I’m gonna do a fisking. A fisking we go!

For starters, the Dragon Awards for SF/F were recently announced, and the finals will be held at DragonCon during Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta. Go HERE to check out the nominees for yourself. Go HERE to check out DragonCon. It’s the best convention ever (really!). The Dragons are awards that are based on popularity and success and not on exclusive lists that discriminate. Everything is welcome- the market dictates who wins. I personally want to congratulate all the nominees, because their hard work deserves the recognition. Take a bow, Dragon nominees! You’ve earned it.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, there’s a segment of SF/F that doesn’t like anything outside of their narrow (political) confines. They run the Nebulas and the Hugos and have turned it into their own political fucktoy of stupid. And by that, I mean they lock anyone who’s to the right of Bernie Sanders from being nominated for anything. And then pretend that they don’t ostracize and discriminate, when it’s fucking obvious that they do. And if any of you shits are reading this, fuck you. Only not your misgendered way.

Nevermind, I’m straight. I’m not actually interested in any of you. But go fuck yourselves anyways.

Cora Butthurt (I refuse to use her real name) wrote a long screed against the Dragon Awards and some of its conservative-ish nominees. doesn’t like anyone who isn’t leftist and SJW, and really doesn’t like the Sad and Rabid Puppies. Who are they? They’re a bunch of libertarians, conservatives, and anarchists who want SF/F to be about the story and the characters, not the color of their skin, their gender (or made up gender), or meandering leftist political bitchwhines that pretend to be a storyarc. Yeah, there are differences to both Sad and Rabid groups, but I’m not going to get into that because they gave up a while ago (and support the Dragon Awards). And Cora Butthurt can’t handle that SF/F has an actual award for POPULARITY. Le Gasp! I’m going to fisk the fuck out of her screed. I hope Cora enjoys the firepower of this fully operational battlestation.

My comments are in regular black text; Cora’s are in blue.

For the third time in a row, Dragon Con, a big media con in Atlanta, Georgia, has enlivened the dead period just before WorldCon starts and the Hugo winners are announced, by announcing the nominees for the Dragon Awards.

Stop right there, Cora. What do you mean by “third time in a row”? Is there some reason that they can’t have an award ceremony three straight years? Can you go one fucking sentence without a snide passive-aggressive comeback? No? Also, “a big media con” doesn’t do DragonCon justice. You’ve clearly never been there- it’s the 2nd largest SF/F convention in the US, with over 100,000 people going PER DAY. It’s also one of the few truly FAN ORIENTED conventions out there. I refuse to go to San Diego Comic Con because it’s far too corporate and hands-off. DragonCon is the opposite of that. To call it “a big media con” is  fucking unnecessary swipe you should have avoided. Stop it with the mean girls commentary.

You can see the nominees on the official website here and in a less eye-searing design over at File 770, where there’s also some discussion in the comments. 

What does “eye-searing design” mean? I mean, it’s a bunch of mean girls mumble words. Again, you can’t help but throw shade, Cora. Stop it, girl.

Those of you who’ve followed the saga of the Dragon awards (see my previous posts on the subject here) know that the award has been troubled from the start three years ago.

This is what we call a “framing narrative.” Cora sets out first to paint the frame, and then fill the narrative into it. The facts are outside the frame, and all that ends up mattering is the narrative. Cora’s narrative? The Dragons are troubled. But guess what? She doesn’t actually show evidence of it. Hence, all she has is a narrative. I’m mildly surprised there are no Russians in it. I’m kinda offended that there are no Literal Nazis, too.

The Dragons started out with the intention to award the sort of broadly popular works that have a lot of mass appeal, but rarely show up on the Hugo and Nebula shortlists. This is in theory a good idea, except that the actual shortlist and even the winners in the first two years did not really reflect those intentions at all and instead were a mix of the sort of broadly popular works the Dragons claimed to champion and “Who the hell is this?” nominees. 

Jim Butcher is not unknown (he’s been nominated). Neither is Larry Correia. Nor Eric Flint, Harry Turtledove, SA Corey, Rick Riordan, Cory Doctorow, David Weber, Naomi Novak, and Terry Prachett. Most of these writers have made it to the Nielsen Bookscan lists. Most of the Hugos and Nebulas do not (the NYT Bestseller list is fake news; it is not a barometer on actual sales. Suck it, bitches). If you don’t know who these authors are, that’s your fucking problem, Cora. Not the Dragons.

