Dragon Award 2018 Projections

It’s not entirely obvious from the website but the nomination period for the infamously opaque Dragon Awards has ended. The last “News” entry on the site was November 2017 but the form won’t accept nominations any more, so ipso-facto, nominations are closed.

Last year I collated examples of slates and promotions of nominations for the Dragons to see what kind of impact they might have on final nominees. Now note: these are NOT predictions. I’ve no idea what will get nominated, there are no solid numbers from past Dragon Award nomination periods and the extent to which the admins of the award can add to, debit from or disqualify nominations is unknown. The list is more abut what we might see and post-hoc evaluate what and who was influential.

Speaking of opaque, I have super secret weighting system to rank nominees. Basically if the source of the nomination is somebody’s ordinary website then it gets a 1, on the other hand if the source ia big organised slate that has had an impact on awards before it gets up to 80 (basically Rabid Puppies). Those weights are added and then I make up a classification for the totals. The weight is arbitary and subjective obviously and the final figure is intended to suggest the size of influence rather than the probability of being nominated.

Another note of caution: each year I’ve missed some significant group who had some influence on the awards (The Sword Laser podcats, Inkshares, our Red Panda pals) and I’ve probably missed all sorts this year as well.

Overall impressions: less interest on the web in the awards (or maybe I was less good at looking). The main focus is around Military SF and writers in that general area. The Sarah Hoyt book and the Nick Cole book may well do better than implied in the list. Numbers after the fold.


Weights and presence on the list is not an endorsement or criticism of the work or the author. Some works may have been nominated without the awareness of the authors concerned. Works have not been checked for eligibility.

    • Best Science Fiction Novel | John C. Wright – Superluminary: The Lords of Creation | Weight: Very High
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Robert Kroese – Dream Of The Iron Dragon | Weight: Medium
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Mike Kupari – Sins of Her Father | Weight: Medium (late addition)
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Richard Fox, Josh Hayes – Terra Nova | Weight: Low
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays – The Mutineer’s Daughter | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Kal Spriggs – Prisoner of the Mind | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Karl Gallagher: Torchship Captain. | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Science Fiction Novel | Michael Anderle, Craig Martelle – Nomad’s Galaxy | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | John C. Wright – Tithe to Tartarus | Weight: Very High
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Lindsay Buroker – Dragon Storm | Weight: Medium
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Russell Newquist – War Demons | Weight: Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Jon R. Osborne – A Tempered Warrior | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Larry Correia – Monster Hunter Siege | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Max Floschutz – Shadow of an Empire | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Christy Nicholas – Call Of The Morrigú | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | L. James Rice – Eve of Snows (Sundering the Gods Book 1) | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Rob Hobart – The Sword of Amatsu (Empire of the Sun and Moon Book 1) | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) | Shayne Silvers – War Hammer | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | Rod Walker – Young Man’s War | Weight: Very High
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | Keira Drake – The Continent | Weight: Medium
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | L.Jagi Lamplighter – The Awful Truth About Forgetting | Weight: Low
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | Jason Cordova – Devastator | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | Kal Spriggs – Valor’s Calling | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel | Kal Spriggs – Valor’s Duty | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | G.D. Stark – Wardogs Inc. #1 Battlesuit Bastards | Weight: Very High
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy – A Fiery Sunset | Weight: Medium
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Nick Cole, Jason Anspach – Galactic Outlaws (Galaxy’s Edge Book 2) | Weight: Medium
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Daniel Humphrey – A Place Called Hope | Weight: Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Richard Fox – The Ibarra Sanction | Weight: Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Jon Del Arroz – The Stars Entwined | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Kal Spriggs – Ghost Star | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Nick Cole, Jason Anspach – Legionairre (Galaxy’s Edge) [eligible?] | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Peter Grant – An Airless Storm | Weight: Very Low
    • Best Military Sci-Fi Novel | Christopher Woods – Legend (Four Horsemen Tales Book 1)| Weight: Very Low

 

