2017 Nebula Awards Nominees

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have announced the nominees for the 52nd Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. The awards will be presented in Pittsburgh, PA at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center during a ceremony on May 19, 2018.

Novel

  • Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (Knopf; riverrun)
  • The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty (Orbit US)
  • Jade City, Fonda Lee (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK 2018)

Novella

  • River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Passing Strange, Ellen Klages (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “And Then There Were (N-One)”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3-4/17)
  • Barry’s Deal, Lawrence M. Schoen (NobleFusion Press)
  • All Systems Red, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven, JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette

  • “Dirty Old Town”, Richard Bowes (F&SF 5-6/17)
  • “Weaponized Math”, Jonathan P. Brazee (The Expanding Universe, Vol. 3)
  • “Wind Will Rove”, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 9-10/17)
  • “A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld 1/17)
  • “A Human Stain”, Kelly Robson (Tor.com 1/4/17)
  • “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time”, K.M. Szpara (Uncanny 5-6/17)

Short Story

  • “Fandom for Robots”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny 9-10/17)
  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM”, Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex 8/17)
  • “Utopia, LOL?”, Jamie Wahls (Strange Horizons 6/5/17)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 9-10/17)
  • “The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”, Matthew Kressel (Tor.com 3/15/17)
  • “Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

  • Get Out (Written by Jordan Peele)
  • The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit” (Written by Michael Schur)
  • Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green)
  • The Shape of Water (Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Written by Rian Johnson)
  • Wonder Woman (Screenplay by Allan Heinberg)

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

  • Exo, Fonda Lee (Scholastic Press)
  • Weave a Circle Round, Kari Maaren (Tor)
  • The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
  • Want, Cindy Pon (Simon Pulse)

The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 17-20. On May 20, a mass autograph session will take place at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center and is open to the public.

27 thoughts on “2017 Nebula Awards Nominees

  1. Huh. Glad to see “Michael’s Gambit” in the dramatic presentation category.

    Disappointed to see the love for River of Teeth, which I thought was pretty close to unreadable.

    IMHO All Systems Red should win Novella.

  2. For people coming to the conference, I wanted to note that the mass autographing session is on Sunday afternoon, rather than Friday evening, this time, which you may want to factor into travel plans. I’m also hearing that they’re going to have to cap it at 100 writers, so if you’re a writer wanting to be part of that, I’d contact the events team sooner rather than later.

  3. I spot results in two categories for Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Fonda Lee, and Sarah Pinsker, which has got to be a pretty nice compliment for them. I’m particularly happy for Prasad as I think this is her first pro year and both of her stories are fun and interesting.

    With the exception of All Systems Red in novella I’m not sure I’d like to try and call likely winners in any of the categories.

  4. Well damn, I’ve only read two of the nominated novels so far. I’ve got even more cramming to do than I thought!

  5. Awesome! I’m super-happy to see The Stone Sky, Six Wakes, “And Then There Were (N-One),” All Systems Red, “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™,” “Star Wars,” and “Wonder Woman” nominated!

    I’m also quite happy regarding Spoonbenders (Daryl Gregory rocks!), Jade City, and The Art of Starving, as they’re on my “read sample!” list.

    Is 6 the usual number of finalists for the Nebulas (and there was a tie in Novel), or is 5 the usual and there were tons o’ ties?

    @Nickpheas: I’m surprised they didn’t release that in the U.K., huh. 🙁

    @Contrarius: Occasionally when I see your handle here, I feel like singing, “This is the dawning of the age of Contrarius, age of Contrariu-us. Contrarius! Contrar-i-us!” Er, sorry? 😉

  6. BTW @Contrarius: I also have only read 2 of the nom’d novels. I’m not in SFWA and don’t have any personal goals relating to reading Nebula nominees, but I take it as a good sign (for my future reading) that 2 of the other Novel nominees are on my list to read samples of.

  7. Am I the only one who was rather underwhelmed by “Carnival Nine”? The ideas and the worldbuilding are good, but the story doesn’t really do much with its cool concept and also seems to tend a bit too far towards the messagy end of the spectrum. I also have some issues with the message itself and the assumptions behind it.

  8. Cheers for Goss’s novel getting nominated; I figure it’s too strange for a Hugo but also have hopes it will show up on the World Fantasy Award shortlist. Spoonbenders was also interesting, in a Silverbergish way. The BPL blurb on Jade City makes it sound like extruded fantasy product — which I suspect means the blurb is missing the good points, given the wide range of Nebula nominaters; I’ll have to look at it. I’ve missed most of the shorter works (and don’t share the love for Murderbot), but “Passing Strange” struck me as unusual and very well done.

  9. Congrats to those nominated and I enjoyed many, and while so many I’m not surprised by seeing I haven’t seen a lot of discussion on Spoonbenders though I really enjoyed it so I’m excited to see it listed. Lots of good stuff.

  10. Big thumbs up to all 5 novels I’ve read in that category (especially Stone Sky and Jade City), and to Murderbot, And Then There Were (N-one), and Black Tides in novella (although I will keep quietly muttering “but Red Threads was better” to myself forever), and to Star Wars and Weave a Circle Round in Drama and YA respectively. And, haha, wow, I’ve read almost zero short fiction in 2017, but I’ve certainly heard of some of those other stories!

  11. Cora: Am I the only one who was rather underwhelmed by “Carnival Nine”? The ideas and the worldbuilding are good, but the story doesn’t really do much with its cool concept and also seems to tend a bit too far towards the messagy end of the spectrum. I also have some issues with the message itself and the assumptions behind it.

    No, you’re not the only one. You’ve summed up my feelings pretty much verbatim. My reaction when I got to the end of that story was “Reeeeeeeally? That’s really where you want to go with that???” The worldbuilding was very interesting, but gah, the execution of the story was such a disappointment. If it makes it onto the Hugo ballot I will probably not No Award it because the worldbuilding was cool, but it will certainly be at or near the bottom of the category for me.

  12. @Cora

    I was whelmed by Carnival Nine. Ok, the tugging on your heartstrings was quite obvious, but it was a very clever idea.

    @Chip

    Jade City definitely isn’t EFP. Think the Godfather meets wushu.

  13. @Cora: In short stories, I tend to look for short, sharp shocks and flashes of sheer ingenuity — it’s a format that’s very strong for variety and experimentation, whereas actually overwhelming the reader is just really hard to accomplish in so little space.

    In that context, I definitely enjoyed “Carnival Nine.” I won’t say it’s a personal favorite, but it was interesting, unusual, creative; I enjoyed it a lot. (I also kept whispering “spoon theory! she dramatized spoon theory!” while reading it :P)

  14. As an avid F&SF fan, I’m both delighted and curious about “Dirty Old Town” making the shortlist. It’s a great story, but not one I’d have pegged as being particularly appealing to SFWA voters, and I don’t think I’ve seen any online buzz about it.

    Mostly, I’m super pleased F&SF readers can still get stories onto the Nebula ballot 🙂 They probably do have at least some edge in the longer categories, since online venues publish a lot fewer of those. Although Tor.com is certainly dominating the novellas… 😛

  15. @Standback

    It probably doesn’t hurt that SFWA members can get the issues from their forums*, which negates some of the advantages of online venues.

    (*I believe so, not being a member or anything)

  16. @Standback
    If it had been just a dramatisation of spoon theory, I wouldn’t have minded. But whenever the central character wants to do something for herself, she is inevitably punished for her selfishness. Wanting to leave home is framed as a bad and selfish thing as well. There is also a strong undertone of “If you don’t care for others all your life, you’re a bad person.” Now if you have kids, it’s your job and your duty to take care of them, otherwise don’t have them. But if a person chooses not to take care of others, that doesn’t make them bad. And of course, the central character is a woman and women are far more under social pressure to be caring and put others’ needs above their own. That’s probably not what Caroline Yoachim intended, but it’s the message I took from that story.

  17. @Kendall — LOL.

    Also — I try to read all the top Nebula contenders in prep for Hugo voting. This was much easier when I could still find their ranked recommendations list publicly — they appear to have made that members-only now, so far as I can tell.

    I’m listening to the Goss book now. Really enjoying it so far — lots of fun. 🙂

  18. @Mark: noted. Neither of those is a (sub?-)genre I normally read, but I’ll see what Jade City is like.

  19. I just trotted off to read Carnival Nine because I was curious and my immediate reaction is that it made me angry. I haven’t unpicked precisely why, yet. It felt… weirdly appropriative. Going to have to think about that one.

    Really happy to see The Good Place, Passing Strange, (ETA: And Then There Were (N-One)), and All Systems Red on the ballot. Quite pleased about The Last Novelist, too, and a little surprised because I didn’t think that one had got much buzz.

  20. So much great YA Fantasy and Science Fiction this year and only four books on the Norton short list. I miss having a jury of people who really cared about the award. I liked the Pon, haven’t read the rest.

  21. Contrarius: I try to read all the top Nebula contenders in prep for Hugo voting. This was much easier when I could still find their ranked recommendations list publicly — they appear to have made that members-only now, so far as I can tell.

    It’s still public, but it’s rolled over to 2018 works now; but the rankings were not shown, or at least were not visible to the public, last year. You can see a November copy of their lists in the Wayback Machine

  22. @JJ —

    Yeah, I can still find the general list — but not the rankings. Which makes me sad!

  23. Contrarius – SFWA received very positive feedback for making their list public. And some not-so-positive feedback for leaving in the rankings. While not a slate, it still (to me and others) had slate-like characteristics by showing which works were more popular.

    One of the reasons I like LadyBusiness’s Hugo Spreadsheet of Doom is that it’s just a listing. Anyone can add to it, and it doesn’t matter if only one, or several hundred, people liked that work, they’re on there exactly the same.

  24. @Ultragotha —

    Yeah, I understand how some people feel about ranked listings, but for me they’re very helpful.

    While SFWA had their ranked public list, I would try to make sure to read the top 10 books listed — and then go on and read whatever else I wanted to read. That was a good way for me to find books that were getting good buzz, which means wasting less time trying to winnow the wheat from the chaff on my own. Huge spreadsheets that don’t say anything about how many people are liking one book or other don’t tell me much of anything useful in that regard.

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