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Worlds Without End Blog

2010 Nebula Award Nominees Posted at 12:53 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

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The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has announced the nominees for the 2010 Nebula Awards.

The awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, May 21, 2011 in the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C..  Visit SWFA for the complete press release and list of nominees in all categories.


Courtney   |   22 Feb 2011 @ 14:10

What happened to The Dervish House?

Wintermute   |   22 Feb 2011 @ 14:38

I wish that the Fantasy Writers seceded from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America so that we can have awards go to science fiction books like they used to instead of Harry Potter, American Gods, or Yiddish Policeman’s Union. Call me crazy but it’s like the Oscars started out with movies and then decided to add television IN THE SAME CATEGORY! And the Best Movie goes to… 30 Rock! Honk…

Wintermute   |   22 Feb 2011 @ 15:01

Four out of the six nominees from the one-time science fiction, one-time venerable Nebula name – are for fantasy, love stories, and Jane Austin-like period pieces. O… M… G… Let me peruse the names of winners: Asimov, Clarke, Le Guin, Haldeman, Pohl, Gibson, Card, Bujold. Then in 1990 Le Guin won for a fantasy novel. Forgivable because it is Le Guin and it never happened before, right? Well a few more years passed and we had winners for books about Mars, matrix-like neuro-implants, futuristic cities, and then BAM! In 1996 we have Vonda McIntyre write about Louis XV and sea monsters. W… T… H…? Then the bottom falls out in the 2000s and the Nebula award goes to hell (at least the science fiction part): Quantum Rose, American Gods (not 1 of Sci-Fi), Paladin of Souls, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (good book, not 1 of Sci-Fi), and Powers. So 5 out 9 from 2001 – 2009 were for fantasy, non-sci-fi, and 4 out of 6 in 2010 are for fantasy, love stories, and costume period pieces with people that speak the proper King’s English. OK, Nebula you can count me out.

Dave Post   |   22 Feb 2011 @ 22:30

@Wintermute: It does seem that Fantasy is on the rise in the Nebula, especially this year, but it’s that way everywhere really. Fantasy is just killing it compared to SF. I suspect it’s cyclic and will swing back to SF eventually. But not to worry, here are some numbers to make you feel better about the Nebula: 291 total nominated novels of which 61 (21 percent) are fantasy and 230 (79) SF. As far as winners go, of the 46 winners all time only 7 (15) are Fantasy to 39 (85) SF. Still heavily in the SF column.

Dave Post   |   22 Feb 2011 @ 22:38

I meant to point out that of the 6 nominees this year, 5 are women. That’s a twist on the usual distribution. I’m sure there will be some discussion of this on the internets.

Emil   |   23 Feb 2011 @ 01:41

I must admit, I’m with @Wintermute on this one. It’s only recently that I have cast aside my bias toward the fantasy genre and am delighted to have read a variety of eye-opening works/series to the extend that I now rate Gene Wolfe, for example, as one my if not the all-time favorite authors, in parts because he generally writes literary well, and because he van finish. But I miss the quality sf of the 60’s through to the late 90’s that embodied brave exploration of the genre. Sadly, I fear, the strong advent of the myriad of fantasy novels is yet again confining sf to pulp fiction and worse still, escapism. What is a certain improvement is the number of female authors receiving well-deserved recognition, and one an African on top of it! Sadly, it appears that the various awards in sf today FOLLOWS the trend rather than setting the trend, reducing the genre to a populist assessment of what is "hot". I too much prefer a return to hard sf.

Dave Post   |   23 Feb 2011 @ 16:52

Oh, well, I’d much rather have more SF if I had my druthers but Fantasy is in fashion right now so I’m not too concerned. Still plenty of SF to go ’round even if it does not get recognized.

Emil   |   24 Feb 2011 @ 01:28

I’m getting to love fantasy, make no mistake. "Blackout", at least, was no surprise. Will probably also feature prominently in the Hugo’s. I predict some controversy about it being published as two separate novel. I have and am ordering all the novels to read to find out for myself what the hype is about and determine the quality of their nomination – that is arguably the best approach *smile. Hoping that those still only available in hardcover will soon have paperback editions. I know from firsthand discussion with Nnedi Okarafor that "Who Fears Death" will be in paperback in June.

Emil   |   24 Feb 2011 @ 01:35

Oh, and there is the wonderfully extensive Locus list for a wide experience in both sf and f 🙂

Wintermute   |   25 Feb 2011 @ 08:52

It’s not that I do not like Fantasy, I have very much enjoyed the Harry Potters and my wife has enjoyed the Twilight-ing (of course). I am complaining about the fact that what once used to be a Sci-Fi award is now a Sci-Fi Fantasy award and that Fantasy is taking over. Why not split the award like Locus does? Hmm? That’s my big gripe! Right? Why not combine horror too? Horror Sci-Fi Fantasy = Nebula Award. And based on this year’s nominees it looks like we can add romance too. I am saying that the brand is being diluted and that is a shame because I liked cross referencing the Nebula with the Hugo and Locus Sci-Fi to see which books were the most decorated. Now I have to ignore – or at least carefully evaluate each nominee – the Nebula if I want to put together a reading list. Thanks everyone for your responses, good discussion.

Emil   |   27 Feb 2011 @ 01:13

I wonder if there is a clear solution to the state of affairs. I’m also in agreement, @wintermute, about creating separate categories, but will that not lead to further proliferation? Do we propose doing away with "Best Novel" as a whole and only have "Best sf" or "Best fantasy" categories? The awards are an attempt to discover the "Best" in the genre, after all, based on nominations by members of the various conference. Some years may feature more fantasy than sf, and others are devote of fantasy. Often though we’ll have to suffer the odd populist choice, especially with the Hugo’s, considering the way it’s voted for, or even the Nebula, as a result of the panel’s deliberation on what is setting the trends in the genre. I liked Harry Potter, but did it deserve to win the Hugo above the other nominations in its year? Same can be asked of "Hominids", to my mind the worst choice of Hugo winner ever, albeit scoping an unique premise. Fortunately we have here at WWEnd a host of award lists to choose excellent reading from, and looking at the nominees for PKD and the BSFA for 2011, which Dave listed earlier on, there are a lot more "traditional type" sf novels to dip into. I look for consistency in a novel and the truly "Best" ones, those that are indeed worthy of exuberant praise, are often winners or at least nominees across the spectrum – they are the "must reads" for me. Rarely do they turn out to disappoint. Saying all this, it is a macabre fact that most of the novels I have rated "10" here at WWEnd are fantasy! Figure that 🙂

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