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 Tor.com 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:
- Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
- The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
- The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)
- Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
- Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom Publishing)
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 Winner: Piranesi, 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.
- “Tower of Mud and Straw,” Yaroslav Barsukov (Metaphorosis)
- Finna, Nino Cipri (Tordotcom Publishing)
- Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom Publishing)
- “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon,” Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aurelia Leo)
- The Four Profound Weaves, R.B. Lemberg (Tachyon)
- Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom Publishing)
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 Winner: Ring 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.
- “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 (Tor.com 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 Winner: To Be Determined
The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
- Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko (Amulet)
- Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
- A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
- A Game of Fox & Squirrels, Jenn Reese (Holt)
- Star Daughter, Shveta Thakrar (HarperTeen)
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 Winner: A 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
Q: What kind of grades did the pirate get in school?
A: High seas!
Hardy har har!
x The Captain