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January 23, 2012 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Arthur C. Clarke Award director Tom Hunter (previously) on the importance of science fiction Awards in elevating geek culture and The Kitschies, the highly praised new genre fiction award from pornokitsch.
posted by Artw (5 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
If awards are important to "elevate geek culture" - then we can't probably avoid the fact that the Hugo awards - perhaps the purest expression of "geek culture" have largely become a bad joke. (With all due respect to Connie Willis and the teams behind Girl Genius & Dr Who but yeah - I mean I have not heard a critic even try to defend these awards seriously)

I like the Kitschies, I think they have a great lineup of books - but I am not convinced that books like Osama or Embassytown exactly lacked for "elevated" attention this year. Worrying about how awards affect the books that seems to me exactly the wrong way to go about things - far more important to get the basics right and ensure that we are choosing great winners. (which in fairness, the kitschies have done excellently the last few years).
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:37 AM on January 23, 2012


Sometimes I think I've maybe not given China MiƩville enough of a fair go. I read Perdido Street Station and while it could have benefited from 200 or so less pages, it was a good horror-cum-urban-fantasy novel and quite well written, as I remember. But then I read reviews about a book like Kraken which say "it's about geeks and geek culture" and it just sounds like the sort of book that would be flopped about breathlessly on boingboing for months on end and I just don't know what to do any more. It just feels as if there isn't enough wonder and mystery and adventure in sci-fi any more, it's basically existential character studies where the author dreams up some crazy stupid throwaway thing for every page, like Perdido's endless encounters with knife-armed men and magical golems made of cat-5 cable.

We'll still always have Vinge and Simmons and Pournelle and Niven and Clarke, of course, but the few modern sciffies I've leafed through at the bookstore seem to me like they've taken the boring (or, more generously, the less-eventful) bits of Stanislaw Lem and run it through the steamgoth cycle on their literary washing machines and then let it sit there and decompress for a while and before you know it you've got the next gritty and philosophical 600-pager that just doesn't throw any fun switches at all.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:34 PM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory: "the Hugo awards - perhaps the purest expression of "geek culture" have largely become a bad joke"

"Become"? Someone has a pretty short term memory.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:25 PM on January 23, 2012


the few modern sciffies I've leafed through at the bookstore seem to me like they've taken the boring (or, more generously, the less-eventful) bits of Stanislaw Lem and run it through the steamgoth cycle on their literary washing machines and then let it sit there and decompress for a while and before you know it you've got the next gritty and philosophical 600-pager that just doesn't throw any fun switches at all.

I don't completely agree but...

I find your writing fascinating and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by GuyZero at 9:25 PM on January 23, 2012


Pornokitsch itself has just been nominated for one of the BSFA Awards (along with Osama and Embassytown).
posted by ninebelow at 7:49 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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