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TTA Press ineligible?
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Author:  Michael Kelly [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  TTA Press ineligible?

Was wondering if anyone knows why TTA Press is ineligible for the BFS awards?

Author:  Pete [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

It's because Stephen Theaker is the Awards Administrator, and anything he's contributed to during the 2012 period is therefore ineligible.

He's done a review for Black Static and several for Interzone.

Of course he wasn't Awards Administrator when he did the review for Black Static, so this is being applied retroactively.

But I understand the BFS are aware of the unfairness of the situation and will get something sorted that is more reasonable just as soon as they have a committee meeting or something.

And Stephen has stated that he will resign from the post if a compromise can't be worked out, rather than let TTA miss out.

So, watch this space.

Author:  Pete [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Thread about it over on the BFS forums:-

http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/ ... pic=3450.0

Author:  Rolnikov [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Yes, Pete's summed it up well. It'll be sorted one way or another by the time voting kicks off, but I hope it'll be a way that lets me keep doing both jobs, because I love doing them both, and could see myself doing them both for years if not decades to come!

The BFA rules as they stand are a bit of a mess - in most other places I'll be able to ignore the non sequiturs and paper over the gaps, but in this case there's a strong chance people (people like me, for example) would say that I was ignoring the clear meaning of the rule to suit myself.

At some point before the end of the year we'll give BFS members a chance to either change the rule or say whether I'm applying it too strictly. If this is really what they want the rule to be, I'd respect that, but have to resign.

I don't think that would put the BFS in too much of an awkward position - I warned them that I might have to do that the day after taking the job, as soon as I'd had a thorough read of the current rules. I'm giving them all the time possible to sort it out, and I wasn't warned of the consequences when I took up the position (which was a snap decision at the AGM) - I don't think anyone had realised how the rule would affect someone who writes little bits for different places. They were thinking more of publishers, and the authors of novels.

Author:  Michael Kelly [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Thanks, gents. It sounds as if it is getting sorted for the best. Fingers crossed.

Author:  des2 [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Why is "*ineligible - see note 1" shown against TTA products when either the rule will be resolved satisfactorily or the administrator will resign as confirmed above?
In either case (I hope it is the former), TTA products will always be eligible. Unless I'm missing something.

Author:  Rolnikov [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Firstly, because as things stand they are ineligible - it's just a statement of fact. Secondly, because it gives everyone the chance to realise that those items are currently ineligible, and to think about whether they want that rule fixed, whether they want to challenge that decision, etc.

'TTA products will always be eligible' - only if the person who was found to replace me wasn't someone else who contributes to TTA Press publications. And if they weren't, there's a good chance, given the kind of people who are active in the BFS, that another small press, magazine or anthology would be similarly affected by the rule.

Author:  Pete [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

If the rule is strictly applied, the implication seems to be that any publisher who takes work from the Administrator must be prepared to accept that their publication will be ineligible.

And even then people might get caught out, as the Administrator could change mid-term, by which time work could already have been published and the ineligibility would apply retroactively, as appears to have happened with Black Static.

It's in nobody's interest that this is allowed to stand and hopefully the obvious unfairness of the situation will be sufficient justification for some more reasonable alternative to be found.

Author:  des2 [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Pete wrote:
It's in nobody's interest that this is allowed to stand and hopefully the obvious unfairness of the situation will be sufficient justification for some more reasonable alternative to be found.


Hear Hear! If this rule of potential public perceived favour applies, logically perhaps (arguably) there should be another counterbalancing rule of potential public perceived disfavour (in anyone at all associated with the awards, not only the administrator). We either trust the appointees or we don't (and I personally do).

The reason I asked the question is that it arguably puts a negative label on TTA products (especially for those unaware of the rule controversy and who take Note 1 as final and definitive) or if they are going to use the list as a reading list for voting from outset.

This list is subject to later checking for eligibility, anyway.

A separate unrelated question: presumably it behoves any publisher of anthologies or collections, or any author of them, to add as eligible every single story in those books (for me that would be all the stories in 'The First Book of Classical Horror Stories' and any previously unprinted ones in 'The Last Balcony'). Would this be encouraged or discouraged?

Author:  Rolnikov [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

des2 wrote:
The reason I asked the question is that it arguably puts a negative label on TTA products (especially for those unaware of the rule controversy and who take Note 1 as final and definitive) or if they are going to use the list as a reading list for voting from outset.

A fair point - once it's resolved, one way or another, we do plan to publicise that TTA publications are back in the running, whether that's as part of an announcement that the rule has been changed/softened, or an announcement that once again I've had to resign.

But don't forget that this is the rule that BFS members voted for. (I think almost half the BFS/Fcon members polled wanted a rule like this to extend to the work of all committee members.) The normal result of the rule would have been for votes for Black Static and Interzone to simply be disregarded come March. The same for other things currently marked as ineligible - Babylon Steel, Empire State, Dogbot, etc. I've given people an early chance to see the decision that's been made and thus, if they think it's wrong, to challenge it now rather than when it's too late.

des2 wrote:
This list is subject to later checking for eligibility, anyway.

I won't be checking the whole thing - this isn't the longlist the BFS used to produce. It's an informal, crowdsourced list of items suggested as eligible. I am trying to keep it tidy, and if someone sends me a correction, or if I happen to notice something's ineligible, I'll fix those things or make a note, but otherwise I'll be doing the same as last year's admin - just checking the items that get the most votes in each category (and any added by the juries) before announcing them as the shortlist.

des2 wrote:
A separate unrelated question: presumably it behoves any publisher of anthologies or collections, or any author of them, to add as eligible every single story in those books (...). Would this be encouraged or discouraged?

Go for it - that's exactly what I hope people will do.

Author:  des2 [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Rolnikov wrote:
des2 wrote:
A separate unrelated question: presumably it behoves any publisher of anthologies or collections, or any author of them, to add as eligible every single story in those books (...). Would this be encouraged or discouraged?

Go for it - that's exactly what I hope people will do.


Thanks, I've done it! Sorry, I made a mess of two of them.

Author:  RossWarren [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

So are individual stories from BS ineligible? This would seem like hitting a tack with a sledgehammer given that you contributed a single review to their years eligable output.

Author:  Rolnikov [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

No, the stories in Black Static aren't affected. The stories that appear in the magazine I edit and publish are all ineligible, but I think that's what you would expect. I voluntarily withdrew my own mag from competition last time I was the awards admin, and would have done so again this time even without the rule change.

The current rule does seem a bit over the top, but bear in mind that it was introduced in the midst of a moral panic, in unusual circumstances: a winner returning an award, the society in the newspapers, a cabal of FantasyCon attendees presenting a secret ultimatum to the president... (Would love a copy of that for my records at some point.)

At the time BFS members really didn't want any connection between the awards admin and the nominees at all. There was even talk of paying accountants to run the awards and stuff like that, so that it would be completely independent...

The consensus now seems to be that in the current circumstances the rule is operating rather unfairly, and so I hope we'll get that rubberstamped at the EGM in December.

Author:  Rolnikov [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Good news on this front - the BFS chair proposed a change to the BFA rules at an Extraordinary General Meeting yesterday, and it passed, so Interzone, Black Static and TTA Press are in the clear now without me needing to quit. Quite a relief.

Author:  Roy [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: TTA Press ineligible?

Excellent news, thanks Stephen.

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