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Two Proposals For The Structure And Administration Of The Arthur C Clarke Award

with 16 comments

Inspired by Nina Allan’s recent post, I’d like to say a few things about the Arthur C Clarke Award. In particular, I’d like to discuss:

  1. The structure and administration of the award
  2. The composition and reception of its shortlists
  3. The award as barometer of British SF publishing

In the olden days, I’d have bunged this all into a single post but if I don’t chunk it up, I fear it won’t get written. This post will focus on 1) and hopefully I will return to the other two later. (I’d also like to return to another issue Allan raised – the concept of a British SF ‘hub’ – but don’t hold your breath.)

Let me preface these remarks with a bit of context. I have been interested and engaged with the award since Jeff Noon won for Vurt in 1994. I feel hugely proud and privileged to have been a judge in 2011 and 2012. Funding was abruptly withdrawn during this period and without current director Tom Hunter, the award could well have died on its arse. So this is not about criticism, this is about potential ways to strengthen the award for the future. I think this could easily be done in two ways:

  1. Introducing a longlist
  2. Standardising the timetable for the award

Hunter is to be congratulated for many of the innovations during his tenure and one of the big ones is releasing the submissions list. As I understand it, the submissions list prior to Hunter have been destroyed which is a real shame as they are very valuable before for understanding where the shortlists come from but also for giving an insight into SF publishing more broadly (see 3) above). But a submissions list is not a longlist, although authors occasionally try to misrepresent it as such. A longlist gives another opportunity for publicity but also, crucially, debate.

Every year there are unaccountable omissions from the shortlist. Allan’s post refers to Priestgate during which Christopher Priest identified Wake Up And Dream by Ian R MacLeod, Dead Water by Simon Ings, By Light Alone by Adam Roberts and Osama by Lavie Tidhar as essential for the shortlist. Would any, all or none of those have made a longlist? We will never know but it seems to me that it would have enriched the conversation. So I’m pleased that in his latest piece for the Guardian, Hunter has softened his line a bit on this: “There have also been many calls for us to introduce an annual longlist, in addition to our shortlist. There are good arguments for and against this, but it’s definitely worth the conversation if it will help highlight the increasing diversity of our genre.” Although worryingly, he continues: “If a longlist proves impractical, we’re also discussing the idea of increasing the number of titles on our shortlists as a route to highlighting more titles.” Don’t do it, Tom!

A longlist would also help with my second way of strengthening the award. Currently Hunter has control over publishing the submissions list and the awards ceremony itself but not the shortlist announcement as this tied to sponsors Sci-Fi London. The result has been the timing of the award has been a bit of a moveable feast. As Allan puts it: “Last year, for the first time in a long time, there was no comprehensive critical review of the Clarke Award shortlist at Strange Horizons and, because of inept programming and yet another shift in the timing of the award, no discussion of the shortlist at Eastercon either.” A longlist would be in Hunter’s control and could be made available at the same time every year, in advance of Eastercon. This isn’t quite the same as having the shortlist as reading a whole longlist is a pretty big ask but it would allow a bigger window of engagement.

The only barrier to both is a finite resource: the time of the judges. Since they have to produce what is essentially an internal longlist anyway in order to guide the shortlist discussion, I don’t think it is any extra effort for them. But with the ever expanding submissions list and the tendency of publishers to backload their submissions, there is a question about how long it takes them just to read all the books. I don’t think that is insurmountable though.

So yeah, I can see lots of benefits to those two proposals and no downsides. Who’s with me?

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Written by Martin

3 May 2016 at 07:54

Posted in awards, sf

Tagged with ,

16 Responses

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  1. Thanks Martin.

    I must admit I have a few issues with Nina’s piece. Without going into detail I think it misunderstands a lot of the reasoning behind decisions made in the past few years and focuses too much on the importance of Eastercon as the main channel for critical discussion. Her claim that the award’s press coverage in recent year’s is purely down to the intervention of Chris Priest is also something I object to strongly.

    That said, as you pointed out I did just publish a piece in the Guardian inviting conversation around the future of the award, and it’s been my intention to start that for some time as I see our 30th anniversary as the opportunity to create any changes now that we’ve largely made it over the direct financial issues of 5 years ago.

    I don’t think the scheduling of award dates has been as erratic as you and Nina make out, and only this year have I varied things quite largely and I think I’ve made it clear why e.g. it’s our 30th anniversary and I want more time to do stuff with that (this conversation being a planned part of that).

