Author Topic: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions  (Read 10176 times)

VirgilKain

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2006, 07:19:30 pm »
I have to state that it was, in my understanding, Mr Barker who removed his own account from this board.
He made his final post and then removed it via his personal profile section.
No one can take credit for removing him. He did so himself.

I feel that he had some supporters here and it's a shame they only spoke up after he left. I know it's easier to sit back and just read, but sometimes support would be nice. People tend to remain quiet depending on who is being questioned or vice versa.

In a recent thread disscussion I was involved in I received emails, texts and personal support from people I've never met, but none of them were willing to be vocal in public. This is a shame. If these people became vocal then things would be different.

I'm rambling now. But Mr Barker will be missed regardless of his personal views that upset others.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 07:22:36 pm by Garry Charles »

Graham Joyce

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2006, 09:12:52 pm »
Well let's get people speaking up. Now is a good time, coming off the back of a very successful con.  Especially if this was your first or second con, or first for a while.  I honestly don't think there is anyone in the society scared of debate.  We certainly do need new ideas, and more than that because of the voluntary nature of the entire committe we need people to do the work suggested by any new ideas. Some of us have known each other for a long time and maybe that has made us too cosy.  But I don't see anyone standing in the way of new blood, new ideas or fresh debate.  The floor is open for anyone.   

Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2006, 12:40:59 pm »
Just to add here, that we're always open to new ideas and debate, and indeed are discussing ways to move the Society forward over the coming year, details of which will be posted as and when they're finalised - events/new site design, etc. At the AGM a new award for Best NonFiction was suggested, and in fact voted in for next year. Allen Ashley suggested BFSPublications should not be exempt from the Awards, and Steve Jones raised the opposite viewpoint. Both viewpoints will appear in an issue of Prism later this year or early next year, in plenty of time for people to be informed of the various standpoints - the matter is then scheduled to be raised again and voted upon at the next AGM, in the proper manner.

If you have ideas for publications, email the editors at any time, their addresses are on site - and any points can of course also be raised here, or via email to me or any committee member, and we'll discuss and answer to the best of our ability. And members can stand up and be heard at the AGM.

The *only* thing that isn't welcome on the boards is abuse - and I have to agree with Peter and Graham here that Mr Barker overstepped that mark on several occasions, to the detriment of the board activity as a whole. Such behaviour discourages open discussion rather than encouraging it, as people who disagree with views stated find themselves attacked. Open debate is encouraged, but this isn't the place for personal abuse - that should be a private matter between individuals concerned, rather than dragged into public forums.

David Lee Stone

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2006, 02:38:10 pm »
Hmm.....

I - like Chris - have some very different views on the running, management and direction of the BFS. I have voiced these views, had debates with Marie and others - some heated and some conventional (all of them fun!) - but the fact IS that at some point you have to stand back and give people the chance AND the breathing space to attempt to action some of the changes suggested. There's no point in continuing to rant over stuff that individual folks can't actually do anything about at the drop of a hat.

I can say 'can you guys try to change blah blah' and Marie/Jen/whoever can say 'I'll have a chat with the group and see what they think'. The problem with a lot of Chris's arguments is that he would suggest something - not get exactly the response he was expecting - and then start moaning about the society ignoring his suggestions BEFORE anyone could discuss it.

The Ramsey Campbell issue was different. It always felt (to me, at least) that Chris had/has a personal issue with Ramsey Campbell. I don't know where this came from or what the full story is, but practically every argument was edged with some sort of anti-Campbell strike. Ramsey attempted to personally respond to his arguments in the forum at one point, but was - from memory - then accused of further stuff relating to his column. It all seemed very personal to me.

Now, I like Ramsey's writing. I think he's one of the best British horror authors ever to put pen to paper and, though I've never met him, I understand from live interviews I've listened to and from chats with several author friends, that he's a thoroughly lovely bloke who is always willing to help and encourage new writers. However, I have said before and will say again that I think it is ridiculous for the BFS to have ONE lifetime president.....I believe having Ramsey as LIFETIME president gives the BFS a 'largely horror' mask and that a number of different authors from the fields of sf/fantasy/horror should be given the honour for set periods of time. Terry Pratchett as president, Philip Pullman as president, Anne McCaffrey as president, James Herbert, Clive Barker, etc - all these names for set terms would give the society an entirely new and 'changing' look.

