BSFA Awards announced

Hello avid readers of BSFA news…

News? What news? Most of you know this already thanks to Twitter, and some of you have been wondering where our very own announcements about our awards have been hiding. Worry not, they are right here! I only had my poxy Android phone in Bradford, out of battery, out of signal, and with inbuilt fat-thumb typo-inducing tendencies. So I’ve made you wait. It’s worth it though…

On Sunday 31st March, the BSFA Awards ceremony took place at the 64th Eastercon EightSquared in Bradford.

The hall filled up with people as the theme for the evening was played: Heather Fenoughty’s piece composed for the Clarke and BSFA Awards based on Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s most quoted laws:


  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Paul Cornell, author of London Falling and the comic series Saucer Country (which was just nominated for a Hugo this weekend!!!) MC’d the ceremony, assisted by artist Anne Sudworth, author Freda Warrington, critic Edward James and the science fiction behemoth Stephen Baxter, who presented Best Art, Best Non-Fiction, Best Short Fiction and Best Novel respectively.

(and Paul was very funny, cracking gags about comedic inoffensiveness.)

The nominated works in each category were (winners in bold):

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 Fiction


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 Hi-Fi 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 World SF Blog have written about their win on their website, which can be read here:

Short Fiction Award winner, Ian Sales, said he was “over the Moon!” and went on to say, “The result was a huge surprise, very happy for many reasons: BSFA is an award I’ve always held in wide regard and one I’ve felt most aligned with, and also I’m glad that the artistic choices I made in ‘Adrift’ were appreciated.”

Chief Editor of the World SF Blog, Lavie Tidhar, tweeted he was “delighted to be extending dialogue around speculative fiction, diversity still sorely in short supply – global voices need to be heard.” Also he was “grateful to members of BSFA and Eastercon for recognising work last four years.”

Best Novel winner, Adam Roberts tweeted he had had “a fairly long writing career, but never before won any kind of award; I couldn’t be happier my first is a BSFA.”

Donna Scott, who it was announced at the ceremony would be stepping down from the role of Awards Administrator to take over from Ian Whates as Chair of the BSFA in June, said of Adam Roberts’ win: “Jack Glass is an amazing book which successfully blends crime and science fiction into a triptych of appealing narratives concerning – of all things – a sociopathic protagonist. It’s highly intelligent and skilful storytelling. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book goes on to win more awards. Adam Roberts must surely soon be recognised by the literary establishment as one of the finest writers we currently have working in the English language.”

(Yep – quoting myself in the 3rd person there. Hey – and thanks for all the messages of support. I’ll try my best for you!)

The winners all received a fabulous trophy designed by Dan Brodie and Lauren Hubbard of Skulls and Robots in Northampton.

Also announced at the ceremony were the winners of the James White Award for new short fiction, which was presented by previous winner of the BSFA Short Fiction Award and James White Award judge, Aliette de Bodard.

The winner was Shannon Fay, from Halifax in Canada with her story “You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete”, winning £300 and publication of her story in Interzone, and the runner-up was Philip Suggars from Brighton, with “Automatic Diamanté”, who won £100.

I was really pleased with how the ceremony went, but must apologize to anyone waiting for snippets of our Tweetfiction happening – due to technical issues we were unable to bring you any live tweets during the actual ceremony, but we were re-tweeting them as fast as our little thumbs could go. Some of them are just  – wow amazing wow! Check out #tbsfa to read stuff like “@davecl42’s “The boats raced on, not realising that the first kraken to visit the Thames in a millenium would find them ideal as toothpicks” or @simonings’ “Tobias disconnected the catheter, levered himself from the chair, grabbed the frame and, wheezing, went to join his playmates” and even shortlisted BSFA writers were having a go – “It was easier to imagine the end of capitalism than to imagine the end of the world, Zizek admitted. We agreed. ‘NEXT!'” – thanks @amendlocke (Ken Macleod!). Could you do better? We’re going on until April 10th – so keep tweeting!

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About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?