Update on the Dragon Awards and Me

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?

Me: No.

Them: What if we say, pretty please?

Me: No.

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.)


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?

Here’s the link to register. Anyone with an email address is eligible. And here is the full, updated ballot.

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.

60 Comments on “Update on the Dragon Awards and Me”

  1. I’ll leave comments open this time but, folks, let’s keep things on the “not” side of outrage, please. I’m busy and don’t have a whole lot of time to thread sit. If it’s clear we can’t play nice, I’ll go ahead and close the thread.

  2. Using your powers for good. Nifty.

    I have participated in the Dragon Awards both years, but the organizers clearly need to address the sockpuppet issue their “anyone with an e-mail address” registration method leaves them vulnerable to. It’s not like using multiple e-mail addresses to influence poorly-constructed Internet voting mechanisms is a new phenomena.

  3. I think they did the right thing at the end. They’ll need to still make some changes (like maybe let people know they’ve been nominated so that they can decline) and their voting system is still pretty open to gaming, but it’s a start so good on them.

  4. I had a really hard time deciding between COLLAPSING EMPIRE and BABYLON’S ASHES (Lady Kiva Lagos vs Bobbie Draper) and finally decided on the former. Then came the BOMBSHELL that you were withdrawing, so I wrote to DragonCon to try to change my vote. No idea if they did that or not. Now you are back in! Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter because NEITHER book has a dragon in it, unless we are speaking metaphorically, so they are BOTH dragon cons, right?

  5. Thanks much for the update. It seemed momentarily that the awards were going to let you withdraw but not someone else, which seemed a bit sketchy. Your clarification helps a lot.

    Happy fall, and happy shipping-Athena-off-to-college!

  6. Personally I think, in your shoes, I’da stuck to withdrawing. Not because of the deranged puppies, but out of consistency on the whole “let me withdraw if I want to” thing. Because it’s decidedly uncool of the Dragon folks, IMNSHO, to have ever refused to let someone opt out of participating in their endeavor. I’m glad they have come around to a reasonable stance on this at last, but I would have felt like I needed to underscore that this shouldn’t ever have had to be something that needed to be argued about.

    Which is not a criticism of you as much as it is an admission of my own personal crank-dom :)

  7. Did you ask about the letter they sent Allison where they said that there is a “Justice Warrior” faction trying to game their awards? Is there actual evidence of this (is this an actual movement I know nothing about) or are they calling you the leader because you’re withdrawing? Is it a false equivalence if they have no evidence?

  8. I have a title for the sequel to Shadow Wars of the Night Dragons. It’s Justice Warriors of the Night Dragons.

  9. I haven’t got a clue as to the politics of the vast majority of authors I read; but this kind of nonsense got me to register to vote for this award voting this year. I will vote for those works I have actually read and enjoyed; and abstain in any catagories where there are no such titles. It might be tempting to do the minor amount of research needed to find and vote for those works that most offend the snowflake man-babies; I think I’ll just ignore them instead.

  10. I’m glad they reversed their decision, since respecting the wishes of the people up for an award to be listed or not should be honored.

    It’s also good to hear that in your interaction with the administrators was one where they demonstrated wanting the award to mean something more and to do better. I have misgivings, not because I don’t think that running it must be easy, but because I think maybe they underestimated the work involved. Which I also think goes to show how much work goes into the volunteer efforts of other awards due to the things people just expect, such as contacting the nominees, not happening here. It’s kind of eye opening all the gears involved that get taken for granted when people discuss award winners.

    Given that you were president of the SFWA you may have more sympathy than many for the administrators as you likely are more aware of the efforts behind organizing events.

