Fantasy Con Furore

This blog takes no sides in the growing furore over the British Fantasy Con Awards – a controversy that  threatens to tarnish my enjoyment of that delightful event.

If you’ve missed the fuss, this blog by Steve Jones kicked it off.  And winner Sam Stone is now aiming to give her award back in response; though many are urging her not to do so.

Let’s be clear about this. Awards are fun.  Winning an award is nice. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s nice.  And writers don’t deserve this shit.  I have no views on the politics of the affair but I am convinced that Sam Stone is an honourable writer and this should never have been inflicted on her.

During the banquet in which these awards were given, I chatted with writer Maura McHugh about the terrible experiences writers often have in film and television. My killer story was the one about a writer whose short film won an award in France; and the director and producer went and received the award on his behalf – without telling him! Maura topped that with the exact same story about a DIFFERENT short film and a different writer.

There’s a reason writers are paranoid; because they really are treated badly, in so many different ways.  So I hope in future no other writer gets this kind of mauling as a result of a SF/F convention award ceremony.  The people who organise these cons do so out of love – not for money! – and they deserve our support.  But please, let there never be a repeat of this fiasco.

It was  still a great convention.

 

UPDATE:

This statement from the British Fantasy Society.

Um, if David Howe wasn’t involved in the nominations and selections, then he’s not corrupt.He shouldn’t have resigned; Sam Stone shouldn’t have given her prize back.   Or am I missing something?

It would have been smarter to make a joke of it; ‘This is my girlfriend but I’m NOT on the selection panel so honestly, it’s not as bad as it looks.’

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