Son of the Black Sword Wins The 1st Annual Dragon Award For Best Fantasy

The short version.

Son of the Black Sword won the inaugural Dragon Award for best fantasy. I want to congratulate all of the other nominees and winners. There were some truly fantastic stories to choose from. There were a lot of talented creators up for awards, and it is an honor just to be considered.

I want to thank my fans for voting, because they are absolutely amazing. I have the best fans ever. I wouldn’t trade my fanbase for anyone’s (and my fans are better armed too).  I love you guys. Seriously. You are a bunch of bad asses.

I want to thank Toni and the good folks at Baen for putting together one hell of a book, and being awesome to work with.

And thank you, DragonCon. You guys rock. You saw the need for an award that represented all of fandom, and you stepped up. Thank you for all of the hard work this must have been. You did a great job.

Now the long version!

I was at Salt Lake City ComicCon for the last few days. I picked up some nasty con crud which turned into a cold, so I skipped church and slept until 11 on Sunday morning.  I was—am still—pretty wrecked. I was playing World of Tanks (I’m never too sick to tank) when my wife got home from church. I heard the garage door open, and she came in excited and shouting something.  Because Bridget isn’t the excitable/shouty kind, I knew something important was up, so I shut my game off and rushed downstairs.

She was saying you won.

I couldn’t believe it. Son of the Black Sword had won the Dragon Award for best fantasy. It took a minute for that to sink in. Somebody had sent her a text while she was getting out of the car, giving her a heads up. Toni Weisskopf was up on stage accepting on my behalf at that very moment.

I had to grab my phone and start checking Facebook. I had multiple messages from people at the ceremony. Congratulations were pouring in. It was stunning. I would have been watching, but this snuck up on me. I actually thought the award ceremony was later in the day, but then again, when you’re drinking Nyquil straight out of the bottle and don’t get out of bed until lunch, time is relative.

I checked in throughout the day, reading what people had to say. It was great to see so much overwhelming enthusiasm. One really cool thing was that I heard the award show was up-beat. There was no stupid posturing or useless virtue signaling. Nobody talked trash in their speech. Nobody handed out wooden buttholes. They were just fans there celebrating fun.

That’s the nature of DragonCon though. It is a big enthusiastic, Nerdi Gras. I try to hit DragonCon every other year, and I was there in 2015. Because of a scheduling screw up with the building, my local Salt Lake City ComicCon ended up on the same weekend as Dragon this time (and I talked to the program director, they really didn’t want to, because they share so many guests and vendors, but they were stuck this time). I was already committed to SLCC when I found out I was a Dragon finalist, because otherwise I would have loved to have been there. I’m planning on being back at Dragon again next year.

I want to talk about the nominees and winners a little bit. Starting with my category.

You can ask any of the fans who asked me about the Dragons during SLCC, and I told them the same thing. I thought Jim Butcher was going to win my category, and I was cool with that. Not just because Jim is my friend and about the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, but because he’s a brilliant, imaginative, storyteller and his work deserves recognition. And though the Venn diagrams of our fanbases overlap, his circle is way bigger, so I figure Jim would take it.

Except for one thing, Jim is such a class act that after they announced the finalists, he came out and told everybody that he voted for Son of the Black Sword!  Aeronaut’s Windlass is a great book, but Jim thought SotBS was the stronger of the two this year. (I was honestly moved by that).

And one of the other finalists I was up against, where our fanbases overlapped a lot, was Dave Freer, who was nominated for Changeling’s Island. And Dave came out and said in that category he was voting for SotBS!  Dave was also nominated in the YA category, and being a gentleman and a scholar, said that was where his book belonged. And he said that knowing that he was up against the late and extremely great Sir Terry Pratchett.

I’ve known Jim and Dave for a few years but I didn’t know the other nominees as well, and had not read the books in question. But I will say that R.R. Virdi is a very nice guy. I ended up talking to him a little bit yesterday on Facebook when he offered his congratulations, and said that he was honored to be competing against other authors that successful. He’s got a great attitude and really wants to entertain his readers. I’d encourage you guys to go check out his stuff.

In sci-fi, I’m not going to say who I voted for, because I’m friends with two of them. It came down to John C. Wright and Chuck Gannon for me, both excellent authors, but with two really different kinds of books.  John took it, and I am really happy for him. I have no doubt Chuck will be back up there again in the future.

Sir Terry to took YA.  I don’t think that surprised anybody, because the man was a legend, and this was all of his fan’s last chance to give him an award. It’s sad to think that this is it. Like Dave said on his page, he’d gladly lose to Terry Pratchett every year, if it meant keeping him around.