    Usually we announce the winner on the opening of the Sci-Fi-London film festival, which is always just before the May bank holiday. The shortlist comes before that, and although we don’t have a fixed date for that announcement they have tended to be fairly close as we usually work to the same copy and publication deadlines for SFX magazine, our media sponsor.

    The main issue it seems is Easter itself, which obviously moves. With the award now receiving more than 100 books a year it makes sense to give our judges more reading time. In the past the shortlist actually used to be announced in January. I did that my first year and it didn’t make any sense. It was also announced live, as was the winner, with no opportunity for press outreach under embargo and so on. I tried that too my first couple of years, judges meeting on the day of the ceremony and me literally not knowing what was in the envelope when I got up on stage. I wouldn’t recommend that either btw.

    What this means is we sometimes won’t have a shortlist in time for Easter at all, let alone one that can be discussed. This happened this year for instance. I think it’s rather unfair to blame that on either us or the Eastercon programmers. We did tell them this would be the case though and suggested the 30th anniversary review panel as a good alternative, which they seemed to agree with us on as it got programmed.

    In terms of a long list I think I’ll be doing my own post on this (and things like self-pub which you’ve not touched on here) outlining all of our thinking.

    What I am curious about though is how a long list really helps broaden debate. Does it, or will we just see a call a couple of years down the line for the list that became the long list and then the minutes of that meeting, and then a call for the judges to be forced to appear at Eastercon every year at their own time and expense in order to justify themselves in public (that last one is something I actually had demanded of me once).

    I can’t help thinking that if the Clarke Award has the opportunity to do more in a year, that a long list is really not the best use of that time and resource.

    Oh, and why the strong objection to the idea of our increasing the number on the shortlist instead?

    Thanks

    Tom

  2. As I said, this post was inspired by Allan’s post but I’m not here to defend it.

    Perhaps surprisingly, given I’ve set out two proposals for change, I would describe my view of the Clarke Award as ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Changing the shortlist would be a fix and not one I see any need for. Six books is a sensible number for a shortlist and the long established number. I think it is important the number of books on the shortlist is consistent (so I wouldn’t be in favour of additional books being added at the discretion of the judges) and that the judges really have to narrow the books down to a genuine shortlist (so I wouldn’t be in favour of expanding it to eight titles). Same applies to relaxing submission to criteria for self-published novels which has loads of negatives and very few benefits.

    My proposals are more additions than changes and the one I’m most interested in is the longlist. This just seems like a positive thing all round and I’m not sure where the time and resource cost is but I guess I’ll have to what for your post to see your thinking. But it sounds like you view calls for a longlist as some sort of unreasonable demand from those with an agenda to hold the judges to account. Which is a bit odd. For me, it just means more talk about the books, both within and without the genre.

    Introducing a longlist could facilitate some additional structure around timing and some people (including me) would welcome that but if it isn’t a big deal, it isn’t a big deal. I do want to make two points about Eastercon and the reading time of judges though. Firstly, if Eastercon isn’t the main channel for critical discussion (and I think part of the issue here is that there is clearly no such main channel) then it is still an important one. As I said above, there is no reason the award can’t look in multiple directions simultaneously. I appreciate the fact that you turned the awards ceremony from a booze-up for the usual faces of fandom into a proper media event and it is handy that you can place any article on the award in the Guardian. But Eastercon remains the one place where the people who are most likely to be on the shortlist and the people who are most likely to read the shortlist all come together. That seems like something worth harnessing.

    Secondly, I totally understand the pressure on the judges simply to read all the submitted novels (a good reason not to expand the criteria to include self-published work). But this is partially caused by the call for submissions process and the way publishers respond to it. The issue is less the total amount of reading required (not that I’m underestimating this!) than the amount of reading required after the submissions window has closed. Things could be done to equalise this.

    Martin

    3 May 2016 at 10:24

  3. I know it must sometimes seem as if this household has an endless fascination with the Clarke Award, but after my essay in 2012 I decided that from my own point of view enough was enough. Clearly, Nina and I have talked over her ideas. I don’t disagree with her, and she is to be applauded for the many hours and days she has spent recently on the subject, at sacrifice to the new novel she is working on, but her essay is her own, not mine.

    However, my name has been invoked a couple of times in this blog.

