Who Won What in the Dragons?


But first a pointlessly epic opening titles video for the post!

The big two (SF Novel and Fantasy Novel) were the no-surprise of James Corey and the Larry Correia/John Ringo duo. The category to watch was YA and that went to the super-safe choice of Rick Riordan. Best Apocalyptic and Best Horror went to authors not generally liked by the right of SF: Cory Doctorow and Victor LaValle. comic book adaptations of Jim Butcher’s Dresden files took the two comic categories.

Observant people may notice all the winning authors have something in common that Hugo winners didn’t.

Faction wins:

  • Rabids: Zero
  • Happy Frogs: 1 (but not an actual Scappy Doo work)
  • Declan: 2 (but works that would have won anyway)
  • Inkshares: 0
  • Red Pandas: 2 (most notably Best Horror)


  • Orbit: 1
  • Baen: 1
  • Disney Hyperion: 1
  • Triplane Press: 1
  • Del Rey: 1
  • Tor books: 1
  • Spiegel & Grau: 1

If I was the Dragon Award organisers I’d be happy with the results. Mainly safe choices that avoided rewarding poor behaviour.

[ETA] The official press release is here: http://mediarelations.dragoncon.org/ but I can’t seem to get a permalink to it.

More than 8,000 fans cast ballots for Dragon Award winners among 88 properties in 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming and tabletop gaming.

8 thousand is impressive if it is what they say (i.e. 8 thousand distinct voters) but less impressive if it is the sum of votes per category (an average of about 500). I assume it is the first given the wording.

Best Science Fiction Novel
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
WINNER —> Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey
Death’s End by Cixin Liu <|| Red Panda
Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli <|| Declan Finn <|| HF nom
Rise by Brian Guthrie <|| Inkshares
Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards <|| Inkshares
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi <|| Red Panda
The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier <|| Declan Finn <|| Happy Frogs

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day <|| CH <||Rabid nom <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Beast Master by Shayne Silvers
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter <|| Red Panda
Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi
WINNER —> Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo <|| Declan Finn
The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta
Wings of Justice by Michael-Scott Earle

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas <|| Red Panda
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Firebrand by A.J. Hartley
It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett <|| Inkshares
Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter <|| Declan Finn <|| HF nom
Swan Knight’s Son by John C Wright <|| CH <||Rabid nom <|| Declan Finn <|| Happy Frogs
WINNER —> The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Allies and Enemies: Exiles by Amy J. Murphy <|| Red Panda
Caine’s Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon
Cartwright’s Cavaliers by Mark Wandrey <|| Declan Finn
Invasion: Resistance by J.F. Holmes
WINNER —> Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox
Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz <|| Declan Finn <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Starship Liberator by B.V. Larson and David VanDyke <|| CH <||Rabid nom
The Span of Empire by Eric Flint and David Carrico

Best Alternate History Novel
1636: The Ottoman Onslaught by Eric Flint <|| Declan Finn
A Change in Crime by D.R. Perry
Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli <|| Declan Finn <|| Happy Frogs
Breath of Earth by Beth Cato
WINNER —> Fallout: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove <|| Declan Finn
No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah <|| CH <||Rabid nom
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville <|| Red Panda
Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler

Best Apocalyptic Novel
A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
American War by Omar El Akkad <|| Red Panda
Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz <|| Declan Finn
The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz <|| Inkshares
WINNER —> Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
ZK: Falling by J.F. Holmes

Best Horror Novel
A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau <|| Inkshares
Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten <|| Declan Finn
Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga
Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn <|| Declan Finn <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells
The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers
WINNER —> The Changeling by Victor LaValle <|| Red Panda

Best Comic Book
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eleven by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs
Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda <|| Red Panda
Motor Girl by Terry Moore <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa
Saga by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples
WINNER —> The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo
Wynonna Earp Legends by Beau Smith, Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Chris Evenhuis

Best Graphic Novel
Clive Barker Nightbreed #3 by Marc Andreyko, Clive Barker, Emmanuel Xerx Javier
Girl Genius: the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne, Book 2: The City of Lightning by Phil and Kaja Foglio
WINNER —> Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez <|| Happy Frogs
Love is Love by Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos, James S. Rich
March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris <|| Red Panda
Stuck in My Head by J.R. Mounts

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Doctor Who, BBC
Lucifer, Fox
Marvel’s Agents of Shield, ABC
Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Sky1 <|| Rabid nom
WINNER —> Stranger Things, Netflix <|| Red Panda
The Expanse, Syfy
Westworld, HBO
Wynonna Earp, Syfy