  • Best Alternate History Novel | Kai Wai Cheah – Hammer of the Witches | Weight: Very High
  • Best Alternate History Novel | Sarah A. Hoyt and Kevin J Anderson – Uncharted | Weight: High
  • Best Alternate History Novel | Hans Schantz – A Rambling Wreck | Weight: Medium
  • Best Alternate History Novel | Kacey Ezell – Minds of Men | Weight: Very Low
  • Best Media Tie-In Novel | Christie Golden – Before the Storm (World of Warcraft) | Weight: Very High
  • Best Media Tie-In Novel | Seanan McGuire – Deadlands: Boneyard | Weight: Medium
  • Best Horror Novel | Nate Crowley – The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack | Weight: Very High
  • Best Horror Novel | Russell Newquist – War Demons | Weight: Medium
  • Best Horror Novel | Declan Finn – Good to the last drop | Weight: Low
  • Best Horror Novel | Mark Wandrey – A Time to Run | Weight: Very Low
  • Best Comic Book | Alt-Hero #2 Rebel’s Cell – Alt-Hero Arkhaven Comics | Weight: Very High
  • Best Comic Book | Mark Pellegrini/Timothy Lim/Brett R. Smith – My Hero MAGAdemia #1 | Weight: Medium
  • Best Comic Book | Kōhei Horikoshi – My Hero Academia Vol. 13 (English translation) | Weight: Very Low
  • Best Comic Book | Jonathan David Baird – Dark Maiden | Weight: Very Low
  • Best Graphic Novel | Gary Kwapisz – Rebel Dead Revenge Dark Legion Comics | Weight: Very High
  • Best Graphic Novel | Matt Kindt/Tyler Jenkins – Grass Kings Vol 1 | Weight: Medium
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet | Netflix – Stranger Things | Weight: Very High
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet | The Orville | Weight: Medium
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie | Brad Bird – Incredibles 2 | Weight: Very High
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie | Bright | Weight: Medium
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game | Warhorse Studios – Kingdom Come: Deliverance | Weight: Very High
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game | Doki Doki Literature Club | Weight: Medium
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game | Blizzard – Hearthstone | Weight: Very High
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game | Middle Earth: Shadow Of War | Weight: Medium
  • Best Board Game | Serious Poulp – The 7th Continent | Weight: Very High
  • Best Board Game | Empires Of The Void 2 – Red Raven Games | Weight: Medium
  • Best Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game | Plaid Hat Games – Starship Samurai | Weight: Very High
  • Best Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game | Star Wars: Destiny – Fantasy Flight Games | Weight: Medium
  • [no category] | Jonathan David Baird – Bewitched, Betwixt, and Between | Weight: Very Low

ETA – The day before the nominations close Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia boosted “Sins of Her Father” by Mike Kupari (that’s the one with the nutty-nuggety rocket nozzles cover). They didn’t say which category (?) so I assume best SF. I’m calling it ‘medium’ but given how late it was and that you can’t change your ballot, it might be lower than that.

Also: Sources!

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17 comments

  1. KasaObake

    “you can’t change your ballot,” — a relevant addition to this, is you can have as many ballots as you damn well please, and the admins can do whatever the hell they want with all of them (up to and including ignoring them entirely and putting together their own slate of nominees)

    Anyway there’s no need to go on and prove Teddy’s third law of SJWs: that we always project 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • JJ

      KasaObake: a relevant addition to this, is you can have as many ballots as you damn well please a relevant addition to this, is you can have as many ballots as you damn well please

      Yes, I’d really hoped after the last couple of years, that the admins would get their ducks in a row and fix the freeping susceptibility of the process. It’s a shame.

      Like

    • Cora

      It’s absolutely possible to nominate multiple times for the Dragons, provided you use different e-mail addresses every time. I nominated four times with slight changes to the ballot and I probably could have nominated even more times, if I hadn’t gotten bored.

      Liked by 1 person

      • camestrosfelapton

        True – but that’s true of a single vote or nomination also. None of us know anything about the actual mechanics.

        Are they restricting votes to one IP=one vote? Maybe, who knows! There’s legit reasons for multiple votes from one IP address (e.g. family members with shared connection) and conversely many people have access to multiple IP addresses.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JJ

        greghullender: But what you don’t know is whether those votes counted, or, if they did count, how much they counted. All you know is that the system accepted them.