But this is my opinion......it is NOT a mission statement. Quite frankly, the thought of Ramsey sitting at home reading this and thinking I'm on a quest to 'bring him down' makes me feel quite ill.  :-\

I would also like to see a lot more T/H/E fantasy in the BFS and more focus on T/H/E authors......but, again, I've put this to Marie and I'm told (from the glorious Juliet McKenna) that she, Paul, Peter Coleborn and several others are trying to include more of the above.

So, to be honest, I'm not feeling all that argumentative, right now. Things don't change overnight....so lets give it a few more years (and a few more well-attended cons like the one just gone)....and see what happens.

Right....have to run. My dog is upset that he hasn't been for a walk today, and he's giving me THAT look.

Davey

VirgilKain

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2006, 05:59:06 pm »
As you say, Ramsey is a lovely bloke (when you finally get to know him). So could another honorary postion be bestowed on him if the idea of fixed term presidents became real.

I can see Davids point on a Fantasy author being in place for awhile. It would bring in a whole new crowd. But Ramsey does bring in a crowd as it stands and it would be a shame to lose him altogether.

Could a compromise be thought up? ;D

David Lee Stone

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2006, 06:14:42 pm »
A good idea......you mean giving Ramsey an official 'Lifetime President' title and then installing a series of 'interim' Presidents beside him, each serving out a specific term in the office?

Food for thought, definitely.

VirgilKain

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2006, 06:23:33 pm »
It could, in effect, double the audience and potential members of the BFS.
Always a good thing. ;D

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2006, 08:28:09 pm »
I wish to add my support to Marie -- but I would, wouldn't I, being long in tooth (can I be ageist about myself?) and one of the in crowd (DH editor). I am favour of freedom of speech -- but my interpretation of this is the right to express one's ideas unhindered. What I disagree with is continual bad-mouthed criticism, especially on these boards. I am against people continuing a tirade against an individual for some perceived slight. How many people would appreciate someone standing at their front door shouting abuse into their house? I wouldn't. If folk really want to continue with a vendetta against one of the BFS's stalwarts, go and do it elsewhere.

I am more than happy (no, I don't do insurance) for people (BFS members and non-members) to make suggestions that may improve the BFS / Fantasycon. These boards are a conduit. So too is the AGM. However, unlike some others have said, I thought that the AGM was somewhat muted. Most of the hour allocated to the AGM passed far too quickly with reports from editors etc (sorry Marie -- not getting at you; it happens at almost every committee I go to, and I go to far too many of the bloody things) so that when topics for debate came up we didn't have sufficient time to explore them properly. Maybe we need more than an hour scheduled for the AGM. Yes? No?

There have been many ideas posted on these boards by people like David Stone, Graham Joyce, Garry Charles, etc. It is difficult to explore these issues on the message boards. The BFS committe are dispersed over the UK. On-line committee meetings are unsatisfactory. Getting people together for a face-to-face meeting is logistically difficult, although we are trying to arrange one for November (likely venue somewhere in the wilds of north Staffordshire). We already have a lot to discuss. But to help us tackle issues logically, send your suggestions, ideas, proposals, comments to Marie. We will discuss them: honestly.

As has been said before, the BFS is run by a bunch of amateurs (in the not-getting-paid sense). Unfortunately for them, the BFS and the membership, real life sometimes gets in the way. This may cause delays in getting magazines published, events arranged, advertising done. I wish it were otherwise; I'm sure other committee members wish so, too.

One other thing: although he is the President, Ramsey doesn't run the Society, as some thing. He is a figure head (and, I believe, a great one) who will offer his advice and thoughts. Ramsey has been a member of the BFS almost from the start (he was at the very first Fantasycon, as he described in this post-prandial speech) and has a wealth of experience to offer. (But he didn't mention Bonzo the Dog!)

Thank you for your time.

Graham Joyce

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2006, 09:30:14 pm »
David, Garry, I think there needs to be some clarification about the position of President.  It's largely a figurehead position (and quite so, because you wouldn't want an established author to be seen to be using the Society for his or her own ends and despite some frankly hilarious ssuggestions that this is what happens, we're thankfully not in that situation).  I would imagine the President to act as a spokesperson for us in some rather serious or formal situation, and very occasionally to advise the committe in matters of difficulty.  The job is not to be one of the movers & shakers of the society.  For that we look to the Chair and the rest of the Committee.  Thus for example in this matter of perception about Horror vs Fantasy the way to change perceptions is to get media attention, re-focus publications and communications, generate an outreach policy and to maintain regular contact with many like-minded organisations. (Christ, I'm boring myself here).    Now I'll hold my hands up and say I personally don't have time to do that stuff and I can't ask the committe to either, because they're already giving up huge amounts of time.  It needs someone to offer to undertake these tasks. Switching Presidents would be easy but it won't do any of that.  There's really no conspiracy or block against Fantasy: it just needs someone who has got the time to do these things as a matter of preference.

