Emily St. John Mandel has been awarded the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award for her genre-arching novel, Station Eleven.
In the novel, the world has come to an end as we know it. A deadly virus has eradicated over 90 percent of Earth’s population within the space of a few weeks, too quickly and too thoroughly to allow for a measured or choreographed response. Yet Station Eleven is much more than a handful of survivors’ stories of endurance. It’s more than a reinvention of society following unspeakable tragedy, and it is not a tale of bloody retribution. Terrible things do happen, yes, and there are heart pounding dangers. But the greatest peril may not be where our civilization is going, but what parts of the past we cling to.
Station Eleven beat out M. R. Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts, Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things, Dave Hutchinson’s Europe in Autumn, Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water and Claire North’s The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August to nab the award.
The juried Arthur C. Clarke Award, as noted on its website, “is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.” Last year’s winner was Ann Leckie’s Auxillary Justice.
Upon hearing that she had won the award, Ms. Mandel tweeted, “Oh my god. I am slightly beside myself over here.”
Congratulations to Emily St. John Mandel, and Station Eleven!