    On the subject of a longlist: I never could understand Tom Hunter’s past objection to it, and I’m pleased to see he is coming round to the idea. Surely, as they approach the need to compile a shortlist, the judges will have a rough-and-ready list, if only in mind, of the titles that have most interested them to that point? From such preliminary notes, it should not take either a genius or a workaholic to produce a list of the twelve titles mentioned most often.

    On timing of the announcements. The Man Booker Prize has much in common with the Clarke Award. I don’t know how many novels are submitted to the Booker every year, but I imagine the sheer number of books sent in has been a problem in the past. The current submission rules contain many restrictions, presumably to prevent a flood of inappropriate entries. The rules are set out here: http://themanbookerprize.com/entering-the-awards. Tom Hunter would do well to read them and incorporate some of the ideas. (The Booker has an interesting and useful definition of self-published books, for instance.)

    The amount of time required for Clarke Award judges’ reading would be reduced if the submissions were intelligently controlled. It’s worth adding that the Booker Prize is awarded in the same year as the books are published. This means that when the long and short lists are announced the books are actually in print and on sale in the shops. Under Tom Hunter’s new and leisurely timescale, most of the books on the Clarke shortlist will be many months old and probably unavailable by the time anyone hears about them. (Shelf life for novels is usually brief.) Tom bangs on constantly about publicity for the books, but there’s no point publicizing something that’s no longer around.

    For the record, the dates for the 2016 Man Booker are as follows. The longlist will be announced on 27th July 2016. The shortlist follows two months later, on 13th September. The prize itself is awarded just over a month later, on 25th October. The important point here is that all the books are published in 2016, the same year as the award is made.

    As for publicity. I disagree with Tom’s emphasis on publicity for its own sake. I’m never sure how he means this would apply, and anyway it seems to me that “publicity” in the context of books reveals a misunderstanding of how books are written and read. It is one of the damaging myths of the book trade that people wander into bookstores and buy on impulse something that momentarily grabs their attention, because of some kind of “publicity”.

    In my experience, from many years of talking to regular book buyers and readers, most people who buy books are clearly motivated and informed. They know what they want. They look for other books while they’re in the shop, and might well buy on impulse – this is the reason bookstores must keep and display a wide range of titles. But to predicate an award on a general and more or less undefined impulse is in error.

    You are absolutely correct to keep saying, as you do, that debate and discussion are crucial. Books sell on word of mouth. Interest is aroused by argument, recommendation, dispute, enthusiasm, not by a list of books belatedly revealed on a website.

    And while I’m on the subject of publicity, Tom Hunter says: “[Nina Allan]’s claim that the award’s press coverage in recent year’s [sic] is purely down to the intervention of Chris Priest is also something I object to strongly.”

    All I know is that before I wrote and published my long essay there was hardly any mention at all of the Clarke Award in the press. The Guardian was a case in point. When my essay appeared on my own website, it went viral more or less straight away. The next day I received a phonecall from Alison Flood, a journalist on The Guardian. Although I don’t know Ms Flood personally, and have never worked with her, I am a regular contributor to The Guardian. She was checking facts, as she should, and we had a brief conversation to the effect that: yes, I still supported what I had written, and yes, as far as I was aware there were no errors of fact and she could reliably report what I said. She then wrote the piece that is still available on the Guardian’s website. Ever since then, she and other Guardian reporters have regularly followed Clarke Award matters.

    I think Tom Hunter has done a great job on the award, and I have told him so personally several times. I think it’s fair to point out that the award would probably no longer exist if Tom had not done what he did when the money ran out a few years ago. He has worked professionally and uncontroversially, and gradually the award has gained a greater sense of authority under his guidance. But this does not mean I would endorse everything he says or does. We don’t want to lose him, and I hope Nina Allan’s essay will re-focus his mind on what really matters. This award is unique in the SF world, and its influence should gain strength not just from some passing publicity management, but from the books that become prominent because of the award, and the discussion, enthusiasm, controversy they inevitably provoke.

    Christopher Priest

    3 May 2016 at 12:46

  4. So far as the Guardian goes, they have been covering the award since 2003. It looks to me like the uptick came with the 2009 shortlist (3 articles); 2010 and 2011 then had 4 articles each year. That said, 2012 was the high watermark, with five pieces.

    So far as Martin’s proposals go:

    1. I think changing the schedule this year will have been worth it if there is enough discussion and promotion to run through the summer. I’m not certain this will be the case.

