The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) is delighted to announce the shortlist for its annual BSFA Awards for works first published in 2013. The BSFA has been running the awards since 1970, awarding the first Best Novel award to John Brunner’s 1969 novel Stand on Zanzibar.
The 2012 BSFA Award Winners
The BSFA Awards draw on nominations from their membership, and in the case of the Best Novel Award are open to UK publications only.
The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Satellite4 Eastercon convention the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow Sunday 20th April 2014. BSFA Prize-winners will receive a coveted BSFA trophy. Also in the ceremony will be the annual James White Award announcing its short story competition winner.
At the BSFA, we have counted up our award nominations, and are buzzing with excitement to tell you which works have been shortlisted… but you have to wait!
Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, revealed the total number of submissions of novels by female writers this week – and it was a staggering 33. Last year, there were only 18 out of 82 books. But how many books will have been submitted overall? Tom is teasing us with that number and won’t tell us! But what he did tell us was that he hoped releasing this list first would be “a positive contribution towards further raising the profile of women writers of science fiction in the UK and beyond.” Nice one, Tom.
The full list of submissions will be announced next Thursday. Our BSFA representatives, Duncan Lawie and Ian Whates, along with all the other judges, will be reading like mad to try to get through them all and be ready to announce their collective shortlist on March 18th. Then, the glamorous Royal Society in London will host the awards ceremony once again on May 1st.
Waving its tentacles in our general direction next come The Kitschies – the shortlists having been announced this week. The Kitschies are an annual prize for books
containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic”. Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry have been running The Kitschies for the past 5 years, and their quest this year was to find the most “progressive, intelligent and entertaining” fiction of 2013 (and give the writers some rum! Probably…)
This year’s shortlists are selected from a record 234 submissions, coming from over fifty different publishers and imprints.
The Red Tentacle (Novel), selected by Kate Griffin, Nick Harkaway, Will Hill, Anab Jain and Annabel Wright:
Red Doc> by Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Jonathan Cape)
More Than This by Patrick Ness (Walker)
The Machine by James Smythe (HarperCollins / Blue Door)
The Golden Tentacle (Debut), also selected by the above panel:
Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key)
A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock (47 North)
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot)
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Atlantic)
The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), selected by Craig Kennedy, Sarah Anne Langton, Hazel Thompson and Emma Vieceli.
Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill (Gollancz) / Design and illustration by Sinem Erkas
The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher (Angry Robot) / Art by Will Staehle
Homeland and Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (Titan) / Design by Amazing15
Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key) / Art by Gianmarco Magnani
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human (Century) / Art by Joey Hi-Fi
The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Seven Dials Club on 12th February and will receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s distinctive Tentacle trophies and bottles of The Kraken Rum.
Will any of The Kitschies shortlist titles be reflected in the shortlists for the BSFA awards, which will be announced next week? What do you think? I know, but… my lips are sealed!
Hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year. Quite a few of you sent in nominations over this period, and we are picking through them now to make sure they are good and proper before adding them to this list (unfortunately, some very good things got nominated, just a year or more too late).
Although we do still have a few more to add, as you can see from below we are lacking in artwork nominations still. A few more non-fiction nominations wouldn’t go amiss either.
Look! We made the noo-spaypa! But don’t go fretting about those 2014 lists just yet. As you can see from our longlist already, there are plenty of fabulous reads and exciting new voices to learn about from our writers of 2013. So don’t just Twitter on about it… nominate!
And anyway, we can generate our own controversy, can’t we? The categorisation of one of these titles made me scratch my head, although in the end I thought “fair enough”. What do you think?
With just 4 weeks to go until nominations close, here is the latest list of stuff BSFA members have thought was pretty good this year. Remember, you have until January 14th to get your nominations in, but no need to wait. And don’t assume that the appearance of your favourite on this list makes it safe. A work needs only a single nomination to make this list. Some have got a dozen, some just have that single nomination… so keep them coming!
News? What news? Most of you know this already thanks to Twitter, and some of you have been wondering where our very own announcements about our awards have been hiding. Worry not, they are right here! I only had my poxy Android phone in Bradford, out of battery, out of signal, and with inbuilt fat-thumb typo-inducing tendencies. So I’ve made you wait. It’s worth it though…
On Sunday 31st March, the BSFA Awards ceremony took place at the 64th Eastercon EightSquared in Bradford.
