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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Sci-fi metropolis wins award
High Commissioner Linda Duffield and Sir Arthur C Clarke
Sir Arthur was knighted at home in Sri Lanka
Science fiction writer China Miéville has won this year's Arthur C Clarke Award for science fiction writing for his novel Perdido Street Station.

The novel, Miéville's second, explores a world where humans share the sprawling metropolis New Crobuzon with mutants and other races.

Miéville, from London, receives £2,001 ($2,858) to mark the year 2001, in recognition of the Arthur C Clarke classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The award, which goes annually to the best sci-fi novel published in Britain in the previous year, was announced at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London.

China Miéville
China Miéville: His first novel was King Rat
In a recorded mesage to guests at the event, Sir Arthur said: "I am particularly delighted this ceremony is taking place in the Science Museum.

"I spent so many hours of my youth there...this undoubtedly had a great influence upon me."

Miéville has a first class degree from Cambridge and a masters with distinction from the London School of Economics.

After studying at Harvard, he is now doing a PhD in international relations.

The shortlist also featured Octavia E Butler with Parable of the Talent; Mary Gentle for Ash: A Secret History; Ken Macleod for Cosmonaut Keep; Alastair Reynolds with Revelation Space and Adam Roberts for Salt.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Sir Arthur's short story inspired Stanley Kubrick

Sir Arthur, 82, is regarded as a space-age visionary, who predicted space travel in 1945, long before rockets were tested.

He is one of the most famous sci-fi writers with more than 80 books to his name.

Quality

The award was established by Sir Arthur himself in 1986 to encourage quality science fiction writing. It is now jointly administered by The British Science Fiction Association and the Science Fiction Foundation.

The first grant awarded was for £1,000 ($1,428) - to this year's Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood.

Sir Arthur has made Sri Lanka his home and has lived on the island since 1956.

He was knighted in 2000 in a quiet ceremony at his home as post polio syndrome prevented him from travelling to London.

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