Saturday, October 08, 2011

British Fantasy Award winner returns prize

Sam Stone hands back award after criticism of judging process

British Fantasy Society
The British Fantasy Society's logo

Controversy has riven the 40-year-old British Fantasy Awards, with the winner of the best novel prize handing her award back just three days after it was bestowed.
The awards have been administered by the British Fantasy Society since 1971, and this year's winners were announced on Sunday at FantasyCon in Brighton. But the organisation and presentation of the awards has been drawing criticism since then, culminating in Sam Stone, the winner of the best novel award – named after American writer and editor August Derleth – announcing yesterday that she is giving it back.
The biggest attack on the awards was delivered by editor and anthologist Stephen Jones, who on Tuesday posted a lengthy blog decrying the organisation of the BFAs and making several allegations against awards co-ordinator and British Fantasy Society chairman David Howe.
Jones said the awards were weighted towards the small presses rather than "mainstream" publishing, and said: "To put it bluntly, this year's results made a mockery of the British Fantasy Award and everything it has always stood for. Even if you ignore the embarrassing ceremony and clichéd platitudes, few of these awards actually reflected genuine quality or what is happening in mainstream genre publishing today."
Read the full story at The Guardian.

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