Two bits of news about the BFS affair came in yesterday afternoon while I was on my way to Bristol.
Firstly the 2012 FantasyCon in Corby, which was to have been run by Dave Howe and Sam Stone, will now not take place. No decision has yet been made about an alternative.
Secondly Graham Joyce has been appointed acting chair of the organization. He has an official statement online here.
Reaction to Graham’s appointment has been very positive in my corner of the blogosphere. He is a very well respected writer, and while he does do mainly the sort of dark fantasy and horror that is traditional BFS fare, he’s with big publishers and is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award. That gives him the same level of authority with the outside world as Steve Jones.
The key part of Graham’s statement is this:
I will charge the committee with a priority agenda, which will include overhauling the Awards system; identifying and recommending new committee members; ensuring that proper records of meetings, decisions and accounts are transparent to all members of the society; and seeking to enfranchise a wider “Fantasy” base for the Society. [my emphasis]
Ironically that wider involvement the sort of thing that Dave Howe was trying to do, for example by adding the “media” categories to the awards. I suspect that some hardliners may not be happy.
Anyway, we shall see what happens. I’m pleased to see more people say that they are signing up to give Graham a chance. I’d be happy to help if I can, and Tom Hunter has been very positive too. Hopefully other people who spend their time promoting books will offer their time too.
Graham’s statement promises an Extraordinary General Meeting for December, when a new chair will be elected, so we have a timescale for action too. Let’s get to it.