Portsmouth psychiatrist wins Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction novel

IN between work, a Portsmouth psychiatrist found time to escape into a literary world of alien invasion – and now he has won the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction novels.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 12:08 pm
Tade Thompson

Tade Thompson is the 33rd winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for his novel Rosewater.

Set in Nigeria in 2066, Rosewater is the name of the community that has sprung up around an alien biodome which has affected the population in extraordinary ways, including turning some into Sensitives. When these Sensitives start dying, Kaaro, a reluctant government agent, ex-criminal and empath, must confront his past experiences of being inside the biodome and find out what is killing his people.

Tade’s book saw off competition from 124 other books and he received his trophy in the form of a commemorative engraved bookend and prize money of £2,019 at a special ceremony at the Foyles flagship bookshop in London on Wednesday.

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Speaking about winning, he said: ‘It's good to be recognised and it is validating. The Clarke Award has prestige.’

The award was originally established by a generous grant from Sir Arthur C. Clarke with the aim of promoting science fiction in Britain, and is currently administered by the Serendip Foundation, a voluntary organisation created to oversee the on-going running and development of the award.

Dr Andrew M Butler, Chair of Judges, said: ‘Alien invasion is always a political subject, and Tade Thompson’s debut novel Rosewater expertly explores the nature of the alien, global power structures and pervasive technologies with a winning combination of science fictional invention, gritty plotting and sly wit.

‘I would like to pay tribute to our judges for this year, it was an incredibly close but good-natured argument over which novel would triumph.’