This year’s Hugo Awards (supposedly the preeminent in science fiction and fantasy) have come and gone, but as I discussed earlier, they are—and always have been— irrelevant for fans of Young Adult speculative literature. Why’s that? Because the Hugos have mostly ignored books like Harry Potter, Narnia, The Hunger Games, etc., making them sit at the “kids’ table.”
Fortunately, there’s a new award, run by folks who aren’t clueless, and who recognize the YA SF/F phenomenon that’s been crushing the bestseller lists since the first HP book arrived in the late 1990’s. And that award, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is The Dragon.
2016 is the first year for the Dragons, and it’s given out by the fine people who run Dragon Con, one of the most popular SF/F conventions in America (70,000 people attended in 2015). Anyone may vote for the Dragons: you don’t have to attend, and there’s no entry fee.
Dragon Con 2016 will be held September 2-5 in Atlanta, GA, and the first-ever Dragon Awards will be given in a multitude of categories, including one just for Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel. Respect at last! The nominees for this year are:
- Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer
- The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
- Trix and the Faerie Queen by Alethea Kontis
- Updraft by Fran Wilde
If you’re a fan of any of these books, sign up and cast your vote—but do it quick, because registration ends at on August 28 at 11:59 pm. While you’re at it, you can vote for your favorites in other categories (Best Fantasy Novel, Best Horror Novel, Best Graphic Novel, Best SF/F Movie, etc.), a full list of which you can find here.
Don’t miss out!
Kenton Kilgore is forging a new direction in young adult science-fiction and fantasy. His latest work-in-progress is This Wasted Land, a modern-fantasy/horror novel, to be published in early 2017.
Kenton is the author of Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief. He also wrote Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.
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