Judges "Didn't Know They Were Science Fiction Fans" Until They Gave A Prize To SF Book

Congratulations to Chris Beckett, whose story collection The Turing Test has won the prestigious Edge Hill Prize, plus £5,000 and a specially commissioned painting by artist Pete Clarke. The win is especially notable since Beckett's book came out on a small press, which has since gone out of business, and he was up against books from Faber, Cape and other bigger publishers. Said one of the judges, James Walton:

I suspect Chris Beckett winning the Edge Hill Prize will be seen as a surprise in the world of books. In fact, though, it was also a bit of surprise to the judges, none of whom knew they were science fiction fans beforehand. Yet, once the judging process started, it soon became clear that The Turing Test was the book that we'd all been impressed by, and enjoyed, the most-and one by one we admitted it.

The Edge Hill Prize is Britain's only literary award for a short-story collection by a single author. [The Bookseller, thanks John Jarrold]