Author Topic: David Gemmell Memorial Award  (Read 29064 times)

Offline Stan Nicholls

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David Gemmell Memorial Award
« on: August 21, 2006, 02:19:26 pm »
A very lively exchange is ongoing in this forum under the topic heading A General Observation on Awards Questionnaires.  Several issues of importance concerning the BFS and its ethos are being discussed, and I?d urge everyone to read and consider the thread, and contribute their thoughts. 

I thought it might be useful to disentangle one aspect of the discussion and make it easier to find for those who may be interested.
 
Fantasy author David Lee Stone has suggested the establishment of a David Gemmell Memorial Award, to be incorporated in the British Fantasy Awards given annually at Fantasycon.  The proposed award would be voted for by British Fantasy Society members, as currently happens with all the other categories.  One idea being promoted is that the award should be for Best Newcomer in the fantasy fiction field, and all novels in that category would be eligible for nomination by the membership. 

The Fantasycon committee have kindly agreed to discuss the proposal at their AGM during this year?s convention (Nottingham, 22nd-24th September). 

Given that not all BFS members, or other interested parties, will be able to attend Fantasycon, I?m starting this thread as a place where people can post their comments about the proposal.  I know the committee will take all opinions into consideration.

I'm also posting this message in the Fantasycon 2006 section, to make it more visible. 

   
SN

David Lee Stone

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 03:47:17 pm »
I'm not going to voice my views too loudly on this, for fear of starting another argument. However, I do believe that

a) There SHOULD be a David Gemmell Memorial Award and
b) It should be for HEROIC/HIGH FANTASY fiction.

I believe this because it really is the one category lacking, especially if it is true (and it probably is) that the BFS has 'slightly' more horror fans than fantasy fans
at the present time.

I see absolutely no reason not to split the categories, and - rather than cause divison - I actually think it would make the BFS seem like they at least have a strong interest and a desire to support authors of sword 'n' sorcery.









Offline neilw

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 04:16:41 pm »
I think a proposed David Gemmel Memorial award is a marvellous idea, but my preference would be for a Best Newcomer award. I feel this ties in well, as has been mentioned before, with the generous support he gave to new writers.

Sorry, David (Stone), but that seems to me to be something more worthy of rewarding than any particular branch of fantasy. I don't really understand why you believe that high/heroic fantasy requires special attention over other sub-genres - say, magical realism, paranormal romance, the ghost story, science fantasy, or whatever - any of which might be supposed to get less BFS exposure than both Horror and "Fantasy with swords and that".

I've already posted elsewhere that I was glad to see that this years BFA shortlist has a fairly even distribution of fantasy types in the best novel category (although I'm not so convinced by some of the other categories).  I've only read one of the novels on the list, but I trust the membership that they're all there on merit. For my money heroic fantasy novels have to work very hard to get nominated for awards because they come from (and I said "for my money", but there are strong arguments) such derivative general stock. It's good to see that the members think that Martin and Chadbourn are managing to find new and exciting seams in that well mined sub-genre.

But new writers - well, you've already championed them in another thread. Wouldn't this be as good a way of acknowledging good work as profiling the winner of a story competition?

And for the record, I think any award for new writer should look at the Campbell award for suggested qualification criteria - for instance, recognition for both novels and a body of short story work.

Offline Lermontov

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 05:03:00 pm »
I will reiterate my support for 'The David Gemmell Memorial Award for Best Newcomer', to be awarded across the broad spectrum of fantasy and horror related literature. There's no reason why it should not be for a novel, or short stories or novella or even perhaps for an artist. But it should first and foremost celebrate a newcomer to the varied field (and any number of blurrings and crossovers that inevitiably entails).

With respect (yet again, David!) where do you stop when you start dividing things off into main (that label is arguable) and sub-genres? Eventually there will be nit-picking distinctions having to be made and awards not only for Heroic Fantasy and High Fantasy but Epic Fantasy, too.

'Best Newcomer' surely makes sense. God knows (whichever one or ones you fancy, or not, as the case may be) it's hard enough for newly published authors and artists (and not necessarily young ones either) to make their mark and gain a foothold and some acknowledgement, as it is. It would surely be the most worthy award if a new one is put in place and the one most likely to strengthen, enrich and expand the entire field of fantasy related fiction and art.

David Lee Stone

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 05:24:34 pm »
 ;D

Thanks for keeping the respect going, Lermon - if you think I'm annoying on FORUMS, wait 'til you meet me in person. I tell ya, Gollum has NOTHING on my six personalities.

