Charlie Stross: Internet Puppy

I’ve mentioned my liking of Charlie Stross’s work a few times, most recently Rule 34, which, while not really caring about awards very much, I was happy to see had been shortlisted for the generally quite respectable Arthur C Clarke Award.

But not everyone is happy about this, it seems. Charlie tweeted a link to this somewhat grumpy article by Serious Author Christopher Priest:

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3 – Christopher Priest

Is that a Housemartins reference in the title? Anyway, Mr Priest, author of some quite interesting stuff that fringes the borders of sf, and goes off in its own direction, isn’t at all happy with the shortlist, the state of sf, the judging panel, and quite possibly the weather. As the only book on the shortlist I’ve read is Charlie’s[1], I’ll restrict my comments to that part of the grumpfest.

Christopher Priest really, really, really doesn’t like the carefully crafted linguistic style Charlie has adopted in Rule 34. Well, I’m assuming he knows that it’s a carefully crafted style designed to draw the reader into the time and place, but I could be wrong, of course. After making it quite clear that this book is deeply unsuitable for any kind of award, he says:

Stross writes like an internet puppy: energetically, egotistically, sometimes amusingly, sometimes affectingly, but always irritatingly, and goes on being energetic and egotistical and amusing for far too long.

Well, he says a lot more than that, but you can read that for yourself in the original article.

Charlie appears to be unaffected by the harsh criticism. His best tweet on the subject says it all:

He’s also changed his avatar to a cute[2] puppy.

Nicely done, Mr Stross.

[1] The highly regarded China Miéville is one of those authors I haven’t quite got round to yet.
[2] If you like that kind of thing. I’m more of a Tigger man myself