Dragon Award Update

This is a quick post to congratulate the winners of the inaugural Dragon Awards. It’s a great achievement that nothing should detract from.

The winners (from the list on the Dragon site) are:

Best Science Fiction Novel – Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright

Best Fantasy Novel – Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel – The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel – Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber

Best Alternate History Novel – League of Dragons by Naomi Novak

Best Apocalyptic Novel – Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole

Best Horror Novel – Souldancer by Brian Niemeier

Best Comic Book – Ms. Marvel

Best Graphic Novel – The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series – Game of Thrones – HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie – The Martian

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game – Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Mobile Game – Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Board Game – Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectible Card/Role Playing Game – Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th edition) by Chaosium Inc.

117 Comments

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117 responses to “Dragon Award Update

  1. Martin L. Shoemaker

    Do we have vote counts yet?

    • Kate Paulk

      According to the website, sometime in October. I’m looking forward to seeing whatever they release – and I hope it will be in a format that will let me compare directly (more or less) with the Hugos.

      • Umm, where does it say that, exactly? You sure you didn’t misread the thing about more info on _next_ year’s Dragon Awards being made available in October?

        • Hey gutless and nameless. That’s what the Haydens’ were doing for a few years with Long Form Editor Hugos.

          • I love the insinuating spin the troll makes, as if the OPEN ANNOUNCEMENT TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE who reads the freaking page will translate that statement to ‘oooh, we get a LIST.’ What. A. Retard.

            I was able to nominate for the Dragon. I was also able to vote. They’re open about their two part process. It’s not freaking EPH, which is designed to keep Wrongfans out. What they’re likely to announce are improvements to the system (it was glitchy the first time,but eventually sorted out) and possibly new categories based on feedback.

  2. Laura M

    Exciting news. Thanks for posting.

  3. Ooooh, yes – exciting! I was looking for the award winners about forty minutes ago. Has the weeping, moaning and rending of garments began, among the Puppy-kickers yet? I am certain that it has – but has it reached peak-volume yet?

    • The boys and girls over at File770 sure are, coupled with a heaping helping of sour grapes and “Well now we know what books NOT to read.”

      Right back atcha regarding the Hugos, buddy.

    • Max

      I haven’t seen peak volume yet—I’d expect that Monday, when the news gets ahold of it—but the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, to borrow a biblical term, has definitely started. I actually went right to Flie 770 once I got home just to see the carnage, and, uh, well …

      There’s certainly no shortage of bitterness. Plenty of accusations that the entire thing was run by a secret cabal overseen by Vox Day. Lots of insults and hand-wavings as a ‘one-time thing’ or ‘a puppy award for puppies.’

      The tears of outrage are kind of delicious, actually. It’s probably not going to bring many of them around to cognitive thought, but its certainly rattling the little gilded cages they’ve built for themselves.

      • Hahahaha I wonder if someone is archiving/screenshotting it for posterity.

        • Glyer’s comments regarding “whose fans were represented” at the Dragons was particularly precious.

          Fans in general were represented. The ease of voting and the ability to do so for free made for a very big tent. Fans in general appear to differ from WorldCon rather sharply. Quell suprize.

          Some people come to wisdom after a near-death experience. Some apparently do not. Perhaps the wisdom is slow-onset, in this case. We shall see.

          • The whining about Gamergate is hilarious to me. I tweeted that Dragon Awards had a games category, only because GG is interested in games, but that’s it. It didn’t really get much traction in the hashtag, or much attention. So yeah, I honestly do not think that GG even noticed.

            Well, now, sort of in the ‘what random shit are we blamed for NOW?’ way.

            • Max

              Just found an absolute gem of a comment:

              This set of winners convinces me of several things:

              1. We will never see how many people nominated or voted for the awards. I suspect this because the numbers of both would be embarrassingly small.

              2. We will never see what the vote tallies were for the winners. I suspect this because they would show several of the winners won with relatively small percentages of the total vote – a book winning with 20% of the vote would not make the award look good.

              3. We will never learn the names of those who created or administered the award. I suspect this is because if we did, the fact that they were people deep inside the Puppy cocoon would become readily apparent.

              4. I suspect that if the awards yield similar results over the next couple of years, Dragon*Con will quietly retire the award and never speak of it again.

