It’s that time of year again. At last night’s meeting, Ian Snell, the BSFA Awards Administrator, handed round forms to remind everyone to start nominating for the BSFA Awards. For any new members reading, it works like this: there are awards for Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Non-Fiction, and Best Artwork; for Best Novel the work has to be published in the UK, otherwise they can be available anywhere; you can nominate as many things as you want in each category; the five in each category with the most nominations go forward to form the shortlist, which is subsequently voted on (by STV). In short, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year; you can nominate whenever you encounter something you think is worthy of shortlisting. Continuing the theme of last night’s meeting, I thought I’d throw up some potential artwork nominations.
The artwork award is open to any single science fictional or fantastic image that first appeared in 2006. Again, provided the artwork hasn’t been published before 2006 it doesn’t matter where it appears.
As with most things related to the BSFA, the definition of “single science fictional or fantastic image” tends to be pretty flexible. Admittedly, the last couple of winners (Pawel Lewandoski’s cover for Interzone 200, and Stephan Martiniere’s cover for Newton’s Wake) have been traditionally science-fictional landscapes, but in the same period nominees have also included a Frank Quitely double-spread from We3, and even a photograph of the Millau Bridge.
So here’s what’s been catching my eye.
Magazine covers, left to right: Interzone 206 (let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with a giant robot), Farthing 2 (although covers for the other issues have been nifty, too) and Postscripts 6 (probably the least exciting of the three, but nicely composed, I think). Illustrations for individual stories (such as those occasionally used by Strange Horizons, or as standard in recent issues of Interzone) are also worth looking at.
Book covers, left to right: US cover for River of Gods; Stephan Martiniere doing what he does best. I love the washed-out look of the Rainbows End cover (if you ignore the text all over it, anyway), and the UK cover of Black Juice struck me as being much more evocative of the stories it contains than the US or Australian editions. The cover for Nova Swing left me cold the first time I saw it, but it’s grown on me. Irene Gallo’s blog often features rather lovely covers … but fairly often they’re rather lovely covers for books that aren’t published yet.
And finally, whatever the merits of the film, I do love this poster:
Now, here’s where I throw it open to the floor. What artwork has been grabbing your attention this year? Don’t worry if you’re not a member; maybe someone who is will like your suggestion, and end up nominating it. That email address in full: BSFA.Awards@gmail.com.