We've got some fun stuff happening online tomorrow, including panels, writing sessions, and interviews. If you're a member, you will have already got your invites. If you're not a member, you can still attend most of these sessions for free: there's more info here.
10.00 // 50 Years of the SFF
Join eminent panellists Edward James, Roz Kaveney, Farah Mendlesohn, and Andy Sawyer, to reflect on the history of science fiction criticism, and in the particular role of the Science Fiction Foundation. Moderated by Maureen Kincaid-Speller, facilitated by Ali Baker.
10.00 // Shhh ... Just Write! Co-Writing Session 1
We’ll chat briefly at the beginning and spend most of the session writing. You can bring your own work-in-progress, or respond to one of the writing prompts or exercises provided. Co-hosted by Jo Lindsay Walton and Yen Ooi.
11.00 // John Clute
An interview with our first Guest of Honor, the prolific, polemic, and perspicacious SF critic John Clute. Moderated by Paul March-Russell, facilitated by Farah Mendlesohn.
12.00 // BSFA AGM
Members only. The Annual General Meeting of the British Science Fiction Association. Chaired by Allen Stroud. The agenda can be found here. All members should have received your Zoom link on 21 June, and in two earlier emails. If you're missing the link, or if you can't attend but would like to vote, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 prior to the AGM.
12.00 // Glasgow in 2024 Presents Roll for Armadillo: Diverse Possibilities within TRPGs
Join panellists Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Paul Anthony Shortt, and Grace Worm for a lively exploration of the world of tabletop roleplaying. Moderated by Emma French.
13.30 // SF Foundation AGM
Members only. The Annual General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association. Chaired by Graham Sleight. SFF members, please RSVP to ensure you get your invite.
13.30 // Shhhhhh ... Just Write Some More! Co-Writing Session 2
We’ll say hello briefly at the beginning and spend most of the session writing. You can bring your own work-in-progress, continue something from the morning session, or start something new in response to the writing prompts we’ll provide. Co-hosted by Yen Ooi and Francis Gene-Rowe.
14.30 // SF on Trial: SF and the Law
Join our panellists Gautam Bhatia, Ida Keogh, Caroline Mersey, and Adrian Tchaikovsky, as we talk about law and justice in science fiction, and maybe even put science fiction itself in the dock. Moderated by Jo Lindsay Walton, facilitated by Francis Gene-Rowe.
14.30 // Lasers & Feelings
Join SF authors, publishers and critics as they explore strange new worlds … and maybe some strange new feelings too. With Eryn Levine, David Moore, Trip Galey, Russell Smith, and Emma Newman. Moderated by Eryn Levine, facilitated by Allen Stroud.
15.30 // Alison Scott
Our Guest of Honour, the incomparable Alison Scott, will talk about ‘My Year in Virtual Fandom,’ followed by Q&A. Moderated by Farah Mendlesohn, facilitated by Jo Lindsay Walton.
16.30 // Tade Thompson
Join our Guest of Honour, Tade Thompson, author of the Wormwood Trilogy and many more brilliant and twisted tales, in conversation with Caroline Mersey. Moderated by Caroline Mersey, facilitated by Jo Lindsay Walton.
If you're a BSFA member, just save the date! No need to register in advance. You'll receive your invitation, including Zoom links, in an email on 21 June.
SFF members, please register by emailing your Chair.
More details here, including what to do if you want to attend but you're not a BSFA or SFF member.
BSFA members, if you can't see your invite links by 21 June, please get in touch with Luke at email@example.com. You can also contact Luke (at least 48 hours prior) if you won't be able to attend but would like to vote on one of the motions (as per the new Constitution).
Save the date: the BSFA Annual General Meeting with take place on 26 June at noon UK time, as part of a mini-convention jointly organised with Science Fiction Foundation.
More information will be arriving in your regular email newsletter later this month.
If you're not currently a member, why not join now?
The BSFA is delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 BSFA Awards.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. The BSFA Awards are annual awards voted for by the memberships of the BSFA and Eastercon. This year's awards ceremony was livestreamed at Eastercon (Confusion) and on YouTube, and will soon be available on the BSFA Chair YouTube channel.
The British Science Fiction Association is pleased to present the 2021 BSFA lecture at ConFusion, this year’s online Eastercon. Dr. Ariella Elema will present a lecture on “Nothing is Inevitable, or How to Hold a Trial by Combat”. It will feature swords, manuscripts, and legal history.
The talk will be at 15:00 on Sunday, 4 April 2021. Membership in the Eastercon is required to attend.
