Author Topic: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires  (Read 64138 times)

Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #120 on: August 18, 2006, 02:40:21 pm »
I've just seen your last comment Dave, but fail to see what such a Council would actually DO, rather than existing as a tool to raise it's President's profile.

Offline Debbie

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #121 on: August 18, 2006, 03:06:29 pm »
These ideas are great, but they all boil down to one thing - manpower!

I've been a committee member for over 10 years and every AGM is the same - we're lucky if anybody volunteers for a post, so it's the same old faces year-in, year-out. That may be good, it may be bad - depends on your point of view! You may argue that's because the BFS isn't interesting enough for people to want to volunteer - but without the volunteers it will never *be* interesting enough.... chicken and egg!

I've tried organising Open Nights in Manchester - spent days scouting pubs, putting ads in Prism. I had 3 people who said they'd come along...

I've had many willing helpers - people who claimed to be passionately interested in doing things - running events, editing mags - then dropped out at the last minute for various reasons, leaving me having to either cancel or work til 2am, then get up and go to a paying job. I once laid out Prism at 4am with a 6 week old baby on my lap to meet a print deadline (go on - get your hankies out.... :()

If we had the money to pay people, we'd get a fantastic response, I'm sure. But we don't - so the committee and other volunteers are exactly that - volunteers. We do have lives, jobs and families. I've been threatened with divorce in the past because of the amount of time I've devoted to BFS stuff!  Now if we had a bigger pool of people, we could all do less, do it better and raise our profile. If we had enough people, we could have sub-committees to organise Open Nights - instead of it being down to one person, we could have a web team - instead of it being one person.

I'm not complaining about things I've done for the BFS and I appreciate we could do lots more and do it better. But we have to start with people who are keen, and more importantly reliable. We do need change - but big-bang change never works in my opinion. Just like you'd never start a new job and change everything on your first day. You'd watch and learn for a while and then suggest improvements.

So basically, the BFS desperately needs people who say "why don't we do x, y and z? I can do x and I have a friend who can do y and z", rather than "x doesn't work, you should be doing y".

Deb

David Lee Stone

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #122 on: August 18, 2006, 03:11:34 pm »
Ding! Ding! Gloves off, round TWO:

Yet again, you're coming up with suggestions that sound excellent at face value, but are actually extremely divisive - and your comment about the BFS being mired in horror when we've taken pains to show you that it ISN'T, show that you're not as open to being shown you're wrong as you say you are.

And earlier you said: If Ramsey steps down, I want Stephen Jones to take over as President. (And you're the CHAIR! If that's not MIRED in
horror, I really don't know what is. Can I possibly predict the next few suggestions? Er...hmm.....1. David Sutton 2. Christopher Fowler??????
Am I right? Er....how far out am I?

And divisive??????? What do you think is going to happen? All the vampires on one side and all the barbarians on the other? It's true, if I meet
that horror author, I'll gi' 'im sommitt ta stitch, etc?????? Divisive???? Really????

You make good suggestions re: helping aspiring authors, as long as you accept this will be open to all genres, not just heroic fantasy, and my own vote for a David Gemmell Award would be for Best Newcomer, providing budget is available (and thank you to you and Stan for your offer of help in this respect but again this is something we need to go into in more detail at the AGM or via Committee email, ie. through the proper channels.

Ah.....but I daresay my proposals will fail to get through the House of Lords, milady.

Again, I do not believe singling out one category over all others, be it Heroic Fantasy, as you wish, Horror or anything else, would be beneficial to the Society as a whole - I firmly believe it would merely increase dissatisfaction rather than reduce it. We are committed to doing our best for the Members across the board, and always have been.

But Marie - listen - sometimes dissatisfaction is EXCITING STUFF! I mean......since we've started arguing - look at the audience!!!!! I've seen
Ramsey Campbell, Stan Nicholls, Mark Chadbourn, Chris T, yourself, Debbie, Jen, Vicky, Lermotov, Jon Oliver and just about everybody else on here - it's like Big Brother!

