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Authors criticise BBC over 'shabby' book coverage

19th April 2011

A number of leading authors, including Iain M. Banks and Michael Moorcock have criticised the BBC for its dismissive coverage of genre fiction during World Book Night.

According to the authors, the BBC adopted a 'sneering tone' during its The Books We Really Read: A Culture Show Special and New Novelists: 12 Of The Best programmes in an attempt to undermine commercial fiction and the impact that it has had on modern literature.

Some 85 authors signed an angry letter addressed to BBC director-general Mark Thompson, which claimed that the 'shabby treatment of genre fiction' was counterproductive.

They claimed that World Book Night should be used to encourage people to read novels, not ridicule their choices by pandering to literary experts.

Fantasy author Stephen Hunt, who wrote the joint letter, said: 'The failure to feature a single work from the three genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction was a disgrace.'

He concluded that the 'unbalanced' representation of contemporary literature says more about the BBC than it does about the book-reading public.

Hunt's latest novel, Secrets of the Fire Sea was released in paperback this February and has proved extremely popular. 

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