The Dragon Award nominees came out August 3 and voting continues until September 1 — the deadline having been extended by two days after author withdrawals were permitted (although the award’s own webpage has yet to be updated.)
Larry Correia’s latest appeal to voters includes the line:
Unlike certain other awards, the Dragon actively encourages authors to ask their fans to turn out.
My first thought was I saw what you did there, then I realized he also had illuminated the essence of the award – it’s a tribal competition.
Previous to the announcement of the nominees nobody will have read more than a small fraction of the 51 novel finalists (never mind all the comic books and graphic novels). There’s not enough time for a voter to read the dozens of books they hadn’t already seen. (Well, my fellow fans Don D’Ammassa and Marty Massoglia could, but not the rest of us.) And I’ll leave aside the question of whether people will pay for access to all these books.
In short, this is just a raw get-out-the-vote scenario. Nobody is expected to have an informed opinion about which nominees are the best, only an opinion about who they want to give an award to. Unlike certain other awards.