Reminder – BFS EGM / London open nightComments Off
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the BFS will be followed by its annual London Open Night on Friday 9 December 2011. The venue is The Mug House, London Bridge, London, SE1 2PF. The EGM starts at 6:00pm and the open night starts at 7:30pm.
The open night will involve the usual mix of book launches (by Pendragon Press and PS Publishing amongst others), general chit-chat, and a little drinking! All welcome.
Fifth update from Acting Chair Graham Joyce.Comments Off
I previously announced that nominations for vacant BFS committee positions would close on 18th November. The nominations are in and I am delighted to announce that all vacant positions for the BFS committee have been filled. I’m thrilled that we do have very high calibre and experienced people joining the committee in every position. There will be a formal ratification at the EGM on December 9th but since none of the positions are contested there will be no ballot.
Thus the new committee members who will serve until the AGM held at Fantasycon in September are:
Chairperson: Lee Harris, nominated by Paul Cornell and seconded by Philip Lunt
Treasurer: Amanda Rutter, nominated by Suzanne MacLeod, seconded by Neil Ford
Secretary: Marion Pitman, nominated by Tina Rath and seconded by Jan Edwards
Awards Administrator: Sarah Ann Watts, nominated by James Bennett, seconded by Lawrence Watts
Publicity Officer: Lizzie Barrett, nominated by Jared Shurin and seconded by Lou Morgan
Stock Holder Christopher Teague continues in position. The committee is also comprised of the editors of the Society publications Lou Morgan (Prism) and Guy Adams (Dark Horizons); the website administrator (Del Lakin Smith); Events organiser (Martin Roberts); and Online News organiser (Caroline Callaghan).
Congratulations to the new officers. I hope members agree this is a fantastic new-look team. Please offer every support to them in their efforts!
More on the awards in a couple of days.
Booking opens for FantasyCon 2012Comments Off
Booking for FantasyCon 2012 (27 to 30 September 2012, Royal Albion Hotel, Brighton) is now live HERE
FantasyCon 2012Comments Off
We are delighted to announce that British FantasyCon will be returning to the historic seaside city of Brighton in 2012.
Membership rates and hotel booking details will be posted on the site in late November, while a rough programming grid is now available.
We will also be announcing an exciting range of Guests of Honour covering the entire spectrum and history of the fantastic arts in literature, publishing and the media.
Anyone who signed-up to the now-cancelled Corby event at this year’s FantasyCon will be offered the opportunity to convert their membership to Brighton 2012 or will receive a full refund. Please wait to be contacted.
BFS Extraordinary General Meeting(2)
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society has been scheduled to take place at 6:30pm on Friday 9 December 2011. The venue is The Mug House near London Bridge. Directions to the venue can be found online at the BFS website.
The meeting will seek to elect new officers to the Committee of the BFS and will consider a proposal to reorganise the BFS awards.
I currently have nominations for all Committee places with the exception of the post of Secretary. If you are interested in standing for any of the positions available please let me have your nomination accompanied by the names of at least two supporting members, together with a manifesto of your aims. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 18 November.
Regarding the proposal for reforming the awards, you are encouraged to take part in the online survey (go to http://bfawards.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/index.php?sid=26915) We will use the data returned to propose a new formulation. That formulation will then be put to the EGM on 9 December.
Members unable to attend the EGM in person will be able to vote electronically.
Graham Joyce, Acting Chair
The British Fantasy Awards Survey.Comments Off
We are running a survey to collect thoughts and opinions from BFS members and Fantasycon attendees to help us define the future of the British Fantasy Awards.
The survey is now available on-line at http://bfawards.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/index.php?sid=26915&lang=en
The survey is open to all BFS members and registered attendees of Fantasycon for the years of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Tate Gallery John Martin exhibition – discount for BFS membersComments Off
Now at Tate Britain
Until 15 January 2012
(offer available until 30 November 2011)
Visionary, eccentric, populist and epic, John Martin was a controversial but key figure in nineteenth century art. Like his canvases, this wildly dramatic artist with his visions of heaven and hell, was larger than life.
