Dragon Con Launches Its Own SF Awards

Dragon Con, the pop culture convention held annually over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, has opened nominations for the newly-created Dragon Awards. The official press release sets the vision for the award:

Dragon Award winners will be selected by all fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – in an open nomination and final voting system.  To accommodate as many creative genres as possible, awards will be given in each of 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming and tabletop gaming.  Winners will be announced at the 30th Anniversary Dragon Con convention, which will be held September 2 to September 5, 2016 in Atlanta.

“We wanted to offer fans an opportunity to vote for their favorite book, comic, movie, television show or game, which just about covers all the different ways that we enjoy science fiction and fantasy today,” said Pat Henry, president of Dragon Con, Inc.  “In the last 30 years, the way we enjoy science fiction and fantasy has changed so much, but the demand for quality has never diminished.  These awards are our way of recognizing the best writers, artists, directors and game designers who breathe life into the things we love.”

Because of the unprecedentedly large pool of fans who are expected to participate in the nominating process, the Dragon Awards will be a true reflection of the works that are genuinely most beloved by the core audience.

There are seven novel categories, four game categories, a comic book, a graphic novel, a TV and a movie category.

There are no short fiction, editing, magazine or fan award categories.

Winners will be selected in a two-step process.

  • Nominations: Fans can nominate one (and only one) item in an award category.  Nominations are open until July 25.
  • Finalists: “The best and most popular of the nominated properties in each category will then be offered for a second and final vote beginning August 2. Fans will be allowed to vote just once for each category’s best in this final round of voting.”

The categories are:

  • Best science fiction novel
  • Best fantasy novel (including paranormal)
  • Best young adult/middle grade novel
  • Best military science fiction or fantasy novel
  • Best alternate history novel
  • Best apocalyptic novel
  • Best horror novel
  • Best comic book
  • Best graphic novel
  • Best episode in a continuing science fiction or fantasy series, TV or internet
  • Best science fiction or fantasy movie
  • Best science fiction or fantasy PC / console game
  • Best science fiction or fantasy mobile game
  • Best science fiction or fantasy board game
  • Best science fiction or fantasy miniatures / collectible card / role-playing game

All voting will be done electronically on the Dragon Awards site here.

Voters will be required to register. The FAQ explains:

I’m honest, why do I need to register?

We ask you to register for ballot security and to prevent fraud by others. If there is any concern, we may ask you later for identifying information such as a mailing address. We will NEVER ask for confidential, personal information such as your SSN. Once you register, you can access the Dragon Awards site and vote. Once you complete this, you will receive an email to the registered address. Respond to that email and you can begin to nominate and vote. The Dragon Awards reserves the right to invalidate suspect or questionable ballots without notice.

The FAQ also defines the eligible works:

When does my book, game, comic or show have to have been released to qualify for this year?

To be eligible for the 2016 Dragon Awards the book, comic, game, movie, or, at least, one episode of any series has to have been released Between April 1, 2015, and the close of nominations, July 25, 2016.

Voting on the finalists will begin in early August and end on the Saturday at Noon of Dragoncon weekend, September 3, 2016.

The 15 category definitions will be of interest to conrunners — the full text follows the jump.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]

Best Science Fiction Novel

What is the best and most outstanding science fiction novel you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any book that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 3/1/2016 containing and based upon scientific or science and engineering premises or technology. The release date is shown on the verso, legal information page, at the front of the book. A book may have more than one release date if it comes out in different formats.

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

What is the best and most outstanding novel featuring magic or mythic creatures that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any book that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 3/1/2016 containing and based upon scientific or science and engineering premises or technology. Release date is shown on the verso, legal information page, at the front of the book. A book may have more than one release date if it comes out in different formats.

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel

What is the best and most outstanding novel for young adults, ages 12 to 18, that you have read in the last year, one that you would recommend for all teenagers to read?

Qualifying is any book written for readers ages 12 to 18 that is at least 45,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016 containing significant science fiction or fantasy elements.