For the Dragon Awards have zero voting controls (basically, you can nominate and vote with as many e-mail addresses as you can generate) and even less transparency (so far, they never released any voting and nomination data and according to the rules, it’s not even certain that the finalists or winners are actually the most nominated books), which makes them extremely vulnerable to ballot stuffing. 

The Dragons work with SurveyMonkey who protects their polls from ballot stuffing. This is well known. There’s nothing to see here. Unless, of course, Cora, you know of ballot stuffing elsewhere. Just how many categories got No Awards in 2015 in the Hugos? Because, we can’t have Sad and Rabid Puppies? Wanna have THAT conversation? I’m betting that Cora doesn’t.

The Sad and Rabid Puppies and their various offshoot groups tried it with varying success, as did other groups like Inkshares, the Red Panda Faction (who do good work and offered an eligibility spreadsheet for the 2018 Dragon Awards) and individual authors with large followings.

Note: the Sad and Rabid Puppies didn’t bother in 2016 and 2017 (Vox walked away, Sad Puppies 5 died a stillborn death). They didn’t bother this year, either. Thus, Cora’s argument is invalid. But wait! What are Inkshares and Red Panda Faction? Actual fucking slates? Really? Who put them up, Cora? Thanks for reminding me that they were false flag operations. Also, you’re a disingenuous shit, Cora. Fake but accurate isn’t how the world works.

So now the preliminaries are out of the way, let’s look at the actual shortlist. Once more, it’s a curious mix of broadly popular works and “What the hell is this?” nominees.

You didn’t read anything, did you, Cora? Thanks for playing, dumbass.

It’s also a very white and very male ballot. I count thirteen women out of 50 authors nominated in the fiction category (since several books have multiple authors), that’s 26%, i.e. a little over a fourth of all Dragon nominees in the fiction categories are women. They’re also unevenly distributed: The YA category is five women and one man, while science fiction and fantasy only include one female nominee each and military SF doesn’t have any women at all.

Guess what: in the real world, none of what you said fucking matters one fucking bit. People read books because they like them. Not because of the gender of the author. The market determines value. Period. Dot. Cora, any insinuation that gender should matter is fucking sexist to the core and exposes your arguments as nothing more than trite male-bashing and intentionally ignoring the story in favor of one-dimensional vagina politics. Seriously, Cora, you don’t care about SF/F. You care about putting women over men- and the fact that you fucking counted the women/men tells me that your only goal here is to keep score.

I also count between four and six writers of colour (two nominees are immigrants from Iberic peninsula, who are often considered Hispanic in the US, but don’t necessarily self-identify that way), that’s between 8 and 12%. Though I may have missed someone, since I’m not familiar with all the authors.

Again, stop it with the SJW politics! America tends to be VERY white. It’s 75% white. 25% minority, give or take. And that’s not even considering the overseas audience. What, pray tell, will be the primary audience? WHITE PEOPLE. THIS IS THE MARKET. GET IT THROUGH YOUR SKULL. This does not mean minorities should not write SF/F. OF COURSE they should! But they should succeed on their own merits. Not being trumped up as fucking tokens by reverse white knights like Cora (I say reverse because she doesn’t care about minorities; she cares about telling them she cares about them. It’s all about her). Also, Cora, you went out of your goddamn way to look up the authors skin color. I really don’t care who publishes, so long as it’s good. Who’s the racist here? YOU.

In the best science fiction novel category, we have Persepolis Rising, the latest Expanse novel by James S.A. Corey and Artemis by Andy Weir, both highly popular works by author with a large following.

Yes, they’re popular. Which is the POINT of the Dragons. Popular means good. Good means award nominations. The end.

Sins of Her Father by Mike Kupari is a Baen Book that only briefly surfaced on my radar because of some snark about the cover with its very phallic rocket and huge nozzles. But considering how reliably awful Baen’s cover art is, that doesn’t mean the book is bad. Kupari’s novel was also pushed by Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia.

Ok, back that truck up. Baaaaack it up. All the fucking way. Cora, admit it: you don’t like Baen because of their general political slant. You don’t like that they don’t give a shit about being literature for the Manhattan crowd. In the process you come off as super fucking petty. Throw shade where it’s warranted, not on the basis of a cover of a book you’ll never read. That should be beneath you, but hey, you live in Germany. You probably *like* EDM.

Vera Nazarian is an indie and small press pioneer and past Nebula finalist. Her nominated novel Win seems to be a Hunger Games style YA dystopia, but is clearly popular judging by the number of Amazon reviews.