              Ah, the angry rage.

              • Draven

                I suspect more people voted for the winners than voted total in any comprarable hugo category 😀

                • What do you base your suspicions on, and why do you think the numbers are kept secret?

                  • Draven

                    the numbers aren’t being kept secret, and i base my theory off these facts:

                    1: Dragoncon attendance was ‘more than’ 70,000 this year, Worldcon’s was 7338. If 11% of the people attending Dragoncon voted, their numbers would have exceeded the total number of Worldcon voters, and this is without even looking at Dragon Awards voters that were not con attendees. This also assumed that every Worldcon member voted. Note that the Worldcon membership numbers were around 3000 less than the previous two years.

                    2: the difference in sales numbers between the books of respective authors. Larry Correia doesn’t require a Patreon subscription in order for him to be able to afford to write.

                  • Dragoncon is an order of magnitude larger than Worldcon, kitty, and I expect they think the numbers are none of your business.

                    Your only reason to want the numbers is to look for things to be outraged at anyway. Now you can be outraged at not getting numbers, and it doesn’t cost the con a penny. Good decision.

                  • Uncle Lar

                    Perhaps because DragonCon didn’t end until Monday and the awards were done Saturday. Any responsible organization would take the time to make sure the numbers were validated and properly sorted before making them available to the public.
                    And anything prior to their release is pure speculation, and comes across as a bit desperate in my opinion.

        • Bibliotheca Servare

          Done and done. I made sure to get everything from the first to the most recent set of comments, just to ensure that they couldn’t “disappear” their whinging, wailing, pathetic, all too frequently contemptible, written diarrhea. Pardon the visual. Archive.is is a wonderful tool.

          PS: congratulations to all the winners! 😀 😀 *happy dance*

        • Max

          I did end up screencapping three and saving them for use in a post on my own site concerning the insular response, and they’re three that don’t agree on what’s going on, so some of them have been saved, at least!

      • One thing I saw in the File 770 comments was the assumption that since the voting was open to everyone, with no admission fee, that the results were the result of a handful of people voting with multiple e-mail addresses. I expect that will be the party line to counter it getting more votes than the Hugos: “Oh, there were more votes, but it was just Vox’s army of supporters voting thirty times each.”

        • Max

          Right now there are a lot of comments going the other way, insisting that ‘numbers will never be released because they will be so small it will make it obvious that the sad puppies gamed the awards.’

          Usually followed by a claim that this was done from the inside.

          • That’s funny. I’m on SM Stirling’s (one of the nominees) FB page and he is hinting the voting numbers were actually very large. Now he might be making unwarranted assumptions, but you’d think a free nomination/voting process that was widely publicized should attract bigger numbers of participants than the Hugos. Well, I’d think that, at least. At the very least, the numbers had to be greater than the 2500 or so A-hole Handler Slate (my term of endearment for the human skid marks who No-Awarded Toni Weisskopff and Moira Greyland) that currently dominates Hugo voting.

            • Max

              Well, as we’ve already seen, they’ve got an answer for that too. If the numbers are small, it’s proof positive that this was a manipulated cabal of puppy voters. If they’re large, then they’re only large because the votes were rigged and people voted dozens of times.

              They’ve already got a ready-made answer for both occurrence. It’s a wonder they aren’t arguing with one another over which it is!

            • There also claiming that nobody knew about the awards except for the Puppies and so that fans in general didn’t vote.

          • Why can’t it be both?

            You have to remember these are the same people who can hold the simultaneous beliefs that:

            1) George W. Bush is too dumb to tie his own shoes.
            2) George W. Bush is a Moriarty-level criminal mastermind.

        • Chris Chittleborough

          @MishaBurnett at 8:38 pm.
          Some of the commenters there also claimed that a minor Hugo was worth several thousand dollars. It’s funny that people who jump so quickly to the idea of stacking polls have never publicly admitted that stacking the Hugos in minor categories would be easy, impossible to prove, and just about the best investment around short of a genuine Nigerian prince. Questions:
          How many of the recent Hugo award winners got their prizes by using supporting memberships for fake personas?
          How many of the people who moaned and groaned about slates knew about the many years of awards rigging?