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

What is the best and most outstanding novel featuring main characters who are in the military and combat that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any book that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016 which contains and is based upon some aspect of military combat in any form and in any time period which contains significant science fiction or fantasy elements.

Best Alternate History Novel

What is the best and most outstanding novel whose story takes place in a world that did not happen, but could have been, so is an alternative to the world as we know it that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any book that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016 whose story is set in a variant future or past universe including those with steam powered technology.

Best Apocalyptic Novel

What is the best and most outstanding novel whose story is based upon a the end of the world, the collapse of civilization, or the destruction of the human race as we know it that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any book that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016 themed or set after a major and world changing disaster which occurs in the future. This can include ecological, social, zombie, or other world changing events.

Best Horror Novel

What is the best and most outstanding novel whose story is based upon horrific events that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying book featuring and primarily based upon one or more horrific elements that is at least 70,000 words long, containing a single story (no anthologies), and has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Comic Book

What is the best comic or comic book series you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

Qualifying is any publication that contains illustrated story in traditional comic book format (non-animated) that is at least 20 pages long with a consistent set of characters, premises and series title that appears at least four times per year and at least one volume has been first released in print or electronic format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Graphic Novel

What is the best single graphic novel that you have read in the last year, one that you would tell your friends to read?

A publication that contains illustrated story in traditional comic book format (non-animated) that is at least 36 pages long and has been first released in print or electronic format between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Episode in a Continuing Science Fiction or Fantasy Series, TV or Internet

What is the best TV or internet series you have watched and enjoyed over the last year?

Nominate a series as a whole, not a single episode.

Qualifying is any series of media (video and sound) presentations of which no less than four related episodes have appeared between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016 which featuring continuing cast or characters, plot elements, and series name presented in any medium.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

What is the best theatrical, TV, or internet movie you have watched and enjoyed over the last year?

Qualifying is any single presentation of a story featuring fantasy or science fiction elements no shorter than 74 minutes run time that is not part of any continuing series (movie sequels can be included here) which was first was shown in television, in theaters, or over the internet between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

What is the best, absolute most fun to play and look at new science fiction or fantasy themed electronic game that you played in the last year? One that you would recommend to your friends.Please put both the name of the game, and game company.

Qualifying is any science fiction or fantasy themed game that is played primarily on a computer or game console which may or may not include an internet connection and which was released between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

What is the best, absolute most fun to play and look at new science fiction or fantasy themed electronic game that you played on your phone or tablet in the last year? One that you would recommend to your friends.

Qualifying is any science fiction or fantasy themed game that is played primarily on tablets or phones which may or may not include an internet connection and which was released between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

What is the best science fiction or fantasy themed game that is played using a game board of form, including those which are assembled during play, that you have played with or would recommend to your friends.

Qualifying is any non-electronic game for any number of players in which a central board plays an important role in the game play and which was first released between 1/1/2015 and 2/1/2016.

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

What is the best science fiction or fantasy themed non-electronic game that is not played using a game board of form that you have played with or would recommend to your friends. This can be any type of game or game rules set.

Qualifying is any non-electronic game for any number of players whose central game play element is not a board.

299 thoughts on “Dragon Con Launches Its Own SF Awards

  1. Mark on April 7, 2016 at 6:10 am said:
    …. In “well, that didn’t take long” news, VD announces he will be letting his followers know his Dragon nominations for absolutely no reason at all.

    I am registered to vote in the Dragon Awards and I would encourage you to do so as well. I’ll post my recommendations here the week after the Hugo shortlist is announced, in the event that any of you might happen to be curious about them

    Wow, he’s not even giving Dragoncon a chance to do it “wrong.”

  2. Aaron:

    (2) The Pups will be overwhelmed by other voters who, given the fact that Dragon*Con’s demographic tends to skew young and liberal, will frequently vote for the kinds of things that JCW has dismissed as “political correctness”, which will cause outpourings of frothy Puppy rage.

    I can easily see the military category being won (not this year, obviously, but in future) by John Scalzi.

  3. Mark: I did think Best SF/Best Fantasy were meant to be the “top” categories, and winners in the more specific categories would also then be in contention for the top two, so I’m also a bit confused!

    I think you can argue that AH is a third thing, and horror a fourth thing (illogical though that is). Clearly military science fiction or fantasy isn’t a fifth thing, though, nor are apocalypses. (Are they recognised as a sales category anywhere? And come to think of it, are there enough of them each year to make up a decent list of finalists?)

    But I don’t think it would be too unreasonable to say ‘If a work has so much support that it manages to get shortlisted, by different people, in two categories, then it deserves its success. But if the same people nominate it in two categories, that’s cheating.’

  4. Andrew M, did Scalzi recuse himself from ALL awards, or just the Hugo awards? I seem to recall it was just for the Hugos, but my memory may be incorrect.

  5. Cassy B: I’m pretty sure it was all awards, this year–at least, it was both the Hugos and the Nebulas. I believe that Scalzi accepted that he was already on a Goodreads award list when he recused himself, but urged Whatever readers to go vote for his competition there, too.

  6. It’s all awards. He mentioned it specifically in connection with the Goodreads Choice Awards as well as the Hugos, but he does say awards quite generally.

  7. @Andrew M

    Re multiple categories, your suggested explanation seems reasonable to me.

    @Various re Scalzi

    I’m 99% sure he explicitly extended his recusal from awards this year to include the Dragon in a tweet, but can’t track it down.

  8. All: thanks for the clarification. I should know it’s always bad to trust my unchecked memory…

  9. Twitter yesterday shortly after the tweet OGH included in the Pixel:
    “@scalzi: Note with the Dragon Awards as with every other award this year, I’m taking my 2015 work off the table for consideration. Thanks.”

  10. If we can presume that the Puppy persons will now support the Draconian award, rather than generating Hugo award slates, that would seem to be a win-win situation.

  11. Actually, my prediction is that for the first year of the Dragon Awards, general apathy will prevail from most Dragon*Con attendees as well as general fandom and most of what will make the list will be things that creators or fan groups specifically push for their fans to nominate and vote for. How effective they will be will become obvious once the nominations are announced. They really should have announced it as an award starting in 2017 instead of trying to launch it for this year with a late start 1/3 of the way into the year and with the web site and rules (or terms and conditions) not being quite ready to go.

    Then in the following years, fan groups like Sherlock and Doctor Who will take more notice and start to dominate the awards.

    If they don’t much to promote the awards actually exist and are happening (as far as I can see via the web page, you can find the Press Release in the PR section), it will be up to people interested in the awards to spread the word that they exist.

  12. Sean:

    “Our interpretations of what the puppies have said varies much too widely, and I feel that their intentions have been, in many cases, misconstrued.”

    There’s not many ways to interpret this from Sarah Hoyt:

    “I suggest we kick them while they’re down and make them fight for the awards and prestige they crave. Also, that we point at them and make duck noises.”

  13. I’m confused enough by the eligibility dates (Will they always have a period longer than a year? Wouldn’t that create overlap? What’s the purpose of the extra months?) before we even get to the rest of the issues. Like categories. And how a reader might think something fits in more than one and agonize over which to choose because they don’t know what others think or where it’s more likely to generate the best numbers to be a finalist.

    But if they can make it all work and get past the first year with its usual fits and starts and oops/didn’t think of that problems, more power to them. Like others, I think the runaway successes that cut across demographic lines — the Harry Potters and Doctor Whos and Star Wars and Star Treks and Benedict Cumberbatches — will inevitably rise to the top of the lists. But maybe that’s what they want, to attract A-list attendees. How lovely for them! Hope it works out!

    I do think if they’re Dragon awards, all the books and other things entered ought to have dragons. Is that wrong? Maybe that’s why Aaron keeps thinking their name will change soon.

    This is completely unrelated, but Tasha, if you’re reading this, do you have any tips on making kosher sponge cake for Passover? I am usually responsible for a different course and can do my part just fine, but this year I am requested to bring dessert and specifically sponge cake. I found a kosher-for-Passover recipe, but it is listed as “intermediate” when I am definitely a beginner baker. It requires separating one’s egg whites and a spring form pan and parchment paper and other tricky bits.

