- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Learning the World by Ken MacLeod
- Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynold
- Air by Geoff Ryman
- Accelerando by Charles Stross
- Banner of Souls by Liz Williams
The nomination I'm more interested in, however, is Ishiguro's. I've expressed my dissatisfaction with the novel already and I realize that I'm in the minority for feeling so, but I had been under the impression that even among those genre reviewers who lauded Never Let Me Go, there was an understanding that as a work of science fiction, the novel failed. As Matt Cheney puts it:
If you expect Never Let Me Go to be about cloning, you will be disappointed. If you expect to be able to read it as a logical science fiction novel, one that extrapolates an alternate world that makes sense, you will find much to grumble about. You will not be satisfied. You will be annoyed, even bored.Even accepting, as I do not, that once we learn to look past its failures as a work of science fiction, Never Let Me Go is a work of genius, does it really make sense to then turn around and hand it a major science fiction award? I suppose I'm actually trying to puzzle out the purpose of the Clarke and other genre awards--are they meant to encourage excellence within the genre, or simply to glom onto successful mainstream works with tenuous genre connections?