Military sci-fi was a tough category, with a bunch of really solid authors in it and a few friends. But I’ve got to say that I am really happy David Weber won. David is a great guy. Honestly one of the nicest people I’ve met, not just in this business, but in general. And when it comes to mil-SF, he’s like a godfather of the whole genre. I really like Marko’s stuff too.

Alternative history was an interesting one. You had some big dogs of the genre. I think the 1632 verse is the biggest thing in alternative history, but there were two of those competing against each other. Then you’ve got Harry Turtledove. And if Weber is a godfather of mil-SF, you’ve got to say the same thing about Turtledove for Alternative History. (I actually voted for Jonathan Maberry, because he’s awesome, and I love Deadlands) Only Naomi Novik took it. I’ve not read that series, but my wife tells me that they are fantastic. At least one book about dragons took home a Dragon!

Apocalyptic was a tough one. I’m friends with three of the nominees, so will plead the 5th as to how I voted. Nick Cole took home the Dragon. I Book Bombed that one, and it got a lot of attention for getting booted from his first publishing house for ridiculous political reasons, so it probably had an attention edge. But let me just say that you guys should all go look up Mark Wandrey’s A Time To Die on Amazon and get a copy. He’s got skills, and I think you will be seeing him as a finalist again. Sorry, Marina, but I haven’t had a chance to read your stuff yet. 🙂

Horror, again, lots of good books. Ironically, the winner Brian Neimeier was at Salt Lake City ComicCon with me (I book Bombed the prior book in the series). When we talked about the Dragons on Thursday, we both figured we would be losing.  Brian is a humble guy, so I’m really happy for him.

I’m not an expert on the comics and graphic novels stuff, so have no idea there. Gaiman won, and despite him knowing jack shit about what Sad Puppies are actually about, the man has mad writing skills and lots of fans. Same with TV shows, GRRM may hate my guts, but Game of Thrones on HBO has tons of fans, so that sounds like another deserving win. (I voted for Daredevil season 2, because the Punisher was amazeballs).  The Dragons are unabashedly about rewarding enthusiastic fans, and those things have lots of excited, motivated fans, so good for them.

The Martian won movies. I actually voted for Captain America: Civil War. But you really couldn’t go wrong in movies.

Fallout 4 won video games. Holy moly, yeah, I can see why. I’ve got about 160 hours into my Fallout game.

Fallout Shelter won mobile. That’s another one that I played the heck out of. Maxed out two vaults before I got bored, and the way I drift away from the vast majority of video games after a day or two, that’s really saying something.

On the games, I was mostly in the dark, because they weren’t things I was up to speed on. Next year I’m going to campaign for some Warmachine and Infinity! 🙂  Though I do love Call of Cthulhu (though have never played that edition) so way to go there.

I look through the list of nominees and winners, and for once it is a bunch of fun stuff, where I’ve read, or would actually want to read most of them. That’s fantastic. I look forward to many more Dragon Award ballots like this.

Somebody was asking me what I’d like to see in the future. I think it would be cool to have Fantasy broken into Fantasy and Urban Fantasy, or maybe even Paranormal Romance, sort of like how they’ve broken up Sci-Fi. Those are genres that sell millions of books, yet where the authors get very little respect from the traditional snooty awards types. I’d love to see those fans have a chance to celebrate what they think is great too.

Whatever the Dragon Award folks decide to do going forward, I have no doubt it will be great. They’ve shown what they’re about—fans having fun—and that’s what is really important.

I don’t even know what the rules are for prior winners, but I’ll tell you guys right now, since I’ve been lucky enough to get one, I am perfectly happy if you never nominate me for a Dragon again. I’ve been recognized. There are so many awesome writers out there who have been ignored by other awards for years and years, that I would love to see some of them get a shot. Spread the love. Read great books. And then next year, nominate whoever you think was great.

Again, thank you. I love you guys. You’re the best.

eARC for Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners is out now
Off to Salt Lake City ComicCon

133 thoughts on “Son of the Black Sword Wins The 1st Annual Dragon Award For Best Fantasy”

  1. Geez Larry.
    Keep this crap up and you might turn into a Real Writer. And stuff…
    Congrats m’LOH. Hope that made your cold somewhat bearable.

    1. I think the only way for him to become a real writer now is if he donates all of his “ill-gotten” money to a virtue signaling cause. Incidentally, I opened up a charity called “Snowflakes Anonymous”. It is most definitely not a scam. =D

      1. The last SJW cause I contributed to was indirect via a Hugo membership. Guess what I’m not doing ever again? With the Dragons, I can not spend the money on a Hugo membership and instead use it to buy more good books.

        Two wins in one!

  2. Congratulations on the win! Hopefully the spirit of the Dragon Awards stays strong and represents the fans and authors for a long time. Trying to talk the wife into Dragon Con LOL.

