Author Topic: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards  (Read 79622 times)

Offline DavidJHowe

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2011, 05:47:03 pm »
I think we all know perfectly well what canvassing is without having to define it.
I disagree Graham which is why I asked the question.

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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 05:50:51 pm »
Stephen, It might comes as a shock to you but not everyone is out to fix or game these awards.  The vast majority of the members of this Society are decent, trustworthy people of integrity who just want an award to reflect quality in the genre and who have no interest in subverting the process.  If Ididn't think that I wouldn't have spent all this time looking for a new system.  In fact if i didn't think that I wouldn't want to stay involved with this Society, which I very much do. 

I'd best not try to persuade you otherwise, then!

But still: the shortlist under this system is much more vulnerable to that kind of thing than the one it's replacing. And surely that was the whole point of changing it?

Offline Grafire

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 05:51:24 pm »
Ok if you insist.
If a jury sees that a book of very poor or only entry-level quality has somehow made it onto a shortlist of very good books they might, on mature reflection, suspect some canvassing has gone on.

Offline DavidJHowe

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 05:53:25 pm »
Ok if you insist.
If a jury sees that a book of very poor or only entry-level quality has somehow made it onto a shortlist of very good books they might, on mature reflection, suspect some canvassing has gone on.
So they don't actually need evidence of it?

It's just if the jury thinks a book isn't very good?

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Offline Grafire

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2011, 05:54:52 pm »
Stephen, you're overlooking the fact that the jury has every reasonable prospect of comprising decent people who are not motivated by cynicism and cronyism, and that they have to be in unanimous agreement to dispose of a nomination.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2011, 05:55:40 pm »
Stephen, you're overlooking the fact that the jury has every reasonable prospect of comprising decent people who are not motivated by cynicism and cronyism, and that they have to be in unanimous agreement to dispose of a nomination.

 ???

Do you mean David?

Offline Grafire

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2011, 05:56:26 pm »
what?

Offline Grafire

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2011, 05:58:56 pm »
For God's sake Stephen. I can't believe you said that.
All right, I've had my say.  I'll leave it to others now.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2011, 06:04:24 pm »
Eh? You can't believe I said what?

I didn't see how what you were saying about the honesty of the jury related to what I was talking about, but could see how it related to what David was saying...

Offline Amanda Rutter

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2011, 08:12:46 pm »
I just think it is worth pointing out the following:

1) These proposals came as a result of a number of people making suggestions.

2) The proposals were agreed and ratified by a group of people who have a vast amount of knowledge of the SFF scene.

There might be some disappointment with the wording of certain parts of the statement (i.e. the jury being able to remove a book from the shortlist), but remember that it has been considered just how to put this into motion. All members of the jury have to agree to remove this book before it would happen. With the type of ethical, credible people who would be asked to take their turn as members of the jury, I honestly don't think it would be a frequent occurence.

The committee is more than happy to hear constructive suggestions, of course, but, with something like this being introduced as a fresh endeavour, the proof is going to be in the performance. We can all come up with 'what ifs' and imagining various scenarios right now, but they might not be factors at all.

I think a better use of time is to think about the type of novels/written work/artwork etc that should feature and be awarded in the future by the BFS. How can we showcase the procedure and garner as many votes as possible to build a shortlist in each category to be proud of. I think we, as a committee, would be enormously grateful for that sort of effort  :)

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2011, 08:15:52 pm »
You're likely to end up with shortlists made up of items that randomly got three recommendations when other stuff got two.

To illustrate this point, I had a look at the recommendations for best novel in 2010 - and remember that this is when when people could recommend as many titles as they wanted, not just three.

One novel got six recommendations, one got four, and then four books got three - after that there were lots that got one or two. The recommendations are spread so thinly that the eventual shortlist under this proposed new system could end up being pretty random.

That does raise one other question - if there's a tie, how to decide between the tied books? We could easily end up with a dozen books that all got two or three recommendations...

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2011, 08:38:11 pm »
There might be some disappointment with the wording of certain parts of the statement (i.e. the jury being able to remove a book from the shortlist), but remember that it has been considered just how to put this into motion. All members of the jury have to agree to remove this book before it would happen. With the type of ethical, credible people who would be asked to take their turn as members of the jury, I honestly don't think it would be a frequent occurence.

The committee is more than happy to hear constructive suggestions, of course, but, with something like this being introduced as a fresh endeavour, the proof is going to be in the performance. We can all come up with 'what ifs' and imagining various scenarios right now, but they might not be factors at all.

It's not the wording that David has objected to, so much as the principle. And although David and I haven't seen eye to eye on much this past year, I have to say I'm close to agreeing with him on that. If transparency is the goal, is secretly removing some items from the shortlist without any right to reply really the right way to go?

I think David is right to point these issues out. We're about to vote on this proposal - this is the time when members can discuss any problems with the suggested procedure, and those of us with past experience of running the awards are bound to have something to contribute at this point. I feel rather like you're telling us to be quiet and assume our betters know best.

Offline Debbie

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2011, 08:47:55 pm »
I'm a bit confused as to why it's recommended that the British Fantasy Society have a novel award for horror as well as one for fantasy? Especially since the survey said most people wanted just the one novel award (122 people - one novel award, 109 people - two or more novel awards). I'm curious as to what the thinking was behind this?

Offline joshua rainbird

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2011, 09:03:17 pm »
Stage 2: The Jury
A Jury of three or five readers shall have the power to add up to two further nominations if they so wish.  The Jury shall decide a winner from the shortlist.  The Jury’s decisions shall be final.

I'd like a little more info about the mechanics of this.  Could a wild card that is the least voted upon be bumped up or are we talking about near misses ?  :)
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Offline Amanda Rutter

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Re: Overhaul of the British Fantasy Awards
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2011, 09:17:46 pm »
To be fair, Stephen, you're not going to be voting for the WHOLE thing. You'll be making three votes, if I read correctly.

1 vote is on accepting a juried award. 1 vote is on splitting the best novel into two prizes - 1 for horror and 1 for fantasy.

The third vote is concerning the recommendations. If there are issues in that part that you don't like, then don't vote in favour. That is, after all, what a democratic decision entails  :)