Another Way To Help End Puppy-Related Sadness

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 playahem… run statistical analysis with.

So, here are the categories, taken from 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.

115 thoughts on “Another Way To Help End Puppy-Related Sadness

  1. Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens vs everything else?

    Considering that The Force Awakens was first released in 1977, one has to ask whether remakes are eligible.

    1. Oh come on. That’s just mean 🙂

      A lot of the site and descriptions are still buggy/ need proofreading. Both Best SF and Best Fantasy are using the same description (“containing and based upon scientific or science and engineering premises or technology.”) The title and description for Best Episode is contradictory (“Nominate a series as a whole, not a single episode.”)

      Regardless, these are just teething issues/ day 1 bugs. Hope they fix them soon, and good to see another award out there. Also, reallly want them to put in something for tie-ins – would work really well with the games-heavy focus.

      Also, obviously Best Game is Witcher 3. If it doesn’t win this must be BURNT TO THE GROUND.

      ::calms down, adjusts collar, sneaks away::

            1. Enh, I agree that 2 was needlessly complicated, but 3 struck a good balance IMO. You could be surprisingly effective with just a handful of moves, signs, and potions. Still run into a problem? Grenades as your ace in the hole.

              Fallout 4 had problems with too many weapons/ mods being needed for effective combat, plus minimal advantages from tactics and stealth (which to date is still crazy broken).

              Also, in an award like this, the narrative/ story is king, and Witcher 3 is heads and shoulder above Fallout 4 there.

              (don’t get me wrong, love Fallout 4, got the season pass and all. But it’s in many ways a step back from NV and even F3)

              1. The best releases of 2015 were, in order:
                1. Idle Car Manager I
                2. The Third Super Robot Wars Z: Part Two
                3. The Witcher 3
                4. Fallout 4
                5. Metal Gear Solid V

    2. I liked Star Wars best the first time they made it, but it was called PRINCE VALIANT then.

  2. Ideas like this that lead to genre stratification are terrible. Better categories would be things like “Best Space Princess”, “Most Desirable Swordsman”, “Coolest Space Ship”, and “Creepiest Alien/Monster”.

    1. You misspelled “Evil” on the Space Princess category…

      I would also suggest “Best Explosion”, “Best Costume Engineering” (you know, for the revealing costume that *has* to be glued on, or stapled), “Best Quote”, and “Most Unbelievable Armor”.

      1. For 1943 Retro Best Explosion, I plan on putting forward Albert de Pina’s Moon of Danger. The heroes fly two linked ships toward a reverse gravity generator at the core of Phobos, delink from the ship that’s full of atomic bombs and ride the gravity wave back to the moons surface before the whole place blows up.Moon of Danger.

        1. The award for 1945 Retro Best Explosion certainly goes to the Trinity blast, though. 🙂

      2. “Best Costume Engineering” and “Most Unbelievable Armor” seem like they could easily overlap, particularly when the costume armor in question overlaps little of the wearer. 🙂

        1. Evil is an unnecessary distinction; I see no reason why Lady Ywain of Sark shouldn’t compete in the same category as Dejah Thoris.

    2. My take is there’s no issue with genre stratification as long as the separation deals with different styles, tropes, and conventions. Science fiction is different enough from fantasy is different enough from mil SF in that regard to justify a separation.

      Now, if we start getting into “Best Urban Fantasy Without A Kick-Ass Female Lead” we do have a problem.

  3. I’m wondering if the lack of short fiction awards will help keep away the politically minded anti-puppies who do not have the determination to actually finish their own novels.

    1. If the prestige of winning a Dragon exceeds that of the Hugo, they’ll campaign to add the short fiction categories.

      1. Not if it requires them to dirty themselves with (horrors!) commercial stuff! They’re more likely to complain that the lack of short fiction is discriminating against some minority or other that is due to some undisclosed reason incapable of producing full length works.

        1. That raises an interesting point. Besides the likely dominance of The Force Awakens, the expanded voter base probably means we’ll finally see movie and video game tie-in novels rack up some wins.

  4. Gee, if only there were somewhere one could go to see a list of what qualifies and what other like minded individuals are recommending.

    1. No time this year! Although anything on the Puppy list that fits into a Dragon category is eligible.

      Except the Campbell authors in their second year. I need to remember that caveat.

  5. I am amused by the reaction from certain people on the other side. Sad Puppies was in it’s death throes a few weeks ago, according to them, and yet we also managed to manipulate DragonCon into doing our bidding.

    Puppy power!