          • Most of them and most of them. (It’s a damn open secret, or was when I broke in. Never seemed worth the effort or money to me, but…)
            BTW that is the answer to “a few people voting 30 times.” Unlike them we work for a living. Who the hell has that kind of time?

      • John R. Ellis

        Ah, yes, noted RP supporters Gaiman, Wilson, and Martin all won, just as their master intended… <_<;

        Seriously, can they think of a narrative that's even slightly plausible?

  4. hobanwashburne

    Congrats to all the winners and the nominees. I’m guessing the winners will be a lot more gracious than the ones at that older and mustier convention.

  5. airboy

    The game awards were exactly what I would suspect. Fallout 4 and Call of Cthulhu 7th edition had a very positive reception and won.

    I’m happy for Son of the Black Sword. I will probably buy & try the horror winner.

    I wish that Changeling Island won. That was the only nominee that I felt strongly about that did not win.

    I also hope they eventually release the nomination list and the vote totals for the winners. In crowd sourcing a bigger participation rate usually yields better results.

    • Laura M

      I agree with you on Changeling’s Island.

    • A posthumously published Pratchett was up for it. That was a foregone conclusion.

      • “I had a book up for an award but it was won by Terry Pratchett” is not a bad career statement.
        I really enjoyed Changeling Island too. Can’t say I read much Pratchett. I didn’t get into them when I did. (not saying they were bad, just not my cuppa)

    • I definitely agree with you on Changeling Island. I truly believe that deserves a Dragon. But as 60guilders said, it was going up against a Pratchett, so…

      • Luke

        In the very last chance to give him an award for a lifetime of outstanding work that the Hugos never recognised.

        • Yes, and yes. And honestly? I do not, and cannot feel cheated that Sir PTerry won. Hell, neither does Dave Freer himself! So how could I? That win, I can accept without worry or hesitation, is a legitimate win by vote preference.

        • Wes S.

          What Luke said. And Sir Pterry was hardly the only such writer to be snubbed by the Hugos.

          • You’re slightly mistaken. Pratchett was nominated for a Hugo but he turned it down because he felt that having to wait for the ceremony would disrupt his Worldcon enjoyment. He would have easily gotten Hugos if he had wanted to.

            • Kate Paulk

              Per Dave Freer’s request, either use your real name and quit the concern trolling behavior pattern (you show up on all the Hugo/award threads and hardly anywhere else, you derail with either irrelevant or marginally relevant comments, and you’re way the hell light on facts, even when what you say is technically correct) or quit commenting here. Your call.

              For the reference of others: Sir Pterry’s one and only nomination was for one of his later works, long after his megabestselling status and praise coming from almost all directions had the Trufen of the Hugos looking rather sickly by comparison. Of course, once he’d been ushered through to nomination once, the whole thing could be quietly dropped, since it’s not nearly so embarrassing at that level. (Yes, all of this is my personal interpretation of the observable facts. Another interpretation is that the Trufen individually/collectively so loathed the notion that a writer of comedic fantasy should receive their award. There are other, less innocent interpretations, as well).

              • snowcrash

                (Yes, all of this is my personal interpretation of the observable facts. Another interpretation is that the Trufen individually/collectively so loathed the notion that a writer of comedic fantasy should receive their award. There are other, less innocent interpretations, as well)

                As a fan of Pratchett, I think you do him a disservice. He was nominated twice, but there wasn’t anything dropped – unless you consider him declining one of them – for reasons clearly stated – to be somehow equivalent. I also would note that by saying that the Hugo’s/ Worldcon somehow loathed him or his works kinda goes against the fact that they actually had him as a Guest of Honour as well, back in 2004.

                Just an aside – Going Postal would have been up against Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (the eventual winner) if Sir PTerry hadn’t declined. All said and done, definitely a worthy winner. Going Postal was good – not great, like Night Watch or Small Gods -, but against JSMN…man I would’ve had a hard choice in allocating preferences.

                • Kate Paulk

                  My problem with that perspective is that Sir PTerry wasn’t nominated until that late. He was producing magnificent works every year from about Small Gods, often two a year, and yet it took until after he was a mega-star in SF/F to get to a nomination?

