Laura Jean McKay wins Arthur C Clarke award

Alison Flood reports in The Guardian:

Twenty years before Margaret Atwood won the inaugural Arthur C Clarke award for her seminal novel The Handmaid’s Tale, she published a poem entitled The animals in that country. Now Laura Jean McKay, who borrowed the title of Atwood’s poem for her debut novel, has gone on to win the prestigious prize, with judges praising her story of a pandemic that enables humans to understand the language of animals for “reposition[ing] the boundaries of science fiction once again”.

“This is an award for readers and writers who share a love of literature that dares to imagine sideways, backwards and future worlds to try to make sense of the world that we live in now. Speculative fiction – the sort of sci-fi that I adore – is particularly reflective of our times because it’s often set realistically, with extraordinary events (pandemics! Extinction! Talking animals!),” [McKay] said.

“That the Arthur C Clarke judges would recognise a novel that depicts how we as humans relate to other animals and environments is such an exciting outcome – for me (of course) but also for the many people who care about the state of the planet. And to win on such an extraordinary shortlist this year is gobsmacking.”

Reported 27th Sept in The Guardian