David Lee Stone

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2006, 10:17:45 pm »
Re: the mover and shaker thing - I do KNOW this. It is precisely BECAUSE the position is as a figurehead only that I believe more than one person from one perceived field should hold it.

I'm not for one second suggesting that Ramsey holds some sort of arcane power (apart from the arcane power he writes with, that is! ;D).


Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2006, 10:23:34 pm »
We are actually extending links with a number of outlets, Graham, both Fantasy and Horror, that haven't been interested before - and as Peter says, we're all committed to keeping things fresh and maintaining a balance. Interest is increasing substantially at the moment, which is something we want to see continue and steps will be taken to ensure that. The whole Committee are meeting in November, as Peter's said, and we have regular online meetings as well as being in daily email contact. Given that it's only a week since FantasyCon, we need some time to implement things discussed there.

As Graham and Peter have said, Ramsey's post is largely a figurehead one, although Ramsey does maintain an active interest, is on Committee email, and is always on hand with advice or an opinion when asked. The reason he was made Lifetime President originally, as others who have been members longer than me will tell you, was that he kept getting voted in each year. The only reason this matter was voted on again this year was because Ramsey felt he should stand down because of Mr Barker's constant comments on the boards, and the detrimental effect he felt this could have on the BFS. I, for one, am delighted Ramsey was voted in again as Life President. I see no reason why we need two presidents - the active Committee changes make up on a regular basis, and all - whether horror or fantasy fans - are intent on maintaining a balance. The coming year should show that, if our assurances on the boards and statistics of publications/awards over the years don't.

Peter's quite right in saying that any propoosals/ideas/suggestions should be emailed to me as Chair - they'll be put to the Committee and discussed fully, of course.

As Dave said earlier on this thread, change doesn't happen in five minutes, it takes time and effort - something the whole Committee work very hard at, and over time, will become obvious.

David Lee Stone

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2006, 10:35:06 pm »
Agreed!

I'm doing my bit - am currently completing a 2500 word article for Dark Horizons on the history of the Fighting Fantasy series, and I've even mailed in a horror/fantasy short set in Illmoor during the first reign of Duke Modeset!

I'm also chatting to my publishers about possible BFS mentions on some of the Illmoor tour sheets (they go out with me to schools and festivals, etc).

 ;D

Offline Marie O'Regan

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2006, 10:47:59 pm »
Thanks for that, Dave, it's appreciated - I'm in the middle of sorting out an ad that Jo Fletcher has said can go in Gollancz books (subject to author approval, of course), and a lot of the small press have also agreed to do so - I'll be mailing them this week, and am very grateful for the ad space. I'm also going to be mailing contacts at other mainstream publishers to see if they'll do the same - all this should help raise the profile.

Offline mightyjoeyoung

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Re: Uncensored private board for controversial genre discussions
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2011, 01:38:39 pm »
Question: Who actually moderates the forums?

Having read through Mr CR Barker's comments they do have some worthy suggestions, but those are somewhat lost amidst the Ramsey-bashing. It's a shame that some people can't just get on with promoting ideas without making things personal.

On the issue of Presidency, I've never met Ramsey Campbell, but I've read some of his work, and spoken to him. He seems like a great bloke. Life President is good, I'm happy he's in that position, but the suggestion of having new Presidents could be good for the BFS. If there were to be 'Honorary Presidencies' given out, it could give massive promotion to the BFS by having such high-profile people as Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling and so on being given the role, which of course doesn't necessarily mean that they have any official duties to perform other than having their names associated with the Society.

Think of it like people who get 'honorary degrees' without ever attending the seats of learning associated with it. Excellent publicity potential.

As for 'Former Presidents', they could be elevated to a 'BFS Pantheon', which is a lot better than being seen to be discarded and would give them the legendary status they have earned through their careers and service to the industry.

The Pantheon could already include past masters of all genre writing, so former Presidents would be in good company.