On July 25 or thereabouts, I’ll publish a list of works I’ve seen people put forward as Dragon Award nominees. The main sources are here: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/trawling-for-dragon-links/
I’ve picked up a few others since but these are mainly a single author on Facebook or other social media waving vaugely at the awards and their books. In some cases the author didn’t mention the categories they suggest being nominated for – which could make a big difference depending on how the people running things handle votes splite across categories.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Awards really do owe Declan Finn some comission or at least a MVP award. While scrappy interest in the Dragons has been high, I think only Finn has posted multiple discussions of possible nominees that include a variety of suggestions (i.e. not just a single slate).
His latest list is here http://www.declanfinn.com/2017/07/the-flight-of-dragon-awards.html
I’ll add that to the pot.
I don’t think it is possible to predict what will be nominated as finalists for the Dragon Awards. There are far too many unknown elements not least of which are:
- We don’t know how many people nominated last time.
- The number of finalists per category isn’t fixed – last year it was 6 to 8 per category.
- The press release describes the finalist process as “The best and most popular of the nominated properties in each category will then be offered for a second and final vote” suggesting lee-way by the organisers in what gets nominated (as it isn’t just ‘most popular’).
- The ‘rules’ have vanished – which is weird as every one who votes has to agree to abide by the rules which are now a link that just goes to Dragon Con…*
- More seriously there is no way to know what kind of ‘organic’ non-campaign related vote there will be, who might be that kind of voter or what they will vote for…
- The nominating system is easily gameable.
However, I’ve got a good idea now as to who has campiagned for what in public. I’m collating that information and also giving a ‘power’ value to nomination. In particular we know that the Rabid puppies can mobilise significant numbers. From Sad Puppies 4, we’ve also got some idea of how many people will vote for at least one of the Scrappy Doos.
So from that collated list I think I can create a ‘what to watch for’ list. I won’t publish that until nominations have closed of course. The point of the list is a way of seeing how much of an organic vote (or intervention by the organisers) there was. If the lower ranked projections make it that will suggest it was easy to get on the ballot, but if none of the Rabids are on the ballot that would suggest a very high organic vote. More generally, the closer the ballot is to the projections the more campaigning was worthwhile as a tactic to get nominated for the Dragon Awards in 2017.
I’ve also got some other empirical things to try out.
*[You can read the old rules here http://web.archive.org/web/20160409041231/http://application.dragoncon.org/dragon_awards_terms_conditions.php ]
There are 20+ days left before the Dragon Awards close for nominations. To recap on the story so far: the Dragon Awards were set up last year in association with the massive commercial pop-culture convention Dragon Con. With multiple sub-genre categories and open voting, they were hailed by many on the hard right of science fiction as an alternative to the Hugo Awards. The final winners had many puppy-aligned books.
Zipping forward to the present. The falling out between various individuals aligned with the Puppy movements over the lack of a “Sad Puppies 5” has led to a specific focus on the failure to produce a list for the Dragon Awards. The question has arisen whether it is even worth bothering to campaign for the Dragon Awards because they will be so big that only the most popular of authors stand a chance.
However, this is an argument singularly lacking in data. No totals were ever released about how many people voted in the Dragon Awards and there is no way of knowing how many people will vote this time. The award is promoted at the Dragon Con site but whether that will translate into many of the attendees participating in the nominations is another question.
Of course, it is the nomination process that will shape the final vote. Fans may be keen to vote in competition pitting their favourite authors against each other but if the nominations are books most fans haven’t heard of…well, that will generate less enthusiasm.
So with little else to go on, I did some directed Google searches. By ‘directed’ I mean picking search terms and time frames and selecting links that fit criteria. The searches included a general search on “Dragon Award”, a search on “nominate me for a Dragon Award” and a search on “vote Dragon Award”. In each case the date range was kept from 1 January 2017 (to avoid last years Dragons) to June 30 (or July 1 or 2 depending on the day I searched). Only links promoting the Awards directly were picked – more general discussion was avoided*, other awards called ‘Dragon’ were avoided (of which there are many)**, and 2016 posts that appeared erroneously were avoided. Posts that appeared in multiple search terms are only included once for the first appearance. Posts from Dragon Con or the Dragon Award sites were not included.
The full list is after the fold. I haven’t tabulated the books recommended or done any other aggregation of the data yet – this is more so that I can do that at a later point. However, the list is mainly centred around Vox Day, Declan Finn and Jon Del Arroz’s various campaigns or related people. What I can’t capture is general, organic nominations from people who just know about the award. However, I hope this list can help us compare the impact of campiagning for the Dragon versus the more organic vote by comparing who gets nominated later in the year.
I may have missed posts obviously, but I got the impression from some 2016 hits that crept in of several places that seemed to have stuff about the 2016 awards but not the 2017 awards. That may imply a decline in interest – or it may not.