Via File 770, I see that DragonCon is initiating its very own award. I think this is great! They have such a huge base to draw on, unlike WorldCon, so I think it makes perfect sense for them to establish their own award.
Here are the 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 / collectible card / role-playing game
Dragon Con is very sensibly defining a novel as a work over 70,000 words, except for YA/MG, which can be as little as 40,000 words. That seems fair.
Less sensibly, rather than defining the eligibility period as an easy-to-remember released-during-2015, Dragon Con is setting the eligibility period thus: To be eligible for the 2016 Dragon Awards the book, comic, game, movie, or at least one episode of any series has to have been released between April 1, 2015, and the close of nominations, July 25, 2016.
Except they also declare a different eligibility period for novels, thus: has been first released in print or ebook format between 1/1/2015 and 3/1/2016
Okay, whatever. It’s their award and if they want to define their eligibility period(s) in some screwy way, I guess they can. However, I expect they will clarify eligibility shortly so people know whether they mean “Released after January 2015” or “Released after April 2015.”
Other stuff to know: You only get to nominate one (1) work per category. Ouch! It was hard enough to narrow it down to five for the Hugo.
Okay, final thoughts: I think they should split paranormal/UF away from other fantasy; I think they should limit YA/MG to SFF, which they apparently don’t at the moment; I think they will have many details to iron out; I’m sure things will go wrong this year; I am still happy they’re trying to get a new award to take off and I hope lots of people participate. The link to register to vote is here.