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve <|| Red Panda
Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directed by James Gunn
Logan directed by James Mangold  <|| Rabid nom
Passengers directed by Morten Tyldum <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards
WINNER —> Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios
Final Fantasy XV by Square Enix <|| Happy Frogs <|| HF nom
Mass Effect: Andromeda by Bioware <|| Red Panda
NieR: Automata by PlatinumGames
WINNER —> The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo
Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
Con Man: The Game by Monkey Strength Productions
Fire Emblem Heroes by Nintendo
Monument Valley 2 by Ustwogames <|| Red Panda
WINNER —> Pokemon GO by Niantic <|| Happy Frogs
Sky Dancer by Pine Entertainment
Super Mario Run by Nintendo

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
WINNER —> Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk by Avalon Hill
Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games  <|| Rabid nom
Hero Realms by White Wizard Games <|| Happy Frogs
Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games
Scythe by Stonemaier Games
Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games <|| Red Panda

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
A Shadow Across the Galaxy X-Wing Wave X by Fantasy Flight Games
Bloodborne: The Card Game by CMON Limited
Dark Souls: The Board Game by Steamforged Games  <|| Rabid nom
WINNER —> Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon by Wizards of the Coast
Pulp Cthulhu by Chaosium <|| Red Panda
Star Wars: Destiny by Fantasy Flight Games <|| Happy Frogs


87 responses to “Who Won What in the Dragons?”

  1. Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox in MilSF is an interesting one. Seems to be a bog standard nutty nugget MilSF story (not that there’s anything wrong with that) from a mid level self-pubber. If del Arroz, VanDyke et al couldn’t even beat him, then they did very badly indeed.

    It would have been interesting if Mieville had won – Last Days was well under the 70k word count limit.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fess up Contrarius, even if the Dragons had announced 140,000 nominating ballots and 140,000 individual voters for the finals with the same results for the winners, you’d still claim the flaccid Hugos are the “true, rightthink awards”. You’ll never take your blinders off even while the rest of SF/F fandom leaves you, Cameltoe Fullacrapton and ChinaMike Glyer behind.


        • Ummm. What?

          There is no “leaving anyone behind”.

          Remember, Hugo participation has been CLIMBING since around 2008 (see my graph of the trend here: https://contrariusest.wordpress.com/2017/09/02/hugo-voting-2000-2017/ ), with a temporary bump for “the year of VD”. The Hugos are doing just fine, thanks.

          The best analogy that has occurred to me so far is the Oscars vs. the People’s Choice Awards. More people vote in the People’s Choice, but the Oscars are taken much more seriously.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’m afraid that the story that the Dragons have more voters than the Hugos therefore checkmate SJWs has quickly taken hold in the scrappysphere.

            Oscars v People’s Choice is a good analogy. If/when well run, the Dragon Award should be getting tens of thousands without breaking a sweat, because it’s free and they have 70-80k attendees. The current number is still a fraction of actual attendance which implies they have plenty of growth. Quite why we should be bothered by this result is beyond me. Hugo participation is robust considering its nature – it costs money, you’re expected to actually read stuff, etc.

            Liked by 2 people

      • DP Dick the Hugos are still relevant and exist even though Goodreads gets 3.5 million voters so I’m not sure how the number of voters for one award affect the other or how the criticisms of poor management of the Dragon is less valid.

        Liked by 1 person

      • even if the Dragons had announced 140,000 nominating ballots and 140,000 individual voters for the finals with the same results for the winners

        Nobody would really care.

        The Dragon Awards are run by a secret cabal that is using an entirely opaque and easily manipulable process. They take no apparent steps to prevent people with multiple e-mail addresses from voting multiple times – anyone who has half-decent programming skills could spend a few hours to create a program to flood the voting with their preferred results. The rules themselves say that the secret cabal of award administrators can change the results to whatever they want.

        So it doesn’t matter what the Dragons “announce”. There is no reason to believe any total they proclaim actually represents anything even remotely close to the number of actual voters. Until the award switches to a transparent process run by publicly known administrators, there will never be any reason to care what numbers the Dragons trot out in their press releases.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Bill Fawcett said that there were about 8000 final ballots at the beginning of the awards. He said that was twice the number of ballots last year.
    At the end, Fawcett also said, “If you think about… 17 categories… 140,000 votes where cast in different categories by the people who voted on this…”


    • Thanks – 140 thousand “votes cast” implies counting each vote in a category and finding the totals of the categories. The number of voters would be much less. Still looks like a drop from noms to votes though.


