Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2019 edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Friday, September 27th, 2019 | Posted by John ONeill

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Cover art by Tiffany Dae

The Nebula Awards Showcase is one of the most prestigious and honored anthologies in Science Fiction. It has appeared every year since 1966, and been published by Pyr since 2012. Pyr’s once considerable output has slowed in the last year, and I was very pleased to see the 2019 Showcase volume picked up by one of the best of the new small press publishers, Parvus Press. It’s a significant coup for them, and I hope it’s a sign of even greater things to come.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s introduction is one of the most powerful non-fiction pieces I’ve read in a Nebula anthology in a long time, both a celebration of the increasing diversity in our field, and a bald statement about why it’s so vitally important.

When I first harnessed the courage to start sending my stories out in 2006, it truly was a frightening prospect. I had never seen a Latina writer in any of the fantasy and science fiction magazines I read, nor at a bookstore… The science fiction and fantasy section was virtually devoid of people like me…

It’s easy to declare that diversity is a done deal, or even worse, that diversity is a trend, a fad, which has run its course. It is easy to churn lists that purport to contain the 10 Best Science Fiction Novels of all time and find out that the only woman who made the list was Mary Shelley. Or to find threads with people saying that women can’t write Lovecraftian fiction because women are able to give birth and therefore cannot understand cosmic horror (I am not making this comment up)…

What is hard is to build a better, more inclusive publishing community. It’s hard to read widely, to read beyond the things that you are used to, to organize events which feature a broad variety of guests, to write lists which go beyond the usual suspects. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible… We call speculative fiction the literature of the imagination, so why not imagine a future in which a young writer can find plenty of authors to emulate? A future in which that author is not silent and scared and feeling like she has no stories to tell, as I was 13 years ago when I began my writing journey.

This year’s volume contains some magnificent material, including “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience(TM)” by Rebecca Roanhorse, “A Human Stain” by Kelly Robson, and the complete text of Martha Wells’ Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella, All Systems Red, the first Murderbot tale. Here’s the complete tale of contents.

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Fairy Tales, Space Stations, and a Sequel to The Thing: The Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018-smallThe annual Nebula Awards Showcase anthologies, which collect the Nebula Award nominees and winners, are edited by a revolving committee of editors, and that means the criteria used to select the fiction varies every year.

I think this is a great idea. Essentially, each year it gives editorial power to a new individual to select which stories to showcase. The winners are always included, of course, but picking between the nominees (especially in the novella category, which frequently would fill one and a half anthologies all on its own) is a challenge, and it needs a strong editorial hand to make tough decisions.

For example in 1980, for Nebula Winners Fourteen, Frederik Pohl jettisoned virtually every single short fiction nominee (and all the novelettes) so he could make room for just two stories, C. J. Cherryh’s Hugo Award-winning “Cassandra,” and Gene Wolfe’s massive 60-page novella “Seven American Nights.” That had to be a tough call, but I think it was the right one.

In the 2018 Showcase volume, editor Jane Yolen makes a similar choice. Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, which won the Best Novella Nebula, is a massive 176 pages, far bigger even than Gene Wolfe’s 60-page classic, and would throughly dominate the anthology. Instead, for the first time I can remember, Yolen has chosen not to include the full version of the Nebula Award winning novella, but rather represent it with a 20-page excerpt. That leaves her with enough space to include every short story and novelette nominee (or at least, as is the case for Fran Wilde’s 96-page The Jewel and Her Lapidary, a substantial excerpt).

It’s a bold decision, and I applaud it. The 2018 Nebula Awards Showcase is a terrific volume, and it certainly gives you the opportunity to sample a wide variety of top-notch fiction from last year, including the delightfully subversive fairy tale “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, Sam J. Miller’s thoughtful and creepy sequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, “Things With Beards,” Caroline M. Yoachim’s “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station / Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0,” and excerpts from All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

If you’re looking for a Best Of collection that encapsulates some of the finest science fiction from last year, it makes a splendid choice. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

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Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2017, edited by Julie E. Czerneda

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

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I attended the Nebula Awards ceremony here in Chicago last year, where Black Gate bloggers C.S.E. Cooney and Amal El-Mohtar were both nominated for awards, and got to see the gorgeous Nebula trophies (surely one of the most beautiful awards in the business) given out in person. So you can understand that I’ve been looking forward to Nebula Award Showcase 2017, which collects all of the winning stories — including “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Best Short Story), “Our Lady of the Open Road” by Sarah Pinsker (Best Novelette), and Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Best Novella) — as well as excerpts from all the nominees for Best Novel (including the winner, Naomi Novk’s Uprooted) and all the nominees for Best Short Story.

Believe it or not, the Nebula Awards have been given out by SFWA for 50 years, and this is the 50th anthology collecting the winners and runners-up. That’s a lot of great fiction packed into a highly collectible series of hardcover and paperback volumes (that’s a subtle tip for you collectors.) Nebula Awards Showcase 2017 will be published by Pyr on May 16, 2017. It is 336 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition — a bargain, considering it includes Binti (priced at $9.99 all on its own) in its entirety. The cover is by Maurizio Manzieri.

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Capture the Magic of the Nebulas With Nebula Awards Showcase 2016, edited by Mercedes Lackey

Saturday, May 28th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016-smallThe buzz here at the Black Gate rooftop headquarters for the past week has been all about the Nebula Awards weekend, held just a few blocks away in the Palmer House in downtown Chicago. Half of the staff attended — including me, Tina Jens, C.S.E. Cooney, Derek Kunsken, and Zeta Moore — and we had a terrific time, mingling with the great writers, editors, and publishers in the field. It culminated, of course, in the Nebula Awards presentation Saturday night (see our detailed report on the Awards here, and the entire weekend here).

The Nebulas are a celebration of the finest writing of the year, and even if you can’t attend the weekend, you can still enjoy that — in the form of the annual Nebula Awards Showcase. The latest volume, edited and assembled by Mercedes Lackey, gather the winners from last year in a handsome trade paperback.

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The editor, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey. This year’s Nebula winners are Ursula Vernon, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nancy Kress, and Jeff VanderMeer, with Alaya Dawn Johnson winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.

Mercedes Lackey took the rather unusual approach of including every short story and novelette nominee and winner, and limiting herself to excerpts in the novella category (with the exception of the winner). See the complete Table of Contents here.

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Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2016, edited by Mercedes Lackey

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016-smallThe 2015 Nebula Awards were a pretty big deal for me. They were presented here in Chicago, and I was able to attend for the first time. I was also asked to present the award for Best Novelette of the Year, an honor I won’t soon forget.

In addition I got to catch up with old friends, and meet plenty of new faces — folks like Rachel Swirsky, Liz Gorinsky, Aliette de Bodard, Lawrence M. Schoen, Cixin Liu, and many more. The Nebula Awards Weekend is relaxed, fun, and attended by the best and brightest writers and editors in the industry. It’s a great place to meet and chat with your favorite writers — not to mention get lots of free books.

They also give out some Nebula Awards, of course. And the Nebula Awards Showcase collects the winners and finalists in a handsome anthology, as it has every year since 1966. The Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 is the 50th volume in the series, and it looks like one of the strongest in recent memory.

This year editor Mercedes Lackey elected to take a rather eclectic approach — to include every short story and novelette nominee and winner, and limit herself to excerpts in the novella category (with the exception of the winner). Here’s the complete TOC.

Short Story

“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14) — Winner

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New Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear

Monday, December 21st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015-smallThere are a lot of new anthologies released every year, including around a dozen Year’s Best volumes. I frequently get asked which is the best single-volume collection showcasing the finest science fiction and fantasy of the year. And year after year, I always suggest the same book: the annual Nebula Awards Showcase, which contains the stories selected by the Science Fiction Writers of America for the prestigious Nebula Awards. It also includes many of the runners-up, author appreciations, yearly wrap-ups, novel excerpts, and other fascinating articles.

The annual Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published every year since 1966. The 2015 volume contains some of the most talked-about fiction of the past several years, including Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” Sophia Samatar’s “Selkie Stories Are For Losers,” Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars,” and many others. Here’s the description.

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The editor, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Greg Bear, author of over thirty novels, including the Nebula Award-winning Darwin’s Radio and Moving Mars. This year’s volume includes the winners of the Andre Norton, Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Rhysling, and Dwarf Stars Awards, as well as the Nebula Award winners, and features Ann Leckie, Nalo Hopkinson, Rachel Swirsky, Aliette de Bodard, and Vylar Kaftan, with additional articles and poems by authors such as Robin Wayne Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Terry A. Garey, Deborah P Kolodji, and Andrew Robert Sutton.

We covered the previous volume, Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson, last May (and the TOCs for the now-classic first three volumes are here). Read all about this year’s Nebula winners here.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 was published by Pyr Books on December 8, 2015. It is 347 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $11.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by John Harris.


Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear

Monday, November 2nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015-smallThe annual Nebula Awards Showcase volumes, which have been published every year since 1966, gather the most acclaimed short fiction our industry produces each year — including all the Nebula Award winners, and many of the runners-up — as well as author appreciations, yearly wrap-ups, novel excerpts, and other fascinating articles. The 2015 volume contains some of the most talked-about fiction of the past several years, including Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” Sophia Samatar’s “Selkie Stories Are For Losers,” Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars,” and many others. Here’s the description.

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The editor, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Greg Bear, author of over thirty novels, including the Nebula Award-winning Darwin’s Radio and Moving Mars. This year’s volume includes the winners of the Andre Norton, Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Rhysling, and Dwarf Stars Awards, as well as the Nebula Award winners, and features Ann Leckie, Nalo Hopkinson, Rachel Swirsky, Aliette de Bodard, and Vylar Kaftan, with additional articles and poems by authors such as Robin Wayne Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Terry A. Garey, Deborah P Kolodji, and Andrew Robert Sutton.

We covered the previous volume, Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson, last May (and the TOCs for the now-classic first three volumes are here). Read all about this year’s Nebula winners here.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 will be published by Pyr Books December 8, 2015. It is 347 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $11.99 for the digital edition.


New Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2014-smallThe first volume of the revered Nebula Awards anthologies was released nearly half a century ago, in 1966, and it’s been an annual event ever since. I really can’t think of a single anthology series that’s lasted even half as long.

It’s no accident, either. Year after year these books, which gather Nebula Award-winning short fiction from the previous year — alongside additional nominees, excerpts from winning novels, author retrospectives and appreciations, and survey pieces — collectively form a record of the most acclaimed SF and fantasy our industry has produced for the last 49 years.

Want an example? Have a look at the Tables of Contents for the first three volumes, which contained such stories as “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman” by Harlan Ellison, “The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth” by Roger Zelazny, “Light of Other Days” by Bob Shaw, “The Last Castle” by Jack Vance, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick, “Aye, and Gomorrah…” by Samuel R. Delany, “Behold the Man” by Michael Moorcock, and “Gonna Roll the Bones” by Fritz Leiber.

It’s not just that those are some of the most famous SF tales ever written. It’s that the Nebula Awards — and these volumes — helped preserve and promote them and they’re likely the reason you know about these stories today.

All that begs the question: who’s in the latest volume? Who are the writers who will be remembered and acclaimed half a century from today?

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Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson

Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2014-smallI love the Nebula Awards Showcase volumes. For one thing, they have a glorious history — stretching all the way back to the very first volume in 1966, edited by the founder of SFWA himself, Damon Knight.

And for another thing… they include some damn good stories. The Nebula Award winning short fiction from the previous year (and as many nominees as will fit), as chosen by the members of Science Fiction Writers of America. Alongside those stories are excerpts from the award-winning novel; appreciations of this year’s Grand Master Winner, Gene Wolfe, by Neil Gaiman and Michael Dirda, a Wolfe story, and more. If you’re looking for a survey of the best in SF and fantasy from last year, you’d be hard pressed to do better than this.

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories in the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America . The editor selected by SFWA’s anthology committee (chaired by Mike Resnick) is American fantasy writer Kij Johnson, author of three novels and associate director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.

This year’s Nebula winners, and expected contributors, are Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress, Andy Duncan, and Aliette de Bodard, with E.C. Myers winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 is edited by Kij Johnson and will be published on May 13, 2014 by Pyr. It is 291 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $11.99 for the digital edition. New publisher Pyr has put together a handsome package for the book, with a colorful cover by Raoul Vitale. Keep an eye out for it — and don’t forget to have a look at the 2013 Nebula Award Nominations, announced earlier this week.


Vintage Treasures: Nebula Winners Fourteen, edited by Frederik Pohl

Thursday, July 5th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

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Back in May, more or less on a whim, I paid $6.59 for a copy of the British paperback edition of Nebula Winners Fourteen, edited by Frederik Pohl. I already had the Bantam version (see below) but the gorgeously moody cover by the great Bruce Pennington hypnotized me, and what could I do?

I’m glad I did it, anyway. In this hot Illinois summer, a book I can dip into while relaxing on the porch is a perfect antidote, and having Nebula Winners Fourteen conveniently on hand has reminded me just how outstanding the Nebula anthologies were, and are, year after year. This one, for example, includes the three 1978 Nebula short fiction award winners, plus a 30-page excerpt from the winning novel:

“The Persistence of Vision,” by John Varley (Best Novella)
“A Glow of Candles, a Unicorn’s Eye,” by Charles L. Grant (Best Novelette)
“Stone,” by Edward Bryant (Best Short Story)
An Excerpt from Dreamsnake, by Vonda N. McIntyre

But it also includes some superb nominees, as selected by Pohl, including C. J. Cherryh’s Hugo Award-winning short story “Cassandra,” and Gene Wolfe’s massive 60-page novella “Seven American Nights.” I imagine Pohl got a lot of grief for cramming two long novellas into a slender paperback, displacing a lot of award-nominated short fiction in the process, but the years have proven the astuteness of his choice. “Seven American Nights” is one of the most acclaimed stories of the 70s, still discussed and enjoyed today, whereas the winner in the novella category, Varley’s “The Persistence of Vision,” is considered by many to be overrated (including by me.)

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