  3. No, Larry, thank *you.* You deserved it.

    . . . And may I say that it’s great to once again have a true fan award where one has actually read many of the nominated works, and has difficulty deciding which is the “best” because they’re all really, really good, and the writers are themselves such class acts.

    I’ve remarked elsewhere that only three of *my* picks won – you, David Weber and Nick Cole – but I can’t see a single Dragon winner on there that I actually *disagree* with. Although I was surprised by a couple of the results, such as Naomi Novik winning Alt-Hist and – very pleasantly surprised, even though I voted for Chuck Gannon – JCW taking home Best SF for “Somewhither.” I’m hoping future editions of the Dragons can meet and exceed the high bar set by the inaugural awards.

  4. I voted for Civil War too. The Martian was good, but I’m a Marvel nerd.

    I did review Marina’s book a few months ago. It was very well done! Do pick it up in your copious amounts of free time, Larry! 😉

      1. I also voted for Civil War. It was just a terrific movie. (And I didn’t see The Martian, since ‘guy alone in a place trying to escape’ isn’t a trope I’ve been much interested in for a while. Maybe because I like the relationships side of fiction. If it was two or three people alone in a place, my interest would probably be much higher.)

        1. the thing about The Martian that tells you this isn’t just your run of the mill ‘survivor’ movie is that it won the Golden Globe in the Comedy category. It’s very, very funny and very, very entertaining.

    1. “The Martin” had a number of science and engineering fails that bugged my nuclear-trained mind. In a ‘less rigorous’ movie. I’d have forgiven them. This movie was too much in the hard science realm to get that leniency.

      Then, there was a story-telling fail at the climactic moment of the movie that cheapened a key character and diminished their stature in my eyes, all in pursuit of an unnecessary and cheap drama-grab.

      So: “Civil War” for me.

      1. WARNING: Spoilers for “The Martian” If you haven’t seen it or read the book,. you should. It’s totally awesome.

        The whole MAV ascent sequence, both in the book and the movie, was cringe-worthy for me. I mean they’re going “the position is right, but the velocity is wrong” and, of course, they’re tied together so either they’re both right or they’re both wrong. Of course the Martian atmosphere isn’t dense enough to cause anything like a problem with the launch, but let’s ignore that for the moment.

        The two biggest whoppers in “The Martian”: First, the MAV is going to be on the Martian surface for four years, longer than any other part of the mission, and is one of only two pieces of equipment on the mission for which there can be no backup. Why is it not designed to withstand any conceivable wind that could possibly happen? I mean, you don’t want to have to scrub with the crew halfway to Mars because the MAV fell over in a sandstorm.

        Second, at the end, the MAV and the Ares are supposed to be at relative rest to each other and 50 km apart. Why don’t they just use the Ares main drive to go over to the MAV, do their pickup and then head home? That’s close enough that you can approximate it as a linear problem. At 2mm/sec^2, it would take just over two hours to do that rescue, and lithium hydroxide canisters are lightweight so he could have a bunch extra with him.

        1. Every time I head people complain about the Martian, it was because it was ‘scientifically wrong’ but I never could get them to explain why or how. You are literally the FIRST person I’ve run across who explained what your problems with it was, for the rest of us non-science folk.

          Though, the above is also why I’m probably never going to write hard sci-fi. I’ve always had the impression that if I tried, anything I researched would be out of date; and I’d spend more time fussing over ‘is the science right’ than the story. Which would kill the story. And then there’s the reaction if I ever DID get it written.


          1. ** More Spoilers **

            Mars does have big dust storms, but the air on Mars isn’t dense even if it is blowing pretty fast, so the whole initial scene with the mess made by the storm is really questionable.

            I don’t have a good feel for how much the shroud would affect the MAV ascent. As Jonathan G. points out, the air is really thin, but there are people designing airplanes that can fly on Mars, and it strikes me as conceivable that a variation of a few percent could screw up that nutty maneuver, but I agree with Jonathan that it does have a number of scientific holes.

            In the great scheme of things, though, not too many SF films, or books, do half as well as the Martian science-wise. At the Hugo ceremony, an astronaut turned up to collect Andy Weir’s Campbell award and another turned up to collect the Hugo for the film and both of them enthused about getting the science right. I think it’s as much because The Martian acknowledged that the science matters as because it got right; a plucky hero can’t just will a differential equation to change its solution.

          2. “To it’s credit, The Martian was more scientifically accurate than 99.7% of “science”-fiction movies.”

            I think that was its problem in some ways. It’s easy to roll your eyes and move on at a science error in something like “Star Trek” or “Serenity” because you’re already accepting premises that are so fare out there they can barely be called science. But when something is so very close to being right, it grates when it isn’t quite accurate. Call it the Uncanny Valley of Hard Sci Fi.

