2019 Dragon Award Winners

The 2019 Dragon Awards ceremony was held September 1 – here are the winners.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R. Torgersen

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • House of Assassins by Larry Correia

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Uncompromising Honor by David Weber

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling

Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Best Horror Novel

  • Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Best Comic Book

  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Best Graphic Novel

  • X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis by Ed Piskor

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • Good Omens, Amazon Prime

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Avengers: Endgame by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite by Niantic, WB Games San Francisco

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

  • Betrayal Legacy by Avalon Hill Games

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

  • Call of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep Slipcase Set by Chaosium Inc.

OTHER AWARDS

These other awards were also announced during the ceremony.

EUGIE FOSTER AWARD

THE HANK REINHARDT FANDOM AWARD

  • Edward deGruy

(Spelling of name may not be correct – it was not shown on screen.) The Hank Reinhardt Georgia Fandom Award is presented for outstanding contributions to the genre by a Georgia writer, artist, or fan.

THE JULIE AWARD

  • George Perez

In 1998, Dragon Con established the Julie Award presented annually in tribute to the legendary Julie Schwartz. The Julie Award is bestowed for universal achievement spanning multiple genres, selected each year by our esteemed panel of industry professionals.

Thanks to Red Panda Fraction and Ray Radlein for livetweeting the results.

55 thoughts on “2019 Dragon Award Winners

  1. They have stepped up the ceremony with celebrities there. One step in the right direction. But the winners were a bit meh. Handing out an award to a re-packaged game from 1984 doesn’t impress.

  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 is science fiction or fantasy? I thought it was a straight-up western.

  3. @Mister Dallard: There’s Weird West aspects, but I think you only come across them if you go way off the beaten path. They don’t impact the main plot, or at least the part I had the patience for.

  4. Patrick: No apologies needed. It’s not my real name so I don’t think I can really be offended if you misspell it.

  5. @Mister Dalliard: I’m probably overpolite on the subject, as my (official) last name gets misspelled a lot. I would change it but it’s on all my stuff.

  6. As a further detail, awarding the Julie Award to George Pérez managed to catch him completely off guard because they had also invited him to present the Comic Book Award, so he was already there.

    Despite taking different paths to get from the ceremony to the International Tower of the Hyatt, we shared an elevator ride up to our respective rooms, and he was still giddy about having been successfully surprised with something like a lifetime achievement award.

    It’s a pretty award, too.

    After he got off the elevator at his floor, a young couple asked me who he was and what he was famous for. Once prompted, they remembered his Wonder Woman work.

  7. The Dragons have regressed this year. Last year, IIRC, all but one of their fiction winners was the #1 or #2 seller in its category based on Amazon rankings. This year, not so much!

  8. Any year that has Torgersen, Correia, Weber, and Stirling at the top certainly is pretty well Puppyfied.

  9. rochrist: Over on MGC Dave Freer is selling hard that the winners are popular books. Brad Torgersen’s novel has 63 Goodreads ratings — it won over Tiamat’s Wrath with 15,676 and Becky Chambers’ book which has 12,819. In another category S.M. Stirling’s Black Chamber has 415, Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars has 9,858.

  10. A few of them are popular books — most, not so much.

    Here are Amazon sales rankings (Paid in Kindle Store), comparing 8/25 — 8/31 — 9/2.

    You’ll see that this year most of the winners were NOT the #1 or #2 sellers in their categories the day before the awards — though, interestingly, their position in their category a week before the awards predicted their wins better than their position a day before. And only one of the books were the #1 sellers in their categories before the awards.

    Also, while some of the winners did rise in rank following their win, most actually FELL in the rankings compared to their positions a week ago.

    Especially notice Torgersen’s book — something interesting going on there. Remember, only the third ranking is after the win — so something else was causing his rise in rankings before the award.

    Also notice that House of Assassins did rise slightly in rankings compared to the day before the awards, but it is still not as high as it was a week before the awards. The same with Little Darlings.

