Apparently someone at DragonCon has decided the field needs a new set of awards because, well… this. I like their set of categories: they fit nicely with the way the field is evolving, with no fewer than four game categories – one for each major type of game. Talk about comparing like with like.
They also separated comic books and graphic novels, and they have a dedicated YA category. Is that not wholly awesome?
Things aren’t 100%, yet – there’s a bit of a copy-paste artifact in their Best Fantasy Novel info that made me giggle but still… It’s nice to see a recognition that Fantasy is not Science Fiction is not Horror is not…
Even more interesting, the Dragon Awards are a complete people’s choice award. Anyone can sign up and vote, and it costs nothing. I’m really looking forward to comparing what comes out of the Hugo process and what comes out of the Dragon process – particularly in terms of numbers of voters and the like (hopefully the Dragon folks will be nice and give us that information to play… ahem… run statistical analysis with.
So, here are the categories, taken from http://awards.dragoncon.org/the-process/. Works published between 1/1/2015 and 3/31/2016 are eligible, and nomination closes 7/25/2016, so don’t miss out.
Best Science Fiction Novel
What it says on the tin. Best novel of at least 70,000 words that’s an actual single story and is science fiction.
Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
Yup, if it’s fantasy, a novel, and at least 70,000 words, it’s a contender. No second-class citizenship here, folks.
Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
Oh, lookie! If it’s 45,000 words or more, genre, and written for the 12 to 18 year old age group, it’s in. Long overdue in the field, and very, very welcome here.
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
I rather expect this to wind up being owned by Messrs. Ringo, Kratman, et al, just because they’re so bloody good at it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t nominate other authors. It needs significant SF or fantasy elements, and significant aspects of military combat as well as meeting the usual 70,000 or more words and the publication date range criteria.
Best Alternate History Novel
Oh. Oh my. Vlad is stirring at this one to remind me that the long-promised sequel to Impaler has been on hold for far too long. Steampunk is also eligible here: alternate futures are part of this category as well as alternate pasts.
Best Apocalyptic Novel
Be it the SMOD, the zombie plague, or whatever else takes your fancy, this one is precisely what it says on the tin.
Best Horror Novel
Also what it says on the tin. Those lovers of Things That Go Bump In The Night are finally first-class citizens of our genre (and let’s face it, Horror and Science Fiction can blend in awesome ways, as the original Alien movie demonstrated so well).
Best Comic Book
I’m not sure how best to sum this one up, so just go over to the Dragon Awards site and read it yourself.
Best Graphic Novel
There’s a length distinction from a comic book here: graphic novels need to be at least 36 pages. For the rest, the site is probably your best bet (I’m really not familiar with the distinctions in the comic and graphic novel world).
Actually, I’m not that familiar with the film/animation or gaming realms either, so I’m just going to present the last set of categories without further comment. Mostly.
Best Episode in a Continuing Science Fiction or Fantasy Series, TV or Internet
Cue Game of Thrones vs everything else, I guess.
Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Movie
Star Wars: The Force Awakens vs everything else?
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game
Alas, Overlord. You were years too early.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
Alleluia. Recognition that mobile games (i.e. for tablets and phones) have really different demands and different standards than PC and console games.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectable Card/Role Playing Game
The nice thing about this last pair is that they mean the non-computer games aren’t trying to compete with the computer games. Even I know they’re way the heck different.
Remember, nominations close on July 25, so sign up, make your nominations, and let slip the Puppies of War… Well… of really enthusiastic chewing on slippers.