  11. This kerflunkle makes me think of the meme “This kind of thing is harder than it looks.”

    Sympathy (a little) for how hard it is, but you do need to accept the “bumbling” tag for not thinking it through at the beginning. (I know…I’ve accepted it once or twice in my life…)

  12. I’ll be honest, the suggestion they offer for why they would not accept her request to be removed from the ballot is…not very compelling. I mean, you can keep her on the list and then take her off the voting list and add (recused) or something. Fans would still get the notice that it was nominated and move on. I’m glad they came to see reason, but they still seem to not understand the challenges of the task they’ve undertaken…but I may be misreading their tone and intent. I don’t mean to besmirch their efforts…it’s commendable that they’re trying. But the way they describe it, either they didn’t care that the author didn’t want to be on the awards list (for whatever reason) because it was FOR THE FANS or figured the author’s opinion was unimportant because their fledgling award was too important to give them a choice. It’s not a good look, IMHO>

    It does seem odd that they’re making these kind of rookie mistakes, though; given the recent issues with the Hugos and Nebulas in fandom in recent years, you think they would have consulted some of those groups or read up on the process. And what’s the point of making an award if you don’t give the candidates a choice in the matter?

  13. Update very much appreciated – curiosity on the topic now satisfied.

    Of course, later events may tickle the curiosity again, but that’s how it goes. :)

  14. I suppose what bothered me is that the organizers of the Dragon Awards seem to be incredibly ignorant of the long history of awards processes, which don’t need to be reinvented. Seriously.

  15. I like your book, so I might register & vote, but more importantly than that I bought it and in my own small way contributed to the Athena college fund.
    So what im trying to suggest in a not very eloquent way is that if the alt-right successfully manage to mess this up for you, you don’t need to give a damm about it, as you are a successful, popular author who’s ‘made it’ and they’re both jealous of your success and trying to cling to your coattails lime little bits of dog turd:-)

  16. Jada:

    In fact, I keep it with my Hugos. It was a very kind gift and I’m always happy when I see it.


    There’s literally no way for them to mess it up for me, which is the thing. I have a decade-long contract. Unless the world ends, as long as I turn in books, I get paid through 2027. It’s just tiring to have people waving up and down for your attention all the time, and not in a fun way. It’d be nice if they had another hobby besides me.

  17. I think they did the correct thing with the awards. It saddens me that groups have to politicize these awards. There are authors on both sides of the political spectrum that I enjoy reading. While I have not personally met John Scalzi I have no doubt that he is way to the left of me politically. That doesn’t stop me from reading and enjoying his works. Life and entertainment are meant to be much more than an echo chamber.
    I wish Mr. Scalzi much luck with the Dragon Award.

  18. onyxpnina:

    I noted that the linked articles and statements stated that the special sauce of the Dragon Awards was that they were fan-based awards, as if none of the other awards aren’t. Given that the Hugos are one of the oldest SF awards, and is nominated and voted on by fans, that seems especially ignorant, or they are playing into the “culture wars” themselves by appearing to deny the fandom roots and reality of the Hugos.

  19. Kudos. Sure, the asshats are going to have a field day with the on-again-off-again decision thing, but most people with a lick of sense will appreciate the gesture of support towards the organisers.

  20. I don’t know these Sad Puppies from Adam of Adam and Eve fame, but I know one way to upset them: buy the books from our host here and the other impacted author. That’s what I’m doing, and what I encourage others to do, too:

    “Thanks, John!
    The Collapsing Empire will be auto-delivered wirelessly to Kindle Cloud Reader. You can go to your device to start reading.”

    “Thanks, John!
    The Hidden People will be auto-delivered wirelessly to John’s Kindle for PC. You can go to your device to start reading.
    If the item does not appear automatically in Kindle for PC, please go to Menu and choose Sync and Check for New Items.”

    Have a good weekend, Mr. Scalzi.

  21. Shorter Dragon: Who knew organizing a book award was so complicated?!?!?

    I also get the impression that they do not even now fully grasp the issues at play.

    Also, goddamn puppies….

  22. @blaisepascal2014: On my news blog I report a lot of awards. I think the vast majority are juried, and another sliver have a jury component. There are very few popularly-voted awards. So even if the Dragon Awards administrators say it as if it was somehow in pointed contrast to the Hugos (a popularly-chosen award where one must be a Worldcon member to vote), it’s still a rarity.

  23. I hate to see authors/artists withdraw what may be really good works on account of some person or group acting badly and trying to misuse the author’s or work’s name toward someone else’s ends.

    People with ideological or political or religious agendas ought to promote those on their own merits, and leave authors and artists and their work out of it.

    That is, if the author or artist (or band, etc.) wants to promote something they believe in, then let them do that, because hey, wouldn’t that be another voice defending the idea in addition to the other people who favor the idea? Aha! See how much better that would be?

    Stuffing a ballot card, or stuffing the votes, is not just unfair; it’s also stupid and potentially a dead giveaway. If you have only X number of people who registered to vote, yet you have X + (BigNumber) voters and Y + (BigNumber) votes, hmm, doesn’t that say all those (BigNumber) votes and voters are potentially unreal? Yeah.

    I have zero interest in any ideological-faction pseudo-puppies. Real puppies are way more fun. And I say this as a cat owner, ’cause I grew up with a sweet old mama dog. Ideological-puppies? Not much fun, to paraphrase a song that used to run on the Dr. Demento Show. (Sorry, massively free-associating there.)

    I’m way more interested in good books and shows and games. If those have ideas to explore (and I hope they do) as well as a neat adventure, then I’d much rather reach, listen, watch, play those.

    Hey, I began adult life as an English major with lots of Language interest and a good bit of Computer and Graphics interest. I _like_ liberal arts. So ideas, great! But have the guts to discuss those on their own merit, without trying to bash me over the head with it, or hiding behind something or someone else, or making up some crazy-stupid agenda. (I’m addressing the people who seem bent on doing that. Our host, Mr. Scalzi, is not. He’s honest and forthright enough to espouse his ideas openly in essays or in storytelling, which is, I think, way better.)

    There must be good ways to minimize or prevent stuffing the ballots or stuffing the voting boxes, whether the real-world paper kind, or the virtual-online-world electronic kind. Plainly, the Dragon Awards people need to work out a better way to do that for a popularity nomination and voting process.

    Good stories? Good artists and authors? Cool, bring ’em on! From the unknown first-timers to the seasoned big-name veterans, cool, we need the whole slew of ’em.

    (Wait, seasonings? Well, season salt, maybe a pinch of this, a dash of that….) (Ahem, free-association mode: off; )

    @Scalzi — Thanks for clarifying with the update. As stated, I hate to see good people and good art withdrawn when it is someone else’s nonsense, and not the fault of the artist or the art.)

  24. I honestly don’t understand the concept of declining a nomination. I think it gets to the core point of an award. Is it to pick the best of something, or is it somehow for the author? Do any other industries do this? There is a long storied history of declining to accept an award, but declining a nomination? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Say I and 100 of my friends[before you snark, no I don’t actually have 100 friends] wanted to have an award for best book of the year. Honestly I think it would be a bit weird to even attempt to notify the winner/nominees. Maybe we’d announce the winner on twitter or facebook or some website, but we probably wouldn’t care too much if it didn’t get any eyeballs outside of our circle. So what is the difference between that hypothetical award and the Dragon Award? Is it just scale of how many people have heard of it?

  25. One other thing I forgot. Once it becomes accepted for people to decline a nomination, it starts to exert unseemly pressure on people to decline. This happened with the Hugos.

  26. Dear Pedro,

    Unfortunately, that is true of any of us who don’t qualify as the “mainstream” (please don’t ask me to try to define what that means) in so many respects. There are only 24 hours in the day and one often has better things to do with them than be a combatant.


    Dear Aurora,

    I noticed that, too. But I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on this, because I get the impression that they really don’t want to be part of all of the shit (see Pedro’s observation), so they were trying not to say anything that could be construed as taking sides or a position, since that would just be painting a bull’s-eye on their backs.

    They could have done it better. If it were me, I just would’ve written “factions” with no specific adjectival qualifiers, and then they’d be providing readers with less to nitpick. But (a) I’m a professional writer, and (b) I’ve likely done a lot more reputation management than they have.

    I’m giving them a pass on this one, unless they manage to stick their foot further in it. God knows they handled it better than Doherty did at Tor when he tried the “I’m not playing” tack. And he had neither excuses (a) nor (b).


    Dear Wizardru,

    “…what’s the point of making an award if you don’t give the candidates a choice in the matter?”

    Because the key point of an award is that you (= the award-giving entity) wish to honor merit you see in the recipients, not to cater to their whims. It is good politics and politesse to respect the latter; I mean, you’re trying to honor these people, not treat them as adversaries. But the point of the award is that YOU are issuing the honor — it’s a statement of YOUR feelings. Not theirs.

    I am vehemently anti-libertarian but I respect the Prometheus Awards because it’s clear from their nominees (and some of their winners) that they don’t give a frig about the personal politics of the authors, only whether the particular work upholds their libertarian ideals. I’ve got several friends who were gobsmacked when they were listed, because they’re fervently anti-libertarian.

    Now, being libertarians, I suspect that if an author asked to be un-nominated, they would honor that. But that goes to their politics. The fact is still that it’s them deciding what they think deserves an honor, not them trying to guess whether the recipient wants the honor.

    – Pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 

  27. I hope they manage to live up to what they said to convince you to stay.

    I don’t suppose they explained what they meant by a ‘justice warrior’ slate?

  28. So I respect that when you see something that you find offensive you don’t always take the attitude someone else will take care of it.

    So I’m OK with you not letting these Culture Wars be fought without you. Since this involves the Collapsing Empire, it’s especially fitting you’re showing some love for Iain Banks “Culture” with your ship names. Whatever happens with the Culture Wars it’s good to keep showing that love.

    So you’re not going to the awards ceremony and will be in DC instead. Hopefully means you’re only going to be involved in one Culture War at a time.

  29. Something pleasantly (I swear!) off-topic: You’re going to be in DC?! I hope it’s for the book tour or something similar, because I’d love to get a chance to see you in person.

  30. You’ve written a few times about people trying to hijack awards or something, and maybe it’s because I’m not in publishing but I have no idea who is doing what and how that messes with you. Wish I understood this more. If you have a prior blog that explains it in detail could you please feed me the link?

  31. Culture war nonsense aside, the Dragons just don’t look like very well thought out or well run awards. One vote per email address is just asking for ballot stuffing. I’m sure an astounding number of people have both home and work emails, and almost anyone who works in IT can probably have as many addresses as they like…. “Vote early and often” is likely more than just a joke here.

    Then there’s the eligibility period, which is just crazy. You need to figure out not only what year a work was published, but which month! Who wants to bother with that? Every other award is just year-of-publication, nothing more, nothing less. I have no idea why the Dragons went with July 1 to June 30. And then, nominations close less than a month later, which is not enough time to read the late-released candidates. Anything actually released June 30 is going to be at a horrible disadvantage!

    And first-past-the-post voting? This is the 21st century, guys! FPTP is horrible, and there’s no excuse for using it anymore!

    That said, I do like the wide variety of categories they offer. That’s pretty nifty. But overall, the whole thing just looks like a mess, and I can’t find it in me to care. I may or may not vote, but the way the thing is run certainly doesn’t encourage me to do so.

  32. I dunno, John, I think you should let these guys have their “culture war” fun. Sure they might be “Alt-right” agitators; but it’s truly harmless.

    Consider the problem.

    [Utterly unrelated and frankly stupid soapbox analysis designed to derail conversation deleted — JS]

    Let them have this silly little nomination; if only to allow the steam built by the oppression of the alt-right to have a safe outlet.

  33. Dear Doc Stat,

    And so the group that preaches nonstop hatred and bigotry is somehow the poor victim.


    I would love to be able to tell you where to shove it, except John has reserved the privilege for himself as owner and proprietor.

    Feel free to use your imagination.

    (God, you make me wish for Scorpio…)

    pax / Ctein

  34. John,
    Obviously not going to ask you to break a confidence, but if you do have channels to the people organising these awards, there’s some feedback that would help.
    They, and you, ask that we trust them. It would really help build trust if we had any clue who they were and what their fan credentials were. So far their award looks like it’s set up purely to allow the system to be gamed. I did some work published on File770 about whether these books we never heard of had actually been read. On GoodReads at least (and I know that’s indicative not proof) we see books like TCE which have been rated by tens of thousands, competing against others with less than ten ratings. One book has only be treated by two people.
    That makes me think there must be bots gaming the nomination, and quite probably final voting system, which coupled with secret organisers who seem happy enough with that does not add confidence.
    They can sort at least part of that by being open and honest.

  35. The Collapsing Empire is worth an award, but the award of course has to be decided by proper means. The book did feel well done and gave me a desire to get more.

    I recently watched the Star Trek episode “The Cage”, and one thought brought up there is that the Talosians had more or less started to watch the life of others instead of having their own life and experiences. We humans now do the same thing with Internet social media.

  36. Do you contradict yourself? well then you contradict yourself. You are large. You contain multitudes.
    Everybody but the puppies seem to be trying to treat people right, however messy it is in practice. Just keep writing books that I enjoy. Please.

  37. ” It’s just tiring to have people waving up and down for your attention all the time, and not in a fun way. It’d be nice if they had another hobby besides me.”

    It’s basically a laudable, if annoying, public service. While they throw shit at you they don’t have time to throw it at potentially more vulnerable authors.
    I’m not sure how often you have been compared to a Kong dog toy but that’s your role here. Lest rabid pups bitie the ankles of blameless victims, you, the Scalzi Kong, distract them.

  38. FWIW the only thing I use these awards for is that I take the nominations lists as input into my “to-read (maybe)” list, then go to Goodreads for reviews to decide what actually gets on my list. I don’t actually care much who wins. With the Hugos, by the time voting happens I’ve probably already read everything on the list and moved on.

  39. As a person who has gone and gotten a second email address for the express purpose of getting two Kickstarter benefits when only one was allowed, I can see that email address is not a good way to count actual votes.
    I hoped I wasn’t doing anything immoral, since I was actually throwing more money at the Kickstarter, but I am well aware that there exist people who won’t care about the morality issue at all, hence ballot stuffing.

    OTOH, I don’t see how the bakers’ opinions or wishes enters into it if a bunch of cookie fanatics want to nominate best cookies.

  40. Travis C:I honestly don’t understand the concept of declining a nomination. I think it gets to the core point of an award. Is it to pick the best of something, or is it somehow for the author? Do any other industries do this? There is a long storied history of declining to accept an award, but declining a nomination? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Other industries do it all the time; a host of actors have declined the Academy Awards and some have declined their nominations for various reasons (example: George C. Scott famously asked them to not nominate him several times, and when he did win, sent someone else to decline the award and then make a protest speech). Actors have declined Tony Nominations, such as when Julie Andrews requested her nomination be rescinded for Victor/Victoria. Sinead O’Connor, Gorillaz and a host of other artists have routinely declined the Grammys. It’s hardly uncommon.

    The reasons for declining an award are many and varied. Sometimes it’s a respect issue: Julie Andrews, for example, felt that they had snubbed everyone else in the play when they nominated her (since it was unusual for the play to receive best actress and literally nothing else). George C. Scott, Marlon Brando and others felt that the Oscars created an artificial competition on a subjective art form, making ‘winners’ out of a system with distinct politics and biases. Some had personal reasons, like when Peter O’Toole basically said ‘A lifetime achievement award? I’m still working! Wait until I’m 80, THEN give it to me.’ (and in that case, they did).

