BSFA Survey

Just received a copy of the BSFA’s British Science Fiction & Fantasy Survey.  Edited by Paul Kincaid and Niall Harrison, it’s a fascinating and compendious overview of the state of the genre in this country, or rather overviews plural, because it consists of a survey conducted in 1989 as well as one conducted last year.  I took part in the latter, and although I’ve yet to identify where any of my comments appear in the book, I’m sure some do somewhere and I’m sure they’re typically wise and insightful.  Everyone else’s seem to be, at any rate.

What is surprising is that, when I checked my biographical details in the back, I discovered that it mentions Untied Kingdom being shortlisted for the 2004 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.  Why is this surprising?


Not an inkling.  Not the smallest clue.

Nobody told me at the time.  Nobody told me afterwards.  Not one single person saw fit to think that I might be interested to know this flattering and encouraging fact.  The publisher didn’t stick it anywhere on the paperback cover.  I was, until this week, completely ignorant of it.

There are lots of things I could say about this, but I’ll confine it to a simple “tchoh” accompanied by a resigned roll of the eyes.

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  1. Niall says:

    1. Pages 19, 41, 49, 71, 88, 121, 122, 133, 146, and 173. HTH, HAND. 😉

    2. Why is this surprising? nearly gave me a heart attack, thinking I’d credited you with an award nomination that never happened!

  2. James says:

    1. You star, Niall. How kind.

    2. Better to be credited with an award nomination you didn’t know you had than one you never did have. Thanks for unearthing the truth for me, Agent Mulder.

  3. Adam Roberts says:

    The irony! The irony of it being a ‘memorial’ award! Do you see the irony? Of people forgetting to inform you that you were nominated for a ‘memorial’ award? Do you see?

    The irony? Do you see?

  4. James says:

    “You do know what irony is, don’t you, Baldrick?”

    “Yes, my lord. It’s like goldy or silvery, only made of iron.”

    (How trendy and inspired, quoting lines from a 25-year-old sitcom.)

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