    2. In principle I think a predictable schedule is a good idea. I’m sympathetic to the problem of Easter moving around, although announcing earlier would obviously mitigate the problem.

    3. I’m against a Booker-like schedule, because it doesn’t consider the whole of the calendar year, and as arbitrary as that is, it is at least a consistent and shared frame of reference. So far as Chris’s point about availability goes, quite often things are shortlisted just as they are coming out in paperback, so they are around. That’s the case this year with, for instance, Children of Time (21 April). The Booker also has the advantage on this front that it has the commercial impact to justify a new print run of a shortlisted book from 11 months earlier, which I suspect the Clarke does not.

    4. Another factor to consider in scheduling is the timing of the other British awards. The BSFA is now fairly consistently late-January or early February; the Kitschies are early March. The argument for having the Clarke much later is that gives the award its own space. I tend to think that having them appear in the same general timeframe would be beneficial to all of them.

    5. I also think the first quarter of the year is a quieter time for genre news in general. The alignment with the Hugos works to the Clarke’s advantage this year because it looks like the voice of sanity. As and when the Hugos return to a more normal disposition, on this schedule I think the Clarke would be at risk of being drowned out. What the first quarter of the year does have, though, is lots of discussion of “best of the year” — that’s died down by this point, we’ve started to move on and awards shortlists that come out now feel (to me at least) interesting but less forceful as statements.

    6. By the way, apropos of nothing in particular, we really need a juried British award for SF short fiction.

    7. I am very strongly against increasing the size of the shortlist, either at the judges’ discretion or permanently, for the reasons Martin gives. One of the Clarke’s great virtues has been the consistency and rigour of its process over time. I’d be very wary of tinkering with that.

    8. I had previously thought I wasn’t that excited by the idea of a longlist, but I’m coming around to the idea. In part that’s because of the increased submissions volume: there really are more titles deserving of a bit of the spotlight. In part because I can see it supporting further discussion. One specific thing I’ve seen for other longlists is the idea of a “shadow panel” — I’ve seen this for the Baileys and for the Man Booker International, where a group of readers set out to decide their own shortlist. A full submissions list is far too big to shadow properly (and is not public for most awards in any case, sadly), but a longlist of 12 is manageable for a dedicated reader, given six or eight weeks. It’s the sort of project that bloggers or Booktubers love. (And it doesn’t require a hub site…)

    9. I find it unlikely that a longlist would lead to calls to making the judges’ deliberations public. I haven’t seen that happen with any other award. I have seen calls for other awards to make their submissions public; but the Clarke already (very usefully) does that.

    10. Taking all of the above into consideration, at the moment I think my proposed/preferred schedule for the award would be something like: open submissions in June, close them at the end of November; publish submissions list at the start of January; longlist at the end of January; shortlist at the end of March; winner in early May (retain tie-in with Sci-Fi London). That means you’d have a few Eastercons without a shortlist (but a “shadow shortlist” panel would be a fine replacement for a “shadow winner” panel in those cases), but you’d have dialogue with the other awards, a good long period to spotlight the books, and you keep the established date for the winner.

    NH

    3 May 2016 at 20:49

  5. Just to be clear, I don’t favour a Booker-like schedule either. This would be hugely disruptive to the award, might not even be possible and wouldn’t really bring any benefits. I do like Niall’s proposed schedule a lot though.

    Martin

    4 May 2016 at 08:55

  6. Thanks NH for spiking the suggestion the Clarke wasn’t getting any media coverage in places like the Guardian prior to 2012 for me.

    I should probably point out that the record 5 stories was not really to do with Chris’s intervention either, other than the one article which was directly about that story. The other 4 as far as I remember were shortlist announcement, winner announcement, report from the award ceremony by Sam Jordison (his 4th year writing that night up btw) and then an extra piece on that year’s winner Jane Rogers promoting her appearance on the Guardian books podcast. We don’t get that podcast coverage every year, but it wasn’t nothing to do with Chris and all to do with Jane’s particular profile.

    So, with that out of the way, here’s a few more quick thoughts:

    1. It’s great to be reminded of the Booker rules, it’s been a while since I last read them, but right now I’m still trying to get past the idea that for years the Clarke was criticised by many for picking its shortlists in some kind of effort to be more like the Booker rather than looking towards science fiction publishing. I find it kind of ironic that the big idea now is ‘be more like the Booker.’