Dr. Ariella Elema is a legal historian and archivist living in Toronto, Canada. Sometimes she gets to peer at mysterious manuscripts in dead languages. Periodically, she gets to say "Egad! I think I've found it!" It's not entirely unlike being a wizard. Right now, she's writing a history of trial by combat.
The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science. The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want! This is the 12th BSFA Lecture.
Wondering where to send your latest short SFF masterpiece?
Looking to be part of a community of writers and develop your craft?
There are of course many more. If you've got a special group you'd like to mention, please comment (or email and we'll add it).
We are excited to announce the contents of the inaugural issue of Fission, ed. Allen Stroud:
So Mayer's 'Lyonesses' will also be translated into Spanish for Celsius.
For a little more info, see the latest newsletter.
Members of the BSFA and those registered for ConFusion 2021 — this year's Eastercon — should now have received a link to their ballot, plus a digital copy of the Awards Booklet. (If you are a member of the BSFA or ConFusion, but have not received a ballot email, please contact Luke Nicklin, BSFA Membership Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org).
A physical copy of the awards booklet will be mailed later this month to members of the BSFA, together with Vector #293.
The BSFA Awards will be presented at ConFusion, which will be held online 2-5th April 2021. Voting will close at noon on the day the awards ceremony is held (likely to be Saturday 3 April; watch this space for confirmation).
After a flurry of planning activity, we are pleased to launch three calls for submissions for three special themed issues of Vector. All submissions will also be considered for Focus, the BSFA's writing magazine, edited by Dev Agarwal.
Vector and Focus are also open to general submissions on a rolling basis. For more information, please see the Vector site.
With the launch of the new website, the BSFA is also pleased to be implementing one of five diversity and anti-racism motions passed by the membership at the last AGM (August 2020).
The BSFA will be partnering with the African Speculation Fiction Society, the Africa Reading Group, the London Chinese Science Fiction Group, Bubble Tea Writers, AfroFutures UK, CoFutures, and potentially other organisations, to make a number of BSFA memberships (initially thirty) freely available to members of these organisations (for UK residents) or at reduced rates (for those living in the EU, Commonwealth, and UN Least Developed Countries). We have chosen these partners in the hope of making BSFA membership more diverse and representative, as well as to strengthen ties and perhaps building toward future collaborations.
BSFA members can participate in our writers groups (Orbiters), receive our print publications (Vector, Focus, Fission, and the BSFA Awards booklet), nominate and vote in the BSFA Awards, and inform the direction of the BSFA by participating at Annual General Meetings. Memberships available through the participating organisations are available both to existing BSFA members who are renewing, and to those joining for the first time.
We recognise that in the case of some partner organisations, "membership" may be quite loosely defined. If you are in any doubt about taking a membership, please feel free to do so. We're leaving it up to applicants' individual judgments, and we won't be filtering or policing in any way.
We are pleased to be joined by many kindred SFF organisations who are placing diversity, decoloniality, and racial justice at the heart of their thinking and policy, e.g.:
We recognise that the terminology of diversity in particular, while widely recognised and generally signalling good intentions, is also justifiably controversial. Like other umbrella terminology (including PoC, BAME, BIPOC, and VME), it can be useful in building coalitions and in formulating policy to resist systemic racism, but can also erase distinctive identities and histories, or feel alienating, condescending, or exclusionary. It may also implicitly perpetuate the sense of whiteness as a reality that exists independent of the specific histories, politics, and economics that have produced and continue to produce whiteness.
As Saeed et al. (2019) put it: "We will continue to be dissatisfied with these words until we live in a world where race is not something that can shape your life experiences, and then these terms won’t matter at all. But we don’t yet live in that world." Meaning is always plural, and shifts across contexts and over time, so sensitivity, adaptability, and open-mindedness — including a willingness to adopt language while it is useful, and let it go when it's not! — allows imperfect tools to build a better present and a better future.
With this initiative, we are implementing the membership's decision to "offer support-in-kind to BAME fans of science fiction." For more information about the other four recently passed motions, please see this post on the Vector site. We welcome queries and ideas from anyone who would like to get involved. In particular, we are seeking to appoint a Diversity Officer; if you are interested in finding out more about this role, please get in touch with our Chair Allen Stroud at email@example.com. We are also seeking to appoint several Councillors for a more arms-length role in steering the Association.
The BSFA will also be establishing a Participation Fund, and will soon be seeking donations to make available even more Community Memberships, as well as to provide financial assistance for convention and conference attendance.
Finally, if you are involved with running an organisation or group that would like to query about Community Memberships, or explore other collaborative initiatives with the BSFA, please get in touch! This includes scholarly, fan, and writers groups in the UK, EU, and around the world.
67, James St.
Stoke on Trent,