2018 BSFA Awards Nominations Open

The British Science Fiction Association invites its members to nominate for the 2018 BSFA Awards (see the official website for details).

Clare Boothby explains a major rules change that makes it possible now to nominate books published anywhere.

This year we’re making a change to the BSFA Award rules for Best Novel. To bring it into line with all the other awards, we are dropping the publication location requirement for novels. Previously novels were only eligible if they were published for the first time in the UK or Ireland (or solely in e-book format). From this year, novels are eligible in the year of their first publication, regardless of where they were published.

Because occasionally a book can still be hard to find in the UK when it’s only been published elsewhere, novels may also be eligible in the year of their first UK/Ireland publication, at the awards administrator’s discretion.

We’re making this change for several reasons, but in general terms we’re doing it to keep awards eligibility in line with the books that British fans are reading and talking about. Publishing availability has changed dramatically since the rule was written. Books published only in the US are now much more widely available in the UK, which means some books never get a formal UK publication even though they’re really easy to get hold of in the UK. Publishing models are also changing, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell what “counts” as UK publication.

And of course it isn’t the big names who are affected by this, which means that as a side-effect we’re narrowing our focus unnecessarily and ruling out some really great books, often by British authors or authors living and working in Britain. That’s the main motivation behind this change; we want to keep the novel award as relevant and interesting as the novels we’re all reading.

[Based on the press release.]

2017 Worldcon’s Fifth PR Available

Worldcon 75 has posted Progress Report 5 [PDFfile], the last one before the convention in August. The A4 version is the first to be posted.

Many items in the PR explain aspects of Finnish conrunning that may seem out of the ordinary, like their security arrangements, or provide information and advice about what to see in Helsinki, and how to navigate around town.

Clare Boothby’s clever article “Some Common Book-Related Problems” offers fans solutions for many different needs. Here’s one of the most newsworthy:

I have books in a language I can’t read!

We’re collecting books in all languages for Cittadini del Mondo (Citizens of the World), a small charity in Rome that provides refugees with shelter, medical care, legal assistance, language training, special aid for women and pregnant women, and help navigating the daunting paperwork process of applying for aid from government and international aid programs. They also run an Intercultural Library to help refugees feel connected, respected, and welcome. We’re seeking donations of books, especially in the languages they need most: Chinese, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, Ethiopian, Hindi, and French, as well as Spanish, Korean, and other African, central Asian, Middle Eastern and eastern European languages. If you have books to donate (maybe you’re a writer and have copies of your work in translation?) then bring them to the donation box in the Fan Lounge.