The Dragon Awards: A Win for the Superversive!

The Dragon Awards got handed out at Dragon Con this past weekend. Several other contributors here were present, and some had works up for an award. Before I get to the point, this: congratulations to all of you, gracious in both victory and in defeat.

For years we’ve had the so-called “Secret Masters of Fandom”, centered around WorldCon, claim that the Hugos were the voice of the fandom. (Or “Fandom”) Their subversive, corrosive, and dyscivic output of propaganda disguised as literature has now had the last of its illusions dispelled. The Dragon Awards clearly demonstrate what the world’s fans in their respective categories regard as the best in SF/F/Horror for the year- and, again, it is not what the subversives of WorldCon want us to believe.

That these cliquish, holier-than-thou, obnoxious, reactionary fanatics (“CHORF” for short) with their delusions of grandeur got repulsed for the second year running (when they didn’t quit the field pre-emptively) and repulsed so soundly that no one noted their absence until after the fact shows clearly what Brian Niemeier pointed out the other day at his blog:

Luckily, the final decision still lay with the vast legions of science fiction and fantasy fans. Shutting out the CHORFs was the only way to reverse the inroads they’d made and safeguard the Dragon Awards from political meddling.

And you guys came through with flying colors!

Take a look at that list of winners again. It’s wall-to-wall best sellers and fan favorites. In short, the most popular nominees won the popularity contest. The process worked!

For those pursuing the restoration of the Superversive, this is a fantastic sign. The audience has not abandoned the Superversive. Indeed, it hungers for it and wants more. Sure, there’s competition and not of of that is Superversive, but we aren’t shying away from that.

Now is the time to join the fray. Get in that seat, take to the skies, form up on the wing, and dive into the furball. We got a big win, and the enemy still doesn’t realize that it’s badly damaged and leaking fuel. Once they realize what’s really going on, it’ll be too late and the entire fortress of foulness will fall from the sky, hit the ground with a terrible crash, and immolate itself in the explosion.

The future belongs to those that show up and stand for what is true and beautiful. That’s the Superversive.

One Page Podcast: Live And Let Bite by Declan Finn

Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite Book 3) is a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist for Best Horror

Merlin “Merle” Kraft has been fighting the darkness for months. He left San Francisco in the capable hands of Marco Catalano and his anti-vampire team to defend them against vampires. With special operators at his command, Kraft has been killing every vampire he can find in the Middle East. After clearing out a nest in Tora Bora, he is finally brought back to New York, and the investigation that led him to vampires in the first place.

Marco is starting to spiral. He knows it. His team knows it. Everyone around him can see that he’s just a bomb waiting to explode. The only woman who can bring him back from the brink is also the woman who lit his fuse.

Ever since the demon Asmodeus tried to murder Marco, Amanda Colt has been hunting down every lead to find the ones ultimately behind the attempt. After months of investigation, she learns that something in the dark is colder than the dark. It is a vampire assassin that Amanda has faced once before, and Amanda lost. This assassin is stronger than anything they’ve face before, and it isn’t alone.

With Marco ready to self-destruct, and the armies of Hell ready to descend, the three of them must come together and stop a thousand-year-old assassin that has never been stopped, and has never failed to kill her target.

One Page Podcast: Star Realm: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz

Star Realms: Rescue Run (Star Realms Novels) is a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military Science Fiction

Since being court-martialed by the Star Empire, smuggler and thief Joan Shengtu has done what she needed to do in order to survive—gaining a reputation along the way. When a new client’s mission goes sideways, Joan finds herself caught in the middle of dueling gambits between the Star Empire and the Trade Federation. Recruited to perform the heist of a lifetime, the fate of the Star Empire rests in her hands.

On the opposite side of the galaxy, Regency BioTech manager Dario Anazao sees an unsustainable situation brewing that promises a full-scale revolution. The megacorporations of the Trade Federation have kept the population in horrible working conditions, violating their human rights. With no one else to help, Dario must take it upon himself to rescue the workers of Mars.

Can two heroes from warring factions come together to make a difference in the galaxy?

The Catholic Geek Radio Show: War of the Dragons 08/13

The Catholic Geek: War of the Dragons 08/13 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:

The August 13th podcast will be live at 7:00 PM, Eastern, and include eight Dragon Award nominated authors for 2017, including

2017 Superversive Dragon Picks

Let’s find out..

