Author Topic: BFS Journal #12  (Read 12976 times)

Offline jared

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 12:15:48 PM »
I couldn't agree less.

The status quo - which isn't diverse - won't change without active intervention. As an organisation that exists for the greater good of the genre(s) and those who read, write and aspire to write in it, I believe we have both the opportunity and the obligation to 'create the world we want'.

I don't think we're going to change one another's minds through a forum argument (or ever). But I did want my objection noted, lest someone drop by and think that the BFS is of one mind about this particular subject.

Offline Jen

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2014, 04:09:22 PM »
I couldn't agree less.

The status quo - which isn't diverse - won't change without active intervention. As an organisation that exists for the greater good of the genre(s) and those who read, write and aspire to write in it, I believe we have both the opportunity and the obligation to 'create the world we want'.

I don't think we're going to change one another's minds through a forum argument (or ever). But I did want my objection noted, lest someone drop by and think that the BFS is of one mind about this particular subject.

I'm with Jared. :D  The BFS could be more diverse, and needs to be more diverse if it wants to continue to be relevant to various genre people.   (And I've spent years arguing this, so I'll not repeat it again here!)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 04:11:06 PM by Jen »

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2014, 04:12:12 PM »
I don't think it's right to assume that gender parity must be at the expense of quality - the two things aren't at loggerheads. I've never heard anyone saying that sub-standard fiction should be published to achieve parity. Rather, the idea is that editors may (at least in some publishing niches where female writers are under-represented) have to work harder to source stories of the kind they're after that are by women. Working harder, not publishing worse. As far as non-fiction goes, it's not going to compromise the quality of the publication to interview one woman for every man, unless one assumes that there are not enough women worth interviewing. The goal of people who support gender parity isn't to compromise on overall quality, but to improve it, by keeping the individual quality just as high but providing more variety.

That's not to say I think the BFS should adopt a blanket policy of gender parity, and it hasn't. What I do think is that if you're doing work for us, you get within reason to choose how to go about it, what editorial principles to adopt. But getting the work done has to come first, and it's probably best to save the advanced challenges for after you've got the hang of the basics. We stressed all of this to Max when he first brought up the idea. As it is, gender parity is a total red herring here, nothing to do with why he got into a muddle. Those who dislike gender parity seem to be latching on to it as if it's to blame, while others sympathetic to those goals may be getting the impression that this was the heroic defeat of a youthful idealist, nobly battling those old reactionaries at the BFS! Both interpretations are wrong – he just stopped working on it.

As far as the BFS moving forward goes, I don't think the society should put itself again in a position where one person can bring our entire publishing programme to a halt, because everyone's unreliable sometimes. We need more diversity and redundancy, so that if one thing gets stuck, there's something else in the pipeline - or rather, there's another entirely separate pipeline. Another issue is that people with the skills we need tend to go off and start their own small and micro presses - I'd like to see them encouraged to pitch for one-off slots on our publishing calendar, letting them contribute without making a long-term commitment. I do think something needs to change. I'm helping again for the same reason I did with #10 and #11: the membership had been told a journal was on the way, and that wasn't true, so as a committee member I felt a sense of duty to put that right. But I think we need to do something different next year.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 07:16:27 PM by Stephen Theaker »

Offline jared

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2014, 10:07:43 AM »
As far as the BFS moving forward goes, I don't think the society should put itself again in a position where one person can bring our entire publishing programme to a halt, because everyone's unreliable sometimes. We need more diversity and redundancy, so that if one thing gets stuck, there's something else in the pipeline - or rather, there's another entirely separate pipeline. Another issue is that people with the skills we need tend to go off and start their own small and micro presses - I'd like to see them encouraged to pitch for one-off slots on our publishing calendar, letting them contribute without making a long-term commitment. I do think something needs to change. I'm helping again for the same reason I did with #10 and #11: the membership had been told a journal was on the way, and that wasn't true, so as a committee member I felt a sense of duty to put that right. But I think we need to do something different next year.

That's all a very good point. And, actually, 'themed' issues with specific editors would be fun - and a nice way of keeping things interesting and keeping the membership involved. That'd be quite cool, and a way of turning something that feels like an onerous responsibility into an honour. (Basically, cool idea!)

Also, at the risk of beating a dead horse until it comes back as a zombie and is then beat to death a second time, digital publications would be nice. As would paying contributors. (I'd rather an epub with paid contributors than a glossy journal with free content. The latter may be sexier, but I like the idea of my membership dues going back to help other members with 'pro sales', rather than an anonymous printer.)

Offline Des Lewis

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2014, 11:03:22 AM »
...nobly battling those old reactionaries at the BFS!

Indeed, not all old people are reactionaries, nor all reactionaries old.  8)

I agree that, whatever one's views on 'active intervention' or quotas or political correctness, I think it is a truism to say that, in all walks of life, we should all try to avoid unfairness stemming from gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and age...
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Offline Des Lewis

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2014, 11:16:29 AM »
Thanks to all those stepping into the breach with regard to the Journal.

I personally prefer unthemed journals so that I can find my own theme when real-time reviewing their fiction. :)
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Offline Jen

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2014, 12:05:55 PM »
Also, at the risk of beating a dead horse until it comes back as a zombie and is then beat to death a second time, digital publications would be nice. As would paying contributors. (I'd rather an epub with paid contributors than a glossy journal with free content. The latter may be sexier, but I like the idea of my membership dues going back to help other members with 'pro sales', rather than an anonymous printer.)

