DragonCon, Atlanta's major science fiction and fantasy convention, announced earlier this week that they will be launching the Dragon Award to honour the best of geek entertainment.
The news comes as the convention gets ready to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The award will cover the following categories:
- Best science fiction novel
- Best fantasy novel (including paranormal)
- Best young adult/middle grade novel
- Best military science fiction or fantasy novel
- Best alternate history novel
- Best apocalyptic novel
- Best horror novel
- Best comic book
- Best graphic novel
- Best episode in a continuing science fiction or fantasy series, TV or internet
- Best science fiction or fantasy movie
- Best science fiction or fantasy PC / console game
- Best science fiction or fantasy mobile game
- Best science fiction or fantasy board game
- Best science fiction or fantasy miniatures / collectable card / role-playing game
There's some really interesting things here that other major awards - such as the Hugo and Nebula awards - don't cover, such as YA and Middle Grade Fiction and a wide range of gaming types.
Dragon Award winners will be selected by all fans — not just Dragon Con members or attendees — in an open nomination and final voting system. To accommodate as many creative genres as possible, awards will be given in each of 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies,video gaming and tabletop gaming.
There's no portal yet for voting, but it appears that the nomination process will begin in April and run through the end of July. A second round of voting will pick the winners from the nominees.
The completely open nature of voting will be an interesting thing to watch, as the convention doesn't appear to be requiring membership or attendance in order to vote. Even though there's only a single vote per person, it's easy to imagine that this is a system that could be abused: DragonCon's ability to handle and deal with this will be interesting to see later this year.
What will also be interesting to see is how this award shakes out as compared to that of legacy awards such as the Hugo or Nebula, which draw from a fairly specific pool of fans.
The winners of the inaugural award will be announced during this year's convention, which will be held September 2 to September 5, 2016.