  14. BigelowT: Maybe that’s why Aaron keeps thinking their name will change soon.

    The reason people, including Aaron and me, think that their name should change is because there are already several Dragon Awards, including one that is SFF-adjacent — because apparently the award organisers couldn’t be bothered to do a Google before choosing the name.

    But given the lack of care exhibited in the rest of the program, I imagine they don’t give a shit, and will just keep the name anyway.

  15. I know! I know! Let’s call them the Meredith Awards, because Dragons! And Meredith! And Dragons! <grin>

  16. Perhaps they can add an asterisk to make it “Dragon*Award”

    We all know that adding asterisks to your award can’t go wrong.

    —-
    I signed up and got a confirmation email with a confirmation link and everything.

  17. Mark-kitteh: Perhaps they can add an asterisk to make it “Dragon*Award”

    You are a very funny fellow…!

  18. @TYP: You’re… welcome? for the enlightenment about bishonen.

    The proofreading on the DragonCon awards is execrable. And while I wonder about a few of the things, like their TV/film definitions and complete lack of short written works, the rest of it looks good. SF, fantasy, horror, apocalypse, milSF, all good categories. Games, swell. Go to it, y’all. The lack of proofreading is the only wrong thing.

    Anyone who’s tried to register, let us know when you can actually nominate.

    While the award is not the idea of nor administered by (praise Ghu) the Puppies, we can see they’re lining up to freep it already. We’ll see if their freeping fu is as good as that of the young ladies who love Sherlock, Doctor Who, and bishy boys.

    @Andrew M: Gene Wolfe, too. I once saw GRRM sitting all by himself at a Worldcon autograph table, because the giant out-the-door line that hour was for Gene Wolfe. And he’s no liberal.

  19. I’d be happy if they called them the McCaffrey Awards. Anne McCaffrey did writing workshops at Dragon*Con, and it seems appropriate to name a Dragon*Con award after one of the most famous creators of dragons in SFF.

    Also, Vox Day’s Elk will be swallowed by an army of Bronies, Superwholockians, and Cecil/Carlos shippers. Dragon*Con is far from a Puppy bastion.

  20. @Tasha

    I thank you for your defense, and for returning this to my original post about the gatekeeping inherent in the Puppy slate and its implications for the Dragoncon awards. While I will assert that my questions about Sean’s language skills are well backed up by how Sean’s view of what Corriea and Torgerson “really” meant has changed dramatically and diametrically with each of his postings, and is at variance with what those gentlemen in fact said, he has some point. My questioning of his reading comprehension is a bit insulting, however borne out by the facts. But the truth sometimes hurts us all, and thank you for stating it even better than I had about gate-keeping and safe spaces.

    More broadly I think that the puppies will find themselves a smaller group at Dragoncon, for the reasons ably presented by lurkertype and others. I strongly suspect that their efforts to keep wrong-fun out of the Dragoncon awards will be even less successful than their attempts to Make The Hugo’s Great Again. Scalzi sells. The numbers pattern for Ancillary has me suspecting that it will enjoy strong sales and a lot of love for years as continuing buzz brings people in to the first one, so Mercy has a shot this year. Butcher and Monster Hunter may have their shots – long series with large constituencies.

    And let’s face it – Dragoncon is fandom. Fandom that’s gay as heck. Fandom that demands more female gaze. Fandom that’s sometimes felt the sting of various members of 101st “Screaming Keyboards” anti-SJW Brigade types, telling them how girly and wrong and cuddles prone their sci-fi is. They’ll all vote. I think JCW will find much to be displeased about the state of the Dragoncon awards in five years. Much indeed.

  21. John Seavey: I’d be happy if they called them the McCaffrey Awards.

    I think that naming awards after a person does not necessarily stand the test of time well. Most people have no idea for whom the Hugos are named. A few decades down the road, I suspect that the Tiptree Awards will get to that place. A lot of people didn’t think (and I agree with them) that the WFA statuette being of a specific person from a century ago is the right thing for the award now.

    I think Dracon Awards might be a good choice. It doesn’t appear to be taken by any other awards program, it sounds like Dragon, and it gets the fact that they’re a con’s award in there.

  22. “I’d be happy if they called them the McCaffrey Awards. Anne McCaffrey did writing workshops at Dragon*Con, and it seems appropriate to name a Dragon*Con award after one of the most famous creators of dragons in SFF.”

    I’d go for the Fafnir Award.

  23. Oh, and it will be fun to see the puppies freep the Dragon Award. I guess several of the rules of the Award is meant to keep Castalia House from going full 8chan on the categories, but a win by John C Wright would cause a scandal and an outcry. Something no one wants for a new award.

  24. Hampus Eckerman: I’d go for the Fafnir Award.

    Ooo! I like that one! Not that I’m all that interested in the Dragoncon awards–except to wish them well–but what a neat idea!

  25. The lack of proofreading is the only wrong thing.

    I also think the schedule they’ve set out is extremely ambitious, and would be even if the people running the award were experienced at doing so. They’ve given themselves one week between the close of nominations and the release of the list of finalists, and at most one or two days between the close of voting and the announcement of the winners. Sure, electronic voting will help, but in the nominations phase they are going to have dozens of titles nominated, many misspelled, or called by alternate names, and all of the other things that happen when tallying awards. I feel relatively comfortable predicting that there will be at least one major screw-up in this process.

  26. “Sure, electronic voting will help, but in the nominations phase they are going to have dozens of titles nominated, many misspelled, or called by alternate names, and all of the other things that happen when tallying awards. “

    One difference from the Hugos is that they have said that nominations can’t be changed. If you have entered one book and then read one better, your first choice will have to stay.

    This means they can do some corrections on spelling and stuff even when the nomination hasn’t finished. But I still think they have gravely underestimated the amount of work.

  27. Hampus Eckerman on April 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm said:

    One difference from the Hugos is that they have said that nominations can’t be changed. If you have entered one book and then read one better, your first choice will have to stay.

    Which, in fairness, was how the Hugo Awards worked until recently, and prior to the introduction of electronic voting. (I know it’s hard to believe, but we once had to write our nominations on pieces of paper and mail then through postal mail. And I’m pretty sure we had to walk to the mailbox uphill both ways in the snow, too.)

    This means they can do some corrections on spelling and stuff even when the nomination hasn’t finished. But I still think they have gravely underestimated the amount of work.

    Particularly inasmuch as if past experience with the Hugo Awards is any guide, they’ll get nearly all of the activity in the final few days of the voting period.

    And if they really do expect to get hundreds of thousands of votes (like some of the more, er, enthusiastic people touting this as the Real Awards for Really Real Fans and you might as well just cancel Worldcon and the Hugo Awards and everything else right now are saying), they’d better have a really good server. At most only 15-20,000 people were eligible to nominate on this year’s Hugo Awards, and look at what it did to the MAC II servers — and I doubt they all were trying to nominate at the same time.

  28. And all this is cumbersome enough without the possibility of large amount of freeping at the end which will need handling.

  29. Looks like “Dave” finally got the memo sometime in the last day or so. It’s getting better already!

  30. @BigelowT

    This is completely unrelated, but Tasha, if you’re reading this, do you have any tips on making kosher sponge cake for Passover? I am usually responsible for a different course and can do my part just fine, but this year I am requested to bring dessert and specifically sponge cake. I found a kosher-for-Passover recipe, but it is listed as “intermediate” when I am definitely a beginner baker. It requires separating one’s egg whites and a spring form pan and parchment paper and other tricky bits.

    I call my MIL and have her bring dessert. My MIL has a great bakery near her. 😉

    Look for Joan Nathan’s Passover or holiday cookbook. I’m not sure if KFP just egg whites works right. I think you can cheat on the spring form pan and use a disposable pan – the kind you would for angel food cake. I think I did this once or twice in my early days. Good luck.

    ETA: make sure you get “matzah cake meal”. Experiment now. Make it 2-3 times when your not rushed. Will help you get comfortable.

