Reaction to 2020 Dragon Awards Winners

What was the response to yesterday’s announcement of the 2020 Dragon Awards winners among some of the award’s most ardent supporters?

It can be divided between those who ignored any category that wasn’t won by someone they approved, and those who found a way to blame the outcome on the pandemic.

Last year’s Best SF Dragon Award winner Brad R. Torgersen took a similar approach at first.

However, Torgersen revealed his true feelings in comments:

Declan Finn’s response isn’t as cryptic as it may seem if you remember he considers the 2020 Dragon Ballot to be the outcome of people not listening to him. Again.

Brian Niemeier leads the blame-the-pandemic wing of the party.

Richard Paolinelli’s tweet is a hybrid of the two common Puppy responses.

The rest of what Richard Paolinelli has to say is locked behind his paywall, which is as secure a way of keeping something secret as has yet been invented.

Meanwhile, John Scalzi is the soul of contentment. And so is his bookie, evidently.

41 thoughts on “Reaction to 2020 Dragon Awards Winners

  1. @Bill —

    Does anyone actually care about these awards?

    Sure.

    For the puppies, these awards were supposed to be their salvation — their validation, proof that Somebody Really Likes Them.

    For the rest of us, the Dragons are kinda fun to laugh at — first because their administration keeps being so utterly inept and secretive, and second because they increasingly betray the poor puppies’ fervent fantasies of world domination.

    If the Dragon admins could get their acts together, these awards might become a welcome addition to the sff award pantheon. Like the Goodreads awards, they could be another voice for the wider sff-reading public. But as it is, they’re mostly only good for ridicule.

  2. Typical responses.
    I wonder how many votes came from the Dragon Awards’ collaboration with the Fulton County Public Library system. It does have 32 branches so that might’ve been significant.

  3. Lis –

    “Sad that they think popular works winning is evidence that the Dragons aren’t reflecting popular taste.”

    But are those works really popular? Surely you must recognize that Scalzi is not nearly so popular as all the SJWs argue. After all, [insert 40,000 word gibberish arguing that Scalzi is NOT popular due to some very twisted logic and wordplay]. My point is made.

  4. @Laura —

    So everyone but the “CHORFs” were snoozing or distracted by the pandemic. Okay. Got it.

    The Trumpkins were all busy pitching tantrums at Costco when they weren’t allowed in without masks.

  5. Contrarius Says The Trumpkins were all busy pitching tantrums at Costco when they weren’t allowed in without masks.

    Being confined as I am, I’ve missed seeing any drama with masks in the Real World™ as I only need to wear one when one of my medical care staff and such visits me here, or I go out for medical care. I just ordered new masks, medical grade in black this time, as I’m finally running out.

    I use Amazon a lot and get groceries via the Instacard service which are delivered here. Costco isn’t available here via that service but Sam’s Club and BJ’s are.

  6. Because they weren’t able to attend DragonCon in person this year they forgot to participate in the free online poll which takes place beforehand.

  7. @Cat —

    Being confined as I am, I’ve missed seeing any drama with masks in the Real World™

    I haven’t been inside a Kroger (people feed) or Tractor Supply (animal feed) since March. Been in a Walmart about twice since then. The most I’ve worn my masks has actually been at doctors’ appointments, plus going inside restaurants a few times to pick up take-out!

  8. Bill Burns on September 7, 2020 at 2:31 pm said:

    Does anyone actually care about these awards?

    Absolutely I care…maybe not in a good way, or a positive way or a healthy way and more of in a weird obsession like somebody addicted to a bad day time soap opera but I care…

  9. @Mike

    “The rest of what Richard Paolinelli has to say is locked behind his paywall, which is as secure a way of keeping something secret as has yet been invented.” Lol!

  10. We care bc we think that the Dragon Awards should be representative of the majority of the Dragon Con attendees rather than a participation trophy for a small group of insiders who are for the most part not popular

  11. A couple months ago I read some commentary that I swear was linked on this site but cannot find it. It was a discussion of all the things the Dragon Awards could do to be a mainstream useful award and also noted that even Baen doesn’t put the award winners’ citations on their marketing copy. Anybody know where that is/who wrote it? Thanks.

