The nomination period for Dragon-Con’s unhelpfully named* Dragon Awards is fast approaching. In previous years I tried to track who had been promoting themselves for an award and who had been promoting others. I didn’t this year for various reasons but one reason was that I was just not seeing much activity. The most positive development was the cuddly Red Panda Fraction starting their own version of the spreadsheet of doom. Otherwise, Declan Finn is still plugging away at the idea. Vox Day appears to have lost interest and Larry Correia has occasionally reminded his readers to nominate. I don’t think 20booksto50 or LMBPN have been promoting interest in the dragons much either**.
Of course, I may well have missed stuff. Each year some eco-system of greater fandom has taken an interest in the Dragons and popped up some interesting nominees.
Perhaps this will be a year of actually organic nominees? As always the opaqueness of the process makes it difficult to tell. A wide voting base with disparate tastes will probably have a many choices with just a few votes each and an expansion of the number of voters might primarily increase the range of works nominated rather than increase the number of nominations a work gets. As we’ll never see the numbers, there’s no way of telling.
Dragon Award eligibility period makes life difficult to pick out what trad-pub books fit the criteria. However, given that the nomination page wasn’t properly available until February this year, I suspect that a casual voter not using Red Panda’s spreadsheet is more likely to nominate works published in 2019. Barnes and Noble blog has a ‘Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2019…So Far‘ feature that has some possible contenders. However, given the Dragon Award’s past record, the finalists are likely to be more male dominated than that list.
What else? My ongoing assumption has been that the Dragon Awards were established as a conciliation prize for Baen books. So, I won’t be surprised to see John Ringo, Chuck Gannon or Eric Flint appear. Sarah Hoyt’s take on Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter universe is sort-of published (not available on Amazon yet but Baen published an eArc).
Beyond Baen, Orson Scott Card has had a new series out with a co-author in yet another spin-off from Ender’s Game. I think that sounds very Dragon-awardy but it is published by Tor so I’m not sure of what the Venn diagram of award-voting fans would look like there (that’s assuming that a work needs to get any votes to be a finalist…)
I’ll be back on this when the finalists are announced.
*[Bane of doing any kind of chatter on the web about the dragon awards is all the many awards in the world called ‘the dragon awards’.]
**[ETA In my last update I mentioned Craig Martelle has asked for nominations and based on previous years I would imagine he’d be a strong contender (specifically Scorpion’s Fury by CH Gideon which is his pen name)]