April 6th, 2016

questions

The James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Having hugely enjoyed The Folding Star, it occurred to me that I didn't know much about the one major award that it won, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Looking at the list of winners (there have been 100 awards, to 102 books), I realised I had read more than I knew. How many have you read? (You can sign into the poll using Facebook or Twitter IDs, maybe even Google for all I know.)

Poll #2041557 The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction

Which of the winners have you read?

1919: Hugh Walpole, The Secret City
1(0.3%)
1920: D. H. Lawrence, The Lost Girl
2(0.5%)
1921: Walter de la Mare, Memoirs of a Midget
2(0.5%)
1922: David Garnett, Lady into Fox
4(1.0%)
1923: Arnold Bennett, Riceyman Steps
0(0.0%)
1924: E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
20(5.1%)
1925: Liam O'Flaherty, The Informer
1(0.3%)
1926: Radclyffe Hall, Adam's Breed
1(0.3%)
1927: Francis Brett Young, Portrait of Clare
0(0.0%)
1928: Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
8(2.0%)
1929: J. B. Priestley, The Good Companions
3(0.8%)
1930: E. H. Young, Miss Mole
1(0.3%)
1931: Kate O'Brien, Without My Cloak
2(0.5%)
1932: Helen de Guerry Simpson, Boomerang
0(0.0%)
1933: A. G. Macdonell, England, Their England
4(1.0%)
1934: Robert Graves, I, Claudius
25(6.4%)
1934: Robert Graves, Claudius the God
23(5.9%)
1935: L. H. Myers, The Root and the Flower
0(0.0%)
1936: Winifred Holtby, South Riding
9(2.3%)
1937: Neil M. Gunn, Highland River
0(0.0%)
1938: C. S. Forester, A Ship of the Line
11(2.8%)
1938: C. S. Forester, Flying Colours
11(2.8%)
1939: Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan
3(0.8%)
1940: Charles Morgan, The Voyage
0(0.0%)
1941: Joyce Cary, A House of Children
0(0.0%)
1942: Arthur Waley, Translation of Monkey by Wu Cheng'en
4(1.0%)
1943: Mary Lavin, Tales from Bective Bridge
0(0.0%)
1944: Forrest Reid, Young Tom
0(0.0%)
1945: L. A. G. Strong, Travellers
0(0.0%)
1946: Oliver Onions, Poor Man's Tapestry
0(0.0%)
1947: L. P. Hartley, Eustace and Hilda
5(1.3%)
1948: Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter
9(2.3%)
1949: Emma Smith, The Far Cry
1(0.3%)
1950: Robert Henriques, Through the Valley
0(0.0%)
1951: Chapman Mortimer, Father Goose
0(0.0%)
1952: Evelyn Waugh, Men at Arms
11(2.8%)
1953: Margaret Kennedy, Troy Chimneys
3(0.8%)
1954: C. P. Snow, The New Men and The Masters
3(0.8%)
1955: Ivy Compton-Burnett, Mother and Son
1(0.3%)
1956: Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond
10(2.6%)
1957: Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's
3(0.8%)
1958: Angus Wilson, The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot
0(0.0%)
1959: Morris West, The Devil's Advocate
4(1.0%)
1960: Rex Warner, Imperial Caesar
0(0.0%)
1961: Jennifer Dawson, The Ha-Ha
1(0.3%)
1962: Ronald Hardy, Act of Destruction
0(0.0%)
1963: Gerda Charles, A Slanting Light
0(0.0%)
1964: Frank Tuohy, The Ice Saints
0(0.0%)
1965: Muriel Spark, The Mandelbaum Gate
5(1.3%)
1966: Christine Brooke-Rose, Such
0(0.0%)
1966: Aidan Higgins, Langrishe, Go Down
0(0.0%)
1967: Margaret Drabble, Jerusalem the Golden
6(1.5%)
1968: Maggie Ross, The Gasteropod
0(0.0%)
1969: Elizabeth Bowen, Eva Trout
0(0.0%)
1970: Lily Powell, The Bird of Paradise
0(0.0%)
1971: Nadine Gordimer, A Guest of Honour
1(0.3%)
1972: John Berger, G
1(0.3%)
1973: Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince
2(0.5%)
1974: Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur: or, The Prince of Darkness
2(0.5%)
1975: Brian Moore, The Great Victorian Collection
0(0.0%)
1976: John Banville, Doctor Copernicus
3(0.8%)
1977: John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy
13(3.3%)
1978: Maurice Gee, Plumb
0(0.0%)
1979: William Golding, Darkness Visible
3(0.8%)
1980: J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
0(0.0%)
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
9(2.3%)
1981: Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast
7(1.8%)
1982: Bruce Chatwin, On The Black Hill
9(2.3%)
1983: Jonathan Keates, Allegro Postillions
0(0.0%)
1984: J. G. Ballard, Empire of the Sun
15(3.8%)
1984: Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
16(4.1%)
1985: Robert Edric, Winter Garden
0(0.0%)
1986: Jenny Joseph, Persephone
0(0.0%)
1987: George Mackay Brown, The Golden Bird: Two Orkney Stories
0(0.0%)
1988: Piers Paul Read, A Season in the West
0(0.0%)
1989: James Kelman, A Disaffection
1(0.3%)
1990: William Boyd, Brazzaville Beach
4(1.0%)
1991: Iain Sinclair, Downriver
1(0.3%)
1992: Rose Tremain, Sacred Country
4(1.0%)
1993: Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River
0(0.0%)
1994: Alan Hollinghurst, The Folding Star
4(1.0%)
1995: Christopher Priest, The Prestige
21(5.4%)
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
7(1.8%)
1996: Alice Thompson, Justine
0(0.0%)
1997: Andrew Miller, Ingenious Pain
0(0.0%)
1998: Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie
4(1.0%)
1999: Timothy Mo, Renegade, or Halo2
0(0.0%)
2000: Zadie Smith, White Teeth
17(4.3%)
2001: Sid Smith, Something Like a House
0(0.0%)
2002: Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
10(2.6%)
2003: Andrew O'Hagan, Personality
0(0.0%)
2004: David Peace, GB84
1(0.3%)
2005: Ian McEwan, Saturday
11(2.8%)
2006: Cormac McCarthy, The Road
14(3.6%)
2007: Rosalind Belben, Our Horses in Egypt
0(0.0%)
2008: Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture
1(0.3%)
2009: A. S. Byatt, The Children's Book
12(3.1%)
2010: Tatjana Soli, The Lotus Eaters
0(0.0%)
2011: Padgett Powell, You and I
0(0.0%)
2012: Alan Warner, The Deadman's Pedal
0(0.0%)
2013: Jim Crace, Harvest
1(0.3%)
2014: Zia Haider Rahman, In the Light of What We Know
0(0.0%)


