Author Topic: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?  (Read 51469 times)

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2011, 06:51:24 pm »
Another way this could solve lots of arguments is have the awards split into different sections

Best Horror Novel, Short Story, Anthology
Best Fantasy Novel, Short Story, Anthology
Best Sci-Fi etc, etc

Then small press, newcomer awards etc covers all genres.

A little bit more work perhaps, but takes the fire out of all this genre vagueness or apparent one-sidedness?


Again, Johnny has come up with some very interesting ideas, imo.
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Offline johnny mains

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2011, 07:05:38 pm »
You could go further - create The Chartered Institute of British Fantasy and have have an award ceremony where awards are given for excellence within any field under this banner - though this would only really work for mainstream presses or small presses (also professional film makers and screen writers) that consistently bring out a quality product. A membership fee that would be high, but after the gathered get their moneys worth, the remaining money is used specifically to develop and nurture upcoming talent. You could get all the major publishers who publish horror involved, plus even a few distributors, the networks would be bigger, more jobs could possibly be created, new ideas forged.

A fool's dream maybe, but one I quite like!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 07:15:35 pm by johnny mains »
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Offline CarolineC

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2011, 07:40:02 pm »
Here's a thought ... prompted in my mind by someone on another forum asking what the BFS does for members. First, just to say that I'm now on the committee (since Sunday) so I don't know if I should be poking my nose in here, but I just wanted to throw in some of my own ideas for consideration - nothing to do with my committee role whatsoever.

Anyway, I was thinking ... does the BFS actually *need* to dish out awards? I mean, is it essential for the image of the society to do awards at all? Are they more trouble than they're worth (this isn't the first year there's been controversy over them, and it probably won't be the last)? Would time/effort (and money?) spent on awards be better spent on specific services to members, or on producing more publications, or on something else which the membership considers more worthwhile to them?

Maybe this needs a different thread? If so, let me know and I'll start one up ...

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Offline CarolineC

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2011, 07:40:52 pm »
btw Johnny, great to see Back From the Dead win its award.  :)
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Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2011, 10:36:41 pm »
Another way this could solve lots of arguments is have the awards split into different sections

Best Horror Novel, Short Story, Anthology
Best Fantasy Novel, Short Story, Anthology
Best Sci-Fi etc, etc

Then small press, newcomer awards etc covers all genres.

A little bit more work perhaps, but takes the fire out of all this genre vagueness or apparent one-sidedness?

All those awards would bankrupt the BFS -- cost of making the awards isn't cheap, I'm afraid.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #65 on: October 06, 2011, 10:39:17 pm »
Oh Caroline, awards are nice things to dish out. Just wish more members participated -- and then we might get a good x-section of the Fantasy genre in the shortlist.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2011, 10:56:07 pm »
Another rule change I have been thinking about suggesting for a while is a variation of the Joanna Russ amendment (http://blogs.feministsf.net/?p=1235). I would love to see the British Fantasy Awards adopt the Russ amendment itself, but I don't think that's ever going to happen... I would suggest that a variation might work very well for us - let's call it the Conan amendment:

Quote
If there is no work of heroic or epic fantasy on the best novel shortlist, the highest nominee of that type should also be listed (giving six nominees).

It's a simple, practical change that would be fairly straightforward to implement. It would guarantee at least one fantasy-fantasy novel on the shortlist every single year - and if that was combined with a panel of judges looking at the final round, it would have a fair chance of winning.

This would be much better than introducing a separate award, and it could possibly be applied to other categories as well.

(Edited to give the suggested amendment a name.)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 06:39:39 pm by Stephen Theaker »

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2011, 11:06:24 pm »
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All those awards would bankrupt the BFS -- cost of making the awards isn't cheap, I'm afraid.

I think award recipients would appreciate them just as much with a simple certificate.
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Offline joshua rainbird

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2011, 01:13:48 am »
just an idea while we're at it - and a little distraction from the debate about the novel award -  considering that the BFS has just dropped two categories from the list (film and TV) and considering that the BFS regards itself as primarily celebrating the literary market why not be more transparent about this ?

The British Fantasy [Society?] Book Awards

the best artist award could be slightly amended to cover art, book illustration or literature inspired art/sculpture/installation/whatever with a fantasy theme   :-\
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2011, 05:47:09 am »
Stephen Ė you say the problem this year was "about a group of members with a shared interest in seeing particular people win," are you accusing David of wrongdoing, or accusing Sam and David's friends of cronyism?

Itís right at the end of that very, very long post, but I did say:

Quote
While I'm disappointed by the results, I have no doubt that they would have been precisely the same if I had still been awards administrator.

The Awards Constitution does provide for an audit of the awards to be done upon request, but I donít think anyone, not even Stephen Jones, has suggested that David might have fiddled the figures.

As for cronyism, no, that isnít a word I would use, because that implies a shady nod and a wink, a knowledge that youíre doing something wrong. I donít believe that there was any conscious desire to subvert the process here - they wanted Sam, David etc to win so they voted for them.

Offline disrepdog

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2011, 07:53:42 am »
Right briefly as I'm meant to be off to work!

If they awards stay as one vote per member it will stay as a popularity contest as I don't believe the voters will read all the shortlisted books/stories.

To be a valid juried panel it needs respected people outside the BFS committee to be on it. This could be respected reviewers as they'll have likely read the books anyway so not so much extra work. Plus maybe a random generated member of the BFS or two to get the for want of a better wod lay person's view.

The awards themselvs don't have to be expensive to make. For a start pick one design and stick with it then get a bulk order done. Works for the Oscars.....

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2011, 09:00:41 am »
Quote: "A few people have said it would be impractical to exclude BFS committee members and their family members from the awards due to lack of volunteers."

If committee members or their partners are excluded from the awards, would they want to be on that committee? BFS publications are not eligible already ... to exclude someone's story published in a Stephen Jones anthology, for example, would be wrong. There is an argument that the only person who should be excluded from winning an award is the administrator of the awards.


Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2011, 09:08:35 am »
If the BFS is going to present awards, let's have them as objects of desire, not pieces of paper. If the BFS wishes to be seen as important in Fantasy -- it does, doesn't it? -- the award has to look prestigious.

As for costs. It's not a simple matter of picking a design off a shelf and buying a hundred of them. At the moment they are designed and then cast individually. I do know that David has been looking for alternative suppliers but that route hasn't been fully investigated.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2011, 09:14:17 am »
If the BFS is going to present awards, let's have them as objects of desire, not pieces of paper. If the BFS wishes to be seen as important in Fantasy -- it does, doesn't it? -- the award has to look prestigious.

Sorry, I completely disagee with that.  I think being awarded something by a prestigious organisation is prestige enough. Most 'concrete' awards look cheap anyway, however much they cost.
The important point is now building back that very prestige for the BFS, following that ostensibly damaging downgrade by the Guardian yesterday.
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Offline jim mcleod

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2011, 09:19:03 am »
Why don't we use the review team more, I sure if you look at what books all us reviewers  choose to review fall into a pattern.  Why don't the review team nominate their favourite books of the year to the panel.  The panel then formulates a short list.  With each of the reviewers having a set number of books on the short list.  This could help to bring a more varied short list.


I voted, I hadn't read all of the books, and I never will.  I'm not interested in Science Fiction, an the only fantasy I read is that of the David Gemmill variety