                  By “dropped” I mean that there’s been little to no interested in recognizing the man’s genius or his service to the genre – unlike, say… Scalzi… he never kow-towed to the “proper authorities” and wasn’t one of the Worldcon favorites (how many times was he GOH? Compared to any number of lesser lights? Why did he get the shittiest covers in existence in the US for so long and the shittiest stocking? Why would the man tell, in his inimitable fashion, of his former US agent glaring daggers at ridiculously long lines of fans bearing their ordered-from-Amazon UK editions of his books for signings?)

                  For years the US argument was that Americans wouldn’t get him, but those massive queues belied that argument. There are those in the US publishing industry who never forgave him for proving them wrong.

                  • snowcrash

                    You’ll get no arguments from me regarding the fact that there are many writers who didn’t get a nomination. With a wide open industry, and only 5 nominees in a year, it will happen.

                    Couple of different bits and pieces here, but firstly, I think writers can typically only be a GoH once – it’s WorldCon’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award (Heinlein and Campbell somehow got 3, but that was back in the 70’s. I can imagine the Con-runners regularly going “what, you guys are still putting out stuff?!”. I would agree that they’re both lesser lights than Sir PTerry, but again, I’m a Pratchett Partisan.

                    Secondly, I’m not familiar with any claims that the Americans couldn’t get Pratchett – the argument that I’ve heard was that due to delays in distribution, the question kept popping up as to when exactly they were eligible. In recent times with Amazon and ebooks,- to say nothing of his stature – that was no longer an issue, but back then it sounds like a reasonable confusion. I’m also not sure why the vagaries of the American publishing industry is the fault of WorldCon/ Hugos voters. YMM(O)V.

                    I will note that it seems to me that until reasonably recently (maybe 2000 onwards?), the Hugo nominations have been at least heavily slanted towards American works, and towards SciFi rather than Fantasy. Just a feeling, haven’t bothered to crunch numbers and compare nominees. Frex Small Gods would’ve been up against A Fire Upon the Deep and the Doomsday Book. Dunno anything about the latter, but given the bias against Fantasy that seems to have been in play back in those days… (Note: This is not a slam against aFUtD – it’s a fantastic novel, and probably one of the best Grand SFs that I’ve ever read, just that well…Pratchett Partisan)

                    Did you guys get the terrible Josh Kirby covers as well? Man I hated those, but apparently Pterry had a soft spot for him, and he had become emblematic of Discworld books as well (much like how a major SF publisher nowadays is known for it’s…outstanding covers *wink*)

    • Yes, I loved Changeling Island as well (and voted for it). At least it lost to someone who actually knows how to tell a story, rather than to someone who thinks men in redneck bars drink gin.

      Larry Correia has always been great, but really upped his game with SOTBS. A well-deserved win there, to be sure.

      Gotta love the idiot over on Vile770 who keeps chanting “Nielsen BookScan! Nielsen Bookscan!” like some kind of mantra, without realizing that a lot of indie books and small press books never get anywhere near a Nielsen database (or maybe he does realize it, and is hoping that no one else does). WRT Castalia House in particular, several of their books are in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. Borrowing a book from KU doesn’t count as a “sale”, even for Amazon (much less Nielsen) but the publisher and author are still getting paid nonetheless.

  6. This is what an awards lineup should be. I don’t agree that all of these should be THE winner – but every one of them is worthy of winning. (I have to go by hearsay on the gaming stuff, but the winners correspond there with what I hear from those I trust.)

    • Indeed. This was the first time in a while the list of nominees included a) A lot of books I’d already read and B) forced me to make tough choices when voting while at the same time leaving me with the feeling that even if my first choice didn’t win, my second or third ones probably would.

      • Talking about awards in general, that is. Hope the trend continues in future Dragon Awards.

      • Wes S.

        Agreed. Only three of *my* picks won their respective categories, but I don’t see a single winner on there that I don’t like. And yeah, a couple of my votes were basically coin-flips between Awesome Novel A and Awesome Novel B, on lists filled with awesomeness.

    • That’s more or less where I’m at with it. I am much happier with results of that sort than the embarrassment of mediocrity and blandness that have won Hugo’s in recent years – or the insulting No Awards that have been voted for.