Precious.

On a serious note, I understand that not one, not two, but THREE people - one a published author of heroic fantasy - are waiting to get their forum registrations approved so they can enter this discussion. Any chance of speeding the process along and letting these folks in? Ta.


« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 06:31:03 pm by David Lee Stone »

drosdelnoch

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 08:37:22 pm »
Hi,
Ive been following this thread since its previous incarnation.  I have been collecting some fans email addys that are interested in showing thier support, however they felt that it would state the case better having one person championing them rather than the deluge of posts just requesting that the idea is given serious consideration. 

If it helps Dave, I can email yourself or Stan with the names and email addys of fans who would welcome the David Gemmell award.

As to Gollum, Dave, well lets just say that the support that Im hearing would mean that the BFS had better keep away from the "Gates" as the fans would make the Nadir look like they were off for a picnic.  LOL  Seriously though the support is coming in for this award.  In particular for Heroic Fantasy as that is what David was best known for, however I think a number of fans would also support the new writers catagory with David having supported the Hasting Writing competition for years as well as giving support to all writers when they were having a hard time.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with Dave in his hotel room during one of his tours about the whole genre, writing tips for areas where I had gotten bogged down with a clear path out, information about how to get published as well as talking the time to talk through problems that he had encountered with writing and how to best campaign for publication.  Its really a shame that he could never write a book now full of his advice it was so damn helpful.  Whilst Im not published yet, the epic I have planned (and Im currently writing) should it ever get anywhere is down to Davids advice.

Once again, Im in favour of this and I know a number of other fans who feel the same.


David Lee Stone

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 08:50:42 pm »
 ;D

Deb Miller is - I believe - also trying to join the forum to voice her support. I've also had support from Luke Masters and Luke North and their social group 'The Boneheads' - all ardent fans of Terry Pratchett, apparently.

By all means send through the email addresses, etc....and we'll see what we can do.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 08:54:20 pm by David Lee Stone »

Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 08:56:53 pm »
The only note of caution is the cost. I know I've mentioned this before, but money is evil that why I avoid it.

Personally I would not start splitting areas/ genres, leave that to the publishers.

I think there should be a David Gemmell Memorial Award. If not Newcomer than an existing award should be named in has honour.

Ideally it would be for Newcomer, personally I'd have it open to all areas of the genres the BFS covers and expand it to other areas of the arts, IE not just writing, whether short story, novel, editing but also comics, artists, plays and people working in the genre in film, TV and yes you guessed it Radio.

We have noted genre directors and actors so why not radio producers and writers.

In radio I would point out Marty Ross, new genre writing on radio. He was behind the Ghost Zone on BBC radio 7, more of a Quatermass SF style thing as a remote Scottish village is cut off after a meteor strike. Plus he was involved in The Darkerside of The Border on radio 4 a while back that adapted tales by Stevenson, Conan Doyle and wonderfully Jame Hogg's The Brownie of the Black Hags.


I know we don't have the award yet but it never hurts to get in early with nominees.

Dros get the people to post individually it will give more power to the movement. Members count and the more the merrier.

Wayne.

Peter

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 09:41:08 pm »
There is nobody waiting on approval. I check this at least once per day. So unless they're Russian spammers in their other incarnations they're in

David Lee Stone

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 10:08:04 pm »
I stand by my belief that the award in David's name should be for the type of novel he wrote himself.....and not yet another excuse for yet another category that ends up being dominated by horror fiction.

This year's list has shown that horror vastly outweighs fantasy in practically EVERY category. A newcomer award - with SO many small/independent press outlets dedicated to horror - would be utterly WEIGHED down with same.


DebsM

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 10:40:27 pm »
Hi there! I'm in! Thanks for processing my request so quickly.

For what it's worth, this is my opinion on the Award.
YES - there must be one.
I am with Davey on this. I feel that it should be for a Fantasy Novel - termed 'Traditonal,' Heroic' or 'Epic' (Henceforth refered to as 'T.H.E.')

My reasoning is:
1/ There are other, established and prestigious awards already in existance for a debut novel, including, I believe, the August Derleth Award which the BFS administers. (I stand to be corrected on the details of this if necessary - I'm typing from memory.)

2/ T.H.E. is quite possibly the least lauded (although widely loved!) aspect of the Fantasy genre - most often passed over in favour of work (which IS excellent - I am not disputing that) which is considered more intellectual or literary. I am sorry if that sounds an unpalatable truth, but trust me, it IS true. Ask yourself how many Hugos, World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards etc, did David acrue in his lifetime. Any guesses?