Organised in partnership with the Laing gallery, Newcastle, this is the first major exhibition dedicated to Martin’s work in over 30 years. It brings together his most famous paintings of apocalyptic destruction and biblical disaster from collections around the world, as well as previously unseen and newly-restored works.
This exhibition presents a spectacular vision, capturing the full drama and impact of John Martin’s paintings as they were originally displayed. Just as in the nineteenth century, these epic and often astounding works must be seen to be believed.
British Fantasy Society Members can now purchase tickets for the concessionary rate of £10.90 (offer available until 30 November 2011)
Book now at www.tate.org.uk
Or call 020 7887 8998
(see BFS email newsletter to all members for special discount code to quote)
NOTE – booking fee applies
Open 10:00 – 18:00 Saturday – Thursday, and late on Fridays until 22:00
Tate Britain, London, SW1
Terms and conditions:
This offer is available on full price tickets only to John Martin: Apocalypse at Tate Britain until 30 November 2011 only. This offer is available via phone or online (£1.50 booking fee per transaction applies). Tickets usually £12.70. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts or promotions. No cash alternatives. Subject to availability. The promoter reserves the right to cancel this offer at any time. Cannot be used for group bookings.
Fourth Update from the Acting Chair Graham Joyce(1)
The Awards Review.
I undertook to review and overhaul the BFS Awards. The old system that served us for such a long time had a hole punched in it this year. It was always a vulnerable system and with its weakness to “boosting” votes now only too exposed, it is in my view irreparable. I have consulted widely and I must say I have had terrific input and support from people connected with the Clarke Awards, the BSFA and SF Awards Watch. There appear to be more voting systems at large than there are denominations of the Protestant church but there are some great ideas around, even if some are contradictory. So here is the plan.
Stage 1: Before coming up with a new system I need to collect some hard data from the Society’s membership about your preferences. We will conduct an online survey of the Society’s membership and we will use the data returned to propose a new formulation.
Stage 2: The new formulation, whatever it is, will be put together by a small working group of “wise men and women” in response to the data.
Stage 3: That formulation will then be put to the EGM on December 9th. We will also collect votes electronically.
It won’t be possible to come up with a system that satisfies everyone. But it will be possible to come up with a system that has the consent of most of the Society.
The survey will also go to attendees of Fantasycon 2010, 2011 and 2012 who are not BFS members.
Why a survey not a vote? The logic of this is that Fantasycon attendees are entitled to vote on the awards and I feel they are entitled to express a preference. (Though of course Fcon attendees who are not BFS members are constitutionally not permitted to vote on EGM or AGM motions, so will not be able to vote on the final proposal.)
The survey will go out later this month and will close after a week. The motion for a new system will be assembled and published in readiness for the EGM. The proposed timetable for all this is as follows:
Monday 24 October: Post Survey online
Monday 31 October: Close survey
November 18: Working group makes recommendation. Recommendation posted.
December 9: Electronic ballot to close before EGM. Electronic votes and live votes tallied at EGM.
Third Update From Acting Chair Graham JoyceComments Off
Almost everyone who was in Brighton this year will be delighted to know that Fantasycon 2012 will return there next year. After the organisers of the Corby event pulled out we were left in a precarious situation. Our President Ramsey Campbell went down on his knees to every team we thought might take on the convention. For most people it was just too late, but the organisers of this year’s convention staged a rescue mission and we’re very grateful to them. The dates of the convention will be Thursday, September 27th – Sunday, September 30th. We once again have the Royal Albion as the main convention hotel and the Royal York as the overflow hotel. Both hotels have agreed to hold their rates to 2011 prices.
Anyone who signed up for Corby who is not happy with the Brighton venue will be refunded.
