Last month, the Science Fiction Writers of America announced the winners of their annual Nebula Awards. Since 1965, the Nebula Awards have been given each year for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year’s award. The Award for Best Script was added in 2000.
The Nebula is considered, along with the Hugo Awards, to be the most prestigious recognition for writers of fantasy and science fiction.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.
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The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
The Shadow’s Child is a living mindship that was discharged from military transport service after an injury and now makes a living brewing mind-altering teas to help space travelers. When abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau requests a corpse from space for scientific study, the ship accepts the odd assignment. When the body she brings back turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow Child with her.
The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
Early in the twentieth century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey, slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time an Indian elephant was deliberately and publicly put to death by electricity in Coney Island. These are matters of historical fact. Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and wrongs crying out to be righted. Brace yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling cruelties both grand and petty while searching for meaning and justice.
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February, 2018)
In a world where magic and sorcery are real, the story examines the lives of the nine enslaved people whose teeth were taken to produce dentures for George Washington.
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man but must also walk the balance between his personal high school and family life and his life as a superhero. While being Spider-Man, he becomes familiar with the Spider-Verse, where there are endless variations on Spider-Man. One of the Spider-Man variations living inside the Spider-Verse is Spider-Man, Peter Parker, who guides Miles in his journey as the new Spider-Man and introduces him to the multitude of other Spider-Men, including Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. All of the various Spider-Men will have to band together when villains threaten the safety of the Spider-Verse and of the world itself.
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Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.
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