    The books are listed by order of their sales rankings on 8/31, the last ranks I recorded before the awards.

    Science Fiction
    Tiamat’s Wrath — #2,275 — #2,355 — #2,592
    Record of a Spaceborn Few — #10,902 — #13,505 — #15,678
    A Memory Called Empire — #16,499 — #17,206 — #15,860
    Red Moon — #63,511 — #116,238 — #74,491
    ****A Star-Wheeled Sky — #409,841 — #142,250 — #37,642
    Europe at Dawn — #128,818 — #315,235 — #128,424

    Fantasy
    Spinning Silver — #7,272 — #6,838 — #9,947
    The Raven Tower — #15,508 — #10,160 — #15,328
    Lies Sleeping — #13,420 — #20,590 — #18,912
    Foundryside — #21,321 — #20,846 — #27,827
    ****House of Assassins — #15,927 — #22,346 — #18,062
    Deep Roots — #181,107 — #221,028 — #134,260

    YA
    Archenemies — #20,408 — #23,995 — #1,252
    Armageddon Girls — #57,423 — #29,299 (KU) — #25,087 (KU)
    Impostors — #94,610 — #49,561 — #39,545
    ****Bloodwitch — #57,191 — #70,300 — #50,822
    The King’s Regret — #270,524 (KU) — #79,011 (KU) — #37,541 (KU)
    Sawkill Girls — #79,461 — #159,603 — #129,382
    The Pioneer — #1,037,864 — #1,151,834 — #1,184,326

    Milsf
    Marine — #3,251 (KU) — #7,231 (KU) — #12,444 (KU)
    ****Uncompromising Honor — #16,485 — #14,767 — #17,687
    A Pale Dawn (KU) — #34,619 (KU) — #25,506 (KU) — #24,806 (KU)
    Order of the Centurion — #30,822 (KU) — #27,198 (KU) — #26,780 (KU)
    Sons of the Lion — #17,839 (KU) — #28,357 (KU) — #28,771 (KU)
    The Light Brigade — #54,549 — #31,004 — #18,923

    Alt Hist
    The Calculating Stars — #326 — #853 — #1,277
    Machines Like Me — #13,995 — #11,063 — #10,489
    *****Black Chamber — #86,911 — #69,517 — #154,305
    The World Asunder — #171,088 (KU) — #154,840 (KU) — #224,926 (KU)
    Unholy Land — #243,938 — #261,042 — #197,841
    The Iron Codex — #538,510 — #668,081 — #683,128

    Tie-In
    ****Thrawn: Alliances — #7,899 — #7,723 — #11,466
    Master & Apprentice — #19,961 — #12,485 — #12,961
    Darkness on the Edge of Town — #179,449 — #54,436 — #88,353
    Big Damn Hero — #44,283 — #145,726 — #106,437
    The Way to the Stars — #372,562 — #223,673 — #351,690
    The Replicant War — #386,536 (KU) — #314,015 (KU) — #177,735 (KU)

    Horror
    Zombie Airman — #35,098 (KU) — #30,841 (KU) — #51,995 (KU)
    Cardinal Black — #70,146 — #76,190 — #124,695
    *****Little Darlings — #48,620 — #104,533 — #54,413
    Riddance — #434,627 — #177,463 — #372,829
    100 Fathoms Below — #221,702 — #222,849 — #384,752
    We Sold Our Souls — #161,555 — #228,348 — #3,958

  11. Comparing Dragon Award winners with Hugo nominees, ordered by current sales rankings (Paid in Kindle Store), throwing in Jemisin’s and Scalzi’s books just for giggles.

    It’s obvious that the Hugo nominees are selling much better overall.