      1. Yeah, there’s comments like this:

        “”TexasReed on April 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm said:

        And of course, any similarity between DragonCon award categories and Sad/Rabid Puppy objections to Hugo Awards are purely coincidental. There is NO connection between gamers and Puppies. How could anyone believe otherwise?”

        I will point out that they don’t all believe that, just some. But there were a lot of people who were writing our obituary when Kate announced the list a few weeks back.

        1. “JJ on April 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm said:

          Cathy: I think it is great that DragonCon decided to do this. I’d be curious to know how much planning went into it, in the sense of, has this been several years in the making, something the .Dragoncon folks have been working on since last year, etc.

          I don’t think that this is something being done at the initiative of the DragonCon concom. I note that there is no Awards Committee listed on their “Teams and Departments” page.

          I think that a group of Puppies came to the DragonCon concom and said, “Hey, your convention doesn’t have its own awards program. We’d like to create one for you, we’ll do all the work, and we’ll make it WAY more prestigious than the Hugo Awards”, and that the DragonCon concom said, “Oh, okay, we’ll let you do that.”

          Which is fine. Given the very haphazard nature of its implementation so far, the DragonCon concom may end up with egg on their face, but, if so, that will be their thing to deal with.”

          And to be fair, someone responded:

          “Soon Lee on April 6, 2016 at 6:43 pm said:

          Oh come now JJ, is there any evidence that Sad Puppy organisers are also the DragonCon award organisers? I’d appreciate a link. If not, let us not conflate the two.”

          1. JJ is the frigging village idiot of that collection of village idiots. And Aaron, that’s another. Today they’re all raging on at me that there’s no PC in the workplace, and nobody ever lost their job from PC. What a friggin’ menagerie of dorks.

            1. So if there’s no PC in the workplace, there’s no politeness in the workplace? Is that what they’re saying? 😉

              1. Lincolnism-Shermanism is the only correct thought. All conflicting statements are incorrect and political malfeasance.

                Workplaces that even offer lip service to established employment law are contrary to the essential truth of Lincolnism-Shermanism.

                A political sound society run on correct principles would have no place for the likes of JJ and Aaron.

              2. Essentially. The author of the original travesty quoted by Mr. Glyer held that PC wasn’t really PC, it was simple -politeness-. Therefore any transgression against PC was merely rude, and therefore actionable by any reasonable employer.

                It’s not the first time I’ve seen that particular serpent, so I thought I’d step on it’s neck good and hard. The objections brought by the commenters actually help, they make the argument amazingly easier. I just point at what they said and say “Yes, that’s what I mean exactly. Good example.”

      1. That’s where it’s from? It bubbled up from the depths of my subconscious when I was typing the reply.

        1. So I inadvertently thwarted an attempt at wiping memories of that character for you? Sorry! 😮 😉

    1. Well, if Ringo is doing Sad Puppies next year…

      That said, Dragon got rid of Ed Kramer. They aren’t invested in defending pederasty the way the puppy kickers are.

      One could speculate about #GamerGate. ‘Amanda made #GamerGate force DragonCon to do this’ would be take that to a crazy extreme.

      Most probable is some sort of silent majority has been watching, and SasQuan decided things. Though maybe the nomination leaks led to a prediction of more ‘No Awards’, which would eliminate categories, making the Hugo defunct. 🙂 If the Hugo is vacant, the space is available for anyone.

        1. This year’s, released by an anonymous source the day after nominations closed.

          1. Anything specific? Or was it like PNH’s “You’ll be happy with the other two nominees” bit from last year?

            Eh, either way, it doesn’t look good for the Hugo admins for this to happen a second year in a row.

                1. Shh.

                  It is totally plausible that Bruce Schneir is a provocateur for the DGSE, which is deeply interested in WorldCon’s involvement in terrorism, human trafficking, and child pornography.


    2. This sounds suspiciously similar to the “Jews are useless and stupid” vs “Jews are all-powerful evil keeping good Arabs down” bullshit spread by certain Middle Eastern nations.

      It couldn’t possibly have the same root source, could it?

      1. Well, yes, it does. The same people who believe in the Zionist conspiracies are the same people who swallow the idea that we all get marching orders from Larry, or Vox, often conflated to be both, through telepathy and/or super secret mailing lists (because the latter is how they operated, so…)

        1. You can receive the marching orders by reading Son of the Black Sword backwards at 30 words per minute.

  6. I like how they have so many different novel categories. Personally, I would have liked a short form category or two, but at least they’re avoiding the dozen or so categories for lengths under 20K by sticking with just novels.

