- A not-terribly-good review of Susanna Clarke’s collection The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, although I’m glad someone else has reservations about the illustations. A much better review by Ursula Le Guin.
- Also from the Guardian, an article about our obsession with awards.
Discuss, with particular reference to science fiction and fantasy (20 marks).
Prizes are becoming the ultimate measure of cultural success and value. One prize inevitably spawns another, in imitation or reaction, as the perceived male dominance of the Booker spawned the Orange Prize for women’s fiction. There are now so many, in so many different fields, that it can be difficult to find a professional artist, writer or journalist who has not been shortlisted for a prize.
In the book world, prizes have long since supplanted reviews as our primary means of literary transmission, and now they are taking on the task, from the professional critics, of judgment as well.
- Gabe Chouinard responds to some of the points raised by Charlie Stross in the post I linked on Saturday. Semi-relatedly, two good posts by Paul McAuley.
- Abigail Nussbaum on Heroes and Studio 60.
- Reactions to Torchwood: here, here, here, and here. (None of which I’ve actually read, since I haven’t seen it yet; as much as anything this is a list for me to come back to later.)
- Some thoughts on China Mountain Zhang, by me, for the Instant Fanzine book group. One thing that post doesn’t mention: I was scandalised to discover it wasn’t even nominated for the Clarke.