Seriously, this year's Clarke Award shortlist, announced today, is just spot-on. It has a really strong claim to representing the best books of 2014 — daring storytelling that left a lasting impression on us.

Top image: Memory of Water.

The Clarke Award has done a pretty good job, this year, of pinpointing books that were fantastic reads, while also featuring "literary" touches like experimental narrative and a strong focus on character. And it doesn't hurt that it's also gender-balanced, especially after the criticism the Clarke Award has come in for in the past.

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Here's the list, via Locus:

  • The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey (Orbit)
  • The Book Of Strange New Things, Michel Faber (Canongate)
  • Europe In Autumn, Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • Memory Of Water, Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
  • The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August, Claire North (Orbit)
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (Picador)

The winning book will be announced May 6.

And another great award that just announced its winners. The Tiptree Award for science fiction and fantasy books that consider gender issues chose The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne and My Real Children by Jo Walton, with a shortlist that includes Memory of Water, plus Jennifer Brissett's Elysium.

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