Not the Booker Prize came into being three years ago in the wake of much criticism of the Man Booker judges choices.
These criticisms fell/fall into three main camps (Guardian Books Blog July 2009) :
1) Your favourite book didn’t win. This is the most egregious error the judges make, and they make it again and again. Worse still, instead of your favourite book, they select one that is at best mediocre and at worst thoroughly dull. What’s wrong with them?
2) The books are always about post-colonial guilt, Irish poverty or English middle-class Islingtonians having Terribly Important Thoughts about their boring love lives … Where’s the SF? Is that not literature? Where’s the danger? Where’s the challenge? Surely they are missing something.
3) The panel are unrepresentative. Who are these people? Who chooses them? Why should, say, James Naughtie be judging this year’s prize? Are they really better judges than you or I?
So the question arose – can we out here in the real world do better? Do we have more wisdom than the panel? Can we come up with a more interesting shortlist? Can we pick a better winner? Or will we, indeed, choose the same one?
So go on over to The Guardian, read their Terms and Conditions for the Not the Booker Prize 2011 (These are the rules. Don’t argue) and start nominating.
The winning entrant has everything to play for with this stunning Guardian mug as the prize.