Did any of you people notice something strange (as in weird, bizarre, crazy) happen this weekend at the BSFA convention and Hugo awards?
First off, Ian Sales won the best BSFA short story award with his self-published (yes SELF-PUBLISHED, even if he put the name of his own publishing house on it) Adrift on a Sea of Rains. Yes, I know he goes round the cons and has done a good job on publicity, but it beat the Interzone short stories, once the staple of BSFA short story awards. And what’s more it’s hard science fiction…at least it is if you believe in parallel universes. Wow! What a turn up for the books, SELF-PUBLISHED HARD SCIENCE FICTION winning an award.
BSFA of course is awards by popular vote… are the readers telling the publishing world they want their hard science fiction back on the shelves in bookstores? Are they saying no more of the more traditional stories we have seen? Don’t forget it beat stories that were biased more towards fantasy…
And yet on the other side of the pond (slang for the Atlantic Ocean), David Brin’s Existence turned into a no-show for the ballot paper. Yes, 2312 got onto it, but I’ve already made my opinion clear on the science in some parts of that novel… groan… is there more than the pond that separates the US and UK science fiction communities?
I can think of one contributory reason for this… Skylon and the Olympic ceremonies showed science at its best, progressive, making life better and more interesting… there’s also the story that Terry Pratchett found the most advanced treatment for his Parkinson’s disease (much sympathies to him) not in the US, but in the UK. Is the UK suddenly leading the US in making things better through science development… this kind of thing would spill over into science fiction… it’s only natural… and is the revolution in science fiction being led by the UK?