      • I think that’s confirmed then – in the region of 9300 people nominating.
        (Well, 9300 email addresses if you want to be sceptical)

        So why a drop?

        We know at least some small self-pub authors etc were asking their fans to vote in the nomination stage who didn’t actually get a finalist spot, so perhaps their fans effectively dropped out and didn’t vote in the final.

        Or perhaps some admin action of some sort was taken that eliminated some potential voters.

        Perhaps the voter email system was a bit poor – we know that you didn’t get a survey email if you’d ever opted out of surveymonkey, so perhaps there were quite a lot of people in that category. Or maybe emails got spam trapped quite a lot.

        All just speculative, of course, but while a slightly surprising result I don’t see it as outside the realms of possibility.

        Liked by 1 person

          • So they are counting on the unique link, which can only be used once, to prevent duplicate voters, rather than checking IP addresses.

            Which means that “8000” votes gives no indication whatsoever how many actual voters there were.


            • Yes, the body of the email said: “Here is your personal 2017 Dragon Awards Ballot. Please do not forward this ballot as it will not work for anyone else.”

              Then in small font at the bottom: “Please do not forward this email as its survey link is unique to you”


    • From that, I get the sense that the figure of 140000 was just got by multiplying 8000, a bit inaccurately, by 17 (which is the wrong figure anyway) – the idea that it’s a difference between nominations and final votes seems to be a misunderstanding. As I said at File 770, it’s understandable that number would drop between nominations and the final vote, given the ‘vote for what you are a fan of’ ethos; no point taking part in the final vote if nothing you are a fan of is on the shortlist. But I’m now not sure anything needs explaining.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Better than last year, where there were seemingly about 25 people in a room that could hold 100, and none of the winners showed up (of course, at least one of the winners last year didn’t even know they were on the ballot).

      Anyway, good job to the Red Pandas, already making more of a difference than the Rabids and Frogs.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Looking through the Hugo numbers has given many of us interest and pleasure. I hope the Dragons committee releases their numbers with similar granularity.


  4. Hopefully they’ll do a better job next year of promoting it, updating the website, and author outreach. Could be a great award for genre related multimedia too but most attention seems to be on the books.

    Like most things it’ll be worth the work put into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Big picture then – as you point out, not one result that could really be the result of a campaign. I feel a bit sorry for Declan Finn – he’s put so much energy into this for so little reward – but tbh I’m chuckling a little bit at the others.
    No doubt this will all be a win under Xanatos Gambit Rules though.
    The actual finalists lists are still a bit of a mess though. The winners have gone with broad popularity but some potential popular choices are missing, esp in fantasy.
    I suspect the usual suspects will still have a crack at the nomination stage next year, plus perhaps some more independent self-pub types seeing an opportunity.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It took a few emails to finally get my ballot. Presumably trouble with Survey Monkey opt-in. Although I have no trouble receiving Survey Monkey things from other places. The five things I voted for didn’t win, but I’m happy with the results overall anyway.


  7. I am shocked that Rick Riordan won in YA, just shocked. And who would have believed Turtledove would win Alt. Hist.? Or that people liked Pokemon GO?

    The only things I voted for that won were Zelda and Wonder Woman, which means I did better than the Rabids, Inkshares, and Frogs combined.

    Have been meaning to read the LaValle.


    • Also amazed that Magic: The Gathering won in Best CCG. No one could predict that.

      Ditto amazement that Wonder Woman won, it’s almost like it was a hugely successful movie or something.

      Kinda surprised that no one touted “The Expanse” to win TV show — it’s nutty nuggets pew pew SF that even SJWs can love. I voted for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Here are some photos from the beginning of the Dragon Awards today. I apologize for the poor quality. I broke my camera, and I had to use a digital camera that was 12 years old, and wow, do I miss image stabilization. I did set the time after the first few photos. The time was from about 12:56 pm to 1:03 pm when the awards started. I took one pic from the far corner away from the door so you can see most of the room.
    Dragon Awards 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Panda, those pictures really show how few people were there — I was looking for tumbleweeds rolling down some of the empty sections. And how utterly bored most of them looked.

