A Look at the Recent Nebula Winners

The Nebula Award Winners were announced last week by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (“SFWA”) at the SFWA Nebula Conference. Naturally, the two awards that generally receive the greatest attention are the Best Novel and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation (i.e., “Best Movie”) from 2016.

This year, the Best Novel goes to All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (published by Tor) and the Best Movie goes to Arrival written by Eric Heisserer, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Lava Bear Films, Xenolinguistics).

All The Birds in the Sky is also nominated for a Hugo Award this year. I have not read it yet, but look forward to doing so. The story, as described on Goodreads is:

A novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

I have seen Arrival, and I must concur. It is a thoughtful and intriguing science fiction that is certainly the best from 2016 that I’ve had the opportunity to watch. It explores the boundaries of the notion that language affects what we think and how we perceive the world.  Here is a trailer:

The other winners are:

Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette: ‘‘The Long Fall Up’’ by William Ledbetter (F&SF 5-6/16)

Short Story: ‘‘Seasons of Glass and Iron’’ by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine (Tor)

In addition, the following awards were presented:

  • 2017 DAMON KNIGHT GRAND MASTER AWARD: Jane Yolen
  • SOLSTICE AWARD:  Peggy Rae Sapienza (Posthumous), Toni Weisskopf
  • KEVIN O’DONNELL JR. SERVICE TO SFWA AWARD: Jim Fiscus
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