The Arthur C Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel published in the United Kingdom. It was started by the British author of the same name who gave a grant to establish the award in 1987. The winning book is chosen by a panel of judges from the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation, and a third organisation, which as of 2019 is the Sci-Fi-London Film Festival.

The winner will receive an engraved bookend and a cash prize equal to the current year, meaning, £2024 for the year 2024.

Lavanya Lakshminarayan’s The Ten Per Cent Thief (published in India as Analog/Virtual: And Other Simulations of Your Future by Hachette India) has made it to the shortlist of six this year. In The Ten Per Cent Thief, the world’s nations have collapsed, and a handful of city states form the remains of civilisation. Erstwhile Bangalore is now rebranded and ruled by the insidious Bell Corporation. Now known as Apex City, here, technology is the key to survival, productivity is power, and the self must be engineered for the only noble goal in life: success. With the right image, values and opinions, you can ascend to the ranks of the Virtual elite and have the new world at your feet. The price of failure is deportation: you are marked an Analog, with no access to electricity, running water or your humanity. Until a single daring theft sets events in motion that will change the city forever.

The other novels on the shortlist are:

  • Chain-Gang All-Stars, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

  • In Ascension, Martin MacInnes

  • The Mountain in the Sea, Ray Nayler

  • Some Desperate Glory, Emily Tesh

  • Corey Fah Does Social Mobility, Isabel Waidner