back to article Arthur C Clarke award won by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The book Children of Time by British sci-fi author Adrian Tchaikovsky has been announced as the winner of this year’s Arthur C Clarke award. The award was established by Sir Arthur, who is considered one of the “Big Three” of influential science fiction writers, along with American authors Issac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. …

  1. sodium-light

    Talking space spiders?

    Vernor Vinge already covered that surely?

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

      Re: Talking space spiders?

      Hey that's a bit of an OnOff.

    2. DNTP

      Re: Talking space spiders?

      I have a copy of James White's Double Contact (the last book in his Sector General series) on my desk right now.

      It features two different species of talking spiders, and is told from the viewpoint of a third species of talking spider.

    3. JLV

      Re: Talking space spiders?


      Actually, Vinge's spiders had to live underground, quite the opposite of space.


      Yes, that's my coat, I know. Upvoted you anyway, that's one of my favorite SF books ever.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Talking space spiders?

        A Fire Upon the Deep

        Is one of my favourites. It has a remarkable ability to convey the size of the galaxy. Or at least makes it feel bigger than most other books imply. The idea of it being so big that interstellar civilisations can be born and die all without ever contacting any other species. The last part of the final chapter is haunting.

        "Can anyone hear me"?


  2. scarletherring


    I think it's Adrian Tchaikovsky, not Andrew?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Adrian

      Well, ya know, easy mistake to make...

      Adrian Tchaikovsky - Andrew Orlowski, Andrew Orlowski - Adrian Tchaikovsky , very similar really :-)

  3. Toltec

    Mysterious World

    Clarke stopped being in my top list when he put his name to the Mysterious World series. I have enjoyed plenty of his stories, however I rate Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny more highly, to name a few.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Mysterious World

      Agreed, almost an impossibility to pick top lists, off the top of my head others include (not exahustive just got bored) Wells, Verne, Silverberg, Ellison, Le Guin, Brunner, Sheckley, Spinrad, Stapledon, Aldiss, Wyndham, Bradbury, Gibson, Vonnegut, Anderson, Ballard etc.

      Then people with less of a "range" of works but focused more on related works e.g. Herbert, Dune fans will shout for him loudly based on that series

      Then you get non genre authors such as Huxley, Orwell, Burgess, Shelley who could arguably be added on the basis of a single book.

      .. and works that may not be "great" but author has great humour and are easy intros for non genre readers e.g. Harrison, Anthony

      .. arguments for authors that engage kids e.g. Norton (she got me engaged with the genre as an under 10)

      1. Toltec

        Re: Mysterious World

        ".. arguments for authors that engage kids e.g. Norton (she got me engaged with the genre as an under 10)"

        Yes, I hoovered up Norton and Hugh Walters quicker than my local library could get them, Madeleine L'Engle was another favourite. They allowed me into the adult library when I was twelve to stop me pestering them for more books, which is when I really started on Clarke, Asimov and Heinlein, not sure I quite appreciated Lem at that age though. I must have spent over half my pocket and paper round money at the local secondhand bookshop, the library had a habit of missing one or more of a series so I had to hunt them down and buy them.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Mysterious World

          "Hugh Walters"

          Ahhhhh...another of my childhood favourites. Brits first to every planet of the solar system in the working lifetime of a single group of people. Ah, the optimism :-)

      2. Tom_

        Re: Mysterious World

        Great list, but no Iain M Banks? :(

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Mysterious World

        ".. arguments for authors that engage kids e.g. Norton (she got me engaged with the genre as an under 10)"

        Captain W. E. Johns got me into SF as a young child of 9 or 10. No, not the Biggles books, never read a single one of them. His Mars books got me into the genre, then I moved onto Norton and many, many others.

    2. fung0

      Re: Mysterious World

      Toltec: " I rate Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny more highly, to name a few."

      I enjoyed Larry Niven's work a lot when it first came out - and continue to revere his short stories. However, I recently tried re-reading Ringworld, and was astounded to realize that it's not just bad, it's absolutely dreadful. Shallow characters, ludicrous plotting, very few interesting ideas or concepts. Shows how mere novelty can cause something to seem better than it really is.

      But at least authors like Niven and Zelazny were trying to be entertaining. (And succeeding at least some of the time.) These days, a lot of award-winning SF has too many objectives other than entertaining the reader. With endless pages of verbiage where a single sentence would be sufficient, these books are just way too much work to read. And their Big Ideas tend to be far too small to justify the effort.

      Another big chunk of SF is really just fantasy set in space, with endless soap-opera plots and no real point. Frank Herbert was a prime offender. Dune is a great work of SF, but the sequels are just progressively weaker fantasy. That model has become dominant. I shudder whenever I see a new book subtitled "Part One of an Epic New Series." Why don't you see if you can come up with one decent book, before you try to sell me several more? Might as well head over to the Perry Rhodan section...

  4. andy gibson

    Talking spiders in Rama sequels

    Talking spiders were in the sequels to Rendezvous with Rama,also featuring humans leaving Earth for a new world.

    1. deshepherd

      Re: Talking spiders in Rama sequels

      Was thinking the same .... the spiders are mainly in the later books of the series where ACC was a co-author - Rendez-vous with Rama is a good read, next one is ok as well but series definitely tails off towards the end. I read the whole series after buying it as a bundle for my Kindle and towards the end it defintely felt like reading was a case of "I've started so I'll finish" ... I'm currently feeling much the same reading the last book in Game of Thrones ... with the added incentive that if I finish before book 6 comes out then maybe I won't feel "obliged" to read it.

