Author Topic: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane  (Read 23256 times)

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2013, 12:48:19 PM »
Although a great fan of Joel and his work, I don't know why we name the awards at all in people's names. It tends, sooner or later, to complicate things with changing times, changing fashions etc.
So, why not be simple, Best Novel (without division), Best Collection, Best Anthology etc.? And I speak as an earlier winner of the Karl Edward Wagner award! :|
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Offline David A. Riley

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2013, 01:06:44 PM »
The August Derleth Award is a prime example of that, Des. He was very relevant back when he died, with numerous anthologies out bearing his name, not to mention collections of his own and even the odd novel or two (usually collaborations with Lovecraft), plus Arkham House was a major publisher of genre material at that time. Much though I respect his legacy, I doubt many members of the BFS are all that familiar with him now - if at all - and as far as I'm aware all of his anthologies, collections, etc fell out of print decades ago.

The HWA held a ballot of its entire membership to agree on the name Stoker for all their awards. The Mystery Writers have the Edgar (after Poe). There is, of course, the David Gemmell Award for fantasy novels. This is self financing and not tied in to any other organisation.

Possibly the BFS is unusual in having awards named after so many different people.




Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2013, 03:34:34 PM »
I rather things be done (whatever the "things" are) on merit rather than because of gender imbalance. However, Stephen is quite right in highlighting this gender imbalance in the naming of our awards and I think this is an area that can (should) be addressed. There is also the balance between the wings of fantasy -- from dark to light -- and I guess we need to consider that, too.

Des, I doubt that the Best Novel Award could be reunited again, although that is my preference in an ideal world, where enough people vote to ensure a wide range of fantasy is represented in the short list.
 

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2013, 04:29:49 PM »
I rather things be done (whatever the "things" are) on merit rather than because of gender imbalance. [...]
Des, I doubt that the Best Novel Award could be reunited again, although that is my preference in an ideal world, where enough people vote to ensure a wide range of fantasy is represented in the short list.
 

These two issues are perhaps related, I feel, with regard to forced quotas?
But that discussion, I feel, needs a different thread to this Joel Lane one.
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2013, 10:05:01 PM »
Not many members post on this forum. When I mentioned it on facebook it got over 50 positive responses. Many from writers we all know. Whether they are members or not I can't say....hence it would be good to have a vote on it.

I think most of the AGM regulars do post here, at least every now and then. I can see why so many of your Facebook friends clicked like - it was a very sweet idea, and no one had yet explained why we might not want to do it. When later on you posted on Facebook to say the BFS committee wasn't keen, it looks like there were more people saying they agreed with us than saying we'd got it wrong (though of course privacy settings may mean I'm getting a misleading impression).

If it's proposed and seconded at the AGM, there will be a vote, don't worry. I might be wrong about the outcome. You've got nine months to build support for the proposal. Lots of new people might shrug off their hangovers and turn up at next year's AGM (which would be very welcome) and vote it through. I'm just saying that it might be a good idea for you to explore other options, especially if you already think a year is too long to wait, because renaming a BFS award can't possibly happen any sooner than that, and might not happen even then.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2013, 10:56:00 PM »
On the split novel issue, we do also have two awards for short story collections, two awards for short stories of various lengths, and another award that usually goes to magazines that publish short stories. You could argue that, in comparison, novels are relatively under-represented!

Though I didn't vote for the novel award to be split, because of the problems with the original proposal, I think it's working well now that the two categories are entirely separate. The fantasy novel category was much more popular with voters this year than the horror novel category. I would have to look properly at the spread of votes in each to be sure, but that's got me wondering whether the previous preponderance of horror in the best novel category wasn't down to a bias against fantasy in the society, as people often thought, but rather down to fantasy fans having a wider range of big, popular books to choose from, thus spreading their votes more thinly.

Anyway, as I'm sure you all know, the same goes for re-merging the novels as for Allyson's idea - any member who wants to could propose re-merging the novel categories at the next AGM. One thing I'm likely to propose next year is to have AGM proposals sent in writing to the awards administrator rather than the chair, to keep things clear. I still like the idea of giving the vote to former award winners and jurors, but I'm not ready to propose it yet.

Offline allybird

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2013, 12:02:34 AM »
'When later on you posted on Facebook to say the BFS committee wasn't keen, it looks like there were more people saying they agreed with us than saying we'd got it wrong (though of course privacy settings may mean I'm getting a misleading impression).'

