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Awards, Awards

All that great news about the Emmy nominations reminded me... there are other awards out there that you don't need to be a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to vote on.

Voting for this years Hugo Awards has been open for some time, but will be closing at the end of the month. You do need to be a member of MidAmericon II, this year's worldcon, to cast your ballot. To vote, go here: https://midamericon2.org/home/hugo-awards-and-wsfs/2016-hugo-ballot/

Even if you haven't finished doing all your Hugo reading (I haven't myself), you should still vote now, lest you forget. Don't worry, you can change your vote as many times as you like between now and the voting deadline, if further reading gives you a new favorite.

I do urge all worldcon members to vote, and to vote "No Award" only if they feel that none of the works in the category are worthy of a Hugo. (Sadly, there are several categories where that is true, IMNSHO). Many of the slated nominees this year are hostages, and to punish those works and their authors by placing them below No Award seems very wrong to me.

I might also mention that there is a new award for SF and fantasy this year: the Dragon Awards, sponsored by Dragoncon, the big Atlanta media convention. Lots and lots of categories. As I understand it, anyone can nominate, anyone can vote. Just go here:


The nominations for the Dragons close on July 25, so their deadline is even closer than the Hugo deadline. 'twould be nice if the culture war that has troubled the Hugos the past few years would leave this new award alone... but, alas, I fear that will not be the case. There's already plenty of campaigning in evidence on the internet. Since the Dragons are brand new, that may or may not matter. Dragoncon itself is a huge beast, and if the turnout for their awards is large enough, any effort at slating or logrolling could be swamped. Depends on how many fans vote, I guess.

I've said since the very start of the Puppy Wars that it would be nice if the field had a true People's Choice Award to stand as a complement to the older and more established Hugos. So I applaud Dragoncon's effort, and will be interested in how this all turns out. Whether this dragon will fly high, or flap around for a few years and vanish like the Gandalfs and the Balrogs... I guess that all depends.

(I hope the Dragoncon people come up with a cool trophy. I am fond of dragons, as is well known. And two legs, please, not four).


James Blacker
Jul. 16th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Dragons?
That's fair. I don't think I can look at dragons the same way again now...
However, I'd argue that there are both practical and aesthetic applications to four legs.

Take a look at this http://www.mangareader.net/fairy-tail/252/6
The animated version does it a bit better, but in my opinion the front legs help add to the terror and dread of the dragon (Acnologia). The dragons in this manga (Fairy Tail) are also capable of speech and highly intelligent, and the addition of front legs allows them to use human gestures, demonstrated here.

Admittedly, it does look a bit absurd, but the gestures do help establish that dragon's villainy because there's a visual parallel to the classic movie antagonist or wise mentor scratching their beard in thought. Then again, ASOIAF is a written work, so whatever floats your boat.

And ignoring my desire for escapism in fantasy (which is why I don't like the bat and pterosaur comparison-perfectly valid, just my preference), bat or pterosaur body structure leads to some problems. If Rhaegal or Viserion lost one of their wings, it'd be a lot harder for them to hunt. Dragon fire compensate a bit, but they'd still be running around on two legs, so if they trip it's harder for them to get back up again. If a four-legged dragon lost one or both of its wings however, it would still become an effective hunter on land much more quickly than a maimed two-legged dragon.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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