  7. Jill

    Marvellous news! Really glad for Larry Correia and David Weber.

  8. Hahahaha! What a wonderful thing to wake up to!!! Congratulations to the winners!!!!!

  9. Christopher M. Chupik

    Congrats to the winners. Not everything I voted for won, but that’s okay. Hopefully, the Dragons will grow over the years to come.

    • Murgy

      In several years of voting for Hugos, I can’t recall anything that’s won. Dragons? At least 3. In one year. Clearly I’m a WrongFan™ having WrongFun™. Now I know where to make my reservations. (Hint: starts with A, ends with tlanta.)
      Congratulations, winners and nominees. Some excellent storytelling going on in there!

  10. And the best news is… I can cheer for each and every one of them without reservation. Good job, everyone!

    [I do wish they’d split out Urban Fantasy, being it’s such a different thing from the rest of fantasy, If they can split out MilFic and various other SF categories, surely they can do this one too.]

    • hobanwashburne

      I agree about the urban fantasy and with the award just starting I’m sure there will be some changes over time. But as you said the good news is that there were so many good choices.

  11. Wes S.

    Wow. Just . . . wow. I can’t wait to see the vote totals.

    I’m especially thrilled / blown away by JCW winning Best SF for “Somewhither,” even if I voted for Chuck Gannon in that category. Also thrilled to see the wins by Larry Correia, David Weber and Nick Cole, all of whom I did vote for.

    Not surprised in the least that Sir Pterry won for YA. Naomi Novik’s victory in Alt-Hist was a surprise to me, despite the deserved popularity of the Temeraire novels; I figured Turtledove would have won that category going away.

  12. snowcrash

    Congrats to the winners! I really wish that Witcher 3 had made the ballot though. Think it would have had a strong showing.
    Can’t wait to see the numbers – it’ll be interesting to see how this compares with similar First Past the Post systems like Goodreads, and dissimilar ones like some of the other awards.

  13. *elevates nose* Well! This just proves DragonCon is not a Real Convention, doesn’t it? *returns nose to SOTBS*

  14. Well well. An award where two books I actually liked, won.

    I would very much like to hear the QUALITY!!!!1!! argument from one of the Usual Suspects now, and how the Dragons aren’t a “real” award because two “racists” got Best SF and Best Fantasy.

    Open voting, big tent, amazing that the Sad Puppies do seem to have had a point all this time, eh?

    See, now I can go look at buying the stuff that won that I haven’t read, with some expectation that it won’t create spontaneous projectile regurgitation when I read it.

  15. Luke

    Holy crap, nearly everything I voted for won!

    If Turtledove had taken alt-hist, I’m pretty sure I’d have had a perfect bracket.

    • Luke

      Or not.

      I didn’t vote for Game of Thrones on TV. (I was sure The Flash was going to take it.)

      I also didn’t vote on comic book or board game.

  16. The indignant reactions from about 85% of the posters File770 made me smile. Love the conspiracy theories about a Puppy cabal in control of the awards.

    Congrats to the winners! Not everything I wanted to win won, but I didn’t feel like the winners stole it unfairly (I haven’t read/played everything that won though). Maybe Terry Pratchett, who I’m sure didn’t STEAL the award, but probably would have gotten it no matter what, given that this is the last chance to award one of his works in a relevant year.

    • Also, as a side note, a “Puppy cabal” sounds like the cutest, fluffiest, most adorable conspiracy ever.
      Good night, the Puppy-kickers have a branding problem.

      • No, no, that’s the Kitten-Caboodle that is the fluffiest and most adorable conspiracy ever. But they keep falling asleep, so the Puppies get the credit. 🙂

    • I love the conspiracy theories. Especially since, well, it’s easily refuted…
      From Larry’s post

      This weekend I was at LibertyCon, and I ran into one of the organizers of the Dragon Awards. He said that he was kind of surprised that he hadn’t seen me talk about them online much. I told him that was because of Sad Puppies, I’m a controversial figure, there are just too many bitter harpies and poo flingers from fandom’s inbred pustulent under-choad who automatically flip out about anything I do, so I didn’t want to rock the boat for them.

      But his response? Screw that. This award is for ALL FANS. And you have fans. So GO BUG THEM! We want so many people voting in this thing that no little clique or faction can sway it. The more fans involved, the better.

