Why yes, this is another post about the Dragon Awards that doesn’t say very much

As people probably have realised, I was late arriving at SJW Headquarters a few months ago when the grand global conspiracy to ruin everything was giving out assignments. Due to that and my frequent (but comical) clumsiness around our hi-tech SJW spy gadgets, I was given the least popular gig: “Keep an eye on the Dragon Awards, there’s a good fellow.” I was told by George Soros.

Anyway, it might not be the most glamorous task but I’m determined to do it well in the hope that one day HQ will give me a beloved genre franchise from people’s childhood to wreck by giving characters agency or something.

The latest report is this. I got an email saying that the finalists will be announced this upcoming Tuesday (presumably US time). Don’t all get too excited at once.

Advertisements

108 thoughts on “Why yes, this is another post about the Dragon Awards that doesn’t say very much”

    1. Maybe they are having a SJW meltdown over pronouns for cats and have to rewrite their entire program? Oops, got that confused with Worldcon. Sorry.

      Like

      1. I’m sure you’re right, Avery. They should take as long as they need. Doesn’t make any difference because it’s not as if anybody is going to read all the nominees before they vote.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. It fascinates me that breaking one of the earliest manners rules my Mom taught me — address people as they wish to be addressed — is now a point of pride for “traditionalists” on the right.

        Liked by 6 people

      3. It’s funny. Most intelligent people have no problem with getting other peoples’ pronouns correct. All it takes is a little politeness and empathy.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. And yet somehow the Hugo nominee list came out on time. Weird. It’s almost like Worldcon gets most things right the first time, and isn’t afraid to publicly fix the things it gets wrong. It was certainly a mistake to confuse Dragoncon with Worldcon in that respect.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. You aren’t meant to read all the nominees. You are meant to vote for the thing you are already a fan of. The Dragons are, fairly explicitly, based on the theory that a fan is a fan of a particular author and will want to support the author they are a fan of. This is a perfectly reasonable way to be a fan, and does in fact describe many people’s fannish experience; but the traditional Hugo kind of fannishness is different. (Though, what with the expansion of things one has to read on the one hand, and the way the market is dominated more and more by series on the other, I’m worried that the Hugos are becoming more like the Dragons in this respect.)

      Like

      1. The Dragon Awards label their categories with the word “Best.” Assembling 10 finalists advanced by their various fans is the preliminary step. But the short timespan for finalist voting doesn’t allow people to read/experience the nominees they’re supposed to be comparing. Therefore why should I care what gets voted “Best” in the Dragon Awards?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It is still possible, if you’re really dedicated, to read all the Hugo finalists in the top 4 categories, the graphic novels, and see the movies and TV (Okay, maybe not Series unless you’re lucky enough to have read some before; I lucked out last year by having read them all). Certainly everyone could read all the short stories, GN, and watch the movies and TV. With so much in the packet, it’s easy to at least sample most of the things.

    My husband got started late and isn’t that fast of a reader, but he managed all the shorts, novelettes, novellas, the sample chunks of the novels and all of one of them*, all the GN that were in the packet, the movies, TV, and clipping’s song. He looked at art. He read representative chunks and all of one of the YA** (And he managed some of the Retro thanks to memory and finding them online). But he’s retired except for occasional consulting. He didn’t even bother with series, most of the fan categories, or related work.

    It is physically and financially impossible to do that with the Dragons. Nobody could possibly read all the novels in all the dozens of categories in 3 weeks. Heck, that’s pushing it for all the novels in ONE category for most people. Not to mention the games and so many other categories.

    And that’s not counting how much it would cost to buy all the things, since there’s no packet. You’d be on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of stuff, plus one or more video gaming systems, and other people for the tabletop or card games.

    So the Dragons aren’t “people carefully considered all the nominees and then voted”; they’re “people voted for their cronies, people/works they’ve heard of, stuff they happened to have read/played in the past year, and maybe came up with fake email addresses to vote for their cronies some more”.

    I took a quick look at the Worldcon program last night and it doesn’t look much different from the way it was before, frankly. Before and after the Twitterstorm, it was plenty LGBTQ, PoC, disabled, and girly.

    I’m sure it’s a terrible blow to the right-osphere that Timothy the Talking Cat isn’t on any panels. CLEARLY a bias against giant purple cats who write Nutty Nuggets fiction, and he will be phoning his solicitors (right next to the dry cleaners’ in downtown Bortsworth).

    *SCALZIIII!
    ** Wombaaat!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have voted in the Dragons every year in categories I know something about. Those categories are games, movies, military SF, alt history SF and SF novels. In those categories I’ve usually played, read or seen three quarters of the nominees. Others can do as they wish.

      It is amusing how many of you whining about the Dragon Awards wished that people unhappy with the Hugos would just go away and set up their own awards. They do so and the same people are whining that the Dragons are not run as they wish them to be.

      I don’t care for the Hugos. They have been an anti-buy signal for me for decades. I hoped they might change, but they have not. I went back to ignoring them.

      Dragon Awards hit three genres I greatly enjoy – military SF, Alt-history and YA (not obsessed with SJW topics). I have found interesting new reads and authors from these awards. Sadly, I don’t get this joy from the Hugos because the interests of the voters don’t match my tastes.

      I hope some of you can get a life. Find sources that identify things you end up enjoying instead of becoming obsessed with things you dislike.

      Apologies if something comes out weird from autocorrect on a tablet.

      Like

      1. airboy: how many of you whining about the Dragon Awards

        You misunderstand. No one is “whining” about the Dragon Awards. It’s just human nature to observe train wrecks with interest and to comment on them, especially when they are clearly being taken advantage of by some of the same people who tried to take advantage of the Hugo Awards as well as by other small interest groups who have figured out that they are eminently freepable.

        If it upsets you to see people commenting about the Dragon Awards’ being an obvious clusterfuck every year, write the organizers and offer to help them make the system better.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. What JJ said.

        I, like many others I’ve seen commenting on them, thought the Dragon Awards were a good idea and wished them well.

        However, two things happened. Firstly, a number of people claimed that the Dragon Awards were instantly superior to all other awards and sounded the death knell for the Hugos et al (tbf not a claim that DC themselves made), and secondly the Dragon Award turned out to be really badly designed and organised and really easy to slate yourself onto.

        So we’ve been reacting to the former by pointing out the latter.

        Meanwhile, the people you are chiding to go find something else to do have just finished reading for and voting on the Hugos. I am perfectly happy that I’m finding good new things to read…it’s just that I do have some brain space to spare to see what else is going on and comment on it as well. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I did nominations the first year, just to see how it would work, but it wasn’t for me. I find that I can’t vote in a category if I haven’t gotten a chance to try all the works.

        But I kind of find a use in having an award that recognizes the more trashy, light side of SFF. Like The Destroyer, The Outrider and all those boyhood wish-fulfillment books. The Land: Predators is perfect in that category.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Most of us do think the Dragon Awards are a good idea and have the potential to fill a niche in the SFF awards spectrum. However, the execution and organisation are just bad and extremely vulnerable to ballot stuffing. Not to mention that so far the Dragons aren’t very good at doing what their stated purpose is, namely rewarding broadly popular work.

        I vote in the fiction and film/TV categories, since I don’t feel the need to have read everything, so I vote for whatever I like best of the books I am familiar with.

        Besides, as you may have noticed, we are interested in analyzing stuff like that.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Most intelligent and open-minded people aren’t proud of inhabiting an echo chamber. They know that they’re the ones who learn and grow but hey, you do you.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hugos = process of the faculty meeting from hell @ results of things I don’t want to read.
    Dragon = more chaotic process @results of things I am often interested in reading.

    People obsessed with how either is run = unhappy people without meaningful lives.