      Big contrast to the Hugos, where at least 1000 people show up and the line’s down the hall and around the corner 2 hours before showtime, and everyone has to indicate if they’re next to an empty seat so more can sit.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lurkertype, yep. I’ve been going to DC for the past couple of years, but this was the first time I went to any of the Sci-Fi Lit Track Panels. I’ll have more to say about that later once I get caught up on my sleep, but the audience in that auditorium wasn’t representative of the 80,000 people at DC. The audience was mostly old and mostly male. I would wager that it was mainly people who cared about scifi/fantasy. Not comics. Not games. Not movies. Not TV.

        If they want to make it a real award, they should make it so that winners can come and receive their awards. I’d have to go back and check, but very few did that, and you could probably guess who they were. Jim Butcher didn’t because he was in a panel, but they played a video of him in which he said something like, “I wish I could be there, but the fans are my real employers.” It’s amateurish and petty, but why should I be surprised.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If the awards were voted on by the members at large, they’d look very different. I’m sure even the movie/game/comic/cosplay folks read a book every now and then. Puppies and Scoobies would be astoundingly buried and never appear without admin shenanigans (except maybe in milSF). Declan Finn would continue not to win.

        It might be all queer and girly and colorful and interesting. It’d provide a REAL alternative to other awards.

        Let Bill Fawcett email the members next year to tell them to nominate and vote, and it might become a decent award someday.


  9. So people are paying a bit more attention to the Dragons. And their little domination scheme is already slipping as a result. The administration was desperate to hold on to big name, non-conservative authors in the noms. And it’s a mostly white, mostly male fest as yet. Interesting developments for the second year. Let’s see how much effort DragonCon puts into the awards next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Apparently Bill Fawcett *IS* the administration, so I guess as long as they’re willing to pay for the trophies and he’s willing to do it, it will continue. I doubt the con is going to put any effort into it; they haven’t yet in either of the years. The sweepstakes boiler plate is still in the rules, FFS.

      It’s not well-known enough to tarnish their reputation, so they’re fine with letting Bill, Puppies, Scoobies, etc. run it. Either it starts getting more publicity at which point people go WTF is this mess, or they start at least telling their members that it’s a thing they can vote on and the categories adjust to *actually* representing a wide swath of fandom. Administrator Bill couldn’t get access to send all the ticket-buyers a couple emails notifying them how to sign up, when to nominate, when to vote?

      If they get the actual members of the con to vote (frankly, that’s how they should have set it up), it’d become more influential overnight — somewhere in status between the Hugos and the Goodreads. And more things that are actually popular (stuff that’s sold a lot and we’ve heard of) would make the lists.

      Larry C has enough of a following that he’s legitimately on there, ditto Butcher, Maas, Riordan, Zelda, Pokemon. The graphic novels and movies finalists are also reasonable, as are the TV except for Stan Lee’s “Say what now?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t heard of Bill Fawcett before, so looking him up on Wikipedia shed a bit of light for me. (Nothing scurrilous or derogatory, just a guide to his professional history and interests. I’m a little surprised I didn’t know of him from Midwestern USA fandom in the 1970s and 1980s.)

        “Gaming” seems to be a connection which keeps turning up on the more conservative side of these literary wars. As a non-gamer I’m trying to think this through. Certainly there are some gamers on the SJW side, but today it feels like nearly all of those on the conservative side are heavily involved in gaming.


      • That may be, but the fact that they scrambled to keep authors on the nomination list to the point of refusing to remove them and then collapsing into a pile of begging when imperiousness backlashed on them, and that two of those authors were John Scalzi and N.K. Jemisin — the two favorite best-selling authors for Puppies to strawman on — was an interesting development. (And the only reason I paid any attention to the Dragons this year.) I think quite a few of the nominees probably again didn’t even know that they were nominees, or they might have had more defections. And that’s not because authors don’t like having more awards; it’s because this isn’t a real award yet, but simply a political football with wide opportunities for more harassment of authors, and that’s on Fawcett. But clearly that’s not an impression they are totally happy with, so there are already some small changes.

        If they really want the award to be a shiny staff of DragonCon, they’ll work harder on the t.v. and movie awards and try to con the studios into sending one or two actors from t.v. shows or supporting roles in movies to show up for the ceremony. Not only will that attract more interest in the awards from the attendees, but it would probably get DragonCon to do a lot more stuff for the award, since Hollywood is pretty much where the con is focused as a multi-media con vying with SDCC, Emerald Con, etc. But that’s going to be harder to do without the major bestselling authors on board. Hence, the Puppy conundrum. They can only keep the award if it remains obscure, but if it remains obscure, then it does not meet their goal of being seen as super popular, etc.

