Submissions list 2021: The complete list of eligible titles submitted for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award

The Arthur C. Clarke Award
5 min readJun 30, 2021

For over a decade now, the Clarke Award has committed itself to publicly sharing the complete list of eligible submissions, as received by our panel of judges, alongside our shortlisted titles and annual winner.

This started as a fun way of allowing the science fiction community of fans (and indeed pros, and all the many other combinations therein) to try their hand at guessing our shortlist before it was revealed.

It is harder than it looks and to date no one has successfully guessed all six titles in advance (including me, it’s director).

In more recent years, as the data has accumulated, this project has evolved into a deeper, more self-aware dive into the state of science fiction publishing in the UK, and stands as part of the award’s own ongoing review of its commitment to supporting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

You can read some of that analysis to date here, here and here, and if you would like to take part or contribute to this ongoing project you can contact us directly here.

In the meantime, here is our complete submissions list of titles received in 2020 totaling 105 books from 41 publishing imprints and independent authors. This is not a juried long list, just a long, long list of all the books our judges read in order to select their final six.

Our judges and supporting organisations this year were:

  • Stewart Hotston, British Science Fiction Association
  • Alasdair Stuart, British Science Fiction Association
  • Phoenix Alexander, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Nicole Devarenne, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Nick Hubble, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival
  • and Dr Andrew M. Butler representing the Arthur C. Clarke Award in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges.

And these are the books they read…

The Sentient — Nadia Afifi (Flame Tree Press)

The Infinite — Patience Agbabi (Canongate)

A User’s Guide to Make-Believe — Jane Alexander (Allison & Busby)

The Rain Heron — Robbie Arnott (Atlantic Books)

Providence — Max Barry (Hodder & Stoughton)

World Engines: Creator — Stephen Baxter (Gollancz)

Machine — Elizabeth Bear (Gollancz)

Two Tribes — Chris Beckett (Corvus)

Afterland — Lauren Beukes (Michael Joseph)

Alt Truths: Brave New World — Alec Birri (New Future Nightmares)

Hinton — Mark Blacklock (Granta Books)

Ghost Species — James Bradley (Hamish Hamilton)

You Let Me In — Camilla Bruce (Transworld)

The Book of Koli — M.R. Carey (Orbit)

The City Among the Stars — Francis Carsac (Flame Tree Press)

Bridge 108 — Anne Charnock (47 North)

The New Wilderness — Diane Cook (Oneworld)

Notes from Small Planets — Nate Crowley (HarperVoyager)

Samurai Barber Versus Ninja Hairstylist — Zed Dee (Matador)

The Silence — Don DeLillo (Picador)

Attack Surface — Cory Doctorow (Ad Astra)

Dangerous Remedy — Kat Dunn (Zephyr)

Unconquerable Sun — Kate Elliott (Ad Astra)

Axiom’s End — Lindsay Ellis (Titan)

Soul Searching — Stephen Embleton (Guardbridge Books)

Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air — Jackson Ford (Orbit)

Gray Matters — John Gastil (Cosmic Egg Books)

Agency — William Gibson (Penguin)

The Light Years — R.W.W. Greene (Angry Robot)

The Midnight Library — Matt Haig (Canongate)

Nophek Gloss — Essa Hansen (Orbit)

The Spolding Conundrum — Tony Harmsworth (

Trappist-1 — Tony Harmsworth (

The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again — M. John Harrison (Gollancz)

The Breach — M.T.Hill (Titan)

Refraction — Christopher Hinz (Angry Robot)

How to Buy a Planet — D.A. Holdsworth (Squirrel & Acorn Press)

XX — Rian Hughes (Picador)

The Sword Saint — C.F. Iggulden (Michael Joseph)

The City We Became — N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

The Vanished Birds — Simon Jimenez (Titan)

Vagabonds — Hao Jingfang (Head of Zeus)

The Space Between Worlds — Micaiah Johnson (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Last Human — Zack Jordan (Hodder & Stoughton)

Dark River — Rym Kechacha (Unsung Stories)

Edge of Heaven — RB Kelly (NewCon Press)

The Relentless Moon — Mary Robinette Kowal (Solaris)

The House of Styx — Derek Künsken ((Solaris)

Goldilocks — Laura Lam (Wildfire)

Eden — Tim Lebbon (Titan)

The Electric Heir — Victoria Lee (47 North)

Liquid Crystal Nightingale — EeLeen Lee (Solaris)

Phoenix Extravagant — Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

The Arrest — Jonathan Lethem (Atlantic Books)

The First Sister — Linden A. Lewis (Hodder & Stoughton)

Gathering Evidence — Martin MacInnes (Atlantic Books)

A Girl from Nowhere — James Maxwell (47 North)

A World of Secrets — James Maxwell 947 North)

Seven Devils — Elizabeth May & Laura Lam (Gollancz)

War of the Maps — Paul McAuley (Gollancz)

Daylight Come — Diana McCaulay (Peepal Tree Press)

The Animals in That Country — Laura Jean McKay (Scribe)

Beneath the Rising — Premee Mohamed (Solaris)

Gallowglass — S.J. Morden (Gollancz)

Red Noise — John P. Murphy (Angry Robot)

Sweet Harmony — Claire North ((Orbit)

Chaos Vector — Megan E. O’Keefe (Orbit)

The Phlebotomist — Chris Panatier (Angry Robot)

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars — Christopher Paolini (Tor UK)

A Song for a New Day — Sarah Pinsker (Ad Astra)

The Wanderers on Earth — Susan Plunkett (Cosmic Egg Books)

Every Sky a Grave — Jay Posey (HarperVoyager)

Light of Impossible Stars — Gareth L .Powell (Titan)

The Evidence — Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

Night Train — David Quantick (Titan)

Bone Silence — Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)

The Ministry for the Future — Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)

Scarlet Odyssey — C.T. Rwizi (47 North)

The Chimera Code — Wayne Santos (Solaris)

Little Eyes — Samanta Schweblin (Oneworld)

Club Ded — Nikhil Singh (Luna Press)

The Rush’s Edge — Ginger Smith (Angry Robot)

The Waiting Rooms — Eve Smith (Orenda Books)

The Deep — Rivers Solomon (Hodder & Stoughton)

Set My Heart to Five — Simon Stephenson (4th Estate)

The Mother Code — Carole Stivers (Hodder & Stoughton)

Dead Lies Dreaming — Charles Stross (Orbit)

Fearless — Allen Stroud (Flame Tree Press)

Stormblood — Jeremy Szal (Gollancz)

The Doors of Eden — Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor UK)

Catherine House — Elisabeth Thomas (Tinder Press)

By Force Alone — Lavie Tidhar (Head of Zeus)

The God Game — Danny Tobey (Gollancz)

Survivor Song — Paul Tremblay (Titan)

Chilling Effect — Valerie Valdes (Orbit)

There Before the Chaos — K.B. Wagers (Orbit)

The Human Son — Adrian J. Walker (Solaris)

Come Again — Robert Webb (Canongate)

Children of the Miracle — Daniel Weisbeck (DJW Books)

Oasis One — Daniel Weisbeck (DJW Books)

Ashes of the Sun — Django Wexler (Ad Astra)

Dark Angels Rising — Ian Whates (NewCon Press)

Greensmith — Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)

Water Must Fall — Nick Wood (NewCon Press)

The Game Weavers — Rebecca Zahabi (ZunTold)

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The Arthur C. Clarke Award

Stories, interviews and news from the Arthur C. Clarke Award science fiction book of the year.