Voting for the short lists of the BSFA Awards is open for members to vote until the 5th of February.
You can find the 2020 longlists here.
To vote for your choices, please use this form.
This year’s British Science Fiction Association Annual General Meeting is being held online on Discord. The Agenda and links to attend are included below:
BSFA Annual General Meeting
23rd of August at 2.30pm until 5.30pm. To be held online.
Discord Link – https://discord.gg/hfaHTWV
The new constitution is being proposed for adoption and acceptance by the Association with immediate effect.
Agenda item to be led by the BSFA Treasurer.
Elected a BSFA Councillor under a temporary mandate at the EGM. Luke Nicklin has been performing the duties of the membership officer over the last six months and is overseeing the transition to the new website and new database.
These roles to be specified as indicated.
List of motions under item 7:
i) This Association resolves to offer support-in-kind to BAME fans of science fiction.
ii) This Association resolves to offer financial support to BAME convention-goers.
iii) This Association resolves to consult with BAME members of the UK science fiction community.
iv) This Association resolves to create the role of Diversity Officer, and for this to be an elected role.
v) This Association resolves to make charitable donations to anti-racist causes.
We will be conducting business using Discord’s audio channel, with a text chat channel also available for members to ask questions if they would prefer to type rather than speak.
We will be using a dot system (..) to recognise members when they want to ask a question and we will be recording the proceedings for ease of producing the minutes afterwards.
The procedure for this is below:
Standard etiquette in these meetings is to stay on mute until you’re the one speaking.
We’ll be recording the audio channel for the purposes of getting the minutes right. Everyone will be made aware of this. The recording will go to Luke for doing this and then deleted.
We’ll be operating a dot system on Discord. This means you type a dot in the chat room and that indicates you have raised your hand to ask a question. As soon as there’s a moment for that question, I’ll give you the floor. You can either say it in the audio channel or type it out and we’ll read it out and try to answer it.
With regards to motions, the process is fairly straightforward. Things are proposed, then seconded. If there is no objection, the motion is carried. If there is an objection, we go to a floor vote. To poll these I’ll be asking people to indicate their vote in the chat channel. If there are questions about a specific area of the BSFA that someone wants to answer, again, dot system. Type two dots and I’ll give you the floor.
This year’s BSFA Awards have been announced. You can watch and listen to the Awards announcement here.
My apologies for the technical delay in getting this live, but we’re there and congratulations to all of our nominees and award winners.
In these difficult times, you may find yourself stuck for something to read, to listen to, or to watch. Many generous writers, podcasters and other content creators are donating their work to help us all stay amused, entertained and active. The BSFA will be compiling a list of all the donated works you can access. The first few will appear below and then we will be moving them to a permanent page on the website.
So, here’s an opportunity to find a great new story, catch up with some of your favourites, or dig back into some wonderful work that you’d forgotten how much you enjoyed.
To start with, we have the wonderful open access archive of the BSFA publication Vector being produced by FANAC. There are plans for nearly sixty years of issues to be digitised into a free archive that you can read.
The BSFA Review began life as the reviews section of Vector, and became its own digital publication in 2017. The current editor is Susan Oke.
BSFA member, Chad Dixon has provided links to all the BSFA interviews he has audio recorded.
Professor Adam Roberts is our first invited guest on the BSFA Lockdown Solidarity Salon. His reading was broadcast live on 27th of March 2020. You can access the recording here.
DOWNDRAUGHT by Gareth L. Powell
Access the PDF
Gareth is also doing regular free readings on hie website – Find his work here.
THE TEA AND JEOPARDY ARCHIVE by Emma Newman
Access the Archive here
NOTHING TO ME by Danie Ware
Access the link
THE SLIDING VOID SERIES by Stephen Hunt
Access the link
AS I BREATHE – by Alexandra Wolfe
Access the link
THE RELIC GUILD AND OTHER STORIES – by Edward Cox
Access the link
A VERY BRITISH HISTORY – by Paul Mcauley (free from 23rd March for 5 days)
Access the Kindle ebook
2020 COLLECTION GIFT OF JOY – by Ian Whates
Access the PDF
SHEEP’S CLOTHING – by Jan Siegel
Access the PDF
Leanne Renee Hieber has put together a detailed free reading list on her website:
Access the link
ODES TO THE MULTIVERSE – by Tonya R. Moore
Access the link
THE WIZARD’S COMING – by Juliet Mckenna
Purchase the ebook for free in EPub or Mobi format here
FRIGHTFULLY COSY – by Johnny Mains
Access the PDF
LONG LIVE THE TIDAL KING – by Sarah Downes
Access the Amazon link. Free for a limited time.