        So it is kind of fascinating to see what they will actually do. And the pressure from the Red Pandas for more legitimacy and wider focus, again, is not necessarily a bad thing. The only bone I have with the Red Pandas is, again, as a political group, they should ask the authors’ permission to put their names on the Panda rec list for next year.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @JJ: Who was he hanging with?

        I do note from Mssr. Langford’s link that he’s been published repeatedly by Baen, which isn’t an infallible Puppy sign (e.g. LMB, Lee & Miller), but is rather trout in the milk.


        • At least one author who appeared on the Sad Puppy slate (and not as a hostage), plus several Baenites and Puppy-adjacents.


  10. late add: Bill Fawcett was establishment enough to have edited “Nebula Awards Showcase 2010,” the annual SFWA anthology.


    • I’m far more sympathetic if the Dragons amount to one guy trying to do everything. One person trying to set up a major book award by themselves and getting this far is impressive…but…it’s not what the Dragons are claiming to be. And we once again hit that gulf between what the Dragons are and how they try to appear.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. @Kat: You make some really good points about how make the Awards more relevant.

    We discussing what to do for next year’s Dragon Awards. Right now we’re focusing on the Dragon Con 2017 Survey and Feedback form. If you attended this year’s Con, please fill it out. Some of the things that I’d like to see are:
    1) The number of awards expanded to tracks that do not currently have one, like Urban Fantasy, Alt-History, and Anime/Manga so that more Dragon Con members will have a stake in the awards. Even the Science track could do have an award for something like Best Science media (podcast, book, TV, etc.) of the year.
    2) Nominations should happen sooner so that nominees can attend if they want.
    3) Fan tracks themselves be more involved in the process.
    4) Obviously, the process should also be more transparent, and the rules of the Awards should be formally changed from the stupid sweepstakes language.
    5) Only Dragon Con members should be allowed to vote. This is difficult to pull off since some people (I have no idea how many) buy passes on the day(s) that they attend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not familiar with the tracking programs of DragonCon, so I won’t comment on those. But #5 rather goes to the heart of the matter for what you are trying to do. The Puppies and ilk absolutely don’t want the Dragons to be an actual convention award, controlled and voted on by only the convention attendees, like the Hugos are for WorldCon. They just wanted DragonCon’s name and rep thereby as a large multimedia con (kind of like leasing Trump’s name for a property he doesn’t own.)

      The only reason the Pups were able to try gaming the Hugos is because WorldCon offered the cheaper online affiliate memberships for just voting on the Hugos, to raise funds. The impact was largely temporary because the attendee members are the main voting block and because that very pissed off body of attendee/members control the terms of their convention’s awards and changed the rules so that it was more difficult to hijack WorldCon’s awards through affiliate memberships.

      The Dragon Awards were set up to deliberately be as disconnected from DragonCon as possible, to not have the attendees be the main or only voting group and not have them have any control over the terms of the awards. Instead, as you know, they wanted the Dragons to be mainly an online voting award, cheap and unrestricted in the number of times voting, with no transparency on any of the data or process, and their buddies having full control to change rules and votes as needed. They made it a clubhouse where they could game the system all they wanted. Although they want to borrow DragonCon’s finery, the last thing they want is DragonCon attendees paying mass attention to them, or them being cut off from doing mass voting online without paying the con. I mean, the female cosplayers alone would wipe them out. The anime fans would bury them. When you have a bunch of groups who seem to believe that SFF has been downhill since the 1950’s, the young crowd at DragonCon is pretty much their worst nightmare, for all that they crow about the con’s attendance figures (borrowed finery, etc.)

