If you are a regular follower of my blog you’ve heard about the Dragon Awards. They started last year and I like to think I was one of the earlier supporters of it.
What drew me to the Dragons was the fact that, unlike two other “major” sci-fi/fantasy awards, voting was wide open to anyone who is a fan of science fiction and fantasy in every facet of literature, cinema and gaming. Literally everyone on Planet Earth, all seven billion or so of us, if so inclined could nominate our favorites and then cast a vote from among the finalists.
This is not the case for the Nebulas, where nominating and voting is limited to the less than 2,000 total members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. By the way, not every sci-fi/fantasy writer can join this organization even if they have earned real money as a sci-fi/fantasy writer, how’s that for an extremely exclusive and limited club. Nor is it the case for the Hugos, limited to the less than 9,000 people who paid, that’s right they bought their way into, nominating and voting for their award.
There is no way you can tell me that a total of 11,000 people represent an accurate portrayal of what the entire world of sci-fi/fantasy fans like. But the Dragons, open to everyone across the planet, certainly does. And they do so without the political intrigue that has infested both the Nebulas and Hugos over the past decade.
You’ve no doubt heard about the Justice Warriors/Rabid Puppies/Sad Puppies kerfuffle that sprung up between 2013 and 2016. I myself hadn’t until late 2015 and found the actions and conduct of the Justice Warriors (who had overrun both the Nebulas and Hugos) and the Rabids (who vowed to burn down everyone’s house to make their point) disgusting. I gravitated toward the Sad Puppies because they seemed to be the reasonable group that just wanted to make sure the playing field was level for everyone.
Needless to say, it didn’t end well.
Then came the Dragons, with open voting and no need for the political BS that had ruined the legacy of the other two awards. When nominations opened for the first year, I threw all of my support behind the Dragons, even though I had nothing that was eligible. I continued to support the Dragons when the finalists were released and have done so again in this, the second year.
This year, I was fortunate enough to have a novel eligible to be nominated for a Dragon and very fortunate to have enough people nominate it so that it is a Dragon Award finalist for Best Sci-Fi Novel.
So yes, I am promoting the awards as much as I can here on my blog and across all of my social media. I’ve even promoted it during several on-air radio show appearances, and not just for my category, but for all of them.
I will continue to fully support the Dragons for every year they exist, whether I have something eligible or not. Why?
Because the Dragon Awards represent, to me at least, the best Con in the world. (San Diego, I feel, has higher attendance only because a lot of Hollywood types from A to Z listers show up just to be seen.) It is attended by over 70,000 fans who, like myself, live, breathe and eat sci-fi and fantasy and have done so all of their lives.
I will continue to support the Dragon Awards because I feel they are the only award that truly represents lifelong sci-fi/fantasy fans like myself, whether or not I ever have another work eligible to be nominated. I believe this award is the best and will do all I can to help it remain that way.
I will continue to support the Dragons because I feel they have no intention to ever allow groups like the Justice Warriors or Rabid to turn their award into a political statement, nor will they allow the voting system to be gamed by any group, ever.
I thank every single person who nominated me and who will vote for me. I also thank every single person who takes the time to vote, no matter who they vote for, for doing their part in making the Dragon Awards the premier award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy fandom.
And I congratulate all of the finalists and wish all of them the best of luck going forward. I’ll also be among to first to congratulate all of the winners announced on September 3rd.
Sadly, there are two finalists who have publicly asked to have their works withdrawn from the Dragons. One of them has done so for the second year in a row.
This is an insult to the fans who nominated their works and have already voted for them. It is also an insult to the integrity of Pat Henry and the rest of the DragonCon organizers. I applaud them for their response to these two authors.
I suggest you head over to File 770, a website run by a former Hugo winner, to get an idea of what those authors and their supporters really think of the Dragon Awards and possibly even DragonCon itself. They have spent a lot of time questioning the integrity of the Awards and its organizers.
Then ask yourself who you’d rather hang out with: People who want to make the realm of Sci-Fi/Fantasy the greatest it can be for everyone? Or hate-filled people who want to send “wrongthinkers” and “NotTrueFans” to the dungeon?