Dragon Award 2019 Nominations

Sneaky dragons posted while I was sleeping… A day late but here they are. Very mainstream with no indies in the two headline categories. I haven’t totalled the numbers re: gender but it looks like more women than previously. I’m not seeing LMBNP’s Scorpion’s Fury by CH Gideon (aka Craig Martelle) which I thought was the most probable nominee from them. Not seeing John Ringo, Chuck Gannon or Eric Flint from Baen only bigger guns.

Given the much lower levels of campaigning I guess the results make sense but I stll would have expected to see more indie works in the down ballot categories. Only MilSF looks like previous years of the Dragon Awards in terms of the types of authors nominated.

A more organic vote or a bid for respectability? I’m not seeing a break-out group this year (like Inkshares was previously). Is it me or is it a lot British in places? Chris Kennedy’s indie group got three four finalists, which is the only strong showing for a non-trad group.

Best Science Fiction Novel – I’ve added publishers (first publisher I see on Amazon, so might be misleading in some cases). Europe at Dawn is an interesting nominee – it’s a series that I’ve seen a fair bit of critical acclaim but not much promotion.
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine – Tor
A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R. Torgersen – Baen
Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson – Solaris
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers -Hodder & Stoughton
Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson – Orbit
Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey – Hachette

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal) – Same as above. ‘Deep Roots’ is possibly the least famous of the list.
Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys – Tor
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – Crown
House of Assassins by Larry Correia – Baen
Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch – Gollancz
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – Del Rey
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie – Orbit

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel – Not really familiar with any of these.
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Armageddon Girls by Aaron Michael Ritchey
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
Imposters by Scott Westerfeld
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
The King’s Regret by Philip Ligon
The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel – Phew! At last a category that looks like the Dragon Awards!
A Pale Dawn by Chris Kennedy, Mark Wandrey <- Kennedy
Order of the Centurion by Jason Anspach, Nick Cole
Marine by Joshua Dalzelle
Sons of the Lion by Jason Cordova <- Kennedy
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
Uncompromising Honor by David Weber

Best Alternate History Novel – OK, this is the category which is so mainstream it is weird. By which I mean, this is a down ballot, more obscure category. Ian McEwan? I’d be surprised to see McEwan be a Hugo finalist never mind a Dragon Award finalist
Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling – Ace
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan – Random House
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal – Tor
The Iron Codex by David Mack – Tor
The World Asunder by Kacey Ezell – Theogony Books, the only indie? <- Kennedy
Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar – Tachyon

Best Media Tie-In Novel
Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove, Nancy Holder – Firefly tie-in
Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher – Stranger Things tie-in
Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray – Star Wars tie-in
The Replicant War by Chris Kennedy – LitRPG? Is this a tie-in? <- Kennedy
The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack – Star Trek Discovery tie in
Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn – Star Wars tie-in

Best Horror Novel Not a genre I’m across.
Cardinal Black by Robert McCammon
Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Riddance by Shelley Jackson
We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
Zombie Airman by David Guenther
100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent, Nicholas Kaufmann

Best Comic Book
Batman by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel
Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart
Mister Miracle by Tom King, Tony Daniel
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man by Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
The Batman Who Laughs by Scott Snyder, Mark Simpson

Best Graphic Novel
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Hey, Kiddo by Jarret J. Krosoczka
I Am Young by M. Dean
Monstress Vol. 3 by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis by Ed Piskor

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series Nothing odd here.
Game of Thrones, HBO
Good Omens, Amazon Prime
Lucifer, Netflix
The Orville, Fox
The Umbrella Academy, Netflix
Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie – All superhero flicks.
Alita: Battle Angel by Robert Rodriguez
Aquaman by James Wan
Avengers: Endgame by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Captain Marvel by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Spider-Man: Far From Home by Jon Watts – Only just eligible
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

I’m skipping the game categories.


37 responses to “Dragon Award 2019 Nominations”

  1. I think that’s getting pretty close to what you’d expect from a constituency of DC attendees. Still some self-promoting types in there – I’m very amused by the appearance of The Light Brigade in the self-promotion bastion of MillSF, although I’m not sure Hurley will be at all amused.

    On self-promotion, although I suggested over at F770 that Brad and Larry had promoted themselves onto the ballot, thinking about it it’s perfectly feasible that as DC has a constituency of Baen fans and they’re both familiar figures there, it’s possible for it to just be an organic result. Larry having promoted it to his fans in the past probably doesn’t hurt, mind you.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve counted three works as self-published this year:
        -Armageddon Girls by Aaron Michael Ritchey
        -Marine by Joshua Dalzelle
        -Zombie Airman by David Guenther

        And congratulations 🙂


  2. Jason Lutes’ Berlin is fantastic and I highly recommend it. It has no science fictional or fantastic material, unless something drastically changes from the first volume of the comic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just amazed that Uncompromising Honor got voted in. When it first came out it got really crappy reviews even on Baen’s own web site. People were dropping 1 and 2 star reviews like nobody’s business over there. Oh, well. I guess statistics aught up with them. You get enough fanboys praising every laundry list of new tech and evil bureaucrats he produces, and sooner or later they’ll overwhelm any opposition.


  4. I’ll post the same comment I posted at File 770.

    Cora Buhlert: In general, it’s a good ballot. The self-promoters managed to hold Best Military SF and usually get one token finalist in every category.

    Yes, it looks to me as if it’s a carefully-curated ballot. For the novel categories, 2 or 3 of the novels from the Most Popular lists (hence the MacEwan), 1 or 2 novels by Puppy authors, and 1 or 2 novels by self-published authors; any fan group which managed a significant showing in the nomination submissions got at least one finalist. It’s an attempt to appeal to as wide a constituency of fans as possible.

    I once attended a retreat for an organization with which I was involved, where one of the exercises was taking an abbreviated version of the MMPI. The way it was scored was by rubbing the chosen item number on the answer sheet with a coin, revealing the “classes” of the choices, which were identified by symbols such as a star, a circle, a square, etc. I noticed while I was taking the test that if you tilted your answer sheet against the light, you could see the faint outline of the shape associated with each possible choice without actually rubbing it first. But I went ahead and answered exactly as corresponded with my real-life responses — because when you cheat on something like that, the only person you’re cheating is yourself.

    One of the team members was someone for whom I held little respect; they were what I would call a self-promoter, bullshitter, and person of little conscience and fewer scruples. During the evaluation of the test results, their result ended up having exactly the same number of choices in each of the categories, equally spread across each “class” — in other words, a completely-balanced personality (which does not happen in nature). They were quite shocked and alarmed when their assessment, rather than being a personality profile such as the rest of us got, was “your life is likely in flux right now, and thus an accurate assessment is not possible; try re-taking the test a few months from now”. Which is to say, the test called “bullshit” on their responses.

    That’s exactly what this Dragon Awards ballot reminds me of.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] The best thing about the Dragon Awards, an SFF prize given out by DragonCon, a big convention in Atlanta, is that the finalist announcement enlivens the dead period between the close of the Hugo nominations and the start of WorldCon. And even though this year’s announcement is a day and a half late, the Dragons did not disappoint once again. The full list of finalists is here or, in less eye-searing design, here at File 770. Camestros Felapton also has some commentary here. […]


  6. As i posted at F770, Deep Roots is a really good book and deserving of recognition – and definitely not a book that fits the puppy archetype (biggest theme of the series is using the Lovecraft mythos to tell a tale of fighting against discrimination, with the main character being a Deep One whose family was wiped out in internment camps – not to mention the multiple nonwhite and non-straight characters in the cast).

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it’s a sequel. Ummmm, I can’t think of the name of book 1 right now. It’s sort of Lovecraftian UF. Good stuff about being put in a camp along with Japanese-americans in WWII. Overall pretty good, not perfect. I’ll probably read this installment eventually, but I’m not rushing to get it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, the first book was “Winter Tide,” which should be read first. (Tor gave it away for free a year or so back as part of their book club, which is how I found the series)


  7. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel – Phew! At last a category that looks like the Dragon Awards!

    Except for Kameron Hurley and her gurrrrrlllll cooties.

    Seriously, The Light Brigade breaking through here bodes well (or at least I hope so) for its inclusion on other award ballots. I know it’s going on my Hugo noms.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. US publishers:
    Becky Chambers: Harper Voyager, Ben Aaronovitch: DAW, James S.A. Corey: Orbit

    What’s the difference between comic book and graphic novel? Or why is Saga with comics and X-men with GNs?

    Liked by 2 people

    • In American, ‘comic book’ means comic magazine. This is presumably a survival from the days when ‘book’ was more widely used to mean magazine. The term ‘graphic novel’ was foregrounded precisely because ‘comic book’ was already taken, so could not be used for actual books,/i> with comic content.


      • Since no issues are mentioned, I’m guessing entire series for the “Comic Book” category. Or maybe just the run during the eligibility period. And then specific collected editions, or ones where there weren’t single issues to begin with, for “Graphic Novel.” I’m too lazy to try to track down the Dragon Awards actual category descriptions. 😛


  9. Received my ballot so I might actually vote. One year getting a ballot took several tries. Now I continue to get them each year without asking again. Don’t think I voted last year.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was thinking of Ruthanna Emrys- wasn’t one of her books just below the cut, and pushed down by the Puppy votes? Or am I remembering wrong?

        In any case, I’m very interested to see how these awards develop over time. I am expecting them to diverge further and further from Puppy orthodoxy as they stabilize, revealing once again that the lack of awards for Puppy favorites was not because of a conspiracy, but because their tastes just don’t reflect the majority anymore.

        I guess we’ll see in time.


        • Could be, there’s probably more than one author penalised by the pups whose been nominated for a Dragon. If they had any cognitive consistency then the number of authors and works they’ve dismissed as badly written that have been Dragon finalist should have already caused them some confusion.

          Liked by 2 people

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