- 1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis
- 1636: The Cardinal Virtues by Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt
- Bombs Away: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove
- Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry
- Germanica by Robert Conroy
- League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
Now the Dragon Awards differ from the Sidewise Awards in a number of ways. For one thing, they are open to everyone to nominate and vote in, not just a select panel of judges (or those who have paid a membership fee like the Hugos). Additionally, the Sidewise Awards are always given to those novels (and short stories, which the Dragon Awards does not have category for) published the year before, thus this year's winners (which will be announced on August 20th) are only for those books published in 2015.
The Dragon Awards, meanwhile, do include works published in 2016 (there eligibility period was between July 2015 and June 2016). Thus League of Dragons, Deadlands: Ghostwalkers, 1635: A Parcel of Rogues and 1635: A Parcel of Rogues; won't be considered for the Sidewise Awards until 2017. That does explain, however, why I haven't read most of the books nominated in this category yet.
I am surprised that there aren't more steampunk works on the short list, especially considering how popular that genre is with Dragon Con attendees, but then again, this was open to everyone and not just steampunk fans.
If I can be completely honest, however, I am even more surprised that Germanica made the list. No offense to the late Robert Conroy or his fans, but I did not enjoy that book. Poor writing and weak plausibility made it a hard read, but it somehow got a nod in the Dragon Awards. I don't know, maybe I am an outlier and most people found the book to be rather enjoyable, but personally I think there are a lot better alternate histories out there.
So with all that said, who do you think should win? Let me know in the comments below.
* * *
Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.