The winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for 2009 was announced last night in a ceremony held in the Apollo West End in London - and it was Ian R MacLeod for his fifth novel, Song Of Time.
The book, which focuses on an aged and dying violinist named Roushana as she sorts through her memories in her final days, fought off competition from long established sci-fi authors Paul McAuley (The Quiet War), Alastair Reynolds (House of Suns) Neal Stephenson (Anathem) and Sheri S Tepper (The Margarets), as well as debuting author Mark Wernham (Martin Martin's On The Other Side).
After the ceremony the evening ended with a party at the On Anon bar in Piccadilly Circus where the great and the good of the book industry (and, inexplicably, actor William Hurt) toasted MacLeod's success. For those on Facebook, there's a selection of images from the night here , taken by the organiser (including a snap of four of the SFX crew).
The Arthur C Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. It was first awarded in 1987 and previous winners include China Miéville and Geoff Ryman, who were also at the event last night. For the last few years the announcement of the Clarke Award has marked the start of the excellent SCI-FI-LONDON weekend .
Song Of Time is published by PS Publishing and is available to buy now, RRP £20. Find out more about the Clarke Awards here .