Contrast with them some of the authors who did win the awards for Best Novel. In addition to Asaro’s embarrassing award, (she was also nominated for best novella that same year), there is 2012 winner Jo Walton, whose banal Among Others somehow beat out Mieville’s brilliant Embassytown. (Read my Black Gate review of it if you are unfamiliar with it.) Vonda N. McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun beat out Martin’s A Game of Thrones, and Nicola Griffith’s Slow River beat out The Diamond Age. If you haven’t heard of these award-winning books despite being a hardcore SF/F reader, there is a reason you haven’t. They aren’t dreadful, but they aren’t particularly good either, their Nebulas notwithstanding.
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