Pleasingly, he picks up on Kim Stanley Robinson's rant about the Booker prize, ridiculing John Mullan in the process (remember -the clown that said SF was "bought by a special kind of person who has special weird things they go to and meet each other.")
Mullan's response to Robinson's criticisms is, according to Kay, "Hall of Fame-quality idiocy." He goes on to say, "I do admit to wondering what size shoe Professor Mullan wears, and how it fits between his teeth, and whether he teaches grammar."
Kay is surprisingly optimistic when it comes to contemplating the future of the genre with regards to prestigious literary awards:
"I'm optimistic. I've had, for some time, a sense that demographics will (as so often) have their way with us, this time leading in a good direction. Speculative fiction (SF and fantasy) is simply embedded in the culture and world view of too many younger writers (from Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon to Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz). I have an sense that this is already eroding many of the barriers thrown up by prejudice and assumptions in the literary world.
We'll find ourselves working away from category and genre debates and toward the question worth asking about any novel: Is it any good?
Here's a prediction: One day soon enough, someone may wear double-pleat pants and a bow tie to accept the Man Booker Prize for a science fiction or a fantasy novel. It will start an uproar – among the fashionistas."
I'll be among the first to raise a toast to such an uproar, if it ever happens. Interestingly, Kay remarks on the same point that Mark Charan Newton made a while back - that the genre really needs to move away from debates and bitchfights about categories and the attitude of the mainstream, and focus more on the important questions - like whether a book is actually any good or not.
Anyway, pat on the back for Kay as I think he's spot on. Must check out some of his books soon...