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STATION ELEVEN Wins Clarke Award

Just read on LOCUS that STATION ELEVEN won this year's Clarke Award:


Congratulations to Emily St. John Mandel, and thumbs up to this year's Clarke judges. In my not-so-humble-opinion, they got it right.

(That is not always the case. The Clarke Award is juried, and like all juried awards, can sometimes go very wrong, depending on the jury. I have served on an awards jury or two in my time, so I know).

I note that the Clarke prize is two thousand pounds sterling and an engraved bookend. Cool. Money is the best prize at certain points in a writer's career. And engraved bookends are always welcome. Who doesn't need a cool bookend?

I must admit, I am partial to awards that come with cool trophies. I mean, the honor is great and all, but a plaque is a plaque is a plaque and a certificate-suitable-for-framing is a piece of paper, really. SF and fantasy have been uniquely blessed with some nifty awards. The Hugo rocket is, of course, iconic, and still number one for me... at least in the years when the worldcon doesn't go overboard with the base. (We have had some VERY ugly-ass bases, huge ones that overwhelm the rocket, but also some great ones). Some people prefer the Nebula, and the early Nebulas with the quartz crystals were really striking, but in more recent decades they have been more hit-and-miss. I also love HWA award, the Tim Kirk haunted house, and of course the wonderfully ghastly head of H.P. Lovecraft (by the wonderfully ghastly Gahan Wilson) that is the World Fantasy Award. (I have one of the former, and three of the latter).

With so many talented artists and sculptors in the world right now, there's really no reason to give certificates suitable for framing any more. Give cool trophies instead!

Or big bags o' money. That will do too, I guess.



May. 7th, 2015 01:11 am (UTC)
Awesome! Station Eleven was my favorite book of 2014, it's great to learn it was awarded.
Jordan Ray
May. 7th, 2015 01:32 am (UTC)
Great recommendations
This must be a good book, because in the same day I've read recommendations from you, an amazing author, and from Admiral Stavridis, recently retired Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. It must be really powerful writing, and certainly seems to appeal to a diverse audience. It's a pity the book didn't get a Hugo nod.
May. 7th, 2015 02:28 am (UTC)
Don't forget the coveted Balrog Award!
May. 7th, 2015 03:16 am (UTC)
I always think of the standard vaudeville request "No Applause -- just throw money".

and after this nth reminder that Station Eleven is a good book, it'll make some money off me today, since the TBR pile is a little empty.
May. 7th, 2015 04:27 am (UTC)
I must admit, I am partial to awards that come with cool trophies. I mean, the honor is great and all, but a plaque is a plaque is a plaque and a certificate-suitable-for-framing is a piece of paper, really.

Amen! I was a member of a UK writing team that won an International Emmy for Best Sitcom, and the lovely shiny statue went to ... the producer. I don't even have a certificate-suitable-for-framing - it was such a tortuous procedure to get one I didn't bother trying. Hmph. Not that I'm bitter...
May. 7th, 2015 05:55 am (UTC)
You wuz robbed.
May. 7th, 2015 10:33 am (UTC)
I heard Michael Robotham speak, back when he was a newly-retired ghost writer whose first novel had just been published under his name. He said that one celebrity "autobiography" he had penned(he tactfully didn't name the person)won an award and the celebrity not only collected it but wouldn't even let him look at it. Them's the breaks, I guess. He's now writing very popular crime fiction in his own name.
May. 7th, 2015 10:28 am (UTC)
Cool trophies are nice, but you have to dust them. I have three, absolutely beautiful, designed and created by the same fan artist. They're for media fan writing, back in the days when there was such an award, and are meant to look like the Emerald City. Gorgeous, yes, but nowhere to put them and they do gather dust. :-)
May. 7th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
Speaking of cool looking awards, you promised to post a picture of your Stabby award when you reicieved it. Just a friendly reminder.
May. 8th, 2015 12:52 am (UTC)
True enough. Thanks for the reminder.
May. 7th, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC)
Excellent book
Just finished it the other night, thank you for the suggestion! A bit off-topic, but a few posts back you discussed writers overlooked for Hugo's as well as the international allure of the "three body problem". You mentioned Stephen king for the former, if I combine it with the latter should Gabriel Garcia Marquez not be on it? His books have such beautiful magical elements to it, but at the same time I feel he has been overlooked by the community for maybe being a bit main stream literature (heck he had a Nobel prize)
May. 7th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
With 3D printing continually advancing, there will hopefully be lots of unique-looking awards in the future that will be cost-effective solutions for all the plaque & certificate issuers.
May. 8th, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
I bought it based on this post - so hopefully she gets more bags of cash as others do the same.

I've tended to add books (nominees and winners) to my reading list but not actively getting to them quickly. Not even soonish, so I'm changing that this year.
May. 8th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC)
I just finished Station Eleven myself and really liked it. I'm very pleased that it won the Clarke Award.
May. 8th, 2015 06:10 am (UTC)
It's nice to hear about your passion for the interesting forms that some of these awarded trophies come in. I'm picturing wonder and it's always fun to see that. Positive stuff good sir.

Don't mind me. I just got home from seeing the new Avengers movie and can't brush the love from myself quite yet. I've had a grin for 3 hours straight. I hope it lasts.
May. 8th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
I received my copy of Station Eleven today, but have a veritable mountain of reading to plough through before I can turn my attention to it.

I also have little of worth to say about awards, having only received one in my life, which had to be returned after three months.
Jesse Wilson
May. 10th, 2015 05:25 am (UTC)
just picked up the audio books for station eleven and the three body problem after hearing about them on your blog cant wait to get to them.
May. 10th, 2015 11:58 am (UTC)
On "Station Eleven"
I read Station Eleven based on your recommendation. Specifically, "The book should not work, but it does," which intrigued me.

I was sorry that it didn't get a Hugo nom, but I'm glad to see it got the Clarke!
Rebecca Dornsife
May. 11th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
Station Eleven
I picked up a nice UK signed copy (love the cover art) and looking forward to reading it. Maybe I'll move it up in the pile ;)
May. 12th, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC)
After I finished reading Station eleven I told my mother: I've just read a GREAT book! 99% of world population dies and...

Mother in her motherly-sarcastic voice says : Really? that sounds great...

I guess you have to read it.
May. 13th, 2015 12:02 am (UTC)
Sounds intriguing
STATION ELEVEN is on my queue for post-Hugos-reading reading. Sounds like it would be something I'd enjoy.

I recently saw an article where Emily St. John Mandel said she doesn't consider the book sci-fi. I bet a nice award and check (!) can change that opinion :-)

- yeff


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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