      It makes sense to stick with online voting for the Dragons because DragonCon is just too big a multimedia con to try with just attendees and an early enough deadline, unlike a book con like WorldCon. But yes, trying to get more transparency and consistency in the process, and bringing the awards to the attention of more attendees who can vote before the convention will certainly help open it up and get authors to be more willing to participate. To have the awards have any meaning, the Pup contingent has to give up their clubhouse, and this year it does look like a few boards were kicked in. But they’ll go screaming all the way. So have fun, but again, don’t make the Pups’ mistake, and the initial mistake by the Dragons admins towards author nominees this year — don’t draft authors against their will and knowledge and tell them they can’t leave your list and expose them to online and worse harassment. Let them know before you’re going to put them on a list and let them not participate if they don’t want to. The authors who are willing will therefore also be more willing to promote the Dragons as part of their promoting at DragonCon — you may get more authors to come to the awards. You’ll certainly have more authors be aware that the awards exist and that they might be nominated for them that way. That’s going to be more important than adding new awards for a few years, I would expect.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Many of the gaming people at DragonCon are very progressive. They had a morning panel on “Diversity in Gaming” that probably had bigger attendance than the Dragon Awards. I agree with Lurkertype that if they really promoted the award to members during the nomination period and made it a members-based vote, that the noms would be full of radical, queer and feminist stuff – and NEW stuff. Even a Monday afternoon panel in a small room (women in comics) had higher attendance than the Dragon Awards. To see what they were up to, go on twitter and look for the #menincomics hashtag. On the good side, one of the lit panels that I went to was much more representative and was a very packed room. It included Jane Yolen, Faith Hunter, CB Lee (who on twitter says she sold out of all her books at the con) and Holly Sullivan McClure. Also a note of contrast, the line for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s panel – and she was not nominated – was much, much longer than the 15 person line for the Dragon Awards outside the Hyatt on Sunday afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you spot Jagi Lamplighter turning up on f770 today to claim that the photos posted were designed to make the crowd look smaller? The scrappies seem very…concerned…about the crowd size.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well they are in an unenviable position of wanting to crow about the number of voters and wanting it not to increase beyond their capacity to get nominations without paying for them.


      • It was the biggest crowd ever in the history of crowds! Trust me! Just ignore all those empty seats, ignore all that empty white space! Who ya gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes??


    • And where are Declan’s audience shots? And who could blame DragonCon attendees for making a poor showing there? I imagine there were many more interesting things happening elsewhere. Unless a lot of the people there were live tweeting the results, it looks like there were more interesting things on people’s phones than on stage.


      • Jim Butcher, who won two of the Dragon Awards, had an autograph-signing session going on at the same time as the Dragon Awards ceremony. 🙄

        Liked by 3 people

    • So, Finn posted 6 hours ago that he had taken photos of the audience to prove how big it was… but he still hasn’t posted those photos.


    • Turns out that that tweet was due a badly automated FB->twitter thing that missed the url.

      (I’m guessing from that url that Declan is actually a penname. Huh.)

      Anyway, his photos are presumably from slightly later than the ones the panda attendee took, and the room does seem to have filled up a bit more by then, but still it’s a relatively small room that’s nowhere close to full. They seem to have done better than last year, which I suppose is a good thing, but I’m getting a bit fed up of saying “better than last year” about them – it’s definitely damning with faint praise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • he shot the front row of seats. This was held in a very large hall, suggesting that the organizers wanted them to be a big event, and even thought that they would. The people who organized this award are living in their own bubble.


    • You are correct, I’d pointed that out in earlier posts but for tracking how various places promoted the awards the community around Inkshares appears to be relevant.


    • guthron: Inkshares is a publisher, not a faction.

      I would describe Inkshares as a publishing platform, rather than a publisher.

      But there was also a faction of the Inkshares community which was encouraging en masse nominating and voting in the Dragon Awards, just like the Puppies, which is why so many Inkshares works made the final ballot.


      • I think Inkshares were a good example of how a relatively small community could have a disproportionate effect just by being aware of the Dragon Award and getting involved. None of them seem to have engaged in shenanigans, just bog standard promoting to their audience.

        Liked by 2 people

        • All of the Inkshares finalists were also Nerdist finalists, and I’m betting that the bulk of their support came via The Nerdist.

          Liked by 3 people

  13. TL;DR – You know nothing, Jon Snow.

    As an author with direct experience with Inkshares’ processes, no, they aren’t a platform. They are a publisher with a twist. A hybrid publisher who sees books as the foundation for good TV and movies. Seeing which novel won the SF Dragon Award and the fact that one Inkshares nomination this year already has TV rights sold and one that will be eligible next year just signed a 7 figure movie deal, they aren’t wrong.

    All of the Inkshares authors nominated also read all of the books they nominated and voted for. And all of them also went in knowing they had no chance at all of winning. For them, it was about exposure for books they liked and thought worthy of recognition, even just tangentially. Most authors would say that, even those with ulterior motives (selling books) to include those who excused themselves from the ballot.

