The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have released their list of nominees for the 2016 Nebula Awards, and it’s an impressive, diverse list of the best science fiction and fantasy stories of the year.
Awarded annually since 1966, the Nebulas recognize the best novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories within genre publishing. Two additional awards, the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, add a few extra categories. SFWA members nominate their favorites, then vote on the finalists. The Nebulas are primarily industry and professional awards, stemming from peer recognition, rather than the fan recognition that produces the better-known Hugo Awards.
The winners will be announced during this year’s Nebula conference, held between May 18th and 21st in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This year’s nominees are notable for the acclaim they’ve already gotten. There are a handful of obvious entries, such as the novel All the Birds in the Sky, by former io9 editor-in-chief (and current Snowpiercer TV screenwriter) Charlie Jane Anders, or The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. But similarly praised novels such as Mischell Baker’s Borderline and Nisi Shawl’s Everfair likewise made the final cut. All these novels appeared on our 11 best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2016 list in December.
The shorter fiction categories also display some highly regarded short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Underrepresented authors make a strong showing: three of the five nominees for Best Novel are authors of color, and four out of the five are women. Women dominate the shorter fiction categories as well.
Here’s the full list of nominees. Links have been added where stories are publicly available.
- All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
- Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
- The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
- Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)
- Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
- The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
- The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
- Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
- “The Liar,” John P. Murphy (F&SF)
- A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
- “The Long Fall Up,” William Ledbetter (F&SF)
- “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea,” Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
- “Red in Tooth and Cog,” Cat Rambo (F&SF)
- “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories,” Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
- The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
- “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay,” Alyssa Wong (Uncanny)
Best Short Story
- “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny)
- “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
- “Sabbath Wine,” Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
- “Things With Beards,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
- “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door,” A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine)
- “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers,” Alyssa Wong (Tor.com)
- “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0,” Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
- Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve, screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment / FilmNation Entertainment / Lava Bear Films / Xenolinguistics
- Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson, screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
- Kubo and the Two Strings, directed by Travis Knight, screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Gareth Edwards, written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm / Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
- Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’,’ directed by Jonathan Nolan, written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
- Zootopia, directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures / Walt Disney Animation Studios
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
- The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
- The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
- Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
- Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
- The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)