Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UK Fantasy Awards Under Cloud

Sam Stone reports that she will be returning her British Fantasy Award due to a desire to avoid unproductive controversy. The relatively small voting base for the awards (British Fantasy Society members and FantasyCon attendees) has caused mutterings before as it tends to favor the dark end of fantasy and horror over other subgenres.

This year the conspicuous success of books published by Telos drew attention to David Howe's role filling in as BFS Chair. (Mr. Howe is a director of Telos and domestic partner of Sam Stone). It seems that Stephen Jones wrote a particularly strong blog on the topic entitled "Putting The "Con" Into FantasyCon" but this is no longer available online.

It has the flavor of bad appearance rather than bad actions, but has put an unfortunate spin on what should be a happy event. However it must be admitted that the small voting base and close familiarity might have lead to biases in taste and voting that make themselves felt even when they are entirely unintentional.

The British Fantasy scene is a strong one, especially when it comes to small presses.  So hopefully this is just a small bump in the road for everyone involved.

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