Congratulations to this year’s Nebula Award finalists! Summary of my impressions:
I think this is a very strong ballot overall. I’ve only read a small fraction of the nominated works, but I really liked all the ones I’ve read. I definitely don’t have any immediate “What is THAT doing on an award shortlist?” reactions, which is always nice.
There’s an impressive diversity of sex, race, and sexuality on all the ballots, especially compared to, say, ten years ago. (Warning on that link for a very bright yellow-and-red color scheme.)
Having one’s short fiction available online for free unsurprisingly appears to broaden one’s audience, and the folks at Clarkesworld and Tor.com clearly have their fingers on the pulse of the Nebula-nominating short-fiction-reading crowd. There is not a single story from Analog, ouch. I note that GigaNotoSaurus is the only webzine with a story on the novella ballot; are webzines not publishing novellas, or are they not publishing the sorts of novellas that get award nods, or do readers enjoy or appreciate novellas more in print than online?
Self-published works and small-press novels are nowhere to be found. I’d love to see a small-press, digital-first, and self-publishing revolution on the novel ballot comparable to the recent ascent of webzines on the short fiction ballots. I would be heartened by the appearance of a few stories from small-press anthologies and collections if there were such a thing as a large-press anthology or collection, but there basically isn’t, so I will settle for being heartened that anyone still publishes or reads anthologies and collections.
And now, the list. Linked short fiction titles are shamelessly stolen from John DeNardo’s post at SF Signal (thanks, John!). Book titles link to the PW reviews, where available. Statistics in my notes are to the best of my knowledge, and please do correct me if I’ve gotten anything wrong.
- 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)
Rose’s notes: Four women. One queer person. One trans person. Two people of color. Four books that got starred PW reviews. Zero self-published books. Zero small-press books. Zero digital-only books.
- On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
- After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by 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)
Rose’s notes: Two women. Two people of color. Two stand-alone titles, both from small presses. One webzine story. One story from a small-press anthology, reprinted online. Zero self-published stories.
- “The Pyre of New Day“, Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Book 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 (Tor.com 12/5/12)
- “Swift, Brutal Retaliation“, Meghan McCarron (Tor.com 1/4/12)
- “Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia“, Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 8/22/12)
- “Fade to White“, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)
Rose’s notes: Five women. One person of color. Three queer people. Four webzine stories. Two stories from small-press compilations (if you count the “Mammoth” books as small press, which I think I do), one reprinted online. Zero self-published stories.
- “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)
Rose’s notes: Five women. Two people of color. Five webzine stories. One story from a small-press collection, reprinted online. Zero self-published stories.