Again, popular. Also, I’m getting the impression that you haven’t read anything.

The Mutineer’s Daughter by Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays is military SF from one of the Kindle Unlimited writing factories. It also seems that Chris Kennedy and pals campaigned heavily for the Dragons, since they’ve got several books on the shortlist.

Seriously, Cora? This is your comeback at Chris Kennedy? What do you know about Kindle Unlimited? Anything? This is yet another backhanded comment that doesn’t belong here. You can’t say anything about their books because you haven’t read them- so you resort to another framing narrative. Also, the fact that Kennedy has a bunch of books on the list MEANS THAT HE IS POPULAR. Just like all the other people you just mentioned- they’re all popular. You just don’t like his politics. Admit it, and grow the fuck up, you bitch.

It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Gareth Worthington and Stu Jones finally is a novel I’d never heard of. Going by the blurb, it’s a post-apocalyptic novel of the sort that tends to make puppies cry.

Cora, yet AGAIN you never read the book. How many books do you actually READ? You are coming off as dumb, here. Also, lots of Sad/Rabid Puppies (or adjacent) books are set in dystopian worlds. Humphreys and Ringo have zombie book series. Williamson writes about fascist governments in space. Declan Finn has a dystopian book series. Nick Cole writes about the Robot Apocalypse. I’m beginning to think that your only contact with “Puppy” writers is through Vile 770 and other ad homimen conversations. Stop trying to throw shade.

The best fantasy shortlist consists of Brandon Sanderson, who of course has a huge fanbase, and several writers I know very little about. Pippa DaCosta is a popular indie author and her nominated book Shoot the Messenger seeems to be in the popular “mages in space” and “reverse harem” subgenres. The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston is an grimdark fantasy novel published by Angry Robot that has somehow flown under my radar, but then this subgenre isn’t rally my thing. Aleron Kong is another popular indie author and his novel The Land: Predators is part of a series in the popular LitRPG genre. A Tempered Warrior by Jon R. Osborne is epic fantasy from Chris Kennedy’s publishing outfit. War Hammer by Shayne Silvers is tough guy urban fantasy by yet another popular indie author, who nonetheless managed to pass completely beneath my radar.

I think by now the pattern is set: Cora hasn’t read anything that her Hugo/Nebula fuckbuddies have not told her to read. The greater market is completely alien to her. And she ADMITS it’s popular. Which is the fucking point of the Dragons, you stupid bint.

The best young adult/middle grade shortlist, on the other hand, consists solely of highly popular authors and books. It’s also the most female shortlist, featuring five women and one man (which is only to be expected, because YA is heavily female dominated). There is no overlap with the Andre Norton Award or the new YA not-a-Hugo, but then there is very little overlap between the Hugo and Nebula shortlists and the Dragon shortlist in general. Coincidentally, there is also not a single indie book among the nominees in this category.

If you’re wondering why there’s no indie nominees in the YA category, that’s because the big publishers realized that Harry Potter, Riordan’s books, and the Hunger Games were massive cash cows and they bothered to actually get marketing and promote their books. No one in YA really NEEDS to go indie. They’ll get snapped up by the publishers. Also, Cora AGAIN tries to keep gender score because reasons. The simple reality is that girls like reading Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. Boys do, but the percentages matter. Also, do you see me caring, either way? I don’t care who writes as long as it’s good. Cora does. STOP IT, YOU SEXIST BITCH.

Best military SF/fantasy is another mixed bag. Former countryman Marko Kloos is a popular military SF author and by all accounts a good guy.

That’s because he’s friends with your friends. That’s why he gets a pass from you. He has his (ahem) Membership Card in hand.

Communications Failure by Joe Zieja is part of a series of satirical military SF, which actually seems to do something interesting with this subgenre.

Wow, did Cora just throw shade at the entire MilSF genre? Because I’m betting her politics required her to hate most of the pro-military guys here. It’s like she can’t stop being a passive-aggressive mean girl, can she?

A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope is a prequel to David Weber’s hugely popular Honor Harrington series and therefore not exactly a surprising nominee. And yes, I know that Baen likes collaborations, but three authors for a single book is really pushing it.

Gotta find SOME way to disqualify Baen books, right? I mean, MUH TECHNICALITY, YOUR HONOR. Seriously, it’s childish at this point in your article to keep doing the mean girls long knives thing. Really, it is. Grow up.

Jonathan P. Brazee is a popular indie military SF author, was a Nebula finlists this year and is by all accounts a good guy. 

