Category Archives: awards

John le Carré wins $100,000 prize for ‘contribution to democracy’ | Books | The Guardian

Alison Flood and Sian CainFri 10 Jan 2020 00.45 EST

Source: John le Carré wins $100,000 prize for ‘contribution to democracy’ | Books | The Guardian

John le Carré has been named the latest recipient of the $100,000 (£76,000) Olof Palme prize, an award given for an “outstanding achievement” in the spirit of the assassinated Swedish prime minister.

Won in the past by names including whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed the US government’s secret intelligence about the Vietnam war in 1971, the Olof Palme prize is intended to reward “an outstanding achievement in any of the areas of anti-racism, human rights, international understanding, peace and common security”.

Announcing Le Carré’s win early on Friday morning, the prize organisers praised the 88-year-old author, whose real name is David Cornwell, “for his engaging and humanistic opinion-making in literary form regarding the freedom of the individual and the fundamental issues of mankind.

“Attracting worldwide attention, he is constantly urging us to discuss the cynical power games of the major powers, the greed of global corporations, the irresponsible play of corrupt politicians with our health and welfare, the growing spread of international crime, the tension in the Middle East and the alarming rise of fascism and xenophobia in Europe and the US,” the organisers said, calling his career “an extraordinary contribution to the necessary fight for freedom, democracy and social justice”.

Le Carré said he would donate the winnings to the international humanitarian NGO Médecins Sans Frontières.

Le Carré, the acclaimed author of some of the last century’s most enduring works, from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, has been consistently outspoken about abuses of power in his fiction, his targets including governments, big pharma and arms dealing. Agent Running in the Field, his most recent book – which he has hinted will be his last – depicts collusion between Donald Trump’s US and the British security services with the aim of undermining the European Union.

The author has long steered clear of honours. In 2011, when he was nominated for the Man Booker International prize, he asked for his name to be withdrawn, saying that while he was “enormously flattered”, he did not compete for literary prizes.

Few authors have won the Olof Palme prize, named for the Social Democrat who led his country for 11 years and was mysteriously gunned down in a Stockholm street in 1986 after leaving the cinema. Playwright and political dissident Václav Havel won in 1989, soon before becoming president of Czechoslovakia, Danish novelist Carsten Jensen won in 2009 and the Italian journalist and author of Gomorrah Roberto Saviano won in 2011.

Le Carré will receive his award at a ceremony in Stockholm on 30 January.

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Announcing the 2018 Locus Awards Winners |

Locus Magazine announced the winners of the 2018 Locus Awards during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, which took place June 22 to 24, 2018, with Connie Willis serving as MC of the awards ce…

Source: Announcing the 2018 Locus Awards Winners |

Locus Magazine announced the winners of the 2018 Locus Awards during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, which took place June 22 to 24, 2018, with Connie Willis serving as MC of the awards ceremony. Congratulations to the all of the winners and finalists!

The list of finalists and winners is below. Winners for each category appear in bold.












  • Analog
  • Asimov’s
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Clarkesworld
  • F&SF
  • File 770
  • Lightspeed
  • Strange Horizons
  • Uncanny


  • Tor
  • Angry Robot
  • Baen
  • DAW
  • Gollancz
  • Orbit
  • Saga
  • Small Beer
  • Subterranean
  • Tachyon


  • Ellen Datlow
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Gardner Dozois
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
  • Sheila Williams
  • Navah Wolfe


  • Julie Dillon
  • Kinuko Y. Craft
  • Galen Dara
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Gregory Manchess
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess
  • Michael Whelan



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Paul Beatty wins Man Booker prize 2016 | Books | The Guardian

Author wins for The Sellout, a satire of US racial politics, making him the first American writer to win award

Source: Paul Beatty wins Man Booker prize 2016 | Books | The Guardian

By Mark Brown

Paul Beatty has become the first American writer to win the Man Booker prize, for a caustic satire on US racial politics that judges said put him up there with Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift.

The 54-year-old Los Angeles-born writer won for The Sellout, a laugh-out-loud novel whose main character wants to assert his African American identity by, outrageously and transgressively, bringing back slavery and segregation.

Beatty has admitted readers might find it a difficult book to digest but the historian Amanda Foreman, who chaired this year’s judging panel, said that was no bad thing.

“Fiction should not be comfortable,” Foreman said. “The truth is rarely pretty and this is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon … that is why the novel works.

“While you’re being nailed, you’re being tickled. It is highwire act which he pulls off with tremendous verve and energy and confidence. He never once lets up or pulls his punches. This is somebody writing at the top of their game.”

Foreman called it a “novel for our times”, particularly in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The Sellout is one of those very rare books: which is able to take satire, which is a very difficult subject and not always done well, and plunges it into the heart of contemporary American society with a savage wit of the kind I haven’t seen since Swift or Twain.

“It manages to eviscerate every social taboo and politically correct nuance, every sacred cow. While making us laugh, it also makes us wince. It is both funny and painful at the same time.”