That is a later post. 2nd Dec.  Yes. The message was 'Some people may not be able to see this attachment because of its privacy settings.' I'd shared it from the earlier post (new heading comment) but fb would not transfer the positive responses etc.

Before that I'd posted this....28th Nov. 'Can we please have a The British Fantasy Society award for collection or short story named after Joel Lane ? To hear his name read out each year would mean a lot. He's influenced so many of us.'

That is the one which has the many (now 60 plus) positive comments and responses.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 12:28:36 AM by allybird »

Offline allybird

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2013, 12:50:25 AM »
Why not have a short EGM just before the Christmas party on the 13th? Vote on it there?

'Members unable to attend the EGM in person will be able to vote electronically.'

Add to it an electronic vote like in this...

http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3114.0
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:13:13 AM by allybird »

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2013, 07:47:11 AM »
I agree with Ally (though I'm probably a lapsed member of the BFS by now), surely an EGM could be called to put this to the vote? I was under the impression that the BFS was - being under new management - going to try to change its 'communication with members' problem. In recent years, there's been a distinct lack of communication with members and I thought it was the intention to try to change that. Surely putting this to the vote would be a good first step in that regard? Of course, if the majority of members say "no" then so be it - but please do communicate with members, not just continue to ignore them. I'm certainly waiting to see if the BFS does improve its communication before I renew my membership - and I reckon a lot of other lapsed members will be doing the same.

Ally - I have another idea (which I'll also post on your FB comment too). I remember you saying that several publishers intend to publish anthologies in Joel's memory, and I think you said it might be better if they all pooled together and did just one. Well, might that 'coming together' of publishers be used to form an award in his name? Perhaps several publishers could club together - sharing the workload and financing - to produce and judge such an award? And maybe the BFS would be kind enough to allow that award to be presented at the BFAs next year - even though it isn't a BFA in its own right? Just a thought anyway. I have no idea if it's feasible.

I didn't know Joel very well - only through his writing and his contribution to the Ramsey Campbell Message Board - but he seemed to me to be the kind of person who would have wanted to bring people together. What better way to bring them together than to have a number of folk in the genre (writers, readers and publishers) working on an award like this?
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2013, 09:07:40 AM »
That is a later post. 2nd Dec.  Yes. The message was 'Some people may not be able to see this attachment because of its privacy settings.' I'd shared it from the earlier post (new heading comment) but fb would not transfer the positive responses etc.

No, I'm not talking about your re-sharing of your own thread, Allyson, I'm referring to your separate post that passed on the news that the BFS committee was not keen. Sarah Pinborough and Charles Rudkin commented to say that they agreed with our decision, both posts picking up a few likes. No one, last I looked, said there that we were wrong.

Look, you might be right, and the 50 or 60 likes you've got on your private Facebook thread from your 1,647 Facebook friends may translate into votes at next year's AGM. We don't need to agree on that. I don't support the proposal, but I don't get to pick and choose what proposals the AGM considers.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2013, 09:12:16 AM »
Why not have a short EGM just before the Christmas party on the 13th? Vote on it there?

'Members unable to attend the EGM in person will be able to vote electronically.'

Add to it an electronic vote like in this...

http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3114.0

The E in EGM stands for Extraordinary. This is not an extraordinary or emergency proposal. It can wait perfectly well until the AGM. If it's a good idea now, it'll be a good idea in September. Also, the membership has to be given a month's notice of an EGM, ruling out the Xmas Open Night. And the committee has no reason to call an EGM solely to consider a proposal none of us support - especially one that would be so damaging for the society's reputation on gender issues.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2013, 09:36:22 AM »
I agree with Ally (though I'm probably a lapsed member of the BFS by now), surely an EGM could be called to put this to the vote? I was under the impression that the BFS was - being under new management - going to try to change its 'communication with members' problem. In recent years, there's been a distinct lack of communication with members and I thought it was the intention to try to change that. Surely putting this to the vote would be a good first step in that regard? Of course, if the majority of members say "no" then so be it - but please do communicate with members, not just continue to ignore them. I'm certainly waiting to see if the BFS does improve its communication before I renew my membership - and I reckon a lot of other lapsed members will be doing the same.

