Niemeier wants the Dragon Awards to be a culture war but The Culture doesn’t want to play

A new post from Brian Niemeier who is, as they like to say, “doubling down” on his vote strategy for the Dragon Awards:

Everything goes into the kitchen sink there but luckily we are spared suggestions that demonic forces are at work. The main target being, of course, John Scalzi. Of course, what Brian forgets is that while he may be absolutely desperate to win a Dragon Award, John Scalzi really couldn’t give two shits about it.

Hence: Neatly done John. Withdrawing from the awards costs John Scalzi *nothing* and helps reduce the total amount of nonsense in the world by a tiny amount – at least until Brian N picks a different target.

Now I have no doubt that Brian will now spin this as a major victory and in a sense, it is once we look at the objectives:

  • John Scalzi doesn’t want a Dragon Award.
  • Brian Niemeier really, really, really wants another one.

So, it really is a win-win for both of them. Ah, but what about the supposed SJW plot to “converge” the Dragon Awards? As I’ve pointed out to Brian if there is a plot, it isn’t one that I know anything about.

But is it really, really a win-win for everybody? Well not quite. Firstly, if Brian Niemeier does win he does so against a diminished field. Secondly, the Dragon Awards, in general, lose out if major authors decide they would rather not participate. Even the relatively more benign Sad Puppies suffered from a substantial toxic-brand syndrome, much of it from the perceived association with the Rabid Puppies. Considering many of the people associated with these campaigns (including in the Scrappy Doos) see themselves as marketing gurus, you would think they would have spotted by now that the kind of conflict-marketing has the down side of creating a negative brand image. In this case that toxic brand issue becomes associated with the Dragon Awards itself.

And here is where we get to the ultimate irony: Vox Day and people emulating Vox Day implementing their own Xanatos-gambit, “convergence” strategy against themselves and the Dragon Awards. In their heads, they see at as not being able to lose because:

  • Either they win a category, in which case they can claim victory or…
  • If a more trad-publishing book wins in which case they can claim evil conspiracies by sinister SJWs plotting against them.
  • If next cycle, Dragon Con tries to improve the way the awards work or the reputation of the awards, then this will be spun as evidence of SJW machinations and be more grist for the grievance machine.

Whereas, in reality, unless some of the books they hate *win* and they recognise the legitimacy of the win, then they undermine the brand and reputation of the Dragon Awards. That brand is already very fragile. If people see it as purely an award for Castalia House books (or similar) then, who aside from the existing fan base will want to participate?

Brian is Xanatos Gambiting the very branch of a tree he is sitting on. Meanwhile, MY victory condition has already been achieved – it was: “have a topic to write on my blog today”. Game, set, match 😉


21 responses to “Niemeier wants the Dragon Awards to be a culture war but The Culture doesn’t want to play”

  1. Isn’t it great when you finally get the answer to that nagging question, “What should I write about today?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the “toxic brand” strategy statement. I don’t buy books out of spite. I think they vastly overestimate the number of folks who ‘hate purchase.’ Also, at a certain point, an award, even a popular one, has to be about quality or the award is worthless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just don’t understand why the Pups let Scalzi live in their head rent free. I mean, seriously. I know Beale has a personal grudge, but I just don’t get the rest of them. I guess they’re all just falling in line behind their glorious ineffective leader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same reason the president* lets Obama live in his head and his crowds still chant, “Lock her up!” I suppose. Once you’ve picked a target for your Two Minutes’ Hate, it seems to be extremely difficult to let them go.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That gif illustrates the XanaD’OH Gambit so perfectly.

    What about all the people who already voted for Scalzi? They don’t get to vote again. And now the admin(s) can’t even put their thumb on the scale and give it to him so as to have a respectable winner. Might let Mssrs. Liu in?


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