Today is the deadline to nominate for the Nebula award. Associate and Full members of Science Fiction Writers of America are each entitled to nominate up to five works on fiction in Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story categories.
Here are the books and stories I selected:
I read *very* few new novels published in 2012. As such, I could not intelligently nominate multiple works in this category. My plan is to read the five novels that get the nominations so, at least, I could cast my final Nebula ballot intelligently. But of the novels I did read, I loved John Scalzi’s Redshirts. Redshirts is a meld of space opera and humor that reminded me in some ways of Galaxy Quest. I loved every minute of it. It also gives me enormous pleasure to vote for a humorous book. As the readers of this blog already know, I’m partial to humor in SF 🙂
I did not cast any votes in this category. I was overwhelmed by the amount of great short stories and novelettes I was reading and just couldn’t allocate enough time to read in this category. I did begin to read Barry’s Tale by Lawrence Schoen and was enjoying it. I’m pretty sure it would get a nomination vote from me had I been able to finish it in time, but I want to be responsible with my votes and not cast one for something I hadn’t read all the way through. Still, the very least I could do is point out this entertaining read to all of you. It’s a free download, too.
This is where things flip around — I read many GREAT novelettes and short stories but could only vote for 5 of each. This is what I went with:
The Waves, by Ken Liu (originally printed in Asimov’s) – This is, by far, the best piece of fiction I read in 2012. I *love* this novelette and wish there was an online version I could point readers to. Alas, it is only available in Asimov’s so far.
Taking Care of God by Liu Cixin — I fear that this novelette isn’t very widely known to the American readers. It appeared in Pathlight, a Chinese magazine published in English. But this is an amazing story, and I highly encourage everyone to read it.
Liberty’s Daughter by Naomi Kritzer, F&SF 5/12 — This near-future novelette in a libertarian setting made me want more. I hoK.pe Kritzer is going to expand this into a novel or at least write more stories featuring the same setting and characters.
Small Towns – Felicity Shoulders, F&SF 1/12
Alien Land – K.D. Wentworth, F&SF 1/12
Both of these last two novelettes came from the same issue of F&SF. This was easily the best single issue of a magazine I read in 2012. Not only did it feature those two novelettes, but several other excellent stories that made it relatively high on my list as well.
Mono no Aware by Ken Liu, The Future is Japanese anthology
Scraps by Michael Haynes, Daily Science Fiction
Seven Losses of Na Re by Rose Lemberg, Daily Science Fiction
England Under the White Witch by Theodora Goss, Clarkesworld
Earthrise by Lavie Tidhar, RedstoneSF
Once again, these are just some of truly amazing stories I read this year. Alas, there are only 5 slots per category.
Note that I couldn’t nominate any stories from Unidentified Funny Objects – per Nebula rules, editors cannot nominate the work they published.