    Like

    1. You must have some really weird (and large) faculty meetings.

      Anyway, this provides an interesting example of a not-uncommon rhetorical tactic. It goes something like: A comments on an issue. B inflates “comment” to “obsession”, “don’t you have anything better to do”, “U mad bro” etc. Having stuffed the comment up with straw to make it appear as more than it is, they then seek to negate it through that portrayal of it as some sort of aberration to be ignored.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Wow – but you are now even further down this chain of irrelevance, complaining about the manner of complaining. I mean I run a SF blog that talks about book awards – I know why I’m doing this and how that fits into the overall meaningfulness of my life, I can’t begin to see how your comments fit with the meaningfulness of yours.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. I’m happy that people are happy with the Dragons. They certainly have a little something for everyone. To me they have as much interest as any other internet poll. I voted in a few categories one year, but it was a major pain-in-the-butt to get a ballot. I won’t bother again.

      On the other hand, I’m generally fairly happy with the whole process and outcome of the Hugos. Especially that any member can have a voice in how it’s run and that we get to see all those lovely stats on the nominations and final vote. I’ve voted for five years now, nominated for three, and plan to continue. Of course, not everything is to my taste, but I’ve definitely gotten a lot of great reading/viewing/listening out of the Hugos.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Strangely enough I just received an email to vote in the Dragon Awards. Didn’t ask for a ballot, never heard anything about nominations, and get this out of the blue. Last time I tried to vote, it was like pulling teeth.

        Liked by 2 people

    4. So if people are interested in something you’re not interested in, they’re obsessed and have unhappy lives?

      As far as I remember (sorry if I have you mixed up with someone else), you’re a wargamer. Now I’m not a gamer of any kind and find the idea of replaying long ago wars on gameboards incredibly boring. However, I don’t think you have an unhappy life, just because you happen to spend a chunk of it on something I have no interest in.

      Liked by 3 people

    5. Putting down other people in order to make yourself feel better is a major psychological red flag. I recommend that you get some serious therapy as soon as possible.

      Like

    6. I think the real issue is with people who were too quick to promote the Dragon Awards as being the best, the most important awards. The truth is, they still haven’t quite got their act together, although they seem to have made at least some progress from year to year. But when someone jumps up and says “I am the greatest!” it’s just human nature to try to take them down a notch.

      And, as Mark said, this period between the time Hugo voting ends and WorldCon starts is a slow one as far as fan news goes. If the Dragon organizers were smart, they’d take advantage of that, but whatever they do–good or bad–it’s likely to get extra attention right now.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. Hugos = process of the faculty meeting from hell @ results of things I don’t want to read.

      Huh. I didn’t know I was on anybody’s faculty, much less the one from Hell.

      I wonder how Lucifer Morningstar stacks up as a faculty chair?

      More to the point, none of us have gone to your blog (if you have one) to complain about you or the Dragon Awards, so why do you feel justified in coming here to complain about us and the Hugos?

      Liked by 1 person

    8. I don’t think airboy’s comparison to a faculty meeting is too far off the mark. It’s not terribly surprising that a large deliberative process, particularly one that involves large groups of people that don’t typically work with each other, would be more than a touch messy. I’ve been involved is similar processes with activists and it can be really frustrating. On the other hand, that process seems to allow the Hugos to avoid some of the boneheaded mistakes that were initially made by the Dragon Awards. Deliberative democracy may be frustrating and messy, but that frustrating process also becomes the way that bad ideas get thrown of the table and so so ideas become better ideas. On the other hand, I don’t really see what this has to do with who is nominated, which is not decided in those procedures.

      Like

  3. I’m going to be quite interested to see who the nominees are, actually, much more than the previous two years. That they had the protocol in place after the disaster of last year to get nominees’ permission to stay on the ballot, and that it took them a bit to get those permissions, all tends to indicate that some mainstream, big name authors who are not far right are likely on that nominee list, or were on it. (We’ll never know entirely because the Dragon Awards runners like to hide things to better engineer them. They are unlikely to say this year who won a nomination and declined it, though they might.)

    Who is on that nominee list is the interesting part. The winners are decided, as the Dragon Awards runners informed us in the “rules” of the awards, by the Dragon Awards organizers, not the voters, though clearly they do take some of the voting into account in making their decisions. Likewise they seem to have control over the nominees, though the voting seems to be more important there to coming up with results, given the results last year and that they had to have the permissions system put in place.

    If we see again mainstream, not far right nominees as a decent percentage, then we know that there is the continuing pressure to further mainstream and gain respectability for the awards and actually count the votes, likely pressure that is a combination from public scrutiny and from the DragonCon authorities since the award has the con’s name on them. It will mean that the Dragon Awards are evolving towards a legitimate award rather than a rigged one, despite the fact that it is an award system that is openly rigged to be decided by committee out of the public eye. The Red Panda Faction will be able to visibly measure the effect they are having on trying to connect the awards with the actual convention audience from the make-up of the nominees.

    If the nominees are more dominated by far right, obscure and Puppyish nominees, especially from Beale’s tiny Icelandic publishing house, than they were last year, more like the first year of the awards, then that indicates that the award runners have doubled-down on having a limited, niche clubhouse decided by their committee rather than an award system that has anything to do with DragonCon itself. Neither is worse than the other, as people can give awards to whoever they like, however they like, though the latter is simply high theater.

    So the nominees list this year indicates which way the Dragon Awards are headed for the next few years. It will be interesting to see what they picked. It will also be interesting to see what the DragonCon organizers do about the Dragon Awards in reaction to those decisions by the Dragon Awards organizers over the next few years. I don’t know enough about the DragonCon bureaucracy to be able to make a clear guess on that. However, it is generally in the best interests of DragonCon, given the type of convention it is and its history, to have this award be a legitimately voted, mainstream award over a rigged, far right booster award, even if it’s only a set of book awards. The more far right freep session the Dragon Awards remain, the more pressure on the DragonCon organizers to bestir themselves to get the Dragon Awards to clean themselves up.

    This is especially the case if there are a lot of people in general talking about the awards’ lack of transparency, stated rules that administrators rather than voters determine the winners, and general incompetency of the award organizers in running the schedule for the voting theater. And if actual paying and volunteer convention participants, such as the Red Panda Faction, are vocally trying to involve more convention goers in voting, get DragonCon to better promote the award to its attendees and expressing their dissatisfaction with how the Dragon Awards are being run. (Which is why folks like Airboy would like all of you to shut up with your observations about the Dragon Awards. Mustn’t stir up the sleeping dragon.)

    Ultimately I still think the Puppies would be better off starting up their own award and holding it at LibertyCon or other far right convention. (ConCarolinas seems to have become one, so it might be open.) While that wouldn’t immediately have as high a brand name to it, they would be much better able to control it long term and set it up as they like, without any threat of oversight from convention administrators eventually occurring. But there does not seem to be, from what Cam and others have chronicled, enough will and inter-group cooperation for that to occur. So it becomes a sociology experiment into convention culture to see how long they can maintain a rigged control over this set of awards at DragonCon. The nominees this year will be a key snapshot in answering that question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Minor quibble: Finnish not Icelandic 🙂

      Interestingly, we’ve seen various finalists already announce that they are on the ballot but nothing from Beale (or some other usual suspects)

      Like

    2. Good point – if someone like, say, Jemisin is a finalist again then that would explain them accepting a delay to get her agreement rather than risking another embarrassing withdrawal situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iceland, Finland, whatevs, it’s a fake address anyway. I thought it was Iceland.

        Jemisin won’t be a finalist as she won’t accept the nomination. Unlike last year, however, when they simply announced the finalist nominees and then had to deal with authors withdrawing, I’m not sure they’ll bother to tell us who won but then withdrew when contacted. They might, but they are probably happy to keep who declined under wraps.

        I’m aware that there are other awards that are conservative, but the Puppies specifically don’t always control those. They aren’t going to be able to hold on to a mainstream award for long. If the Dragons continue, they won’t be a conservative niche award long term. A big multi-media convention can’t have that be a signature award of their convention, even for books. If the Dragons don’t clean up their act, DragonCon will eventually step in and probably already has exerted some pressure or Jemisin and Scalzi wouldn’t have been nominee selections last year.

        For the Puppies, whose main support were far right authoritarian woman-terrified gamers who were essentially bused in on the Hugo campaigns, a book con like Worldcon is simply undesirable because books are unimportant to them and their base. A multi-media con which has actors attending to promote shows and films and substantial game divisions, with books as a side niche, they feel is status wise more important. That’s why WorldCon was a complete mystery to them. (The faculty meeting cut from Airboy was trying to infer that WorldCon is home to academic elites, which falls back into the completely ridiculous claims that Hugo nominees are all academics trying to polish their curriculum vitae with the Hugos. Seems to be partly because they assume a mostly book con would mainly draw academics which shows a major lack of familiarity with SFF book cons.)

        There are other huge multi-media cons that would also be appealing to stick a book award on to, with the same lack of interest in initially monitoring it from the con organizers — Emerald Con, NYCC, etc. But they had pals at DragonCon to do it, that was key. And some of the big multi-media cons have codes of conduct, programming and policies that would make it difficult to impossible to pull off what they want at DragonCon. It is DragonCon’s set-up that was necessary to attempt it. But that is only going to get you so far for so long.

        So the nominee list will be telling about how long they can run the numbers. But what would be even more telling is if we also knew the nominees who declined the nomination in addition to the ones who accept it. To keep the award rigged, they would logically not give out this info for just that reason. If they give this information publicly, then the rigging is under significant pressure and won’t last as long.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. There already are at least two rightwing and puppy adjacent awards, the Conservative Libertarian Science Fiction Book of the Year Award and the Planetary Awards. However, the various overlapping puppy groups don’t want a niche award, they want mainstream recognition at a mainstream con. Hence, first the attack on the Hugos and then the establishment of/hijacking of the Dragon Awards, which are tied to Dragon Con, which is their ideal of what an SFF con should be like. And no, I have no idea how they reconcile that with the longterm involvement of a convicted child molester in Dragon Con.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cora: They don’t reconcile it, they just ignore it, because that’s not an issue they genuinely have any moral concern about, it’s only a criminal label they want to attach to “the SJWs”.

        Like

      2. The Alt-Right screams about “pedophiles” as a way to scream about gays and Jews while putting people who call them about it on the defensive.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love how so many of you think you can “mind read” people you do not know nor communicate with.
    Please keep telling me the “true meaning” of what I write. Simply because I’ve been an academic for 35 years means nothing when I compare Hugo business meetings and wrangling to the same sort of crazy I’ve seen elsewhere.

    I also “love” how any award is judged by how “puppy” the award is deemed. Beale’s tiny publishing house I can understand. But others like Ringo, Correia, Butcher, Flint and so on sell a lot of books.

    Alt-history and Military SF are two dragon categories where most of the writers would be considered to the “right” of most any Hugo nominee. I guess many of you will continue your weird speculation since some entire categories lean hard “right.”

    It also says a lot about an author who withdraws from consideration for having the “wrong people” at the “wrong con” nominate them for recognition.

    I make one prediction about the 2019 Dragon Awards. SM Stirlings alt WW1 spy book will be a finalist.

    Like

    1. I make no attempts at mind reading or speculation. Celebrating the things we’re fans of is a fine thing. If the Dragons do that for you, then have at it. I’ll continue to enjoy the Hugos. I don’t care if puppies or kitties win Dragons. As long as those who participate feel they are worthy, it’s good.

      If it’s Jemisin’s withdrawal you’re refering to, then you’re doing some weird speculation there yourself.

      Like

    2. Once again, putting down other people to make yourself feel better is pathological. Also, people responding to things you actually said is not mind reading, so let us hear no more of that nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Love how so many of you think you can “mind read” people you do not know nor communicate with.

      Really? Like you assumed so many of us here are members of the Devil’s faculty?

      I mean, if you like the Dragons, fine, have at it. I neither have the time, money, or brain cells to read extensively for another award, especially when I find so many good things reading for the Hugos.

      (But if you like alternate history, then check out The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal’s fantastic alternate history of the space race, with a side dash of Hidden Figures. I’ve about decided it’s the best book I’ve read so far this year.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. OMG, “Calculating Stars” was soooo gooood. I can’t wait for the next one and am glad they’re coming out so close together.

        The US gets to orbit, the Moon, and Mars way way early. To the stars via punch cards! (From Kansas City!)

        It’s not only alt-hist, it’s very scientific, all researched, with slide rules and all that other classic hard SF stuff.

        Like

      2. But airboy won’t like it because it was written by a gurrrrl and besides, the Protagonist’s Jewish. That’s two strikes against it for a puppy already, and that’s not counting the fact that it’s not military SF.
        S’funny though. most of the readers of military SF I’ve ever encountered have never actually been in the military.

        Like

      3. There’s lots of military people in it, though! Steely-jawed pilots and such, generals, etc. You really can’t do a space program in anybody’s 1950s and 1960s without military guys.

        Most people I’ve met who are both SF readers and military don’t care for almost all milSF; they know too much about the topic and find the mil part ludicrous. They’ll make exceptions for a few, like Joe Haldeman.

        Like

      4. Yes, that was my point. Those of us who have been there and done that find milSF to be faintly ridiculous at best and often downright laughable. MilSF fans are too often completely unsuitable for a military career; they’d be thrown out on their ears before the end of basic training.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Flint was trying to help the Dragons get a clue, but then he got sick and couldn’t. Nobody else cares enough (including Dragon Con) to bother.

        Like

    4. Enh, the Puppies have been consistently pushing a fake narrative that the Hugos are infested with lefty academics trying to use the Hugos to burnish their careers. The WorldCon business meeting of its convention attendee-members is decidedly non-academic, so you calling it the faculty meeting from hell pushes that narrative as a bad metaphor.

      When the Dragon Awards were announced, its organizers expressed clear interest in having the Puppy authors like Correia, who started the whole thing, and Puppy approved authors like Butcher, be given the best shot at the thing. And the Puppies crowed that the Dragons would be “their” award. Voters were able to vote as much as they wanted and do slates, results weren’t released to the public and so remain whatever the organizers decide, as well as the organizers openly stating that they will actually decide who the winners are. So it was not a surprise that the award nominees the first year had a large block of authors specifically right off the Puppy voting slates of the Hugos. Other nominees were from Beale’s little, largely unknown publishing house — unknown except for the Puppies, plus some other authors who had publicly jumped on Beale’s bandwagon. Flint was also accepted as a Baen author, the publisher endorsed by the Puppies, because he does have long standing relationships with a lot of the Puppies. (Not that Flint needs the help, just how the Puppies treat him.)

      So yeah, the Dragons started as a total Puppy-fest, plus some outliers voted in by others (or allowed in by the organizers.) The Puppies are far right and endorse authors they feel are sufficiently right enough even if not far right like Butcher. It has nothing to do with military SF or alt history SFF, neither of which are a far right sub-category. I like a lot of military SF authors who aren’t far right, and far right authors write a lot of different types of SFF — the Puppy nominees were across the whole board of Dragon awards. If you found some people to read the first year, that’s great, but pretending the Puppies had nothing to do with the awards seems factually strange.

      What was interesting to watch was what happened the second year, after the Puppy domination of the first year. The awards are evolving to become less far right, in part as a reaction to the first year. So what happens this year with the nominees is really what we’re looking at, not simply at who actually wins the awards. Which again the organizers say they will decide.

      Jemisin declined the award nomination last year not because of the organizers’ far right politics but because they and their friends were the people who have been viciously harassing her for several years, including racial slurs, and attacking many of her friends. The Puppies set Gamergaters on authors while making baseless accusations about those authors and their publishers. And she was gracious about it, despite that. They were not, which pretty much proved that she made the right decision. Many authors who were the targets of the Puppies’ wrath have the same feelings about the Dragons. They especially don’t want to be further targets for harassment from Puppy supporters by being a nominee. That’s another problem the Dragons are going to have in their early years.

      DragonCon isn’t a “wrong” convention; it’s a big multi-media convention. And it isn’t a Puppy convention. Which is going to have a long term effect on the Dragon Awards if DragonCon decides to continue them. This year we had the protocol change to asking authors if they want to withdraw their nominations rather than holding them hostage as they did before. Which largely occurred because Scalzi made it conditional on his not withdrawing his nomination last year. So that’s an interesting development. So is deciding to only have three weeks for voters to vote on finalists, a vote that the organizers publicly state is more of just a guideline for their own decisions. How the organizers make those decisions is then also of interest. It’s an award, people are going to talk about it.

      But does anyone know why the organizers decided to scrap the Apocalypse Novel award this year? That seems like an odd thing for them to do already.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently, yes, it has been “retired” as a “catetory” after two years, but now there’s a Media Tie-In Novel award: http://awards.dragoncon.org/2017/11/16/new-catetory/

        “If you are knowledgeable about the categories, you can vote without coughing up the cash needed to vote in some fan awards.”

        That’s true. The Hugos are not a fan award. They are specifically a WorldCon WSFS attending members fan award. The voting is done by a specific group of fans — those who have paid to go to WorldCon. It’s their award where they get to vote for who they, as a group that makes up the membership of WSFS, like that year in SFF. Because they have past convention members who can’t make it to some WorldCons — and to fundraise — they allowed associate memberships in WSFS to be bought for a lower fee. That makes you a lower tier member of WSFS who is eligible to vote.

        A lot of conventions and writers organizations have awards for their members only to vote on. It’s part of the fun and events of the convention for attendees and it’s a part of writers organizations celebrating their field. Those are closed fan awards. The Locus Awards, for instance, are voted on by the magazine’s subscribers only. The Nebula Awards are voted on by the dues paying and active members of SFWA only, like the Edgars for MWA, the Stokers from HWA, etc. The Prometheus Award, a conservative libertarian award for science fiction, has paying members of the Libertarian Futurist Society only nominating authors, an award committee then reading the top votes to decide a set of finalists, and then only Full members of the Society voting for the winners.

        Then you have juried awards. The Clarke Award is decided not by fan vote but by designated voting committee which is drawn from the members of two organizations and one film festival. The John W. Campbell Memorial Award — different from the Campbell Award voted on and given out with the Hugos — is decided by a jury, etc.

        And then there are some open voting awards that have become easier to do thanks to the Internet. The Gemmell Awards are one of these. The Dragon Awards are another, although again the actual impact of voting in the Dragon Awards is under much skepticism so far since its organizers have declared that they decide the winners. That’s something that will likely change over time because while the Dragon Awards are not limited to the paying attendee members of DragonCon who want to vote, it is associated with DragonCon and so they would at least like it to get to the reputational level of the Gemmells, I would suspect.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Something I’d like to see more of would be awards where the list of finalists is juried but the winner is chosen by a popular vote (of some identifiable group).

        As we learned from Puppygate, it is very, very hard to make a nominating election work, owing to the huge number of possible choices and the thinness of the electorate. Even the Hugos struggle with this, and they have the biggest electorate by far. If instead members were invited to make suggestions but the finalists were chosen by a jury, I think it might be possible to get the best of both worlds.

        As far as the Puppies go, I still think they need to create their own award that makes no secret that it’s only open to works by conservative authors. A hybrid system (finalists chosen by jury but winner chosen by popular vote) would work well for that purpose. I’ve voiced that opinion on MGC, and I’m still surprised how hard they push back on it. It’s really important to them, for some reason, to at least give lip service to the idea that they only care about the content of the stories, not the identity of the authors. They’re loath to give up the idea that they’re not just a small minority I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. But do people really want an award for conservative authors? I would take it that the Puppy organisers were largely not really concerned with who won awards at all – they were in it for self-promotion and/or trouble-causing: meanwhile, those voters who actually believed in the cause were genuinely concerned with nutty nuggets and stories which featured lots of explosions, and only indirectly with politics, in that they thought it was politics that was stopping them getting that (rather than, you know, the fact that some people are interested in stuff other than explosions).

        I agree that a semi-juried award (like the Hugos in 1956) would make a lot of sense, though. It’s very hard, perhaps impossible, for a nomination system to actually identify the outstanding works in the field; all systems that have actually been devised have failure modes. (It may be that the Dragons are in fact like this in the way they actually operate; but if so, they could be more up-front about it.)

        Like

      4. @greghullender:
        The Canada Reads award is kind of like that. A longlist is chosen by an internal panel; the five-book shortlist is based on matching up some of the longlist books with people who are willing to act as a ‘public champion’ for that particular book. The champions get together for public debate on the books over the course of a week, and final voting is a public Survivor-style elimination system: each day the least-supported book gets knocked off the shortlist until only one winner remains.

        Liked by 2 people

    5. You can’t understand Correia, who quite literally started the Puppy campaigns as a way to try and win a Hugo, being lumped in with the Puppies? It’s nothing to do with sales numbers and everything to do with whiny sense of entitlement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Um, okay. I guess it is also not worth pointing out that different Target stores will have different sets of books on their shelves, depending on the advertising deals they make with publishers for different titles and on regional sales figures for each store that they tailor the selection for, that again not all of the books on those shelves are by bestselling authors, and that if a particular author doesn’t have a front list new title out at the time, you are unlikely to see them on Target’s shelves where the majority of books will only be up a certain number of weeks after initial print release, especially the hardcovers.

        I don’t get why you’re very intent on trying to say that Ringo and Correia don’t sell well. That was the Puppy argument against authors like Scalzi and Jemisin and it’s really a pointless one since sales success doesn’t, as the Puppies initially argued it should, have to do with award success mostly, nor whether they are nice human beings or not. It also seems kind of unfair to Butcher and Flint who aren’t puppy authors and have never really appreciated being dragged into their mess in any way. Butcher has sold millions of copies of his books and it would be decidedly odd if his new releases are not sold on the shelves of Target. Because for one thing, Target stores often have a New York Times Bestseller list set of shelves and Butcher would then be on them for his new releases. He has a Dresden centered short story collection out this year which was on the list fairly high, though otherwise he’s been taking a bit of a break.

        But if you want to go with “I’ve never seen them on the shelves of my local Target when I went in there” as the measure, that’s your prerogative.

        Like

    6. Beale’s tiny publishing house I can understand. But others like Ringo, Correia, Butcher, Flint and so on sell a lot of books.

      Are their books sold at Target? Because unless your books are sold at Target, you don’t sell “a lot of books”. You sell a moderate amount of books.

      The interesting thing about airboy’s posts is that he claims the Hugo process is like a faculty meeting, except it isn’t. The Worldcon Business Meeting might be so compared, but that’s not the Hugo process. The Hugo process is quite simple: Nominate works you like in the first stage, then vote for which of the resulting finalists you think should win. That’s it. That’s the process most Hugo participants see. That’s the process that airboy is complaining about: People voting for the things they like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Target isn’t a really reliable measure in this particular area. Target is a wholesale market — they get their books from distributors. But unlike the pre-90’s wholesale market, Target takes in a mix of hardcover, mass market paperback and their main format, trade (larger) paperbacks. Target’s book mix is “woman” centric. There are a lot of romances and “women’s” fiction, only some of which are written by bestsellers and others by mid-list authors and a few debuts. Likewise with the suspense fiction. The big publishers dump a lot of mid-list authors in trade paperback specifically to go for wholesale outlets like Target and Walmart in addition to some bestsellers. So books in Target may not be selling massive amounts. They also aren’t super SFF friendly, though they do have some SFFH, including non-category SFFH and a lot of YA SFF, since that’s the biggest group in YA.

        Jim Butcher is a major NYTimes and others best-selling author, top of the field. Ringo has been a best-selling author but on lesser rungs. Correia is a best-selling author, and so is Eric Flint, though on lesser rungs. But they are all lead title authors in SFF. That’s why Airboy specifically named them and not others who were Dragon nominees, while also trying to detach them from the Puppies. (Which is kind of mean — the Puppies have no successful selling authors? That’s not accurate.) But other authors the Puppies detest are also best-selling authors. J.K. Rowling is the most successful best-selling author on the planet. N.K. Jemisin is a bestselling author, Scalzi is one, George R.R. Martin, Ann Leckie, Catherynne Valente, China Mieville, Walter Mosley, etc. And more mid-list authors who are lead slot authors still sell a lot of books more than the majority.

        But sales don’t decide awards. They decide bestseller lists and only for full novels, not short fiction in smaller magazine venues. Awards are decided by groups of people. Bigger selling authors are better known and more familiar to more fans, and so are more likely to be picked in fan voted awards, but fans who belong to organizations and are more likely to vote on awards and go to conventions (or serve on an award jury,) are fans who usually read more widely than just bestsellers, who actively seek out new material which is what allows the category market to exist, and who for some of the awards go out of their way to read short fiction. That’s what annoyed the Puppies about the Hugos — the members of the organization/convention aren’t just fame groupies and like trying a wider range. (Even if they were just fan groupies, though, conservative authors don’t dominate the SFF bestsellers list.)

        And that interest of fan readers — they browse — is also affecting and will continue to impact the Dragon Awards, even if the organizers currently have a far right bent and a lot of stated control over the results. Most fans don’t vote on awards — they just read. But as people get more aware of an award, more of them will take an interest and so you will get both an increase in best-selling authors in nominations and in authors who aren’t best-selling yet but are much discussed in online and other fan communities. I said at the beginning that the Puppies would have about five years of solid influence on the Dragon Awards, but it may actually end up being less. That’s why the nomination announcement tomorrow will be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You can be on the New York Times best seller list while only selling a moderate number of books. Most authors who make that list are in that category.

        I use “sold in Target” as a short hand, usually mostly encompassing “Target, Costco, and Walmart” (but really meaning any mass retailer that isn’t specifically a bookseller). Until an author breaks into that market, I don’t think they can be described as selling “a lot of books”. To a certain extent, this is a holdover from the Puppy fracas, when the Pups would claim that the Hugos should award books to the “really popular authors” (meaning, the authors they liked), but they would then ignore Rick Riordan, Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, and all the other authors who could be found on the shelves of mass retail outlets.

        The upshot of all this is that Ringo doesn’t “sell a lot of books”. Veronica Roth does. When Ringo’s books start regularly appearing on Target (and Costco, and Wal-Mart) shelves, then we can talk about him “selling a lot of books”.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. @Greg: Yes, I was thinking a part-juried, part-vote award would be really good. Get people who know each category to make up the short list (take suggestions through the mechanism they have for nominations now), and then open the voting to everyone with an email address or three.

        But you know Puppies/neo-cons/alt-right aren’t going to do their own awards, because awards are hard work. They want to be parasites on something already established.

        @Aaron: Right you are. Baen is barely sold overseas, and not in the big box stores (IIRC). As for who sells a lot, right now it’s Nora Roberts/JD Robb, whose books are everywhere, and one of her series is even SF; others are fantasy, others are borderline, one’s post-apocalyptic. Me, Cora, and Cora’s mom live in hope of a nomination for her. She’s sold half a Billion books total. Puts out 4 novels a year as Nora, 2 as JD, plus shorts and novellas regularly. Tours and promotions atop that, and a family life (TIL she has a teenage granddaughter who makes a mean trifle).

        Nora Roberts sells a lot; she’s even in grocery stores. Rick Riordan sells a lot. George RR Martin sells a lot. Stephen King sells a lot. The latter two are on this year’s Dragon ballot.

        Like

      4. Yes, mass retailers that are not bookstores is the wholesale market, which actually includes Amazon. They are all mainly supplied by wholesale distributors though some also take initial sales direct from publishers. There are different types of wholesale clients. Costco does very few SFF books or books at all, has a much greater discount system that is almost remainder prices. They do take mainly bestsellers, usually targeted bestsellers. I.e. they look for specific types of books, not simply big selling books. Over time they have taken less and less fiction. They prefer non-fiction such as life-style, health and cookbooks.

        Whereas Target and Walmart again take on a lot of fiction books that are not bestsellers, that do not sell a lot of books, also because those books are targeted to areas that sell for their customer base, which is again mostly women (who make up over 70% of fiction readers.) The distribution with Target and Walmart may help authors sell a fair number of books, but it still is likely to put them only on the lower rungs of the bestseller lists. Over time, Target and Walmart started trying to compete with Amazon for online sales and used discounted books as a way to do so, which means they have a pretty wide swath of authors, unlike Costco.

        So again, being on the shelves of Target and Walmart does not mean that you’ve “sold a lot of books.” In fact, being moved into trade paperback instead of hardcover and marketed mainly to Target usually means you’ve been demoted because you aren’t selling enough books and they are limiting you to the wholesale market where they don’t have to do expensive co-op advertising with the bookstores. It’s also an easy channel for publishers to take some of their debuts and get them wider distribution without dealing with the bookstores.

        Riordan, Routh and Meyer are all bestselling YA authors. The Puppies care nearly 0% about YA and so did not mention them. (In fact, I don’t get why they even bothered to have a YA category for the Dragons. Maybe DragonCon insisted.) But adult market authors like Scalzi and Jemisin sell a lot of books, were decried by the Puppies as unpopular even though it was ridiculous and are sold by Target and Walmart. But so for that matter is John Ringo — his books are available from Target. And Eric Flint and Larry Correia’s books are as well. And most definitely Jim Butcher who has probably sold more books than Marissa Meyer. So they’ve already passed your litmus test, but that isn’t a real accurate litmus test.

        The authors who have sold the most books are the authors who have their own separate displays, shared with no other authors, in the big bookstores, displays for which the publishers have paid heaps of money because the books are selling big numbers and so that kind of co-op expenditure is cost efficient. And the phenoms, but they are easy to spot.

        Like

      5. “In fact, being moved into trade paperback instead of hardcover and marketed mainly to Target”

        This, right here, tells me that you have no idea what you are talking about. Most of the books on the shelves at Target that fit into the SFF category are not trade paperback. They are hardbacks. Based upon this, I can conclude that literally nothing you have to say about selling books is worth bothering to care about.

        Like

      6. Aaron,

        1) I’ve worked in book publishing my entire adult career, first as a junior book editor, then a literary agent and contracts administrator, and then as a freelance book editor. So yeah, I kind of do know a lot about selling books, and co-op advertising and what has happened with the wholesale market for the past several decades. But you clearly didn’t know that and skepticism isn’t a bad thing.

        2) As I explained, Target carries hardcover, mass market paperback and trade paperback releases but really likes trade paperback as a format. And again Target carries more than SFF — SFF isn’t one of its favorite areas. It does carry the lead sellers in SFF in hardcover, as well as SFF in the other two formats. Trade paperback became more popular for SFF in the 1990’s and oughts. The wholesale distributors market shrank in the 1990’s, messing up the mass market paperback market. Sales from the bookstores became more important but the bookstores didn’t like the mass market paperbacks that make up a lot of the SFF category market because the profit there is in wholesale bulk sales which the bookstores don’t really do (though it worked for Amazon.) So publishers hiked the prices on mass market paperbacks to please the bookstores (and because printing and paper went up in cost,) but the SFF publishers also moved more titles into hardcover and trade paperback for initial pub to get reviews, library sales and please bookstores. So there is actually a fair amount of trade paperback SFF at Target as well as discounted hardcovers.

        3) I have an author friend who is a bestseller in suspense but her sales declined unevenly. Her publisher decided to release a new title in trade paperback instead of hardcover and aim mainly to get it carried by Target and other major retailers in the wholesale market because of that. So yeah, it happens.

        Look, I’m not saying that Target isn’t an important market. They’ve really needed as many non-bookstore vendors as they could get to improve the online and wholesale markets, so Target wanting to improve particularly its online sales with books has been helpful. They even had a reading club selection program for a bit, though that may have been discontinued. But the reality is that Ringo, Correia, Flint and particularly Butcher are all sold at Target. (And reminder that Flint is not a Puppy anyway.) And that people who are not yet bestsellers or lower rung bestsellers are also sold at Target, depending on the title. Which means it’s not as good a measurement of big sellers as you were hoping, that’s all.

        Like

      7. I’ve worked in book publishing my entire adult career

        And yet everything you’ve claimed thus far in this thread is counter to observed reality, which makes me disinclined to take them seriously.

        Like

      8. But the reality is that Ringo, Correia, Flint and particularly Butcher are all sold at Target. (And reminder that Flint is not a Puppy anyway.)

        No, they are not.

        You see, you seem to think that “sold at Target” means that they appear in Target’s online store. “Sold at Target” means sitting on the shelves in a physical store. The authors who fit that description I can count on my fingers, and none of those guys are among them.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I suspect that a lot of this debate is simply due to regional difference regarding what is stocked at B&N and in Target, Walmart, etc…

        One of the big fallacies of the puppies (and not just them, Eric Flint made the same mistake in his much publicized post at the height of the puppy wars) is the mistaken notion that just because the shelves of their local bookstore in rural Utah, Colorado, Tennessee or wherever are full of John Ringo and Larry Correia, but carry little to no John Scalzi, N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie, this means that every bookstore in the US and presumably the world looks the same.

        Of course, this is not the case. As I and many others have observed before Baen Books have almost no distribution in Europe and are very difficult to find outside a handful of specialist shops like the big Forbidden Planet stores in London and Birmingham or Hodges Figgis in Dublin (and I’m sure Larry Correia would be horrified that his books can be found on the shelves of a bookstore that was namechecked by James Joyce in Ulysses). However, I’ve never had any problems finding Sclazi, Jemisin and Leckie (and Jim Butcher for that matter) on European bookstore shelves.

        And even in the US, I strongly suspect that the selection available in bookstores differs by region. For example, even in the US, I have never seen shelves sagging under the weight of Baen titles like Correia, Ringo and Flint describe. I don’t doubt that these shelves exist, but they’re probably in stores in the rural parts of the South, Midwest and West of the US that I’ve never visited, at least not while old enough to be interested in bookstore shelves. And coincidentally, even the big Joseph Beth store in Lexington, Kentucky, did not have a Baen dominatd SFF section last time I was there.

        Also, as Lurkertype said, the big SFF bestsellers that are regularly ignored by awards are not the Correias and Ringos of the world, but they are writers operating on the borderline between romance and SFF like Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward as well as the various YA megasellers like Stephenie Meyer, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, etc… However, the puppies don’t care about awards for bestselling SFF authors, they want awards for Larry Correia and friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. @Lurkertype
        Nora Roberts sells a lot; she’s even in grocery stores.

        Nora Roberts is even in grocery stores outside the US. I have no problem picking up a new Nora Roberts novel in German translation in my local grocery store. They don’t always carry her J.D. Robb alter-ego, but they always carry Nora.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Um, okay. I guess it is also not worth pointing out that different Target stores will have different sets of books on their shelves, depending on the advertising deals they make with publishers for different titles and on regional sales figures for each store that they tailor the selection for, that again not all of the books on those shelves are by bestselling authors, and that if a particular author doesn’t have a front list new title out at the time, you are unlikely to see them on Target’s shelves where the majority of books will only be up a certain number of weeks after initial print release, especially the hardcovers.

        I don’t get why you’re very intent on trying to say that Ringo and Correia don’t sell well. That was the Puppy argument against authors like Scalzi and Jemisin and it’s really a pointless one since sales success doesn’t, as the Puppies initially argued it should, have to do with award success mostly, nor whether they are nice human beings or not. It also seems kind of unfair to Butcher and Flint who aren’t puppy authors and have never really appreciated being dragged into their mess in any way. Butcher has sold millions of copies of his books and it would be decidedly odd if his new releases are not sold on the shelves of Target. Because for one thing, Target stores often have a New York Times Bestseller list set of shelves and Butcher would then be on them for his new releases. He has a Dresden centered short story collection out this year which was on the list fairly high, though otherwise he’s been taking a bit of a break.

        But if you want to go with “I’ve never seen them on the shelves of my local Target when I went in there” as the measure, that’s your prerogative.

        Like

      12. Cora: “Of course, this is not the case. As I and many others have observed before Baen Books have almost no distribution in Europe and are very difficult to find outside a handful of specialist shops like the big Forbidden Planet stores in London and Birmingham or Hodges Figgis in Dublin (and I’m sure Larry Correia would be horrified that his books can be found on the shelves of a bookstore that was namechecked by James Joyce in Ulysses). However, I’ve never had any problems finding Sclazi, Jemisin and Leckie (and Jim Butcher for that matter) on European bookstore shelves.

        And even in the US, I strongly suspect that the selection available in bookstores differs by region. For example, even in the US, I have never seen shelves sagging under the weight of Baen titles like Correia, Ringo and Flint describe. I don’t doubt that these shelves exist, but they’re probably in stores in the rural parts of the South, Midwest and West of the US that I’ve never visited, at least not while old enough to be interested in bookstore shelves.”

        Baen is smaller than the big five U.S. publishers who all are global publishers with sister houses in various countries and a network of distribution deals. When the big 5 do a world rights deal for the territory, they can do simultaneous publishing launches of titles. When they only have U.S. & Canada territory and the author sells foreign territory licenses, they can encourage/bid through their sister houses for those deals pretty easily if they want to. Where Baen has world rights as its territory on books, they pursue limited and targeted distribution deals abroad. When they only have U.S. & Canada rights, it will depend on what deals the authors make with foreign houses. Mid-list authors, not just bestsellers, can get deals in Europe much more easily than they used to be able to do, but it does depend on the title.

        In the U.S., Baen has very good distribution, especially on the wholesale end. But they have fewer resources than the bigger houses. So they will target and shape their distribution regionally. And when the bookstores and wholesale outlets re-order books from the wholesale distributors like Ingrams, then you definitely see a skewed pattern as to where books end up. Baen also, like other publishers, pays for displays and positioning not only with bookstores but with big wholesale clients like Target as co-op advertising. So again, they’ll target that specifically to get the most bang for their buck.

        A lot of the sales that publishers get from big wholesale outlets though aren’t the shelf sales but the online ones. Target and Walmart both decided back in 2009 that they’d try and grab some of Amazon’s market for the holidays to improve their online stores. They went into a frenzy of discount wars with Amazon on books, CDs, DVDs and some games: http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1932426,00.html And there are still various online battles going on between Target, Walmart, Costco and Amazon. So a lot of the fiction authors sold at Target get most of their sales from the online sales, not in the store. But the store displays are useful, many paid for by the publishers, and Target is still apparently doing the Target Book Club picks program and doing a subscription version which I guess is to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Those picks are mainly suspense and women’s fiction and are mainly in trade paperback format.

        “they are writers operating on the borderline between romance and SFF like Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward”

        It’s a little bit more complicated than that. There’s the general fiction market, the still joint SF, F and last decade horror category markets, the suspense category market and the romance category market. (As well as the YA, New Adult and middle grade markets that are part of the children’s market.) And then there are the bestsellers, who are then either sold both in the category markets they came from if they are category published and general fiction/bestellers or sometimes moved out of the category market shelves into just general fiction/bestsellers.

        Charlaine Harris for instance isn’t on the border of romance but instead on the border with suspense. She was a cozy mystery writer who then wrote a small town supernatural mystery novel. She ended up selling the work to Berkley and they published it in general fiction because they wanted to keep her mystery fans as a fan base, but did some cross-marketing to the category fantasy market as well as to the category suspense market. After several books in, it became a bestselling series. Berkley moved it into the category fantasy market under Ace and cross-marketed it to general fiction/bestseller displays and suspense category. When the series was adapted into the sex-filled True Blood t.v. series, Harris got seen as an erotica fantasy author, which she said shocked her hometown. But hey, it made the series an even bigger seller.

        Diana Gabaldon was a science prof who then wrote her time-travel novel. It was sold and published in general fiction to Dell/Delacorte. It proved to be a hit and was cross-marketed to the romance category market and to a lesser extent the SFF category market and the suspense category market. But it’s mostly remained a general fiction/bestseller positioning and attracts a lot of historical fiction fans.

        Patricia Briggs wrote a straight contemporary fantasy series that was heavily suspenseful and published in the category fantasy market but was also cross-marketed to the new horror category market. Christine Feehan writes paranormal romances, which is part of the romance category market, but her series were also cross-marketed to general fiction, category fantasy, and category horror as a bestseller, etc.

