I wasn’t able to attend this year so I can’t really comment, but the points raised in Stephen Jones’ blog (read here) are interesting to say the least. As to the merits or otherwise of Sam Stone’s work I can only give a personal opinion and say that I gave up reading her first novel after about three chapters – but it’s all subjective and I’m sure I haven’t agreed with some of the winners chosen in previous years either. I’m certain Ms Stone wouldn’t like my work if she was to read any of it, that’s just the way it goes – can’t please everyone.
(As a side point, none of this is in any way a comment on Sam Stone the person – I have met her a couple of times and she is very pleasant, friendly and good company. It is perfectly possible to separate the person from their work in my opinion.)
I think over the last few years the BFS Awards have gone increasingly to a very small club and I can’t believe that truly represents the breadth of talent in the genre. On the face of it this year simply continues that trend and, unfortunately, devalues the awards.
Next year? I think I’ll be saving my money to attend Guy N Smith’s get-together and not bother with FantasyCon – that seems a much more worthwhile investment.