By Alison Flood
Dark Eden, the story of an alien planet where the incestuous offspring of two stranded astronauts struggle to survive, has won the UK’s top science fiction prize, the Arthur C Clarke award.Author Chris Beckett, a part-time lecturer in social work, beat some of science fiction’s best-known writers, including Kim Stanley Robinson and Ken MacLeod, to take the prize. Given to the year’s best science fiction novel, the Arthur C Clarke has been won in the past by Margaret Atwood, China Miéville and Christopher Priest. Dark Eden is only Beckett’s second novel, but the British author is no stranger to awards: in 2009 he beat Anne Enright and Ali Smith to win the Edge Hill short story prize.
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