2020 Dragon Award Ballot

The 2020 Dragon Awards Ballot was posted August 11. Registered voters should expect to receive notice in email.

It’s not too late to get involved. The Dragon Awards voter registration page states, “You may register to receive a ballot until 11:59 (EDT) on the Friday of Dragon Con,” which is September 4. Voting closes on September 5.

To be eligible for the 2020 Dragon Awards the book, comic, game, movie, must have been released between July 1, 2019, and the close of the eligibility period, June 30, 2020, which accounts for the mix of nominees from last year and this year.

According to the press release, “Nearly 38,000 fans have voted for their favorite works in the past four years, including more than 10,000 people who voted in 2019.”

Also, the Dragon Awards have forged a new partnership with the Fulton County Library System to promote the ballot and registration through their social media and other programs at the system’s 35 locations. Pat Henry, president of Dragon Con, Inc. said, “We are delighted to be working with Fulton County libraries to help spread the word and encourage more people to explore the best works of fiction in the galaxy.”

Interestingly, most categories have six nominees, but the Best Science Fiction Novel has eight:

1. Best Science Fiction Novel

  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
  • The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
  • The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson
  • Network Effect by Martha Wells
  • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

2. Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Jade War by Fonda Lee
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Burning White by Brent Weeks

3. Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Finch Merlin and the Fount of Youth by Bella Forrest
  • Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
  • The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
  • Force Collector by Kevin Shinick
  • The Poison Jungle by Tui T. Sutherland
  • Cog by Greg van Eekhout

4. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Savage Wars by Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
  • Edge of Valor by Josh Hayes
  • Aftershocks by Marko Kloos
  • Defiance by Bear Ross
  • Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio
  • System Failure by Joe Zieja

5. Best Alternate History Novel

  • The Girl with No Face by M. H. Boroson
  • Witchy Kingdom by D. J. Butler
  • Revolution by W. L. Goodwater
  • As Our World Ends by Jack Hunt
  • Up-time Pride and Down-time Prejudice by Mark H. Huston
  • A Nation Interrupted by Kevin McDonald

6. Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Firefly – The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove
  • Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack
  • Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War by John Jackson Miller
  • Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Aliens: Phalanx by Scott Sigler

7. Best Horror Novel

  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
  • Scavenger Hunt by Michaelbrent Collings
  • The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
  • The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North
  • The Toll by Cherie Priest

8. Best Comic Book

  • Avengers by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness
  • Bitter Root by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, Sanford Greene
  • Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
  • Spider-Woman by Karla Pacheco, Pere Perez, Paulo Siqueira
  • Undiscovered Country by Charles Soule, Scott Snyder, Daniele Orlandini, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Matt D. Wilson

9. Best Graphic Novel

  • Batman Universe by Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington
  • Battlestar Galactica Counterstrike by John Jackson Miller, Daniel HDR
  • Black Bolt by Christian Ward, Frazier Irving, Stephanie Hans
  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
  • Mister Miracle by Tom King, Mitch Gerads
  • Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera

10. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • Altered Carbon – Netflix
  • Lost In Space – Netflix Originals
  • Star Trek: Picard – CBS All Access
  • The Expanse – Amazon Prime
  • The Mandalorian – Disney+
  • The Witcher – Netflix
  • Watchmen – HBO

11. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Ad Astra by James Gray
  • Fast Color by Julia Hart
  • Joker by Todd Phillips
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by J. J. Abrams
  • Terminator: Dark Fate by Tim Miller
  • The Lion King by Jon Favreau

12. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Borderlands 3 – Gearbox Software & 2k Games
  • Control – Remedy Entertainment & 505 Games
  • Death Stranding – Kojima Productions & Sony Interactive
  • Gears 5 – The Coalition & Xbox Game Studios
  • Half-Life: Alyx – Valve
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Respawn Entertainment & Electronic Arts
  • The Outer Worlds – Obsidian Entertainment & Private Division

13. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Arknights – Hypergryph, Yostar
  • Call of Duty: Mobile – TiMi Studios & Activision Games
  • Grindstone – Capybara Games Inc.
  • Manifold Garden – William Chyr Studio
  • Minecraft Earth – Mojang Studios & Xbox Game Studios
  • Mutazione – Die Gute Fabrik & Akupara Games

14. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

  • Forgotten Waters – Plaid Hat Games
  • Jaws of the Lion – Cephalofair Games
  • Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid – Renegade Game Studios
  • Tapestry – Stonemaier Games
  • The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine – Kosmos
  • The King’s Dilemma – Horrible Guild Game Studio

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

  • Alien RPG – Free League Publishing
  • Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles: Viper Mk. VII – Ares Games
  • Magic: The Gathering: Throne of Eldraine – Wizards of the Coast
  • Pathfinder Second Edition – Paizo Publishing
  • Spectaculars Core Game – Scratchpad Publishing
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warcry – Games Workshop

26 thoughts on “2020 Dragon Award Ballot

  1. Best TV Series lists only the names of the series without specifying which season or which episodes meet the eligibility rule.

  2. Gideon the Ninth is science fiction? I mean, on one hand space ships, but on the other hand necromancy.

  3. Madame Hardy: Gideon the Ninth is science fiction? I mean, on one hand space ships, but on the other hand necromancy.

    Yeah, it’s got only the faintest veneer of science fiction. But then, Doors has no SF veneer at all.

  4. Based solely on the Amazon blurb, Dead Astronauts looks a lot like fantasy. Ah, well, the ways of taxonomy are mysterious.

  5. JJ: Not that we’re ever going to know, but the categories these books landed in might have been the ones chosen by voters.

    Besides, Gideon the Ninth is all about working through a series of necromantic problems — the sort of “rigorous” approach associated with science fiction.

  6. Madame Hardy on August 11, 2020 at 11:33 am said:
    Based solely on the Amazon blurb, Dead Astronauts looks a lot like fantasy. Ah, well, the ways of taxonomy are mysterious.

    Dead Astronauts is Weird SciFi, like annhilation, with parallel worlds sure, but characters involved being bio-engineered and dealing with a dystopian Company (it shares the setting with VanderMeer’s “Borne” but is VERY different). That’s not the weird classification of these.

  7. Dead Astronauts was a finalist for the Locus Award in Best Fantasy Novel too. Although I haven’t read it, I was surprised since it was related to Borne. And that was generally considered science fiction even though I thought it leaned pretty heavy toward fantasy.

  8. I loved Ten Thousand Doors of January, but I think Alix Harrow must be as surprised as everyone else to see it nominated as science fiction, not as fantasy.

    Interesting mix of nominees, overall.

  9. Dead Astronauts was a finalist for the Locus Award in Best Fantasy Novel too. Although I haven’t read it, I was surprised since it was related to Borne. And that was generally considered science fiction even though I thought it leaned pretty heavy toward fantasy.

    It’s set in the same universe as Borne but uh, takes the weirdness and wtf-ery up to 1000. That said, like a lot of weird SF, where the things created supposedly by science seems magical, the borderline between SF and Fantasy becomes very blurred. So for example, whereas Borne has the flying bear, Dead Astronauts has a sentient multiversal traveler made up of moss. Kind of. Maybe. Again, it’s weird.

  10. Oh, myyyyyyyyy.

    I can hear the puppies howling from a mile off.

    I’m so stunned by the sf and f finalists that I haven’t even looked at the other categories yet.

    Wow.

    Well, hmmm. I said I was going to do a comparison of Hugo nominees with Dragon nominees — but that seems kinda pointless now, seeing as how there’s not a single puppy work amongst any of the sf or f novel noms. Hmmmmmm.

  11. Contrarius: I said I was going to do a comparison of Hugo nominees with Dragon nominees…

    Yeah. What’ll I write about tomorrow? Now I got to find honest work!

  12. Congratulations to Mark Huston for his first novel, “Uptime Pride and Downtime Prejudice.” Mark wrote his first published fiction for the Grantville Gazette and this is Ring of Fire Press’s first award nomination.

