March BSFA London Meeting: The BSFA Awards – A Panel Discussion

Location: The Cellar Bar, The Argyle Public House, 1 Greville Street (off Leather Lane), London EC1N 8PQ

On Wednesday 20th March 2013,* join Donna Scott, BSFA Awards Administrator, for a lively chat all about this year’s BSFA Awards Shortlist. Joining Donna will be:

Duncan Lawie –  an SF critic and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He will also be a BSFA representative on the Arthur C Clarke Award judging panel for 2013. Speaking of the event, Duncan says, “I think there are two obvious picks for this year’s BSFA award novel – but I wonder if anyone else will agree which two.”

Duncan Lawie

Anne C. Perry – Assistant Editor at Hodder & Stoughton, commissioning genre titles, co-editor of Pornokitsch and co-founder of The Kitschies Awards.

Anne C. Perry

Jared Shurin, also co-editor of Pornokitsch and co-founder of The Kitschies Awards.

Jared Shurin

…and Kim Curran – author of thrilling new YA adventure Shift (Strange Chemistry).

Kim CurranShift

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

Map is here. Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane (Central Line).

FUTURE EVENTS:
24th April 2013 – Lavie Tidhar; interviewer TBC

22nd May 2013** – Aliette de Bodard; interviewed by Duncan Lawie

27th June 2013 – Catherynne M. Valente; interviewer TBC 

* Note that due to the proximity of Easter to the fourth Wednesday of the month, this meeting will be held on the third Wednesday.

** Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the fourth, not the last, Wednesday of the month.

(Pictures c/o, SFX, Duncan Lawie (Scott Polar Research Institute), Pornokitsch, Kim Curran)

2012 BSFA Award Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2012 BSFA Awards are out!

We’ll be sending out the now-traditional BSFA Awards booklet in February to help BSFA members consider the shortlists in more detail. The booklets will also be available at Eastercon. 2013 Eastercon members are, in addition to BSFA members, eligible to vote for the winners.

The winners will be announced at EightSquared, the 2013 Eastercon (29th March-1st April 2013), Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford this Easter, in a ceremony hosted by London Falling novelist, Paul Cornell.

The shortlisted nominees are:

Best Novel

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
Empty Space: a Haunting by M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
Intrusion by Ken Macleod (Orbit)
Jack Glass by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)

Best Short Story

Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld #69)
“The Flight of the Ravens” by Chris Butler (Immersion Press)
Song of the body Cartographer” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Phillipines Genre Stories)
“Limited Edition” by Tim Maughan (1.3, Arc Magazine)
Three Moments of an Explosion” by China Mieville (Rejectamentalist Manifesto)
Adrift on the Sea of Rains” by Ian Sales (Whippleshield Books)

 

Best Artwork

Ben Baldwin for the cover of Dark Currents (Newcon Press)
Blacksheep for the cover of Adam Roberts’s Jack Glass (Gollancz)
Dominic Harman for the cover of Eric Brown’s Helix Wars (Rebellion)
Joey Hifi for the cover of Simon Morden’s Thy Kingdom Come (Jurassic London)
Si Scott for the cover artwork for Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden (Corvus)

Best Non-Fiction

“The Complexity of the Humble Space Suit” by Karen Burnham (Rocket Science, Mutation Press)
The Widening Gyre” by Paul Kincaid (Los Angeles Review of Books)
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge University Press)
The Shortlist Project by Maureen Kincaid Speller
The World SF Blog, Chief Editor Lavie Tidhar

The official BSFA announcement post is here.

Last day to nominate for best of 2012

As of when I post this, there is slightly less than 24 hours in which to nominate the best UK sf of 2012 for the BSFA Awards.

Works nominated thus far are listed here, but don’t let that limit your suggestions. Equally, don’t assume that a book already nominated will necessarily have enough nominations to make the shortlists without your contribution. Only BSFA members can nominate, but this year’s Eastercon attendees will be able to vote as well on which piece will win each of the four awards from the most-nominated works.

