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 â€œboostingâ€ 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 Societyâ€™s membership about your preferences. We will conduct an online survey of the Societyâ€™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 â€œwise men and womenâ€ 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 wonâ€™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.