Thursday, March 29, 2012

To the winners

Somewhat serendipitously given my last post, Christopher Priest has let loose on a group of hopeful winners of this year's Arthur C Clarke Award. The full post is here and it's convinced me that sometimes it's actually good not to be shortlisted. Here are a few of Mr Priest's choicest comments:

On Charles Stross for Rule 43 - 'It is indefensible that a novel like Charles Stross’s Rule 34 (Orbit) should be given apparent credibility by an appearance in the Clarke shortlist. Stross writes like an internet puppy: energetically, egotistically, sometimes amusingly, sometimes affectingly, but always irritatingly, and goes on being energetic and egotistical and amusing for far too long. You wait nervously for the unattractive exhaustion which will lead to a piss-soaked carpet. Stross’s narrative depends on vernacular casualness, with humorous asides, knowing discursiveness, and the occasional appeal of big soft eyes. He has PC Plod characters and he writes och-aye dialogue! To think for even one moment that this appalling and incapable piece of juvenile work might actually be chosen as winner brings on a cold sweat of fear.'

On Greg Bear for Hull Zero Three - 'it is capable in its own way, and hard in the way that some people want SF to be hard, and it keeps alive the great tradition of the SF of the 1940s and 1950s where people get in spaceships to go somewhere to do something. In this case, the unlikely story begins as the interstellar spaceship arrives somewhere. The paragraphs are short, to suit the expected attention-span of the reader. The important words are in italics. Have we lived and fought in vain?'

Sherri S Tepper for The Water Rising - 'how can one describe it? For f***’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word "neigh".'

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