Interesting take by one of my favourite writers – Christopher Priest – on the Clarke Award short list. (My novel ‘Nemonymous Night’ was on the original list of sixty): http://www.christopher-priest.co.uk/journal/1077/hull-0-scunthorpe-3/
Thinking about it further on a personal level: I’d be happy with any resultant shortlist if I thought all those creating the shortlist had read thoroughly the sixty novels on the original long list. Mr Priest, too, when criticising the short list.
As to ‘Nemonymous Night’ – this is Jules Vernian-SF – and I’d be happy if it had several fair but bad reviews. Then I’d know where it stood. No fault of anyone, but it has only had a few reviews: (linked from here: http://nemonymousnight.wordpress.com/reviews/ for reference), the first being a 5 star Amazon review from a respected Amazon reviewer. One of the others was tentative at worst, the other three fairly enthusiastic at best.
But very few people seem to have actually read it. I hope I’m not tempting fate, but, with this comment, I hereby encourage into the public domain all those fair but bad reviews harbouring in readers’ or critics’ hearts, rather than just a handful of fairly good reviews it has received so far.
Revie(w)’s Leeds United 0 Colchester United 4.
Meanwhile, I admire Priest’s Hull/Scunthorpe article. I know he didn’t write it for this reason; but his work is a league above all of us.
My own take on his ‘The Islanders’ last September: