A Very Dragon Christmas

Hey! Look what just arrived!

The 2020 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

It’s the 2020 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, which was won by The Last Emperox. More accurately, it’s the trophy for it, which is lovely, and individually crafted by Decatur Glassblowing. As I understand it every trophy is ever-so-slightly different, and I’m happy to say I clearly received the most gorgeous one this year. On seeing it, Athena remarked that it is very pretty, and also you could stab someone with it, and of course “can I murder someone with this” is the gold standard for award trophies. It took a while to arrive, but then it would if it was individually handcrafted. I’m just going to consider this my Christmas present for the year.

I was delighted to have had The Last Emperox win the Dragon Award this year; it’s a pretty good novel and a good conclusion to a trilogy and it’s nice to see it get some recognition. As with any time I’ve received an award, there was some sniffiness as to whether the award was deserved (this happens with just about any work that receives an award, so in that respect I’m not special, although some of it is indeed specific to me). Those people are, naturally, invited to die mad. In the meantime the award is currently resting on the same shelf that houses my second Seiun award, and my congratulatory proclamations from both the Ohio House and Senate after winning some previous awards. It’s in good company.

Somewhat more seriously, thank you to everyone who voted for the book in the awards, to DragonCon for hosting the award, and to Decatur Glassblowing for making such pretty trophies. This is a lovely lift at the end of a very long year.

— JS

37 Comments on “A Very Dragon Christmas”

  1. Now I’m looking forward to your ranking of the murder potential of all the major trophies

  2. Very nice! As someone married to a glassblower, I can tell you that you’re spot on about each one being slightly different. The technique that lays the colored glass into the piece is freehand and variable (i.e., you really can’t do it exactly the same way twice, just mostly the same way) so they’ll all look similar, but the pattern will be subtly different in each one.

  3. Oh how lovely! Congrats again, John!

    As an aside: Last year my partner and I made Christmas ornaments at Decatur Glassblowing during one of their holiday classes and it was a lot of fun. We planned ot make it an annual thing and build up a collection of ornaments, but … well …. Covid. I’m hoping that next year they’ll be able to hold their classes again. I highly recommend it to any Atlanta-area folk for a fun family or date night event.

  4. Wasn’t the Dragon Award decided by a large number of mail-in votes? Fraud!! Fraud, I tell ya!!

    But seriously, Congratulations, and Merry Christmas!!! :-)

  5. So an Oscar or Hugo is better than a Tony or a Grammy, because they’re better bludgeons? The things you can learn on the Internet, lawsey-me.

  6. Congratulations! That is indeed a beautiful trophy (its potential as a murder-weapon aside). I love hand-blown glass–spent a fascinating day at the Corning Museum in Ithaca (NY) a few years ago, and would love to go back . . .

  7. It has long been a family tradition – stolen from our friend Margot, which seems to be true for many of our traditions! and beginning I believe with our wedding gifts – to rank presents on the murder weapon scale. Glad to see this practice spreading.

  8. Congratulations on the award, it’s well deserved, sniffiness be damned, Athena’s comment regarding the trophy’s potential as a murder weapon brought to mind an episode of the television series Ellery Queen, The Adventure of the Blunt Instrument, in which a mystery writer is literally murdered with his literary award. I trust you won’t suffer the same fate but careful placement of the award might be advisable.

  9. Congrats on the award. I didn’t much like the series but I am a jaded sci-fi novel nerd so my opinion is suspect. Anyway enjoy the accolades.

  10. I’m with Erik Stone — Whatever’s readership DEMANDS a ranking of the murder potential of major SF writing trophies!

    You could probably burn somebody’s house down w/The Skylark (Jane Yolen claims she actually burnt a hole in her coat with hers!), and like the Dragon Award, a Hugo also looks nicely stabby. I guess you could bludgeon somebody to death with a Nebula…maybe? Not so sure the Astounding (formerly the Campbell, except its namesake was a bigot!) Award is much good as a weapon, unless the pin they give you can double as a Shuriken?

  11. Murder potential is a great way to judge awards. Somehow that reminds me of a classic James Mattis quote regarding interpersonal relations: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

    Does the murder potential includes deaths caused by the fact of the award or is it limited to damage caused by the physical award? Seems to me that was a lot of apoplexy when you won this award. But that’s independent of the shape of the physical award so maybe it doesn’t count.

    @Ewan: we will start grading presents by murder potential forthwith. That’s a great tradition.

  12. Have you read Sarah Pinsker’s “And Then There Were (N-One)“? A Nebula Award trophy gets used as a murder weapon in that one. (Specifically the trophy won by Sarah Pinsker for “Our Lady of the Open Road”.) It’s a fun story.

    Congratulations on your win and your lovely trophy.

  13. I like the snowflake decos. I like the reticulated table mat. The trophy is still the prettiest dang thing in the room!

  14. Da-yum…that is one beautiful award. Well worth having just as an art piece.

    Hm….now I get visions of a writer-assassin who uses their literary awards as their chosen weapons to perform hits on the victims of his hit list….

  15. gwangung: Nah, it’s a fan wanna-be, who steals the trophies and uses them as murder weapons on the writers!

  16. Good book, beautiful award, feh on all the turgid gimpstungkers. :)
    I enjoyed the trilogy quite a lot. Thank you for keeping on keeping on.

  17. The award for the award that most closely resembles a sex toy goes to…

    The 2020 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel!

  18. Congrats Mr S!! As a former So Cal resident and cat-wrangler, might I suggest placing a dollup of earthquake putty under that beautiful one of a kind piece of art? Might save it from a Scamper-Related Calamity sometime!

  19. Congratulations, and many thanks for the effort you put in to writing stories that entertain so many people, myself included. Happy holidays.

  20. It’s beautiful, well deserved and potentially deadly! but sadly comes in second place to Carl Hyacith’s frozen iguana as an impromptu weapon…

  21. Agree with @Kara; it looks like it could have been used as a very nice Christmas ornament if the glassblowers had put a loop on the top. Of course, depending on its size, it might have turned your tree into a Charlie Brown model — “Aaaugh! I killed it!” See? It’s a murder weapon already, and you didn’t have to gunk it up by stabbing anyone!

  22. My phone gently switched from B&W to color while reading this post, so I first saw the award in greyscale. Once I realized the color had switched on, I scrolled back to the top and wow, the colors were a complete surprise to me and that made it all the more vibrant. Congratulations, it’s gorgeous!

  23. Congratulations, John! It’s well-deserved!

    But how do you guard unique keepsakes from the scamperbeasts? Do you have an enclosed curio cabinet? I ask only partly in jest, because our middle cat, Kira, will not permit anything nearly so fragile anywhere within her domain. Congrats again! <3

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