The author of Jeff Bezos’ favorite novel wins Nobel

The author of Jeff Bezos’ favorite novel wins Nobel

There are several reasons why

Kazuo Ishiguro (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

being announced as the recipient of the

Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017

is interesting.

One is that Ishiguro is reportedly Jeff Bezo’s (Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Amazon) favorite author, or at least the author of Jeff’s favorite book, The Remains of the Day**:

Marketwatch article by Tom Teodorczuk

However, another “debate” is whether or not Ishiguro is a science fiction/fantasy author.

Of course yes.

The Buried Giant is a fantasy novel. Never Let Me Go is a science fiction novel.

There are literati who just aren’t going to accept that, though. They don’t think science fiction/fantasy can be great literature. There may even be a “class ceiling” which functions as a Catch-22. If science fiction can’t be great literature, than once a science fiction novel becomes too good, it is no longer science fiction, but “literary fiction” which winks/nods at science fiction.

I think that’s what is happening here for some of those who are even debating it.

Pretend it’s the end of the semester in a college literature class.

Student 1: “Which one was your favorite author?”

Student 2: “I liked the ghost story.”

Student 3: “I liked the post-apocalyptic super plague story.”

Student 4: “My favorite was the time travel comedy.”

Student 1: “I liked that one who did the story with the witches, the ghost Dad, and the Fae-shifter one.”

Who are they talking about?

The ghost story is Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)…who also mentions SHC (Spontaneous Human Combustion) in Bleak House.

The post-apocalyptic super plague is Jack London (The Scarlet Plague).

The time travel comedy is Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court).

All those last ones are William Shakespeare: the Scottish play, Hamlet, and .

Eventually, I hope to have all of the above authors in

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip

That’s one of the points of TMCGTT…I want to show how diverse geeky works actually are, in the perhaps vain hope of removing some of the stigma.

It’s worth noting, though, that the stigma is eroding in many fields.

TV is increasingly recognizing geeky shows as art, as I pointed out here:

The Emmys are really geeky this year…but is that new?

The Oscars are seeing more nominations for geeky movies.

It seems that, for some reason, classical music and opera have never seen fantasy elements as a disqualifier for being quality.

I do find the selection of Ishiguro, following Bob Dylan’s pick last year, fascinating. It perhaps suggest some evolution in the selection process, although this is certainly not the first Nobel laureate who has written small “f” fantasy (Rudyard Kipling won, for example, whose works include not only Fantasy, but works that are clearly science fiction, set in the future and exploring the impact of technology).

Still, it is an interesting choice and may get more people to try Kazuo Ishiguro’s unique fiction…however they categorize it.

My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)


  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon
Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT
End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

**I am not linking to this book because the publisher has chosen to block text-to-speech access. A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.



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