The deadline for your final votes for the 2017 Dragon Awards rapidly approaches. The finalist list this year contains a fantastic summary of amazing works in science fiction and fantasy over the last year. I can highly recommend a huge number of the entries. They’ll prove well worth your time.
With that said, each of us can only vote for one of them. In some categories, that means difficult choices. Here’s how I’m voting this year. As it happens, my vote lines up entirely with the Happy Frogs suggestions. There’s a good reason for that. Someone over there has great taste.
Best Science Fiction Novel
Once again I have to choose between not only several great novels but also two good friends – Richard Paolinelli and Brian Niemeier. They’re both fantastic works, as are several others on the list (I confess, I have not yet read them all). But in the end, my vote goes to Brian. If you’re not up on the Soul Cycle series, you should be. And now you can get Secret Kings on Kindle Unlimited!
Best Fantasy Novel
- Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi
Once again there’s a hard choice here. The Correia/Ringo MHI collaboration is great (see my review). I haven’t finished Beast Master yet, but I’m enjoying it. But this one has to go to A Sea of Skulls. Vox Day’s Acts of Dark and Light series is simply one of the most interesting things going on in the SciFi/Fantasy world right now. Also, Correia asked to bow out. I know he’s relented a little since he’d share it with Ringo… but he’s still right that he’s already been duly recognized. Ringo will have plenty of other chances.
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
I don’t read a ton of young adult. But once again I’m forced to choose between two amazing works that also happen to be written by friends. Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland is a delightful read, and John C. Wright honored me with the very great privilege of a work-in-progress version of Swan Knight’s Son as a Christmas gift. This husband and wife pair are not only good friends, but Ms. Lamplighter also edited my own upcoming novel, War Demons. However, they made the choice easy for me by declaring their own wish that fans of either author vote for John. I could have gotten behind either book easily, but I’m happy to support their choice.
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
When I made my nomination list, I hadn’t yet read any Mil SF this year. Since then, I have had a chance to catch up on a few. I can easily recommend Star Realms: Rescue Run by my friend Jon Del Arroz.
Side note: if they’re going to break out Mil SFF as its own category, there are several other subgenres that should be broken out. Paranormal is the first that comes to mind, including both SciFi and Fantasy (as Mil does).
Best Alternate History Novel
Kai Wai Cheah (also credited in some instances as Cheah Kai Wai, due to the confusion between Asian and Western surname customs) is one of the most interesting new writers out there. We have two of his short stories running on Lyonesse, and they’re easily two of the best we’ve got. No Gods, Only Daimons is a fantastic debut novel. Keep an eye on this author.
Best Apocalyptic Novel
With respect to my friend Declan Finn, A Place Outside the Wild is one of the best books I’ve read all year – and I don’t even like zombie books. That’s how good it is. Get it, even if you, too, don’t like the genre. You won’t regret it.
Best Horror Novel
There’s some good stuff in this category, but you really should check out Declan Finn’s vampire romance series. It’s worth the time.
Best Comic Book
I picked this one up after seeing it on the Happy Frogs list. Good choice.
Best Graphic Novel
Precisely zero of my friends or fans will express surprise that I picked Butcher here.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
This category was easy. Everything else on this list either always sucked or has taken a serious nose dive in the last season or three. Stranger Things, hands down. This is the sole category where I diverge from the Happy Frogs slate, and I can only assume that’s because the frogs haven’t actually seen the show.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
There are still too many films on this list I haven’t seen. I’m working to rectify that. And for the rest of the categories, I’ve been out of gaming for too long. I defer to the fine folks at Happy Frogs for suggestions.