Edward Lear
This has probably been coming on for a while and I’ve just not noticed, but it seems like a lot of organizations are announcing awards for SFF, or that nominations are open for their awards, etc. This is an awesome development, as it provides recognition for authors who are worthy. Some of these don’t look like mainstream awards, either, which provides a spot for people who are a little off-beat to find an audience and get a little promotion.

However. I see today that DragonCon has announced they will give out awards in 2016. This is kind of a biggie. DragonCon is a huge convention, with an annual on-site attendance of about 70,000 people. The press release says the awards will be based on nominations and votes from all fans, not just attendees or members, through an open system. They’re apparently going to run this off their Website where voters can register to vote.

Contrast this attendance figure with WorldCon that gives out the Hugo Awards. Wikipedia lists 4,644 attendees and 10,350 who bought memberships to vote the 2015 Hugo Awards, which was a record for numbers. With DragonCon moving into the awards game, I’m thinking the Hugo’s are officially undermined. The Puppy scandal has not only disrupted the voting system, but it seems to have led to an inspection of the Hugo process where works are winnowed through a narrow review and recommendation system and onto the ballot.

While most people aren’t going to swallow the Puppies’ complaints of a vast conspiracy whole, their grievances do seem to have resulted in concerns about the fairness of the process. WorldCon has scrambled to provide additional controls, but it could be that their credibility is already shot. The Dragon Awards will include a category for mil-fic, and they’re encouraging a free-for-all, i.e. campaigning.

More on this tomorrow.

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