  31. @Cassy B: “I know! I know! Let’s call them the Meredith Awards, because Dragons! And Meredith! And Dragons! ”

    You made my day, thanks. 😀 I needed something fun and thoughtful, and you supplied it. ::bows::

    @Mark (Kitteh): You also made me smile with the asterisk Dragon*Award comment. 😉 ::bows again::

    @John Seavey: Er, dare I ask who Cecil and Carlos are? Googling gets me artwork that means nothing to me.

  32. There’s still no listing for the Awards Committee on the DragonCon site, and there’s still no separate menu item — or even submenu item for the Awards. The only way you can get to the Awards page is from the press release posted under the Media/PR tab, or from external links on other sites.

    This is why I’m convinced that the Awards are something being done by people outside DragonCon who went to the concom with a proposal to institute an awards program for them. And the concom includes a lot of experienced people. I find it difficult to believe that they would have put out something so half-assed.

  33. @John Seavey: OMG, I’d forgotten the Bronies! There are a lot of them and they are Very Enthusiastic. They might be a big enough block to get MLP the TV series award, and maybe games. Whether this applies to their taste in novel reading, who knows — they may prefer grimdark Manly post-apoc milSF in books.

    But this vote once and forever hold your piece is going to seem odd to the online all the time crowd. You expect that by postal mail or political votes, not so much in contests where you can vote over and over and over. I guess voters will have to make really sure, or else save some of their spare email addresses till the end. Which means everyone’s going to be nominating/voting at the last minute, and it’s gonna choke like MACII did. Or worse (though their registration servers might be pretty robust, if they can repurpose those). And then someone has to go through and clean all that data very quickly. Unless they’re truly planning just to have a few people look at it and go, “Yeah, let’s put these on the final ballot”, which they’ve reserved the right to do — and that will likely be the only way to get it done in time.

    @JJ: Dracon is a very good name indeed, and probably not taken. Although I’d hate to say “DragonCon Dracon Awards” three times fast.

    @Aaron: The schedule is ridiculous, but not bad. The proofreading is bad.

    I see the Fantasy Novel award as another chance to vote 🐙 .

  34. Kendall: Cecil and Carlos are from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Cecil is the radio announcer who is the narrator of the episodes, and Carlos is his boyfriend.

    If you’re not familiar with it, WtNV is a “community radio broadcast” from a town called Night Vale which is in the middle of an unnamed deser where all the conspiracy theories are true, with vaguely Lovecraftian incursions as well.

  35. @Cally: Thanks for solving the mystery! I’ve heard of Night Vale but am not really familiar with it. I’ve heard good things about it (methinks here, among other places).

  36. Put me down for that note, a few pages past, for enthusiastic gamer who still doesn’t think Best Video Game is a generally good fit for the Hugos. I’ve hashed it around in my brain for awhile, and I just don’t see it working, more’s the pity.

    Dragoncon, though, very possibly could make it work. So good on them if they can.

    I really am kind of okay with that. I love a lot of things, but they really don’t all need Hugo Awards. The world will not be measurably improved if we hand out a Hugo for Best Perennial Garden Plant, Best Dish Prepared With Goat, Best Local Farmer, Best Mojito Recipe and Best Hound Dog Who Is A Good Dog, Yes She Is.

    Well…maybe the hound one.

  37. Dragoncon, though, very possibly could make it work. So good on them if they can.

    Maybe. One issue the probably-soon-to-be-renamed Dragon Awards may face is that by trying to be all things to all people, they end up with a brand that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. Will board gamers view a probably-soon-to-be-renamed Dragon Award more favorably than a Spiel de Jahres Award? Will role-playing game companies seek an award from Dragon*Con or will they view an ENnie as a more prestigious honor? Will comics creators love this award more than they love the Eisners? And so on.

  38. JJ,

    In my experience, if you are trying to work out whether something is the result of conspiracy or of incompetence, incompetence is by far the more likely explanation. Conspiracy theory is usually shaved by Occam’s razor, and often leads to pointless speculation about what is going on in other people’s heads.

