Novelist Graham Joyce has taken over as acting chair of the British Fantasy Society. He sees an urgent need to reform the BFAs. “The old system that served us for such a long time had a hole punched in it this year. It was always a vulnerable system and with its weakness to ‘boosting’ votes now only too exposed, it is in my view irreparable.”
Here Joyce is echoing a different Stephen Jones criticism than the charges of conflict of interest that prompted BFS chair David Howe’s resignation, but it is necessary to address them all to assure the future health of the British Fantasy Awards.
That will be done soon. Joyce has announced an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society for December 9 in London to elect new officers and consider a proposal to reorganize the BFS awards. Members of BFS and FantasyCon are currently being surveyed about ideas for improving them.
Along the way Joyce has also provided a fascinating answer to my question of several weeks ago. Sam Stone won two British Fantasy Awards, for Best Novel and Best Short Story, and in the face of the controversy Stone announced she was returning the Best Novel award. If Stone felt that way, I asked why she would return only one of her two awards, and how she settled on the one for Best Novel?
Graham Joyce told BFS members he will, in fact, assume both awards have been returned unless somebody tells him differently:
Regarding the breakdown of this year’s Awards I have been asked what is being done. Sam Stone publicly returned her award, so I contacted the shortlisted authors to ask if they wanted me to examine the ballot to make a re-award. All the shortlisted authors indicated they would prefer this not to happen and that they would prefer no award to be given. Therefore this year the record will indicate *NO AWARD*. There is uncertainty about whether Sam Stone returned the Short Story Award at the same time as the Novel award. Identical conditions applied in both categories so I am assuming this to be the case unless I am told otherwise. Regarding all the awards received by the Telos imprint I have received no information, therefore all these awards stand as announced. I hope we can now consider the matter of this year’s awards CLOSED.