        The paranormal romance authors won’t get considered for SFF category awards, but they do well in the romance category awards. Feehan has won PEARL awards, Romantic Times awards and was nominated for a RITA. Gabaldon, as a general fiction writer who is cross-marketed, has won a RITA but also a Quill Award, which is a SFFH award. Harris has been on the long lists for SFFH awards, but again, being a known suspense writer cross-marketed there, she’s won an Anthony, a mystery award and was nominated for an Agatha, both for the first book in the Sookie series.

        In general, the category SFFH awards are not fond of category contemporary urban fantasy series that are heavily suspense/mystery. They show up sometimes on ballots but infrequently. Maybe core fans of the sub-category tend not to vote, and also that they are long series rather than serial trilogies can work against them. Jim Butcher has been affected by this, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Vaughn, Harris to a degree, and lots more. And it affected Larry Correia too, though that was not an idea that he of course accepted as a factor.

        Like

      13. I guess it is also not worth pointing out that different Target stores will have different sets of books on their shelve

        It isn’t. You can check this. I went to the Target website, and looked through Butcher’s books as an example. Every single one of them said “Not in Stores” prominently on their online store entry. The same is true of the other Puppyish authors you listed. Target says they aren’t on the shelves at their stores.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. … at this moment in time. When Butcher doesn’t have a new book out. This proves what?

        Like

      15. Again, Target is not a bookstore that keeps some old copies in inventory in stores. They rotate new releases. A newly released hardcover will be on Target shelves, if they stock it, about four to eight weeks. Where upon they will either return unsold stock to the publisher for full refunds (returns) or move them to their warehouses to sell through the online store. (And occasionally dump older books as remainder sales at cost to third parties.)

        So Butcher had a Dresden short story collection out in June. It reached #5 on the NYTimes list and high spots on other lists. It is now August and Butcher’s book isn’t going to be on the shelves at Target anymore, especially as it was a short story collection instead of a Dresden novel. They are doing August releases now. But it’s highly unlikely that they didn’t have one of the biggest names in SFF at the moment stocked on the shelves when the book was out in June. The man has sold somewhere between 4-6 million copies of his fantasy novels. That’s a lot of books by most measures. But again, Butcher is also not a Puppy. They just like him because he’s vaguely libertarian and popular.

        John Ringo, who is also technically not a Puppy but has even worse views than most Puppy leaders and is a Baen author loved by them and working with some of them, has sold at least a couple of million copies of his books. So has Eric Flint, who is not a Sad Puppy and is a lefty socialist, but is a Baen author who tries to talk sense in to them and has worked with some of them, so they make exceptions for him. Correia is farther down the list in sales, but probably has sold several hundred thousand. The leader of the Sad Puppies, he’s their most successful author by far, though I don’t know specifics on Wright’s sales figures. He has a book coming out in September and it might or might not be on the shelves at your local Target then, depending on where you live.

        Again, I don’t see the point in this. The Puppies and Puppy-loved authors do not have to be unsuccessful to have horrible ideas and have done horrible things. And Butcher really doesn’t deserve it at all (though I fully support critiquing some of his politics.) He’s been a major seller since 2004 — fourteen years ago. He has two bestselling series, even if he took a bit of a break from publishing the last couple of years. He just had a short story collection be a bestseller, because it was Dresden, which is rare. The Dresden series was also adapted into a t.v. series that lasted a couple of seasons and starred Paul Blackthorn, currently appearing on the t.v. show Arrow and a cult favorite actor of SFF fans. People cosplay as Harry Dresden at conventions all the time. If you tell most SFF fans that you don’t think Butcher is highly successful, they’re going to be puzzled.

        Airboy was just playing far right bingo. (Those who kept cards might note that he managed to squeeze in SJW and virtue signaling as he left.) He picked the big name authors as examples that the Dragons couldn’t possibly be rigged towards the Puppies. And what was funny about that was that he picked Correia, the leader of the Puppies who started the whole crap show. So that didn’t really work for him.

        Like

      16. I don’t know if you’re replying to me or Aaron, cause these long reply threads tend to get messy, but I never said that Jim Butcher isn’t a highly successful author, because he obviously is. I also tend to view him as a puppy hostage and one whose writing seriously seems to have suffered for it. Because the Dresden Files books used to come out every year, but except for the short story collection, the last one came out in 2014. Then there was The Aeronaut’s Windlass, first in what was clearly intended to be a new series, in 2015 and since then all he’s published were some short stories. The puppies first heaved Butcher onto the Hugo shortlist in 2015, where he was promptly no awarded (unfairly IMO, even though the Dresden books are not really best novel candidates, but would be ideal for best series), and since then his writing output has slowed down a lot. And besides, Jim Butcher got nominations from outside the puppy camp, though probably not enough to put him on the shortlist.

        I even accept that John Ringo and Eric Flint and Correia for that matter sell a lot of books, even though it’s difficult to tell, because they are factually invisible on this side of the pond. And unlke e.g. Lois McMaster Bujold to name another Baen author, their work is also very American and therefore less likely to have international appeal. Though some of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter books have been published in German with beautiful covers that blow Baen’s out of the water (not that it’s difficult).

        Liked by 1 person

      17. … at this moment in time. When Butcher doesn’t have a new book out. This proves what?

        None of the Puppyish authors discussed in this thread have a book on the shelves in Target stores, and there is no evidence that any of them ever have.

        Like

      18. The Puppies and Puppy-loved authors do not have to be unsuccessful to have horrible ideas and have done horrible things.

        You seem to think that saying “doesn’t sell a lot of books” means “unsuccessful”. I’m not sure how you have gotten to the point where you make that leap, but given the fact that your posts are incredibly self-absorbed and you consistently miss the point of what others are saying, I’m not surprised. My suggestion is that the next time you feel the need to write a thousand-word comment, you stop and actually pay attention to what other people have said before you start responding, because thus far, there isn’t any indication that you have done so in this exchange.

        Like

      19. Again, Target is not a bookstore that keeps some old copies in inventory in stores. They rotate new releases.

        This is, once again, counter to observed reality. For example, Riordan’s Magnus Chase: The Hammer of Thor is two years old and is listed as being available in stores. Meyer’s Heartless is also a 2016 publication and is also still listed as being in stores.

        Like

      20. Cora — I was replying to Aaron, who does not feel that Jim Butcher has sold a lot of books. I don’t think Butcher cared that much about the Hugos stuff, but the break he’s taken recently has nothing to do with the Puppies. He had some medical issues. But he’s working on both more Dresden books and the new series, apparently.

        But I can certainly talk to you. I could tell you, for instance, that Riordan’s middle grade series and the other YA series all come from children’s publishers, which are a different market that keeps titles in stock and in print longer and one where stores like Target keep full bestselling kids/YA series on hand for regular sales to parents, whereas big selling adult market authors like Laurell K. Hamilton do not have the older books in their series in the stores and are on the shelves with mostly new releases that rotate. That Stephen King, who sells the most books after J.K. Rowling, does not have older works like Bag of Bones or Duma Key on the Target shelves unless his publisher reissues them in a new edition. Whereas Rowling’s whole YA Harry Potter series is kept perennially in stock on the shelves. But that would be very self-absorbed of me, you see. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I haven’t actually been inside a Target store in 25 years now, so I really have no idea what sort of books they sell.

        Like

    7. I do think that there is a perfectly fair argument that none of Butcher, Correia, etc have sold a lot of books. This is achieved by setting the standard for “a lot of books” very high.

      If you take the position that “a lot of books” is a hundred million, then the order for the SFFH genre is something like this: Rowling, [Roberts], King, Tolkien, Lewis, [Crichton], [Meyer], Rice, Burroughs, Collins. The ones in brackets are ones that may write genre novels, but are not generally sold as such (Nora Roberts and Stephenie Meyer are sold as romance, Michael Crichton as thriller). The best numbers I can find for Terry Pratchett suggest 70-75 million copies; he’s probably the next highest of the genre.

