel.
Many thanks go to Ian Whates at NewCon Press for inviting me contribute to this wonderful series of four novellas, including works by Alastair Reynolds, Simon Morden and Neil Williamson. Art work by Chris Moore. Read more