The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock nods to some august literary forebearsTom Wolfe, Raymond Carver, James Salterand yet moves to an internal beat of its own. Covering an era of American aviation from breaking the sound barrier to the space race of the 1960s, its dry, laconic prose is as acute in unpicking the mysteries of marriage and bereavement as it is in conveying the vertiginous limits of ambition and daring. For its disciplined craftsmanship, its immersion in an historical era, and its profound engagement with human loss, The Last Pilot is a memorable achievement, and a hugely deserving winner of this prize.” 

Anthony Quinn, announcing the winner of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2016 (full speech here)