    (H) The Calculating Stars — #1,277
    The Fifth Season — #2,063
    (H) Trail of Lightning — #2,464 (KU)
    The Stone Sky — #3,134
    The Obelisk Gate — #3,510
    (H) Spinning Silver — #9,947
    The Consuming Fire — #10,991
    (D) Thrawn: Alliances— #11,466
    The Collapsing Empire — #12,237
    (H) Record of a Spaceborn Few — #15,678
    (D) Uncompromising Honor — #17,687
    (D) House of Assassins — #18,062
    (H) Space Opera — #32,773
    (H) Revenant Gun — #33,275
    (D) A Star-Wheeled Sky — #37,642
    (D) Bloodwitch — #50,822
    (D) Little Darlings — #54,413
    (D) Black Chamber— #154,305

  12. Thomas Aquinas said “Homo unius libri timeo” – “beware the man of one book.” The meaning has shifted – almost reversed – from “beware the man who has studied one topic intensely” to “beware the man who has only one simple view of a thing.”

    No. it. fucking. hasn’t. It is a Latin tag, and the sort of people people who use Latin tags generally get cranky when the meaning changes. I’m not talking about “data” or “decimate”, here, I’m talking about a complete clause. People aren’t out there going “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” really means “Panopticons are bad.” Thank you for coming to my TED rant.

    I wonder what anti-collectivists think of entire civilizations like the Indus Valley/Harappan culture’s massive waterworks and sanitation? Civilizations that relied on every man his own well were dirtier, and incapable of organized irrigation.

  13. The Dragon Awards are a straight popularity contest… among people who register and vote for them. This obviously does not track precisely with Goodreads mentions; Amazon rankings are meaningless at any point in time since they’re non-cumulative. You’d need to do long series, and at equivalent intervals after the release date.

    I was surprised at the result – l’d have bet on the McEwan, tho’ my votes (after me, obviously) would have been Kowal and then Tidhar. I’m told (by a someone with access to the numbers) that the voting in the AH category wasn’t very close, though there wasn’t an immense gap.

  14. Mike Glyer on September 2, 2019 at 8:58 am said:

    rochrist: Over on MGC Dave Freer is selling hard that the winners are popular books.

    That was a post in which he out Dave-Freered Dave Freer:
    “They enjoy genuine popularity. They don’t need patreon accounts.”
    …I thought Dave’ schtick was about how we was standing up for the little guy and the battlers and the authors struggling against the evil trad-publishers? Weirdly insulting a whole bunch of past Dragon Award winners right there…

  15. Congratulations to Simone Heller (great story! I ranked it first on my Hugo ballot) and George Pérez (one of my all-time favorite comic artists)! Excellent selections, Eugie Foster Award & Julie Award juries.

  16. I avoided any commentary in my livetweeting of the ceremony, but, yeah, it was disappointing to me to see categories full of great, award-winning (or at least -nominated) works with one Puppy only to see the one Puppy win. I mean, the nominations list was pretty good!

  17. S. M. Stirling: The Dragon Awards are a straight popularity contest… among people who register and vote for them.

    Not unlike the Hugos.

    This obviously does not track precisely with Goodreads mentions;

    There’s no reason you shouldn’t be pleased to have won a Dragon. If other fans weren’t trying to argue that the Dragon represents what the mass of readers really like we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, however, their argument would make more sense if the winning books had a more substantial Goodreads following. Apart from that, it’s all good.

    I’m told (by a someone with access to the numbers) that the voting in the AH category wasn’t very close, though there wasn’t an immense gap.

    They have never chosen to share the voting numbers with the public, though I’d be curious to see them. It was George Flynn and I who got the rules changed in 1978 to make the Hugo numbers public. That’s only made the award more interesting, as far as I can tell.

  18. @SM Stirling —

    Amazon rankings are meaningless at any point in time since they’re non-cumulative.

    Which, of course, is why I track rankings over time. 😉

  19. @SM Stirling —

    The Dragon Awards are a straight popularity contest… among people who register and vote for them.