Again, you like the Nebula inside guy because he knows your friends. We can’t have unfriends here, can we? That would be wrongthink! Seriously, it’s not like I can’t see the fucking game that Cora is playing here. MY SIDE IS GOLDEN. YOUR SIDE IS BADTHOUGHT. It really is that one-dimensional.

Finally, we have two more books from two of the big Kindle Unlimited writing factories. 

Please stop doing this. You’re only going to make yourself a laughing stock.

Legend by Christopher Woods is another book from Chris Kennedy’s outfit and apparently a prequel of sorts to his Four Horsemen series.

Apparently? Seriously, stop rolling your eyes at Kennedy’s expense. You should charge him for every time you click your fucking tongue at his works.

Michael Anderle and Craig Martelle are both popular indie SF authors and their nominated book Price of Freedom is part of Anderle’s Kutherian Gambit series. Michael Anderle is also the founder of the 20 books to 50K Facebook group of market-focussed indie SFF writers and finds many of his co-authors there.

Again, popular stuff. Notice a pattern here with the Dragons? Also, you admit they’re indie. And they’re popular? Why oh why are the stuff you don’t like or respect maaaagically not popular because they’re indie? Because you don’t like their politics? Fuck you.

Coincidentally, this is the only all-male category.

DID YOU ASSUME THEIR GENDERS?!?!?! Seriously Cora, stop the male-bashing and the score keeping. It’s sexist, it’s boring, and it makes you look like a dolt. Also, get laid already. By a guy. With a dick. You really need it.

On to best alternate history, which is probably the strangest Dragon Award category, since it’s such a small and peculiar subgenre, whereas big subgenres like epic and urban fantasy have to share a single category.

Yawn. Mumble mumble words from Cora.

Charles Stross is very popular and clearly a deserving nominee, though not to my taste at all. Though going by the blurb, I’m not sure if his nominated novel Dark State actually is alternate history, since it seems to be near future SF.

Actually, if Cora bothered to do a cursory search on Stross’ works in this series, it’s an alt history take that’s set in the near future. Cora, once again, didn’t bother to do any work. That’s just fucking lazy.

But then, the Dragons did name a religiously tinged space opera best horror novel once, so odd categorisation is common for this award.

Seriously? Who the hell cares if a book is religious or not? All that matters is this: is it good? THAT is it. Cora’s attempts to bash pro-military, religious works, and men is really pathetic. STOP IT, CORA. It doesn’t matter if the work has religious themes in it, Cora. You don’t get to determine value based on your own internal like/dislike rubric. YOU are not important, Cora. The Market IS. Fuck your anti-religious commentary, Cora. Everything else is just hatey hate from a screeching mimi who probably has waaaaaaay too many cats and has never dated. Just as a reminder to those of you who are single ladies with lots of cats: they will eat you when you die.

D.J. Butler’s Witchy Winter is part of a popular historical fantasy series, though again I wouldn’t really classify this as alternate history.

Historical fantasy means it’s NOT ACTUALLY TRUE. Therefore, Alt-History. Also, I gotta say that Cora has a lot of opinions about works she’s never read. A. Lot. Of. Opinions. Bitchy opinions at that. Super fucking bitchy.

Bitch.

S.M. Stirling is another broadly popular author and actually writes alternate history. Kevin J. Anderson is another very popular author and Uncharted, written with Sarah Hoyt, is an actual alternate history novel.

Ok. Moving on.

Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese was promoted by several of the puppy-adjacent groups/authors like Superversive SF, Happy Frogs and Declan Finn. though mostly in the best science fiction category. The premise is vikings in space, so I guess it would count as alternate history. 

Ok, who the hell cares who Kroese associates with? Cora, my dear, you’re dangerously close to “don’t hang out with those blacks/Jews/gays” territory here. Just because you don’t like the Puppies (or the political right) doesn’t mean they’re bad guys or INSERT RACIST WORD HERE. Stop it with this paradigm, Cora. It’s really disgusting. AND it’s also part of why Trump won. MAGA!

Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell is another book to come out of Chris Kennedy’s publishing outfit. It also is actually alternate history.

Try to not make a snipe at Kennedy, can you, Cora?

Best media tie-in is a new category for the Dragon Awards and has replaced the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic category. The finalists are two Star Wars tie-in novels (both by female writers about female characters),

AGAIN with the sexist score keeping! STOP IT. Also, Cora’s basically saying that the only way girls could ever get “on top” is by artificially elevating them. I don’t think she realizes that she’s infantilizing and demeaning women in the process. Let them EARN their successes! Not fake their orgasms!

two Star Trek Discovery tie-in novels, a Halo tie-in novel and a World of Warcraft tie-in novel. All popular franchises, so it’s not particularly surprising to see them here.

Again, the Dragons are about popularity. Except when Cora doesn’t like it.

Coincidentally, Before the Storm by Christie Golden is also the only finalists from Vox Day’s Dragon Awards slate to make the ballot. And considering how many people play World of Warcraft, I suspect it would have made the ballot with or without Vox.

Who the fuck cares if a book is liked by Vox Day? He’s actually a really good writer and editor. You don’t like his politics? That’s fine, and your prerogative (I don’t particularly like it either, but I also have other points of agreement with him. Welcome to the real world). But would you stop drinking coca cola if it turns out that Vox drinks that, too? Or would you stop watching your favorite show because he likes it? Letting Vox Day live rent-free in your head lets him win without trying. And again, Cora is putting politics ahead of actual value.

Oddly enough, best horror is the one category in the Dragon Awards which usually looks most like what it says on the tin, probably because the ballot stuffers don’t particularly care for horror.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Cora, you really need to show evidence about ballot stuffing and not just slander the Dragons because you don’t like the politics of some of the nominees (And no, Camestros’ comments are not valid). Also, it’s yet another mean girls snipe. It’s really pathetic to keep doing that in order to keep MUH NARRATIVE going.

Even though a religiously tinged space opera won the category in the first year.

How many fucking times do I have to say “stop it,” Cora? You don’t like it? Fine. Other people do. STOP TRYING TO TELL PEOPLE HOW TO THINK. STOP IT WITH THE AD NAUSEAM LEFTIST FUCKCRAP.

This year, we have the biggest living name in horror, Stephen King and his son Owen King with Sleeping Beauties. Paul Tremblay is an up and coming horror writer and his The Cabin at the End of the World got quite a bit of buzz. Jonathan Maberry is another very popular horror author. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is an interesting take on Scooby Doo and also got quite a bit of buzz. I’ve never heard of Beneath the Lighthouse by Julianne Lynch. Going by the blurb, it seems to be YA horror.

Once again, I remind everyone that the Dragons are meant for popular works. Except, of course, the works that Cora doesn’t like. Because MUH politics.

Mark Wandrey, finally, is a frequent co-author of Chris Kennedy’s. His nominated novel A Time to Run seems to be a zombie apocalypse story.

Guess Cora’s gotta rant at Kennedy again.

Best comic book is a mix of popular series such as Saga or The Mighty Thor (Is this still the Jane Foster Thor or the restored Thor Odinsson?),

AGAIN with the overweening feminism from Cora.

popular, if unfinished miniseries such as Mister Miracle and Doomsday Clock and two media tie-in comics. In best graphic novel, we have popular works like Monstress, Paper Girls and Vision, all of whom are/were Hugo finalists in this category. There is also a Brandon Sanderson graphic novel and two works I’m not familiar with at all. Chicago Typewriter is a prohibition era noir tale with supernatural undertones

Again, popular works. Except for the ones who’s politics Cora doesn’t like. She sounds like a Nazi at a book burning rally. She really gets off on this shit. It’s really disturbing how much she wants to tell everyone how to think. KNEE BEFORE HITLERZOD, SHE SAID!

while Be Prepared by Vera Bresgol looks like the sort of thing that makes puppies cry. 

Cora’s mad-on for the Puppies is really sad at this point. She’s FIXATED on it. I mean, does she secretly want to hatefuck the puppies? I want to know, so I can avoid that at all costs. Because, seriously, ew.

Coincidentally, not a single one of Vox Day’s Arkhaven/Alt-Hero comics or any of the other crowdfunded alt-right Comicsgate books managed to get a nomination.

That’s because MOST OF THEM ARE NOT OUT YET. It’s like Cora didn’t bother to look it up. I mean, ewwwwww! Who’d want to look up Vox Day or Jon Del Arroz! Like totally, GROSSSSSSS! Cora’s investigative capabilities are that of a blind baseball player.

Fuck your framing narrative, Cora. Fuck it long and fuck it hard.

The film and TV categories is full of very popular works with very few surprises. The film category is very Marvel dominated with pretty much every eligible Marvel movie plus Deadpool 2 nominated. Though I’m a bit surprised that Ready Player One managed to garner a nomination, considering how panned it was, but then it probably did appeal to the Dragon Con demographic. No Last Jedi or Solo, which is a bit of a surprise, especially since Last Jedi did well at the box office, in spite of a hate campaign.

