Today is 16.03.2021, and the Nebula Awards finalists have just been announced. The winners will be presented at this year’s Nebula Conference at 5.6.2021.
My plan is to read and review the short works, and I’ll be updating this list accordingly. As an additional service, I try to find the online available versions and link them in the list. Please note, that I’ve left out some categories which are less interesting to me (YA, Game Writing, Drama Presentation).
All the nominees from short to long (links in the title lead to online available versions):
Nominees for Best Short Story
I don’t have a clear favorite in this category, there’s no five star story here. This year’s selection didn’t impress me much. I’m missing some stories from the Book of Dragons in the nominations.
- ★★★★☆ • The Eight-Thousanders • 2020 • Vampire short story by Jason Sanford • review
- ★★★★☆ • Open House on Haunted Hill • 2020 • Ghost short story by John Wiswell • review
- ★★★☆☆ • My Country Is a Ghost • 2020 • Ghost short story by Eugenia Triantafyllou • review
- ★★★☆☆ • Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse • 2020 • Post-apocalypse short story by Rae Carson • review
- ★★+☆☆☆ • A Guide for Working Breeds • 2020 • Comical SF short story by Vina Jie-Min Prasad • review
- ★★☆☆☆ • Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math • 2020 • Fantasy flash fiction by Aimee Picchi • review
Nominees for Best Novelette
Again, there’s no five star novelette. But the other stories from Elison, Greenblatt, and Cypess were all really good and nicely diverse. The horror story from Pinsker was enjoyable for me to read, two stars there could mean far more for any other reader. I really miss two 5-star novelettes from the Book of Dragons here: Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk to It by Scott Lynch (review) and The Long Walk by Kate Elliott (review).
- ★★★★☆ • The Pill • 2020 • Dystopian novelette by Meg Elison • review
- ★★★★☆ • Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super • 2020 • Superhero novelette by A.T. Greenblatt • review
- ★★★★☆ • Stepsister • 2020 • Fairy tale novelette by Leah Cypess • review
- ★★★☆☆ • Shadow Prisons • 2020 • Dystopian novelette by Caroline M. Yoachim (three stories) • review
- ★★☆☆☆ • Two Truths and a Lie • 2020 • Horror novelette by Sarah Pinsker • review
- ☆ (DNF at 20%) • Where You Linger by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam • Lots of sexual encounters which I absolutely didn’t care for; DNFed, no review
Nominees for Best Novella
This category brought forth two stunning novellas: Ring Shout by one of my new favorite authors P. Djèlí Clark, and The Four Profound Weaves by Lemberg. I’d like to see Ring Shout as the winner here, because it is a notch better, more interesting than Lemberg’s novella.
- ★★★★★ • Ring Shout • 2020 • Historical horror novella by P. Djèlí Clark • review
- ★★★★★ • The Four Profound Weaves • 2020 • Fantasy novella by R.B. Lemberg • review
- ★★★+☆☆ • Riot Baby • 2020 • Superhero novella by Tochi Onyebuchi • review
- ★★★☆☆ • Tower of Mud and Straw • 2020 • Gaslamp Fantasy novella by Yaroslav Barsukov • review
- ★★☆☆☆ • Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon • 2020 • Science Fantasy novella by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki • review
- ☆ • Finna • 2020 • Horror SF novella by Nino Cipri • no review (horror)
I don’t intend to read through all novels. So far, Black Sun by Roanhorse surprised me and I absolutely loved her High Fantasy novel. I’ve read Piranesi by Clarke last year but it wasn’t that great (yes, I know that this is an unpopular opinion).
- ★★★★★ • Black Sun • 2020 • High Fantasy novel by Rebecca Roanhorse • review
- ★★★☆☆ • Piranesi • 2020 • Speculative fiction novel by Susanna Clarke • review
- The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
- The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)
- Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom Publishing)