      (an attitude that demonstrates why DragonCon is awesome)

      So they’ll bounce back and forth between it being a SP conspiracy, to a Rabid conspiracy, and then blame Gamergate, like they did over at Nicki’s blog.

      (And Jim Butcher stopped by just to say he voted for Larry’s book. How freaking awesome is that?)

  17. As one of the few white heterosexual males to not receive an award, I’ll assume Vox will send mine next year.

    • Don’t assume. Go ask Vox. Run along now. We have nothing to do with him, so you’d best go to the source.

      • Damn! I tried to play the pasty cis-man’s game and lost. If the unimpeachable whiteness of my being won’t garner any awards, what am I to do? *makes a few crucial calculations, carries the 2* oh, it appears I have work real hard, fail a lot, fail some more and then MAYBE garner a nomination.

        • yeah. Welcome to it. My being a woman-who-tans from a Latin country was completely negated by my having the wrong political opinions (on both sides, really) so now I must follow the same road.
          Sucks, doesn’t it?

          • Yeah, but you don’t have my Dad’s uni brow to contend with. So, if you’re wondering who’s the bigger victim, look no further.

            • OF COURSE I don’t have a uni brow. I pluck it over the nose, you silly man! 😉 My sons do too, though afraid it will make them less manly.
              Am I related to your dad?

              • Dad (and by extension, I) gets it from the Croatian side of his ancestry. I do shave it (with moderate success) to avoid looking like I’m slow-witted or have impure thoughts all the time. So I keep the brow’s separated, mostly.
                The long game is avoiding the inevitable expansion in thickness and irregularity in the brows as I age. My grandfather and his brothers all resembled Thufir Hawat in the David Lynch “Dune” movie to various degrees.

                • You know, I’m as far from Eastern Europe as possible, as far as ancestry, but that describes our brows pretty well. In fact, part of the issue is that as I’m getting hypothyroidism corrected, I share your fears.

                  • “Those sounds could be imitated!”
                    I think it has more to do with the fact that both our ancestors spent a lot of time near or in the Mediterranean. I dare you to find a culture near the Mediterranean without a higher than average occurrence of the bushy brow phenomenon we’re discussing. There’s something about this latitude or access to olive oil that makes big brows a thing.

  18. Andrew

    Wait wait wait….

    First they said “if you don’t like the results, get some friends to help you.”
    Hence SP3.

    Then they said ” if you don’t like the award go out and get your own.”
    Hence the Dragon Awards.

    So what’s the problem now? The SP crowd did what they were told and ended up doing it better than the Hugo truefen?

    • Luke

      And without political signaling. That’s just the worst.

    • Because they are desperately trying to hold on to the illusion that their brand of SF/F is what “the fans” want, and that Puppy SF/F is really just a racist, bigoted aberration that only appeals to an extreme (and fading) minority. Things like this challenge that world view, and remind them that fans with other views not only exist but are thriving without them.

    • I understand next year the WorldCon is going to mount Hugo’s rocket on a walker as a more appropriate base.

      “Don’t you think it looks…tired?”

  19. Nebula Award = Academy Award (award voted on by peers in the industry)

    Hugo Award = Golden Globe Award (award voted on by a select group of self-appointed “trend-setters”)

    Dragon Award = People’s Choice Award (award voted on by the general public)

    I expect voting for the Dragon Award to go up tremendously next year, now that people are aware of its existence.

  20. Ben

    I’m not a Hugo fundamentalist, and consider Scalzi’s win for Redshirts as the nail in the coffin for the Hugo’s being the “real” award, and by far the best proof of the clique theory.

    That said, I bought the Correia book after the Dragons (FYI, I’ve been attending DragonCon since 1993 (not every year, but a good portion), and I couldn’t get past page 7. The writing is horrible, full of awkward sentences and just plain bad writing that kills the flow. I’m going to try to force myself to keep going so I can hopefully find some value. But so far I’d say the Hugos got it right with The Fifth Season this year.

    And while I do enjoy Weber (writing is far superior to Correia), should he really win for yet another volume in his “see how long I can drag this series on for more money” game?