    One huge problem is that we have no actual evidence that this claim is true. And, in fact, the Dragon rules themselves very clearly state that the admins can alter the results in any way they wish. So, aside from the ballot-box-stuffing problem, we have no assurance that the votes themselves mean anything in the final result.

  20. S. M. Stirling on September 2, 2019 at 10:26 am said:

    The Dragon Awards are a straight popularity contest… among people who register and vote for them

    Are they?

    I see that you know some of the people involved. Can you ask them a few questions for me because nobody seems to know the answers:
    1. What do they mean when they say about the nomination process that “The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot”?
    2. Can they release some stats?
    3. For the novel categories aside from YA, do eligible novels have to be greater than 70 thousand words or around 70 thousand words? If the second, does that mean longer works are ineligible?
    4. For the 2019 award when, exactly, did nominations open and were nominations before that date accepted?

    Apologies for the barrage of questions but answers are hard to find. Congratulations on the award.

  21. Pingback: The 2019 Dragon Awards successfully manage to evade full respectability for another year | Cora Buhlert

  22. Mike: not unlike the Hugos, except that the numbers of votes are vastly greater — about a factor of ten this year, IIRC that Hugo voters total around 1500. This makes claque voting much harder, and likewise in-group zeitgeist consensus, which can do much the same thing, in the same way that flocking behavior can mimic close-order drill.

    ‘Are they?’

    Yup, but I’m not going to ask any questions on anyone else’s behalf. It’s just not my business to try and alter the conrunners’ policies. I have enough information to satisfy me, and while not totally indifferent to other people’s curiosity l don’t care enough to expend any real time or effort. Considering what
    I get per hour of writing time, you’d have to pay me quite a bit to make it worth my while, even without a premium for boredom.

    ‘Track the rankings over time’

    — to be meaningful, you’d have to track far more data-points, and then correlate them precisely in terms of time before/after the release date for each title, because book sales are highly variable that way.

    And not just the Kindle editions, either — there’s only a rough correspondence between them.

    Anything short of that isn’t of any use. There used to be a service which graphed Amazon rankings with hourly sampling, but they folded and I haven’t bothered to look for another.

    Even publishers don’t have anything like accurate real-time, short-term tracking of sales.

    Likewise, Goodreads mentions are purely impressionistic and don’t correspond in any significant way to sales because ‘sub-audiences’ have wildly different posting habits, just for starters, and hence produce very different ratios of mentions to sales.

    It’s a good idea to avoid the mistake of the drunk who looked for his car-keys under the streetlight because it was too dark everywhere else…

  23. S.M. Stirling: The ballot was announced August 7 and people had until what, September 1?, to vote. About 3-1/2 weeks. There were 7 novel categories and a total of 43 nominated books. There was no voter packet, unlike the Hugos (or even Canada’s Aurora Awards). If having a fiction award chosen by a large number of people who can’t possibly have had time to read and compare the nominees makes for a superior award, the Dragon Award has that going for it.

    And sorry, I read who won the awards. Brad Torgersen winning a Best SF Novel Award does not speak of claque-free voting to me.

  24. S. M. Stirling: the numbers of votes are vastly greater — about a factor of ten this year, IIRC that Hugo voters total around 1500. This makes claque voting much harder, and likewise in-group zeitgeist consensus

    There’s nothing to indicate that any of this is true, and indeed some of the finalists on the list indicate pretty clearly that small special interest groups managed to get works onto the ballot. We don’t have any idea what the nominating and voting numbers were, or how many of those were by unique individuals.

    For the Hugos, we do actually know that there were 1,800 nominators with 13,005 category ballots submitted (assuming an average of 3 nominees per ballot, that’s 39,015 nominations), and 3,097 voters with 32,121 category ballots submitted, all of them unique individuals.

  25. S.M. Stirling:

    “not unlike the Hugos, except that the numbers of votes are vastly greater — about a factor of ten this year, IIRC that Hugo voters total around 1500. “

    Ah, so you have got the numbers! Can you now tell me exactly how many individuals who voted for the Dragons? And I do not mean mailaddresses, I mean individuals. Please give us numbers for every category, so we can confirm if what you said is true.

