Among the many revelations of Larry Correia's Sad Puppies campaigns, one of the most eye-opening is the surprisingly small voter base of what used to be science fiction's most prestigious award. The Hugos' increasingly niche place in the exploding SF scene is readily apparent when you consider that last year's record-breaking turnout amounted to fewer than 6,000 ballots.
Many fans, noting the stark contrast between the SF movies, TV shows, and games that dominate popular culture and the kinds of stories that win Hugos these days, hailed Dragon Con's announcement of the first annual Dragon Awards as exactly the remedy our genre needs.
Unlike the Hugos, where one must buy a World Science Fiction Convention membership to nominate and vote, Dragon Con has made participation in the Dragon Awards free to anyone with an internet connection.
With an annual reported attendance (many estimates nearly double those figures) at least an order of magnitude higher than World Con's record voter turnout, Dragon Con has the sheer numbers to host a true populist award. By making nominations and voting free, they encourage participation and eliminate the possibility of vote-buying.
The Dragons offer greater SF fandom an award that reflects its tastes, and not just the preferences of a relatively tiny clique.
To those who have, more shall be given.
It's only been two months since my readers nominated me for the 2016 Campbell Award. Honestly, I didn't expect any Dragon Award buzz. Nethereal, my first book, missed Dragon Con's eligibility window, anyway.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that fans and fellow authors alike are adding the sequel, Souldancer, to their Dragon Award recommendations lists.
I'm grateful for the love SD is getting. It's the book I most wanted to write. Moreover, it's my best book, as the near-perfect Amazon rating attests.
If you think Souldancer deserves a Dragon Award, by all means go ahead and nominate it. But first, a few caveats:
- It's strictly one category per book. If you nominate the same book in multiple categories, Dragon Con will nullify your nomination. So you can only nominate Souldancer once.
- I hate to differ with my loyal fans and colleagues, but SD doesn't seem to fit the science fiction category as well as fantasy or horror. If you have to pick one category--and you do--I'd go with
fantasy. If there's a fantasy book you'd rather nominate, then go withhorror. Sci-fi should probably be a last resort.
- The deadline to nominate is July 25, 2016, so there's a little less than a month left to cast your nominations. There's no time like the present.
Once again, I'm up against Sad Puppies heavyweights like Larry, John C. Wright, and Declan Finn. If you want to see Souldancer nominated for a Dragon Award, vote today and recommend SD to a friend.
[UPDATE]: Leonidas in the comments offers the sound strategic advice of nominating Souldancer in the horror category.