Throwback Thurs: Do we Need the Dragon Awards?



I have a pile of nonfiction pieces that I want to save from the dustinbin of history, and one of the ways is to include them here as part of the blog and larger portfolio. In that light, throwback Thursday.

This piece was first published August 15, 2016 on Comix I Read (now defunct)

Selling themselves as the new big award on the block, the Dragon Awards have opened for their first round of nominees and voting. Any fan who chooses to fill out a webpage can vote, and participate in determining who will win these awards. Organized out of DragonCon from Atlanta, Georgia, these awards arose ostensibly out of the chaos of the Hugo Awards last year.

Despite these inauspicious beginnings, the process has revealed a wide selection of nominees:

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • The Life Engineered, J-F. Dubeau (Sword & Laser)
  • Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Agent of the Imperium, Marc Miller (Far Future Enterprises)
  • Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C. Wright (Castalia House)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • Asteroid Made of Dragons, G. Derek Adams (Sword & Laser)
  • Blood Hound, James Osiris Baldwin (Gift Horse Productions)
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher (Roc)
  • Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia (Baen)
  • Changeling’s Island, Dave Freer (Baen)
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Grave Measures, R.R. Virdi (Self-published)

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo (Holt)
  • Changeling’s Island, Dave Freer (Baen)
  • Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley (Tor Teen)
  • Trix and the Faerie Queen, Alethea Kontis (Self-published)
  • The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper)
  • Carry On, Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Calamity, Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte)
  • Updraft, by Fran Wilde (Tor)

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Blood in the Water, Taylor Anderson (Roc)
  • Chains of Command, Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Wrath of an Angry God, Gibson Michaels (Arc Flash)
  • Allies and Enemies: FallenAmy J. Murphy (Self-published)
  • The End of All Things, John Scalzi (Tor)
  • Hell’s Foundations Quiver, David Weber (Tor)
  • The Price of Valor, Django Wexler (Roc)

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Germanica, Robert Conroy (Baen)
  • 1635: A Parcel of Rogues, Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis (Baen)
  • 1636: The Cardinal Virtues, Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt (Baen)
  • Deadlands: Ghostwalkers, Jonathan Maberry (Tor)
  • League of Dragons, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
  • Bombs Away: The Hot War, Harry Turtledove (Del Rey)

Best Apocalyptic Novel

  • Ctrl Alt Revolt!, Nick Cole (Castalia House)
  • Chasing Freedom, Marina Fontaine (Self-published)
  • Dark Age, Felix O. Hartmann (Self-published)
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Desert and the Blade, S.M. Stirling (Roc)
  • A Time to Die, Mark Wandrey (Henchmen)

Best Horror Novel

  • Honor at Stake, Declan Finn (Caliburn)
  • Alice, Christina Henry (Ace)
  • An Unattractive Vampire, Jim McDoniel (Sword & Laser)
  • Souldancer, Brian Niemeier (Self-published)
  • Chapelwood, Cherie Priest (Roc)
  • Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, Paul Tremblay (William Morrow)

Best Comic Book

  • Astro City
  • Civil War II
  • Daredevil
  • DC Universe: Rebirth
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Providence
  • Saga

Best Graphic Novel

  • The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
  • Chicago, Glenn Head (Fantagraphics)
  • March: Book Two, John Lewis & Andrew Aydin (Top Shelf Productions)
  • Virgil, Steve Orlando (Image)
  • Sacred Heart, Liz Suburbia (Fantagraphics)
  • Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • Daredevil
  • Doctor Who
  • The Expanse
  • The Flash
  • Game of Thrones
  • Jessica Jones
  • Outlander

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Crimson Peak
  • Deadpool
  • The Martian
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Darkest Dungeon by Red Hook Studios
  • Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks
  • Metal Gear Solid V by Konami Digital Entertainment
  • Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Undertale by Toby Fox
  • XCOM 2 by 2k Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Quaser One by Emre Taskin
  • PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist by Outerminds Inc.
  • Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks
  • Hyper Burner by Patrick Cook
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

  • Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Blood Rage by Cool Mini or Not
  • Talon by GMT Games
  • Monopoly: CTHULHU by USAopoly
  • Codenames by Vlaada Chvatil

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

  • Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls by Flying Buffalo
  • Magic the Gathering: Shadows over Innistrad by Wizards of the Coast
  • Magic the Gathering: Battle of Zendikar by Wizards of the Coast
  • Mouse Guard 2nd Edition by David Petersen & Luke Crane
  • Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th Edition) by Chaosium Inc.
  • Star Wars: Armada by Fantasy Flight Games

 

These nominations include a number of books that have been held up as problematic within genre fiction or otherwise gave rise to the Sad Puppies and Mad Puppies movements. Within this list there is a pretty wide spread of productions. Everything from Jim Butcher to Ann Leckie made the list. Big names to self-published folk made it onto the list.

Awards have always been a fickle business, ranging between playing the “game” properly to being recognized for some great success. With the Dragon Awards, however, it seems dangerously possible that in the interest of a true democracy of fans could result in the system being gamed.

Even within the awards, the bent away from literary norms and towards fan views is evident. Short fiction, often a considered a mainstay of fiction among the literary set, is not rewarded here, but there are awards for various subgenres that are otherwise unrecognized within the big awards.

Let us know in the comments what you think: do we need the Dragon Awards? Or do they fail to address the underlying problems that some have suggested exist?



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