Today is 31.5.2020 and the Nebula Awards winners have been announced.
Here, I’ll summarize the Winners, give my favorites a chance, and present my reviews for the finalists.
- Best Short Story: ★★★★☆ • Give the Family My Love • 2019 • SF short story by A.T. Greenblatt • review
- Best Novelette: ☆☆☆☆☆ (Horror, didn’t read) • Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat Shorts)
- Best Novella: ☆☆☆☆☆ (DNF at around 50%) • This Is How You Lose the Time War • 2019 • Time travel novella by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone • also Hugo finalist • review
- Best Novel: A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)
Congratulations to the winners.
The short story winner from Greenblatt was my favorite. The other categories not so much: Novelette is a horror story, which I try to avoid. The novella from El-Mohtar and Gladstone didn’t work out for me, though I can understand why others falled for the literary experiment. I didn’t read any of the novels, and Pinsker’s didn’t grab my attention at all. I guess, I have to accept that I have a different taste in many cases.
Though coming in late starting May 1st, I’ve made my way through the categories Short Story, Novelette, and Novella (last year’s been a reading slump for me due to working far to much, and I didn’t read any of those novels). You’ll find details below, but here are my favorites:
- Short story: Give the Family My Love • 2019 • SF short story by A.T. Greenblatt • review
- Novelette: For He Can Creep • 2019 • Fairy tale novelette by Siobhan Carroll • also Hugo finalist • review
- Novella: Yes, there are two, and my bets are on Ted Chiang.
The novella category was especially satisfying with great stories. The other categories not so much – I liked half of the finalists but none came out as a five star work.
Disclaimer: I hate horror fiction and try to avoid it. When I quick scan a story and find out that it is in that genre, I skip it all the time.
All the nominees from short to long (links in the title lead to online versions):
Nominees for Best Short Story
There was no five star story this year, but my favorite is Greenblatt’s story “Give the Family My Love” – I liked the SF library idea and the protagonist’s voice. The other finalists didn’t work so well for me, and especially the double finalist from Sen “Ten Excerpts…” is not award worthy in my opinion.
- ★★★★☆ • Give the Family My Love • 2019 • SF short story by A.T. Greenblatt • review
- ★★★+☆☆ • And Now His Lordship Is Laughing • 2019 • Magical realism short story by Shiv Ramdas • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★☆☆ • A Catalog of Storms • Surreal fantasy short story by Fran Wilde • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★☆☆ • The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power • 2019 • SF short story by Karen Osborne • review
- ★★+☆☆☆ • How the Trick Is Done • 2019 • Ghost story by A.C. Wise • review
- ★★☆☆☆ • Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island • 2019 • Horror short story by Nibedita Sen • also Hugo finalist • review
Nominees for Best Novelette
Two stories in the novelette category were described as horror which I skipped. I’d like to see the cute cat story “For He Can Creep” win the award.
- ★★★★☆ • For He Can Creep • 2019 • Fairy tale novelette by Siobhan Carroll • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★☆☆ • The Archronology of Love • 2019 • SF novelette by Caroline M. Yoachim • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★☆☆ • His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light • 2019 • Fantasy novelette by Mimi Mondal • review
- ★★☆☆☆ • The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye • 2019 • Weird fiction novelette by Sarah Pinsker • also Hugo finalist • review
- ☆☆☆☆☆ (Horror, didn’t read) • “A Strange Uncertain Light”, G.V. Anderson
- ☆☆☆☆☆ (Horror, didn’t read) • Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)
Nominees for Best Novella
Three 5-star novellas are competing for the throne, and I cannot say which I’d like more – the funny and intriguing “Haunting of Tram Car 015”, the philosophical “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom”, or the haunting “The Deep”. In the end, Chiang will win the race, of course. Only the “Time-War” novella was a disappointing desaster.
- ★★★★★ • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 • 2019 • Urban Fantasy novella by P. Djèlí Clark • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★★★ • Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom • 2019 • Near Future SF novella by Ted Chiang • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★★★ • The Deep • 2019 • Fantasy novella by Rivers Solomon • also Hugo finalist • review
- ★★★☆☆ • Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water • 2019 • SF novella by Vylar Kaftan • review
- ☆☆☆☆☆ (DNF at around 50%) • This Is How You Lose the Time War • 2019 • Time travel novella by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone • also Hugo finalist • review
- ☆☆☆☆☆ (Horror, didn’t read) “Catfish Lullaby” by A.C. Wise
I didn’t manage to read any of those, mostly because last year I had a reading slump. Anyway, here they are:
- Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK), also Hugo
- A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor), also Hugo
- Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
- Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing), also Hugo
- A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)