For those unaware, Christopher Priest has posted a pointed objection to the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist that eschews the touchy feely and goes straight to gut-punch land. While I have not read any of the books on the list and cannot comment one way or another on the authenticity of Priest's claims, the nexus motivating his controlled diatribe--a desire for higher literary standards in speculative fiction awards--is commendable. I wish that more competent and prominent voices would come out from the woodwork with a want to eliminate the mediocrity that is publicly touted as the upper ranks while writers of real craft are pushed to outskirts. In saturated times such as these, a wake up call is needed, and Priest seems to provide exactly that voice of reason. Let's hope quality improves in the long term for all awards so that the genre might earn the respect it deserves. After all, when you reward crap, crap is what's expected.
The article, Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3, can be accessed by clicking on the link to Priest's site.