Wednesday, 5 October 2011

British Fantasy Awards Controversy

This weekend was one of the proudest moments of my life. I first appeared on the horror circuit in 2007 and attended my first FantasyCon that year. Since then I have always held the British Fantasy Awards in high regard and it was always my dream to one day win an award.

This year I did win the award for not only Best Short Fiction with my short story ‘Fool’s Gold’ but also for my novel Demon Dance. I was delighted to be the first woman in 31 years to win this award and I had no idea that I had won either award. David – professional to the core - made a point of ensuring that I did not find out.

I have seen the comments made concerning my receiving the August Derleth Award for Best novel on Sunday - I repeat again I had no knowledge I was going to receive it and remind everyone that the ballot is from the BFS membership and attendees of FantasyCon. It is their votes, not a Jury or an individual, that decide who wins the awards.

I am absolutely devastated by the comments made and the last few days have been deeply distressing for me.

I do not wish to be seen as the winner that tore the British Fantasy Society in two. The society means too much to me and I cannot allow this controversy to taint the integrity of those involved. Therefore, I am returning the award for Best Novel.


Alwyn Ash said...

Sam, do please reconsider your decision to return the August Derleth Award. You won this award fairly and it should be your moment; I am both shocked and saddened that an author, who is quite clearly talented and works hard for her art, has to face such controversy.

You deserve praise for The Vampire Gene series! Stay strong! x

Anna said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. You should be proud of what you have achieved and not worry about the small-minded people who like to hold others back.

I agree that you deserve recognition for your series. You have talent. Don't let anybody drag you down x

Another Random Slacker said...

You won the awards, fair and square. They are an acknowledgment of your talent and efforts. I am saddened that there has been any controversy. That said, I respect your decision to return the award. It shows far more sensitivity to the profession and the field than your critics have shown.

There will be other awards, and you and your fans will know that you did, in truth, win this one, despite what the record books will show.

Andrew said...

As a fan, I must say that I am deeply saddened by your choice to return the award, and deeply humbled by what must have been an agonizing choice. It is also a principled choice and I believe it lifts you above the fray of speculation and innuendo. You will always be the winner in my appraisal. The voting process, like most con voting, can potentially be gamed; so can the academy awards. You won. You won fairly. You love the institution more than you are driven by your own ego. Well done. I imagine that the time to change your mind is passed, so I only offer support, but honestly: to hell with them.