    Anyway, what difference does it make?

  39. Nicholas Whyte: In my experience, if you are trying to work out whether something is the result of conspiracy or of incompetence, incompetence is by far the more likely explanation.

    Oh, I don’t think there’s any “conspiracy” — I’m not sure what I said that gave you that impression. I just think that a lot of things indicate that the impetus for this came from outside rather than from the DragonCon comcon. It doesn’t make any difference to me what triggered it, I’m just finding it interesting to watch as the program morphs and changes due to public response.

  40. Best Dish Prepared With Goat

    The real trick is not in the choice of dish but in finding a goat who’s also a talented kitchen assistant.

    Coming soon to food network. Alton Brown’s Goat Eats.

  41. Will board gamers view a probably-soon-to-be-renamed Dragon Award more favorably than a Spiel de Jahres Award?

    No. Then again, the SdJ isn’t regarded that highly by most ‘core’ boardgamers–it’s an award for a game to play with your family on game night. It’s a bit like a YA book award: good, fun, but a little light for most adults. The Deutsche Spiele Pries is the Big One for core Boardgaming, with various other awards already holding down your Goodreads/Locus/Hugo spots (the DSP is juried, like the Nebulas). I think the award scene over there is way more full than in SFF.

    The stbrnD*C award won’t even make a dent. DC is not even a particularly gaming-centric con.

  42. The should call it The Puff Award, colloquially The Puffies, which would make it the most adorable award.
    They could honour Mary Gentle and call it The Gentle Puff.
    They could have it in Chicago and call it The Gentle Puff Of Wind.

  43. Lenny Lipton might have something to say about a Puff Award.

    (He wrote Puff the Magic Dragon.)

  44. Aaron:

    One issue the probably-soon-to-be-renamed Dragon Awards may face is that by trying to be all things to all people, they end up with a brand that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. Will board gamers view a probably-soon-to-be-renamed Dragon Award more favorably than a Spiel de Jahres Award? Will role-playing game companies seek an award from Dragon*Con or will they view an ENnie as a more prestigious honor? Will comics creators love this award more than they love the Eisners? And so on.

    Well, clearly they aren’t actually trying to be absolutely all things to all people, because,as we noticed, they don’t include short fiction. Or Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. (Sure, that’s covered by Fantasy as they define it, but if they have a category for something as specific as apocalypses, they could make one for that.) And no, their awards aren’t going to be the most important awards in the various fields they fall in. But then, neither are the non-written-fiction Hugos. It’s an alternative perspective; I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  45. On a more disturbing note, I see that while they have an award titled ‘Best Young Adult/ Middle Grade Novel’, the actual description on the nomination page is ‘for young adults (ages 12-18)’. I now have a horrible feeling that they may think of ‘young adult/middle grade’ as a compound name for one class, rather than as two distinct classes. (Come to think of it, some of the odder things in the YA Hugo report may make more sense if they are thinking that way as well.)

  46. @RedWombat:

    I really am kind of okay with that. I love a lot of things, but they really don’t all need Hugo Awards. The world will not be measurably improved if we hand out a Hugo for Best Perennial Garden Plant, Best Dish Prepared With Goat, Best Local Farmer, Best Mojito Recipe and Best Hound Dog Who Is A Good Dog, Yes She Is.

    Well…maybe the hound one.

    It sounds like you have a nominee in mind! 😀

    (Speaking of pretty much anything with goats, I just got caught up on the Reasoning With Vampires tumblr and discovered that Dana has definite opinions about goats and their creepy “hyphenated gaze” — best descriptive phrase EVAR.)

    On categorization: My husband and I were amusing ourselves with “Best Military SF or Fantasy.” At first we misinterpreted it, misattributed the modifier, and wondered at the strange categorization error. Then we figured it out and had some fun trying to figure out which works might count as MilFantasy.

    “Lord of the Rings?”
    “Sure! It’s got armies in it!”
    “Chronicles of Narnia?”
    “Absolutely. At least four or five of those books have armies in ’em.”
    “Harry Potter?”
    “DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY!”

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