(I won't bang on about this, it would simply derail the discussion & it is a whole genre-wide issue. And I'm not raising it in any point-scoring way either - just stating the truth as I see it.) All I will say is - Give us this - DG dedicated his life to writing this kind of Fantasy because he believed in the power of pure, epic fiction to move people. And that's good enough for me.

3/ See above: David Gemmell wrote T.H.E. Fantasy. The Award would not simply be about the recipient but to HONOUR THE MEMORY OF DAVID and keep the spirit of his writing alive within the genre.

I would be interested in knowing if other Fantasy authors agreed with me on this? It seems common sense to me.
Thanks for listening.

DJM
www.deborahjmiller.com



Offline neilw

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 10:02:10 am »
Hiya Debs

Good to see you here (and will I see you at Fantasycon?).

However, as the the debate at hand. I remain to be convinced that T.H.E. (as you succinctly put it) is more deserving of a separate reward than any other form of the fantastic. David Lee Stone has, I think, tended to oversimplify the case that the BFS is dominated by Horror, leaving "Fantasy" (by which he means T.H.E., and about which he clearly cares *deeply*) the poor relation. But there are many other types of fantasy that have surely been are equally neglected if that is the case.

I agree with David (and I said this above in this thread) that while there was a healthy spread of voting in the Novel category for this year's awards, the rest of the voting does seem disappointingly skewed towards Horror. So what would happen do you think if a new award was created for best T.H.E. Fantasy novel? I worry that it would almost guarantee that the August Derleth Best Novel award would be Horror or Dark Fantasy.  And where does that leave all the really good stuff in between?

The other issue is one of "perceived standing". Would a Gemmell award for T.H.E. have equal standing with the Best Novel award, or would it be "well, it's only a Gemmell"? If you wrote a really great T.H.E. book, could you win both?

However, all that is my personal opinion (as every member is entitled to - it may not make sense, but it's mine). To re-cap though, I'd create a Newcomer award to honour Gemmell as I think it would do more good for people's careers and it would not be limited to one aspect of what the society is supposed to be all about.

In my view, the best solution to the so-called skewed-to-horror problem is to persuade all T.H.E. Fantasy fans that clearly have been stirred into activity by this debate to join the BFS (if they haven't already) and make their votes count both in terms of the awards and in terms of how the society operates.

Offline Lermontov

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 10:30:30 am »
Quote
Thanks for keeping the respect going, Lermon - if you think I'm annoying on FORUMS, wait 'til you meet me in person. I tell ya, Gollum has NOTHING on my six personalities.

No worries, David. You have no further need to convince me of that!  :) ;)

I think Neil makes some very pertinent points and I'm continuing to root for a 'Best Newcomer' award.

I really can't see the sense of an award for 'Best Trilogy' as this becomes even more prescriptive than a 'T.H.E.' . How many trilogies are completed every year? What about books that go beyond trilogies and become four, five, six etc. books?

Best Newcomer seems the most productive and inclusive award, surely? And not simply because I suggested it and that I am an unpublished writer of fantasy fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DebsM

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 10:47:45 am »


In my view, the best solution to the so-called skewed-to-horror problem is to persuade all T.H.E. Fantasy fans that clearly have been stirred into activity by this debate to join the BFS (if they haven't already) and make their votes count both in terms of the awards and in terms of how the society operates.

Hiya Neil - You make a REALLY good point here & I am suitably chastised!  :)
However, my feeling remains that if the Memorial Award is not given for T.H.E, nothing will change. Certainly not the perception that the BFS is skewed toward Dark Fantasy and Horror - perhaps that's why many Heroic/Epic authors do not join? I can only speak for myself & say, that is the case for myself... (But I will now, promise - I realise these things become self-perpetuating.)

I do hope to see you at FantasyCon - will have my FanGirl hat on - always wanted to meet Clive Barker!
Cheers
Debs

Offline neilw

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Re: David Gemmell Memorial Award
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2006, 11:38:33 am »
Aw Debbie, c'mon, no chastisement here.   :-[

It's a good debate and it's worth having. I know you and a lot of David's friends and fans feel very strongly about commemorating him, and it just seems to me that the best way of doing that is turning up with armed your opinions and arguments and enthusiasm as vested members at the BFS AGM during Fantasycon.

It's called democracy, dammit! :D


You have a Fangirl hat? Does it have a secret camera and a special pocket for an autograph book?

I'll be there with the rest of a small Glasgow delegation.

neil