          3. Heh, I’ve at least watched the film, though I’ve not read the book yet I’ll admit. So you don’t have to worry about spoilers.

            As you said, the Martian did better than most in the science department. I’d heard about the astronauts, which only served to increase my confusion. If they thought it was awesome for the science, then I gathered that meant that SOME of it was right as opposed to ‘it got everything wrong.’

            It makes me wonder what would be acceptable as fictional reality. Last night, I was talking to my husband about a news article I was reading, and said I couldn’t come up with a plot like this, I’d be told it was unrealistic because of how the story itself went.


        2. At the end, the Ares isn’t in a stable Mars orbit, it’s performing a Mars fly-by. That means both that there’s a time crunch (50 km separation is going to grow and grow as both ships leave Mars) and that the Oberth effect applies (every bit of maneuvering Ares does is going to have to be undone with compound interest to get back on track later). If Ares has already been using up their fuel reserves getting into this rescue orbit in the first place, it seems conceivable (albeit extremely unlikely and suspiciously-plot-convenient) that they wouldn’t want to push things any further.

          The sandstorm damage levels were entirely nonsense, though. I got the impression that Weir regretted it but that he couldn’t come up with any plausible replacement disaster which would have the same evacuate-everyone-but-Watney effect.

  5. No *you’re* the best! *sticks tongue out, blows raspberry* lol. Seriously, I was *so* excited that SotBS won when I found out! Obviously not as excited as you, heh, but still really excited! It is an *awesome* book, and the win was well deserved.

    I’m sorry you’re sick, I hope you feel better soon! Have some chicken soup, it really does help. Also, I don’t know if you’re a tea drinker, but chamomile tea is a truly wonderful thing, whether it’s for an upset stomach or a great deal of inflammation. Or at least that’s been my experience, heh. I’ll stop now. *sheepish expression* God bless! 🙂

  6. If you remove the part about being ill, John’s experience was a bit similar to yours…in that I received a message from Matthew Bowman that he had won. I couldn’t believe it. (We were expected Chuck Gannon or Ancillary Mercy.) I went downstairs and checked online…when I saw that you had also won, I knew it must be true and I told John. He was totally amazed.

    It is not to our credit that both of our first reactions was our own version of “ruined his career” eh, Walters? 😉

    Congratulations, Larry. You sooo deserved it.

  7. A thrilling development all around. So many great books and got the recognition and praise they deserved–and in tough categories, to boot. (That said, CA: Civil War was better than The Martian, though I liked both.)

    The Temeraire books were hot and cold for me, I actually stopped after #6 (easily the worst showing of those.) The first three were pure magic, and the fourth punched you right in the gut with the ending, but then the fifth started to lose steam and the six was basically 300 pages of fruitless wandering in the Outback. Maybe the last three recaptured it. I’ll get around to it. All the same, Naomi Novik is a great writer, and I’ll be picking up her other stuff.

    Congrats to all of the winners. I’ve read a lot of these books and I’m sure I’ll read even more. Go celebrate, Larry!

    1. I really enjoyed Temeraire at first, even went to a book signing. But the Australia book was boring beyond belief, then the next book went, “Surprise! Your favorite character’s gay for a reason that doesn’t even make sense in this historical context!” And then I was pretty much: eff you, Temeraire series. It took me a while to realize that this author’s views of sex/sexuality and its place in an interesting story did not mesh with mine, and when I did the series was ruined for me. Which is especially frustrating because “Napoleon with dragons!” was going so well in many ways for the first several books.

  8. But Larry, when will you win a REAL award?

    (I kid, I kid, congrats – loved the book, and eagerly awaiting the last exodus book….)

  9. I have been reading alt-hist for a long, long time and obviously I agree with you on Harry.

    I have read all of Naomi’s series. She gets a little preachy in spots, but she spins one heck of a story.

    I honestly didn’t quite see that as “pure” alt-hist like 1632, Stirling, Conroy or Turtledove because of the dragons. But then, Turtledove has had aliens land in the middle of World War II.

    1. Depends on how you calculate. The physical object, not much. The Award, with all the sites, publicity, coordination, vote gathering, and presentation, a good bit more, even if that’s only calculated in terms of volunteer hours. If you factor in the costs in time and resources to produce the nominated works, and for voters to consume them and vote…gets pretty hard to calculate, but the number would be “large”.

  10. Once more, Congrats to you and all the other winners. Looking forward to next year’s vote!

    So, what are the odds that Toni is planning to have the words “Dragon Award Winner” added to the cover of SotBS?

    1. The field was amazing. Nothing wrong with any of the choices. Some of my choices won, some didn’t. I’m not displeased at all – any way you slice it, the Dragon Awards were a class act.

