Dragon Awards Rules Stipulations, 2017

It’s been brought to my attention that the Dragon Awards administrators have removed their rules page from their website. With any luck, they are busy revamping those rules for next year.

In the meantime, I’ll post the most relevant passages from the rules here for safekeeping. They can still be found online, but only as a cached page (see URL at the bottom of this page).

These rules clearly state that Dragon Con admins reserve the right to change any vote or make any award at their sole discretion, for any reason, with no appeal. In other words, they can do whatever they want with the awards and they have no accountability for the results.


“DRAGON CON reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend voting[….] All decisions regarding the voting process or acceptance of votes shall be final and shall not be subject to challenge or appeal.”

“SELECTION OF WINNERS:  All decisions regarding the voting process and selection of winners shall be made by DRAGON CON in its sole discretion, shall be final, and shall not be subject to challenge or appeal”

“DRAGON CON reserves the right, at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Award and determine the winners from entries received prior to the date such action is taken, or as otherwise deemed fair and equitable by DRAGON CON. All decisions of the DRAGON CON and its agents regarding the administration of this Award shall be final and binding.”

“If DRAGON CON believes, in its sole discretion, that a violation of these Rules has occurred, it may edit or modify any submission, posting or e-mails”



Their rules also never specificy that the winners will be chosen by majority vote — or, indeed, specify any method of determining winners, except for this disclaimer, as stated above:

“SELECTION OF WINNERS: All decisions regarding the voting process and selection of winners shall be made by DRAGON CON in its sole discretion, shall be final, and shall not be subject to challenge or appeal”.


So how do the winners actually get picked? Who knows?



Dragon Awards and Amazon Sales Rankings

The Dragon Award winners were announced today. There’s been quite a lot of controversy about them over the last two years, in part because of ardent campaigning by some authors and factions and in part because of evident lack of controls on voting. The DragonCon website itself insists that email addresses is the only info it gathers from voters, opening up the possibility of ballot-box stuffing; and it also states several times that Dragon admins can change any votes or award results at their sole discretion — meaning that they can assign awards to whomever they like for whatever reason they like.

In any case, the shortlist for these awards was an obvious mishmash of genuinely popular works and books that nobody had ever heard of aside from a very small but rabid set of rightwing agitators. So the award reveal today was an object of much interest for quite a few.

Interestingly, none of the serious rabble rousers won any of the awards. The winner most closely affiliated with them, in fact, appears to be Larry Correia — and since his books are relatively popular in their own right, I don’t ascribe his win to them.

In fact, in all of the novel categories but one, the winner in each category was either the highest or second-highest seller in that category as determined by today’s Amazon paid Kindle rankings. In the one category that does not fit that pattern — fantasy novel — something hinky appears to be going on, since at least one of those books has had an astounding rise in its sales rankings in the course of just a few days. (I’ll post more on that in another few days when I’ve gathered more data.)

Here is the raw data for now:

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers — #15,731
  • Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards — #642,997
  • Rise by Brian Guthrie — #747,598
  • Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli — #165,122 (KU)
  • The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi — #10,714
  • Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey — #4,815
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu — #10,767
  • The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier — #102,048 (KU)

Best Fantasy Novel (incl paranormal)

  • A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day — #11,677 (KU)
  • — 8/27 (free, no paid ranking)
  • — 8/14 121,874
  • — 8/12 #66,735
  • Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter — #16,374
  • — 8/27 17,347
  • — 8/14 18,115
  • — 8/12 21,548
  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo — #29,984
  • — 8/27 31,817
  • — 8/14 25,892
  • — 8/12 16,246
  • The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta — #140,755
  • Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi — #340,734
  • Beast Master by Shayne Silvers — #2,627 (KU)
  • Wings of Justice by Michael-Scott Earle — #71,208 (KU)

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter — #406,925
  • Firebrand by A.J. Hartley — #629,430
  • It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett — #129,871
  • Swan Knight’s Son by John C. Wright — #156,297 (KU)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas — #1,733
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray — #56,726
  • The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan — #4,468

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • The Span of Empire by Eric Flint and David Carrico — #56,542
  • Starship Liberator by B.V. Larson and David VanDyke — #6,086 (KU)
  • Caine’s Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon — #117,864
  • Invasion: Resistance by J.F. Holmes — #53,291 (KU)
  • Cartwright’s Cavaliers by Mark Wandrey — #1,657 (KU)
  • Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz — #98,076 (KU)
  • Aliies and Enemies: Exiles by Amy J. Murphy — #60,688 (KU)
  • Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox — #3,388 (KU)

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Breath of Earth by Beth Cato — #214,998
  • Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler — #96,331
  • Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli — #224,577
  • No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah — #95,171 (KU)
  • A Change in Crime by D.R. Perry — #770,720
  • 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught by Eric Flint — #36,767
  • The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville — #100,668
  • Fallout: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove — #74,702

Best Apocalyptic Novel

  • The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz — #1,103,176
  • A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys — #152,419 (KU)
  • ZK: Falling by J.F. Holmes — #85,397 (KU)
  • Walkaway by Cory Doctorow — #14,523
  • American War by Omar El Akkad — #4,773
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (withdrawn by author) — (#1,150)
  • Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz — #324,840 (KU)

Best Horror Novel

  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle — #6,052
  • Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells — #51,214
  • Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn — #380,131 (KU)
  • The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood (withdrawn by author) — (#148,566)
  • A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau — #33,639
  • The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers — #347,561 (KU)
  • Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga — #100,576
  • Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten — #186,623

US Publishing Revenue Survey, 2015

I thought these numbers were interesting:

Total sales by format

Downloaded audio: $552 million
eBooks: $2.84 billion
Paperback books: $5.23 billion
Hardback books: $5.40 billion


Number of units sold by format

Physical Audio & Downloaded Audio: 81 million
eBook: 424 million
Paperback & Mass Market: 1.18 billion
Hardback: 577 million


U.S. Publishing Industry’s Annual Survey Reveals Nearly $28 Billion in Revenue in 2015