P.S. I note that thus far, only four novels by women have been nominated for best novel of 2012, as opposed to 34 by men. I suspect this is the aftermath of the paucity of contracts held by UK women sf authors a couple of a years ago; but that doesn’t mean the current nominations exhaust works worth considering for nomination.

Vector 271 goes to press!

Vector 271, the last issue of 2012 (technically), is now at the publishers, along with the latest issue of Focus! They’re still on track to be delivered in January.

Speaking of BSFA mailings, we’ll be sending out the BSFA Awards Booklet in late February/early March, regardless of whether or not Vector 272 is ready to go then, to make sure members receive the booklet in plenty of time before Eastercon and the voting deadline.

What will you be voting for? Well, that depends on what’s nominated – and how frequently it’s nominated – in the first place. You have until THIS Friday, January 11th, to submit your nominations for the best novel, short story, artwork, and non-fiction work of 2012.

New Year’s Nominations

I’m a big believer in making new year’s resolutions with very clear end points. I want to know that I’ve achieved them. Move countries. Buy a scale. That kind of thing.

A good candidate for a resolution with a clear goal is award nominations. Submit at least one nomination for at least one science fiction award in 2013.

You have only ten more days to nominate works for the BSFA Awards; its deadline is January 11th. If you haven’t already, and can think of one or more worthy nominees (which you didn’t create yourself) in the categories of novel published in the UK, short story, artwork, or non-fiction, then go forth and nominate.  Don’t assume that just because someone else has

If you’re a member of 2014’s Loncon3 (and many of you are!), then you also have the right to nominate for this year’s Hugo awards. Voting on the winners is restricted to members of this year’s Worldcon, LonestarCon3, but until Sunday, March 10, 2013, 11:59 p.m. EDT, the nominations are open.

Whether or not you make a resolution to do so this year, consider nominating anyways. Relatively often, the exact makeup of the shortlists (especially for the BSFA Award, but also for some of the less-nominated-for categories of the Hugos) can be decided by a single nomination.

Happy 2013!

Updates

Vector

Thanks to the assistance of yet another layout volunteer, Vector 271, the last issue of 2012, will be coming out in January 2013, along with a guest-edited version of Focus. Vector 272 should follow a month or two later, along with the BSFA Award Booklet.

BSFA Awards Nominations

The deadline for the BSFA Awards Nominations is January 13, 2013. BSFA members should nominate early and often!  Works currently nominated are available to peruse here. Don’t take for granted that if your favourite sf book, short story, work of non-fiction, or artwork is on that list that it will receive enough nominations to make the shortlists. Equally, if a work worthy of nomination isn’t on that list, consider it your personal responsibility to nominate it so that it is.

Divine Endurance: Flowerdust Edition

Gwyneth Jones has revised her first sf novel, Divine Endurance, collating it with its companion novel Flowerdust. Divine Endurance was the first novel published under her own name, in 1984. The edited pair are available and, more specifically, available for free today on Amazon.co.uk!

BSFA Awards Winners

Congratulations to all those who won the BSFA Awards for work produced in 2011!

Best Non-Fiction: The SF Encyclopedia, third edition (beta), edited by John Clute, Peter Nicholls, David Langford and Graham Sleight.
Best Artwork: Cover of Ian Whates’s The Noise Revealed by Dominic Harman (Solaris)
Best Short Fiction: “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s, July)
Best Novel published in Britain: The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

At Eastercon, as well as four other conventions held that same weekend, the Hugo shortlists were announced. The BSFA Award winners for best non-fiction and best short fiction both made that ballot, so their fans will have another opportunity to vote for them, should they wish!

Gollancz did extremely well this year, since they host/publish The SF Encyclopedia as well as The Islanders.

P.S. Please see the BSFA’s apology for the way the awards ceremony worked out.