  11. Congratulations Larry.

    Somebody was asking me what I’d like to see in the future. I think it would be cool to have Fantasy broken into Fantasy and Urban Fantasy, or maybe even Paranormal Romance, sort of like how they’ve broken up Sci-Fi. Those are genres that sell millions of books, yet where the authors get very little respect from the traditional snooty awards types. I’d love to see those fans have a chance to celebrate what they think is great too.

    I’m less enthused about expanding the categories. I’m not too crazy about splitting them in the first place. So many books have one foot in SF and one in fantasy. Novik spans alternate history and fantasy and Turtledove did a famous series that spanned SF and alternate history, though his nominee this year was straight alternate history.

    If we must split, then I’d say the categories should be SF, fantasy, alternate history, and Horror. These categories are relatively fundamental. I’d argue that mil SF and apocalyptic SF are tropes of SF, and urban fantasy and paranormal romance are tropes of fantasy. I don’t recall hearing much about apocalyptic SF being talked about as a category, in the way you hear people talking about military SF or urban fantasy.

    YA is a trickier. A YA book could be in any of the other categories, but I appreciate that it’s an area where YA readers will want to have their own award. After 25 years of wrangling, WSFS settled on creating a YA award that is separate from Hugo, so that a YA book can be eligible for the Hugo and the YA award, much like the Campbell award. I think this is a pretty good solution.

    So how is the award supposed to work? Is the idea that I see the ballot and see a couple of books in a category that I’ve read, and pick one? I read all of the Hugo novel nominees, even Ancillary Vol 3, and now I’ll have to read a 6th next year. My pile to read grows faster than it shrinks even without an award with 40+ novel nominees. Yes there are a couple of categories that don’t interest me, but that still leave 30+ nominees.

    I’m afraid that there will be a similar problem with the Hugo for best series, if it gets ratified in 2017. I think most people will vote for their favorite from the ones that they’ve been reading, and ignore the others. Damn few will have read all six nominated series every year.

    1. I do not share your hand wringing over too many awards. This is why the Hugo’s took 25 years (!!!) to finally OK a sort of not-Hugo for YA.
      And as for best series, you are far too concerned that people will vote “wrong”.

      1. Ah, you mean that my quaint idea that people check out what they are voting on, is hand wringing about voting wrong. You don’t have to actually read the whole thing but you should at least take a look and sample, particularly in this modern age when most stuff at least has a sample in the Hugo packet. So yes having a great number of novel-length categories is going to limit how much people actually check out what’s been nominated.

        Also some of the categories are just odd; why apocalyptic fiction, and not space opera, cautionary tale, environmental SF, cyberpunk, steam punk, diesel punk, hard SF, social SF.

        1. I assume that question was rhetorical, but I’ll answer it anyway: because apocalyptic fiction is fashionable at the moment.

    2. I agree with you that the Dragon Awards probably has too many categories, and that some of them seem nonsensical (the “mobile game” one especially boggles my mind. If they really wanted to break the video game category into multiple awards, it should have been by genre, or by indy vs. AAA publication) but to answer your question as to WHY they are broken up the way they are, you need to look to how Dragoncon is organized.

      Dragoncon is made up of a bunch of separate fan “tracts” which, for all intents and purposes, put on their own sorta’ mini-cons all in the same area all at once. A lot of the weirder Dragon award book categories, like Post-Apocalyptic and Alternate History, just happen to correspond to one of the fan tracts at Dragoncon. I have a feeling that the distinction in the awards isn’t intended to be a reflection of the overall market for books, or anything like that, so much as it is intended to be a reflection of Dragoncon itself.

  12. Games was the only category that actually disappointed me. Fallout 4 was the most soul crushingly disappointing thing I have played in years, after having run through the entire series up to this point. It felt like a game that had been designed for people who felt that Skyrim was too complex, and that made me sad.

    The entire rest of the awards was awesome though. I’ll admit I voted for Aeronaut’s Windlass, but it was a close call. I look forward to making some nominations for next year, and seeing some more awesome stuff on the ballot.

    1. You obviously haven’t tried it on “survival” mode, or with any of the rather fantastic mods that are available.

    2. Fallout 4 was good for what it was. If you’re a longtime fan of the Fallout series, and were looking for a continuation of that story, with all the great themes and interesting characters it usually explores, I can see how you might be disappointed, but it’s still a fun, anything-goes sandbox with far better action elements and gunplay than the Bethesda Fallouts have had so far, paired with more reactivity and freedom than any comparable FPS or “Ubisoft-Open-World-Game: The Game” with which it is competing. If you think of Fallout 4 as being in the same genre as those games, rather than thinking of it as a Fallout game, it’s really quite an amazing piece of work!

