Imagining London

I apologise for recent silence around here. On top of various bits of Life, I was thrown by the resignation of Martin McGrath.

If anyone could have been said to have been doing too much for the BSFA, it was he, inasmuch as he was single-handedly dealing with a good half of the organisation’s day-to-day business, from editing Focus, to storing any extra publication copies, to mailing out new member’s packs, to doing all design and layout for all of the BSFA’s publications and liaising with the printer. (And that’s not all.)  It’s far more than any one person should need to do for one organisation, and it’ll take at least three new committee members to replace him!

Insofar as Vector is concerned, his resignation meant that the publication schedule for the next issue (due out in June or early July) was put in doubt, as at least some of its contributors are aware.

The good news is that we now have a volunteer, as a one-off, to do layout for this next issue of Vector: so this issue definitely happening, and on schedule too at this rate! And I’m excited about the contents – this issue has articles from an exciting group of contributors! (To whom I still owe many edits – coming soon, now that the issue is back on track!) (This is no guarantee that the following issue of Vector will be coming out on time, however. That depends on one or more additional, as yet not-found, volunteers.)

However, as a caveat, it’s up to me, as features editor, and any other willing volunteers, to track down, volunteer, and recruit any and all images to be used in this issue, from the cover art to all the interiors. Without imagery, the issue can still go ahead – but it will look notably image-free!

The theme of this forthcoming issue is “London & SF”, as proposed by James Bacon, as a tie-in to the London in 2014 Worldcon bid.

The cover art will be in full colour, but otherwise, reproductions will be in black and white.  Do you have drawings, photographs, and paintings you’ve made yourself and can grant permission for their use in this one issue of Vector, whether in print or PDF?  Suggestions of artists who might be willing to contribute to this issue? Ideas of other legal and appropriate ways to illustrate this issue?

Can you help?

BSFA Award Nominations: Art Statistics

Interest in the art category was down this year compared to the year before. Or perhaps there were just fewer works which happened to catch the eyes of BSFA members.

This year, a total of 24 BSFA members nominated a total of 44 works of art for the art category of the BSFA awards. That means that it was the second-least nominated-in category, although non-fiction trailed well behind it with both sets of numbers. Only 4% of the BSFA’s total members nominated in this category.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a consistent pattern. Last year, about as many entries were nominated for this category as for the art entry, although a larger number of nominators – 30 – nominated the same number of works, 44. Still, that makes it far more competitive than two years ago, when nominators agreed on only 22 works to nominate.

It strikes me every year how dominated this category is by cover art. There’s nothing wrong with that! But it is the common way by which imagery reaches the households of voting Eastercon and BSFA members, arriving on the cover of an anthology, a magazine, or a novel. Perhaps that’s even what tipped the balance to buying it, judging a book by a quite magnificent cover. There is plenty else out there though, from the artwork for board and card games to artists’ published collections to the work shown in the art shows at conventions such as Eastercon itself or Novacon.

In any event, this too is a category about which prospective BSFA award voters might like to be more mindful for potential nominees as they go through the coming year.

Sooner than next year’s ballot is this year’s vote however: as a reminder, here are the shortlists for the four BSFA awards. Ballots were sent out with the most recent BSFA mailing, and will be available at the forthcoming Eastercon, Illustrious, where the votes will be tallied and the awards presented.

BSFA Award Nominations So Far — Best Artwork

To recap, for anyone who wasn’t reading over the weekend: the deadline for nominating for this year’s BSFA Awards is this coming Saturday, 16 January. BSFA members can nominate as many items as they like in the four categories — Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Non-Fiction, and Best Artwork. The five items with the most nominations in each case go forward to the final ballot.

As an aid to memory, I’ve been posting the nominations received so far in each category — that is, lists of everything that has received at least one nomination:

Today, the last of the categories: Best Artwork. Any single science fictional or fantastic image that first appeared in 2009 is eligible; to add your support to any of the works listed below, or to nominate anything else, email the BSFA Awards Administrator with details of what you want to nominate, and your membership number or postcode.

The list:

Cover of Future Bristol, ed. Colin Harvey by Andy Bigwood
Cover of The Push by Dave Hutchinson, by Andy Bigwood
Cover of The Gift of Joy by Ian Whates, by Vincent Chong
Alternate cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by MS Corley
Cover of The Edge of the Country and Other Stories by Trevor Denyer
Cover of Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, by Jon Foster
Cover of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Three ed George Mann, by Hardy Fowler
Alternate cover for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, art project by Nitzan Klamer
Cover of The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling, by Raphael Lacoste, jacket design is by David Stephenson.
Emerald” by Stephanie Law
Cover of Murky Depths 7, by Chris Moore
Cover of Desolation Road by Ian McDonald, by Stephan Martinière, jacket design by Jacqueline Nasso Cooke.
Cover of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington, by Istan Orosz
Cover of World’s End by Mark Chadbourn by John Picacio
Cover of Eclipse 3 ed Jonathan Strahan by Richard Powers
Cover of Shadow of the Scorpion by Neal Asher by Steve Rawlings
Cover of Twisted Metal by Tony Ballantyne, by Jon Sullivan
Cover of Xenopath by Eric Brown by Jon Sullivan
Cover of Interzone 220, by Adam Tredowski
Cover of Interzone 221, by Adam Tredowski
Cover of Interzone 224, by Adam Tredowski
Cover of Interzone 225, by Adam Tredowski
UK cover for The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, by Sam Green
Cover of Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding, by Stephan Martiniere
Cover of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, by Raphael Lacoste
Cover of Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
Cover of Journey Into Space by Toby Litt
Cover of The Resistance by Muse

Links are to the best-quality copies of each image that I could find; if you can improve on any of them (or if you know the artist details for any of the images that are missing them) do let me know.