Author Topic: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?  (Read 48372 times)

Offline Jen

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #105 on: October 11, 2011, 09:12:56 pm »
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I get what you say about men vs women and their reading preferences so a jury has to be carefully selected, but still think a couple of BFS members on a jury could be good. (btw I'm clearly an exception as despite being a woman I read epic/military fantasy, sci fi, horror and am never likely to pick up a paranormal romance

Shouldn't be that hard to get neutral jurors from within the BFS - by way of example - the BFS Best Newcomer jury this year was three women, and a horror chap won; last year the jury was two women and a man, and a female fantasy writer won.  We've strived to be completely unbiased in our reading of the submitted books despite any personal preferences for particular authors. 

I think it was Tim Lebbon who said somewhere on facebook that being one of the judges on a reading jury gives a weight of responsibility to see it done right.  (Possibly on that epic length comment thread of Sarah Pinborough's)
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Offline Jen

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #106 on: October 11, 2011, 09:19:15 pm »
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Regarding broader award practicalities - can I suggest that consultation with Tom Hunter (Clarke award admin) and Donna Scott (BSFA award admin) would be invaluable in a discussion of the way the awards should run?

Possibly consultation with Cheryl Morgan as well, since she's got the experience with the Hugos and has said on her blog she'd be willing to give advice.

Offline Phil Lunt

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #107 on: October 12, 2011, 12:09:45 am »
I've thought a tiered price with an opt in/out for publications a good idea but it may be that that will cause the end of the publications due to lack of funds.

Don't want to drag it too O/T but, basically, it needn't cause the end of the BFS publications, just a change in the delivery of them. People who want to receive dead tree copies could pay extra, those who don't could Pay less and then just receive a PDF via email (I say PDF as ePub/mobi versions would require further work from the print set-up). Something like this could be implemented easily.

Offline J Naylor

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #108 on: October 12, 2011, 11:42:55 am »
This was suggested at the AGM Philatron and the response was that to be workable there is a minimum print run on hardcopy journals etc.  If too many people opt for the PDF version then it would make production of a printed version untenable.   
(Consider the merits of it as you will.)
Perhaps membership pricing levels are best discussed on a seperate thread.  Note that the current constitution says that membership prices are set by the committee not the membership/AGM.  There was a groundswell at the AGM objecting to price increases in membership.  Perhaps this is a constitutional issue that needs to be floated at an EGM restoring control to the membership.

Offline Phil Lunt

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #109 on: October 12, 2011, 12:23:13 pm »
This was suggested at the AGM Philatron and the response was that to be workable there is a minimum print run on hardcopy journals etc.  If too many people opt for the PDF version then it would make production of a printed version untenable.

Admittedly, yes, getting a few hundred copies printed would cost less per copy than if only 50 were printed, for example, but then maybe quotes should be requested from printers to keep on top of things. I've a few years experience of graphic design and print as well as doing work for non-profit orgs so I know what it can be like...

Offline Jen

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #110 on: October 12, 2011, 12:33:48 pm »
This was suggested at the AGM Philatron and the response was that to be workable there is a minimum print run on hardcopy journals etc.  If too many people opt for the PDF version then it would make production of a printed version untenable.

Admittedly, yes, getting a few hundred copies printed would cost less per copy than if only 50 were printed, for example, but then maybe quotes should be requested from printers to keep on top of things. I've a few years experience of graphic design and print as well as doing work for non-profit orgs so I know what it can be like...

Although the case could made that since most of the membership prefer the dead-tree versions of things (at least according to the mutterings in the AGM, personally I prefer the Kindle edition of the Journal I've been getting!), then the e-membership variant could attract additional new members on top of the usual crowd, so the print runs remain relatively stable.  And since hikes in membership fees are purely to cover the postage costs, then adding in e-memberships gives more wiggle room for keeping rates stable.  And might even tempt more overseas members if they can be getting their e-membership for a similar rate as the UK.

(And this really needs a thread of its own, doesn't it.)

Offline Phil Lunt

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #111 on: October 12, 2011, 12:42:19 pm »
Although the case could made that since most of the membership prefer the dead-tree versions of things (at least according to the mutterings in the AGM, personally I prefer the Kindle edition of the Journal I've been getting!), then the e-membership variant could attract additional new members on top of the usual crowd, so the print runs remain relatively stable.  And since hikes in membership fees are purely to cover the postage costs, then adding in e-memberships gives more wiggle room for keeping rates stable.  And might even tempt more overseas members if they can be getting their e-membership for a similar rate as the UK.

(And this really needs a thread of its own, doesn't it.)

Spot on, Jen!

