British papers seems to write about books a lot, especially genre books. I tripped over a May 10th Telegraph article about the Arthur C. Clarke Awards; according to this article, genre readers care much more about awards than mainstream readers (maybe we're obsessed with respect?). The article also made the point that while mainstream readers can look down on genre books, science fiction readers have been known to throw hissy fits when books that are not out-and-out science fiction win science fiction prizes. However, the article gives us points for realizing that "the fact that there is a spaceship in a book does not prevent it from being well written."
Here's my favorite quote from the article:
"...if you will not read a novel because it is set on another planet, or has a robot in it, you are cutting yourself off from some of the most exciting and urgent writing now being produced."