The hall filled up with people as the theme for the evening was played: Heather Fenoughty’s piece composed for the Clarke and BSFA Awards based on Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s most quoted laws:
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Paul Cornell, author of London Falling and the comic series Saucer Country (which was just nominated for a Hugo this weekend!!!) MC’d the ceremony, assisted by artist Anne Sudworth, author Freda Warrington, critic Edward James and the science fiction behemoth Stephen Baxter, who presented Best Art, Best Non-Fiction, Best Short Fiction and Best Novel respectively.
(and Paul was very funny, cracking gags about comedic inoffensiveness.)
The nominated works in each category were (winners in bold):
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
Empty Space: a Haunting by M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
Intrusion by Ken Macleod (Orbit)
Jack Glassby Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
Best Short Fiction
“Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld #69)
“The Flight of the Ravens” by Chris Butler (Immersion Press)
Short Fiction Award winner, Ian Sales, said he was “over the Moon!” and went on to say, “The result was a huge surprise, very happy for many reasons: BSFA is an award I’ve always held in wide regard and one I’ve felt most aligned with, and also I’m glad that the artistic choices I made in ‘Adrift’ were appreciated.”
Chief Editor of the World SF Blog, Lavie Tidhar, tweeted he was “delighted to be extending dialogue around speculative fiction, diversity still sorely in short supply – global voices need to be heard.” Also he was “grateful to members of BSFA and Eastercon for recognising work last four years.”
Best Novel winner, Adam Roberts tweeted he had had “a fairly long writing career, but never before won any kind of award; I couldn’t be happier my first is a BSFA.”
Donna Scott, who it was announced at the ceremony would be stepping down from the role of Awards Administrator to take over from Ian Whates as Chair of the BSFA in June, said of Adam Roberts’ win: “Jack Glass is an amazing book which successfully blends crime and science fiction into a triptych of appealing narratives concerning – of all things – a sociopathic protagonist. It’s highly intelligent and skilful storytelling. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book goes on to win more awards. Adam Roberts must surely soon be recognised by the literary establishment as one of the finest writers we currently have working in the English language.”
(Yep – quoting myself in the 3rd person there. Hey – and thanks for all the messages of support. I’ll try my best for you!)
The winners all received a fabulous trophy designed by Dan Brodie and Lauren Hubbard of Skulls and Robots in Northampton.
Also announced at the ceremony were the winners of the James White Award for new short fiction, which was presented by previous winner of the BSFA Short Fiction Award and James White Award judge, Aliette de Bodard.
The winner was Shannon Fay, from Halifax in Canada with her story “You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete”, winning £300 and publication of her story in Interzone, and the runner-up was Philip Suggars from Brighton, with “Automatic Diamanté”, who won £100.
I was really pleased with how the ceremony went, but must apologize to anyone waiting for snippets of our Tweetfiction happening – due to technical issues we were unable to bring you any live tweets during the actual ceremony, but we were re-tweeting them as fast as our little thumbs could go. Some of them are just – wow amazing wow! Check out #tbsfa to read stuff like “@davecl42’s “The boats raced on, not realising that the first kraken to visit the Thames in a millenium would find them ideal as toothpicks” or @simonings’ “Tobias disconnected the catheter, levered himself from the chair, grabbed the frame and, wheezing, went to join his playmates” and even shortlisted BSFA writers were having a go – “It was easier to imagine the end of capitalism than to imagine the end of the world, Zizek admitted. We agreed. ‘NEXT!'” – thanks @amendlocke (Ken Macleod!). Could you do better? We’re going on until April 10th – so keep tweeting!
On Wednesday 20th March 2013, join Donna Scott, BSFA Awards Administrator, for a lively chat all about this year’s BSFA Awards Shortlist. Joining Donna will be:
Duncan Lawie – an SF critic and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He will also be a BSFA representative on the Arthur C Clarke Award judgiing panel for 2013. Speaking of the event, Duncan says, “I think there are two obvious picks for this year’s BSFA award novel – but I wonder if anyone else will agree which two.”