(And, yeah, Del should be able to do a thread split and make a new thread out of this, I think :D )

Offline Jen

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #112 on: October 12, 2011, 12:49:19 pm »
Although the case could made that since most of the membership prefer the dead-tree versions of things (at least according to the mutterings in the AGM, personally I prefer the Kindle edition of the Journal I've been getting!), then the e-membership variant could attract additional new members on top of the usual crowd, so the print runs remain relatively stable.  And since hikes in membership fees are purely to cover the postage costs, then adding in e-memberships gives more wiggle room for keeping rates stable.  And might even tempt more overseas members if they can be getting their e-membership for a similar rate as the UK.

(And this really needs a thread of its own, doesn't it.)

Spot on, Jen!

(And, yeah, Del should be able to do a thread split and make a new thread out of this, I think :D )

Started a new thread in the Suggestions board!  :-*

Offline Jen

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #113 on: October 12, 2011, 01:06:15 pm »
Sooo, back to the awards...  :)

Not keen on the publishing industry creating the longlist - the ethos of the awards is that they're the BFS members choices.  Would much prefer for the longlist to be from suggestions by the members with the shortlist voted on by a jury that includes outside professionals as well as at least one BFS person to retain the connection. 

Have we thought about doing what the Hugos/Worldcon do and offering up supporting membership of Fcon with voting/rec rights to open up the voting pool a bit more?

Offline David A. Riley

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #114 on: October 12, 2011, 03:35:55 pm »
Luckily I missed all the fuss over the British Fantasy Awards this time, being abroad, but I have done my best to catch up with the arguments.

Personally, though I don't value the awards as much as some people obviously do, I like the idea that the Fantasy Awards are chosen by the members of the BFS and FantasyCon rather than some elitist jury. I believe this is one of the few privileges that should be retained by the membership and not handed over just because this time a number of people aren't happy with some of the winners. It was a freak result this time. Things like this can happen whatever system is decided on, but at least it is the democratic decision of the members. Look at the controversy over the Booker Award this year. There'll always be malcontents, whatever system we choose.

The grumblings of some people, perhaps agitated by sour grapes, will be no more than a a nine day wonder. It's a pity that one winner felt compelled to hand her award back. It's a pity that our chairman felt compelled to resign after an otherwise successful year. It's an even worse pity that some newspapers decided to take it up. I don't for one second believe there was any impropriety involved and cannot see why we can't continue as before.

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #115 on: October 12, 2011, 04:19:25 pm »
Personally, though I don't value the awards as much as some people obviously do, I like the idea that the Fantasy Awards are chosen by the members of the BFS and FantasyCon rather than some elitist jury.

I agree with the thrust of what you're saying, David.
Whatever the system, there should be no complaints about the results, unless the system was evidentially contravened.
But under the present system, I see each BFS member as effectively acting as a member of a jury (elitist or otherwise) but without reading all the candidate books!
des
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 04:21:49 pm by Nemonymous »
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Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #116 on: October 14, 2011, 08:28:49 am »
I personally don't mind either way, but I'm confused about the officially intended state of privacy of this forum - and I thought others may be under a wrong inmpression about its status now following the conversation earlier on this thread.
The forum was originally publicly viewable, then it was changed to privately viewable (for quite a long while), i.e. private only to registered members of the forum when they are logged in - but then publicly viewable again (without announcement) and it is stil publicly viewable as far as I can tell.
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Offline Del Lakin-Smith

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #117 on: October 14, 2011, 11:13:41 am »
I personally don't mind either way, but I'm confused about the officially intended state of privacy of this forum - and I thought others may be under a wrong inmpression about its status now following the conversation earlier on this thread.
The forum was originally publicly viewable, then it was changed to privately viewable (for quite a long while), i.e. private only to registered members of the forum when they are logged in - but then publicly viewable again (without announcement) and it is stil publicly viewable as far as I can tell.

The forum is openly viewable to all. But you have to register to post. I don't know why it was made private, I was not involved in any conversation about it being made private, but that can come about when you have multiple administrators of a forum making decisions for the members.

I can see the merits of having a BFS members section that is closed to the outside world, but I am loathe to make any changes without consultation.

I am sorry if you feel that it was changed without announcement. That was not my intention. When I migrated the forum from one host to another there were a number of settings that did not carry through. I assume things that were not stored in the database, and this was something I assumed happened at that time. Hence me changing it to be open.

I hope that clarifies.

Del.


Offline Des Lewis

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #118 on: October 14, 2011, 11:27:44 am »
I hope that clarifies.

Thanks, Del. Yes it does. As I said, I wasn't worried but I thought others might not know it was now public and is remaining public.
des
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 11:32:29 am by Nemonymous »
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: The Awards, should we change the way they are decided?
« Reply #119 on: October 14, 2011, 01:30:34 pm »
Thinking back, Del, I think it was just something that happened when David was looking for a way to reduce spam. There wasn't a committee decision to make it closed to guests or anything.