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A Nigerian author and psychologist has won UK's most prestigious prize for science fiction

British-Nigerian author Tade Thompson has won the Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction novels (theguardian)
  • Tade Thompson is the new winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award.
  • It is the most prestigious award in the UK for science fiction novels.
  • He won it for 'Rosewater', his sci-fi novel which is set in a future Africa.

Tade Thompson is the latest recipient of the annual Arthur C. Clarke award.

Born in London to Yoruba parents, the British-Nigerian author and psychologist has just won UK's most prestigious prize for science fiction for his novel titled 'Rosewater'.

Thompson competed with 124 other novels, the highest number ever submitted for the prize, according to The Guardian.

Only 7 per cent of the 125 novels reviewed for the award were from people of colour. His novel eventually got shortlisted alongside 'Frankenstein in Baghdad', a novel by Iraq's Ahmed Saadawi who had earlier been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize.

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The remaining shortlisted books include debut US author Sue Burke's 'Semiosis,' American author Yoon Ha Lee's 'Revenant Gun,' Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag's illustrated novel 'The Electric State' and British author Aliya Whiteley's 'The Loosening Skin'.

Thompson was announced as the winner at the award ceremony which held on last week in Central London. He got a £2,019 cash prize and a trophy.

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Thompson's novel, published in the US in 2016, explores an alien invasion which leaves humanity powerless through airborne microscopic fungal spores.

It is set in 2066 in a town called Rosewater which is located on the outskirts of an alien biodome (a closed ecological system) dropped in rural Nigeria. 

This dome opens only once a year and heals all nearby sick people. It also gives new life to the dead and gives telepathic skills to select humans. These telepathic people are dubbed "sensitives".

The novel follows the story of one, in particular, named Kaaro who is forced to investigate after other sensitives start dying.

Explaining the judges' decision, Andrew Butler, chairman of the prize judge said, "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."

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Thompson's Rosewater is also a 2017 John W. Campbell Award finalist and was on the Locus 2016 Recommended Reading List. His other work, a novella called 'The Murders of Molly Southbourne' has been optioned for screen adaptation.  

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