by Ian Whates
Richard Morgan’s critically acclaimed novel
Black Man (called 13 in the US) was announced
as the winner of this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award
at a ceremony in London on the evening of Wednesday 30th April.
As has become traditional in recent years, the ceremony was
arranged in partnership with the annual Sci-Fi-London film
festival, and attendees were greeted by a pair of Storm Troopers
at the door and Darth Vadar, Sith and other Star Wars
Former Matrix editor Tom Hunter, who is now in his
second year as the Awards Administrator, can congratulate
himself on a job well done. All six of the shortlisted authors
attended and, indeed, it was hard not to trip over authors,
publishers, editors and other industry-related figures (even
a character from the X-files). Since all such are
invariably good company, especially when the alcohol is flowing
freely, this was by no means a hardship.
Prior to the award ceremony itself there was a buzz of excitement
and anticipation as attendees attempted to second-guess the
judges, who remained admirably tight-lipped, and the whole
evening benefited from an almost palpable sense of bonhomie.
Inevitably, the spectre of Sir Arthur’s passing played
a part, with tributes paid during the ceremony, but even these
were delivered in an up-beat manner, with the emphasis on
Sir Arthur’s generosity in life and the memory of the
rich cannon of work he leaves behind.
So, another year gone, producing a winner that has been welcomed
by most and accepted by all. As for Tom Hunter, his job is
easy: all he has to do is ensure that next year’s ceremony
is at least as successful as this one. We wish him luck.