In a feat of terrible scheduling, not only do Chicon 8, the 2022 Worldcon, and DragonCon, the big media con in Atlanta, Georgia, happen on the exact same weekend, no, both Hugos and the Dragon Awards were also handed out on the same day.
Luckily, the Dragons were awarded earlier than the Hugos, which means that I could get a headstart on this post, before I have to get ready for the Hugos. The full list of winners is here.
So let’s dive right in:
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel is Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey. No big surprise here, because it is a popular novel and the final volume of the hugely popular series.
The 2022 Dragon Award for Best Fantasy Novel goes to Book of Night by Holly Black. This one surprised me a little, because Book of Night was the finalist in this category I was least familiar with. That said, Holly Black is a very popular writer, though better known for her YA work.
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel is A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell. This one is another surprise to me, because this was the only book in this category I hadn’t heard of. But then, I’m not much of a YA reader.
The 2022 Dragon Award for Best Military SFF novel goes to A Call to Insurrection by David Weber, Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope. Once again, this isn’t much of a surprise, because David Weber and Timothy Zahn are hugely popular, plus this novel is apparently tied in to Weber’s Honor Harrington series. Though I do wish that the voters in this category would look beyond David Weber and Honor Harrington once in a while.
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Alternate History Novel is The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley by Mercedes Lackey. The Alternate History category was uncommonly strong this year, so pretty much any of the finalists would have been a credible winner. That said, Mercedes Lackey is very popular, though I haven’t read this particular novel. Alas, Vondy McIntyre did not get to take home a posthumous Dragon Award three years after her death for a twenty-five-year-old novel.
The 2022 Dragon Award for Best Media Tie-In Novel goes to Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil by Timothy Zahn. Again, there is no real surprise here. I mean, the winner is a Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn, most popular of the Star Wars tie-in writers, and the novel is about Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the most popular characters in two continuities of Star Wars novels.
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel is The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. I have to admit that this win surprised me a little, because I assumed Stephen Grahma Jones or Grady Hendrix would take it. That said, Chuck Wendig is a fine writer and his win will piss off the puppies so very much.
The 2022 Dragon Award for Best Comic Book goes to Immortal X-Men by Kieron Gillen and Mark Brooks. I’m surprised that the X-Men are still/again so popular, because it was my impression that their popularity had faded while Marvel focussed more on the Avengers and related heroes. Besides, I have to admit that I don’t care for this new Krakoa era of the X-Men at all. I preferred the X-Men when they were still underdogs, hated and feared by the very world they’re trying to protect.
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best Graphic Novel is Dune: House Atreides Volume 2 by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson and Dev Pramanik. This very much wouldn’t have been my choice – I voted for Saga – but I guess it got a boost from the Dune movie.
The 2022 Dragon Award for Best SFF TV series goes to Stranger Things, which is not only very popular, but also got a boost from airing fairly close to the nomination deadline.
The winner of the 2022 Dragon Award for Best SFF movie is Dune. Again, no real surprise here. I also strongly suspect that Dune will take the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Long this year.
I still can’t offer any comment on the four game categories except that I have heard of the winners, which means they must be popular.
Furthermore, the 2022 Julie Award was awarded to Jim Starlin, creator of Thanos, Adam Warlock and many other memorable Marvel characters. The Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award went to John Carrol.
In general, the Dragon Awards continue the trend we have observed in recent years and now finally do what they were designed to do, namely award broadly popular works in a variety of genres and subgenres. There is no truly unexpected winner here nor is there a single winner this year that will make future historians of the Dragon Awards go WTF?
So in short, after six years the Dragons are finally where they wanted to be.
The Hugo commentary will come tomorrow, because the ceremony starts at 3 AM my time.
ETA 2: Camestros Felapton notes that one thing that hasn’t changed about the Dragons is that the winners skew heavily male. This is likely a result of the fact that the Dragons tend award broadly popular and very well known works. And books by big name male authors still get more promotion than books by female authors.