Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, has posted an open letter at Torque Control , asking for feedback on questions relating to the Award’s future direction. I’ve sent in my comments by email, but also wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the discussion here, and to say something about what the Clarke means to me.
The Clarke Award is important to me because it stands for things that I believe in: it champions the best science fiction as a serious literary form; and it looks beyond genre publishing for relevant titles. I think the latter sets a good example for the book world in general: too often, literary institutions can be unhealthily insular; only yesterday there was yet another article that advocated putting content ahead of quality in judging a book (an article nicely dismantled by Steve Mosby here). The Clarke is refreshing in that it faces outwards, and brings excellent books to the attention of people who probably wouldn’t otherwise know about them. We should treasure it for that.