    The Nerdist didn’t retweet a single tweet from any of the authors’ accounts, including one that bears their imprint. They didn’t post blogs about it. Nothing. Outside of initial marketing help for the books that are on their imprint, the Nerdist never boosted the signal of any book that “won” their contests, which really only means they won the Inkshares contest and Nerdist “selected” books for their imprint.

    “bog standard promoting”

    I know my fans would say occasional tweets, a newsletter once during nomination and again during voting, and re-posts on Facebook about the book’s eligibility for the award and then it making the finalist list is not “bog standard.” Particularly, when those tweets and posts weren’t playing the “woe is me, help me win against all these big bad authors” or fabricating straw-men to burn.Then again, I guess if we’re just nobodies, we shouldn’t even be in the conversation. Just let the established authors keep winning, right?

    Speaking of straw-men, most of the comments here about the Dragoncon committee who runs the award were blatantly doing that. I work as a volunteer at the con (full-disclosure). I know many of the staff, including some of the directors in that room. I won’t pretend to know what they are thinking, but I know they want their award to be as close to a fan vote as they can keep it. (Fans nominating and voting means, yeah, some nobodies will make it because they have rabid fans and supporters in part because they’re small enough to still be able to interact with all of them). If you know anything about Dragoncon, you’d know that’s in keeping with how they run the con. Not by the industry, but by fans. Remember, most of the “talent” is there on their own schedule (so many have canxed at the last minute because their shooting schedule changed), having either been invited or applying to attend. Most, and I mean most, of them are not paid to be there and none of them are contractually required to attend Dragoncon (SDCC often has talent their under contractual obligations). Sure, Emma Watson, Gal Gadot, Shatner, Sir Patrick Stewart, or Matt Smith might be paid to be there as a lead/loss. But those are few.

    Regarding the room, Centennial 1 holds 625 people. They filled a third of that. An increase up from 3% (your number of 25) up to 33% filled is a major improvement in attendance (a two-time Dragon award nominated inkshares author friend stated as we waited for the event to start that already there were more people in the room). More authors were present this year and there were more fans of authors present. I met a very nice girl who came to cheer for anyone that won, regardless of if she voted for them. I met a family of three (Mom, Dad, and daughter) that came in support of Jim Butcher. The husband delivered the videos and the family is a part of a studio that makes fan films of Dresden comics and stories. So true fans. The point? As the second rendition, it could get worse, stagnate, or get better. Any fair review of the event this year would agree it got better this year.

    The assumptions as fact present in most of this conversation are astounding. As is the rather questionable math. Anyone who has tried to sell books to people they know can tell you people are fickle. They’ll say one thing, then forget. Getting them to “vote” twice (I had to explain the difference between nominating and voting several times to readers) is very hard. I do not have the magic formula to explain the drop from 140,000 nominating votes to 8,000 votes to pick winners. However, I can at least make some sense of it and without the actual numbers. How many people nominated Scalzi anyway? Or the other book that pulled out? How many people nominated just Riordan or Scalzi? Or the multi-time bestseller Becky? And then, judging by rate of return on follow up support I’ve seen (as well as the other inkshares authors, the only ones I could ask), it’s not shocking at all that many of those nominating votes didn’t materialize into votes to win. I’d wager easily a quarter of the nominating votes just couldn’t be bothered to do it again, and another sizable chunk thought they’d done enough and stopped paying attention.

    Here are 3 facts we can probably all agree on.

    Fact number 1: You don’t know the numbers, thus you can’t say they are right or wrong or comment on how they got to them.

    Fact number 2: You have no evidence of actual lying or fudging of numbers. (Anecdotally, a director of a large track who was unable to attend the ceremony due to his busy schedule [full disclosure: as a preorder supporter of my book, he did vote for me] confided in me three days before that the leadership had been monitoring the voting throughout for fake/duplicate voters, as well as any undue influence by activist groups and he didn’t specify which ones; he specifically said there was no actual effect from said groups. he also did not comment, and I wouldn’t have asked, about tallies at that point. Take that as you will.)

    Fact number 3: Dragoncon does not owe anyone that information. You don’t ‘deserve’ it or ‘require’ it. (And all award sponsors reserve the right to alter the outcome. All of them. Even the Hugo awards committee exercises the right to change the rules [albeit in a very complicated manner owing to how the Hugos are chosen].)

    How you run with those facts is up to you, but how you do says nothing about Dragoncon. You can merely speculate and assume. Postulate. Hypothesize. I suppose I just prefer not to assume the worst about people I’ve never met or interacted with.

