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)

The Kitschies 2012 Finalists

The Kitschies 2012 Finalists were announced a week ago, on the same day as the BSFA 2012 shortlists. In exactly a month, on February 26th, the winners of the Kitschies will be announced – giving us only a month in which to ponder the strange and unexpected patterns thrown out by filtered groups of six novels. (In contrast, we have until late March to contemplate what the BSFA shortlists Mean, and the Clarke and Hugo shortlists are yet to come.)

This is the yearly game of literary award shortlist watchers: explain the nature of the voting membership/judges/panel from a list of four to six items. No bonus points for it reaffirming how the group/organisation conforms to whatever stereotypes it has.

The Kitschies have two different judging panels, one for the novels and another for the cover art. Rebecca Levene, Patrick Ness and Jared Shurin filtered out the following from the 211 submissions for 2012:

The Red Tentacle (Novel)

Jesse Bullington, The Folly of the World (Orbit)
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker (William Heinemann)
Frances Hardinge, A Face Like Glass (Macmillan Children’s)
Adam Roberts, Jack Glass (Gollancz)
Julie Zeh (translated by Sally-Ann Spencer), The Method (Harvill Secker)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut):

Madeline Ashby, vN (Angry Robot)
Jenni Fagan, The Panopticon (William Heinemann)
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina (Doubleday)
Karen Lord, Redemption in Indigo (Jo Fletcher Books)
Tom Pollock, The City’s Son (Jo Fletcher Books)

Meanwhile, Lauren O’Farrell, Gary Northfield and Ed Warren had the task of shortlisting cover art.

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art):

Tom Gauld, Costume Not Included by Matthew Hughes (Angry Robot)
Oliver Jeffers, The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne (Doubleday)
Dave Shelton, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton (David Fickling Books)
Peter Mendelsund, The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus (Granta)
La Boca, The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)

A question I have been somewhat idly pondering: does the cover art panel also need to read all the eligible submissions, in order to see how well the cover has synergies with the book’s contents? Or does the Inky Tentacle go to the cover whose progressiveness, intelligence, and entertainingness are self-sufficient unto it? They are rather different ways of judging the material.

Some of the discussions of the Kitschies shortlists so far, including in the post comments (with lots of bonus BSFA shortlist discussions!):
Niall Harrison at Strange Horizons.
David Hebblethwaithe at Follow the Thread.
Martin Petto at Everything is Nice on the art awards.

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