Shiver me Timbers! The 2020 Nebula Finalists – Part One

Ahoy there me mateys!  The Nebula Finalists for 2020 have been announced.  Though I like seeing who wins the Nebulas, I usually concentrate on following the Hugo awards because those were the ones I knew of as a child.  However, Matey Andreas, wrote a post about the Nebulas this year that captured me attention.  Looking at this year’s list, I have thoughts about who I think the winner should be in the novel category.  So I figured a) I would share; b) I would make an effort to read most some of the works in certain categories; and c) I will add some excitement to me year waiting for the winners to be revealed on 6/5/2021.

I am using the list as published on with links to me reviews (click the titles) where applicable.  Under each category I will share me thoughts thus far.  I will do another update as we get closer to the reveal.  I am only going to track the categories of specific interest to me.  They be:

Best Novel

Thoughts:  Four out of six is pretty good.  The Roanhorse book is on me list to read but likely will not be read before the Nebula finalists are announced.  And sadly, I have not been able to get into the Jemisin novel despite trying.  I loved her Inheritance Trilogy and Dreamblood Duology, though no reviews because it was pre-blog days.  I also LOVED her short story collection how long ’til black future month.  I also started and stopped the Broken Earth trilogy multiple times.  I want to read that series and this nebula nominated novel too and will try again in the future.  As a mood reader, I want to give those books the attention they deserve once me noggin can focus better.  The problem is me.

Hoped for WinnerPiranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury) – While I LOVE MUDERBOT!!!  and all of Moreno-Garcia’s work, I do think Piranesi deserves to win (even if all three were 5 star reads).  The House felt like a real place while I was reading and I still wish it was so I can go exploring.  So much of the language was evocative and stunning.  While this novel is me top pick, I would not be sad if the other two won.  I would be upset if the Polk book won because it was an enjoyable afternoon but not even a Nebula nominee in my world.

Best Novella

Thoughts:  Only two out of six.  The Onyebuchi has been on me list for a while now.  I may be able to get to that one before the winners are announced.  I  had heard of the Lemberg work which has two main transgendered characters (cool!) but was hesitant to pick it up as I thought it was part of a series.  The other two I have never heard of.  The Barsukov is free online so I might try that though the crew doesn’t seem to love it.  The Ekpeki sounds fun and is super short and is free on the author’s website.  I will certainly read that one.

Hoped for WinnerRing Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom Publishing) – This novella was so wonderful and thought-provoking and led down a rabbit hole of research.  This one seems hard to beat.

Best Novelette

  • “Stepsister,” Leah Cypess (F&SF 5-6/20)
  • “The Pill,” Meg Elison (Big Girl, PM Press)
  • “Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super,” A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 5-6/20)
  • “Two Truths and a Lie,” Sarah Pinsker ( 6/17/20)
  • “Where You Linger,” Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Shadow Prisons,” Caroline M. Yoachim (serialized in the Dystopia Triptych series as “The Shadow Prison Experiment,” “Shadow Prisons of the Mind,” and “The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma,” Broad Reach Publishing + Adamant Press)

Thoughts:  None.  None of them.  There is work to be done here.  May not get to any before the awards though.

Hoped for Winner:  To Be Determined

Best Short Story

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse,” Rae Carson (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math,” Aimee Picchi (Daily Science Fiction 1/3/20)
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, Solaris)
  • “The Eight-Thousanders,” Jason Sanford (Asimov’s 9-10/20)
  • “My Country Is a Ghost,” Eugenia Triantafyllou (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill,” John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots 6/15/20)

Thoughts:  None again.  Dang it.  I will try to track these down and read them all before the big announcement.

Hoped for WinnerTo Be Determined

The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Thoughts:  Only one but it was excellent fun.  Ifueko’s novel is also on me list.  I have not heard of the other three.  I find that surprising.  I like the diversity and ideas of the other three but the reviews and blurbs don’t really capture me fancy.  If they win, I might give them a shot.

Hoped for WinnerA Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll) cause it was awesome! (and the only one I have read.  Shhh!)  I will see if I have time to read Ifueko’s novel before the reveal.

If ye want to join in, File 770 has a list of where to find this year’s Nebula nominees for free.  Click here!

So there ye have it.  Me Nebula wishes for now.  I will keep y’all posted as I continue readin’ through the nominees.  In the meantime

Always remember:

Q:  What kind of grades did the pirate get in school?

A:  High seas!

Hardy har har!

x The Captain

4 thoughts on “Shiver me Timbers! The 2020 Nebula Finalists – Part One

  1. Chopchop, there’s work to do for both of us! You’re already ahead of me, but that’s fine.
    Let me just mention, that I‘ve linked stories to online resources if available. Don’t search yourself!


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