    Oh, wait, I have interacted with them. So I don’t have to speculate.


    • // You can merely speculate and assume. Postulate. Hypothesize. //

      Well thank you for the lengthy and interesting comment. Yes, all we can do is hypothesize and as any award’s strength lies with its reputation then that (currently) is all its reputation can stand on.


    • Fact Number 4: You obviously haven’t read all the threads on this subject, here on Camestros’ blog and over on File770, or you would know that the things mentioned here are not speculation created out of the blue.

      Fact Number 5: This is a false statement:
      Even the Hugo awards committee exercises the right to change the rules [albeit in a very complicated manner owing to how the Hugos are chosen.

      There is no Hugo Awards committee. There is an Administrator, and they do not have the power to change the rules.

      To address some of your other points:

      All of the Inkshares authors nominated also read all of the books they nominated and voted for.

      This is a nice statement, but you can’t possibly make this claim. You have no way of knowing whether it is true, either about the authors themselves, or about the supporters of the authors.

      The 140,000 nominating “votes” are not votes, they are nominations spread across 16 categories, or approx. 8750 nominating ballots, assuming that all ballots were full (which almost certainly would not have been the case). It does not enhance the credibility of the awards to throw out this number.

      the leadership had been monitoring the voting throughout for fake/duplicate voters

      This statement has no real meaning. How were they monitoring it? It was well established that a single individual was able to register to nominate and vote using multiple e-mail addresses. There is no way for the Dragon Awards Admins to know how many were duplicates, and even assuming that they were tracking by IP addresses, de-duping by IP address is not an accurate way to eliminate duplications, because one IP address can be the public-facing address for any number of legitimate users.

      The Dragon Awards administrator(s) have — intentionally or unintentionally — sabotaged their awards program in the first two years by failing to promote them to DragonCon members; hopefully this will change next year. The resulting small turnout has enabled small organized groups to have a disproportionate effect on the finalists.

      And I don’t think you understand what Mark meant when he said this:
      None of them seem to have engaged in shenanigans, just bog standard promoting to their audience.

      This is British for “The Inkshares authors only engaged in the normal sort of promotion for their works that self-published authors do; there did not appear to be any log-rolling or slating going on.”

      No one here has assumed or accused the Inkshares authors of doing anything but promoting their works and mobilizing their fanbase in the normal way. Certainly the promotion you describe them doing is not extraordinary. You are being unnecessarily defensive.


      • @JJ —

        “even assuming that they were tracking by IP addresses, de-duping by IP address is not an accurate way to eliminate duplications, because one IP address can be the public-facing address for any number of legitimate users.”

        And the opposite — a single user can easily have or gain access to multiple IP addresses.


        • Yup, I legitimately have access to three distinct IP addresses (home, work, phone) – add in wi-fi hotspots in town and multiple IP addresses is almost a norm.

          And this is just low-scale questions of vulnerability for the awards. BUYING votes for online competitions is (apparently) relatively cheap at the order of magnitude needed to influence the Dragon Awards.


      • JJ has translated my British correctly 🙂

        “Bog standard” means ordinary, or that which is to be expected. I suppose that if you don’t know the idiom then the “Bog” part sounds like it’s implying something lowdown and dirty?
        Sometimes you use idioms and don’t realise how local they are. (Nations divided by a common language, etc etc)

        Anyway, also as JJ said, I don’t think I or anyone else has suggested *Inkshares* associated authors have done anything wrong, or unusual. They seem to have acted in exactly the way the awards would like, with a bit of promotion to their fans.


  14. Guthron: it doesn’t make it better to assert that you have inside knowledge of the process and then say that people speculating about that opaque process and the committee are wrong to do so. If the process is legit, one should not have to be friends with members of the committee to know what is going on- and it comes off as even more shady that you are friends with the committee and also a nominated author. The problem is that the awards group, unrepresentative and unaccountable to con members – is using the name of a con with 80k paying members to either give awards to people they are friends with as some sort of participation trophy after those folks lost their battle with the Hugos, or intentionally dragging con members into a political fight in Sf fandom. If the ppl on the committee want people to stop speculating they should identify themselves and make the vote tallies public. If they want to give an award, they should separate it from the name of the con or limit voting to con members. As it is, it is hard to take the current awards seriously as a neutral operation if you”‘ve been following this fight since 2015.


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