BFS: We Have Progress

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.

9 thoughts on “BFS: We Have Progress

  1. It is excellent news about Graham isn’t it! Am looking forward to seeing how things progress.

    Minor correction on the 2012 Fcon, though – it was to be organised by John Naylor and Karen Grover who also run the Asylum steampunk convention/festival thingy.

  2. John Naylor and Karen Grover were doing the organisational bit of the convention – hotel and such. Not sure who was to be doing the programming etc – that may well have been intended to be David Howe and Sam Stone.

    The whole thing was another massive communication-with-the-membership failure.

    And is now entirely irrelevant 🙂

  3. Count me on side with this, too. I don’t know if I will be able to make the EGM — it will depend on when and where it is — but I’ll try. The BFS deserves to survive, despite recent ructions. It’s done a lot of good stuff over the years and continues to put out great publications.

  4. One slight correction: David Howe didn’t add the media categories to the awards – they were introduced by Helen Hopley and the 2008-2009 committee, led by Guy Adams.

    Very encouraged by the news about Graham Joyce.

  5. I think if anyone can stir an EGM to action with the power of oratory alone, it’s that Joyce bloke. Greatly heartened by the appointment, looking forward to seeing some positive results in the December.

    1. If we have to wait until December to see any action I shall be very disappointed. I want to see active engagement with the membership now, so that whatever is presented in December is a result of real consultation, not just what the ruling clique wants to do.

      1. Yes, indeed. There has to be proper widespread consultation beforehand and also mechanisms in place for postal/email/proxy voting or whatever, so those members that cannot afford the time/money/whatever to get to London (if that’s where the EGM ends up) can have their voices heard.

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