      And yes, because book sales are a power-law distribution, Rowling’s half-billion book sales may well be more than every SFFH author not in that top ten combined.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a smaller list, a 100 million cut-off. It goes Rowling, who has the best-selling series of all time, but is not actually the best selling author of all time (Agatha Christie is.) Then there is Dean Koontz, Stephen King, R.L. Stine, Nora Roberts, Coelho and Jin Yong on the partial SFF front, James Patterson on the partial SFF front, Roald Dahl, Tolkien, Lewis, some of the manga writers, Dan Brown who is a phenom with partial SF work, the Bernsteins and Richard Scarry with children’s fantasy, Beatrix Potter also, Crichton and Clive Cussler with partial SFF work, Stephanie Meyer manages to be in there, Andrew Neiderman for partial fantasy work, Anne Rice makes the cut, Robin Cook for partial SF work, Lewis Carroll, Ian Fleming if you count him as SF, Rice Burroughs of course, and Tom Clancy for SF work. And Arthur C. Clarke made the line eventually.

        Suzanne Collins may or may not have reached the mark, depending on sources. She was a best-selling, not phenom author of The Hunger Games series, which then retroactively became a phenom seller because of the hit movie adaptations. Andre Norton may also have reached the mark. Pratchett, Jordan and Martin, who also had Song become a retro phenom seller because of the t.v. series, all may have crossed the line in sales and are at least close to it.

        Rick Riordin is further down the count, though he has still sold “successfully,” in the same territory as authors like Terry Brooks, James Herbert, fellow YA author Cassandra Clare, and Robert Heinlein. Veronica Routh got a big boost from the Divergent films so she’s next layers down with Paolini, Stephen Donaldson and Charlaine Harris. But they are a long way from 100 million.

        Like

  5. Jessica – do you make it a habit to accuse people you don’t know or converse with of sexism or religious bias? If so, you are a nasty human being. Or you could be sjw virtue signaling by making nasty accusations. Either way, it makes a poor impression.

    In the real world Jessica, I just finished the Hunter Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey (Hunter, Elite, Apex). The series even had a female protagonist! Not the greatest thing I’ve read in the last six months – but enjoyable.

    I enjoyed the information update about the Dragons. If you are knowledgeable about the categories, you can vote without coughing up the cash needed to vote in some fan awards.

    Camestros – we share movie tastes enough that I value your reviews. Please continue them.

    The rest of you, please resume your discussion of the thoughts, motives, and goals of people you neither read nor communicate with without me.

    Like

    1. Can’t take what you dish out, airboy? Feeling triggered and need your safe space? Not a very good look for you.
      Oh, and there’s that insulting other people to make yourself feel better once again. Better go get treatment got that, before it festers. Bye bye now; we won’t miss you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so tiresome when people project things onto others, then get insulting when it’s pointed out how badly they’re projecting, and all they can do is go “Nuh-UH!” and flounce off to their safe space, proclaiming victory. Your average well-adjusted human being outgrows that after getting through the dreaded teenage years — some people outgrow that in single digits when they hear Aesop’s fable about the fox and the grapes.

        Sad!

        Like

    2. The rest of you, please resume your discussion of the thoughts, motives, and goals of people you neither read nor communicate with without me.

      Well, gee, Air, thanks for your condescending grant of permission.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure Cam’s really excited about getting permission to continue to write movie reviews on his own blog, too. I bet he was all set to quit till that happened.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Airboy: While I support your desire to defend the Dragon Awards, I’m concerned about your approach; it’s better to celebrate the virtues of the Dragon Awards over the stodgy Hugos (it took decades for the Hugos to award the work of Muslims and female movie directors – the Dragon Awards did that in its first years (and also has given awards to leading Hispanic authors like Ty Franck)), than to obsessively respond to complaints that the Dragon awards aren’t publicized enough (and surely we all want more people to know about the Dragon awards!). You don’t want to look like someone who just posts to other people’s blogs to whine that people are being unfair, I’m sure.

      Like

    4. Let’s see…for a $50 Worldcon supporting membership this year, I got 30 novels, 7 novellas, 5 graphic novels, and more. Quite a bargain for a lot of excellent stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Laura: That was just the new stuff. You also got some classic SF from the Retro Hugos. (I’d forgotten how good “Nerves” was; still holds up even with tech changes.)

        30 novels and 5 graphic novels, even if we go with the low end of paperback/digital prices, I make those worth about $300, throw in another $20-30 for the novellas, and wait there’s more! with novelettes and sort stories!

        That is quite the return on investment. You’d pay more just for the novels in hardcover, even at deep discount.

        The Dragons are free, and you get what you paid for.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, you’re right! I completely forgot about the retro stuff. So definitely not a lot to “cough up” when you look at it that way.

        Like

      3. Additionally, you can find most of the likely Hugo finalists (in time to nominate) either online free, or through your public library (ILL if need be)*. Not so much the Dragons.

        And you don’t get video game systems free anywhere, or the tabletop/card/miniature games. If I want to nominate or even vote in those categories, I’ve got to cough up for a bunch of games and find several friends to gather ’round the table to play, or I’ve got to cough up for an Xbox or Playstation, plus buy or pay to rent a lot of games and spend many, many hours going pew pew. Which isn’t financially feasible for many people, or physically feasible for a lot more. I hear a good game can take 60 hours of play if you know what you’re doing. In 60 hours, I could see all the movies and TV shows, plus read a chunk of the written material. Even mediocre ones will take 20 hours; again, all the movies and TV nominees for little to no money, without pirating.

        So while the Dragons have no cost except wrestling with the wonky voting process (you might get no ballots! you might get four ballots!), the cost in money and time to actually participate properly in something that calls itself “Best” is astronomical.

        And then you’ve no guarantee that anything you did is going to count, since the anonymous administrators have the right to add, subtract, move, or generally mess with votes and categories, and no one ever gets to see any of the data.

        Compare to the Hugos, with one vote per person, the administrators are always named, they’re not allowed to tweak the results, and the voting data on all categories is released at the same time as the awards. As you walk out of the ceremony, people are handing you literally hot off the presses paper with all the statistics, and someone (probably named Standlee) is putting it on the internet. Meanwhile, everyone at home has seen it live-streamed, live-texted (see above paren), or Tweeted.

        If they called their awards “Favorite”, it would be a LOT more honest. Because people only have time and knowledge to vote for their Favorites, not the Best. The trophies would be just as shiny and impressive.**

        They could be just as respected as the People’s Choice Awards, another very pretty award that has randomly-changing categories, completely opaque balloting, but maybe? more people voting.

        *You’re on your own for the TV shows, I guess, but almost all the movies come out on disc in time for nomination. And some of the TV shows can be streamed free.

        ** It’s also a lot easier to engrave “Favorite” on them than “Most Freeped, Back-Scratched, Arm-Twisted, Tweeted, Maybe Bribed, Definitely Data-Massaged”.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yup, for the 2018 ballot, it was pretty easy for me to get ahold of almost all of the few things that weren’t in the packet. I already had some books myself (mostly ebooks bought on sale). I got other books from the library (they have free state-wide ILL!). I was able to stream the TV and movies I hadn’t already seen (past years I’ve borrowed DVDs from the library too). The one exception was the Harlan Ellison bio which had a large enough excerpt in the packet that I was fine ranking it based on that.

        Totally agree that the Dragons would be better described as “Favorite” instead of “Best”. Obviously, no award can truly be absolute best, but the Hugos at least make a concerted effort to find what WSFS members generally agree is best.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. TV can sometimes be a problem, if you’re outside the US, because shows are not necessarily available where you live and DVD releases can be delayed. For example, last year I had problems getting hold of Stranger Things (Netflix only, no DVD reease) and The Expanse (DVD didn’t come out in Germany until November 2017).

        Like

    1. Also in the long comment chains, posts seem to be getting eaten by the void crabs. I’m seeing replies but not the original on this one and one from last week.

      Leave well enough alone, Kat; at least your post is there!

      Like

Comments are closed.