    2. I’m going to keep checking in on this blog and any others where this conversation might crop up, but my intention right now is to post my own thoughts and analysis of all the ideas for change discussed so far plus a couple I didn’t trail in my Guardian piece. I’ll probably do this via our channel on Medium as a starter but am open to other ideas for suitable venues (volunteers to host me anyone?)

    3. I wanted to be clear that it has been my plan to have this conversation around possible changes to the award this year for some time (for the record I first suggested that piece to the Guardian sometime around late March last year, we just waited until now). I see an anniversary year as being the appropriate time to do that rather than creating incremental changes. That said, implementation of change might not all be at once depending on what it is.

    4. I also wanted to say that we have been having a lot of these discussions already internally. Both Andrew M. Butler and I have spoken in public and on social media, and I’d just like to raise a friendly flag about digging through our past posts etc for our definitive positions on this. For my part I’ve definitely argued for and against ideas in the past, and you’ll likely see me doing that more over the next few months, especially on Twitter. That’s a part of this conversation I’ve invited though, not the end of the discussion, and I’m not arguing for any one position so much as seeking the best road forward. Basically depending on when I;’m taking and who to you might see me shifting. Right now, for instance, I’m primarily against the idea of a long list for lots of reasons, but there are some conditions where I could see this being a beneficial addition. I can’t always cram all of that nuance into a tweet, but I’d prefer to be talking there over just ignoring people.

    5. Our timings are nothing at all to do with the Hugo Awards, or any other award for that matter. Timings suit our organisation needs for the year, nothing more. I’m not adverse to the idea of trying to lock those down more if its practical from an organisational basis.

    6. If anyone really wants to know what I think on a particular subject tweet me first maybe but also very happy to answer at more length via email or even to arrange a phone conversation where practical. There’s an email form here that goes right to my email address: https://www.clarkeaward.com/contact-us/

    Thanks

    Tom Hunter

  7. Just to say thanks for this post, Martin – it’s great to see the discussion being broadened. And for the record, I too think Niall’s proposed schedule is excellent and highly practicable.

    Nina Allan

    4 May 2016 at 13:17

  8. Oh, one more quick question. Can someone explain a little more about the ‘lack of a hub’ idea?

    I didn’t go to Eastercon this year, so missed the panel and am not clear on whether this was a general point on the changing of online water cooler places to gather and post and chat about genre stuff, or if there was a suggestion that I (as the award) should actually be building and maintaining that resource?

    Thanks

    Tom

  9. It definitely wasn’t an attempt to shove even more work your way!

    The general consensus was that Torque Control provided a valuable service in being the water cooler for British science fiction and that it was missed. There are various things that have provided some of the same benefit for the community. Strange Horizons, for a while when Niall was reviews editor, acted as a hub for British SF criticism but through a combination of continual evolution and website woes it doesn’t really any more. The Pornokitsch empire has been awesome for British science fiction but has always been a bit of a different (and many tentacled) beast. And Twitter is brilliant but the limitations of it are abundantly clear. So nothing has quite replaced it. Now, it might be that it was just the right person at the right time but I do think something similar could be created. It would be a serious undertaking though so you’d need a pretty driven individual or an effective organisation to achieve it.

    I think the link to you was just that this sort of hub is a way binding together and amplifying the Clarke Award discussion wherever it is happening (not to mention generating it).

    Martin

    4 May 2016 at 16:58

  10. […] discussed the administration and structure or the Arthur C Clarke Award, I’m now going to move onto the composition and reception of its […]

  11. “Introducing a longlist could facilitate some additional structure around timing ”

    Slightly late to the party, I know. But it turns out I have a few things I want to say, not least because I approach the awards not as a critic trying to analyse them but as a library worker trying to promote books and reading.

    First things first: Longlist – absolutely, yes! With a juried award, a longlist is an excellent starting point. From my perspective, no so much as a discussion/promotion point (although we try and do some), but primarily as a “Watch out! A shortlist is coming!” indication. It gives somewhere to start hooking people in a teeing them up for the shortlist. And it helps us because a longlist dropped blind is a “You’d better prepare!” warning, whereas a shortlist dropped blind is “Oh fuck, we’re being the ball now.”

    I know, in an ideal world, we’re on top of all this shit. We know every award, we’ve got all their dates down pat, and we’re readily prepared to promote every one. But. This isn’t an ideal world. There aren’t enough people to keep up with everything. Signposts are important.

