Just read on LOCUS that STATION ELEVEN won this year’s Clarke Award:
Congratulations to Emily St. John Mandel, and thumbs up to this year’s Clarke judges. In my not-so-humble-opinion, they got it right.
(That is not always the case. The Clarke Award is juried, and like all juried awards, can sometimes go very wrong, depending on the jury. I have served on an awards jury or two in my time, so I know).
I note that the Clarke prize is two thousand pounds sterling and an engraved bookend. Cool. Money is the best prize at certain points in a writer’s career. And engraved bookends are always welcome. Who doesn’t need a cool bookend?
I must admit, I am partial to awards that come with cool trophies. I mean, the honor is great and all, but a plaque is a plaque is a plaque and a certificate-suitable-for-framing is a piece of paper, really. SF and fantasy have been uniquely blessed with some nifty awards. The Hugo rocket is, of course, iconic, and still number one for me… at least in the years when the worldcon doesn’t go overboard with the base. (We have had some VERY ugly-ass bases, huge ones that overwhelm the rocket, but also some great ones). Some people prefer the Nebula, and the early Nebulas with the quartz crystals were really striking, but in more recent decades they have been more hit-and-miss. I also love HWA award, the Tim Kirk haunted house, and of course the wonderfully ghastly head of H.P. Lovecraft (by the wonderfully ghastly Gahan Wilson) that is the World Fantasy Award. (I have one of the former, and three of the latter).
With so many talented artists and sculptors in the world right now, there’s really no reason to give certificates suitable for framing any more. Give cool trophies instead!
Or big bags o’ money. That will do too, I guess.