Oh look! Popular works! Again! Btw, are any of the Hugo or Nebula nominees on the Bookscan list? Any? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

Also, The Last Jedi made a lot of money opening weekend and then sank like the Titanic. So did Solo. Why? Because it was an SJW suckfest which all but stomped on the soul of Star Wars and the fans rebelled against it. Seriously, if you take out the opening weekend, TLJ made HALF of what Force Awakens did. Why, after TLJ, did Kathleen Kennedy realize “holy shit, my ‘the force is female’ rant didn’t go over well with the overwhelmingly male audience (and most of their sisters and wives)” and fire the Solo directors and replace them with Ron Howard? Disney had to double up the budget in order to try to save a Star Wars film from killing the fucking franchise. And guess what? It’s still dead, Jim. Kennedy is getting fired from Disney for this. There was no hate campaign, Cora. Your framing narrative can’t overcome the fact that The Force Sucks Now.

I can’t say much about the game categories except that I’ve heard of many of the nominated games, which means that they’re popular. Coincidentally, Azul by two developers from Bremen just won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award (which is pretty much the biggest award a boardgame can win), while Photosynthesis was a finalist. Though neither of those is even remotely science fiction or fantasy. 

Board games are board games. And who knew that they’re POPULAR?!?!?! (insert my not shocked face here).

So what’s the verdict? The good news is that the Sad and Rabid Puppies and their offshoots have very little presence on the Dragon shortlist this year and indeed Camestros Felapton declares a preemptive no award for the Rabid Puppies.

Cora can’t help but throw shade at the Puppies because her politics require her to do so. Also, the Puppies haven’t bothered in years so this is a moot point. She’s trying to score a touchdown on a game that ended 3 years ago. Pathetic. Also, why would it be good news to see authors fail? That’s just mean, Cora. And you come off as a total bitch in the process.

Sarah Hoyt is the only Sad Puppy I see and since she’s nominated for a book co-authored with Kevin J. Anderson, I suspect that the puppies didn’t have a whole lot to do with this nomination. Robert Kroese is puppy adjacent and was promoted by various puppy offshoot groups. Mike Kupari was promoted by Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia, though I have no idea if he is a puppy himself. At any rate, I don’t recall ever coming across his name in that context. 

It’s like Cora doesn’t know any of these people except for what her mean girls whisper campaign told her to say. And she’s TOTALLY fixated on bitching about the non-existent Puppies anyways. It’s just a bunch of mean hate names for a built-in audience that already knows when to clap for her overtures. I take the touchdown comment back; she’s talking smack after a battle rap ended hours ago. And she lost that battle rap because she had no retort at the time. Except she thinks her fanbase will cheer her anyways (and sadly, it probably will). But no one else gives a fuck. I’d rather watch my Mets lose 25-4 again than clap for Cora.

The wording on the website of Chris Kennedy’s publishing company declares that they focus on fun and message-free science fiction and fantasy, which sounds very puppy-like. 

Gotta have a new target for your Required Hate (SWIDT?), Cora? SF/F doesn’t need politics. It needs A GOOD STORY. Cora is the one who wants politics above story. And she says so, right here. Projection much, Miss Queen Bitch?

Ironically, the very first book on the website is a dystopian science fiction novel set in a Chinese occupied Seattle, which may be fun to some people, but sure as hell isn’t message free. 

WTF? I mean, everyone considers China to be a threat to the US and global geopolitics. They just go about it differently. We’re back to Cora’s framing narratives. She HAS to show her opposition as politically motivated BAD PEOPLE YO because if she doesn’t she then has to fight them on their own terms: storytelling. AND SHE CAN’T.

Two of Chris Kennedy’s authors were on the puppy Hugo slates (Thomas A. Mays who withdrew and Jason Cordova who didn’t) and I also recall seeing his and Mark Wandrey’s books promoted at the Castalia House blog, when it was still active. Nonetheless, I’m not sure if Kennedy and friends are puppy-adjacent or just fellow travellers who happen to write the sort of thing puppies like. 

