Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

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Random Chatter > Nebula 2020 - who will win?

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message 1: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
In less than a week, on May 30th the winners in each category will be announced. which works will win (and why)? What do you think?


message 2: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
2019 Nebula Awards®
Best Novel
Marque of Caine by Charles E. Gannon, published by Baen
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, published by Redhook
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, published by Tor
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, published by Del Rey
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, published by Tor.com
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker, published by Berkley
Best Novella
“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” by Ted Chiang, published by Knopf
“The Haunting of Tram Car 015” by P. Djèlí Clark, published by Tor.com
“This Is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, published by Gallery and Saga Press
“Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water” by Vylar Kaftan, published by Tor.com
“The Deep” by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, published by Gallery and Saga Press
“Catfish Lullaby” by A C Wise, published by Broken Eye Books
Best Novelette
“A Strange Uncertain Light” by G. V. Anderson, published by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
“For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll, published by Tor.com
“His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light” by Mimi Mondal, published by Tor.com
“The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker, published by Uncanny
“Carpe Glitter” by Cat Rambo, published by Meerkat Shorts, LLC
“The Archronology of Love” by Caroline M. Yoachim, published by Lightspeed Magazine
Best Short Story
“Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt, published by Clarkesworld
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne, published by Uncanny
“And Now His Lordship Is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas, published by Strange Horizons
“Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island” by Nibedita Sen, published by Nightmare Magazine
“A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde, published by Uncanny
“How the Trick Is Done” by A C Wise, published by Uncanny


message 3: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
My picks:
2019 Nebula Awards®
Best Novel
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, published by Tor

Best Novella
“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” by Ted Chiang, published by Knopf

Best Novelette
“His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light” by Mimi Mondal, published by Tor.com

Best Short Story
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne, published by Uncanny


message 4: by Antti (last edited May 24, 2020 11:26AM) (new)

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Best Novel
What I would want to win: Memory Called Empire. It was so good.
What probably will win: Ten Thousand Doors of January. I started to read it, but it was so pretentiously whimsical I had enough after 20 pages. But Nebula voters love this kind of flowery Neil-Gaiman-inspired prose, and Harrow is an up-and-coming author, so she'll most likely win.

Best Novella
This Is How You Lose the Time War. Two respected authors, poetical semi-epistolary writing, and the story was quite good to boot.

Best Novelette
I haven't read all of these yet, but I think Archronology of Love is a potential winner, although I found it pretty unsatisfying. I might edit this when I've read more from the list, though

Best Short Story
I haven't read any of these, so I'm going to go by intuition: Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island sounds like Nebula winner material based on the name alone.


message 5: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2096 comments Mod
I’m with Z on the novel & novella I’d like to see win. A Memory Called Empire was really excellent, better than quite a few recent winners. I was not impressed with How to Lose the Time War; it felt very forced, very contrived to me. It’s all fiction, obviously, but it just didn’t flow.


message 6: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 24, 2020 10:29PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3780 comments Mod
Novel--Song for a New Day because I liked it so much that I will pick it over The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which I also liked.

I barely started A Memory Called Empire when the month was over. There's a sequel coming out in the fall, so I will try to read them both then

Novella--“This Is How You Lose the Time War” because at least I remember it. No, I did not like it. But I remember it. And I note that the Nebula voters often vote for things with a different feel/style than normal. This was certainly that!

The only novella I have not read is the Ted Chiang one. Everyone loved that book it was in, so maybe it will win, but I can't vote for it because I never even tried to read it.

I have not read any of the other categories, so I won't speculate. Although I might say that they might give the short story to Pinsker for “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” if she doesn't win the novel category. But I haven't read it


message 7: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 546 comments I fear for "Gideon" as best novel because it was the worst overhyped book I've read. The only one I liked out of those I read was "Ten Thousand Doors" but I don't see it winning awards.

Best novella definitely Ted Chang. He is light years ahead of all the others.

Best novelette ... no idea. I read half of them but none of those stayed in my memory.

For short stories I'd go for "And now his lordship ..." I read most of them and this one left an impression.


message 8: by Kaa (new)

Kaa I haven't read half of the novel nominees yet, but I feel like Ten Thousand Doors is most likely to win. It wouldn't be my pick for best novel, but I agree with Antti that it seems like the kind of work that Nebula voters like.

I'd go with Time War for novella, though I haven't read the Chiang piece yet and so can't compare.

Novelette - there were several really good stories in this category, but I'd like to see For He Can Creep win, as it was incredibly well-crafted and creative.

For short story, And Now His Lordship Is Laughing is the one that has stuck with me the most.


message 9: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
I don't think that The Ten Thousand Doors of January will be supported by Nebula voters, it is a "purple prose" as in another thread it was aptly named and while I actually liked it, it is not deep, it doesn't make you think after reading, the ultimate goal of SFF I think.

Among novellas maybe This Is How You Lose the Time War has better chance as a poetic SF, with style somehow similar to the abovementioned Doors, and it is greatly hyped


message 10: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments Oleksandr wrote: "I don't think that The Ten Thousand Doors of January will be supported by Nebula voters, it is a "purple prose" as in another thread it was aptly named and while I actually liked it..."

Agree. The only other book I've read is "God's of Jade and Shadow" and I liked it even less. I'm curious about the others.


message 11: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 701 comments I think This Is How You Lose the Time War is going to sweep all awards. It and Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom are in a tier of their own, and before reading the former I was fairly certain it was a shoe-in, but I'm expecting Time War to win Nebula, Hugo, and Aurora.


message 12: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
The winners are announced: https://nebulas.sfwa.org/award-year/2...

Best Novel
Winner: A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker, published by Berkley
Best Novella
Winner: “This Is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, published by Gallery and Saga Press
Best Novelette
Winner: “Carpe Glitter” by Cat Rambo, published by Meerkat Shorts, LLC
Best Short Story
Winner: “Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt, published by Clarkesworld


message 13: by Antti (new)

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Congratulations, Kateblue: you were the only one who got the Best Novel right!


message 14: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3726 comments Mod
Antti wrote: "Congratulations, Kateblue: you were the only one who got the Best Novel right!"

True! I thought it was a nice debut novel but not the best...


message 15: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 546 comments Woohoo, good one, Kateblue (and of course it is the one I didn't read ^^')


message 16: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 701 comments Oleksandr wrote: "Antti wrote: "Congratulations, Kateblue: you were the only one who got the Best Novel right!"

True! I thought it was a nice debut novel but not the best..."


It's a weird year when the majority of nominees are debuts.


message 17: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 31, 2020 10:18AM) (new)

Kateblue | 3780 comments Mod
I also thought that “This Is How You Lose the Time War” would win!

And that's all I guessed--I had not read shorter nominees.

I'm batting 1000!

BTW, I think I won last year, too!

*laughs maliciously and rubs hand together*


message 18: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3780 comments Mod
Kalin wrote: It's a weird year when the majority of nominees are debuts."

Actually, I don't know about "the majority," but I think that often authors are nominated and win more at the beginnings of their career--books more carefully written, newer ideas explored are attractive to nominators, new style wows the jaded reader, not in the business of having to crank out a book a year yet, editors still don't have to deal with "star-mentality" etc, etc.

This syndrome (to be known hereafter as Kateblue's Hypothesis) is even more clear in the music business--probably aggravated by the fact that being in a band is like being married to three or four people at the same time (without the fun parts), so divorce by implosion inevitably follows.


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