Advanced voting for the BSFA Awards closes today

If you’re not attending Eastercon this year, then today, Monday 2 April, is the last day to vote on the BSFA Awards, by email or online form.  If you’re attending Eastercon, you can vote on site by paper ballot up until noon on the day of the ceremony, i.e. Sunday, 8 April. Both BSFA members and Eastercon members can vote at the convention.

The newest BSFA mailing is starting to arrive, and along with it, the BSFA Awards booklet, which will hopefully help you make up your mind as to what to vote for in the Awards’ four categories.

Eastercon on track to sell out this week

For the first time ever, so far as anyone I’ve talked to can remember, Eastercon is due to sell out before the convention. This means there will be no memberships whatsoever, whether for the weekend or day passes, available at the convention itself, unless pre-bought. None at all.

If you’d like to attend this year’s BSFA Awards, on Sunday, 8 April at 6 pm at this year’s Eastercon, Olympus 2012, you’d better get your membership if you don’t already have it.

As a reminder, all Eastercon members can also vote for the BSFA Awards! But you don’t have to attend to do that, so long as you are a BSFA member and submit your votes by the 2nd of April.

If all goes to plan, you should even have the awards booklet by then. The printers started printing it this weekend.

Update: Eastercon memberships are selling fast enough that they are likely to be sold out before this time tomorrow/Tuesday!

Updates: Guess the Clarke shortlist, BSFA Awards, Spirit

It’s been an exciting week, with the guesses coming in as to what will be on this year’s Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist.

In posting her guesses to her blog as to what books might be on that shortlist, Nina Allan wrote,

What matters most about the Clarke is not who wins, but that it acts as a showcase for what is happening in SF now. As such, I believe it should take a pride in presenting writers who are prepared to risk themselves intellectually, stretch themselves imaginatively and hone their skills as writers to produce works of artistic originality and lasting literary power.

It is certainly not clear exactly which six books will be on the shortlist for this year’s, but every guess in the contest (ongoing until Sunday) is a contribution toward the wider discussion of “what is happening in SF now”.

What impresses me in particular about this year’s guesses so far is how wide-ranging they are. About two-thirds of the submitted books have appeared on one or more possible lists so far. It’s entirely possible that one or more of the currently unguessed books will be on that shortlist. Last year, only one person correctly guessed that Declare would be on it, after all.

For those of you who haven’t already entered the contest (and those of you thinking about the state of SF today), here are the currently unguessed-at books for your consideration:

Dead of Veridon by Tim Akers (Solaris)
Novahead by Steve Aylett (Scar Garden)
Sequence by Adrian Dawson (Last Passage)
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (Canongate)
Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing (Abaddon Books)
Final Days by Gary Gibson (Tor UK)
Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt (Tor UK)
The Ironclad Prophecy by Pat Kelleher (Abaddon Books)
Shift by Tim Kring and Dale Peck (Bantam)
Echo City by Tim Lebbon (Orbit)
Nemonymous Nights by D.F. Lewis (Chomu Books)
The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove (Solaris)
The Shadow of the Soul by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz)
The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky (Hodder and Stoughton)
Here Comes The Nice by Jeremy Reed (Chomu Books)
The Demi Monde: Winter by Rod Rees (Jo Fletcher Books)
War in Heaven by Gavin Smith (Gollancz)
The Noise Revealed by Ian Whates (Solaris)
Son of Heaven by David Wingrove (Corvus)

The contest is open for entries until this coming Sunday night, 11th March, at 23:59 GMT.

The Clarke Award isn’t the only thing going on right now. Hopefully, many of you are busy reading and examining the shortlists for the BSFA Awards, which will be announced on the Sunday of Eastercon this year. Forbidden Planet is offering discounts on all the novels on the shortlist. Also, the BSFA Awards short story booklet is on track to go out with the next mailing.

Finally, we never quite finished discussing all of the books we had planned to last year, here on Torque Control. We’ll be filling in those gaps this year, starting with Gwyneth Jones’ Spirit, toward the end of March.

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