SHORELINE OF INFINITY (Free Edition)
Access the link
A FUTURE PAST PRESENT – by Mark J. Howard
Free purchase from the link
THE DATA CLASS – by Ben Jeapes
Free purchase from the link
The Radio Theatre Workshop is releasing a serialised audio edition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. You can find chapter 1 here.
BSFA Member, J. R. Rooke has provided us with a poem and a short story for children.
BSFA Member Karl Drinkwater has generously donated free editions of his work.
As many of you will know, we’re currently in the process of establishing our members newsletter. This will go out every month and communicate to members their membership number and renewal date.
We intend to continue the non-members newsletter, which will contain similar content.
Unfortunately, during the transition, some issues have come up, most notably a problem between the BSFA’s Mailchimp account and several mail servers, one of which appears to be Gmail. This means when we write the newsletter and send it, Mailchimp tells us it has been sent and got through, but members report that they have not received it.
This problem is clearly not the fault of the sender or the receiver. The technology is failing us somewhere along the line, so we will continue to try and fix this.
Interestingly enough, despite this, there has actually been a reported 7% improvement on the opening of the emails with the newsletter in, which is encouraging, but lots more needs to be done.
In the meantime, the non-member’s newsletter for September will be sent out today and a link to the contents will be posted here on the website so all interested parties can access it.
The link is here – https://mailchi.mp/08c47eb2073d/bsfa-newsletter-august-3615262
Apologies for the reference to ‘August’ in the above link, that is my error.
We will continue to post the newsletter up in this way along with other website updates until we are confident the matter is fixed.
As you may have heard, over the summer there have been quite a lot of changes here at the British Science Fiction Association. One of these was the change of chairs at the AGM in June (see previous post), which has brought me, Allen Stroud in to replace outgoing (and brilliant) chair, Donna Bond.
With Donna also undergoing surgery just before the convention, a lot of plans had to be shifted around. That meant myself and my partner Karen Fishwick would be running the table for the convention. This is something we’ve done before for other organisations, but still, it would be a first for us at Worldcon for the BSFA.
The convention was held across two sites. The Covention Centre Dublin (CCD) and Point Square, a small leisure arcade just under a mile’s walk away.
There were plenty of hands to help out. The irrepressible Dave Lally acted as point of contact for the Thursday before we were able to arrive and during the rest of the weekend both he and Vector Editor, Jo Walton assisted Karen and I by taking over at times so everyone got to enjoy the convention.
Having the table in the exhibitors hall at the CCD also meant Karen and I had a good base from which to operate from before and after panels, events, and the like. It also meant we got to meet lots of really interesting people on the stands next to us. There’s some incredible work in SF going on everywhere and hopefully some of those discussions will turn into some interesting collaboration projects between the BSFA and other organisations.
Meanwhile BSFA photographer Chad Dixon roamed the convention taking plenty of excellent pictures of all that went on.
The dealers and exhibitors hall was the centerpiece of the CCD, on the ground floor of the main hall. As you walked in, right in front was a replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean, gull wing doors open and lights flashing as if it were ready to go.
A highlight over at Point Square was the art exhibition, with a huge room on the first floor devoted to displaying amazing artwork by painters, crafters, and other creatives working in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Photography of this area was restricted, but some of the lego scene exhibits at the far end were also amazing.
Around the exhibitors hall there were plenty of stands and fan tables, showcasing some of the best SF available. The former are market stalls from publishers big and small, with Gollancz and Harper Voyager running their own tables. Forbidden Planet was also there, offering a selection of everything, right alongside some fantastic Irish small presses, bookshops and an assortment of other merchants promoting a variety of writing from across the world.
Throughout the weekend, the CCD and Point Square hosted an array of fascinating activities. The variety of events meant you were always going to miss out on a few things, which really, is the sign of a good convention. A whole host of people appeared on the programme with speakers on a veritable cornucopia of subjects. I managed to present a paper on some of my research, looking at themes for Future Civilisations, took part in a discussion on mythmaking in genre fiction with the brilliant Dr. Stewart Hotston and Dr. Anna Smith Spark and I lent an opinion or two to a writing in games panel on the Sunday.
