Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist announced

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by iansales, Mar 27, 2012.

  1.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    It was announced yesterday, and it goes as follows:


    • Greg Bear, Hull Zero Three (Gollancz)
    • Drew Magary, The End Specialist (Harper Voyager)
    • China MiĆ©ville, Embassytown (Macmillan)
    • Jane Rogers, The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press)
    • Charles Stross, Rule 34 (Orbit)
    • Sheri S.Tepper, The Waters Rising (Gollancz)

    It's a surprisingly core genre shortlist. I've read two of the books - Rogers and MiƩville - and am happy to see the Rogers there. The rest I've heard mixed things about.

    Thoughts?
  2.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    No one has anything to say about the shortlist? So much for it being a more populist and core sf shortlist than in previous years...
  3.  
    Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Active Member

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    I'm too out of date to keep up with the latest releases. I'm reading "Red Mars" right now and think that's uber modern... :rolleyes:
  4.  
    Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I'm glad to see Sheri Tepper on the list.
  5.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    This award is like the oscars you know China Meiville can write his weakest book and still get nom every year because he is rated,acclaimed brit SFF.

    What has he have to do not to get nominated one year ?

    City and the city was pretty decent and pretty not great for an award winner.

    Its a populist with same old SF names every year. Like only a few authors are writing good SF out there. I was more thrilled to see new names in PKD award and Matt Hughes getting a deserved nom.

    I say one good thing about it, its good to see more SF authors and not some general fiction author getting hype for slumming with SF.
  6.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    The award is about the best book, and if that means a literary author writing sf rather than a sf author, then so be it. I don't have a problem with that. The Testament of Jessie Lamb, for example, was published as mainstream and even made the MAN Booker longlist. I've also read it and it's very good.

    But yes, the remainder of the list is very heartland science fiction, though whether that means they're good books I've no idea. I've read Embassytown (see here), and heard mixed reports on the rest.
  7.  
    Ian Whates

    Ian Whates Author and Editor

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    I guess the answer is 'write a poor novel', Conn. Don't forget, the Clarke shortlist (and the ultimate winner) is selected by a small jury which rotates constantly, with judges serving two years (or sometimes just one) before stepping down and being replaced. The jurors are all SF writers, critics, or devout fans, and it's very rare for the jury to have exactly the same members for two years running. In other words, China's books have been selected by different people on each occasion.

    I know most of the current jurors and those from recent years (Liz Williams, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Juliet E McKenna, Paul Skevington, Phil Nanson, Martin Lewis, etc). Some I count as good friends and can promise you that each takes the role very seriously. I have no doubt that, within the jury discussions, each of them will have promoted and argued for the books they believe to be the best rather than those deemed the coolest or most popular.
  8.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    Well im not saying they dont take their jobs seriously but its always the same author who is expected to be nominated for this award. There is a reason for that other than him being a good author.

    Not writing a poor novel or having the reputation that gets you a nom every year is big difference imo.

    I respect awards more you dont know who is getting nominated every year, who is gonna win.
  9.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    Thats the truth and what i meant i dont want to see someone getting nominated because he got nominated for some general fiction award. The award trying to be more mainstream outside the genre. Thats not the same as someone outside the genre writing the best SF of the year. Some guy named Orwell wrote some pretty important SF without being known for his SF hehe....

    Have you read Far North?

    I had the bad luck of trying that novel because it got Clarke 2010 nom. I couldnt find the others of that year except The City and the City which i have read as i said.
  10.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    I have Far North on the TBR. But don't forget that I like literary fiction :)
  11.  
    Ian Whates

    Ian Whates Author and Editor

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    I think you're missing the point of what I was trying to say, Conn; I don't believe China does appear on the shortlist regularly because of his rep, but rather because of his ability to consistently produce thought provoking and interesting novels. If the same people were responsible for shortlisting him each time, you might suspect a degree of favouritism, but they're not. Each book is judged on merit by a different panel of people.

    By the way, Chris Priest has some interesting opinions on this year's shortlist: http://www.christopher-priest.co.uk/journal/1077/hull-0-scunthorpe-3/
  12.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    What i dont like general fiction ;)

    I havent read a real SF book in months thanks to mainstream lit books.

    I like strong mainstream, general fiction authors. When they have great prose or important thing to say.


    I just happen to read modern mainstream lit outside North America. Swedish,other european,african,asian authors.

    Have you read Chinua Achebe ? I like mainstream non-genre lit, i just dont like when those authors write weak SF.

    Chabon might be an awesome writer but Yiddish Policeman was an insult to the genre of SF and hardboiled detective stories.

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