Corrected 2016 Nebula Nominees

SFWA reports that “due to an unfortunate error in word-count verification,” they had to “regretfully make a few changes to our final Nebula ballot.”

Cat Rambo’s work, “Red in Tooth and Cog” has been deemed ineligible for the category of Novelette for a word count of 7,070. Novelette consideration starts at 7,500 words. The number of nominations for her story would make it eligible to take the fourth-place spot on the current finalist list for short story. However, if she had accepted, that would have displaced a three-way tie for the fifth position in that category. Instead, Rambo has withdrawn her work from Nebula consideration.

Moving into the spot vacated in the novelette category is Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s “The Orangery” published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies in December of 2016.

SFWA President, Cat Rambo added, “The Nebula Awards are about celebrating amazing works by talented writers in our genre. I choose to see the silver lining in that we elevate another writer to the stage, and keep the ballot otherwise intact.”

SFWA says it will be tightening procedures in the future to make sure this unfortunate issue does not happen again. “We will be working on new standards to verify word-count and eligibility with publishers far ahead of any official announcements.”

Cat Rambo shared her personal reaction on her blog, which says in part:

However, back in this universe, apparently the fact that in the course of editing the 8,000 word story, what emerged was actually short story rather than novelette length, had managed to escape us all over the course of the past year, and so my happiness at finally getting a chance to tell everyone, huzzah, came to an end a bit precipitously. You’ll forgive any rawness to my tone; I think it’s natural.

This presented me with a new dilemma. I could allow it to be moved to the short story category, which would have bumped off not one, but three stories, which had tied for that slot. But that seemed pretty unfair, and made three people pay for the screw-up, instead of just one. So, I’m withdrawing the story. Kudos to the wonderful reading still on the ballot — there is a ton of great stuff on there and you should read it all.

Should the length issue have gotten caught before now? You bet. But if it had to happen on my watch, I am relieved that it happened to me rather than someone else. Is it a solid gut punch? Sure. But there have been others in my life and this is hardly the worst. I still get to go to the Nebulas and enjoy them as one of the ringmasters of that circus. So…wah! Very sad in some ways, but so it goes. Sometimes one puts one’s big girl pants on and soldiers forward without too much entitled whining.

The revised Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury finalists are below:

Novel

  • 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 Gambit,Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

Novella

  • 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 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette

  • “The Long Fall Up”, William Ledbetter (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories”, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “The Orangery”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (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)

Bradbury

  • 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

Norton

  • 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)

22 thoughts on “Corrected 2016 Nebula Nominees

  1. Pingback: 2016 Nebula Award Nominees | File 770

  2. von Dimpleheimer: If only all presidents showed such class…

    Rambo is class all the way. Think of how 3 people would have broken hearts now, if she’d insisted on having her short story finalist position.

  3. Commiserations and much respect to Cat Rambo, and congratulations to Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

  4. Holy smokes! That had to be a rough choice! Truly awe-inspiring decision. If I weren’t already a Cat Rambo fan, I’d be well on my way just for this. 🙂

  5. Read online:

    Novel
    All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan) (Chapters 1-4)
    Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga) (Excerpt)
    The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK) (Excerpt)
    Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK) (Excerpt)
    Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor) (Excerpt)

  6. Novella
    Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing) (Excerpt)
    The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing) (Excerpt)
    The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing) (Excerpt)
    Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing) (Excerpt)
    The Liar, John P. Murphy (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
    A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing) (Related short fiction)

  7. 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) (video reading at 21:40)
    “Things With Beards”, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
    “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door”, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine) (cache)
    “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)

  8. Is there an online site where one can read “Red in Tooth and Cog”? Failing that, which issue of F&SF was it in? I think perhaps I should read it before I finalize my Hugo ballot…

  9. That must have been heartbreaking for Cat Rambo, but as others have said it was a really classy decision.

    If you can acquire the issue then I strongly recommend giving it a read – it definitely stood out in that issue of F&SF.

  10. Cat, what a lovely story. It has a lot of quality competition, but it’s definitely on my Hugo longlist.

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