Tade Thompson, a Nigerian-British author and psychologist, has won the Arthur C. Clarke award for science fiction, UK’s most prestigious prize for works within the literary category.
‘Rosewater’, Thomson’s sci-fi novel on an alien invasion that left humanity powerless through airborne microscopic fungal spores, earned him the recognition.
The novel, which is set in 2066 bothers on a town (Rosewater) that was formed on the outskirts of an alien biodome that dropped in rural Nigeria after UFO invasion swallowed London and left America dark.
This biodome opens just once a year and heals all nearby sick people — giving life to the dead, yet, transforming them to telepathic beings called ‘Sensitives’.
Kaaro, a telepathic being, investigates the sudden death of other Sensitives.
A total of 125 novels were reviewed for the award and only 7% of that number were from people of colour.
His novel was shortlisted alongside ‘Frankenstein in Baghdad’, a novel by Iraq’s Ahmed Saadawi’s who had earlier been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize.
At the award ceremony which held on Wednesday in Central London, Thompson was named the winner with a £2,019 cash prize.
Thompson’s novel was published in the US in 2016.
“Alien invasion is always a political subject. Thompson 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,” said Andrew Butler, chairman of the prize judges.
Some of the entries received by judges include ‘Semiosis’ by Sue Burke, US author; Yoon Ha Lee’s ‘Revenant Gun’; Simon Stålenhag’s ‘The Electric State’; and British author Aliya Whiteley’s ‘The Loosening Skin’.