Best Science Fiction Novel

Okay. Richard Paolinelli made it. If you haven’t read his work yet, do so.

On the other hand, Brian Niemeier is an active contributor, is a good author, and a says he’ll give his award to L Jagi Lamplighter, and that’s another complication, to be discussed below.

And no one else from our original list is there, it seems. Where’s Zhan’s Thrawn?  Hmm. I guess it came out too late for most fans to read and vote for it — otherwise, Zahn didn’t want it.

And Scalzi wouldn’t know how to be Superversive if it jumped up and bit him where it hurt.

I suppose this year it’s between Brian and Richard.

Best Fantasy Novel 
(Including Paranormal)

Okany, Grunge was on our list. Not a shock. Larry doesn’t want the award. But let’s see if Ringo wants one.

It’s probably Vox and Ringo, really. And even Vox Day doubts his odds here, so my money is on Ringo to win. If Ringo isn’t back with the church yet, Grunge is actually the one I looked at and said, “Come home to Rome, John.”

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Yup, it’s a Wright double header! Both of these two were on our original Superversive list. My goal this year was to see if John and Jagi could have a his and hers set of Dragons…

Except Jagi has mentioned she wants John to win for Swan Knight’s Son

But I think she deserves an award for Rachel Griffin…

While Brian will literally give his award to Jagi, I want Richard to win that one….

My bet? JCW will win. Vox is throwing his people behind Mr. Wright, and so is Jagi. So is Happy Frogs.

Best Military Science Fiction 
or Fantasy Novel

Okay, and this is where a more of our picks congregated, with Wandrey, Jon Del Arroz.

Mark Wandrey and John Holmes are good people. Charles Gannon is friendly as all heck, and smart as a whip.

I think I’m going to vote for Jon. I wanted John Ringo’s Monster Hunter spin off to have been in this category. So, who knows who’ll actually win. Especially since Gannon has the Baen vote, but I know that Wandrey, Holmes, and Jon will all campaign.

Boy, am I glad I’m not going to be in this middle of this shootout.

Best Alternate History Novel

Oh gee. Flint and Turtledove have gotten nominations. Who ever could have imagined…

I did. Several times. That was the easy part.

LOU ANTONELLI GOT NOMINATED!!!!! LOU GOT NOMINATED!!!!!! YES!

Yes, Lou’s cool. His book was awesome. Read it. That’s my vote.

Other than that, we only had one pick in Alternate History. And People’s Repulic isn’t here.

My bet? Turtledove and Flint will split the vote, leaving it as a fight between Lou and Vox’s pick. And Happy Frogs is backing Lou.

Best Apocalyptic Novel
One of our picks, Dan Humphreys, got in! Yes! Good for him. He’s good people.
I don’t know Akkad or Heinz. Jemisin is right down there with Scalzi. I know that Doctorow exists.  Oh, look, John Holmes again! Good for him.
Codename: UnSub. By me and my coauthor. Huh. Had you asked me to place money one what I’d be nominated for, this … would not be it.
On the one hand, we’re up against Doctorow, so Yoskowitz and I should be screwed. Then again, I don’t know if Doctorow will campaign. So who knows? Common sense says Doctorow, but if I had any, I’d be a plumber. It’s steady work.
Best Horror Novel

Tom Tinney’s Blood of Invidia is on our original list. that’s good.

Littlewood is a Vox pick. According to a comment on File 770, she’s already removed her nomination. Oh well.

Tom Tinney’s been a guest on the podcast a few times. Dubeau? Larrinaga? Summers, LaValle…. Yikes. Do I know these people? Answer, of course not, I don’t actually read horror.

Technically, I don’t even write horror, I write paranormal romance or Urban Fantasy, depending on who you ask. But the Dragons don’t have this pick.

Tom is up against Dan Wells.  Well, that’ll suck. I’ve heard of Wells, he’s supposed to be Catholic Stephen King, only he writes well. Tom’s win will depend on whether or not

…. Live and Let Bite. By me. And it was on our list.

I got two nominations? Huh. To my rabid fan base, thank you. Yes. Really. Thank you. I’m … wow. Well. That’s … wow.

Best Comic Book
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eleven by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs
  • Motor Girl by Terry Moore
  • Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Saga by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples
  • Wynonna Earp Legends by Beau Smith, Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Chris Evenhuis
  • The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo

We didn’t have a dog in this fight. But do we need to? Jim Butcher is nominated. We know who’s winning.

