Genre authors attack "sneering" WBN coverage

Authors including Iain M Banks and Michael Moorcock have written to the BBC's director general Mark Thompson, attacking the treatment of genre fiction in its recent World Book Night coverage.

In total 85 authors, across the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, signed the letter to the BBC, which said the evening of programming ignored the three genres. The letter also claimed the tone of "The Books We Really Read" Culture Show special, which examined commercial fiction, was "sneering".

Fantasy author Stephen Hunt, who organised the protest, said: "The weight that was given to the single sub-genre of literary fiction in the remaining programmes was unbalanced and unrepresentative of all but a small fraction of the country’s reading tastes."

Hunt said given the success of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, the evening of programming should have devoted more time to the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres. He said: "The sweeping under the carpet of the very genres of the imagination which engage and fire readers’ minds shows a lot more about the BBC production team’s taste in fiction than it does about what the general public is actually reading."

The BBC was unavailable for comment.