    And so, a longlist. A longlist is brilliant. A longlist means we can (a) tweet or retweet an acknowledgement of it, quickly promote it best as we can; (b) be on full alert for the shortlist, with the longlist giving us some guide of where we should be looking at. The latter is the crucial difference between a longlist and a submissions list. Second guessing a longlist has so much less margin for error.

    The increased gap this year between shortlisting and award helps with promotion. It gives us the chance to order extra copies of the shortlist to promote to readers before the awards are announced. This is something I’ve spoken about before, as it’s difficult to promote an award when we don’t have the books, or can’t get the books – from my perspective, the 2009 award was particularly poor, as the one book we were unable to acquire was the one book that ended up winning.

    To me, having a fully fixed and set structure is less important if there’s a longlist. A structure that works to a longlist as the starting point is good enough for me. I see a longlist as being a balloon that goes up, and if everything follows on a relative timetable to that, I’m not wholly concerned as to exactly when said balloon goes up.

    Finally, on the matter of timing, and specifically conflict with the Kitschies. It’s tricky.

    If the timing stacks up perfectly that you can segue into the second award as interest in the first wanes, brilliant. But equally you can end up shunting the first off in order to accommodate the second before interest has fully been given the chance to wane. Or equally, there could be a weird period between the two where interest has dropped off but you have to try and eke it out what little bit longer before the next award comes along – the alternative being empty display space (bad!) or a display put up for but a brief time (inefficient, disappointing to customers). So it’s difficult to say exactly how the Clarke should position itself.

    Certainly, I can say we appreciate the current time between shortlist and award announcement.

    In the past there have been times we’ve been able to segue between the Clarke and the Kitschies nicely. And equally, there are times when we haven’t. Particularly this year, when the time between Kitschies shortlist and award announcement seemed to be so brief we weren’t able to capitalise on it at all.

    We’ve never promoted the Hugos. In part because in the past they’ve been very Ameri-centric, and as a result we simply can’t acquire the whole shortlist. So for us, Clarke clashing with Hugos isn’t such a huge deal.

    And yet, in the greater scheme of things, I can see how it would be.

    It’s a funny old balancing act. Working entirely on gut feeling, I’d say have the Clarke at least a month before the Hugos, at least a month after the Kitschies. So, that would be June, July, roughly? May, for us, is maybe slightly too early for any award.

    My only regret is I spend so much time trying to figure out how to get other people to read these books that I rarely manage any myself.

    Nick H.

    9 May 2016 at 22:58

  12. […] and their role in helping to guide the evolution of British genre culture. Martin Petto has taken the bait and begun a series of posts looking at the structure of the Clarke Award, the short-lists it […]

  13. For what it’s worth, the what-I-try-not-to-call-a-longlist is produced when I ask the judges for their shortlists and the books that lie just outside their shortlist, in other words a top twelve. I ask for this a couple of days before the shortlist meeting — sometimes I don’t get the data until the afternoon before the meeting.

    I then rank this in a couple of ways so we can get a sense of what’s popular among the judges.

    If my maths is correct then this what-I-try-not-to-call-a-longlist might be as brief as twelve books, it could be as long as sixty, depending how far in sync the five judges are (and we would be in serious trouble if it were sixty for what I hope are obvious reasons).

    In theory this data could be released but it’s currently only created about 48 hours before the shortlist.

    We are of course dealing with unpaid judges (usually with day jobs), some of whom have to travel some distance for meetings and even as things stand it can be difficult to schedule four Saturday meetings that don’t clash with conventions, work commitments, family commitments, childcare issues, holidays or fall too close to conventions (for example, we’d try not to schedule the weekend before or after Eastercon). I’m wary of holding an additional meeting to establish an official longlist.

    Andrew M. Butler
    Non-voting Chair of Judges.

    flares

    10 May 2016 at 12:24

  14. I’d agree that it doesn’t warrant any additional meeting but, unlike the decisions on the shortlist and winner, I don’t think it needs it. I’d have thought the longlist could be agreed by correspondence, although I appreciate that would be substantially easier at the twelve rather than sixty end of the spectrum.

    Martin

    10 May 2016 at 12:46

  15. […] Context is for the weak but here you go. […]

  16. Some entirely different thoughts on the award prompted by the same Nina Allan post from author and ex-judge Paul McAuley. Allan turns up in the comments and there is lots of food for thought in the discussion.

    Martin

    25 May 2016 at 07:37


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