Best Graphic Novel
  • Clive Barker Nightbreed #3 by Marc Andreyko, Clive Barker, Emmanuel Xerx Javier
  • Girl Genius: the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne, Book 2: The City of Lightning by Phil and Kaja Foglio
  • Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez
  • Love is Love by Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos, James S. Rich
  • March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
  • Stuck in My Head by J.R. Mounts

We also had no dog in this fight. But … Butcher is here, too. I guess it depends on which ones he wants. Assuming he’s not going to give all the comic awards away to his artists.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
  • Doctor Who, BBC
  • Lucifer, Fox
  • Marvel’s Agents of Shield, ABC
  • Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Sky1
  • Stranger Things, Netflix
  • The Expanse, Syfy
  • Westworld, HBO
  • Wynonna Earp, Syfy

None of our picks were here. And I’m apathetic about them anyway.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
  • Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directed by James Gunn
  • Logan directed by James Mangold
  • Passengers directed by Morten Tyldum
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards
  • Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

Okay. We liked Arrival, Doctor Strange, and Guardians 2 (it was reviewed on the site after our initial list was released). I’m not surprised about Wonder Woman. Several people I know like Passengers. Logan was a Vox pick….

No bet on who wins this one.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
  • Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios
  • Final Fantasy XV by Square Enix
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda by Bioware
  • NieR: Automata by PlatinumGames
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo
  • Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment

Well, we say Titanfall 2, and FF15 coming.

I wouldn’t vote Bioware if you paid me.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
  • Con Man: The Game by Monkey Strength Productions
  • Fire Emblem Heroes by Nintendo
  • Monument Valley 2 by Ustwogames
  • Pokemon GO by Niantic
  • Sky Dancer by Pine Entertainment
  • Super Mario Run by Nintendo

We didn’t have a horse in this race. But there’s Pokemon GO. We’re done. It was so addictive and so popular last year, it’s not even funny.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk by Avalon Hill
  • Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games
  • Hero Realms by White Wizard Games
  • Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games
  • Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

We had no picks here, either

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
  • A Shadow Across the Galaxy X-Wing Wave X by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Bloodborne: The Card Game by CMON Limited
  • Dark Souls: The Board Game by Steamforged Games
  • Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon by Wizards of the Coast
  • Pulp Cthulhu by Chaosium
  • Star Wars: Destiny by Fantasy Flight Games

Again, not our scene, apparently.

Once again, I’d like to thank all of you folks in the fan base for chipping in in the first place, and coming out to vote. If you look at my two nominations with thoughts of “If I vote for him twice, will that be a problem?” No. If I get both wins, I’ll give one to my co-author on UnSub. Assuming I get either.

If you don’t want to try reading every single book on the list, you can vote below.

Remember, you may register to receive a ballot until Sunday, August 28th at 11:59PM. You must be submit your ballot by Tuesday, August 29th, 11:59 EDT

But if you want to vote NOW, vote here.

320x320_Nominee_Click

Review: Honor At Stake by Declan Finn

Enter the world of Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt. It’s a world where good and evil reside. A world where vampires and other creatures of the night battle for control. A world of ninjas and mobsters. A world where personal issues interfere with relationships.

I am such a sucker for a good romance and this one delivered a sweet clean romance that left me begging for the next book to come out. Maybe beg isn’t the right word.

With Honor at StakeDeclan Finn creates a story that expertly balances action, suspense and romance that is less Twilight and more Christine Feehan’s Dark series.

Marco is a monster, or at least he thinks he is. He also happens to be a genius in his first year of studies to be a physician’s assistant, but his impatience with people and a dark secret sets him apart from everyone.

Then, along comes Amanda Colt, beautiful, smart and Russian. She peaks his interest, especially when she goes toe to toe with him while fencing. She is perfect for him, but she also has a secret.

Set in New York City, the story explores parts of Brooklyn (including a vampire bar run by an ex-cop from the 1800s), Central Park, and Manhattan. The fictional university and real Mount Olivet cemetary are the backdrops for important scenes in the story.

When bodies start turning up, the two pair up to take on the vampire hordes threatening the city. They pull together an unlikely team of gang members, Vatican ninjas and an FBI agent into the strange. But, who is pulling the strings behind the sudden surge of vampire activity and what does it have to do with the UN? That is what they have to find out in order to save humanity from the evil trying to overtake New York City … and a bigger threat that is only hinted at.

