The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation is presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Eligible works are dramatic presentation in any form, including film, television, radio, internet, and stage productions. The Ray Bradbury Award is not a Nebula Award, but it is presented at the Nebula Awards Ceremony and follows Nebula rules and procedures. Past winners since 2010, for dramatic presentations in the previous year, were District 9 (2010), Inception (2011), Doctor Who: “The Doctor’s Wife” (2012), Beasts of the Southern Wild (2013), Gravity (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2015).
The 2016 nominees, for works in 2015, have been announced, and it is a great lineup of dramatic presentations. Most of these are “must see” works, in my view. The winner will be announced this year on May 14, 2016, and the Nebula Awards Banquet in Chicago Illinois.
- Ex Machina, Written by Alex Garland
Alex Garland makes his directorial debut. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon arriving, Caleb learns he’s been chosen to be the human component in a Turing Test–evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest AI experiment, Ava (Alicia Vikander), whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated–and more deceptive–than the two men could have imagined.
- Inside Out, Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original Story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Director Pete Docter takes us to the most extraordinary location of all–inside the mind. Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions–Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
- Jessica Jones: AKA Smile, Teleplay by Scott Reynolds & Melissa Rosenberg; Story by Jamie King & Scott Reynolds
The final episode of the series about a former superhero, Jessica Jones, who has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Plagued by self-loathing and PTSD, Jessica battles internal and external demons using her extraordinary abilities.
- Mad Max: Fury Road, Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
From director George Miller–fourth adventure in the Mad Max film series. In a post-apocalyptic world, Max (Tom Hardy) teams up with a mysterious woman, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), to try and survive, with the help of a group of female prisoners and a psychotic worshipper.
- The Martian, Screenplay by Drew Goddard
From legendary director Ridley Scott. During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt
From director J.J. Abrams. Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.