The British Fantasy Society (BFS) began in 1971 as the British Weird Fantasy Society, an offshoot of the British Science Fiction Association. The society is dedicated to promoting the best in the fantasy, science fiction and horror genres. Keith Walker (an active BSFA member at the time) along with Phil Spencer and Rosemary (Ro) Pardoe, created the British Weird Fantasy Society (as it was then named) in 1971. The first BWFS publication, The Bulletin, was launched in May 1971 under Keith’s editorship.
In 2000, the BFS won the Special Award: Non-Professional at the World Fantasy Awards.
The British Fantasy Society (BFS) also has its own awards, the annual British Fantasy Awards, created in 1971 at the suggestion of its president, the author Ramsey Campbell. It held its first Fantasycon in 1975.
The current British Fantasy Society has no direct connection with the earlier science fiction group using the same name from 1942 to 1946.
The British Fantasy Awards are administered annually by the British Fantasy Society (BFS) and were first awarded in 1976.
1971 was also the year August Derleth died and Ramsey Campbell suggested that the BWFS should institute a memorial award to be given annually to the best literary work in the genre : The August Derleth Fantasy Awards. An ambitious start for the Society that boasted a mere 34 members at the end of its first year.
First awarded in 1972 (“The Knight of Swords” by Michael Moorcock) only for novels, the number of award categories increased and in 1976 the BFS renamed them collectively the British Fantasy Awards. The current award categories are Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Small Press, Best Artist, Best Anthology, Best Collection, while the Karl Edward Wagner Award is given at the discretion of the BFS committee. The membership of the BFS vote to determine recommendations, short-lists and winners of the awards.
On the main jury, deciding the categories of fantasy novel, horror novel, novella, short story, collection, anthology, magazine/periodical, comic/graphic novel and screenplay: Esther Sherman, Matthew Hughes, Neil Williamson, Pauline Morgan and Ros Jackson.
Non-fiction: Djibril al-Ayad and Jason Arnopp. Artist: Daniele Serra, P.M. Buchan and Rachel Kendall.
Small press: Elaine Hillson, Elloise Hopkins, Dave Brzeski, Rachel Kendall and Rhian Bowley.
Newcomer: Adele Wearing, Alison Littlewood, Jim Steel, Lizzie Barrett and Peter Tennant. The Karl Edward Wagner Award was decided by a vote of the British Fantasy Society committee. The nominees in each category had been decided by the voters of the British Fantasy Society and FantasyCon 2012, with the juries having a discretion to add up to two further egregious omissions in each category.
The winners are:
Best Novel (the August Derleth Fantasy Award)
“Red Country” by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz)
“The Brides of Rollrock Island” by Margo Lanagan (David Fickling)
“Railsea” by China Miéville (Macmillan)
“Blood and Feathers” by Lou Morgan (Solaris)
Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award)
“The Kind Folk” by Ramsey Campbell (PS)
“Some Kind of Fairy Tale” by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)
“The Drowning Girl” by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
“Silent Voices” by Gary McMahon (Solaris)
“The Respectable Face of Tyranny” by Gary Fry (Spectral)
“Curaré” by Michael Moorcock (Zenith Lives!)
“Eyepennies” by Mike O’Driscoll (TTA)
Best Short Story
“Sunshine” by Nina Allan (Black Static #29)
“Our Island” by Ralph Robert Moore (Where Are We Going?)
“Wish for a Gun” by Sam Sykes (A Town Called Pandemonium)
“The Woman Who Married a Cloud” by Jonathan Carroll (Subterannean)
“Where Furnaces Burn” by Joel Lane (PS)
“From Hell to Eternity’ by Thana Niveau (Gray Friar)
“Terror Tales of the Cotswolds”, Paul Finch, ed. (Gray Friar)
“The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women”, Marie O’Regan, ed. (Robinson)
“A Town Called Pandemonium”, Anne C. Perry & Jared Shurin, eds. (Jurassic London)
Best Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award)
Gray Friar Press (Gary Fry)
Spectral Press (Simon Marshall-Jones)
TTA Press (Andy Cox)
Ansible, David Langford
The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn, eds. (Cambridge University Press)
Coffinmaker’s Blues (column), Stephen Volk (Black Static)
Fantasy Faction, Marc Aplin, ed.
Reflections: On the Magic of Writing, Diana Wynne Jones (David Fickling)
Black Static, Andy Cox, ed. (TTA)
SFX, David Bradley, ed. (Future)
Shadows and Tall Trees, Michael Kelly, ed. (Undertow)
Best Comic/Graphic Novel
“The Unwritten”, Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Gary Erskine, Gabriel Hernández Walta, M.K. Perker, Vince Locke, and Rufus Dayglo (Vertigo)
“The Walking Dead”, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (Skybound/Image)
“Dial H”, China Miéville, Mateus Santolouco, David Lapham, and Riccardo Burchielli (DC)
“The Cabin in the Woods” by Joss Whedon &Drew Goddard
“Sightseers”, Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, & Amy Jump
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, & Guillermo del Toro
“Avengers Assemble”, Joss Whedon
Best Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award)
Saladin Ahmed, for “Throne of the Crescent Moon” (Gollancz)
Stephen Bacon, for “Peel Back the Sky” (Gray Friar)
Stephen Blackmoore, for “City of the Lost” (DAW)
Kim Curran, for “Shift” (Strange Chemistry)
Anne Lyle, for “The Alchemist of Souls” (Angry Robot)
Alison Moore, for “The Lighthouse” (Salt Publishing)
Lou Morgan, for “Blood and Feathers” (Solaris)
E.C. Myers, for “Fair Coin” (Pyr)
Molly Tanzer, for “A Pretty Mouth” (Lazy Fascist)