    And if you can’t give those exact numbers, please withdraw your claim.

  26. S. M. Stirling on September 2, 2019 at 9:43 pm said:

    Mike: not unlike the Hugos, except that the numbers of votes are vastly greater — about a factor of ten this year, IIRC that Hugo voters total around 1500. This makes claque voting much harder, and likewise in-group zeitgeist consensus, which can do much the same thing, in the same way that flocking behavior can mimic close-order drill.

    ‘Are they?’

    Yup, but I’m not going to ask any questions on anyone else’s behalf.

    Fair enough but the flip side of that is those numbers you are stating are indistinguishable from numbers made up on the spot.

    If I state only 5 people and a disgruntled cat vote in the Dragon Awards what verifiable facts are out there to gainsay that?

  27. Camestros Felapton: If I state only 5 people and a disgruntled cat vote in the Dragon Awards what verifiable facts are out there to gainsay that?

    Objection! That’s totally untrue! Timothy voted 117 times for McEdifice Returns, he told me so when we were sharing a spliff of catnip the other day.

  28. @SM Stirling —

    Mike: not unlike the Hugos, except that the numbers of votes are vastly greater — about a factor of ten this year, IIRC that Hugo voters total around 1500.

    As has already been pointed out, there were actually 3079 Hugo ballots this year. Also, it is not at all true that “numbers of votes” correlates directly with quality or reliability or believability or significance of results.

    Puppy types (I’m not calling you a puppy type here, just drawing on my own experience with pups) constantly ignore the fact that the Goodreads Choice Awards get many many times more votes every year than the Dragons do. In fact, last year alone Goodreads had 5 MILLION votes cast. Yet somehow those pups never want to put the Goodreads awards on any kind of pedestal of supposed “significance” or “major award” status. Maybe it’s because the Goodreads awards consistently fail to recognize books that the puppies like?

    “— to be meaningful, you’d have to track far more data-points, and then correlate them precisely in terms of time before/after the release date for each title, because book sales are highly variable that way.”

    No.

    In fact, I can demonstrate over something like two years’ time that the patterns remain remarkably consistent — Hugo books very consistently outsell Dragon books and Puppy books in general. Each individual book’s ranking certainly varies over time, but it is the aggregate pattern that is informative.

    “And not just the Kindle editions, either — there’s only a rough correspondence between them.”

    The problem here is that some books have hardback editions, and some books have mass-market paperback editions, and some books have trade-paperback editions — and others do not. But virtually all books these days have Kindle editions. So the only way to get consistent comparisons from book to book is to compare the Kindle numbers. Is it perfect? No, of course not. But it is quite informative.

    “Anything short of that isn’t of any use.”

    Of course it is. Again — it’s the overall pattern over time that’s important. And it’s quite consistent.

  29. Okay, here’s more data that anyone may or may not be interested in.

    I’ve listed all the Dragon winners, comparing them to Hugo novel nominees. Because of the weird eligibility period for the Dragons, and to provide equal numbers of books to compare on each side, I’ve included Dragon years 2016-2019 and Hugo years 2015-2019. That gives us 28 books on each side.

    Dragon winners are marked in bold; Hugo winners are marked with asterisks. The list is ordered by current Amazon sales rankings, Paid in Kindle Store category for all books. Also, the ranking for Little Darlings is in parentheses; this is because Goulding seems to have removed the Kindle edition from sale, so I had to use yesterday’s sales rankings for that one.

    It’s very easy to see that the top of the rankings is heavily populated by Hugo nominees, especially by Hugo winners — in fact, ALL the Hugo winners for those years are at the top of the sales rankings. In contrast, the bottom of the rankings is mostly Dragons. And note also that most of the top-ranking Dragon winners have also been nominated for (and/or won) Hugos at one time or another.

