SFWA announces the Nebulas

Award nomination season is upon us. A time when fandom puts on new fashions and reads entrails and mixes metaphors. And to warm things up here are the Science Fiction (and silent F) Fantasy Writers of America (or Anywhere else) Nebula Award nominees! With my comments appended:


  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox GambitYoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

No surprise with All the Birds in the Sky, Obelisk Gate or Ninefox Gambit. I thought City of Blades might be on the list.

I haven’t read Borderline, so that’s a nice extra to look out for. Likewise, Everfair wasn’t really on my radar (I recognise the cover, which had caught my eye). Too many books and not enough time to read them.

In terms of a diverse set of authors, that’s a notable mix that I hope won’t be notable in the future because we’ll just expect a broad mix of voices. Different genders, male and female, cis and trans. Different ethnic backgrounds but having said that, quite US heavy (all born in the US?).


  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (F&SF)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Or a category that screams “You haven’t caught up on your novella reading”. Heavy on Tor.com entries – which isn’t a surprise given their output of novellas. A Taste of Honey, Every Heart a Doorway and The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe are sitting impatiently on Mount To Be Read. Three other new names I’m not familiar with to catch up with as well.

Shorter fiction categories:


  • “The Long Fall Up”, William Ledbetter (F&SF)
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
  • “Red in Tooth and Cog”, Cat Rambo (F&SF)
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories”, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny)

Short Story

  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny)
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • “Sabbath Wine”, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • “Things With Beards”, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
  • “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door”, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine)
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com)
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed)

Now an increasing sense of growing Catholic guilt redirected into the quasi-secular pursuit of fiction is growing. I mean I knew I hadn’t read enough because of yet to be filled spaces on my Hugo ballot but….Like novella, there is stuff here I’d *meant* to have read already.

I did really like “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong and “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander but there are other sources of stories beyond Uncanny! Talons has gathered some marmite reactions – I guess because it is so short that it doesn’t have much narrative but I really liked the punchy anger of the piece, rather like a story refusing to be a different story.

Hugo nominations close soon: must read some more short fiction!

No suprises in the Bradbury (Dramatic Presentation) section


  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Haven’t seen the Westworld TV series. Still haven’t seen Kubo and the Two Strings 😦

Norton Award (the YA award)


  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

I haven’t read any of these so far but some interesting titles in the mix.

8 thoughts on “SFWA announces the Nebulas

  1. I really enjoyed “Runtime”, and I thought Borderline was very, very well done. Like you, I need to get onto some of the short fiction.


  2. I would highly recommend Kubo & the Two Strings. It’s a lovely story and the visuals are absolutely stunning throughout. But then I love stop-motion, and Studio Laika excel at it.

    Westworld, I can take it or leave it I guess. I was watching it before my recent trip out to Asia and it’s not something I’ve felt the need to finish while I’ve been here.


      1. Well (entirely imo) it’s well worth catching up with. My only regret about seeing it is that I caught it in the worst possible format – a tiny screen on a long(ish) haul flight. I’m trying to fit in a rewatch on a decent tv somewhere in my busy schedule of working/climbing/writing. it’s sad that often the only time I’m guaranteed get to watch films now is when I’m flying somewhere.


  3. The two F&SF entries are interesting. I read and enjoyed “The Liar” but it didn’t make my longlist – the folksy small town US charm of it didn’t work so well for me. Obviously it worked much better on actual Americans though! So, it wouldn’t have been my choice for a F&SF novella – I would plump for The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar – but I can see how it got in.
    On the other hand, although I read “The Long Fall Up” last year I couldn’t initially remember it. I find a note of “good” attached to it on my kindle, but it’s obviously not stuck with me. It’s from the same issue as “The Stone War” by Ted Kosmatka which I liked enough to put on my longlist in novelette, so it wasn’t even my favourite story in that category from that issue.
    I’ve been to read the replacement for Red in Tooth and Cog, “The Orangery” from BCS, and although it was good I’m not sure how much I liked it. It’s got multiple layers to it though so I’m going to reread it in a few weeks and see how it develops.
    It’s pleasing to see the excellent Beyond Ceaseless Skies get two stories nominated though. (I think they’ve had one story in for the last few years) I can’t find enough time to read every issue (something’s gotta give!) but I follow up on recs for them with enthusiasm, and they rarely disappoint. I imagine they’ll keep up their streak of Hugo semiprozine noms this year.


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