  13. I wonder how the Dragon admins ever came up with this list? Mysteries of the universe!

    On the up side, I’ve read 8 of the 14 sf/f nominees, and they’re all good books. And of the ones I haven’t read, I’ve read previous books in the same series in 4 cases — and those have all been good books too. I’ve even read two of the “horror” noms — also good books (though I wouldn’t classify Claire North as a horror writer). So it looks like the quality is running high, especially compared to some of the finalists from previous years.

    Now I gotta go check out the milsf and alt-hist categories. Last bastions of the puppy types?

  14. I can’t find anything on the Fulton County Library System social media about this partnership yet. It’s an interesting mystery.

  15. Contrarius on August 11, 2020 at 6:39 pm said:
    I wonder how the Dragon admins ever came up with this list? Mysteries of the universe!

    Gotta be different admins than previous years. Maybe they actually counted ballots?! But Ten Thousand Doors in Best Science Fiction Novel makes me doubt that. No one who’s read it would put it there instead of fantasy. Not very fair for it either. Even a die-hard fan of it like me would hesitate to vote it as the best science fiction.

  16. @Laura —

    Maybe they actually counted ballots?!

    Perish the thought!

    I am wondering if they finally got tired of being the butt of so many jokes….

    But Ten Thousand Doors in Best Science Fiction Novel makes me doubt that. No one who’s read it would put it there instead of fantasy.

    Yeah, that is really weird. But considering that they’ve actually awarded UF in the horror category in a previous year, the miscategorization is not unprecedented.

    Speaking of categories, I noticed that Gideon is in sf here — but also nominated in the WFAs. That one is certainly a subgenre-crosser. But Ten Thousand Doors? Not so much.

  17. Okay, I went ahead and cobbled together a bit of a Hugo/Dragon sales ranking comparison.

    This isn’t a very good comparison, mind you. I freely admit that it’s an awkward one. But it’s still interesting.

    Here’s what I did: I looked at all the Dragon finalists in sf, f, milsf, and alt-hist. I eliminated those that were published in 2020, leaving only the 2019 books so that I was using books of similar age to the Hugo finalists. I then picked out — yes, cherry-picked — the books that seemed more likely to have puppy support.

    This left me with ten puppy-Dragon finalists (two of them overlapping with the Hugos), which I compared with six Hugo finalists.

    And here’s their relative paid Kindle sales rankings, as of last night:

    The Ten Thousand Doors of January #219(finalist for both)
    Gideon the Ninth #1007(finalist for both)
    **A Memory Called Empire — #1,269
    Aftershocks (KU) #8303
    Middlegame — #9,912
    The City in the Middle of the Night — #14,874
    The Light Brigade — #31,443
    Howling Dark #61,289
    Edge of Valor (KU) #101,664
    Up-Time Pride and Down-Time Prejudice #164,404
    Defiance (KU) #297,991
    System Failure #378,132
    Witchy Kingdom #447,335
    Revolution #1,178,917

    No surprise — yet again, the puppy-type books are selling much worse than the Hugo-type books over all.

    Aftershocks is the one interesting exception. It’s a KU book, which screws up the numbers a bit, but it’s a definite outlier. I may have to check it out! (Incidentally — it’s by Marko Kloos, the guy who famously turned down a puppy nomination — so not precisely a puppy nom here, either.)

  18. I went Googling for puppy responses to the Dragons list. Deafening silence.

    But I did find this lovely quote from the blog mentioned in item #10 in last night’s scroll:

    “The Dragons and the Helicons are where you will truly discover the best of SF/F today.”

    Heh.

    I can’t wait to see what he has to say about them now.

  19. @Laura —

    Thanks for reminding me to get re-subbed to his blog. Some time back I cleared out my inbox, and in doing so somehow or other wordpress automatically unsubbed me from him as well as from other blogs. I keep meaning to sign back up!

  20. Pingback: Reaction to 2020 Dragon Award Ballot | File 770

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