Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dragon Awards News

Three items to discuss before today's post begins.
After the Dragon Awards were announced, I figured, "Hey, this is a good excuse to discuss books, and add an extra level of PR on top of what I'm doing."

When Alison Littlewood dropped out of horror, I thought "Hey, less competition."

And now NJ Jemisin is out as well.

Wow, my competition is dropping like flies...

Okay, fine, I really think that my competition in horror is Dan Wells and apocalyptic is Cory Doctorow. The former is highly skilled. The latter could probably steamroll the whole category on name recognition alone.

So, my general opinion on the withdrawals is somewhere around apathetic.

One of the things that makes my head tilt is who and why there are withdrawals.

To start with, Brian Niemeier tried to rally his voters by picking on John Scalzi. Which, I'm sorry, I've had my name dragged through the mud a lot this year, by multiple factions and people within them. I've done my best to ignore any and all of the above. Being poked by some random person on social media? Either laugh it off, play along with the joke, or do something strange like ... go back to work and pay off your million-dollar advance.

Scalzi's response was to withdraw from the Dragon Awards.

... Really? Douche bag, your fans voted for your book. At least pretend to be gracious, would you? Someone poked at you on Twitter, so you publicly declare that you're pulling out?

You know, two years ago, when I head tilted and pondered "Would I accept a Hugo Award nomination?" I hemmed and hawed, but ultimately concluded that, sure, if that bizarre event ever happened, I'd take it, because the only way I could get it would be if my fans wanted me to have it. And I, personally, have no respect for that award, the convention around it, or most of the award winners of the past two decades. But at that point, it wouldn't be about me. It would be about the people who voted for me.

So, Scalzi posted on his blog that he was pulling out of the awards, because Brian was poking him.

Alison Littlewood made a similar withdrawal request, screaming VOOOOOXXXX DDDAAAAAAYYYY.

If NK Jemisin released a statement on her reasoning, I haven't heard.

The Dragon awards first response was: Screw off, these are fan awards. It's not about you.

I felt like there was an echo in here.

I don't know what pressures were brought to bear on DragonCon, but they reversed their decision.

Jemisin and Littlewood have dropped out.

Scalzi didn't.

Hmm. Funny that.

So, let me get this straight: Littlewood cares more about what their fans think than about how much they like her books. I'm sorry, even after Cixin Liu spent the Hugo speech bitching about Vox and friends--if I recall correctly--Vox is voting Liu. Meaning that Vox cares less about politics than Littlewood does.

And, of course, there's the Scalzi factor. We've got the CHORF / SJW / 770 crowd, claiming that the Dragon awards are irrelevant because it's all Southern rednecks, or they're the unwashed fans who haven't been properly vetted by WorldCon, or it's all those massive voting blocks that guys like me wield...

...Pardon me for laughing right there.

So what's the logic here? Heads I win, tails you lose?

Let's face it, the "770" narrative if he wins becomes: Scalzi is so awesome that he can get through a Puppy-held award.

The narrative if he loses becomes: Evil Puppies Block Genius Author!

There aren't any Puppies kicking around, but facts haven't gotten in the way of this reporting thus far.

Brian's theory from his website is that, if we keep schmucks like Scalzi from winning, we can keep the Dragons relatively politics-free, but if Scalzi wins, it's open season. Who knows? Instead of Tor buying memberships for their employees to vote in a block (which is a half-remembered rumor I can no longer footnote, so don't take it as Gospel), Tor can easily have their employees fill out Dragon nominations from their home computers (No, not business emails, that would be a little obvious).

Anyway, that's the theory.

Right now, I'm not entirely certain we need to even address Scalzi. If he's campaigning, I haven't seen or heard. But that's just me. Then again, let's face it, I'm relatively easygoing...there's a reason I was never a Rabid Puppy, who has the energy? And Scalzi is going to have enough problems, since it looks like he can't seem to keep up with producing enough books for his million-dollar deal.


  1. If someone has to win these things, I hope it's you Declan.

    And, does anybody even remember what a CHORF is? I could look it up, but why bother?

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