The shortlist for the 2006 Arthur C Clarke Award is up. I always try to keep an eye on the Clarke, which skews a little more literary than its colonial equivalents the Hugo and the Nebula. In the past they’ve given it to China Mieville (sorry, too lazy to do the accent) twice, and to Mary Doria Russell’s amazing The Sparrow, and Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver.
The 2006 list is as follows:
End of the World Blues, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Nova Swing, by M. John Harrison
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, by Lydia Millet
Hav, by Jan Morris
Gradisil, by Adam Roberts
Streaking, by Brian Stableford
I’ve heard of exactly one of these books — the Millet — and read approximately .15 of one of them — that would be how far I got in the Millet.
On the other hand I’m halfway through Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box, which is coming out in a few weeks, and am finding it pretty remarkable. I can’t remember the last time I read a genuine top-notch creepy ghost story. If you don’t know the poorly-kept secret of Hill’s identity, click here.