The £50,000 win, announced at a black tie dinner at London’s Guildhall, represented a particular success for Beatty’s publisher Oneworld, a small independent that also represented last year’s winner Marlon James and his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Beatty was overcome by emotion as he accepted the award. He told the audience: “I don’t want to get all dramatic, like writing saved my life … but writing has given me a life.”

At a short press conference afterwards he said winning meant a lot, that he was as “happy as hell”. He did not call his book a satire, he said, but was happy for it be described that way.

The book may be set for success across the world, but Beatty, who said he was told by one of his college professors that he would never be a success as a writer, said it was not something he enjoyed. “I don’t like writing. It’s hard. You’ve got to sit down … I’m a perfectionist, I guess, and I get easily disgruntled and discouraged with what I’m doing. I am really hard with myself and I tend to sabotage myself, but when I’m writing I try not to do that, I try to be in the moment, to be confident.”
Anyone offended by early Richard Pryor might think twice about reading The Sellout. There is lots of swearing and frequent use of the n-word.
But Beatty says in the book that being offended is not an emotion.

“That’s his answer to the readers and I would say the same,” said Foreman.
Judges took almost four hours to reach what Foreman said was a unanimous decision. While it was something of a bookmakers’ outside bet – Ladbrokes offered odds of 6/1 – it had been tipped by many pundits and was adored by most critics with the Guardian’s critic calling it “daring and abrasive” and “a joy to read.”

The Wall Street Journal called it a “Swiftian satire of the highest order. Like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre, Mr Beatty has whispered ‘Racism’ in a postracial world”.

The books losing out on the prize were Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (US), Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (Canada), All That Man Is by David Szalay (Canada-UK), His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (UK).

Levy was arguably the best known writer on a list strikingly short of big literary names. She had also been shortlisted in 2012 for Swimming Home.

Beatty, who lives in New York, is the first American to win in the prize’s 48-year history and it comes three years after eligibility rules were changed to allow writers of any nationality writing in the English language and being published in the UK.

Sales for all six books have already increased significantly, particularly for His Bloody Project, published by the tiny Scottish crime imprint Contraband.

Frances Gertler, web editor at Foyles bookshops, said The Sellout was brave and funny. “It takes a bit of getting into but once there, you don’t want to leave. A smart satire with a memorable narrator.”

Foreman’s fellow judges this year, who have waded through 155 books over 10 months, were the critic and lecturer Jon Day, novelist and academic Abdulrazak Gurnah, poet and academic David Harsent and the actor Olivia Williams.

Foreman said the criteria used by judges in deciding the winner were: aesthetic, quality and depth of ideas, the craftsmanship of the writing and whether it transported the reader.

Beatty, the author of three previous novels and two books of poetry, was presented with his trophy by the Duchess of Cornwall.

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2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced


Awards to be given in June 2015.

Awards to be given in June 2015.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2014 Nebula Awards (presented 2015), nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Awards are given in categories such as novel, novella, novelette, short story, young adult fiction, and film.


The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)

Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor)

Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)

Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)


“We Are All Completely Fine,” Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)

“Yesterday’s Kin,” Nancy Kress (Tachyon)

“The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)

“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert ( 4/30/14)

“Calendrical Regression,” Lawrence Schoen (NobleFusion)

“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)


“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes ( 7/9/14)

“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)

“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)

“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)

“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)

“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson ( 4/2/14)

Short Story

“The Breath of War,” Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/6/14)

“When It Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster (Daily Science Fiction 9/26/14)

“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld 5/14)

“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)

“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide,” Sarah Pinsker (F&SF 3-4/14)

“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14)

“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (F&SF 5/14)

Details at:

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The Darwin Awards: The true blathering idiots

On days when you don’t feel as bright or with it as you normally do, consider these folks, nominees and winner of the Darwin Awards. The Darwin Awards is given annually to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing himself in the most extraordinarily stupid way.

Some of these may make you both laugh and cry.

Semifinalist #1
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.

[Editor’s comment: at the price of gas, wouldn’t cheap mouthwash have been a better choice?]

Semifinalist #2
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.

[Editor’s comment: This is not what is meant by the moon over San Paulo.]

Semifinalist #3
A 22-year-old Reston , VA , man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot rail road trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. “The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground,” Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was “Major trauma.”

[Editor’s comment: clearly a case of gravity assisted suicide. If only the earth hadn’t gotten in the way.]

Semifinalist #4
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend – no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate – was hospitalized.

[Editor’s comment: clearly the snake was being a spoiled sport.]

Semifinalist #5
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc.. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as ”bright” by his peers.

[Editor’s comment: Clearly an example of a career-limiting move.]

And Now, for the winner of this year’s Darwin Award –
(As always, awarded posthumously):

The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery. An amateur rocket scientist had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off, actually a solid-fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra ‘push’ for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

The facts as best could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.

The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20 – 25 seconds. The driver, and soon-to-be pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become irrelevant for the remainder of the event.

However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20 seconds) before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet, leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock. Most of the driver’s remains were not recoverable.

Epilogue: It has been calculated that this “rocket scientist” attained a ground speed of approximately 420-mph, though much of his voyage was not actually on the ground.

[Editor’s comment: Apparently, some things still do take a rocket scientist.]


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