The Dragon Awards: A Peek Behind the Scenes

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If you’ve been paying attention to the Dragon Awards, you’ll probably know that two of the finalists – John Scalzi and Alison Littlewood – asked for their novels to be withdrawn from the ballot.

More recently, Alison has posted the response she received from DragonCon president Pat Henry:

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Tanya Huff, Blood Price and the Formulation of Urban Fantasy

I’ve been reading Tanya Huff’s book Blood Price, published back in 1991. Or, more accurately, I’ve been reading the 2006 omnibus edition that also includes the sequel, Blood Trail, and a new introduction by the author. Here, Tanya Huff states that she had the idea for the novel back in 1989, and gives the commercially-minded decision behind its conception:

BloodPriceWhy a vampire book?

Well, at the time I was working at Bakka—a science fiction bookstore in Toronto—and I noticed that vampire readers are very loyal. In a desperate search for somethingng decent to read they’ll cross their fingers and pick up just about anything with fangs on the cover. We were thinking of buying a house in the country and so would need a mortgage and vampire books came with a large—and, as I mentioned, loyal—fanbase built in.

So I wrote the first chapter of my “vampire book” and it just wasn’t working. The beloved read it and said, “You know, instead of writing a vampire book, why don’t you write a Tanya Huff book with a vampire in it.” And so that’s what I did.

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Dragon Awards 2017: Which Finalists to Write About?

Dragon_Award-221x300So yeah, I’ve been working on a book called Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers, about the stories caught up in the whole Puppies-versus-Hugos kerfuffle. I’m planning to cover every single Hugo-nominated prose story published from 2013 to 2016 (the years of the Sad Puppies campaign). I’m also going to look at the nominees for other SF/F awards from the same period – but in those cases I’ll be a little more discriminating about what gets covered and what doesn’t.

With the ballot for the second Dragon Awards announced, my main concern is figuring out which finalists are worth looking at in my book. So here goes…

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How I Spent July 2017

JuiusJuly was a good month for me. I hooked up with some new creative collaborators, i attended Pride, and got stuck into a pile of vintage space operas going all the way back to 1928. That’s livin’ the good life, I tell ya.

Most of all, I’ve been feeling creative.  couple of comic projects I’ve had swimming around my head for a while have started to solidify into actual scripts. I’m eager to get started on exploring some new imaginary worlds.

My cinema choices this month were Baby DriverSpider-Man: Homecoming, The Beguiled and Dunkirk. And I don’t regret seeing a single one of them, no-siree.

Articles of mine published elsewhere in July:

Article topics for August and beyond:

July2017

Shared Nightmares (2014)

SharedNightmaresResearching for Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers has done zilch to reduce my TBR pile, but it has been interesting to explore some of the nooks and crannies of contemporary indie publishing.

One of the chapters in my book will be about the intersection (or lack thereof) between the Sad/Rabid Puppy campaigns and horror fiction. It’s clear that the Puppy authors have, by and large, not spent a great deal of time within horror – but there are exceptions to this. Nathan Shumate’s small-press outfit Cold Fusion Media specialises in horror anthologies, and has published short stories by a few of the Sad Puppies campaign leaders: Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and Sarah Hoyt. Naturally, this was something I had to look into, so I snapped up Cold Fusion’s Shared Nightmares, a 2014 anthology themed around dreams and nightmares with contributions from Correia and Hoyt.

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