I’m a big fan of DragonCon — I’ve attended for the past two years and will take the pilgrim’s road (i.e. United) to Atlanta again this year. The DragonCon community is wonderful, and I’ve met a lot of fans, and made a lot of fans, by going.
This week, DragonCon launched the Dragon Awards to showcase the best in science fiction and fantasy — books, comics, graphic novels, television, movies, video games, board games and table-top games. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Why so happy, you ask? Because DragonCon has a huge, well-informed fan base. There’s a great opportunity to bring together fans of different media to really look at a wide range of stuff. TV fans may find books they love. Book fans may find a great new table-top RPG. Gamers could discover new young-adult novels.
Yes, there are other fantastic awards for science fiction and fantasy literature, with long and storied traditions behind them. The Hugos and Nebulas will always have a place of pride, and they both honor areas of SF/F literature (smaller works in particular) that the Dragons don’t. So I don’t see the Dragons trying to replace them one bit. What I see is a great opportunity to cross-pollinate fans of SF/F and introduce new stuff to a huge, eager audience well disposed to check ’em out.
Is this perfect? No. I’d love to see short written works (short stories, novelettes, novellas, etc.) up for consideration as well. I’d love to see entire TV series nominated alongside individual episodes. But honestly, it’s pretty nifty.
Best part? You can nominate. Anybody can nominate. Anybody can vote. It’s as egalitarian as it gets. Given DragonCon’s fan base, any attempt to game this system — whether by a single would-be nominee or any sort of ideological slate — would be laughable.
So do it. Embrace the stuff you love. You can nominate right now through July 31. The categories are:
- Best Science Fiction Novel
- Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
- Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
- Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
- Best Alternate History Novel
- Best Apocalyptic Novel
- Best Horror Novel
- Best Comic Book
- Best Graphic Novel
- Best Episode in a Continuing Science Fiction or Fantasy Series, TV or Internet
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectable Card / Role-Playing Game
Go forth and nominate by filling out this form. Voting starts in early August and wraps up September 1st. Register to vote here while you’re at it — I already have. Seriously, this costs you nothing other than a few minutes and a few confirmation emails.
And while you’re at it, I might humbly suggest that The Venusian Gambit would indeed be eligible for a Dragon Award, likely in the Best Alternate History Novel category. If you’re so inclined, of course.