This year’s ceremony was an interesting mix of celebration and controversy. The John W. Campbell Award winner for best newcomer, Jeanette Ng, took the opportunity to (quite rightly) call out the deceased editor after whom the award was named as a fascist. After the convention, on August 27th, it was announced that the award would be renamed The Astounding Award for Best New Writer, honouring the Astounding Science Fiction magazine of which Campbell was once editor.
The complete list of Hugo Winners is here:
BEST NOVEL – The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
BEST NOVELLA – Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
BEST NOVELETTE – ‘If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,’ by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
BEST SHORT STORY – ‘A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,’ by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
BEST SERIES – Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
BEST RELATED WORK – Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
BEST GRAPHIC STORY – Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM – The Good Place: ‘Janet(s),’ written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM – Gardner Dozois
BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM – Navah Wolfe
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST – Charles Vess
BEST SEMIPROZINE – Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien
BEST FANZINE – Lady Business, editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
BEST FANCAST – Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
BEST FAN WRITER – Foz Meadows
BEST FAN ARTIST – Likhain (Mia Sereno)
BEST ART BOOK – (A one-off category created as per WSFS rules by Dublin 2019)
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press /Gollancz)
The following awards which are administered by WSFS and voted on alongside the Hugo Awards were also included in the ceremony:
LODESTAR AWARD for BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK – Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD for BEST NEW WRITER – Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
There were also some issues with the automated closed caption system provided for deaf and hard-of-hearing convention members. Again, the convention organisers did apologise for this after the awards ceremony had concluded, with the convention chair, James Bacon, taking full responsibility.
The losers’ party at Worldcon 2019 was to be held at the Guinness Brewery. However, many of the Hugo award nominees found themselves shut out of the event owing to overcrowding. This was particularly hard on them, as — after not winning the award — the way in which the science fiction community traditionally embraces nominees is normally an encouraging and positive experience. However, being stranded on the pavement looking into a party you have an invite for is not cool. This was particularly traumatic for those refused admission who had disabilities and had difficulty standing for long periods. The social media accounts and comments in person the next day revealed a great deal of anger and hurt.
Monday morning saw the convention winding to a close. Some of the Hugo attendees were understandably sore over the previous evening’s events, but continued to fulfill their commitments to the convention – a testimony to their character. Hopefully lessons will be learned and the situation improved for future years.
After packing up our fan table we left the hall to return later for the Dead Dog’s party – an after-convention celebration. This was a good opportunity to get a drink and chat with people we hadn’t had time to spend time with all weekend.
We flew home on Tuesday evening having had a great time at the event. Despite the issues mentioned, Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon was an excellent event and credit to the organisers for pulling it off.
Credit to Chad Dixon, Dan Ofer and Karen Fishwick for the pictures.
1005-1100: Panel 1 – BSFA
The Zero Sum of Literature: are some SF writers wrong to not welcome “literary” writers with open arms to the genre?
1105-1200: Interview/talk 1 – Rachel Livermore
1200-1230: SFF AGM
1300-1330: BSFA AGM
1330-1430: SFF panel – “Return to the Moon: how and why?” – GS (M), Dave Clements, Rachel Livermore
1430-1530: Interview 2 – Juliet E McKenna interviewed by Sophia McDougall.
The BSFA &SFF One Day Convention is free to attend and open to the public. The AGMs are the only parts of the day that will be members only, but are around lunchtime.
Attendees are free to spend lunch where they wish, but our lunchtime recommendation is The Queens Arms, Kensington.
The BSFA’s guest is Juliet E McKenna.
Juliet is a prolific fantasy author, whose series include The Tales of Einarinn, The Aldabreshin Compass, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, and The Hadramal Crisis. Her standalone novels include Shadow Histories of the River Kingdom (2016) and The Green Man’s Heir (2018).
Juliet will be interviewed by Sophia McDougall
Sophia is an author of the alternate history novels Romanitas, Rome Burning and Savage City, and the science-fiction novels Mars Evacuees and Space Hostages.
Advance financial statements are here. BSFA Draft Financial Statements 30_09_18
And last year’s minutes are here. BSFA AGM 2019 – Agenda and minutes 2018v2
Update: during the AGM this year, I’ll be giving a summary of reports received, but you can read the full ones here.2019 BSFA AGM agenda and Annual Reviews I will be distributing some of the proposals for constitutional change at the meeting only.