  12. So I did some poking around and I don’t think that the Dragon Awards collaboration with the Fulton, Cobb, and Gwinnett County library systems would have had much of an impact (I wonder why they left our Dekalb County’s library system).
    The only county system that did any social media posts about the Dragon Awards that I can find after searching Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook was Fulton.
    Fulton did three posts on Twitter with a total of 2 retweets and 5 likes.
    They also did three posts on Instagram with a total of 29 likes. The dates range from 8/17/20-9/5/20 which was the last day to vote. I initially thought that a few hundred votes from these three systems might have substantially impacted the resutls of the Dragon Awards voting, but this data leads me to believe otherwise.

  13. I don’t participate in the Dragon Awards because the amount of time between the announcement of the shortlist and the voting is too brief to truly survey all of those works. However, I will say that I have never had a bad time reading a book written by Nick Cole.

    Now playing….Black Hole Sun by Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox featuring Haley Reinhart.

    Regards,
    Dann
    TRC eht edisni deppart ma I !pleH

  14. The Fulton County library system also has an agreement with the Atlanta Zoo.

    HOW MANY LEMURS VOTED FOR SCALZI?

  15. Puppies are worse at self-reflection than vampires….

    Puppies: “We want a popular award where everyone can vote, of course we’ll win, we’re so popular”

    Dragon awards year 1, Puppies (after stuffing the voting): “look, we told you’d we’d win in a fair vote 1!!!!11!!!

    Dragon awards following years, Puppies :” We didn’t mean popular vote, we meant vote for us!!! It must be a conspiracy if we don’t win!”

    I got at least 2 e-mails asking me to nominate, and at least two more reminding me to vote – I didn’t as there are about a billion categories and don’t have time for that, but you’d think the puppies should have been organized enough to ballot stuff, I suspect the nominees were a legit organic outcome and not a campaign on anyones part.

  16. What may have made a difference is the Dragon Con Discord server which sent out numerous reminders to vote in the Dragon Awards once it was up.

  17. Pingback: Some Comments on the 2020 Dragon Award Winners | Cora Buhlert

  18. TFW when losers invent an award to make them look like they’re “winning” at something, then it evolves into a legit event and they still lose.

  19. My advice for those upset they didn’t win Dragon Awards is the same for those upset they didn’t win any other awards:

    Write Better Books.

    That and if you are writing books for the sake of accolades, maybe you should reexamine why you are writing, what you are writing and how you are writing.

    The Puppies and those adjacent will never do that, but it is still my advice.

  20. I see Torgersen is still trying to make CHORF a thing.

    The Dragon Awards has the lowest barrier to participate of any award in SF/F and Torgersen is still whining that its results are the product of elitism.

  21. @rcade: I see Torgersen is still trying to make CHORF a thing.
    I see Torgersen is still failing to grasp that words have meaning. Like “reactionary”.

  22. The problem with being secretly popular, as so many of the puppies assure us they really are, is that so few people end up knowing you’re popular. Being world-famous when nobody has heard of you is tough.

    So they have all these fans who support them in email, but for some reason never use any other communication channel. It’s really hard to get any word-of-mouth going when so many of your fans refuse to use their mouths. 😀

    Obviously, what these guys need is smarter fans. (Or, just perhaps, fans that are slightly less imaginary.)

  23. These awards lost all pretension to being worth a bucket of warm spit when the organizers opened the voting and nomination process to ANYONE regardless of whether they even attended DragonCon or not. I never have and never will, but somehow I’ve been receiving ballots by email.

    I mean, the Hugos aren’t great, but at least you have to buy a membership to Worldcon. All you need to do for these is be on a mailing list.

  24. I see Torgersen is still failing to grasp that words have meaning. Like “reactionary”.

    That’s definitely the weirdest word choice in his multi-year belabored attempt at acronym coinage. A reactionary is yearning for a return to positive values of the past they believe are absent from today (even if the past was never actually like that at all).

    It’s completely bizarre for Torgerchorf to believe the term “reactionary” describes current Hugo and Dragon voters and not the crowd sulking over how Asimov and Campbell and themselves and [Insert Author They Loved When They Were 12] isn’t the standard of excellence in the genre any more.