    *#1,522 — *The Calculating Stars
    *#1,745 — *The Three-Body Problem
    *#2,345 — *The Fifth Season
    #2,469 — (D)Oathbringer
    #2,898 — Trail of Lightning
    *#3,377 — *The Obelisk Gate
    *#4,017 — *The Stone Sky
    #4,528 — (D)Babylon’s Ashes
    #4,689 — Death’s End
    #7,101 — (D)Thrawn: Alliances
    #7,507 — (D)Children of Blood and Bone
    #8,737 — The Collapsing Empire
    #10,934 — (D)Artemis
    #11,598 — (D)The Hammer of Thor
    #11,738 — Uprooted
    #12,951 — Spinning Silver
    #12,957 — A Closed and Common Orbit
    #13,277 — (D)House of Assassins
    #13,745 — Seveneves
    #14,437 — (D)Uncompromising Honor
    #14,574 — Ninefox Gambit
    #15,765 — Record of a Spaceborn Few
    #16,153 — (D)Sleeping Beauties
    #16,536 — Skin Game
    **#16,619 — (D)Son of the Black Sword

    #22,165 — Ancillary Sword
    #22,636 — Raven Stratagem
    #25,180 — (D)The Changeling
    #26,616 — Revenant Gun
    #27,091 — Ancillary Mercy
    #30,069 — (D)A Star-Wheeled Sky
    #30,334 — Space Opera
    #32,122 (KU) — (D)Iron Dragoons
    #33,297 — Provenance
    #35,580 — All the Birds in the Sky
    #40,903 — (D)Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge
    #42,949 — The Aeronaut’s Windlass
    #48,532 — (D)A Call to Vengeance
    #50,524 — New York 2140
    #50,701 — The Goblin Emperor
    #51,458 — (D)Bloodwitch
    (#54,413) — (D)Little Darlings
    #56,669 — (D)League of Dragons
    #59,356 — (D)Hell’s Foundations Quiver
    #70,110 — Six Wakes
    #70,556 — (D)The Shepherd’s Crown
    #77,690 — (D)Leia: Princess of Alderaan
    #85,255 — (D)Uncharted
    #99,272 — Too Like the LIghtning
    #100,175 — (D)Walkaway
    #138,540 (KU) — (D)Ctrl Alt Revolt!
    #176,369 — (D)Black Chamber
    #180,665 — (D)Fallout
    #380,605 — The Dark Between the Stars — puppy nominee
    #443,221 — (D)Somewhither
    #790,433 — (D)Souldancer

  30. 17/28 = 61% of the Hugo nominees are above the median in the sales rankings.

    17/28 = 61% of the Dragon winners are BELOW the median in the sales rankings.

  31. So… sincere question from a casual spec fiction fan.

    As someone who is literally learning a lot of the whole “behind-the-scenes” back and forth, that has been going on for the past few years with the Hugos and Puppies and the like… kind of not sure what to make heads or tails of it.

    Maybe it’s odd, but as a casual genre fan, I was completely and blissfully unaware of it. You’d asked me a week ago about my favorite Fantasy series of the decade, and I’d say it was a coin toss between Jemisin’s Broken Earth and Correia’s Forgotten Warrior, and now I learn aparantly the authors have been throwing shade at each other for years.

    Hell, only reason I found this page was I looked up “Dragon Award”. I’m an Atlanta native, so I was just kind of thrilled our con was hosting an award like this.

    1) The short version – just what the hell happened with the puppies and stuff?

    2) What’s wrong with the Dragon Awards? I’m not a SFWA member (yet!) so I can’t vote for the Hugos, and they seem to have some good ideas the Hugos haven’t acted on – like having an award for Media Tie in, or breaking things down by genre. It’s the only way Zahn would ever win a Hugo sadly.

