BSFA Review – Vector #283
I am writing this – my last editorial – in the aftermath of Mancunicon, the 67th British national science fiction convention. As usual, there was a strong BSFA presence, including (obviously) at the BSFA Awards which were announced on Saturday. The Best Artwork award went to Jim Burns for his cover for Pelquin’s Comet by Ian Whates. I think this was all Ian’s fault. As chair of the BSFA, he challenged me to put up or shut up and get involved with the organisation. The result was a special BSFA booklet, SF Writers On SF Films: From Akira To Zardoz (remember that?). The experience was obviously a good one as I came back for more when the role of reviews editor was advertised.
I wasn’t sure how long I would be doing to job for when I started but it turned out to be almost six years. At Eastercon I managed to catch up with three of the four Vector editors I served under during that period: Niall Harrison, Shana Worthen and Glyn Morgan. Glyn was actually on a panel with me, Book Reviews In The Age Of Amazon: “In place of relatively few “gatekeeper” reviewers in relatively few venues, we have a commons where anyone can review if they choose.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is positive thing that the internet has provided a democratic platform for everyone. But it isn’t either/or; there is still a space for informed, considered and – crucially – edited opinions.
So perhaps it was fitting that straight after that panel I met my successor as reviews editor, Susan Oke, for the first time (in the slightly unexpected location of the Strange Horizons tea party in the Deansgate Hilton’s Presidential Suite up on the 22nd floor). My aim was to leave the reviews section in better shape than I found it and I think I’ve achieved this. I’m sure Sue will improve further on what I’ve done and I look forward to watching that journey as a member. And also contributing since I will be experiencing life on the other side of a table as a reviewer, rather than an editor. Go easy on me, Sue, I’m a bit rusty!
- Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho (Fixi Novo, 2014) – Reviewed by Aishwarya Subramanian
- Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho (Macmillan, 2015) -Reviewed by Maureen Kincaid Speller
- IF THEN by Matthew De Abaitua (Angry Robot, 2015) – Reviewed by Shaun Green
- Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald (Gollancz, 2015) – Reviewed by Duncan Lawie
- The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin (Gollancz, 2015) – Reviewed by Paul Graham Raven
- The Night Clock by Paul Meloy (Solaris Books, 2015) – Reviewed by Maureen Kincaid Speller
- The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Tor, 2014) – Reviewed by Sandra Unerman
- The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton (Corsair, 2016) – Reviewed by Sandra Unerman
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor, 2015) – Reviewed by Susan Oke
- The Last Witness by KJ Parker (Tor, 2015) – Reviewed by Andy Sawyer
- What if I got down on my knees? by T Rauch (Whistling Shade Press, 2015) – Reviewed by Kate Onyett