Getting a ton of people asking me how I feel about the Dragon Awards, from friends who are truly interested, to the general hater groups who are trying to use it as means to snipe at me, my fiction, and my friends’ fiction.
8,000+ ballots were cast. This is a win for fandom. It’s not just a select group of authors/editors who think they’re above everyone else with their little cliques voting here, it’s a mass of people. Which is incredible. The fact that I was even able to get nominated in such a field of authors who are frankly way better than me is amazing in and of itself. Big thanks to all of my readers here who supported!
But going through the list of winners, these books are all super-deserving! People voted and showed what they love. And that’s what this is about, a celebration of fiction that real people love.
In my own category, it was literally my book up against my favorite authors who have been doing incredible work for years. Just being among that crowd is jaw dropping and a dream come true. I mean I’ve always dreamed of being Chuck Gannon or Eric Flint since I was younger, those guys are the best of the best and have been for decades same with BV Larson and David van Dyke. The newer folk to the scene these last few years are equally impressive. Mark Wandrey’s Cartwright’s Cavaliers is 100% on my list for one of the top five books of 2016, and the winner, Richard Fox has the most incredible Mil SF universe that I am just starting to explore. A great writer who’s extremely well deserving of the win.
Basically, for Mil SF fans I can say “this is a great reading list for your book club for the next 6 months” without any reservation. Every book in the category is something I have or will be checking out myself. It’s great!
It’ll be fun to watch this award grow. What’s disconcerting is the way purported Sci-Fi magazines like Tor.com and Locus have treated this — from ignoring it to poo-pooing the award as something “real” authors drop out of. It’s not the case at all, and it’s been shown that fans turned out for this in drove. This is where real science fiction is at, and where real fandom is at. These legacy groups can throw shade all they want, but it’s really getting tired this little game of hate of a subset of people’s books, trying to force us out of the industry for not playing by their rules. The readers want none of that, and that’s why the Dragon Awards are so powerful.
Congrats to all the winners. You have my love and respect and hope to see you next year!