Dragon Award Finalists: A Preemptive ‘No Award’ for Rabid Puppies?

Very interesting. Bad news for the more obvious slates and bad news specifically for the Rabid Puppies who appear to have reached the final inevitable stage of hydrophobia as a campaign. Some obviously popular stuff but also some relatively obscure works and authors.

There are some odd results. Chris Kennedy is the most interesting person on this list. Four hits and two misses in total for works he promoted. The hits include two in the headline categories of Best Science Fiction (as an author) and one in Best Fantasy.

My crystal ball not only didn’t do a good job of predicting finalists it also got whole categories wrong in strange places. Notably:

  • Michael Anderle, Craig Martelle – Nomad’s Galaxy, didn’t get a nod in Best SF but a different book by the same authors did in Best MilSF (which is a very crowded category for the Dragons). I assume I missed a post where they promoted that one?
  • Robert Kroese’s Vikings with a spaceship story Dream Of The Iron Dragon got a fair bit of promotion for Best SF but is actually a finalist in Best Alternate History. I assume the admins rejig votes across categories which would be the fair thing to do but as always, it’s not clear if that is done or no. With lots of works being arguably eligible in multiple categories it would also create some dilemmas for admins.

In books/comics, the only work on the Rabid Puppies slate to get a nod is Before the Storm by Christie Golden, which isn’t associated with VD or Castalia in any way. Likewise, Happy Frogs was a complete bust in books and comics. I can see two basic hypotheses:

  • Neither slate had enough votes. Not implausible but it isn’t like all the categories are only full of hyper-popular stuff.
  • Votes were disallowed. Not implausible but I’d have thought somebody would have raised a stink if they suspected that.

Who knows? Aside from the admins, nobody.

I’m really surprised that Nick Cole and Jason Anspach’s Galaxy’s Edge series didn’t get a nod somewhere. The books have had a lot of hype in the wider Puppysphere and have cross-factional love amid rightwing SF circles, as well as an active fanbase. Possibly, voters were unclear about which volume was eligible?

Who declined a nomination? One pseudonymous person has said they did. Larry Correia may have or maybe his fans knew that he would decline so voted for other things. Others, presumably did but who knows?

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Gareth Worthington and Stu Jones
  • Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
  • The Mutineer’s Daughter by Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays: Projected Chris Kennedy
  • Win by Vera Nazarian
  • Sins of Her Father by Mike Kupari: Semi-projected [Late promotion] Larry Correia
  • Artemis by Andy Weir

Not finalists:

  • John C. Wright – Superluminary: The Lords of Creation NOT A FINALIST  Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Robert Kroese – Dream Of The Iron Dragon [DIFFERENT CATEGORY] [see below]
  • Richard Fox, Josh Hayes – Terra Nova NOT A FINALIST Josh Hayes, Richard Fox
  • Kal Spriggs – Prisoner of the Mind NOT A FINALIST Kal Spriggs
  • Michael Anderle, Craig Martelle – Nomad’s Galaxy NOT A FINALIST  Craig Martelle (Price of Freedom by same authors is a finalist in Best MilSF)

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta
  • War Hammer by Shayne Silvers: Projected Shayne Silvers Den of Freaks’ fan group
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Land: Predators by Aleron Kong
  • The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
  • A Tempered Warrior by Jon R. Osborne: Projected Chris Kennedy

Not finalists

  • John C. Wright – Tithe to Tartarus NOT A FINALIST  Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Lindsay Buroker – Dragon Storm NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs
  • Russell Newquist – War Demons NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs
  • Larry Correia – Monster Hunter Siege NOT A FINALIST  Kal Spriggs
  • Max Floschutz – Shadow of an Empire NOT A FINALIST  Max Floschutz
  • Christy Nicholas – Call Of The Morrigú NOT A FINALIST  Christy Jackson Nicholas
  • L. James Rice – Eve of Snows (Sundering the Gods Book 1) NOT A FINALIST  L. James Rice
  • Rob Hobart – The Sword of Amatsu (Empire of the Sun and Moon Book 1) NOT A FINALIST Rob Hobart

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Cold Bath Street by A.J. Hartley
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • When Tinker Met Bell by Alethea Kontis
  • Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Not finalists

  • Rod Walker – Young Man’s War NOT A FINALIST Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Keira Drake – The Continent NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs
  • L.Jagi Lamplighter – The Awful Truth About Forgetting NOT A FINALIST Declan Finn
  • Jason Cordova – Devastator NOT A FINALIST Chris Kennedy
  • Kal Spriggs – Valor’s Calling NOT A FINALIST Kal Spriggs
  • Kal Spriggs – Valor’s Duty NOT A FINALIST Kal Spriggs

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Communications Failure by Joe Zieja
  • Points of Impact by Marko Kloos
  • Ghost Marines: Integration by Jonathan P. Brazee
  • Price of Freedom by Craig Martelle and Michael Anderle [Not projected but a different novel by the same authors was]
  • Legend by Christopher Woods
  • A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope

Not finalists

  • G.D. Stark – Wardogs Inc. #1 Battlesuit Bastards NOT A FINALIST Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy – A Fiery Sunset NOT A FINALIST Chris Kennedy
  • Nick Cole, Jason Anspach – Galactic Outlaws (Galaxy’s Edge Book 2) NOT A FINALIST Galaxy’s Edge Fan Club
  • Daniel Humphrey – A Place Called Hope NOT A FINALIST Daniel Humphrey/Declan Finn
  • Richard Fox – The Ibarra Sanction NOT A FINALIST Josh Hayes/Richard Fox
  • Jon Del Arroz – The Stars Entwined NOT A FINALIST  Declan Finn
  • Kal Spriggs – Ghost Star NOT A FINALIST  Kal Spriggs
  • Nick Cole, Jason Anspach – Legionnaire (Galaxy’s Edge) [possibly not eligible] NOT A FINALIST Benjamin Cheah Kai Wai
  • Peter Grant – An Airless Storm NOT A FINALIST Peter Grant
  • Christopher Woods – Legend (Four Horsemen Tales Book 1)
    NOT A FINALIST Chris Woods

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Dark State by Charles Stross
  • The Sea Peoples by S.M. Stirling
  • Witchy Winter by D.J. Butler
  • Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt Projected High Mad Genius, Kal Spriggs
  • Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese [Projected in the wrong category] Happy Frogs, Declan Finn
  • Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell Projected Chris Kennedy

Not finalists

  • Kai Wai Cheah – Hammer of the Witches NOT A FINALIST Very High Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Hans Schantz – A Rambling Wreck NOT A FINALIST Medium Happy Frogs, Declan Finn

Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
  • Before the Storm by Christie Golden: Projected Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
  • Fear Itself by James Swallow
  • Legacy of Onyx by Matt Forbeck
  • Desperate Hours by David Mack

Not a finalist

  • Seanan McGuire – Deadlands: Boneyard NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs (trolling by JDA I assume)

Best Horror Novel

  • Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • A Time to Run by Mark Wandrey Projected Chris Kennedy
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
  • Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry

Not finalists

  • Nate Crowley – The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack NOT A FINALIST  Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Russell Newquist – War Demons NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs/Declan Finn/Benjamin Cheah Kai Wai
  • Declan Finn – Good to the last drop NOT A FINALISTDeclan Finn/Benjamin Cheah Kai Wai

Best Comic Book

  • Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren
  • Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe
  • Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles D. Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Not finalists

  • Alt-Hero #2 Rebel’s Cell – Alt-Hero Arkhaven Comics NOT A FINALIST Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Mark Pellegrini/Timothy Lim/Brett R. Smith – My Hero MAGAdemia #1 NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs
  • Kōhei Horikoshi – My Hero Academia Vol. 13 (English translation) NOT A FINALIST Benjamin Cheah Kai Wai
  • Jonathan David Baird – Dark Maiden NOT A FINALIST Very Low Jonathan David Baird

Best Graphic Novel

  • Chicago Typewriter: The Red Ribbon by Brandon Fiadino
  • Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson
  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
  • Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu
  • Vision (The Vision) by Tom King
  • Paper Girls Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang

Not finalists

  • Gary Kwapisz – Rebel Dead Revenge Dark Legion Comics NOT A FINALIST  Vox Day/Rabid Puppies
  • Matt Kindt/Tyler Jenkins – Grass Kings Vol 1 NOT A FINALIST Happy Frogs

32 thoughts on “Dragon Award Finalists: A Preemptive ‘No Award’ for Rabid Puppies?

  1. So this tells us that the puppies shouldn’t be worried about their apocryphal “SJWs” and more worried about Noah Ward. in every contest they infest, good old Noah sweeps the categories and blocks them out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And just the other day, Vox made a deal with Alex Jones to sell ‘Alt-Hero’ at the Infowars Online store. The guy’s on a real losing streak…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder how he’ll spin these latest losses into victories in that N-dimensional chess game only he is playing.

        But I’m not curious enough to go over to his blog and check.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When last I checked, he was ranting on QAnon, Alt-Hero and Voxopedia, (which once again, is back on after what looks like a five day outage) and ignoring that he’d ever declared the Dragons a big deal. So, I’ll bet he sticks to “distract the rubes” for now.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wait — is he for QAnon or against them? (I know I could just go there and find out, but ugh.)


      4. The last I saw Vox’ toadies were denying that lack of market-share or sales outlets actually meant anything.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael Anderle runs the 20 Books to 50K Facebook group for market-focussed indie writers. It’s a huge, but private group and a lot of the Kindle Unlimited writing factories have their origin there. So it’s quite possible that Anderle campaigned in that group or that he used his mailing list.


      1. She is unlikely to win as she is deeply hated as one of the people supposedly ruining Star Wars if you’re on the right, but she’s a sweetie. It does indicate that authors who have been harassed by Puppies, alt righters, etc. may be more willing now to see how the Dragons go. Certainly the media tie-in authors, the new category, have mostly had to deal less directly with the Puppies themselves and are probably less concerned about the awards in that regard.

        It’s a really interesting nomination list. It looks like groups of self-published authors from Amazon, some Puppy-affiliated, some maybe not, organized their people and shifted things their way and that, as Andrew notes, the organizers let them. That’s probably fine with DragonCon admin at the moment. And it does seem to confirm that Beale has mostly turned his attention away from books towards bigger pastures in the rightosphere. Marko Kloos seems to have escaped puppy wrath, which is nice.

        There is a good smattering of publisher stuff as well. The YA category seems to have fully broken free of restraints. We don’t know who turned down nominations and it remains unlikely that they will tell us that info, but it probably wasn’t that many this year. But it would be nice data for Camestros. So the nominee list indicates that the award is still evolving but not doing so on rocket fuel. Whether it becomes an indie-centric award long term is up in the air. So for me, the Dragons will probably be of more interest down the road, especially if it gets new organizers, though it’s worth checking out a few of the self-pubs I hadn’t already heard of.

        It is kind of interesting — the Puppies initially set out to argue that the Hugos had been corrupted by super liberal, unpopular, academic and poor selling authors, irrespective of actual facts, that they claimed had rigged the voting in their favor and had diminished the Hugos’ prestige and value as promotion. The Puppies were working, they said, to restore the awards to cover the popular, (conservative,) best-selling authors over the less popular SJW message fiction, etc. Then as things went and into the Dragons, they shifted it to be about promoting and giving an awards shot to self-published novelists, not necessarily the big popular ones, on the claim that the Hugos were focused on big publisher offerings, i.e. bestselling, popular works and authors instead of indie upstarts that weren’t well known. (Never mind that the Hugo Awards for short fiction didn’t fit this picture either.) So they achieved that second, opposite goal, but not necessarily for Puppy authors as much now.

        Which means year four, if there is one, could be interesting too. And the big question — with three years of haphazard awards under their belt, will DragonCon finally promote the Dragon Awards to the convention or nay next year?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like I said in my comment at the other Dragon Awards post, the puppies have been pwned by the various Kindle Unlimited writing factories and/or extremely prolific authors.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. The sense I got is that this year’s list is less mainstream than last year’s, which probably means less intervention by the organisers. (That there is some intervention is implied by the different numbers of finalists in different categories.) So i am guessing that the RP and HF nominees were indeed fairly beaten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course it’s also possible that several mainstream finalists declines their nominations. What is more, the various Kindle Unlimited writing factories are very good at drumming up support from fans, fellow authors, etc…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. How’d they manage a list without one book I’d already read? I’d have sworn that was statistically impossible. I like Stross, didn’t read Dark State. I did read Boneyard, but it’s not a finalist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. More oddness — I just tried to sign up for voting and it says my email was registered in Aug. 2017… which it was so why didn’t they email me this year? So I must type the magic number in and then they will sign me up, again?

    Nope. Have typed in the magic number several times and it keeps telling me to repeat.

    The competence level remains low as ever.


      1. I tried filling in the magic number 4 times, got no response on the web page, but they sent me one email with a link to the voting. So I voted once (Not in any of the gaming categories).

        This is no way to run an award. Good thing they have that “administrators have the final say” boilerplate, b/c their software is too crappy to run an even semi-honest vote.


      2. It didn’t even ask me the magic number. I just clicked on the link in the e-mail and voted. I spread my votes around in categories like film and TV or comics, which had several good choices, and left the gaming categories blank except for boardgame, where I voted for Azul. It’s not SFF, but the developers are from my hometown and besides, they just won “Spiel des Jahres”, which is one of the most prestigious awards a boardgame can win, so it’s obviously quality.


      3. I played Planescape: Torment back in the early 2000s so I voted for that on the grounds that I know it’s a quality game, even if it is old enough now to buy itself a beer.

        Liked by 1 person

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