Digital publications would be awesome.  ;D  It might be worthwhile considering paying someone to do the actual ebook creating side of things so you're not reliant on changing volunteer skills and goodwill.  And I reckon the cost of that could easily be offset by the extra income from the new people who want digital subscriptions or just from sales of ebooks of various special publications.

Actually, on that, ebooks of special pubs available to the non-member public could be a way to rejuvenate things - you could specialise in genre related how to type guides/non fiction stuff - collecting the gathered industry/craft expertise of the BFS members/ BFS friendly people and so forth. And if you do them ebook only then it saves the poor stockholder additional stress! 
Ooh, and then get them on Spacewitch so you can sell DRM free versions. 

With BFS members getting them free as part of the membership, as per.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2014, 01:02:53 PM »

Another issue is that people with the skills we need tend to go off and start their own small and micro presses - I'd like to see them encouraged to pitch for one-off slots on our publishing calendar, letting them contribute without making a long-term commitment.


I had suggested just this some time ago...

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2014, 08:50:12 AM »
When it comes to spending money, it's down to the committee member in charge of that area to make a case for it, and we're certainly persuadable, where a benefit to the membership can be demonstrated. We've paid for room hire for open nights, for example, and we were open to paying someone a small fee to typeset the journal.

I think it would require a very persuasive chair to sell the membership on paying contributors to ebook exclusives, Jared - we received some apoplectic emails about Shelflings, and that didn't cost the membership a penny! But something like a series of quarterly ebook exclusives that get collected in one print volume each year might leave everyone happy.

I'm not in principle opposed to paying journal contributors either, but there are a lot of them, and it would have to be fair and sustainable. I haven't been keen on ideas like paying for one pro author to contribute, or paying only fiction contributors. Giving journal contributors a five pound voucher off their BFS membership fees would be nice.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2014, 01:13:10 PM »
If the BFS starts paying contributors then it should consider doing the same for editors, typesetters ... maybe the chair, secretary, etc. It might make the BFS more accountable, more professional. But subs would have to increase and I suspect most people would be against that. Reductions in BFS membership -- or free membership depending on the workload -- is sensible.

Offline jared

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2014, 04:39:06 PM »
If the BFS starts paying contributors then it should consider doing the same for editors, typesetters ... maybe the chair, secretary, etc. It might make the BFS more accountable, more professional. But subs would have to increase and I suspect most people would be against that. Reductions in BFS membership -- or free membership depending on the workload -- is sensible.

That's a sensible alternative - and it would be nice to reward those who work for the society. I would think a sensible prioritisation would be creators and designers (typesetters, ebook formatters, etc) before staff. If only because of the way that looks (no one likes political bodies that vote raises for themselves, right?).

Although the benefit of giving BFS members more 'pro-paying' work is that it has a knock-on effect. (Something that a discounted/free membership doesn't.) It would let them qualify for other 'trade bodies' (SFWA, SoA, HWA, etc. etc.) and whatnot. And having more BFS members in more societies is good for the BFS (and other BFS members), etc. And a 'sale' always looks good for agents and such. Basically, turning it around so the BFS is contributing to its members' CVs, rather than the members contributing to the BFS's.


Offline jared

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2014, 04:41:04 PM »
When it comes to spending money, it's down to the committee member in charge of that area to make a case for it, and we're certainly persuadable, where a benefit to the membership can be demonstrated.

So in the absence of an editor, who is the person in charge of making decisions on, say, the 'rotating editorship' scheme that was discussed above?

(£10 says the answer is "the chair", which also being absent means... I dunno. RIOTS IN THE STREET.)

(/riots)

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2014, 04:57:10 PM »
At the moment, if someone comes up with a proposal, we discuss it as a committee and I suppose if it were needed we'd take a formal vote. Kind of like a commune.

It's working pretty well. When you have a chair, you assume they're on top of things and try not to step on their toes, but without one we're all equally responsible.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2014, 06:44:36 AM »
We've booked BFS Journal #12 in with the printers for November 3, which would normally mean you could expect it through your letterboxes by the end of that month. Obviously, things could go awry between now and then, but we'll let you know if they do, and we'll let you know when the issue has actually gone to press and what ETA the printers have given us.

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Re: BFS Journal #12
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2014, 06:50:22 PM »
BFS Journal #12 is now with the printers, and if we’re lucky will be with BFS members and contributors by the end of the month. We’ve only ordered twenty-five spare copies, so if you’re not currently a member you’ll need to join quickly if you want to get your hands on one.

The issue features contributions from Beatrix M.G. Nielsen, Damien Kelly, Deborah Walker, Elaine Gallagher, Howard Hardiman, James Barclay, James Dorr, Jonathan Kemp, Jonathan Service, Jude Orlando Enjolras, Lea Fletcher, Max Edwards, Nick Campbell, Nigel Wilson, Rosie Garland, Roy Gill, Sarah Newton, Simon Marshall-Jones, Simon Spanton, Stewart Horn and Stuart Douglas.

The fiction was edited by Sarah Newton, the non-fiction by Stuart Douglas, and the poetry by Ian Hunter. The issue was typeset by Phil Lunt. The cover art is by Howard Hardiman.