Last night saw The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (pictured left) win the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year – and Urban Fantasist's Charles Christian was present at the award ceremony at Foyles Bookshop in London. (Of course he was there, he was one of judges for the Award! https://www.clarkeaward.com/award-winners/the-award-juries/)
Colson is currently in China and, as Star Trek-style transporters are still in the realm of science fiction, he was unable to attend in person but he did send this acceptance speech – which is wonderful because it perfectly encapsulates why writers write science fiction and fantasy...
"Way back when I was ten years old, it was science fiction and fantasy that made me want to be a writer. If you were a writer, you could work from home, you didn't have to talk to anybody, and you could just make stuff up all day. Stuff about robots and maybe zombies and maybe even miraculous railway lines. Fantasy, like realism, is a tool for describing the world, and I'm grateful that a book like The Underground Railroad, which could not exist without the toolkit of fantastic literature, is being recognized by the Arthur C. Clarke Award." ...Colson Whitehead
Other things to note about last night's award...
* This year (2017) is the 100th anniversary of Sir Arthur's birth in (December 1917) – he died in 2008.
* This year was the 31st year the Award has been made – the first winner in 1987 was The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
* Although this year's shortlist might appear to be very diverse in terms of subject matter, as the chair of the judges Andrew M. Butler pointed out, all the novels focus on humanity and the triumph of the human spirit against adversity (even if in some instances the humanity in question is that of an artificial intelligence).
* Colson Whitehead has also won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Prize, and been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for this novel. In addition, former President Barack Obama said The Underground Railroad was the last book he read while he was still in The White House – a fact that prompted Award director Tom Hunter to comment last night it was also "the last book to be read by an American president"!
This is Urban Fantasist
Barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award-winning tech journalist, radio presenter, podcaster, blogger, storyteller, and sometime werewolf-hunter Charles Christian is here to inform and entertain you with tales of writing, radio, geek, tech, media, music, urban myths, folklore, the weird and anything else that intrigues him. The site also has links to all Charles Christian's books including fiction, nonfiction, and the latest reviews. Plus links to his weekly Weird Tales and Smart Radio shows.
The Latest Podcast
In Episode 48 of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcast we sing the sad song of the Mistletoe Bride trapped in her living tomb + take a quiz on some little known legendary facts: seriously King Arthur, your spear is called Ron? + discover a churchyard in Northern Ireland where the graveyard dirt really does deliver a miracle cure.
Follow this link to access episodes of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcast. The page contains links to all our other podcast platforms. Click the player button below to hear latest show.
Hear Charles Christian on Smart Radio
The Midweek Late Lunch
Wednesdays 2:00pm to 4:00pm (UK)
The UK Chart Toppers Show
Sundays 2:00pm to 5:00pm (UK)
and on mobile...
Apple iOS App: Smart Radio GY
Android App: Smart Radio GY
TuneIn Radio App: Smart Radio GY
Weird Tales Podcast Links
The Urban Fantasist website is now averaging over 5000 page views daily and 150,000 page views a month plus over 6000 unique visitors each week.
Tel: 44(0)1986 788666
"Listening to your wonderful show now. I love the stories! Wonderful concept. Great work."
"Charles Christian defiantly makes my world a brighter, funnier place."
"Wonderful show tonight full of all the usual delights we've come to expect."
"The legendary Charles Christian at his eclectic best... his insight and humour alone make this a must-read blog."
"Charles Christian is my inner spirit animal, thank you for making me laugh."
"You always make me laugh! Thank you for brightening my day with your dark humour."
"the funny, wonderful and slightly cantankerous Charles Christian"
"Carlsberg don't make clients, but if they did... they'd be Charles Christian"
"His tech journalism is always witty. He has a talent for pricking the overblown claims of suppliers."
"Charles Christian does awesome!"
Charles Christian's Books
Can I copy content from this site?
Yes... providing you properly credit it. Urban Fantasist content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License which means it may be shared, copied, remixed or used commercially as long as Urban Fantasist or the Weird Tales Radio Show are cited as the source.
Copyright © Charles Christian
& WordsandVision Limited 2019
Tel: 44(0)1986 788666
Urban Fantasist - infotainment fuelled by green tea and dark chocolate
Contact Address: Oak Lodge, Darrow Green Road, Denton, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 0AY, United Kingdom