The Dragon Awards are a set of literary and media awards presented annually since 2016 for excellence in various categories of science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels, movies, television, and games. The Dragon Awards are among the few awards nominated and voted on directly by fans. As part of Atlanta’s Dragon Con convention, the 2021 Dragon Awards were announced over Labor Day weekend.
Best Science Fiction Novel
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone. Or does he?
Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
Harry has faced terrible odds before. He has a long history of fighting enemies above his weight class. The Red Court of vampires. The fallen angels of the Order of the Blackened Denarius. The Outsiders.
But this time it’s different. A being more powerful and dangerous on an order of magnitude beyond what the world has seen in a millennium is coming. And she’s bringing an army. The Last Titan has declared war on the city of Chicago, and has come to subjugate humanity, obliterating any who stand in her way.
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.
But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries.
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Gun Runner by Larry Correia and John D. Brown
Once, Jackson Rook was a war hero. Raised from boyhood to pilot an exosuit mech, he’d fought gallantly for the rebellion against the Collectivists. But that was a long time ago, on a world very far away.
Now, Jackson Rook is a criminal, a smuggler on board the Multipurpose Supply Vehicle Tar Heel. His latest mission: steal a top-of-the-line mech called the Citadel and deliver it to the far-flung planet Swindle, a world so hostile even the air will kill you. The client: a man known only as the Warlord. Rook has been in the smuggling business long enough to know that it’s best to take the money and not ask questions. But Rook cannot stand by and watch as the Warlord runs roughshod over the citizens of Swindle, the way the Collectivists did on his homeworld. For all his mercenary ways, Rook is not a pirate. And deep within the smuggler, the heart of a warrior still beats.
Best Alternate History Novel
1637: No Peace Beyond The Line by Eric Flint and Charles Gannon
It’s 1637 in the Caribbean. Commander Eddie Cantrell and his ally and friend Admiral Martin Tromp start it off with some nasty surprises for Spain, whose centuries-long exploitation and rapine of the New World has run unchecked. Until now
Yet life goes on in the Caribbean. Relationships among the allied Dutch, Swedes, Germans, up-timers, and even Irish mercenaries continue to evolve and deepen. New friendships must be forged with the native peoples, who will not only shape the colonists’ future in the Caribbean, but will also decide whether they will be given access to a Louisiana oilfield that could change the balance of power.
Best Media Tie-In Novel
Firefly: Generations by Tim Lebbon
On an Outer Rim moon, Captain Malcolm Reynolds ends a card game the lucky winner of an old map covered in mysterious symbols. The former owner insists it’s worthless; back on Serenity, River Tam is able to interpret it. River claims the map points the way to one of the Arks: legendary generation ships that brought humans from Earth- That-Was to the ‘Verse. The salvage potential alone is staggering.
As the crew approach the aged floating ship, they find it isn’t quite as dead as it first seemed. The closer they get, the more agitated River becomes. She claims something is waiting on board, something powerful, and very angry.
Best Horror Novel
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher
“Pray they are hungry.” Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.
Best Comic Book
X-Men by Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar
The X-Men face a whole new world of possibility! Mastermind Jonathan Hickman and superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu kick off this uncanny new era with a celebration of family as Cyclops, Marvel Girl and their extended clan make a Summer House for themselves – on the moon! But when an island full of unspeakable horrors appears on the horizon, the X-Men have their work cut out for them keeping their new homeland of Krakoa safe! As Earth comes to terms with the X-Men’s new world order, the mutant nation’s leaders attend an economic forum to show the humans what real power looks like.
Best Graphic Novel
The Magicians: New Class by Lev Grossman, Lilah Sturges and Pius Bak
Long after Quentin and his friends have graduated from Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, Dean Fogg invites a historic new group of students to enroll– the first ever class of hedge magicians, rogue practitioners of unsanctioned magic. But the traditional magicians aren’t too thrilled to have the rule-breaking outcasts in their hallowed halls, and tempers flare as the student bodies clash to prove their superiority – not realizing a new danger has emerged to threaten them all. The malevolence behind the threat at Brakebills will rock everyone to their cores – and even shock longtime fans of The Magicians!
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
A thriller set two hundred years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
The Old Guard
A covert team of immortal mercenaries is suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Become Eivor, a legendary Viking raider on a quest for glory. Explore England’s Dark Ages as you raid your enemies, grow your settlement, and build your political power.