First, read this, from Andrew Liptak at the Verge, and make sure you stick around for the M. Night Shyamalan-like twist at the ending, featuring a shocking statement from me!
Also, here is the Dragon Awards’ own statement, re: Alison Littlewood departing from the ballot.
Read them? Okay, then let’s get to the questions.
So, wait, you were going to withdraw from the Dragon Awards but now you’re not?
Yup, that’s basically right.
Why did you change your mind?
Mostly because the administrators asked if I would reconsider.
How did that conversation go?
Me: I’d like to withdraw.
Them: We’d like you to stay. Please?
Them: What if we say, pretty please?
Them: What if we say, pretty please with sugar on top?
Me: Oh, fine.
More seriously, and as noted in the statement I gave to the Verge, the folks at the Dragon Awards suggested they were willing to put in some work to listen and learn, and the honoring of Ms. Littlewood’s withdrawal request and their commitment to rethink aspects of their process was a good first step. Enough that I was willing to reconsider withdrawing from the ballot.
But what about the dudes ginning up the whole “culture war” angle? You said you just couldn’t even with those dudes.
They’re still there and they’re still tiresome, and I’m not really looking forward to that nonsense, but, you know what, fuck it. Here’s the deal: Did you enjoy reading my book? Enough to vote for it over the other works in my particular category? Groovy. Then vote for it. Otherwise, don’t vote for it, please. Repeat with every other work in my category, and so on in the other categories. This is not actually complicated.
(Incidentally, and in case it’s not clear, please don’t paint every other finalist with the “I’m just here for the culture war” brush. I don’t. You can tell which ones are around to gin up a culture war. They’re pretty obvious about it.)
I JUST THINK YOU’RE HELLA INDECISIVE, SCALZI
Seems reasonable and I accept your judgment.
I still have issues with the Dragon Awards.
That’s fair. They’re new and still figuring this out, which is not an excuse but is an explanation. In my discussions with the folks running them, my sense is that they really do want to make the awards something that is viable and useful (and fun) for fans of the genre. They have a lot of work to do (this is, I suspect, in the nature of awards in general). Hopefully they’ll get there. As I noted, some of the steps they’re taking now indicate to me they want to get it right. Your mileage may vary. In the meantime, with this as with anything, you’re perfectly within your rights to have issues and criticism. Fire away.
So are you going to the awards ceremony now?
Nope, I’m still counter-scheduled in Washington DC that weekend.
What if I was going to vote for you but you said not to and I voted for something else?
I mean, that’s on me, isn’t it? So that’s fine. If you voted for something you enjoyed, that’s good enough. I’m okay with other people winning awards I am also up for. I’ve won my fair share over time. It’s nice to win, but it’s nice to see other people win, too. I’ll be no worse off. And then someone else has to worry about how to ship a trophy home. That stuff adds up.
If I wanted to vote, how do I do that?
I gotta warn you, I might not vote for you.
Well, you know. I still have to read some of the finalists in my category. If I like them better, I might not vote for me.