Cora’s going out of her way to REEEE at Kennedy (and Mark Wandrey; Sorry, Mark. She all but ignored you. I’ll make sure she sends you a Valentine’s Day card). It’s like she thinks she found a fucking new chew toy to rant against, because reasons. Again, we’re back at IS THE STORY GOOD? If it is, and from the looks of it, Kennedy and Wandrey’s shared universe book series are pretty popular. That means that they have an audience, and thus, are selling books. And if I use Cora’s own rubric, that means they deserve Dragon nominations. Of course, since they’re “puppy adjacent” they have to be treated as badthoughtevilthings and must be expunged from the Soviet Politburo’s registry list. Isn’t that right, Comrade Cora?

So the various puppy groups aren’t much of a problem for the Dragon Awards this year.

ONCE AGAIN: THERE ARE NO MORE SAD OR RABID PUPPIES. STOP FIXATING ON IT, CORA. YOU HAVE NO FUCKING NARRATIVE HERE.

Instead, we’re seeing the rise of the Kindle Unlimited writing factories in the Dragon Awards, namely extremely prolific indie authors (Aleron Kong, Pippa DaCosta) and author collectives (Chris Kennedy’s and Michael Anderle’s groups). These people are very talented self-promoters who adhere to the so-called “write to market” maxim and managed to rise to the top of the Amazon charts in their respective categories via a combination of a high ad budget, an eager fanbase and the artificial rank inflation due to Kindle Unlimited, where a borrow counts as much as a sale. These are clearly very popular authors and they write in subgenres that are popular among the Kindle Unlimited crowd such as military SF, LitRPG, reverse harem, mages and vikings in space, etc…
Aha! Here’s where we get into the fun of things, and Cora truly goes off the rails. Cora doesn’t like authors being successful and selling to the masses. Additionally, she doesn’t like that “puppy adjacent” and conservative-ish authors might write successfully and use things like Kindle Unlimited as a way to boost sales. Guess what, Cora? AMAZON WANTS SALES. That’s the reason Kindle Unlimited exists. It’s an Amazon program designed to get people to read more books on their Kindle devices, and thus, spend more money on books and other items through their Kindles. It’s smart, and it boosts mid-list author sales in the process.

Cora’s ultimate goal is to gatekeep the hell out of KU and the various SF/F awards out there. Lock conservatives out, and make sure that only her political and ideological friends ever win anything. Cora just doesn’t like that KU helps conservative authors. She doesn’t like that they promote their works and actually earn an audience that’s willing to support them at all levels. That isn’t allowed to happen! Conservatives can’t leave the plantations! After all, they’re not really human! They’re just Jews! Oh wait. Sorry. I didn’t mean to let my inner German out. Sorry.

A lot of these authors write in shared worlds, e.g. the various Chris Kennedy books seem to be part of one or more shared worlds, ditto for the Michael Anderle and Craig Martelle collaboration. Nonetheless, these books and authors are often little known outside the Kindle Unlimited eco-system and their little subgenre niche, which contributes to the “Who the hell are these people?” feeling that several of the fanlists elicit. And I’m probably more familiar with the big names of indie SFF than many others and have indeed featured books by some of these authors in my new release round-ups before.

Cora’s read about 10% of the fucking Dragon list. She doesn’t get to talk about what’s popular or not. And she admits that a lot of the Dragons are actually popular, right up until she sees someone conservative. THEN it’s fucking knives out and they’re not popular and she’s off to the huff-puff REEEEEE territory. She’s the type who just scribbled out the word Jew and replaced it with the word conservative. And yes, I’m well aware that Cora lives in Germany. The metaphor is apt, mein freund.

The 2018 Dragon Awards shortlist does resemble the subcategory besteller lists in Amazon’s Kindle store, which does go a step towards the stated aim of rewarding popular works. Though the Kindle charts are distorted by Kindle Unlimited and also by all sorts of promotional tactics ranging from the perfectly acceptable such as buying advertising (including at Amazon, so writers are actually paying Amazon to promote their books) via things like employing ghostwriters to put out more books to shady tactics such as clickfarms, pageread manipulation, etc… And indeed, it is notable that two SFF authors associated with big Kindle Unlimited writing factories have had their accounts closed by Amazon in the last month, though neither of them is on the Dragon shortlist.

If the authors who had their accounts stopped in KU aren’t on the Dragon short list, why does Cora bring them up? That doesn’t belong here, and it only serves to bait the reader towards Cora’s framing narrative. Cora can’t just go about and accuse the Dragon nominees without actual evidence. Cora can’t deal with conservative success, so she has to create fault somewhere to erase them from history. And the way she does that is entirely made up of mean girls snide comments and false narratives about KU. Hell, it’s the same problem with the greater left these days- they can’t give up the farm on the Russian/Trump stuff, because they can’t deal with the fact that Hillary Clinton was a fucking horrible candidate, and an even worse person.

