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My own personal ngram
james_nicoll
I joke: I don't get cited in books.

Lifted from yendi

British genre author Christopher Priest is not entirely pleased with the short list for the Clarke Award. Anyone who thinks my comments on the Clarke short list were cranky should check this link to see what true cane-shakery looks like. I am mildly surprised he did not work his way to demanding the entire jury be shot (which for the record I think would be an over-reaction).

He is inexplicably a fan of the idiotic The Testament of Jessie Lamb, which is the sort of Life Boat Rules novel where the characters eventually decide to take the daring step of addressing a leaky life raft by drilling a large hole in the bottom of the boat for the water to flow out. I understand there's a great sympathy in SF for people making hard decisions in bad situations; I just wish the situations did not tend to be contrived and the solutions ludicrous.

Anyway, you can tell he matters far more than I do because while I got comments on More Words, Deeper, he gets replies across the web.

Damien Walter tries the The sour grapes gambit; Priest is displeased because he desired accolades. No attempt is made to deal with Priest's complaints because to do so would be to give credence to them.

Claiming that Priest is motivated by award-jealousy is a jolly daring gambit, given that (as Dan Geiser pointed out), Priest is no stranger to the doleful burden of nominations and wins:

BSFA: 3 Wins, 3 Nominations
Clarke: 1 Win, 2 Nominations
Dimar: 1 Win
Hugo: 1 Nomination
World Fantasy Award: 1 Win



It's also fairly hard to come up with a come back to
heri S. Tepper’s The Waters Rising (Gollancz) – how can one describe it? For fuck’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word ‘neigh’.

I am bit sad Priest didn't manage to work in a dig at Tepper's apparent fondness for eugenics.

John Scalzi on the other hand goes for more disappointed than angry. He also suggests sticking Priest on next year's jury for the Clarke, out of what I am going to assume is an abiding dislike for the four other jury members.

Mea Culpa: I missed Charles Stross' response. Or rather, I saw it before I saw the context.

I also failed to note that this had made fandomwank.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

"it would be so much better if he didn't write like a science fiction writer aiming at science fiction readers"

What's wrong with not limiting your audience by not confining to genre expectations?

Stephen Shevlin

Absolutely nothing. But there is also nothing wrong with writing to a particular audience either. Neither choice has anything to do with whether a work is good, or worthy of award nominations. And given that the Clarke is for science fiction, demanding that works on the shortlist forgo science-fictional techniques on account of they're limiting the readership to science fiction readers is kind of boneheaded. And it implies that the only truly good science fiction is stuff that appeals to more than just us science fiction readers. Yeah, a lot of great work appeals to more than just us SF readers. But a lot doesn't. And the Clarke isn't an award for "The year's best SF book that will also appeal to non-genre readers."

I would have no beef with Priest's explaining why he found Mieville's neologisms ineffective or badly done. I'd disagree--I enjoyed Embassytown's use of neologisms quite a bit, myself--but it would be something to think about and interesting to read. I've got a problem with "use of neologisms is lazy writing, the end."