September 21, 2009

Kim Stanley Robinson rests his case


Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson

Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson,who has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for his work, has lashed out at the Booker Prize judges for their “ignorance” in not considering science fiction books for the award, says a Guardian report by Alison Flood.

“I see these very brilliant writers doing excellent work who are never in the running at all, for no reason except their genre and who their publishers are — the so-called club members. It just needs to be said,” he says. “The Booker prize is so big, the way it shapes public consciousness of what is going on in British literature, but the avant garde, the leading edge, is being ignored or shut out of the process entirely.”

The chair of the judges, the appropriately-named James Naughtie, responded by passing the buck to someone else — the people who, er, put up the money to publish the books Robinson was talking about — saying “perhaps his arrows could be directed even more towards publishers than to judges.”

Another judge, John Mullan, thought it was the sci-fi writers themselves who were to blame, saying he “was not aware of science fiction,” because it had become a “self-enclosed world”.

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives