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Revenge of the Dragon
The Awards are back.
Yes, this is going to be a long one. Brace for impact.
So, everybody, the Dragon Awards are here.
Votes FOR NOMINATIONS are due ON JULY 19TH
Please remember that eligible nominees came out AFTER JULY 1, 2022, and up to the end of June 2023.
The Dragon Awards
If you’ve been here a while, you know I often talk about the Dragon Awards from January to July. They’re the largest fan-voted awards out there. It’s free to vote on it. You don’t even have to register attending the convention.
It also gives me an excuse to talk about books at large. Not that I really need an excuse. But it helps me from looking like a monomaniac.
And if you want to vote, trust me, I’m going to be investing WAY more time than you are.
Yes, I have a list of who I’m voting for. Here, for you folks, I’m also going to give you my reason for why I’m voting for each, and why I think it’s important.
My thought process
I'm not nominating anyone who already has an award. Most of those who have won already have the attitude of “Oh, I don’t need more dust collectors.”
I’m leaving out Big Name Authors. Frankly, if you're Jim Butcher or Timothy Zahn, you (a) probably don’t want another nomination and (b) you sure as Hell don’t need my help.
If I leave the categories blank, it means I STILL got nothing.
You may wonder why I’m not having a full, massive, months-long discussion, gathering up every eligible author and product.
Been there, done that. It turned into an unmanageable mess.
And this year, between moving and my father dying, I couldn’t have kept it up if I wanted to.
Please remember that eligible nominees came out AFTER 7/1/22, up 6/30/23. So double check before throwing something into the ring.
By the way, there’s another bullet point to my thought process this time, but it doesn’t fit neatly into anything.
You see, I tripped over something during my trip to LibertyCon in June.
No, do not ask me who put together this list. I know one element of the decision making process, but that’s it.
But I like their best horror nomination.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of each category.
Best Science Fiction Novel
The Dabare Snake Launcher, by Joelle Presby
Why this one? Is it just because it’s on the card? Nope. Not at all.
When a wealthy West African family, the Sadous, snag the contract to build Earth’s first space elevator, everyone wants a piece of the action. All the major players in financing and construction, geology and real estate, are simultaneously playing nice and stabbing each other in the back, even as corporate espionage threatens to topple construction before it even gets off the ground.
Ultimately, the success of the space elevator becomes the responsibility of the youngest Sadous, Pascaline and Maurie.
One wants to have her own career, and the other finds herself plagued (or is it possessed?) by a water goddess.
Besides, if Zahn really wants the Award, I’m sure he can get it without even asking.
If you think this premise is too far fetched—for whatever reason—I can also suggest Karl Gallagher’s latest.
Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
Looking at this, my first thought was “Her name sounds familiar.”
After a quick search, I trip over this review by one of my guys over at Upstream—different book, same author.
So what’s the premise on this one, anyway?
Andrei is more than just a swordmaker.
He's a legend.
Members of the legendary silkmaking clan in the Southern Network understand one thing: the clan keeps the Sirilas magic in balance by obedience to its rules, and the Sirilas magic keeps them alive.
When loyal, steady future Guide to the Clan Andrei Kuzmin finds a sword that stands in his way to ease and prosperity—quite literally—he's shoved out of his stable world and into a new magic.
A magic that doesn't care about the requirements of the Sirilas magic.
While Andrei grapples to rid himself of the meddlesome sword, a new foe enters the stage. Alek Popov, High Priest to the Southern Network, a witch hungry for the well-kept secrets of the silkmaking magic.
Can Andrei keep both magicks happy while forging the path required of him?
Or will Andrei's faltering loyalty destroy the clan from the very center?
THE SWORDMAKER is the second novel in the Historical Collection. This thrilling story will sweep you away to the arctic lands of the Southern Network, where magic teems and mysteries abound.
Okay, I’m sold.
Coincidentally, I have a reviewer looking this over as I write this. So if we change our mind on this, you’ll know.
Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
I have nothing.
I thought I was going to have another Denton Salle novel…
This one to be precise.
But it came out May last year. Salle’s current one? It just came out … so I have something for next year. And Into the Real came out too early last year…
I HAVE IT! MUAHAHAHAHA!
Gun Magnus, by NR LaPoint
… Was it listed as YA on Amzon? No.
Would I give it to anyone ages 9 and up? You betcha.
It’s good. If you don’t vote for it, at least read it.
The last thing Kenneth Jericho needed was a gunfight and car chase with human traffickers. What started as a bad morning only got worse.
A flash of light sends Ken to a strange world filled with magic, hideous monsters, beautiful women, and seemingly unlimited ammo.
With pistol in hand, Ken is thrown into a race against time to stop a local ganglord's reign of terror. But is the thug the brains behind the violence, or is someone - or something - else pulling his strings?
If John Wick fell into the realm of Final Fantasy VI, it might be half as badass as all this.
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
…. Never mind. Dragon Con killed this category.
Best Alternate History Novel
Kevin Ikenberry, The Crossing.
Behind enemy lines and displaced in time!
Before the Battle of Trenton, George Washington reputedly threw a coin across the river. What if that coin was a bicentennial quarter?
When a squad of ROTC cadets training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in November 2008 find themselves transported to December 1776 in the days before the Battle of Trenton, they find a Continental Army in disarray and General George Washington contemplating the potential of a bleak future. To make matters worse, they’ve lost a modern M-16 rifle to a roving Hessian patrol. Understanding the ramifications of such a discovery, the cadets have no choice but to report to General Washington. Without ammunition or their own meager supplies, can Cadet Sergeant Jameel Mason and his friends steel Washington’s courage and set the infancy of the United States of America back on track?
One of my reviewers read this, he liked it. Watch this space, there should be a review en route. Probably by tonight.
Best Media Tie-In Novel
Oops, never mind.
DragonCon killed this category too.
Best Horror Novel
Blue Saint, by Declan Finn
Obviously, whoever cultivated this list is someone of culture and taste. I graciously accept the nomination. :)
Now, usually, my reason for putting myself in this category is simple: I generally don’t read horror. This year … well, I read some horror, and the scariest thing about it was the bad writing. Trad Pub really is going down hill, isn’t it? Crap writing. Info dumps. Lazy world building, if there is any… ugh.
While I may not be the best horror author, I can say for certain that there are a lot of people who are worse than I am.
When his local church is destroyed by supernatural means, NYPD Lt Tommy Nolan finds himself besieged by old enemies hellbent on revenge. This time, Hell will see Nolan dead, whatever the cost, and destroy his city with him.
What will Nolan risk to stop the coming onslaught? And will it be enough?
So I had fun here.
Best Illustrative Book Cover
Yes, this is a thing now.
As I don’t have a horse in this race, Jackson Tjota can have my vote for Titan Mage.
… Let’s not discuss the genre.
…. Though if you’re wondering who did the cover for Blue Saint … cover by NR LaPoint.
Best Comic Book
Funny thing about that.
The official publishing date of this novel is May, 2023.
Black Tide Rising: By John Ringo and Chuck Dixon.
What’s that you say? Ringo has an award? This is true…
Chuck Dixon, however, does not.
The media calls it the Pacific Flu. The CDC calls it H7D3, and it spreads like wildfire. The virus combines the worst symptoms of Rabies and the common Flu, and is suspected to be man-made. The first reports of feral, cannibalistic “zombie-like” symptoms were met with disbelief and skeptical amusement, but nobody’s laughing now. Scientists, backed by the world’s governments and its wealthiest institutions, race against the clock to develop a cure as infections rise and cities fall.
A glimmer of hope appears as a vaccine is discovered, but its production requires harvesting the spinal tissue of the infected, a grim task that tests the limits of human morality. With no other choices apparent, time is quickly running out before hordes of infected overwhelm the last remaining bastions of civilization.
In the first days of the outbreak, a college history professor receives a cryptic warning from a trusted source. Its baffling, yet unmistakable message translates as: “PACK UP, GET OUT, AND GO NOW!”
Steve Smith and his family don’t waste any time; they leave their normal, comfortable lives behind to get ahead of the inevitable panic and survive the end of the world!
It’s Chuck Dixon and John Ringo. And I read the original novel. Chuck would have to work in order for it to be less than awesome.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet
Disney shills are probably going to push Willow. Amazon shills will push Rings of Power. I don’t care.
Is Demon Slayer still around? Is Attack on Titan still good? Is One Piece on episode two million yet? Resident Alien?
Sorry, I can’t get ginned up for this one.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
I can’t remember the last film I saw in theaters. Hell, I can’t remember the most recent film I saw.
Hey, maybe for a joke, we should nominate The Flash. Ha!
Or should we nominate Fast X, considering everything they do to the laws of physics?
Best Digital Game
Hogwarts Legacy? That’ll piss people off.
In all honesty, I don’t know. The most recent game in my arsenal is Hitman 3, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge and Horizon, Forbidden West, and I haven’t cracked the wrapper on the last one.
Best Tabletop Game
A friendly (mostly) card game for lovers of cats, snark, and magical fun. Based on the bestselling Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus book series.
You must collect (or steal) the 5 items necessary to build your assigned artifact, while simultaneously trying to prevent the other players from collecting theirs. The first to successfully assemble their artifact will save the magical library and gain the favor of Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, Magical Talking Cat Extraordinaire.
Designed for 2-5 players. Gameplay lasts about 15-30 minutes. For those with younger family members who want to join, the content is appropriate for all ages, but whether they are wily and sneaky enough to win is all up to them!
This game can be enjoyed on its own, as well as provide readers of the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus books amusing and delightful insights into the series. Every card contains a Sir Kipling quote from the books, and all the artifacts and items are taken straight from the book series.
And that’s it. That’s all I got.
Please remember to vote.
If you could, please share this as well.
The nominees need all the circulation they can get.
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