      And if you DO want a more traditional Fallout in the new Bethesda style, we’ve still got New Vegas for now! Not to mention a whole slew of new (albeit often Kickstarted) games which follow the same sort of narrative-heavy worldbuilding aesthetic that the original Fallouts pioneered, like Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, (hopefully) Tides of Numenera, and Witcher 3. (Which was tragically overlooked at the Dragon Awards, unfortunately, and deserved it way more than any of this year’s entries except Undertale.)

      I AM disappointed that Undertale didn’t take it, though. It deserved it. With the sheer number of Undertale costumes I saw, I expected it to be a shoe-in, but I guess that crowd didn’t really overlap with the people who actually VOTED in the awards. :op

  13. Larry:
    What a nice set of comments.

    Although I voted for Windlass over Son of the Black Sword, I loved both books. You can take pleasure that I own two copies of SBS (Baen monthly bundle e-book and hardback).

    Congrats to all of the winners!

    1. I own the audio and hardback of both. I voted for Butcher, but I would have preferred being able to vote for both equally because I honestly feel about equal about these particular two books.

      1. I was very pleased that Dave Freer’s Changeling Island was nominated in two categories, so I was able to vote for both it and Larry’s book.

        I haven’t read Butcher’s book (it’s in the TBR pile as we speak), so I wasn’t conflicted there.

        I’m not actually sure of the last time I saw an award ballot where there were multiple nominees in one category that I wanted to vote for. I could get used to this. 🙂

  14. Congratulations!

    As for the comics/graphic novel awards, Ms. Marvel is a series that ostentatiously features a gender/racial/religious minority protagonist that is actually genuinely entertaining and features for good character development beyond simple tokenism. And Sandman Overture is brilliant (seriously, I would argue it’s better than parts of the original series) and I’m happy to see them both win.

    1. I read the first Ms. Marvel because of the Hugos last year and did not care for it. Among other things, I find the style of art to be a little too… loose and fantastical, I guess. I prefer art that’s more clean and definite. (Sorry about my weird way of describing things. I’m not an ‘art’ person, so I don’t really know the right words to talk about it well.)

  15. Congradulations! Well done! Okay the award may not be “literature” or, perhaps more importantly, come with a fat cheque attached, but it’s fans voting for the stuff they love and that’s awesome!!! Well done again.

    1. As far as the “fat cheque” is concerned, the Dragon Awards winner’s list is my new “to buy and read” list.

      I can’t be the only one.

  16. Congratulations, Larry! And thanks.

    Chalk it up to a nasty combo of illness, NyQuil, and poor acoustics, but your memory of our conversation is a bit fuzzy. I actually said that SotBS and SD would both win.

    Two weeks ago I also predicted that my readers would serve the CHORFs a nice tall glass of STFU.

    You can take back the “humble” part now 😉

  17. I am delighted the Dolph Lundgren of of Fantasy and Science Fiction has finally been justly rewarded. 🙂 Seriously, well-deserved. As a writer I recognize the underlying excellent craftsmanship required in writing that kind of hero. The really important part about it is that you did it without slowing the pace or letting the reader see the mechanics. That’s real, deep skill – something those who award prizes for ‘literature’ SHOULD recognize, but never do. But what got my vote and my support is exactly what should count in every fan award – a crackling-good compelling read! Bravo!

    And, interestingly, I ALSO said on my page that if I win any award (relatively unlikely, I’m just an ordinary sort of writer) I will recuse myself from that award in future. After all, once you can say Dragon (or any other) Award Winning Author on your book cover – getting ten isn’t going to make you say it ten times, or be worth any more to you. Let others have a go, spread the value and the prestige.

    Bravo again. Obviously I would be happier if I won it (but if I beat Sir Terry Pratchett a)I wouldn’t believe it, b)I’d feel slightly guilty for his family, because they deserve to know we loved him) – but your winning it comes pretty damn close in the pleasing me stakes.

  18. The funny thing about SotBS is that it is chock full of themes that SJW types fawn over. Anti-slavery, class struggle, caste division, racism, anti-militarism. If it was written by anybody but you it would of been all over the Hugos, lauded for it’s championing of the lower classes.

    1. Ah, but look closer my friend.
      The foolish SJWs–they looked at SotBS and saw only the author.
      The smart ones, though–they read it, and knew immediately that it had to be squelched. Because it goes against one of their core principles, which is that punishing children for the supposed sins of their fathers is The Right Thing To Do.

  19. I agree that if they’re going to continue to have some subdivisions for the sci-fi side, I’d like to see some subdivisions for the fantasy side, too. It doesn’t make sense to have GoT competing against Dresden competing against Half-Moon Hollow.

