29 March, 2012

Christopher Priest Loves the Clarke Award

Not. (see what I did there, these jokes used to be funny for some reason)

I had to put in my two cents on this as I just found out about it today from Neth Space. Christopher Priest is an amazing author and known to be a bit outspoken, notably with respect to his low opinion of Christopher Nolan and the ending to The Prestige, the movie adaptation of Priest's book.

Yesterday, Priest wrote a scathing article not only bashing the panel of judges for the Clarke Award, but also each and every author in some way. Yes, even China Mieville although he was more regretful than anything. Commentaries popped up everywhere including The Guardian (which as a much much better summation than mine), John Scalzi at Whatever, and even Charles Stross (who's now making t-shirts).

Maybe it's because I saw Ken's article first, but I thought the article was hilarious. Scalzi makes a good point that what this really is is someone who's not happy that everyone else doesn't follow their own opinion...and this comes up every time another award comes around.

But, while I agree with Scalzi on that part, I'd much rather hear/read someone's honest opinion than have them pussy-foot around like Scalzi happens to do in his article. Part of this is because I'm a terrible pussy-footer and I only dream of being as direct and honest as Priest. Maybe if I were also a world-renowned author...

In the end, just read the article, it's worth your time even if you don't agree with him.


Neth said...

Yeah, I simply found the article hilarious but quite thoughtful at the same time. I can see why and where people would disagree, but I'm still dismayed to see such large dismissal of Priest's rant.

Bryce L. said...

I couldn't help but agree with him on plenty of his points - I mean who are we kidding? I've read some Greg Bear and came to a similar conclusion - not award-worthy. And the part about Tepper is worth reading alone.

His points on Mieville, whether true or not, are worth considering for an author who's won as many awards as Mieville has - don't get complacent, keep pushing the genre. I hope he listens either way.

Bob (Beauty in Ruins) said...

I thought Priest's rant was embarrassing, and completely without class. Just atrocious.

Bryce L. said...

I have to admit to having feelings of, is he really saying this about his peers? But this is about an award for the best in the genre. For me, he's saying these are fine authors, but not the best and not award-worthy. He's just calling it how he sees it.