    I get what you and ctein are saying; that the awards are designed for the integrity of the work. But I also think it’s somewhat rude or disrespectful to force someone to be in an award that might obviously be a false representation of quality or violates their personal ethics or moral standards. Setting aside the obvious example of winning an award you don’t want (say ‘Racist of the Year’) or an award from someone you don’t want (Stormfront voted you ‘Best White Power Work’!), if they are actual awards meant to recognize the work and honor the creator, then it’s polite (or good practice) to respect the wishes of that creator. If it’s purely for YOUR benefit and not the artist, then why give out an award instead of just having a voted on ‘top 10’ list or the like?

    I understand why the Dragon Awards would be very reticent to let someone back out: it sends a message that this fledgling award is illegitimate. That it’s not REALLY a list of best works, it’s best works without Authors X, Y and Z and Artists A, B and C. But I think an award that actually wants to help the artists and fandom should respect those artists enough to honor their wishes, personally.

  41. Serious question(apologize if this has been answered elsewhere) – would restricting voting to only those of us with tickets to Dragon Con be a bad idea? I honestly don’t know the answer, but it seems that would cut down on some of the gaming.

  42. Thank you for sticking this out even with the extra stress. It means a great deal to those of us on the ballot who are neither big names or the folk milling their culture war moonshine. I appreciate your honesty and flexibility.

  43. Ctein,

    Simple trolls can be ignored, but the determined, clever, shameless foe usually cannot. John knows this from long entanglement with a certain gentleman who regularly mops the floor of his independent publishing house with John’s reputation.

    When dealing with self-declared enemies, especially those who seek to entangle us in open-ended, enervating contests, ancient advice is often the best advice.

    De capienda ex inimicis utilitate by Plutarch works for me: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/plutarch/moralia/de_capienda*.html

    Write well and sell like hell also works.



  44. Simple trolls can be ignored, but the determined, clever, shameless foe usually cannot. John knows this from long entanglement with a certain gentleman who regularly mops the floor of his independent publishing house with John’s reputation.

    As a professional Outsider, please don’t tar those of us who really work on the fringes of sanity with amateur hour efforts. The Puppies thing is a Game now played out, fun has been had, books are still being enjoyed, Western Civilization didn’t come to an… oh.

    @Host, don’t worry, I believe Sanity Checks will slowly return to normal. These things tend to shake themselves out, it often takes a couple of years, sadly[0]:

    Women swept nearly every category at the 2017 Hugo Awards The Verge, 11th August, 2017

    And Doc Scot:

    Almost flawless parody, sadly let down by a lack of genuine knowledge of the arena you’re playing in. “Ctrl Left” gained minor traction at the tail end of 2016 (Huffpost, minor figures attempting to use #GamerGate etc) but it’s not a term the “side” you’re pretending to represent really use, and certainly not within the last eight months or so[1]. I can freely amend that to state: “Not anyone who is currently notable or relevant in said circles” if you require someone to reaffirm your authenticity. (Actually parsing out just how badly that attempted equivalence faded out, and how fast, is a task you can research on your own: not a great show of creative spark).

    Since you seem rather ‘out of the loop’ here’s a generational mimetic prod to show you’re still “down with the kids”. I’ve located it to your age group / formative years:


    Also, someone needs to seriously poke the Dragon crew with just how easy it is to bot these things these days: ‘Bots’ spam FCC website over proposed net neutrality reversal BBC, 17th May, 2017.

    If they’re not careful, someone could take childish interest in really tampering with their results.

    Also, please note: non-Americans are most confused (as are some rather notable figures in Finance) because all this talk of “The Dragon Awards” is causing even more amusing cross-overs:


    Liberum Capital Limited were most un-amused to be CC’d into Puppy Mailing lists, let me tell you. They value the Brand Awareness of their victories from a much, much older Brand (a good 400 years or so)[2]

    Anyhow, Yawn to that subject.

    May you all at least smile given silly times.


    No, you’re not going to have a nuclear war.

    [0] Offer may not apply to DC inhabitants which is why you’re visiting, yes, yes, super-secret mission Top Secret, Eyes Only, but no-one believes a word I type anyhow.
    [1] Some of us really do keep one eye on such things.
    [2] No, really: if you want to play email hi-jinks, and trolling once more, you might attract some real pros to the Game. Those Dragons have teeth, however.

  45. And, Mr Doc Scot, in the very outre case that you were being serious and do represent such chilling and terrifying forces of online darkness:

    The 2016 winners of the (other) Dragon Award includes: Heart of the City Award: Penguin Random House UK.

    Who, I do believe, are in the book publishing trade. Might have interest in such things. I’ve no idea, total coincidence, random site I happened to Duck-Duck-Go.

    I’m told the current American term is “Stick to Your Own Lane”, then you can all be happy little beavers once more.


    Have fun Host, most auspicious name for your progeny there, quite the choice (*random fairy blessing dust*).

  46. So this is a familiar song and dance. The Sad Puppies didn’t notify a lot of authors that they were put on a political voting slate, and initially refused to take authors off that slate when they asked until forced to by sufficient outrage. Now, the Dragon Award runners, who seem to have a rather ridiculous view of the field, also don’t notify authors of their nominations and initially refused to take them off the ballot when they asked until forced to by sufficient outrage. The pattern is pretty clear — the view of authors as tools to be used as pleased rather than people with their own agency of their careers and worthy of any basic and professional consideration.

    Right now the Dragon Awards are the equivalent of a bunch of people hanging out in a dank basement. If Dragon Con cared, they’d turn the thing over to competent administrators. But it will be a few years until they bother. In the meantime, the people running it don’t seem well meaning to me. They seem like the usual toxic bro culture that is chasing people off online SFF spaces. The award is a mess.

    But if there is one thing that needs to be clear, it’s this: You don’t get to hold authors hostage — not on award ballots or recommendation lists, not forcing them to talk on Twitter, not when they don’t feel safe with harassers as a guest at your con, etc. It’s their career and they get to decide what they are involved in. How you think you can use them doesn’t give you rights over that.

  47. [Deleted because aaaaaaaand here we went off the rails entirely because Doc Stat gets up on a soapbox about hat dumbass Google Memo for no good reason at all except apparently he likes soapboxes. Which is nice for him but really isn’t on topic, and Doc Stat decided to be a bit of an ass besides. Doc Stat, you know better. Do something like this again and it’s back to moderation with you, possibly on a permanent basis — JS]

  48. [Deleted for responding to a deleted off-topic post. I’m snipping out wholesale subsequent posts on this derail — JS]

  49. [Parts responding to deleted post deleted — JS]

    John, as for the original topic, I can sympatize with your desire to support the Dragon Awarders but it really does seem to be a flawed process.

  50. One of the puppies biggest claims is the hugos have been taken over by SJW’s, so they don’t win the awards, so their books don’t get read, so their bigoted ideas don’t get an audience. They claim no one listens to their bigotry because the SJW’s have silenced them. And if people would just but listen to their bigotry, people would see they (the puppies) have a valid point. The goal seems to be to gain a platform for bigotry where no one is allowed to disagree with them.

    And so, I suggest the hashtag #howwillweknowifwedontlisten

    For example:
    Maybe they had a point.
    (picture of slave covered in scars)
    Maybe he had it coming.

    Maybe they had a point.
    (picture of children in aushwitz)
    Maybe they had it coming.

    Something like that. I’ve just gotten so tired of the “you must hate free speech” response that bigots like the puppies use to turn rejection of their ideas into being silenced by a cabal.

    also, part of me is really starting to wonder: Is it possible that we could have years of the puppy/hugo crap flare up so loudly that the entire industry knows about it, and the folks behind the dragon awards never heard of it? That doesn’t seem to be legitimately possible. I could see people who are casual fans of scifi might not know. But people who are motivated enough to start a convention and a whole new award? There’s a feeling gnawing at me that someone behind the dragon awards full well knew of the puppies/hugo thing and thought, “maybe they have a point” and created an award with rules so horrible that it practically taunts people to game them. Is there anyone behind the dragon award who came out pro-puppy last year?

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