Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift has been shortlisted for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award, which is in its 34th year, awards “the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.”

The 2020 shortlist announcement was made by the British Science Fiction Foundation, the Science Fiction Foundation and the Sci-Fi London Film Festival. Winners receive a cash prize of £2020, as well as an award plaque. If it seems a bit odd that the cash prize matches the year 2020, it’s because that’s how the prize is set up. The winner gets the same amount as the year the prize is being held.

The judging panel, which includes Stewart Hotston, Alasdair Stuart, Farah Mendlesohn, Chris Pak, and Rhian Drinkwater, was chaired by Dr. Andrew M. Butler. Butler noted that the 2020 selection “felt as if we were actually inside an sf novel when we chose these half dozen books — it was our first virtual meeting.”

“Listening to the deliberations of our judges this year, I was reminded again of the depth of passion that can power and unite our science fiction community, and what shines through for me in the choices of this year’s panel is this sense of shared love for the sf genre.”

Joining Serpell on the shortlist are Charlie Jane Anders for The City in the Middle of the Night , Kameron Hurley for The Light Brigade, Arkady Martine A Memory Called Empire, Adrian Tchaikovsky for Cage of Souls, and David Wellington for The Last Astronaut.

Last year’s prize was awarded to the Nigerian writer and psychiatrist Tade Thompson for Rosewater.

The 2020 winner will be unveiled in September.

Congrats to Namwali Serpell!