Last night was the 26th annual Arthur C. Clarke Awards, held at the Apollo Theatre near Piccadilly Circus in London. The award aims to find the best science fiction novel published in the UK. The Voyager UK team was very pleased that The End Specialist by debut novellist Drew Magary was on the shortlist, a brilliant novel set in a future when the cure for ageing has been discovered – and its devastating consequences for humanity. In the end, the honour went to wonderful dystopian novel The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers – called Children of Men meets The Handmaid’s Tale, which sounds pretty awesome to me!
Here are a few pics from the night:
Tom Hunter presents the Arthur C. Clarke Award
HC author (and previous Arthur C. Clarke Award Winner) Lauren Beukes filmed a special message for the nominees
Winner Jane Rogers accepts her award, with the shortlisted books in the background
“You got me. I don’t want to die. I’m terrified of death. I fear there’s nothing beyond it and that this existence is the only one I’ll ever possess. That’s why I’m here.”
So says John Farrell, protagonist of The End Specialist, the debut sci-fi novel by our own Drew Magary which asks the brilliantly simple question – What if there was a cure for ageing?
The year is 2019. Humanity has witnessed its greatest scientific breakthrough yet: the cure for ageing. Three injections and you’re immortal – or at least, you’ll never have to fear death by old age.
For John Farrell, documenting the cataclysmic shifts to life after the cure becomes an obsession. Cure parties, cycle marriages, immortal livestock: the world is revelling in the miracles of eternal youth. But immortality has a sinister price, and when a pro-death terrorist explosion kills his newly-cured best friend, John soon realizes that even in a world without natural death, there is always something to fear.
Drew Magary is a leading voice at the outsider US sports blogs Deadspin and Kissing Suzy Kolber. His writing is fresh, darkly comic, and critically poignant – a potent combination that’s deservedly put Drew in the running for the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award.
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel published in the UK during the previous year. Established with a grant from the legendary Arthur C. Clarke himself, the awards have been running since 1987.
In recent years, the award has been presented on the opening night of the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival – so best of luck to Drew and congratulations for making the shortlist!