    3) Is there anything wrong with Baen? Like from the bits I’ve read, I get why people don’t like Correia or Torgersen… but is there anything wrong with Charles Gannon or Eric Flint or the rest? I love Gannon’s stuff, and from his job MCing the Dragons, he seems pretty chill.

    Especially in the South, which is their companies back yard, they’re at all the local cons, and I’d never thought of anything sinister before.

    Sorry to bug you, but just trying to figure this out…

    Oh, I do have one thing toward ongoing discussion – why SM Sterling won.

    Alternate history was a pretty weak catagory this year, and Sterling is a known genre author. There was nothing from bigger heavyweights like Turtledove or Flint, and even as an AH nut, I’d only heard of The Calculating Stars after it won the Hugo/was nominated for the Sideways award.

    Sterling was literally the only guy up for the AH award I knew about other than Lavie Tidhar, and I knew of him just from Analog.

  32. Woops, Mike, just saw your post. Deleted my response to Brandon, which can already be found at Cam’s blog!

  33. Handing out an award to a re-packaged game from 1984 doesn’t impress.

    Well, the re-packaged game is about twice the size of the original, so it’s more than just re-packaged. 228 pages to 666. It’s a pretty significant revision.

  34. Jumping in with a late addition to the thread, for future reference if nothing else —

    For those of you who doubt my claim that Hugo novel nominees consistently outsell Dragon winners, and for those who claim that Amazon sales rankings are too unstable to draw any conclusions from, I repeated my data-gathering from last week to show reproducibility of my results.

    You’ll see that, while individual books moved up or down in the rankings, the overall results are almost identical to those from last week: the average sales rankings are nearly identical, the numbers above and below the median ARE identical, and all five of the Hugo novel winners are still at the top of the rankings.

    IOW: yes, conclusions based on Kindle sales ranking patterns are reproducible over time, and Hugo novel nominees are consistently outselling Dragon winners.

    *#1,923 — *The Three-Body Problem
    *#2,589 — *The Fifth Season
    #2,987 — (D)Oathbringer
    *#3,312 — *The Stone Sky
    *#3,510 — *The Obelisk Gate
    *#3,840 — *The Calculating Stars
    #4,624 — (D)Babylon’s Ashes
    #5,801 — Death’s End
    #7,335 — Spinning Silver
    #7,547 — (D)The Hammer of Thor
    #8,839 — (D)Children of Blood and Bone
    #9,240 — (D)Artemis
    #9,339 — Trail of Lightning
    #10,401 — The Collapsing Empire
    #10,782 — Uprooted
    #10,911 — (D)Thrawn: Alliances
    #13,051 — A Closed and Common Orbit
    #13,166 — Seveneves
    #14,183 — Record of a Spaceborn Few
    #14,331 — (D)Uncompromising Honor
    #16,916 — Skin Game — (puppy nominee)
    #17,077 — Revenant Gun
    #20,160 — Ninefox Gambit
    #20,731 — Ancillary Mercy
    #21,763 — (D)Sleeping Beauties
    #21,852 — (D)Son of the Black Sword
    #22,122 — (D)A Star-Wheeled Sky
    #23,868 — (D)House of Assassins
    #27,462 — Ancillary Sword
    #30,628 — All the Birds in the Sky
    #31,254 — Raven Stratagem
    #31,532 — The Goblin Emperor
    #33,125 — Space Opera
    #35,613 (KU) — (D)Iron Dragoons
    #42,892 — Provenance
    #43,418 — New York 2140
    #50,213 — (D)A Call to Vengeance
    #51,228 — (D)Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge
    #54,928 — (D)The Changeling
    #59,154 — (D)The Shepherd’s Crown
    #64,403 — Six Wakes
    #66,157 — (D)Black Chamber
    #70,643 — (D)Bloodwitch
    #77,964 — The Aeronaut’s Windlass — (puppy nominee)
    #78,600 — (D)League of Dragons
    #78,772 — (D)Hell’s Foundations Quiver
    #81,716 — Too Like the LIghtning
    #82,730 — (D)Uncharted
    #82,825 — (D)Leia: Princess of Alderaan
    #104,983 — (D)Little Darlings
    #112,434 (KU) — (D)Ctrl Alt Revolt!
    #115,492 — (D)Walkaway
    #157,554 — (D)Somewhither
    #306,936 — (D)Fallout
    #392,832 — The Dark Between the Stars — (puppy nominee)
    #806,298 — (D)Souldancer