  25. @Xtifr —

    The problem with being secretly popular, as so many of the puppies assure us they really are, is that so few people end up knowing you’re popular. Being world-famous when nobody has heard of you is tough.

    LOL!

  26. @lisa evans: The Locus Awards are open to anyone, and have managed to become reasonably respected. (They do give double-weight to votes by subscribers, but still.)

    I think the Dragon’s main problems are, simply, 1. the lack of transparency, 2. the irregular and confusing eligibility period, and finally, 3. the fact that if they’re not going to serve as consolation prizes for whiny right-wingers, then they’re entirely redundant to existing popular awards like the Locus and Goodreads.

  27. @Xtifr —

    3. the fact that if they’re not going to serve as consolation prizes for whiny right-wingers, then they’re entirely redundant to existing popular awards like the Locus and Goodreads.

    If they could get their act together, I think they could serve an audience that is at least somewhat different from the others.

    Goodreads — book nerds
    Locus — people who actually follow genre news
    Dragon — genre media/pop culture fans

    Lots of overlap, of course, but not identical.

    Now playing: “Nemo” by Umphrey’s McGee

  28. The eligibility period is weird, but it works if the purpose is to honor works that came out since the last DragonCon.

    To me the biggest flaw is transparency. If we don’t know who the admins are and we don’t know the number of nominations and number of final ballot votes, and the boilerplate language of the rules allows admins to disregard votes, it’s not an award that deserves much credibility even if there are worthy winners.

  29. @Contrarius: Huh. Ok, yeah, that makes sense. I’ll withdraw the redundancy objection.

    @Rcade: I mean…that’s simply not an achievable purpose. Most obviously, a work released the day before DragonCon can’t be on the ballot, because the ballot has already been finalized. And even if you say, “ok, we’ll make it since the last nomination period instead”, that still penalizes works released just before the deadline, unless you have a long enough nomination period for people to actually discover and read those works! And the result (no matter how long the nomination period) is that it’s hard to tell if a work is eligible, and, it’s not actually tied to the convention in any way. It’s just a random, confusing date.

    The year of publication is almost always printed on the copyright page, but finding the month and day is likely to require actual research.

    But I agree that the lack of transparency is the worst!

    Now playing: “Echoes” by Rodrigo y Gabriela.

  30. @Xtifr —

    Now playing: “Echoes” by Rodrigo y Gabriela.

    Oooo, ahhhhh.

    Now playing: “Endless Road” by Tommy Emmanuel

    edit — and Now Playing: “Diablo Rojo” by Rodrigo y Gabriela 🙂

  31. Xtifr: the result (no matter how long the nomination period) is that it’s hard to tell if a work is eligible, and, it’s not actually tied to the convention in any way. It’s just a random, confusing date.

    The first year of the Dragon Awards, the eligibility period was originally set at 15 or 16 months, and it appeared to be set that way so as to “grandfather in” two specific books by Puppies from the prior year while enabling the rest of the Puppies who hadn’t had a book published in the previous calendar year, but did have one published in the current year, to get in on the handouts.

    Unfortunately that poor choice left them stuck with an ongoing eligibility year problem, because to change to the prior calendar year would have made a bunch of books eligible for the second time.

    Nevertheless, they really need to suck it up and do that, anyway — and just declare that any finalists from the previous year won’t be eligible again.

  32. I mean…that’s simply not an achievable purpose. Most obviously, a work released the day before DragonCon can’t be on the ballot, because the ballot has already been finalized.

    True, but if the goal was for eligibility to cover as much of the previous year as possible, a June 30 end of eligibility for an early September convention is pretty tight.

    Stretching eligibility across two calendar years is unusual but Dragon Con is enormous. Having an award tailored to its calendar might have made sense to the administrators who dare not speak their names.

    I’m not saying it’s a great idea. I just don’t think it’s a major flaw of the awards if the purpose is tied closely to the con.

  33. All you need to know about the Pups: Torgerson literally argued that one of the BadThings those eeeeevil SJWS are responsible for is…

    …and I swear by all that men hold holy, I am not making this up…

    …that he can’t judge a book by its cover any more.

    Seriously.

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