  20. SotBS rocked. Yes, I flogged it to all my friends, and the reaction pretty much went, “And WHERE’S THE NEXT ONE?!” The whole Dragon awards looks good to me, a lot of stuff I’ve seen or read and liked a lot. Even the ones that were just nominated and didn’t win.

    So far, the Dragon’s off to a pretty good start. Now y’all of the writerly persuasion need to get busy and crank out more of the good stuff for next year. Why no, that’s not my reading addiction talking. Honest…

      1. Larry — Write Faster!!!!! And more!!!!

        I won’t ask for better, because I’m already two requests (and 10 ‘!’s) over quota

  21. Again, congratulations on the Dragon win, Larry! ^_^ (I celebrated with delicious cake; recipe on my blog.)

    I think it would be cool to have Fantasy broken into Fantasy and Urban Fantasy, or maybe even Paranormal Romance, sort of like how they’ve broken up Sci-Fi. Those are genres that sell millions of books, yet where the authors get very little respect from the traditional snooty awards types. I’d love to see those fans have a chance to celebrate what they think is great too.

    I’m okay with paranormal romance branching off into it’s own separate category; kind of iffy with Fantasy being broken down to Fantasy/Urban Fantasy; but that’s because in my head there isn’t really much of a difference. Paranormal romance on the other hand, has a stronger focus on the romance part than the average fantasy setting, enough that, for me, the category is separate.

    But if there’s an Urban Fantasy category, I’d also like a Space Opera category, but that’s just me.

  22. Congrats on the award! I also was happy to see the slate in general. I had read several of the nominated works before the slate was released, and they were good stuff. This tells me that I should also look at the other nominated works!

    This award is more relevant to me than other awards, for these reasons:
    I have read works nominated here, before Dragon solicited nominations.
    I have heard of many of these authors and read some of their other works, before nominations
    The works I have read are good because I enjoy them
    Based on this history, I believe I will enjoy other nominated works even if they didn’t take top prizes.
    I will be using the nominations as a recommended reading list, and purchasing some of those books based on the nomination

    I hope to see them keep this going the future, I hope to see you with another book on here next year too. Keep up the great work!

  23. Probably coming from “non real fans”…

    Jest apart, well-deserved. 🙂 Once upon a time, I stumbled on MHI (mind you, was the Omnibus i.e. the first three novels of the series) and kicked myself numerous times in the butt, asking myself why I didn’t begin reading your work earlier…

    Since then, just did read about everything you wrote and much of what you recommand.

    Just sad I don’t belong to the better armed fans. 🙁

    1. The weapon is not the blade, nor the hand that wields it- the weapon is the mind that controls both. Everything is a potential weapon!

  24. What are these wooden butt holes of which you speak? Also congratulations on winning best fantasy! One of the things I love most about dragon con is that yes we are a rowdy bunch but we really love what we love and are passionate about it. So I think the dragon awards will continue to be a fantastic experience for all involved.

    1. They handed out “asterisks” at last year’s Hugos. It was an insult from the MC to wrongfan nominees. It was pathetic. 🙂

  25. Hey Larry,
    Congratulations on the win. Baen must have thought a lot of you and John Ringo’s collabaritive efforts on MHI @ DragonCon. I kid you not at least 1/4 of their booth was given over to the two of you. They had a huge cutaway of the cover for your MHI:Sinners book at least 8 feet tall.

    Also at the Military Sci-Fi panel on future tech and weaponry Friday night, John Ringo said he was very glad you became a writer…. because you took his place as the most hated author ????.

    Also as future fuel for you sir and your non author self. WorldCon attendance was roughly 8,000 DragonCon was roughly 10X that. With about the same ratio of fans voting. Or at least that was the numbers I heard being floated about

    I would post a picture of the Baen Booth but I am bad at the internet.

    Congratulations, again, on the win and maybe that will shut up the people who were whining about you being a non author.

    One last thing, I saw 2 Julia Shackleford’s and 1 Owen and an Earl. I actually asked them because I thought the 2 young women might have been aiming for Lara Croft. The Owen guy was pretty obvious, he was huge, had a Saiga shotgun prop and the MHI badge as did the Earl, he had the badge and lots of fur like he was mid change.

  26. Congratulations, sir. Son of the Black Sword is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and Ashok ranks up there with Harry Dresden in terms of awesome protagonists.

  27. Congratulations, Larry.

    I listened to SOTBS as an audiobook right after you announced its release, and it got my vote for a Dragon. You are the only author whose work is an automatic buy for me. Thank you for making my commutes more exciting.

  28. Congrats! Glad to be able to meet you in person at Salt Lake Comic Con. Dragon Con sounds awesome, I may have to look into it sometime. Keep writing awesome books, because I intend to keep reading them.

