Another statement regarding the Dragon Awards

As stated in my previous post, I have contacted the Dragon Awards administrators to request that my nomination for The Hidden People be withdrawn. The book has been selected as part of a voting slate by a member of the ‘Rabid Puppies’ voting bloc, which I feel may have undue influence over the awards outcome. I have no connection with the Rabid Puppies and have no wish to benefit from any kind of interference in the voting process.

I have today received the following response:

Good morning Ms. Littlewood,

 While I appreciate your sense of fair play, I must decline your request to remove The Hidden People from the Dragon Award Nominations. 

We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors.  While we didn’t start the Dragon Awards to foil these two groups, we believe that as we add voters, they will become irrelevant in the our awards.

We believe the “people’s choice” approach is a better way to recognize authors and their works.  The Dragon Awards ballot – which consists of works nominated by fans – is a broad representation of the best science fiction and fantasy literature available today.  With 53 novels listed, there is actually something for everybody on this ballot.     

The original purpose of the Dragon Awards was not so much as awards but as a quality reading list.  The cost of reading current material has been rising steadily for years.  Library budgets are not adequate to have all, or even a decent collection of  the type of materials that Dragon Con fans enjoy.

Thank you for your interest in the Dragon Con Awards.  Please do not let Mr. [redacted] ruin for you, the positive reception of your work. 

Pat Henry – President

. . . So there you have it. I tried. I have never heard of any awards keeping writers on the nominees list against their wishes, particularly when those wishes are surely the same as the organisers’ – to ensure that the process goes forward fairly and without interference. However, it seems in this case there is little more I can do.


ADDENDUM – 11/8/2017

I heard yesterday that the Dragon Awards administration have reconsidered and are allowing me to withdraw from the awards. I would like to thank them for their decision in what has been difficult circumstances for everybody. It’s great that they’re listening and evolving, and I wish them well for the future.

I would like to add that I think it is laudable that an award has been set up with the aim of reflecting fans’ choices. It has been suggested in some quarters that I have something against fans and their votes, which is of course ridiculous. It’s wonderful when people enjoy my books and I’m grateful for it. In this case, the award has become the focus of several campaigning groups, one of which has previously disrupted the Hugos and now seems to wish to distort the Dragon Awards voting process for reasons of their own. It’s a great shame, and I don’t have any behind-the-scenes knowledge about how far they may have done so here, but I am deeply concerned that I may be the unwitting beneficiary of unfair interference. That is my motivation for withdrawing. It has not been an easy situation and I’m relieved that the organisers have felt best to allow me to do so.

I would like to give a huge thank you for anyone who voted for me in good faith. The organisers will be sending you a new ballot soon so that you can reallocate your vote, so rest assured it will not be wasted.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported me over the last few days. I really would have liked to drop out quietly, and that hasn’t quite been the outcome, but your messages have meant a huge amount to me during this time.