So does this shortlist really reflect what is popular among a broad swath of the SFF readership or just which authors are good at promoting themselves to the top of the Kindle charts? It seems to me as if the Dragons have traded one problem (ballot stuffing by SFF’s rightwing puppies) for another (Kindle Unlimited writing factories that warp the Amazon charts and the indie SFF market in general).

THIS is what Cora’s entire article is all about: she has to destroy the Dragons from conservatives in order to save it. It’s the same shit her side pulled with the Hugos in 2013-2015, and it’s the same stuff today. She can’t deal, so she creates all of these roadblocks to metaphorically block conservatives from ever having success. It’s always one fucking narrative after another, no matter how stupid and screechy they are. And the leftists believe this shit, because otherwise they’d have to actually compete with conservatives for the market place. They can’t have that! No sir, they must have everyone undergo gender therapy to become a female no a male no a giraffe no a tank oh wait I’m trigged by military vehicles huff huff puff puff pant pant what was I talking about Oh yeah I’m a vegan and I hate Trump because Trump does Trumpy things…..

Sorry, I got carried away there.

Seriously, there is no there there with these narratives. Cora’s side LOST the war and now they’re crying over Worldcon’s slide into a joke of a transgendered oblivion with authors who haven’t written anything, haven’t sold anything, and are only there because the Hugos want to prop up artificial people based on their fake genders, fake genitalia, fake victimhood, and fake politics. And to make matters worse, everyone knows about this. We’re laughing at Cora’s side and enjoying it falling apart. This is her attempt at a snide Yo Momma joke long after our side has already moved on to the next round of success.

And while there is little overlap between the Dragon shortlist and the Hugo and Nebula shortlists, there is also little overlap between the Dragon shortlist and indie book awards like the e-Festival of Words Best of the Independent e-Book Awards. Finally, the Dragon shortlist still tends very much towards white and male nominees, but then popular vote awards often tend towards white dude nominees – also see the David Gemmell Legend Awards.

Once again: fuck your sexism, Cora. You hate men and can’t deal with the fact that equality means men AND women have to earn their way in the market place. You can’t handle the real world, where talent and success matters. And I want nothing to do with your fascist utopia, Cora.

Btw, Cora, I gotta ask. How are the Hugos looking this year? Like a…total and utter shitshow? I mean, are any of the presenters, commentators, and nominees going to be known authors? Or just weird deviants who represent 1% of the population, haven’t actually produced anything of worth, except maybe some yarn they spun out of their vaginas? (don’t ask). I mean, do you realizes how fucking giggleworthy this is to the former puppies?

We won. You lost. And we told you so. And are going to have some whiskey shots on the corpse of the Hugos. Long Live the fucking Dragon Awards.

Go enjoy shitshow you never realized you wanted in San Jose, Cora. And when you cry in the corner, I’ll just point and laugh. You can go back to your cats and I’ll go back to my hot wife (who’s actually a model IRL).

In the meantime, I’ll be buying Kennedy and Wandrey’s works. Not to spite you, but because they’re actually worth my time to read.

On Kindle Unlimited.

3 thoughts on “A Fisking, the Dragon Awards, and Me Not Giving a Shit About the Hugos.

  1. Imagine her back in sf’s Golden Age. She would complain constantly about Campbell’s publishing outfit and the magazine ecosystem.

    Whether she likes it or not, Amazon handles the largest chunk of the sf market in the English-speaking world. Prolific writers are rewarded for their volume of text production as well as their talent, just as in the pulp days; and prolific readers are having a lot of fun getting their appetite fed. Sf is finally becoming a market that can support full time writers again — and she is complaining about it!

    The only way you can say that the Dragon Awards does not accurately represent sf/f today, is that many other wildly popular authors did not get enough votes, while trad authors that are largely unread managed somehow to struggle their way to nomination. Only because the Dragon staff run a fair vote, without meddling, can this occur.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent fisking! I’m just going to observe that one theme I took away from her rant was the notion that somehow *she* is the arbiter of what’s *really* good and/or popular. The most blantant expression of that theme was her comment about the games category, where she’s head of some of them, so they must be popular. Of course if she hadn’t heard of them, they’d obviously *not* be popular. Why, it’s almost like she’s defining “popular” and “good” as “things I’ve heard of/things I like”, as if it’s all about her… oh, wait – it is, in her world.

    Like

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