The fast-paced plot is full of explosive action. Between the fencing, fight scenes, explosions, a killer ex-girlfriend and Vatican ninjas with their 50 cal Desert Eagles, there isn’t a lot of time to rest. This alone makes it difficult to put down.

The vampire lore is consistent with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but with a few modern and theological twists added to make it more complicated. Thankfully, we’re back to vampires being killed by sunlight, wooden stakes and holy water. But, unlike Stoker’s version, all vampires are not bad in Declan’s book. Salvation is still possible for these creatures of the night. How? It’s complicated, but it makes sense that he shoehorns in redemption.

Interspersed with the action are scenes of heart touching romance. Declan sets up these two flawed characters who need to overcome their inner demons in order to have a relationship. Neither thinks that anyone would love them if they knew about their secrets. This leads to some very touching moments between the characters as well as moments when you want to scream.

Declan is a master at over the top action scenes that will even make the Pulp Revolution guys happy, but he’s also amazing at the little intimate moments that make you fall in love with the characters.

The Superversives among us should be happy enough with the depth of religious and moral depth added to the vampire mythos. Hopefully, you won’t mind natural law philosophy coming to play here. And yes, he made philosophy readable.

There is little question why Honor at Stake was nominated for best Horror Novel in the Dragon Awards in 2016. And nominated for Book of the Year by the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. And put on the #2 spot for best novel for Sad Puppies 4.

It’s not perfect. There are a few places that are a bit heavy handed on the info dumps and Marco’s relationship with his ex is a bit confusing. There are a few scenes that come off as cheesy, but, overall, it’s a great story.

Lucky for you, though, Books 2 and 3 are already out, so you can continue right along with the next book, because you will want to. Trust me on this. The ending of Honor at Stake leaves you hanging.

You can get the first four chapters of the book free here or get the complete book in Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com.

Superversive Dragon Award Suggestions

DragonConDragon Con is one of the biggest SFF conventions in the United States, if not on the face of the Earth. Held in Atlanta each year, Dragon Con hosts a minimum of 60,000 people each year — and we will probably never know how much they really host, lest they get in trouble with the fire marshal (I’m not even kidding). And, of course, Dragon Con has created its own award — the Dragon Award.

The first annual Dragon Awards.

Unlike a certain other set of awards that shall never be named, the Dragon Awards give out awards by genre. The Dragon Awards are also unique in that they do not go by calendar year, but from the start of July to the end of June.

Recently, we’ve put together a bit of a list of Superversive books from last year that fit our standards.  But how would one fit into the Dragon Awards like this?

Dragon Awards won by John C Wright, Brian Niemeier and Nick Cole 2016

Obviously, certain of the books from the list fit no genre category. One of my novels from the list, Set to Kill, is a murder mystery that takes place in Atlanta, at a place called WyvernCon, in the middle of a political war about Tearful or Hydrophobic Puppies versus Puppy Punters from traditional Big Publishing. Obviously, this book has no similarities to real events. Heh.

However, while it is on the 2016 list, there is no murder mystery genre for the Dragons. Nor are there Westerns, so Brings the Lightning is out.  And while Chasing Freedom and The Big Sheep are both fun books with dystopic elements, they both came out too early last year in order to be eligible — and Chasing Freedom was already nominated for last year’s Dragons.  It’s the same for site favorite Ben Zyycky’s novel Beyond the Mist , which came out in January 2016.

Those are the ground rules. Keep in mind, ANYONE can vote in the Dragon Awards, whether you have attended the con, or if you will never attend the con.

You can vote here, once you’re registered. Keep in mind, you can only vote for each book ONCE. If you try to vote for, say, Murphy’s Law of Vampires in more than one category, like best horror / best fantasy / best YA, your ballot will be invalid.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve had to do this manually, so I may have excluded one or two books that fall within the eligibility dates. And I’m adding one or two additional novels — some because they are sequels to books already nominated, and some because I think they really should be considered.

And now, UNLEASH THE DRAGONS

Best Science Fiction Novel

Escaping Infinity (not on the original list, but a favorite of mine.)

Discovery — Nuns …. INNNN SPPPAAACCCEEEE

Blood of Invidia: Maestru Series Book 1 (The Maestru Series) (Volume 1) — Space Vampires.