Ally - I have another idea (which I'll also post on your FB comment too). I remember you saying that several publishers intend to publish anthologies in Joel's memory, and I think you said it might be better if they all pooled together and did just one. Well, might that 'coming together' of publishers be used to form an award in his name? Perhaps several publishers could club together - sharing the workload and financing - to produce and judge such an award? And maybe the BFS would be kind enough to allow that award to be presented at the BFAs next year - even though it isn't a BFA in its own right? Just a thought anyway. I have no idea if it's feasible.

I didn't know Joel very well - only through his writing and his contribution to the Ramsey Campbell Message Board - but he seemed to me to be the kind of person who would have wanted to bring people together. What better way to bring them together than to have a number of folk in the genre (writers, readers and publishers) working on an award like this?

I'm sorry if there has been a lack of communication regarding the awards over the past year. Yes, a standalone award in Joel's name is a much better idea than tagging his name to a BFA award, for all the reasons already given by myself and others in this thread. I suggested a Joel Lane Award above and offered my support. No, we wouldn't have it presented at the same time as the BFAs, but as I said above I'd imagine that a slot could be found for its presentation in the Joel Lane Bar at FantasyCon 2014.

I think it's unfair to describe us as ignoring members, if the only place they are said to have expressed their thoughts is by liking a private Facebook thread on Allyson's wall, one I only was only able to read because Ranjna showed it to me! If people want their Facebook threads to be regarded as part of a public conversation, those threads should be public, otherwise it's just muttering behind the bike sheds. I think it's unfair to suggest the BFS should base its policies on a Facebook thread which many of our members cannot read.

In fact, far from ignoring the proposal, the BFS committee discussed it straight away and came back to Allyson with our thoughts. Disagreeing with something isn't the same thing as ignoring it. I've also put in a good deal of time here explaining how Allyson and the proposal's supporters can go about getting this proposal into the rules, despite my opposition to it. If you want this proposal to happen, join the society and vote for it. And vote in next year's awards: not to be mawkish, but the best time to honour writers is when they're still around to know they're being honoured.

Offline allybird

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2013, 09:45:44 AM »
'No, I'm not talking about your re-sharing of your own thread, Allyson, I'm referring to your separate post that passed on the news that the BFS committee was not keen. Sarah Pinborough and Charles Rudkin commented to say that they agreed with our decision, both posts picking up a few likes. No one, last I looked, said there that we were wrong.'

I know which thread you are referring to the 2nd but the earlier thread 28th Nov has the positive comments including one from Ramsey and Stephen Volk... amongst others. Have you not seen this post on my wall? They said what they wanted to say on that post.

'That is the one which has the many (now 60 plus) positive comments and responses.'

'If people want their Facebook threads to be regarded as part of a public conversation, those threads should be public, otherwise it's just muttering behind the bike sheds. I think it's unfair to suggest the BFS should base its policies on a Facebook thread which many of our members cannot read.'

It is public. How on earth could I simply paste this on here. And Stephen. 'muttering behind the bike sheds' is a very poor choice of words.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 10:20:42 AM by allybird »

Offline allybird

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2013, 10:06:48 AM »
Caroline. All interesting points. But I think it would be quite difficult to bring the numbers of press who are considering bringing out the tribute anthologies together and we already have BFS awards in place well suited for the purpose. The small press find it difficult enough to survive as it is.. the award for Best collection I'm suggesting could be in the actual award ceremony each year.  And not just one off... It could be in the actual award ceremony each year.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Proposing an award named for Joel Lane
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2013, 10:14:38 AM »
I know which thread you are referring to the 2nd but the earlier thread 28th Nov has the positive comments including one from Ramsey and Stephen Volk... amongst others. Have you not seen this post on my wall?

Yes, I have seen it - as I've said, although it's a private post, Ranjna showed it to me. In the post above, the one you were replying to, I contrasted that initial, positive reaction to your first mention of the idea, to the more measured reaction to the later post where you said the BFS committee wasn't keen.

I've also seen where you said, "I know but those few on the BFS forum are not getting it at all", which I think is rather unfair. You've not said a word here to counter the reasons I've given for not supporting the proposal, and I've noticed that when you've quoted me on Facebook, you've been careful to avoid quoting those reasons!

Unfortunately, your selective quotation on Facebook of my forum posts may give your friends the impression that I'm against the proposal because I don't think it has popular support, whereas as you know I'm against it for the same reason I was against the Robert Holdstock award: if we want to shake our reputation for sexism, we shouldn't name any more of our awards after men.

Also, as Des and David point out above, that we have individual awards named after anyone at all is quite peculiar. I don't think it's something we should double down on.