Let's BE divisive. Our membership will go UP.

I'll constantly argue that you're biased towards horror....and you'll constantly tell me I'm a narrow minded idiot with an obsession for heroic fantasy.

I'll constantly argue that the BFS should be the BHS......and you can keep telling me how blurry whurry the line is between fantasy and horror
(you're right, ya know - I read a James Herbert and a Terry Pratchett last night - couldn't tell the two apart BLOODY identical: I reckon' they're both the same bloke.....).

And as for being 'class' driven about the amateurs. I was an amateur for YEARS - and I would have LOVED a BFS run Pop Idol type drive, especially if the judges were Ramsey, Stan and people like 'em.

Can you IMAGINE the kudos involved in being the horror author RAMSEY CAMPBELL voted as Best Newcomer? You've be walking tall for months: what a start!!!!!!!!!







Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #123 on: August 18, 2006, 03:21:35 pm »
I suggested Stephen Jones because of the massive contribution he has made over the years, not because he's horror-related. I find that offensive. And for the record I would not limit subsequent suggestions to any one genre - I would look at who has made, in my own opinion, a massive contribution to GENRE fiction, not one specific area of it. I may be Chair, but I haven't spoken for the Committee, just made my personal opinion (clearly stated as such) known. Or is that not allowed? As a Member, or as Chair, I only have one vote, just like everybody else.

I think its divisive because it insists on sectioning everything off. People are entirely capable of knowing what event are, and what stories etc are, without us telling them specifically. Making fun of someone else's opinion because it is not the same as your own is hardly an adult way to progress a discussion.

Any suggestions you make to an Editor are up to the Editor. Any suggestions you make to a Committee are discussed and decided upon by the Committee. That is why a Committee gets elected. There is no ulterior 'House of Lords' as you suggest.

I have already said that I would support the suggestion of a Best Newcomer award, but yet again you use this to comment on 'Excitement' and 'Big Brother'. I will always consider and support serious discussion on matters for the benefit of the Society as a whole, but I don't appreciate being made fun of for them or that you appear to enjoy turning this discussion into a game. As for membership, it's already going up, as I've said before. And we all, constantly, work very hard to ensure that that continues.

David Lee Stone

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #124 on: August 18, 2006, 03:41:40 pm »
I can assure you very strongly that I do not consider this discussion to be a GAME....

....if I did, I wouldn't have offered to financially support the addition of an award in David Gemmell's honor.

But your comments HAVE stopped me in my tracks, Marie. I wonder if it's WORTH continuing the discussion, when the same views are peddled out time and time again.

Here's a fact: the BFS hasn't changed much in the last ten years.

Here's another one: my ENTIRE argument is based on the hope that it might change over the NEXT ten years.

But you're right and I'm wrong.

NOTHING is going to change.

Horror will continue to dominate the awards, the fiction contributions, the news sections and the showcases......and it will be left to a new
group of people to give the British fantasy fans their OWN society.

Prove me wrong.....and I will come back on here in a year from now and bow graciously before you.

BUT......if nothing changes..........there WILL be an exciting new society for the fantasy fans of Great Britain to belong to. For if we build
it....they will come.



Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #125 on: August 18, 2006, 03:50:15 pm »
I have consistently said that we are open to change, and willing to discuss such matters and vote on them if raised at the AGM, and that we cover all aspects of the genre and will continue to do so. I have also said that I would personally vote for a Best Newcomer David Gemmell Award if it was agreed upon at the AGM. Other than that I have only said that I do not agree with splitting the Society into sections. I fail to see how this makes us resistant to change. Members submit their news and we publish it regardless of genre, I have published both fantasy and horror authors alike, I see no dominance. Even your comment that the Committee is horror dominated is untrue, as only four out of ten members are horror-related and those four try very hard to be fair to all. I have at no time resorted to jokes about this but have tried to answer your points as honestly as I could. The Society is constantly changing and trying to take note of members' wishes to the best of their ability - we are limited only by budget and time.