The Secret Kings (Soul Cycle) (Volume 3) — Book #2 won best horror in 2016, so I suppose this is also eligible there as well, but the description looks very Space Opera. Read it and you tell me below. When I asked Brian on my radio show, he didn’t have an opinion.

Bastion Saturn

 

Torchship Pilot

 

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Murphy’s Law of Vampires (Love at First Bite #2)  — This one could go here, or it could go in horror. There is not, as yet, an Urban Fantasy category. Book one was in the 2016 Horror category, but horror is another conversation.

Wolf Killer (The Hammer Commission Book 2)

 

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

The Cinder Witch: A Tale of The School of Spells & War

 

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel

Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland (The Books of Unexpected Enlightenment Book 3)Book 1 reviewed here.

Van Ripplewink: You Can’t Go Home Again

 

Swan Knight’s Son: The Green Knight’s Squire Book One (Moth & Cobweb 1)  (For the record, I have inquired with Mr. Wright, who said that, yes, while Book Two and Book Three ARE eligible, he would simplify it for book 1.)  — Read our review of the novel here.

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

Yes, there is some overlap here between the military SFF novels and their other categories. Why? In part because the authors have come out with two books in the same series. If one is torn between two Monstery Hunter Memoirs, or two Hammer Commissions, this is the easy way to split the baby.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners

Loose Ends (The Hammer Commission Book 3)

 

Glory Boy Cartwright’s Cavaliers (The Revelations Cycle) (Volume 1)

 

“Star Realms: Rescue Run,” By Jon Del Arroz — An author on the site, Jon should at least have the benefit of the doubt. Also, if the book’s half as awesome as he is, it deserves a look.

Thrawn (Star Wars) — While it did not come out in 2016, eligibility goes until the end of June. Thrawn comes out in April. I expect this to bigfoot the nominations.

Best Alternate History Novel

People’s Republic — Though this might be best under the next category.

Best Apocalyptic Novel
People’s Republic

 

Liberty Lost: How Debt Destroyed Our Freedoms

 

Codename: UnSub (The Last Survivors)

 

Best Horror Novel

Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite) (Volume 3) — Book 3, the sequel to Murphy’s Law of Vampires from above. Again, there is no best Urban Fantasy here. Probably because it would just be known as the Jim Butcher award. Personally, I think this one is better, but what do I know?

A Place Outside The Wild — I never know what to do with Zombie books. Is is apocalyptic? Is it horror? Take a look and flip a coin. But I needed to flesh out this sections with more ideas.

From here on out, the Superversive list, thus far, is fairly devoid of comment and ideas, but I’ll fill in from Superversive contributors when possible. I’ll be supplying many of my own ideas. Mostly, these are merely what are eligible. In some cases, I’m linking to people who have much better ideas than I do.

Best Comic Book

Qualifying is any publication that contains illustrated story in traditional comic book format (non-animated) that is at least 20 pages long with a consistent set of characters, premises and series title that appears at least four times per year and at least one volume has been first released in print or electronic format between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017.

Think of this as an individual issue.

Best Graphic Novel

“A publication that contains illustrated story in traditional comic book format (non-animated) that is at least 36 pages long and has been first released in print or electronic format between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017.”

So … any bound collection, really.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet

A Series of Unfortunate events, by Netflix.

Arrow — perhaps? I’ve enjoyed this season

Grimm — I’d want to push this one the most because it’s the last season.

 

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Doctor Strange — My personal favorite

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them — Not a personal favorite of mine. In fact, I think it is interesting for what it added to the world, not because it was a particular engaging film.

Star Trek: Beyond

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Final Fantasy XV

Titanfall 2

 

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

…. No idea. Honestly. Sorry.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Injustice Gamer Alfred Genesson has some thoughts on this.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

And once again, we’re out of my element. Sorry.

Have a Superversive suggestion for the Dragon Awards? A book I missed? A book that came out in 2017 that wasn’t on the original list but should be here? Please, put down the title, author, and your reason why it’s a Superversive book that should get a Dragon. (date of publication would be also nice).

And then, when you have an idea — click here to VOTE IN THE DRAGON AWARDS. UNLEASH THE DRAGON.

Declan Finn is a Dragon Award Nominated Author for Honor At Stake, book 1 of his Love at First Bite Series.  Finn’s own work and collections of essays can be found at his personal web page.