The 2019 Dragon Award Finalists

The 2019 Dragon Award Finalists have been announced by DragonCon on its website (2019 Finalists). Unlike last year when I went 0-11 in works that I nominated making the finalist list, this time around three works in the 11 categories I nominated made the final list. Like last year, I did not nominate in any of the games categories. I just haven’t the time to try out the new games so I feel I have no business weighing in on them.

Below you will see the list of the finalists, followed by who I nominated and who I plan to vote for along with some additional comments.

Before we begin though, I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to all of the finalists below. Whether you are a repeat finalist, or if this is your first time on this list, well done. You should be dancing on your desks, in the streets or wherever you choose to celebrate. Enjoy every minute of the next month until the winners are announced in Atlanta. Win or lose on that first Sunday in September you should be very proud.

When this award first started in 2016 I was among its early supporters. In what will be its fourth year, it has survived withering – and very unfair – attacks from self-appointed gatekeepers. These cretins have tried to discredit the Dragon Awards as an “unimportant fan award”, which tells you all you need to know about what they really think of you the fans. I have said it before and I will repeat it now: The Dragon Awards are the premier award in all of science fiction and fantasy. They represent the best of SF/F. They alone represent what real SF/F fans enjoy and do so based on the quality of the work itself and not on some political-based checklist of “rightthink” either.

And, finally, I want to thank everyone who nominated When The Gods Fell. While it did not garner enough nominations to advance to the final ballot as Escaping Infinity did in 2017, I am just as appreciative of all of the nominations it received and as proud of that book as I am of Escaping Infinity. Thank you for your votes.

Now, on to the finalists:


2019 Dragon Award Finalists


Best Science Fiction Novel

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R. Torgersen

Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey


My Nomination:  Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt

Who I’m voting for: A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad Torgersen

Thoughts: Seriously, what is it going to take to get Jack McDevitt nominated people? The man is one of the all-time best. Sigh.


Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

House of Assassins by Larry Correia

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie


My Nomination:  When The Gods Fell by Richard Paolinelli

Who I’m voting for: House of Assassins by Larry Correia

Thoughts: I will be shocked if Larry doesn’t take this one home. And if this Central California native (Turlock) can’t win it this year, then the other one (Merced) had better, for the honor of the San Joaquin Valley!


Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

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


My Nomination:  The Timeless by Richard Paolinelli & Gibson Buffa

Who I’m voting for: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Thoughts: Ok, my nomination was biased because my grandson was my co-author here. But Susan would be a worthy winner.


Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

A Pale Dawn by Chris Kennedy, Mark Wandrey

Order of the Centurion by Jason Anspach, Nick Cole

Marine by Joshua Dalzelle

Sons of the Lion by Jason Cordova

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

Uncompromising Honor by David Weber


My Nomination: A Place For War by Daniel Humphreys

Who I’m voting for: Order of the Centurion by Jason Anspach & Nick Cole

Thoughts: Okay, in the past I have hated voting in a category that included two authors who I was friends with. So, ask me how I feel when I know six of the eight authors and they are vying for an award in the same category. It sucks, thank you very much.



Best Alternate History Novel

Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Iron Codex by David Mack

The World Asunder by Kacey Ezell

Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar


My Nomination:  Brave and the Bold by Hans Schantz

Who I’m voting for: Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

Thoughts: I really feel Hans should have had a seat at this table and Lavie would be a great winner. I have a sinking feeling, tho, who will win this and this will be one category I will not be happy with the winner if it is.


Best Media Tie-In Novel

Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove, Nancy Holder

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher

Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray

The Replicant War by Chris Kennedy

The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn (2019 Helicon Award winner)


My Nomination:  Thrawn: Alliance by Timothy Zahn

Who I’m voting for: Thrawn: Alliance by Timothy Zahn

Thoughts: Tim is the only 2019 Helicon Award winner to make it onto the Dragon Award ballot.


Best Horror Novel

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


My Nomination:  Hell Spawn by Declan Finn

Who I’m voting for: Zombie Airman by David Guenther

Thoughts: This was a close one for me, I nearly went with 100 Fathoms Below.


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


My Nomination:  Flying Sparks by Jon Del Arroz

Who I’m voting for: Batman by Tom King & Tony S. Daniel

Thoughts: I suspect Saga will win, but what? No Wonder Woman?



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


My Nomination:  PD Wodehouse by Chuck Dixon

Who I’m voting for: Berlin by Jason Lutes

Thoughts: Aside from Lutes, I kept saying “Who?” as I read this list. Then again, I don’t read a lot of graphic novels these days so that’s not a surprise.


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Game of Thrones, HBO

Good Omens, Amazon Prime

Lucifer, Netflix

The Orville, Fox

The Umbrella Academy, Netflix

Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access


My Nomination: The Orville, Fox

Who I’m voting for: The Orville, Fox

Thoughts: Again, I suspect I know who will win. But The Orville is still one of the best sci-fi shows on broadcast TV today.



Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman


My Nomination:  Aquaman by James Wan

Who I’m voting for: Aquaman by James Wan

Thoughts: Hey, I know Endgame is going to destroy this category, but I’m riding my fish all the way to the finish line!


In the following categories I made no nominations, nor will I be casting a vote in them. I simply had no time this year to check any of these games out and I do not feel I should be voting on them in this circumstance.


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Apex Legends by Electronic Arts

Assassin’s Creed: Odysssey by Ubisoft

Life is Strange 2 by Dontnod Entertainment

Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games

Outer Wilds by Mobius Digital

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth by Blizzard

My Nomination: NONE

Who I’m voting for: NONE


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Cyber Hunter by NetEase

Elder Scrolls: Blades by Bethesda Softworks

Grimvalor by Direlight

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite by Niantic, WB Games San Francisco

Reigns: Game of Thrones by Nerial

Sega Heroes: Puzzle RPG Quest by SEGA

My Nomination: NONE

Who I’m voting for: NONE


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Architects of the West Kingdom by Garphill Games

Betrayal Legacy by Avalon Hill Games

Cryptid by Osprey Games

Everdell by Starling Games (II)

Nemesis by Awaken Realms

Root by Leder Games

My Nomination: NONE

Who I’m voting for: NONE


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Call of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep Slipcase Set by Chaosium Inc.

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare by Modiphius Entertainment

Keyforge: Call of the Archons by Fantasy Flight Games

Magic: The Gathering Ravnica Allegiance by Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering War of The Spark by Wizards of the Coast

Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team by Games Workshop

My Nomination: NONE

Who I’m voting for: NONE


There you have it. Be sure and go to the website and register to vote and cast your votes for any and/or all of the categories. Its absolutely free and the more that participate the better:

Dragon Award Voting signup

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3 thoughts on “The 2019 Dragon Award Finalists”

  1. Thank you for your vote for Zombie Airman for best horror novel. I’m still surprised I was the only indie author out of all the categories.
    Respectfully yours,
    David Guenther

    1. You are most welcome and good luck on September 1st!!! I’ll likely be on the road that weekend and probably not be able to post about the winners until Tuesday. Hope to see your name among the winners. But, win or lose, you should be very proud to be a Finalist!!!!

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