Nominations for Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword was expected, since the first book in the series (Ancillary Justice) won the Hugo-Nebula double last year. Curiously the only fantasy book on the list is Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor (which I tried to read earlier this year and sadly I could not finish it.) I'm very surprised City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett was not on the list. I've been thinking about getting The Three-Body Problem for quite awhile; it is hard science fiction and this nomination increases the odds I will buy it soon.
I have never even heard of Trial By Fire, which like Leckie's work, is Book 2 in a trilogy, called Tales of the Terran Republic.
I read Coming Home by Jack McDevitt and I don't think it is one of his better outings in the Alex Benedict/Chase Tolpath series, but apparently the guy is a Nebula favorite (this is his 12th Best Novel nomination!)
Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation is the first book in his Southern Reach trilogy. It is very short but I read about half of the book and it did not grab me either.
My hope is that Leckie wins again, although I would be happy with Liu winning also.