The Japanese website 26 to 50 recently interviewed me about SF that’s not American-centric. Here’s a small excerpt:
To our dismay, a lot of so called World things are actually American ones. From Baseball’s World series to our genre’s Worldcon (almost) or World Fantasy Awards. How can we correct it to its real structure, into the real chaotic world?
What you’re talking about, it’s just marketing. Putting a name on something sometimes defines it in the eyes of the world. They called themselves the ‘World’ first, so they own the ‘World’. But if you think about only as marketing, it’s not that impressive. Awards are also marketing. First and foremost, they’re used for marketing. Generally, the readers (buyers) assume something is better than something else because it won an award.
You want to solve it? First, you have to get over the language barrier. The people who vote for the international prizes usually read only English. So the best Japanese SF book won’t be read by any voters unless it’s translated into English. Next, I doubt all the voters read all the books that come out that year. Again, it’s a marketing issue: you have to draw more exposure and public awareness to the books you think deserve to win.
Here’s the link to the interview in English.