Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Incredibly Preliminary Thoughts on the Nebula Award Nominees

I've read nothing. 

I briefly considered ending the post right there, but let's go a little bit further (but not much).  You can find the list of nominees right here

Normally, I would have read one or two novels and at least a couple of the stories.  Because of not being as immersed in the genre last year as I previously had been, the entire list (minus dramatic presentation) is new to me.  That's awesome.  It's a fresh reading list filled with wonder and discovery. 

I'm thrilled for Nicola Griffith being nominated for Hild.  I absolutely adored Ammonite and thought Slow River was fantastic. I expect that Hild will be equally awesome, if not more so.  With any luck, I will be acquiring a copy later next week. 

A new Neil Gaiman novel is always an event, so I'll be interested to read that, but I am yet more interested in Ancillary Justice from Ann Leckie.  It's received a whole bunch of praise this year, but not without some hesitation I've seen in some corners.   I've wanted to read it for a while, so this is a great opportunity to do so.  We'll see how I fall on that spectrum. 

Also interesting there is Linda Nagata's The Red: First Light.  Nagata self published The Red, which is what people have been trumpeting about, but I feel like there is context missing there.  Which is, simply, Nagata has been published before.  She has previously won a Locus award for Best First Novel (which was traditionally published) and she has won a Nebula Award for a novella published in SCIFICTION.  There is a substantial difference between a writer who has never sold a book before or been professionally edited deciding to self publish to get her book out and a writer who has a track record of writing quality fiction turning to self publishing later in her career for whatever reason.  One of those writers are significantly more likely to have a chance to be nominated for an award and to get a different sort of recognition than the other. 

I don't have many thoughts on the short fiction nominees, except that I am very happy for Aliette de Bodard, Ken Liu, and Rachel Swirsky, all of whom I have been a big fan of in the past.  I'm excited to see who, among the other nominees, may turn out to be new favorites of mine.

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