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This is not a guess who is going to win, because it's the Clarke Award. The only time I ever managed to guess in advance I was a judge.

But my opinion and preference, for what's worth:



Dog Stars by Peter Heller is my candidate for this year's WTF? award.
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway is a decent but a bit dull noire novel with an utterly wonderful secondary protagonist. This last point might carry it to victory.
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson is a good book but I really didn't care about the plot, and I'm not sure Stan did either. It has scope and gosh wow, but I'm getting old and it wasn't enough.
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett is a really excellent young adult book but I never felt surprised, even while I admired the skill.


Looking at the above I remain a bit baffled by the absence of Mike Harrison, but it is a sequel, and I suspect that others could offer one or two more titles, just from the male submitters.

For me the two best books on the list were Nod by Adrian Barnes, which wooed me by its fine writing and sheer relentless determination to proceed to the bitter end; and Ken MacLeod's Intrusion which is the only book on the list with an original plot (not actually a necessity I know) and demonstrated that you can write an sf novel which doesn't have me wondering what happened to half the human race. If either of these two win I will be very happy.


Now to the next bit of the task: I have far less time than I'd hoped for, so won't try to read the Obvious Suspects from male side, but I am going to try for five from the female and have riffled through the list looking for the ones that attracted comment. I've already read vN by Madelaine Ashby which is a YA, more interesting to me plot wise than Beckett but not as well written particularly towards the end. I'm going to look at Wilson's Alif the Unseen next and then try for:


Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (HarperVoyager) f sf
The Method by Juli Zeh (Harvill Secker) f sf
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor UK) f sf/f
Crandolin by Anna Tambour (Chomu Press) f sf/f

as the next most likely.

If you think one of the books below is utterly brilliant and I should try to read it before Wednesday, let me know, but keep in mind I disliked the first Grant and the first Malley, so they are very low on my list.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid (Hot Key Books) ? sf
The Glimpse by Claire Merle (Faber & Faber) ? sf
LiGa by Sanem Ozdural (Elsewhen Press) f sf
Pure by Juliana Baggott (Headline) f sf
Blackout by Mira Grant (Orbit) f sf
The Killables by Gemma Malley (Hodder & Stoughton) f sf
The Chosen Seed by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz) f sf

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