    2. vir
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Talking spiders in Rama sequels

      Sounds like someone's just in the pocket of Big Spider.

      1. james 68

        Re: Talking spiders in Rama sequels

        But where where they when the fly tried to break our balls?

  5. james 68

    Highly recommend

    I highly recommend "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers. Best book I have read in a long, long time. Was very surprised when I learned that it was her first book.

    If you get the chance, read it. It doesn't matter what type of SF you like, it has a little bit of everything, you will not regret it.

    Oh, and "Children of Time" was indeed authored by Adrian Tchaikovsky, not Andrew. Not a bad book but.... to me a little too much of a rehash of previous books I had read.

    1. Toltec

      Re: Highly recommend

      It is good they are adding independant authors too, more recently I have enjoyed the work of Peter Cawdron, Terry R. Hill and Hugh Howey, the 'Chronicles' collections by Samuel Peralta showcase new talent rather well too and I have bought books based on authors shorts in these.

      1. james 68

        Re: Highly recommend

        Hugh Howey is good, I quite liked his "silo" series.

  6. quattroprorocked

    I have just read this

    and a fine traditional "hard" SF it is.

    If you want something stranger, and two sequels are recent good reads of mine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have just read this

      the Kefahuchi Tract series that starts with Light was good but tough going imho. but perhaps on a 2nd read it might be more understandable and enjoyable

  7. TheProf

    Waiting for the movie

    "last survivors escaping a dying Earth to find new life on a terraformed planet – and they are surprised to find it full of talking space spiders."

    I'm not a fan of his work but surely Keanu Reeves would be the perfect actor to express astonishment at this.


  8. psychonaut

    Liu Cixin.

    "the three body problem" and its sequel "the dark forest"...and the trequel coming out soon....

    greg bear's hull 03 also .

    honestly, these are books that i wish i could re read for the first time.

    read them now....

    yeah, niven is a biot light on plot ./ characters, i read ringworld for the first time, and from what i was told to expect i was a bit disapointed.

  9. Petrea Mitchell
    Thumb Down

    Incorrect and incomplete on the Hugos

    "All four awards for books at the Hugo Award"

    I believe you're thinking of the four *fiction* awards: Best Novel, Best Novelette, Best Novella, and Best Short Story. Of those four, only Best Novel is likely to go to a standalone book.

    (There is a second category, Best Related Work, which often goes to books, in which no award was given.)

    "were won by women after it was plagued by claims, made by the group Sad Puppies, that it advanced a 'niche, academic, overtly to the left in ideology and flavour' viewpoint."

    ...and after another group, the Rabid Puppies, engaged in block voting to game a bunch of truly odious works onto the ballot, crowding out many fine possible choices with a variety of authorial genders. (Yes, rule changes have been made.)

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Incorrect and incomplete on the Hugos

      " a bunch of truly odious works"

      Seriously? Naomi Novik (female,) Neal Stephenson, Lois McMaster Bujold (Female,) Stephen King, Nnedi Okorafor (Female, POC) These are truly odious?

      What fucking planet are you on?

      1. Petrea Mitchell

        Re: Incorrect and incomplete on the Hugos

        "Seriously? Naomi Novik (female,) Neal Stephenson, Lois McMaster Bujold (Female,) Stephen King, Nnedi Okorafor (Female, POC) These are truly odious?"

        Not those. Look up the Rabid Puppies slate. Novik, Okorafor, and Jemisin made it onto the ballot in spite of the Rabid Puppies.

        There have been accusations that Hugo voters voted for all women because Hugo voters = SJWs; the bit I quoted from the Register story seems to agree with that. The Rabid Puppies have also been making that accusation, and they have spent the last couple years trying to stuff the ballot with works they deem less politically correct; ironically, the few non-slated fiction works that made it onto the ballot through true organic popularity have been by women and POC.

        So I'm not calling the winners odious. I think they are all excellent and deserving. I'm trying to combat the implied narrative of "political correctness has taken over the Hugos".

  10. Croc O'Dial

    Dubious award

    The Arthur C Clarke award goes to a book titled "Children Of Time"?

    I'm sure he would have approved as he was reputedly into many things involving children.

    1. Vincent Manis

      Re: Dubious award

      If you are referring to the claims of pedophilia lobbed against Clarke, no evidence was found to support them (other than some claims in some tabloids). While those accusations were current, Clarke's knighthood was in abeyance. When the Sunday Mirror apologized for publishing those claims, the knighthood was granted. Clarke was definitely either gay or bisexual (regardless of what he said on the subject), and he may well have enjoyed the company of younger men, but there's a world of difference between that and pedophilia.

      1. Croc O'Dial

        Re: Dubious award

        As they say, there is no smoke without fire.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Dubious award

          Bollocks. Newspapers make up all sort of shit. There is clearly smoke without fire when it comes to the tabloids.

          And unless you have evidence to support your claims, you should STFU because accusing people of this, even when dead, without evidence, make you a complete lowlife scumbag.

          1. Croc O'Dial

            Re: Dubious award

            Take some aspirin for your headache or attend an anger management course.

  11. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Nemesis the Warlock

    You can add Nemesis the Warlock Book II to the list of stories that have featured talking spiders.

  12. TheProf

    Doctor Who

    Planet of the Spiders.

    1. fukudasan
      Thumb Up

      Re: Doctor Who

      Had to vote you up there, Prof. You beat me to it!

    2. Michael Dunn

      Re: Doctor Who

      Or, as it was called on its first showing: "The Spiders of Metabilis Three"

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