Dragon Award

Several readers have pointed out to me that my novel SOMEWHITHER is up for the Dragoncon award this year, its first year.

If I win, I will be in the same position as Frank Herbert was with DUNE for the Hugo Awards.

This comes as a very pleasant surprise, since I was unaware that it was a candidate at all.

Below is list of finalists for the book categories. There are other categories.  Register to vote at awards.dragoncon.org

The award is purely popular. Any fan can vote. There are no wrongfans and no entry requirements. Anyone who says he is a fan is a fan.


1. Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright
Raising Caine by Charles E. Gannon
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
Agent of the Imperium by Marc Miller
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Life Engineered by J-F Dubeau

2. Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Asteroid Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer
Grave Measures by R.R. Virdi
Blood Hound by James Osiris Baldwin

3. Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
Trix and the Faerie Queen by Alethea Kontis
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

4. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Allies and Enemies: Fallen by Amy J. Murphy
Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber
The Price of Valor by Django Wexler
Wrath of an Angry God: A Military Space Opera by Gibson Michaels
Blood in the Water by Taylor Anderson
Chains of Command by Marko Kloos
The End of All Things by John Scalzi

5. Best Alternate History Novel

1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry
Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove
Germanica by Robert Conroy
1636: The Cardinal Virtues by Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt

6. Best Apocalyptic Novel
A Time to Die by Mark Wandrey
Chasing Freedom by Marina Fontaine
The Desert and the Blade by S.M. Stirling
Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole
Dark Age by Felix O. Hartmann
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

7. Best Horror Novel
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
Chapelwood by Cherie Priest
Honor at Stake by Declan Finn
An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel
Souldancer by Brian Niemeier
Alice by Christina Henry

My comment: since SOMEWHITHER is an alternate history military SF science fiction fantasy juvenile horror novel that takes place during the Apocalypse, I am happy to be in the category where I am not competing with Larry Correia or Nick Cole or Jim Butcher. Those guys rock.

I am sad to see I am opposite Chuck Gannon for Best Science Fiction Novel. That man is a polished and accomplished writer, as well as a fine man to know personally. Kim Stanley Robinson is likewise a writer of great, even legendary, skill. I would be a lunatic not to be awed and cowed by such formidable competition

I was given to understand that there is an unspoken and unwritten gentlemen’s agreement, sort of like the Pirate’s Code in the Disney movie, that a conservative science fiction author may never, ever, ever urge fans to vote for him, nor ask them to coordinate votes in a slate, and that any attempt to promote voting on the basis of the merit of the story, rather than the political correctness of the victim-identity group of the author or his characters, was doubleplus wrongfun superbad ungoodthink thoughtcrime.

Therefore, without urging anyone to vote for my work, let me just say you should vote your conscience, provided of course that your conscience tells you to vote for my work.

If you find that, in good conscience, you cannot vote for my work because my personality, personal beliefs, or personal history makes me an unacceptable candidate, I suggest your ignore your conscience, and vote for whomever your heart says. Provided your heart says to vote for my work, of course. If your heart tells you otherwise, ignore it, and vote for whomever your sober and serious judgment thinks wrote the best work on the list for this year, unless your sober and serious judgment picks someone other than me.

I should also mention that a vote for my work will straighten your teeth, expand your life, augment your powers, sustain your wealth, increase your intelligence, impassion chilly virgins to ardor, guarantee a bountiful harvest of nine essential crops, cure gout, and elevate you instantly to the third level of enlightenment among the Arhats of Lemuria, at which point a variety of uncanny psychic powers unfold themselves into the third and inner eye of the Panoptic Adept of the Lustral Convulsion.  But I am not actually asking you to avail yourself of these rare and greatly desirable advantages and dignities.

Last year was the last chance for the Hugo Awards to be granted on the basis of the merit of the work and the authentic will of the readership: the Powers That Be doubled down, dug deeper trenches, and no-voted the Hugo Awards into irrelevance. (I hear the rumor that the big selling point for World Con this year is a unisex policy for all bathrooms: in the name of diversity, women will no longer have any privacy in the water closet.)

Many a Sad Puppy, remembering the Day of Wooden Assholes, became increasingly Rabid. Naturally your votes that were unwelcome at the World Con are most welcome at Dragon Con.

The long night of puppy-related sadness syndrome sees a new dawn arising. All Hail the Dragon!