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Winner Gwyneth Jones with her award.

Clarke Awards 2002
by John Berlyne

London's Science Museum once again played host to the Arthur C. Clarke Award in a ceremony that took place on Saturday May 18th. This prize is awarded annually for the best SF novel to be published in the UK and is administered by the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation and the Science Museum.

Following last year's successful format, there was short program of discussions and readings organized by Pat Cadigan. Hosted Author Ray Hammond and by Dave Green, the first panel which considered the "Surprise Ending to 2001" followed by a second discussion on "Predicting History" - As well as award nominees, the panels consisted of such genre luminaries as John Clute, Foundation's Andy Sawyer and reviewer and writer Roz Kaveney. (continued)

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A tailored China Miéville announces the winner - Gwyneth Jones, who reads from Bold As Love. - Pat Cadigan stands in for Connie Willis.

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Fred Clarke receives a painting from Danny Flynn and thanks from Andy Sawyer. - Paul Kincaid tell of the agonies of judging such a quality short list. - Jon Courtenay-Grimwood reads from Pashazade.

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Peter F. Hamilton reads from Fallen Dragon. - Paul McAuley reads from The Secret of Life. - Fantasy author Millar Lau signs.

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Jon Courtenay-Grimwood, Paul McAuley, Gwyneth Jones, Peter F Hamilton. - James R. Hartley - Justina Robson reads from Mappa Mundi. - Ray Hammond

(continued from above) Five of the six nominees were present - Jon Courtenay_Grimwood, Justina Robson, Paul McAuley, Peter F. Hamilton and Gwyneth Jones - the only absentee being Connie Willis, unable to make the trip over due to a prior engagement. The five British authors each read from their nominated novels, with Pat Cadigan making an admirable stand in for the missing American.

Following the afternoon programme, there was an evening reception preceding the presenting of the award. This was the usual red wine and gossip affair and amongst the faces glimpsed through the crowds were editors John Jarrold (Earthlight,) Jane Johnson (HarperCollins), Jo Fletcher (Gollancz) and Macmillan's Peter Lavery, all of whom had authors on the shortlist. Amongst the other writers attending were Kim Newman, Adam Roberts, M. John Harrision, Millar Lau, John Meany, James R. Hartley, Ben Jeapes, Roger Levy, and David Langford.

Following a speech from chairman of the judges and award administrator Paul Kincaid, the were speeches by Angela Edwards (Sir Arthur's niece) and by Maureen Kincaid Speller and Andy Sawyer who made a presentation to Sir Arthur's brother, Fred Clarke. Finally the award itself was announced by last year's winner China Miéville. The winner was Gwyneth Jones for her novel Bold As Love (Gollancz). Following a most memorable acceptance speech, Gwyneth took home a bookend statuette and a cheque for £2002.

John Berlyne
jberlyne@blueyonder.co.uk