  29. Congrats, Larry…glad to see you get the accolades you deserve for your work. Haven’t ready SotBS yet (still so frackin’ backlogged), but it’s on the list.

    While I got you here…totally unrelated question about the MHI milleu; is PUFF tax exempt?

    Congrats again, sir.

        1. From “A Halloween Public Service Annocement from Monster Hunter International” (Short Stories page):

          “OZP: –then, and this is important, you still need to report this on your taxes. The 1040X is where you report PUFF income. Oh, man, the IRS will fine the EXPLETIVE DELETED out of you if you don’t fill out your schedule X every quarter!”

  30. Haven’t had the chance to pick up SotBS yet, but I will tell you the Grimnoir series has me fully hooked. From the, like, ten books of yours I’ve read I complete endorse the Dragon.

    Keep doing the thing.

  31. Congratulations, well deserved and congratulations to all of the winners. My vote came easy as I’m looking forward to reading the next SotBS book, I am kind of ‘meh’ on reading the next Aeronaut book as much as I enjoyed reading it. You managed to set the hook deeper than Butcher, so you got my vote and will get my dollars!

  32. Can you please post a photo of the actual award? The photo on the DragonCon website looks pretty cool, but it’s small, and I’d like to see it up close. Thanks!

  33. Congrats, Larry! I didn’t get a chance to vote (80 hour weeks, forgive me!) but this is very well deserved, indeed. I keep hoping to see Monster Hunter on tv one day and I always buy your books first day of release!

  34. Congrats Sir!

    And call it a secondary win for Butcher, Just bought Aeronauts windlass. Gotta read it for comparison sake!

  35. Congratulations, you really did earn this award, and against some great competition! Hope you’re shaking the cold.

  36. Anyone else just realize that they never got their Hugo packet or had a chance to vote?

    I voted in the nominating round, but never got anything after that…..

    Congrats Larry on the Dragon, and I won’t have to worry about the Hugos next year, but I’m wondering now if there might have been some under representation due to uncast votes.


    1. I think you had to sign in for the nominating packets and download them yourself. Mine wasn’t sent to me. It was a disappointing packet, to be honest. A lot of noms were available only in pdf format. I read the Stephen King story on my kindle and decided I would just ignore the pdfs after that. (And I thought Folding Beijing was a better story, anyway.) I didn’t vote in the novel category. I struggled with the Best Related Work category. I didn’t read Between Light and Shadow cover-to-cover, but I thought it obviously took a lot of effort, and the parts that I looked at seemed pretty good to me, so I put it as #1. I couldn’t bring myself to read the piece on Moira Greyland, because I saw enough child abuse when I worked as a pediatrician and later as a geneticist, and I just didn’t want to read about any more. I probably would’ve put that in the #2 slot. And by then, I was just out of steam. I didn’t even vote in the artist categories, because I didn’t want to go through the submissions in the packet.

  37. I fully expect the news-weenies to discount the Dragons as “not a real award” for the next twenty years for this… I mean, to be forced to call you “New York Times bestselling author…” is one thing. To have to add “Award winning” is really gonna stick in their craw.

  38. I’m a bit behind the curve, my name only just came up on the library hold list this week. (our network apparently has 1 copy) . I started reading last night and the only reason I put it down was because the bathwater had gotten too cold. -sg-

    Loving what I have seen so far. <3 <3 <3

    Congratulations sir. If what I have seen so far is any indication of the rest of the book, this was well earned.

  39. The Martian versus Captain America: Civil War. I thought CA:CW was phenomenal, but what pushed The Martian over the top for me was the 3D. Normally, I hate it and avoid it like the plague, but the reviews for the 3D version were good, and it really was spectacular to “see” the Martian landscape in 3D. I think the Captain America movies have been the best of the Marvel movies so far, and particularly the last one, because it asked questions that really didn’t have a “right” answer (hence, the Civil War). And the ending (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT) had one character deciding whether or not he himself was a potential danger to others, deciding that he was, and agreeing to go into deep freeze until technology figures out a way to undo all of the brainwashing he’s undergone, knowing full well that that might never happen.

  40. Congrats, well-deserved, hope we see more — you can a do lot of interesting things with that culture.

    Was also thrilled to see Somewhither finally receive its due.

    I’ve mostly stopped playing Fallout, I think partly because making your companions fight the BOS at the airport is more fun than moving the story ahead by choosing a faction (after which you can’t do that, afaik), but it’s still fun to pop some Jet now and then. And it still makes me laugh when the BOS is like “you got another Scribe killed? Dammit! Oh well, mission complete, here’s another one.”

  41. I’m a bit late in replying to this, because first I was at the con myself, and then as soon as I got back I started moving into my new place, but congratulations! You earned it!

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