So it looks like Christopher Priest -- the talented but kind of intense British writer and good buddy to Harlan Ellison who wrote The Prestige
, not the comic book writer who gave us Quantum and Woody
(which, in turn, gave the world one of the greatest action figures ever
) -- really, really, really does not like this year's Clarke Awards shortlist
. A lot.
I'm actually pretty fine with his arguments about the works excluded, particularly Lavie Tidhar and, to a lesser extent, Ian MacLeod. And you'll never hear me disagree with someone suggesting that China Miéville shouldn't be shortlisted (something that, I realize, puts me in a minority of fans).
But man, does he have a lot of hate on for some of the other books (and their authors) that make the list. And for the selection committee. It's not that I haven't seen some degree of snark before -- or even provided some of my own (I'm still trying to figure out how Michael Flynn's Eifelheim
finished second in the Hugo voting five years ago) -- and we're only a year removed from seeing a Nebula awarded for the whale rape story -- but the amount of bile and personal animosity here is pretty astounding.
(And yes, there's a big difference between the any-fan-with-money voting criterion for the Hugo, the member-of-SFWA one for the Nebula, and the small committee used for the Clarke. That said, I certainly can't remember the Clarke or the World Fantasy Awards ever getting this type of hate before.)
ETA: Damien Walter provides some context
for Priest's piece.
ETA2: John Scalzi weighs in here
, and (not surprisingly) puts things in context quite nicely.