London Meeting: Not Robert Holdstock

The guest at tonight’s BSFA meeting is Robert Holdstock, author of Mythago Wood (winner of the BSFA Best Novel Award in 1984) and, more recently, the three books of the Merlin Codex. He will be interviewed by Paul Kincaid.

Breaking news:

Rob Holdstock is sick and sends his apologies (he really, really did want to be with us tonight).

At short notice Paul Kincaid has agreed to lead a discussion of this year’s BSFA and Clarke Award lists, so this is your chance to air your views.

Looks like I’ll be lurking at the back keeping very quiet for this one, then.

The meeting is open to any and all who might be interested, and will be held in the upstairs room of the Star Tavern in Belgravia (map here). The interview starts at 7.00, but there are likely to be people hanging around in the bar from 5.30 or so.

17 thoughts on “London Meeting: Not Robert Holdstock

  1. You know (this is terribly childish, but also irresistible), hanging around in a “bra” from 5:30 sounds far more fun that the BSFA meeting

  2. Niall, unfortunately Rob’s cancelled at short notice due to illness. Instead Paul Kincaid will lead a discussion on the Clarke and BSFA awards shortlists.

  3. Looks like I’ll be lurking at the back keeping very quiet for this one, then.

    Yeah, ‘cos it’s not like anyone will be calling the jurors wrongheads, or anything.

  4. I suppose I can talk about the other BSFA categories …

    Does anyone have access to a colour printer, so that we have copies of the artwork available?

  5. I suppose I can talk about the other BSFA categories …

    Hey, we could have the great non-fic award debate! Always a barrel of laughs!

  6. I’ll print the artwork out and see if the quality is good enough.

    In my role as stunt Farah for the night, I will be pointing out that there are current jurors in the audience so that people can throw rotten vegetables at them and request that debate proceeds accordingly.

    Also, any discussion of the Non-Fiction Recommended Reading List will be restricted to comments on the books concerned. There will NOT be a discussion of whether there should be an award or not – this is not the approrpiate venue.

  7. and request that debate proceeds accordingly.

    Well, that covers a multitude of sins.

    Seriously, I could live with sitting in the downstairs bar if being in the room would put a cramp on the discussions.

    There will NOT be a discussion of whether there should be an award or not – this is not the approrpiate venue.

    On the one hand, I agree with this. On the other hand, we did want to get more feedback from a wider range of people.

    I will also have actual paper BSFA award ballots to distribute.

  8. I am very conscious that there will be jurors in the audience, so I’d prefer this not to be all about which book should win. (That’s the reason I spent however many years not going to the Not The Clarke Award panel at Eastercons). So I’m inclined to structure it more as a discussion of what we look for in an award book, why books might make one shortlist and not the other, and so on.

    I am also very happy to devote at least part of the evening to discussing the Non-Fiction Award, depending on how other people feel. So long as it doesn’t degenerate into a slanging match, it could be the chance for a useful airing of views.

  9. Niall, given the Clarke jury rules, I understand you’re pretty much unable to contribute to discussions on the novels. But I don’t see why you and Graham (and any other jurors who are there) should be sent out of the room while we talk about you behind your back. If people can’t make their points politely, or feel they can’t disagree while you’re present, that’s their problem. Though of course, if you feel you’d be more comfortable sitting the whole thing out, that’s your privilege.

    One reason for not having the non-fic discussion is simply time – the nine novels across the shortlists (mental note to self – bring copies of shortlists) will take up most of the available time quite happily. But I fear it could get a bit acrimonious, and would rather avoid that (incidentally, my original comment was written without having seen Graham’s). If you’d like to stand up at the beginning of the meeting and invite letters to Vector on the subject, that will be fine.

    I’ve printed the artwork – looks okay, though they’ve printed out quite small.

  10. Hmm, I wasn’t going to be able to come along, but now I think I probably ought to see if I can manage it.

  11. Paul, the ‘what makes an award winner’ discussion sounds great to me — looking forward to it.

    Tony, I was just thinking that Clarke jurors generally stay out of the Not The Clarke at Eastercon, so by analogy … but if the discussion goes as Paul plans, it’s much less of an issue.

  12. So can we expect the jurors comments on the generalities of what they look for in an award winner? It sounds like an interesting discussion – more interesting than the Holdstock interview, dare I say – and its a shame I won’t be there.

  13. Niall, as I say, it’s your privilege to withdraw downstairs if you’d rather, bt I certainly shan’t be applying any pressure upon you or any other juror to do so.

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