The Only Awards Season I Really Need: Nebula Awards Nominations Announced
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The Only Awards Season I Really Need: Nebula Awards Nominations Announced

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | February 21, 2013 | Comments ()


Ok the header picture is sort of a lie since neither Neil Gaiman nor "Doctor Who" are up for anything this year, but they were nominated last year, so it's only a kind of implied lie, which I am assured is the sort that keeps marriages together. This is what the Nebula Awards actually look like:


Those look way cooler than those funny little Oscar men. Now I must steal earn one.

The Nebula Awards are the set of awards given annually by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Notable past winners have included every science fiction author you ever should have read. These awards are distinct from the Hugo Awards that are given out by the World Science Fiction Society in September. I have an entire elaborate scene in my head in which these two awarding groups constantly fight each other, both sides led by golden age science fiction authors whose heads have been mounted to giant robots a la Futurama.

In reality, the two groups are often in agreement. In 22 of the last 46 years (which is how long both awards have been given) the same novel has won both the Nebula and the Hugo for best novel of the year. You can see that list here, and make your reading plans accordingly.

Seriously, unlike all of the film and television awards, which are more occasions to root for something to win or not, the Nebulas are more an occasion for making a list of things I want to read in the coming year. Here's the full list of nominees:


Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz '13)

Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)

The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)

Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)


On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)

"The Stars Do Not Lie," Jay Lake (Asimov's 10-11/12)

"All the Flavors," Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)

"Katabasis," Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)

"Barry's Tale," Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)


"The Pyre of New Day," Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)

"Close Encounters," Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)

"The Waves," Ken Liu (Asimov's 12/12)

"The Finite Canvas," Brit Mandelo ( 12/5/12)

"Swift, Brutal Retaliation," Meghan McCarron ( 1/4/12)

"Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia," Rachel Swirsky ( 8/22/12)

"Fade to White," Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)

Short Story

"Robot," Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12)

"Immersion," Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)

"Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes," Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12)

"Nanny's Day," Leah Cypess (Asimov's 3/12)

"Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream," Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12)

"The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species," Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12)

"Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," Cat Rambo (Near + Far)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight )

The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)

The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray writers), (Lionsgate)

John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)

Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)

Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)

Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)

The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)

Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)

Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)

Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)

Every Day, David Levithan (Alice A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)

Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)

Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)

Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)

The awards will be presented at the San Jose Hilton from May 16-19. So make your travel and exoskeleton rental plans in advance.

(source: SFWA)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • the_wakeful

    I've only read one of these (2312, fucking amazing). I'm a bad sci-fi fan. On a side note, I'm glad the movies they picked are basically my 5 favorite films from this year, plus John Carter.

  • mandasarah

    Glamour in Glass, really? It was an enjoyable novel, but not one of the best in the field. At least to my mind. It is the only one of the current nominees I've read, though, so what do I know?

  • BobbFrapples

    I'm glad to see several books that I've enjoyed on the list this year.

  • logan

    Hey Gaiman! Johnny Cash's ghost called and he wants his man in black look back.

  • koko temur

    I'm very happy you mentioned this as it gives me opportunity to reccomend the most delightful book about the plague. Which sounds as a contradiction if i ever heard one, but still true. Doomsday book by Connie Willis, won both hugo and nebula in 1993. It will make you like humanity a little more.

  • TheKoiPolloi

    Everything Connie Willis writes is pure gold. If Doomsday Book is too heavy, there's always "To Say Nothing of the Dog" to fall back on.

  • koko temur

    Oh, im reading it now, its awesome!

  • I loved that book! Hard to read at first, but such a great story. Every time I hear of a hand bell choir, I think of it.

  • Jannymac

    That book terrified me more than any horror story.

  • koko temur

    Me too. But didnt it kinda turned out to be uplifting in the end for you?

  • Robert

    These make a whole lot more sense than the Saturn Award nominations yesterday. They found a way to nominate Les Mis, Hitchcock, and Anna Karenina in a sci-fi/horror/action/thriller awards show.

  • Yocean

    Most of those movies are something that would be categorized fantasy with space and guns rathar than sci fi in writing classes. But them again true sci fi movies are so rare in movies anyways that i guess they had to broaden the definition to the universe stretchable limit. If any one care to know, sci fi films are those with scientific inquiries and concepts take the main place, not a fantastical story with futuristic setting. They are very closely related, sure but the referential times are not the defining points.

  • NateMan

    True, but the SFWA Nebula Awards are not (or haven't been in a long time) strictly Science Fiction pieces. They take the Fantasy part of their name very seriously.

  • NateMan

    I have to add that I'm pleased to see the overwhelming number of female authors listed here. Alt-Fic used to be a total boys' world, and with all the trashy, terrible romances disguised as alt-fic these days it can be difficult to separate the truly astounding female writers from the pack. I'm very glad SFWA has made an effort to do so.

  • Meggrs

    That was my reaction, too--that the balance of male and female authors and artists made me really, really happy.

  • NateMan

    I'm disappointed The Rook isn't in the running for the novel section. That was the best book I read all year, far better in my opinion than Throne of the Crescent Moon . Ah well, you can't have everything.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Hugo and Nebula are going to have to figure out how to do a better job of capturing self/Amazon published books that are becoming significant in the world of sic-fi. One in particular - the WOOL series by Hugh Howey, has been a multi-million copy seller. Here's the bottom line from the author in September of last year:

    "Most of my months are six-figure months," said Hugh Howey, a 37-year-old Florida author whose "Wool" series of digital books was highlighted by Amazon. "It's more than I ever hoped to make in a year."

    Sci Fi in particular seems a natural fit for the epublished world.

  • ViciousTrollop

    I love WOOL. It's getting a major release via Simon and Schuster in March. But I agree with you completely.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    And here's the weird thing, because of the Amazon publishing, WOOL will not be able to win a Hugo or Nebula when it's released on dead tree by Simon and Schuster.

    Moreover, WOOL came out as short novelettes - almost chapters, rather than one big tome.

    So how would it win an award? it's nelf published, is only a Novel after all the chapters are finished, and therefore its publish date is... the first chapter or the last?

  • ViciousTrollop

    Yes, they really do need to amend their rules to look at self-published books since it is becoming such a huge thing.

    I am glad it's getting a wide release though. More readers is always a good thing. I am definitely going to buy another copy of it.

    I, for one, love dead trees. I bought my copy of the first WOOL omnibus (printed on dead trees) directly from Hugh Howey's website. I will never surrender when it comes to e-readers. Never!

  • BWeaves

    What's the difference between a novel, novella, novelette, and short story? I know intuitively what the differences are, but wondered if the SFFWA had a word limit or something defining the difference.

    Also, a lot of those writers have very cool pen names. I bet they're all Mary Smith and Ronald Lipschitz in real life.

  • From the SFWA Nebula Rules:

    Short Story: less than 7,500 words;

    Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words;

    Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words

    Novel: 40,000 words or more.

    At the author’s request, a novella-length work published individually, rather than as a part of a collection, anthology, or other collective work, shall appear in the novel category.

  • NateMan

    I'm pretty sure the short story limit is (or used to be) about 5 or 6,000 words. I'm not sure if that's still the case, I haven't gone to their forums in years.

  • I'm crossing my fingers for Cabin in the Woods. Such a great movie!

  • NateMan

    Agreed! I loved the Avengers, but Cabin in the Woods was such a great idea for a story, and executed so well. I might need to watch that again this weekend.

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