        Which is exactly the problem. Either they’re counting all nominations, or they’re selectively eliminating some of them — in which case, it’s just as possible that they’re eliminating valid nomination ballots as invalid ones.

        The result is that a nominator has no way of knowing whether their valid nominations were counted, or whether a bunch of freeped nominations were counted. There is no way to have any confidence in the results.

        And that’s apart from the fact that the Dragon Awards’ T&C very specifically do not say that the works receiving the most nominations will appear on the ballot, very specifically do not say that the works on the ballot receiving the most votes will be the winners, and very specifically do say that they can put anything on the ballot that they wish, and can name any work they wish to be the winner.

        It’s a messed-up process, and until they fix it, they are not going to have credibility as an award.

        Liked by 1 person

      • KasaObake

        The whole IP thing is a red herring. I use VPNs on both my phone and laptop for work, and I bet it’s totally possible to get an API or something for a VPN and have it autoselect random servers, or maybe there’s even a simpler method of IP spoofing. I know from my work that people can and do set up scripts to generate email addresses to sign up to things, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility for an enterprising Elk to set up something like that to freep the awards.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. greghullender

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think the fact that people can (in theory) vote multiple times is quite as big an issue as it might seem at first. They pay Survey Monkey to do the analysis, and they’re a legitimate polling firm that does this sort of thing all the time.

    The way I suspect it works is that Survey Monkey treats it like a poll, not an election. That means, for example, they’d discard results from an IP address that were “too different” from everything else. (More likely they “homogenize” them, meaning they apply some sort of weighted transformation based on estimated likelihood of fraud.) But a really simple way to do it would just be to take results from IP addresses having only one or two ballots and throw everything else away. (Or use those to establish what “reasonable” means and weight the rest accordingly.)

    Done right, instead of ending up with vote totals, you end up with percentages and error bars. Instead of a hard-and-fast finalists list, you’d have an estimated probability that any nominated work belonged in that list. And likewise for the winner at the end. If the gaps are bigger than the error bars, you’d feel pretty confident that this was accurate. That is, that you picked the same winners that a door-to-door poll would have come up with. If not, there’s a random chance of picking the wrong ones. The exact numbers don’t really matter.

    I can see why they don’t want to disclose their numbers!

    This method need not be that much worse than the method used for the Hugo Awards. Yes, the Hugos are an exact count of the fans who actually voted. But if you imagine running the Hugo nominations again (maybe in a parallel universe), all sorts of tiny things would move the numbers around. People who waited until the last minute and then had something come up might get to vote. Others who voted the first time might get distracted. People who did/didn’t read certain reviews might change their minds. Big margins wouldn’t be overturned, but some things always end up in the finalists list by small margins. Those small margins don’t represent real preferences; they’re just the working of random chance.

    The biggest difference is that the Hugos are voted on by people who cared enough to spend real money. Few people could justify buying 100 memberships just to tilt the vote–never mind the aggravation of trying to hide that behind fake names and credit cards. The Hugo Voters are people who really care. The second is that the Dragon Awards, by promoting themselves mostly among conservatives, do a lot to encourage the impression that they’re a sham award. The involvement of people like Eric Flint would have gone a long way to fix that, but he’s been sick and no one has stepped into his shoes.

    I was encouraged last year that enough fans participated in the Dragons that mainstream titles ended up in their finalist lists. I think this is important because it goes a long way toward showing the conservatives that they really are a minority in SFF. Their belief that they’re somehow the majority and that some conspiracy is stealing awards from them is seriously unhealthy.

    Liked by 1 person

      • greghullender

        Hmmm. That’s a good question. I simply saw the note that they used them, and I assumed they used them for the whole process. Yeah, I seriously doubt SM would analyze data they didn’t collect themselves.

        Like

      • Lurkertype

        Anybody can use SM for anything just to run a poll. (I think) But we know they’re not paying for data analysis.

        I didn’t get around to nominating, not even under one email address. Eh. Maybe I’ll vote, depending on how the final ballot looks.

        Like

  3. Pingback: Watching the Hugo Awards Implode | Unusual Things
  4. Pingback: The 2018 Dragon Award Nominees and the Rise of the Kindle Unlimited Writing Factories | Cora Buhlert

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