Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The Dragon Awards are Teh Stupid

Well, that was fun while it lasted! Here is the latest scuttlebutt from the people behind the Dragon Awards:

Alison Littlewood, the author of The Hidden People, was nominated for a Dragon Award, which asks ordinary fans what they like to watch, read, and play. It’s a fan’s choice award, plain and simple. And it ought to be a good thing.

Though she clearly has a fan base of her own, Ms. Littlewood’s book was also included on a “slate” proposed by an individual/group she didn’t want to be associated with. She worried that she couldn’t trust the nomination was fairly won. And so, she asked if her book could be pulled from the ballot.

It put us in a jam. We have strong faith in the integrity of the Dragon Awards ballot because it was created by fans, the everyday people who actually read the books and nominate them. In seven categories for literature, there were 53 different novels that represented the broad spectrum of fandom and there was something for everybody. It made an excellent reading list for fans everywhere.

So we told her no.

And then, over the last couple of days, we got an earful from our fans and others. The issue also caused a second author to ask us to remove her book from the ballot as well. We’ve reconsidered and changed our mind. This is what’s happening next.

Anybody that has ever run a lot of old school D&D should immediately be able to see why this was a boneheaded move. Make a call like this in the heat of the game and all of a sudden you find out that the players have a reason why everything in the game could maybe be ruled differently. It’s way easier to just let the game be what it is and then leave it to the players to figure out how to deal with that.

But you do see the kicker there, don’t you? If you give this request your blessing, then you have basically agreed that Allison Littlewood was put on the ballot unfairly.

Gosh, if that’s the case… then maybe there are other people on the ballot that ought not to be there. Hell, you maybe even gave out awards last year to people that didn’t come by them honestly!

Seriously, did anyone running this thing give any thought to the implications of what they were doing here?

This is asinine.

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9 responses to “The Dragon Awards are Teh Stupid

  1. Brian Niemeier August 10, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    There are two remedies that must be applied:
    1) Fans should contact Dragon Con and request that any author who renounces a Dragon Award nomination be permanently banned from all future ballots.
    2) The SF SJWs who are attempting to influence the Dragon Awards have received a major morale boost from this poor decision. The voters must ensure that John Scalzi does not win the Best Science Fiction Novel award. His defeat will mean a total SJW shutout, which will strike a devastating blow to their morale.
    Accomplishing these steps should buy Dragon Con enough time to grow the voter base to the point that no one bloc can dominate the awards.

  2. jlv61560 August 10, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Personally, I’d say the Dragon Awards should just fold up shop now. They’ve already proven they are easily swayed by specious and illogical arguments driven by virtue signalling. And that means the awards are henceforth and forever tainted.

    In the future, boasting about a “Dragon Award” will be like bragging on a “participation trophy,” pointless, pathetic, and stupid.

    • hoocott August 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      “they are easily swayed by specious and illogical arguments driven by virtue signaling.”

      I think what did it was the Verge article followed by SJWs screaming in unison on social media and in emails.
      An article mind you that refused to even print the names of “badthink” nominees like Brian.

      I don’t agree with tainted. That is SJW speak for “We don’t control it”
      It is a no-platforming tactic. Anyone who is not an SJW does not care. If fans get their picks then they get their picks. If not then it is gatekeeped and the fans will leave. See worldcon as an example.

      The real danger is for SJWs to fully converge it and by having its strings pulled by a Verge article indicates it is headed in that direction.

      The good news is control can only be temporary. It is a fan award after all. and if the fans don’t get what they want it will die or weaken. At which point the fans will just take it over again.

      The SJWs have to continue to maintain its control and the more control it has the less popular it will become and therefore less motivation to control it.

      Dragon Con is not their home. Maintaining a fort there is a hill to die on.

  3. Michael August 11, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Jeffro, with all due respect, your assertion is flawed because it does not follow logically from the premise. Agreeing to allow Alison Littlewood to remove her work from consideration does not in-and-of-itself deny the integrity of the process. Such a move simply responds to an author’s wishes, driven by her own concerns that she may become associated with a group by proxy. If she does not wish to gain such an association, then her action is justified.

    As an entirely fan-nominated and fan-chosen award, the integrity of the process (such as it can be in an entirely fan-driven environment) remains intact if a single author asks to be removed. Telling her ‘no’ was their primary mistake. Quietly allowing her to withdraw her work from consideration would have likely headed off their current PR problem. The only person who loses here is the author who removes themselves from the competition because they have no chance to earn the award… that said, she might consider a win that comes with unwelcome associations to be unacceptable to her. And that’s her choice.

    • jeffro August 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

      The Dragon Awards cannot remain a fan-nominated award if the fans are not allowed to nominate.

      • Ryan August 11, 2017 at 8:57 am

        The fans are allowed to nominate, but because it’s award, the authors are (now) allowed to decline. I don’t see the problem. It’s a pretty standard practice.

      • JD Cowan August 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Because of the authors drop out when fans nominate them then it means the fans’ vote don’t really matter. They’ve just said they rejected what the fans wanted.

    • Brian T Renninger August 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

      No, it’s not her choice. Either fans get to nominate or they don’t. If they don’t then it’s not a fan award. The time-honored tradition is to refuse to accept an award. Refusing an award has been used numerous times to denounce many a thing. She, doesn’t like a particular award, she can have her proxy state her reasons why. However, one supposes that if her only reason is that she doesn’t like the fans who voted for her, well, that’s sounds like a personal problem. There are numerous awards that reflect negatively on those who earn them (e.g The Bad Science Awards,the Hatchet Job Awards, not that I agree with the premise that the Dragon Awards do this), and letting the nominations for those awards withdraw would destroy the integrity of the process. This is also true for awards intended to reward quality.

      If an award is just a marketing tool to be manipulated by authors and publishers, well then it has no integrity. Telling her no indicated integrity by the award organizers. Folding indicates the reverse.

      • Michael August 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

        Your point about not accepting the award vs. refusing the nomination is a valid one. Respectfully though, I disagree with your conclusion (and Jeffro’s above). The fans were still allowed to nominate. No one took that from them. But the recipient of said nomination should always have the option to withdraw from consideration. To do otherwise admits that you don’t care about the people just the process. That’s not the right approach, in my opinion.

        Yes, she could have refused the award if she won. But consider that she might not win, which seems likely in a slate of 53 entries. Her issue is not with the award or Dragon-Con or her fans, per se. Her issue is the potential that by allowing her nomination to move forward, she is aligning herself (by default) with groups she does not wish to be aligned with. That is her choice. That doesn’t make the award “just a marketing tool.” It means that the award committee respects the authors and the fans and gives them both input.

        Alison Littlewood can address this with her fans through her own communication channels – social media, publisher, personal address, whatever. To address her concern with the nomination though, she would not have been well-served to just let it go… she addressed what she perceived as the issue and the award committee made the right choice in looking at that.

        If there are concerns about the nomination process that would lead an author to choose to distance herself from an award, then it might be worth asking why she made that choice, not downing her – and the award itself – for being respectful of her wishes.

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