I've read CLAVDIVS, Men at Arms, The New Men, The Masters, Doctor Copernicus, Midnight's Children, Empire of the Sun, The Folding Star, The Prestige, The Corrections and The Road, and liked them all except The Corrections. Further recommendations welcome in comments.
earthsea

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Rosemary imagined the lengthy letter of complaint her mother might write after such a trip. She tried to imagine the circumstances in which her mother would travel by deepod at all. She couldn't even picture her mother setting foot within a public spaceport. Rosemary had been surprised to find herself in such a place. The dingy waiting area, the twitching pixel posters, the stale smells of algae gunk and cleaning fluid. Despite the exoskeletons and tentacles milling around her, she had felt like the alien there.
A great new style space opera, with our heroine carrying a dreadful secret yet bonding with her multi-species crew, who I think owe at least as much to Traveller as to Larry Niven or David Brin, while undertaking what at first seems a tricky but plausible engineering mission that turns out to have major political consequences. What's particularly interesting is Chambers' portrayal of interspecies sex and love - not without problems or consequences, but that's equally true of relationships between humans as well. And there are plenty of pleasing nods to the history of the space opera sub genre going back to Heinlein. I'm surprised to say I missed the inaccuracies spotted by autopope.

As I noted before, this was the only book submitted for the Clarke Award that a) finished in the top 20% of all four Goodreads/LibraryThing measures and b) was not a later volume in a series. It's been getting a decent amount of buzz (including from Martin Wisse at Eastercon), so I bought it and read it - too late for Hugo nominations, alas; I don't think it would have got into my Best Novel list (and I'll be surprised if others vote it in), but Chambers would certainly have got my nomination for the Campbell Award, as she is getting many others', and would surely stand a good chance of winning it - if Andy Weir were not already certain to do so this year.