I must say I was originally critical of the Brighton as a venue (too South/London-centric) though having gone there I had to eat my words. The numbers attending and the presence of publishers, editors and agents challenged my thinking. However, after World Fantasy in 2013 my personal view is that we should try to alternate between Brighton and a North/Midlands venue.
If you wonder how the venue or location for a Fantasycon is chosen, let me say it is often by default. If you want to bid to host a Fantasycon, you need to get a team in place, identify a suitable venue, outline costs and make a presentation to the BFS committee of what you can offer. It’s a huge amount of work but it really is wide open to a bid.
Quite a few people outside the Society were unhappy at my assertion that I will listen more attentively to the wishes of BFS members ahead of non-members. That’s not to say we aren’t interested in constructive criticism from outside the Society, and I’m happy to report that for every individual currently wanting to shout slogans at us from the internet we have ten people offering support, help or pledging to re-subscribe. I predict really good things ahead.
Speaking of which I have so far made two strong appointments to the Committee to fill vacant jobs. I’m pleased to say that professional accountant and respected blogger Amanda Rutter will serve as Acting Treasurer up to the EGM; and PR professional Lizzie Barrett – equally well-known in genre networks – will serve as Acting Publicity Officer. Both Amanda and Lizzie are more Fantasy minded – as per my pledge in my first statement. Hopefully they will want to continue in post after the AGM. More interim appointments to come.
Onwards and upwards.
Second Update from Acting Chair Graham Joyce(1)
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the BFS will take place on Friday 9 December in London, ahead of the Open Evening at The Mug House, under Tower Bridge. The meeting will start at 6.00pm. The Open Evening will begin at 7.30. Many people have expressed an interest in attending. I will open a thread on the Forum or on the BFS Facebook page and I’d be grateful if you could indicate if you plan to come. We may need to change the meeting venue and this will help us with numbers. An agenda for the meeting will be posted here in advance.
It has been heartwarming to get the messages of support and the pledges of re-subscription to the Society. A number of very fine people have stepped forward to offer their help and I’m conducting an inventory to see how we can best make use of the skills on offer.
On the Awards I’ve been flooded with detailed ideas about how we should change the way they are ordered (note to non-members: thank you for your interest though I’d be happier if you were prepared to subscribe before dispensing lengthy advice). Nevertheless I will sift, consult and explore all ideas. I will then form a small working-group to come back with a recommendation. Any new system will be honour-bound to deal with the current Fantasy-Horror imbalance.
Regarding the breakdown of this year’s Awards I have been asked what is being done. Sam Stone publicly returned her award, so I contacted the shortlisted authors to ask if they wanted me to examine the ballot to make a re-award. All the shortlisted authors indicated they would prefer this not to happen and that they would prefer no award to be given. Therefore this year the record will indicate *NO AWARD*. There is uncertainty about whether Sam Stone returned the Short Story Award at the same time as the Novel award. Identical conditions applied in both categories so I am assuming this to be the case unless I am told otherwise. Regarding all the awards received by the Telos imprint I have received no information, therefore all these awards stand as announced. I hope we can now consider the matter of this year’s awards CLOSED.
We are lucky indeed to have the service of Del-Lakin Smith to maintain our web presence. The committee has commissioned Del to set up an online database and subscription point, which will relieve the Membership Secretary of much paperwork. Debbie Bennett has done fantastic ‘invisible’ work on this over the years, and before she steps down Debbie is working with Del to set up this technology.
Change is afoot, too, for the BFS journal. New Horizons is to be rested after Andrew Hook’s terrific work. Reviews are to transfer from Prism to a fully-linked online venue. Prism will be dedicated to non-fiction articles about the genre and will merge with Dark Horizons.
STOP PRESS! In the next journal best-selling Heroic Fantasy author James Barclay will launch a series of Masterclass articles with “How To Write a Fight!” James, widely acclaimed for his expertise in the staging of combat scenes will distil for us some his knowledge and experience. This series, exclusive to members of the BFS, will offer writing insights invaluable to all writers and fascinating to all readers.
Watch this space for further updates.