    It’s cool for them to add in games (not limited to previous year), which really fits with Dragon Con.

    1. If there is an awards ceremony – you have to watch the length of it.

      Even without all of the virtue signaling, the Hugos were just too friggin’ long.

      (OTOH – DragonCon is far more likely to come up with intermediate skits that show a higher level of originality and ability than the Third Grade play about eating your vegetables…)

  7. Thank you for passing this along Kate. Not being a con-goer, I would have missed the opportunity.

    Hmm, that reminds me, I need to pass this along to my genre lists. There’s some interesting categories. (and some interesting omissions. I wonder why just novels.)

    “Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Movie
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens vs everything else?”

    Bah, The Martian was better. 😉

    1. I’ve considered DragonCon as an option, but the sheer size of the thing is terrifying.

      1. Consider that the tabletop gaming area occupies at least a couple ACRES…

        Seems like it anyway.
        Yeah. It’s big.

        1. These days it’s extraordinarily and unpleasantly crowded, with huge lines for popular panels and traffic jams in the corridors and dealer rooms.

  8. The only thing I would add would be best novel in a series, and yes this would mean adding it for each novel category already listed.

  9. *snicker*

    I would have a more cogent comment, but I’m too busy rolling in my chair laughing my ass off right now. 🙂

  10. I like their categories too, except given that they saw fit to distinguish various sorts of SF, why not distinguish various sorts of fantasy? Give paranormal and urban fantasy their own categories, just as they did military SF etc.

  11. And Just like that, the Hugo’s are irrelevant. Obviously someone at Dragoncon was paying attention to Sasquan and decided to drink their milkshake. The Fen can’t yet hear the pulsating base of ebon wings beating the air into submission, they don’t yet feel the heat of the alchemical inferno upon their necks, but their entire universe just burned down around them. The Dragon is coming and it shall devour the rocket whole.

    And I cant wait to watch and laugh.

    1. I don’t know if they do it every year where WorldCon and DragonCon overlap, but I have been at DragonCons where the Hugo awards ceremony was simulcast. I doubt that the two conventions are hostile, except for the rivalry over Labor Day weekend.

      As for Hugos becoming irrelevant, besides the Hugo, SF already has a plethora of awards – Nebula, World Fantasy, Stoker, Prometheus, and lots of others: Aside from wishful thinking, there’s no reason to believe that the emergence of another award will affect the Hugos.

      It may be good that voting for the Dragon awards will be free for everyone. There are lots of fans who would like to vote but can’t afford the WorldCon registration fee. This does lead them to the various problems associated with internet polls; they must be able to manage their security so that their voting system can’t be gamed, and that’s less easy when payment isn’t required. Recall how 4chan subverted Time’s internet poll in 2012 to elect Kim Jong Un as Man of the Year.

      1. Just to see, I registered to vote using two different e-mail addresses. Both registrations appear to have succeeded. If they don’t suss me out, it does not bode well for the process.

        1. Sweetie, you really need to check your assumptions, starting with the one that says “one computer, one email address”. I can think of several scenarios violating that assumption without breaking a sweat.

          We do not know if the nominations go into a holding bucket until validated. We do not know if the Dragon Award organizers simply do not care whether the voting is gamed because they’re of the opinion that anyone who’s invested enough to bot them is interested enough to make their votes worth counting.

          I for one think it’s worth being involved and giving them a reasonable chance.

          1. I mean, is here seriously something that would actually prevent someone form buying multiple worldcon memberships?

          2. I think it would be bad if the Dragon awards are decided other than by one vote per person (which I believe is what the organizers want). Also, it’s the internet – there is going to be someone out there who is going to try to break the process just because they can, like 4chan did with Time’s poll.

            I’ll nominate and vote (once!), but I can see it all dissolving into chaos. As you say, let’s hope for the best.

            1. The puppy kickers gave the puppies the bum’s rush out of the Hugos and cheered while doing it. They didn’t break the Hugos. No Award is there for a reason, and last year illustrated that.

      2. As far as increase in sales, reputation, and prestige the Hugo’s are already irrelevant. They no longer give a sales boost because the average fan knows to stay away from anything that has the words “Hugo awards winner” on the cover. The Hugo’s have been living off the reputation it earned during the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and even further back. But between the worldcon’s members behavior last year, and the absolute dreck that has been winning the Hugo awards the last few years, it is now common knowledge that the Hugos aren’t worth the cost of a trophy anymore. And now that a Major Sci-fi con, one that actually has attendance larger than the town of Maybury, has gotten into the awards game, why would anyone ever care about the hugos again?