    average sales rankings:
    Hugo nominees — 36,833
    Dragon winners — 87,952

    17/28 = 61% of the Hugo nominees are above the median in the sales rankings
    17/28 = 61% of the Dragon winners are BELOW the median in the sales rankings

  35. Pingback: Ganadores de los premios Dragon 2019 – Fantástica – Ficción

  36. Eh, that’s a little misleading – some of the Dragon Award nominees you listed for starters are YEARS old, so it makes sense that they’re lower on Amazon than a recent Hugo nominee.

    Plus, there are Dragon Award supporters pointing out that if you look at your average Barnes and Noble has way more Dragon Award nominees on the shelves than Hugo nominees. Don’t know how true that is nationally, but at least in Georgia, they’re right – you’re more likely to find say, House of Assasins than Trail of Lightning.

    I’m guessing the truth is in the middle somewhere myself, a few rare examples aside.

    One of the things with books is that sales numbers are always kind of murky – even the New York Times Bestseller list can be misleading, given there are ways to fudge that.

    I hear Nielsen Bookscan is very accurate, but you have to pay for access, and as cool as digging around those numbers might be, I’m not rolling in dough enough to pay for the privilege.

  37. “Plus, there are Dragon Award supporters pointing out that if you look at your average Barnes and Noble has way more Dragon Award nominees on the shelves than Hugo nominees.”

    I’m sure Dragon Award supporters will point out whatever they fancy in the moment. You, of course, do not accept things purely on internet rumours from claimed supporters and have prepared a comment with the sales figures of B&B.

    Please do publish.

  38. It was George Flynn and I who got the rules changed in 1978 to make the Hugo numbers public.

    I wasn’t aware of your role in that. You played a momentous role in the Hugos! Releasing the numbers makes the awards significantly more credible. It’s a lesson the Dragon Awards have yet to learn.

  39. @Brandon —

    Eh, that’s a little misleading – some of the Dragon Award nominees you listed for starters are YEARS old, so it makes sense that they’re lower on Amazon than a recent Hugo nominee.

    Nope — I used the same time range for the Hugo books as for the Dragon books. Remember, it’s the overall pattern I’m looking at, not just the individual books.

    Plus, there are Dragon Award supporters pointing out that if you look at your average Barnes and Noble has way more Dragon Award nominees on the shelves than Hugo nominees.

    Please present your evidence — not just a vague claim.

    I hear Nielsen Bookscan is very accurate

    Bookscan covers only hard copy books that are actually physically scanned — as in over-the-counter book sales. It ignores books sold without scanning, like many (most? I don’t know) books sold online, including all ebooks.

  40. Oh, incidentally —

    I gathered another iteration of the same numbers just now — Hugo novel nominees vs. Dragon novel winners, covering all Dragon years and Hugos 2015-2019, Paid in Kindle Store.

    Here’s the pattern over three weeks’ worth of numbers — 9/3, 9/9, 9/15 (it’s 1:45 AM here):

    Average sales rankings:
    Hugo nominees — 36,367 — 36,833 — 46,877
    Dragon winners — 91,651 — 87,952 — 104,163

    17/28 = 61% — 61% — 64% of the Hugo nominees are ABOVE the median in the sales rankings.
    17/28 = 61% — 61% — 64% of the Dragon winners are BELOW the median in the sales rankings.

    As I keep saying — individual books move up or down the rankings, but the overall pattern remains the same.

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