By Isabella Biedenharn
Updated May 07, 2015 at 04:56 PM EDT

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel’s brilliant novel about a devastating flu that wipes out 99.9% of the world’s population, has won the Arthur C. Clarke award for science fiction.

Andrew M. Butler, chair of the judges for the prize, emphasized the fact that St. John Mandel’s novel stands far above the trendy, post-apocalyptic genre one might be tempted to place it in. “While many post-apocalypse novels focus on the survival of humanity,” he said, “Station Eleven focuses instead on the survival of our culture, with the novel becoming an elegy for the hyper-globalized present.”

Mandel has said that she’s puzzled by her novel’s sci-fi classification, telling The Washington Post, “If you write literary fiction that’s set partly in the future, you’re apparently a sci-fi writer… I think of it as being more of a story about what remains after we lose everything and the importance of art in our lives.”

Station Eleven: A novel

  • Book
  • Emily St. John Mandel
  • Knopf