        1. Speaking of wishful thinking. It’s a wonder to watch the puppies twisting themselves into knots of envy and rage.

  12. Think dragon con would be willing to announce an overall best work award? Call it the Gernie, have the award be a dragon defecating a half digested rocket?

  13. Good to see. I do like the difference between the different genre. IMO fantasy and Sci-Fi are two different animals. And the Mil-SF is interesting. Plus all the gaming categories for the younger crowd

  14. The one problem I see is that if voting is through the Internet and requires no membership/account, how will they prevent the Drudge Poll effect? Building a bot to vote regularly in an online poll within certain parameters while spoofing its IP isn’t tough.

    1. Oh, there is some authentication happening, but it’s not intrusive and doesn’t require spending money. I’m going to hazard a guess that the Dragon Award folks have put a bit of thought into back-end security that doesn’t piss off the front-end users – and is mostly invisible to said front-end users.

      1. I don’t know. They still haven’t fixed a lot of the front-end stuff (descriptions et al), and my initial nominations didn’t generate a confirmation number. For know I think the showrunners have quite a bit of bugs to iron out.

        I also don’t quite like the whole your “first nomination is final” thing, but perhaps that’s meant to be a feature of the award.

    2. I had a thought about spoofing the results. My opinion is that if someone cares enough about certain stories, movies, or games, to do that, then that ought to count for something, too.

      1. And the fact that this is going to be a much larger voting pool, should dilute the effect of the ‘spoofing’.

        1. Yes to both. And we don’t know what decisions are behind the scenes, so all we can really do is wait and see.

  15. I’d like to see some short fiction categories (= 70k is fine, no need for short story/novelette/novella), particularly since the author I’d like to nominate in horror and apocalyptic (these categories also seem like they’d overlap a lot) tends to publish his longer works as interconnected novellas, by the Hugo standard, and so isn’t eligible for any of the categories, which are all >= 70k words.

    This should be interesting, regardless.

  16. “Best Episode in a Continuing Science Fiction or Fantasy Series, TV or Internet

    Cue Game of Thrones vs everything else, I guess.”

    Bah, Daredevil or bust.

  17. Not that I disagree with Ringo and Kratman for Mil/SF, Jerry Pournelle keeps promising to put out the next Janassaries novel, and that would be right up there.

  18. So a group that was supposed to be on its way to the graveyard is now able to control a convention 10 times the size of Worldcon. They must be using either a Sith mind trick or Sauron’s ring of power. Quite a feat in any case.

    I also seem to remember the kickers suggesting the puppies get their own awards. Now that they seem to have done just that, the kickers are still complaining. It’s almost as if they don’t really mean what they say.

    1. Gosh. How could you be so mean-spirited as to suggest such a thing! I need my smelling salts! My safe space! My pearls! (I can’t clutch them dramatically if I don’t have them, now can I?)

  19. I have a question! Where would I vote for Wen Spencers ‘Tinker’ universe; Fantasy (Elves, magic) or SiFi (Future, hypergates)?

    1. “Yes”.

      Seriously, I’d put it in fantasy, because the overall feel and the plot tropes are more fantasy than SF. Look at what dominates, and go with that.

  20. Most categories cut off at 2/1/2016. There may be a typo on the majority, or the lesser. Keep watch.

  21. The question about whether the cut-off date is 2/1/2016 or 3/1/2016 has me biting my nails — I want to nominate “Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’ve Got Henchmen” for the YA award and it was released 2/8/2016. (This is the third book in the series. “Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain” was the first. A really fun series, even if you are no longer a YA.)

  22. When I did my entries, the first two Novels were 1/1/2015 to 3/1/ 2016, everything else was 1/1/2015 to 2/1/2016
    At least one of the FAQs was stating dates starting in April 2015 through the voting end date.

    I’m hoping that this gets fixed, because I sent a bug report in to them. I’d like to see the TV category at least expanded to 3/1, simply so I can nominate Gravity Falls “Weirdmageddon” story arc series finale (which has aired as 2 half-hours plus an hour, 1 2-hour special, and 4 half hours since its release).
    I’d rather watch about half of Disney XD’s lineup, than AGoT or any of the other live-action crap on cable.

    I wish they’d separate the Superheroes out of SF/F for nominations, but that didn’t top me from nominating Ant-Man as being a better movie than SW:TFA

  23. Got quoted over at Vile. Oh well. Fair enough, considering how often I quote them.

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