Ned Beauman has won the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award, the British literary prize given annually to an outstanding science fiction novel, for his book Venomous Lumpsucker, the Guardian reports.

Beauman’s novel, published last year in the U.S. by Soho, is set in the near future, when “biobanks” preserve DNA samples of extinct species. After a cyberattack wipes out the biobanks, a scientist and a businessman are determined to find a particular fish—for starkly different reasons. A critic for Kirkus called the book “a dire warning, sick joke, and perceptive critique of a species of very questionable intelligence: humanity.”

Tom Hunter, the director of the award, said the book “takes science fiction’s knack for future extrapolation and aggressively applies it to humanity’s shortsighted self-interest and consumptive urges in the face of planetary eco-crisis. The result is a bleakly funny novel where the only hope for our species is working out the final punchline before it’s delivered.”

Beauman beat out five other novels for the award: The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard; Plutoshine by Lucy Kissick; The Coral Bones by E.J. Swift; Metronome by Tom Watson; and The Anomaly, written ​​by Hervé Le Tellier and translated by Adriana Hunter.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award was established by the legendary science fiction author in 1987. Past winners have included Jeff Noon for Vurt, Lauren Beukes for Zoo City, and Namwali Serpell for The Old Drift.

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.