Again, put your editorial suggestions to the Editors, and raise other matters at the AGM. Given the budget and time, we are always open to suggestions.

Paul Kane

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #126 on: August 18, 2006, 03:55:07 pm »
Dave, you're just not listening to what you don't want to hear. The BFS has changed a lot even since I first came on board.

You've sat there and listened as we've told you that the BFS is not horror biased (over half the committee are horror fans, and half the membership, and Marie and I both read across the board). Our President writes both horror and fantasy. FantasyCon reflects all the genres, not just horror - look at the line-up and the panels this year, plus which we set up events that are purely fantasy-based like the Steve Donaldson event from last year (there were no pure horror events like this last year or this year). I've only worked on one horror special pub, the others were fantasy or had fantasy elements, like our celebration book. If you want to know what the major authors, fantasy, sf and horror feel about the BFS and whether it's stale, read the book.

Granted, it might be the perception that the BFS is horror-biased, but this perception is clearly wrong as we've tried to explain. Your answer to this seems to be to get rid of parts of the committee that are horror, half the membership and the President (which you keep insisting you don't want), and for yourself to have a more dominant role.
 

Paul Kane

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #127 on: August 18, 2006, 04:02:58 pm »
I did of course mean to put only half the committee are *horror*, although I think as Mare pointed out earlier it's less than that. Four out of ten? I might be wrong.

Paul.

David Lee Stone

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #128 on: August 18, 2006, 04:05:57 pm »
for yourself to have a more dominant role

I want a dominant role? Paul.......I only applied for the Secretary/Treasurer post because the Prism ads were getting increasingly desperate.
As it was, when I spoke to Rob Parkinson on the phone (great bloke) he was practically OVERJOYED that somebody, ANYBODY had shown
an interest.

And please, Paul, why oh why would I want to become a powerful force in the British Fantasy Society if not to help give fantasy a louder voice? To increase the sales of my books? To be mentioned alongside the greats of fantasy like Terry Pratchett or David Gemmell.

Oops, forgot - those guys are hardly ever mentioned anyway. Hell.....has Terry ever WON a British Fantasy Award????? Did David??????

DFL

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #129 on: August 18, 2006, 04:09:21 pm »
As an ex-member (always actively considering re-entry) I find Marie's last few posts eminently sensible and attractive.
des
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 04:12:21 pm by DFL »

Paul Kane

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #130 on: August 18, 2006, 04:16:29 pm »
I call it like I see it, Dave. And you've got to admit, President or Chair of the BFS has a certain ring to it. Looks quite impressive on the CV?

Paul.

DFL

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #131 on: August 18, 2006, 04:18:11 pm »
In fact, I have just put a cheque to rejoin the BFS in an envelope (to the address on the website) and I will post it tomorrow.
des

Paul Kane

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #132 on: August 18, 2006, 04:20:14 pm »
Oh and nice that you took the time to read my mail properly and completely ignore everything in it apart from the bit that relates to you...

Paul.

David Lee Stone

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #133 on: August 18, 2006, 04:25:10 pm »
Damn it - rumbled. Despite the life-changing deals with Disney, Sony, Hodder and the other fifteen publishers who put out Illmoor across the globe, despite the representation by Ed Victor Ltd and the Creative Artists Agency, despite the film options, the appearances on Richard & Judy and the BBC News, despite the pending graphic novel line, the foreign appointments for the British Council and the past and continuing contributions to SFX, Interzone, Knights of Madness, Games Workshop's Citadel Journal, The Edge and TTA Press.....

....despite all that......


.....what I really want is Ramsey's seat at the BFS table.


Bugger....and I thought I'd been so clever in disguising it.


ps......and I notice you didn't answer my question, Paul, WHEN did Terry and/or David win their respective BFS awards?

Paul Kane

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Re: A General Observation On Awards Questionnaires
« Reply #134 on: August 18, 2006, 04:29:20 pm »
Many a true word spoken in jest, Dave  ;)

I don't know about the awards offhand, I'm not a human computer - but will have a check for you.

Paul.