    I want the Dragons to be awesome and would love it if they take over for the Hugos in terms of visibility, but I’m really disappointed with the results, and cannot deny suspicions of ballot stuffing. I’ll be curious to see what the numbers are.

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      Because ballot stuffing is so much more likely than that other people liked the book more than you did? Plenty of people got past page 7. Plenty of people enjoyed it. It got a Publisher’s Weekly starred review. Jim Butcher blurbed it and voted for it over his own book. Library Journal compared it favorably to Sanderson’s Mistborn. It’s selling hand over fist, especially in audio.

      It’s a common human failing to assume that one’s own preferences are an absolute standard of quality, but they’re not. Other people have other preferences, and they’re just as valid.

      • I don’t remember anything about the writing in the first part of the book. All I remember is demons coming from the sea, one well-trained warrior, and one brave guy with a spear.

        Maybe next time I can read it so that I’m not swept up into the story.

        • Draven

          because omg we can’t award a book we like for the story, it has to have perfect literary sentence structure….

        • If you’re not swept up in the story, then the storyteller fails in his job. Losing myself in a book and losing track of time then suddenly discovering I’ve run out of pages to turn = fucking awesome story to me.

          • Clive Cussler can never be accused of writing beautiful literature. But that’s not his concern; telling a good, ripping yarn is, and he does that admirably. You’ll never see him win a Pulitzer or Nobel Lit prize, but if you choose to open up a Dirk Pitt novel that’s not what you’re looking for.

            Larry Correia strikes me as a lot like Cussler; he’ll never get the critical acclaim, but he’ll laugh his way to the bank as he deposits yet another six-figure royalty check. My expectations for a Correia book are a lot different than, say, a Harlan Ellison story or an Ursula K. LeGuin novel. I don’t expect great literature, but then if I’m opening one chances are Great Literature is not what I’m after. They all have their place, and there is nothing wrong with liking either style. It all depends on what the reader is in the mood for.

            As for Fifth Season… I read the excerpt in the Hugo packet, but that was it. I read enough to know that it wasn’t something I was likely to enjoy, and my reading time this year was already tight, so I decided to give it a pass. I did not vote for either it or Ancillary Mercy (read the first two by Leckie, didn’t really like them, decided I didn’t want to slog through a third) on my Hugo ballot. I’m personally not surprised it won, but based on conversations (read: comparing notes) I had with people at WorldCon, I’m reasonably certain its win had more to do with Sending A Message than anything else. Which actually I think is quite fine; its not the first time a Hugo has been awarded on that basis, and it probably won’t be the last.

            In truth, I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that my reading preferences and the general WorldCon population’s are at odds with one another. Stuff I’ve nominated rarely makes the ballot, and if it does, even more rarely wins (last instance I can think of for novel was Curse of Chalion). That probably won’t change. For me, the Dragon Award more closely resembled my current reading preferences than the Hugo Award did. Considering where most of the publishing trends of the last ten years have been going, I sincerely doubt that will change.

            • Except, personally speaking, Correia is a better writer than Cussler.
              But yeah, he’s definitely not High Art for the Highbrow. He writes really good middlebrow fiction, and if there’s any justice in the world he’ll be remembered long after a lot of the “literary” twaddle is long gone and forgotten.

              • Re: Cussler vs Correia
                I would have to agree with that. The only things Cussler has on Correia is about 30 years of writing output and a few more decimal places on the royalty checks, but I expect Larry will catch up to both in good time.

                Re: Middlebrow fiction
                Ask any literary critic of the 19th Century who they expected to still be read 100 years hence, and chances are they would have named people like Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The idea that Charles Dickens or Jules Verne or Edgar Alan Poe would still be read (with relish, even!) would have been laughable to them. The writers who tend to stick around, the ones who most make an impact on readers memories, tend not to be the ones who are aiming for Great Literature but instead want to just tell a good story. That’s Larry, as well as a host of other writers. My guess is, they will be still be read long after most of the boring drek the puppy-kickers love to showcase has been forgotten.

            • Totally agree. There are times when I will buy a book from an author I know I like but it might end up on the waitlist because I might not be in the mood for the genre just right then. But see that’s something I think that a lot of the CHORFs don’t get – we don’t want our pleasure reading to all be a slog; and if we want to read something that might be some kind of thought-provoking question it should be of our choosing not their decree.

