Root and Branch

Posted on October 2nd, 2012 in announcements, appearances

Busy times around here.  I’m off tomorrow to Sweden for Swecon 2012 in Uppsala, as well as events in Stockholm, Malmo and Copenhagen, but I just got back from the British Fantasy Convention in Brighton, where a wonderful – if occasionally extremely hot – time was had by all, my thanks to the organisers and volunteers, who’d done a great job yet again.

Except, of course, for the debacle that occurred towards the end of the event and upon which – despite the entreaties of a lot of very well intentioned fellow authors and publishers – I don’t feel I can remain silent any longer.

Some people may not want to hear this, but I know a lot are thinking it, and I feel it has to be said.  A sinister clique has developed within the British Fantasy Society, intent on perverting the course of its most important competition.  It’s no longer about your talent, or your contribution, it’s about who you know.  And, yes, ok, I didn’t win this year, yes, ok, I was disappointed, but this isn’t about sour grapes, this is about my entirely selfless concern for the legitimacy and integrity of the entire event.

I refer, of course, to my defeat in Saturday night’s disco dance off, where I was quite obviously robbed by Tom ‘Lightning Feet’ Pollock.

I think we can all see that this injustice has gone too far.  There was no transparency to the nomination process, no properly objective method of establishing the volume of cheering.  And that tune was way too long, self-evidently favouring the younger man, not to mention potentially posing a serious health risk to a person in my level of physical condition.

The sewer of corruption that is the administration of the disco – and yes, I’m not afraid to name names like Sarah Pinborough, Rio Youers, Guy Adams and James Barclay – really needs to be cleaned out, root and branch, so that we can all start fresh.  If Tom Pollock wants to look into his heart, do the right thing and surrender his title to the rightful champion – that’s me, in case you were wondering – I am prepared to accept.

And next year, the dance off really has to be juried.

26 Comments So Far... (join in)

Display an avatar in the comments by signing up at Gravatar.

  1. *hits youtube SO HARD*

    Youtube has let me down. Someone attend to this please.


  2. This was *exactly* what I needed to read this morning. I readied myself for the latest web storm, only to discover it’s all okay. More than that, it’s damn funny. I was supposed to have been at Fcon, but had to cancel due to a minor family disaster. Now I wish I had been there even more.

  3. I hate to be the one to break this to you Joe. You’re a great writer and all but The Robot and Macarena are not going to cut it these days. Gangen Style is the in thing. Better luck next year!
    Have a great time in Sweden.

  4. :O The shame! May the corrupt scoundrels forever have smelly feet and rotten breath, grow warts and suffer hair-loss. Lets see how many events and festivals they’ll be involved in in the future. Clearly someone cheated, as we all know you should’ve been the winner.

    (This made my day. :) Thank you, I needed a laugh)

  5. I think the pair of you should strike a blow non-partisan dancing and prepare a routine for next year’s disco.

  6. Strictly Come Fcom?

    Who would need to be your dance partner on the real Stritly to be tempted Joe? Megan Fox? Scarlet Johannson?

    I’m sure you had all the grace and elegance as Glokta

  7. From where I was standing (quite close and with yet another lager in my hand) it was all completely free, fair and, most importantly, hysterical. The fact that you both looked like you were dancing on the third rail is a template for future dance-offs.

    I stand by the rules as laid down in a puddle of beer near the DJs’ console and hastily rubbed out before the track had finished for entirely principled reasons. It is entirely reasonable that the gang of four named above act as the ruling party for the disco in perpetuity. This is because the old cliques were a bad thing and the new cliques are a really good thing.

  8. That is the reason I retired from dancing competitions. After teaching Rudolf Nureyev and Michael Flatley it was obvious that I should have won any dancing competition I attended. Only an insane jury could not see that!

  9. Perhaps you would have been less tired if you’d both realised that a dance off means you TAKE IT IN TURNS and not just dance AT each other for 4 long minutes….
    Of course I could have made that clearer at the start…but hey… Plus, I agree with Barkers above about the cliques. Our clique rules.

  10. Thanks to Tom Pollocks post via twitter this is now stuck in my head…

  11. Copenhagen – i’ll see you there

  12. Yes, I too was quite astonished that both of you just decided to go for it and dance the entire thing from start to finish. I mean, kudos and everything, but I feel that the rulebook went out of the window at that point 😀

    I gave you bonus points for your facial expressions – definitely more menacing than Tom’s, at one point I was actually quite scared and edged imperceptibly away from you – but then Tom did an impressive leapy thing in the air, and landed on the beat. That’s a crown snatching move.

  13. It’s your own fault, Mr. Abercrombie.

    If you’d’ve gone dressed as a morris dancer you would’ve won. Alone, the shrieks of wanton glee from the countless lady spectators as you waved your wiffle stick at them would have guaranteed you a glorious triumph!

  14. I see Marcus Gipps claims he has footage! Are Messrs Applecrumble and Pollock happy for their heroic feats (feets! hahahaha! ahem.) to be immortalised on YouTube? Shall we petition Marcus to publish His Dark Materials?

    I feel I must see it in order to be able to cast my own vote, seeing as Mr Pollock makes a convincing argument (, wherein he references Christopher Priest, which gives him one extra point, I’m afraid…

  15. Yeah, it was all fixed. It was me wot should have won it. My dance interpretation of Fire Starter was epic. Or something

  16. Helter Shuffle?

    You may be a writer, but you ain’t no dancer. 😉

  17. Pics Joe or it didn’t happen!

  18. You need to get David Bowie to chair the Dance Off!

  19. I sense Bayez pulling the strings behind this.

  20. What convinced you?
    What brand?
    How many?

    It’s England, after all…

  21. Sword1001, if Glokta was in a dance-off, I for one would give him every vote I could buy.

  22. You owe me a new keyboard, I had just taken a zip of coke, started reading this and now the bloody keys are jammed.

  23. You have to be realistic, about these things.

  24. Perhaps some video evidence of your skills could be provided? We will then be able to fairly adjudicate whether said skills will pay the bills

  25. I was just waiting for The Birdie Song.

  26. I’ll be amongst the stalkers in Sweden today :)

Add Your Comment: