Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 NEBULA Awards: Nominations Announced!

The nominations for the 2014 Nebula Awards have been announced. The Nebula award and the Hugo award are the highest awards given in recognition of excellent in writing science fiction and fantasy. The Nebula awards are given by the writers and the Hugo awards are given by the fans.

This year's nominees for the Nebula award for best novel are:
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood) 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review) 
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen) 
Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK) 
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island) 
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)
The only nominees I had heard of on this list are by Leckie and Gaiman. Gaiman, because he has won before and Leckie because Ancillary Justice is in the military sci-fi genre that I greatly enjoy and thus keeps on suggesting her books when I am browsing for the latest book by James S.A. Corey, Peter Hamilton or Alastair Reynolds.

It seems like the more and more mysteries I read (I'm currently working my way through the Inspector Alan Banks books by Peter Robinson, the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo and the Chief Inspector Henri Gamache books by Louise Penny) the weaker my connection to science fiction becomes. Apart from the books by James S.A. Corey (Abaddon's Gate, Caliban's War and Leviathan's Wake) I have not founda new author recently who makes me eager to read their books. (I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in Corey's The Expanse series, Cibola Burn.) For example, I had to go and look up that last year's winner was 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Gaiman has been hit or miss for me (mostly miss lately although I did like American Gods) so I'm not going to rush out to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but reviews seem to indicate that it's not really science fiction anyway, but some kind of horror-fantasy hybrid. However, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice sounds cool enough I will put it on my Amazon wishlist:
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

From debut author Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice is a stunning space opera that asks what it means to be human in a universe guided by artificial intelligence.
Any thoughts?

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