              • Exactly. And there’s just so much out there these days that forcing yourself to slog through a book just because the Literary Bobbleheads tell you to do so is mostly a waste of time. If it doesn’t interest me, I put the book down and try something else.

                Life’s too short and there’s still too many books out there I want to crack open at least once in my life. I see nothing wrong with the words “This book isn’t for me.”, and leaving it at that.

                • There isn’t anything wrong with that; at all. But the bobbleheads react as if there was, and then blow it completely out of proportion.

                  On reflection, I think they do that all the time to anything. They must be really toxic to be around, if that’s their behavior all the time.

                • Y’know, when one really thinks about it, I don’t think the great literary legends ever really set out to be ‘literary legends.’ Shakespeare, from all accounts, did not aim to create immortal plays; Mozart made music for both the elite and ‘the vulgar’; nor did, I think, Mark Twain, or H.P. Lovecraft, or Edgar Allen Poe.

                  They’re immortal because they captured the imagination of the people everywhere, instead of catering to a small clique, and the fact is, they continue to do so even today.

                  They wrote to entertain and to indulge their readers’ imaginations, and to get paid. I think that if that was good enough for them, then it’s a good enough aim for us.

        • Ben

          I find it hard to get swept up into a story when there are constant speed bumps of bad or awkward grammar taking me out of the story. It’s not something I notice in published works most of the time, but with Correia I’m really struggling with it. Still trying to push through and “get swept up in the story” though.

          • Dude, we get it: you don’t like Correia’s writing. If you’re trying to get us annoyed, by repeatedly saying it, you’ll only succeed because you seem to expect us regulars to agree with you. That’s not going to happen. Give up. You might get some of the Vile 770 people to agree, but not the folks who actually like Correia’s work. This is a problem with YOU. Not the rest of us. Not the people who voted for Son of the Black Sword – including Jim Butcher, who openly states that he voted for it.

            Bear in mind you seem to be the only one who is making this complaint right now, about his work, so you may have to accept that your complaint about grammar is a minority. (Also, since a number of the Monster Hunter books are written in First Person, the grammar may also be part of the character. I don’t know which book you’re reading, so…) – and seriously. This seems to be the only thing you have to say in the conversations you’ve shown up in.

            However, if you expect us to get upset because you don’t share the same taste, you’ll find that we don’t mind differing tastes here. There are folks who don’t like the first person perspective narrative in writing; there are those who like it. There are those who like Twilight, there are those who don’t. There are those who like the styles of a certain author, while another group or even an individual won’t like it. It’s called personal taste.

            But I’ll be nice and warn you: your repeated harping about Correia’s grammar in his books is starting to bear resemblance to the complaints of a repeatedly banned troll named Clamps – indeed, it’s one of his telltales. One of his favorite things to do was to take the free sample pages of a book we enjoy, find fault with it – usually a sentence, or a paragraph, taken very much out of context, with no real explanation of why this sentence is supposed to be ‘bad’ – and then base his entire condemnation of the book from that. And then, expects that we should agree with him ‘that the book sucks because he says so.’

            You don’t want to be Clamps.

            Instead of focusing on the work that we enjoy but you clearly aren’t, stop bitching, and pick up a work that you do enjoy and talk about that. You might find that there might be some people here that like the same things you do.

      • Ben

        I went back and forced myself through the first couple of chapters, which I still contend are badly written with a lot of awkward sentences that took me away from smooth reading.

        However, it did improve after that. I’m now about 60% done with the book and am enjoying it thoroughly. I’ll wait till I’m done for a final judgement, but unless it takes a nosedive, I can agree that it’s at least one of the better fantasy novels released that year.

    • First, while you might find Correia’s sentence structure awkward and writing terrible, that is really a personal problem on your part.
      Second, while I join you in wishing that Weber would speed the plot along for Safehold, why should his motivation for writing the book have any relationship to whether it wins an award? If it’s good, who cares if he was doing it for the AHHHHHHHHHHHT or filthy, greasy lucre?
      I mean, if you’re going to throw people out for wanting to make money on their writing, say good bye to William of Stratford and Mark Twain.