Ken McIntyre Award

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Ken McIntyre Memorial Award plaque. Photo by Sue Mason

A British award for the best fanzine art, named to commemorate fan artist Ken McIntyre, who died in August 1968. Its formal name, as appearing on the trophy, was the Ken McIntyre Memorial Award. It took the form of a metal plate screwed to a stark black backing, with the winners' names engraved upon the plate. (Checkpoint 15 also mentioned a fund associated with it but this was apparently soon used up.)

It had a fraught history – it was not awarded almost in half of the years it existed, and even the form of its trophy, and its proper spelling, was forgotten by BNFs for a time. It is not quite clear how the award ceased to exist, and its inauguration misfired too: Then quotes Pablo 12 reports from December 1970 that the Ken McIntyre award "was being organised by Rog Peyton and would be presented for the first time at the 1971 Eastercon", but then Checkpoint Trial Issue 0 and Focal Point reported it as "not awarded this year". This may have to do with a complicated and lengthy nomination process that the final rules entailed.

Ken McIntyre Award engraved plate (click to enlarge). Photo by Sue Mason

Already in 1981, the Yorcon 2 PR 2 mentioned it as "sadly neglected in recent years" (together with the Doc Weir Award; PR 4 rephrased it as "often neglected"). Keith Freeman was the administrator then (apparently continuing until the 1990s), and the eligibility period was described as "the convention year", i. e. the time since the last Eastercon.

In 1989, the rules were reported (apparently, they were re-printed in the Eastercon program books or Progress Reports until Beccon 1987, but these are not available online yet) as:

The Ken McIntyre award is given for the best fanzine artwork of the year. All pieces of art must be nominated in advance. Both the original artwork and a published copy must be on display at the con. The winner is chosen by a committee that consists of: 

1) A BSFA nominee, 
2) A Knights of St. Fantony nominee, 
3) The convention committee nominee, 
4) Rog Peyton (or proxy), 
5) A. N. Other. 

In the event that any of these members is not available, then the remaining members of the Ken McIntyre award committee may select others to make up the number. 

After 1995, the award had a record hiatus of 3 years, both due to general changes in fandom and fanzines, and a loss of energy or interest by the original organisers. There was a slightly tangential rec.arts.sf.fandom debate in February 1997 where Alison Scott defended the requirements as sensible:

 in order to judge art appearing in fanzines (actually now interpreted as fannish publications; convention art has won in the past) you need to be able to judge both the original and the fanzine as produced. Even a fanzine like _Plokta_ is severly constrained by the medium when reproducing artwork. The judging arrangements have not, as far as I know, ever caused a problem. 

A longer discussion emerged in April 1998, where Bernie Peek posted:

The Ken MacIntyre [sic!] award is in an even worse state [than the Doc Weir Award discussed originally]. It wasn't mentioned in the con publications this year [later corrected, as it was in PR3] and wasn't awarded. The award was originally intended to be for fanzine art. The conditions laid down for choosing the recipient makes it very difficult to administer. Because it's theoretically possible to meet the conditions, no Eastercon feels that it has the authority to change the rules.

As noted, the 1998 committee was interested in presenting it, but their trial balloon in PR3 did not elicit sufficient response. Bridget Hardcastle replied:

We tried to administer the Ken MacIntyre [sic!] award at the 1996 Eastercon. Both the original and the published form of the artwork need to be displayed, and must be judged by a panel of five people […] Ken Slater and Rog Peyton were two of the judges in 1996 - one of them was keen for the award to be revived and publicised to encourage more entrants, the other thought it might be better if it died quietly. We could not award the prize that year, as there was only one entrant.

John Dallman mentioned "a small fanzine I did about it" in 1997, when the trophy "was in my possession", noting he got very little response especially from those who had expressed interest in reform. Another re-post by Dave Langford summarised most that was known by then.

Even the revival attempts, whatever they brought (downsizing the jury was discussed) beside the change of eligibility to "unpublished artwork in Eastercon art show" in 1999, turned out to be shortlived: In 2000, the award went again to a published cover. Paragon (2001) report in Ansible 166 does not mention it at all, but Jay Hurst won the "Paper Tiger art show award", which Abba won as well in 1999. As this was presumably better sponsored and organised, it would have made the McIntyre's changed definition superfluous.

As of 2024, the trophy remains in the possession of its last winner, Sue Mason.


NB the table uses the "Hugo" dating style, listing the year when the award was given and announced together with other Eastercon awards. However in its first and last years, the trophy itself used the "Nebula" style, engraving the previous year when the art was published; these exceptions are noted. Some missing engravings may be explained by difficulty of passing the trophy between holders and organisers; Peek even thought it "went missing for some years". Where not specified otherwise, cover art of the given publication is the winner.

Year Winner Art / cover Notes / source
1972 Jim Pitts Balthus 2 Wrongly announced in Vector (62? the issue unavailable at Fanac, it was not in the previous ones) BSFA News column as Martin Pitt; error reproduced in the first version of Then. Erratum note in Vector 63. The Balthus 2 piece is named as the winning artwork in a Pitts interview in Dark Horizons 9. Engraved 1971
1973 David Fletcher Shadow 18 Reported in Checkpoint 37 and 38. Engraved 1972
1974 not presented According to report in Checkpoint 47
1975 Carol Gregory Black Hole (issue&nsbp;not cited) Reported in Checkpoint 61. Engraved 1974
1976 (Paul Dillon?) Assumed from slightly garbled report in Tackett's Travels in Taffland but no mention in Checkpoint nor engraved on trophy
1977 Jon Langford Drilkjis 2 Year and win confirmed in Twll-Ddu 7, May 1977. Engraved 1976
1978 Steve Bruce Tangent 3 change of engraved dating to 1978 (etc. below)
1981 Pete Lyon Matrix 34
1982 Rob Hansen Epsilon 8 misspelled as "Hanson" on trophy
1985 Iain Byers Wallbanger 9 Reported in Birmingham Science Fiction Group Newsletter 164, April 1985; not engraved on trophy
1986 Mick Molloy Albacon Progress Report
1988 SMS Follycon
1989 Jim Porter Concatenation 2 misengraved as "Con Atenation"; see next year
1990 Jim Porter "Eastcon", per engraving Reported in BSFA Matrix 88, June/July 1990, as his "second year running" win. The award was given at Eastcon, which might also suggest paucity of other entries
1991 Colin Johnston Illumination badge design Reported in BSFA Matrix 94; spelled "Johnson" on award
1992 Colin Johnston Illumination program book Reported in Brum Group News 248, May 1992 (winner here spelt Colin Johnson, as also on award). Again, the award was given at Illumination, so would be an extreme case of "the convention year", with the program published mere days before.
1993 not presented "Jury spokesman Rog Peyton warned it might be abolished" (Brum Group News 260)
1994 Barbara Mascetti the Stratmann wedding invitation Reported in Ansible 81
1995 Dave Harwood Attitude 2 Reported in Ansible 94
1996 not presented "received no nominations" according to Ansible 106; just one recalled by administrators, see above
1998 not presented "still languishing in fannish apathy", as Ansible 130 put it
1999 Tom Abba Reported in Ansible 142, incl. the award being "formerly for fanzine art, now revived for 'unpublished artwork in Eastercon art show'"; not engraved on trophy
2000 Sue Mason 2Kon PR 1; engraved 1999

Entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (mostly on McIntyre himself, just a brief summary of the Award)

Award 19722000
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