Dragon Award Reveals Category Changes for 2023

The Dragon Award administrators have announced they will reduce the number of award categories from last year’s 15 to 11 in 2023. Two categories will be eliminated, and six other categories will be doubled together, leaving three, however, they are also adding one brand new category.

The changes include:

Deleting the Media Tie-In and Military Fantasy/Sci-Fi categories;

Merging the following categories:

  • Comic Book and Graphic Novel will become one category, Best Comic Book or Graphic Novel;
  • PC/Console and Mobile Game have been combined into Best Digital Game;
  • Board Game and Miniatures/Role-playing/CCG Game will be merged into Best Tabletop Game.

Adding a category:

  • Best Illustrative Book Cover, which the administrators say will “more accurately reflect our roots and fandom in the Art community.”

Although the home page also announces that nominations are open for 2023 and they are accepting registrations to receive a ballot next August, neither function was working at the time this was written.  

17 thoughts on “Dragon Award Reveals Category Changes for 2023

  1. Paul Weimer: Yes, that’s a completely unexpected change. I’d like to find out more about it.

  2. Interesting. Well, I think there’s another media tie-in specific award or set of awards, is that correct? So that’s not a big loss. I wonder if they made this decision based on the number of ballots cast in each category.

  3. While it’s not usually my thing, I have the impression milsf is popular, and otherwise not much served by other awards. A very odd choice to eliminate!

  4. Yes, losing the military category is the most interesting thing about this, and I’m very curious what the reactions will be, especially from those circles. Will we be awash in crazy conspiracy theories? (Or, at least, more crazy conspiracy theories than usual?) 🙂

    That said, I’m a little sad to see the categories go. And curious about the reasons.

  5. I’m struck by that change, too!

    I guess this means that military SFF will be eligible for the Best Science Fiction Novel and Best Fantasy Novel awards. But weren’t they already eligible for those categories (as well as milsf)? And most of all, will they be competitive in those categories?

  6. Odd decision indeed. Just check Larry’s blog and he not commented on but I know he will.

    My only thought is they’re trying to mainstream the Awards and see MilSF as somehow not keeping with that image. Or they had sort of internal look at the Awards, and decided that MilSF was just a niche they didn’t need.

  7. Deleting the military SFF category is certainly an odd choice, especially since there really is no other award specifically for military SFF. Media tie-ins at least have the Scribe Awards.

  8. Combining comic book and graphic novel makes sense, especially as they didn’t always keep those distinct in the past, judging by the finalists.

    I’m kind of sorry they’re dropping the tie-in and MilSFF categories.

    I don’t really do enough gaming to be able to talk about those categories, although the way they’ve redone and combined the categories does seem to make sense.

  9. Mike Glyer on November 16, 2022 at 3:35 pm said:

    Paul Weimer: Yes, that’s a completely unexpected change. I’d like to find out more about it.

    That one really surprised me. It’s maybe a third of all Baen’s Dragon wins (alt-history being the other big one but with Eric Flint’s passing, that category probably will have less Baen also)

  10. Completle hyperbole: Perhaps they noticed that there were far few votes on MilSF than other categories? Probably because their intended target audience shifted and outside those circles its not as popular?

  11. A few folks see it the way I see it:

    DragonCon shot themselves in the foot on this one. The MilitarySF and Tie-in categories made the distinctive, even if I didn’t care about them at all.

    Though, now I wonder how long it will be before a certain group of authors start complaining about the Dragon Awards going “woke”.

    I also wonder why of all things the Dragon Award itself still doesn’t look like a Dragon.

  12. It’s a shame they eliminated the tie-in category, IMO. Those authors often have thankless jobs, and the “genre” is mostly mediocre, so I always thought it was nice that they got some recognition for their work.

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