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2015 Nebula Award Winners Announced (sfwa.org) 231

Dave Knott writes: The winners of the 2015 Nebula Awards (presented 2016) have been announced. The Nebulas are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and (along with the Hugos) are considered to be one of the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. This year's winners are:

Best Novel: Uprooted , Naomi Novik
Best Novella: Binti , Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: "Our Lady of the Open Road," Sarah Pinsker
Best Short Story: "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers," Alyssa Wong
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Mad Max: Fury Road , Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Updraft , Fran Wilde
Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award: Sir Terry Pratchett
Kevin O'Donnell Jr. Service Award: Lawrence M. Schoen
2016 Damon Knight Grand Master Award: C.J. Cherryh

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2015 Nebula Award Winners Announced

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  • by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Monday May 16, 2016 @07:40AM (#52119443)

    She's been due for the Grand Master award for decades.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If nothing else, she deserved it for the excellent Morgaine books from way back. Those make up what is still one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy stories ever, alongside Zelazny's Amber books. Neither work was perfect, but both stand out to me as enjoyable, good stories even decades later.

  • Fury Road (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Monday May 16, 2016 @08:34AM (#52119605) Homepage

    I'm surprised about Fury Road; I would have gone for The Martian.
    Dystopias are still in fashion, I guess.

    • Re:Fury Road (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak.speakeasy@net> on Monday May 16, 2016 @08:42AM (#52119645) Homepage

      Which is a pity. Still, "Fury Road" was probably the second-best "Mad Max" movie, after "The Road Warrior".

      I suspect Andy Weir will get the Campbell this year, and "The Martian" will likely get the Hugo for Best Long-Form Dramatic Presentation. . .

      • by fche ( 36607 )

        ... unless the trufens "no award" them

    • by invid ( 163714 )

      I'm surprised about Fury Road; I would have gone for The Martian. Dystopias are still in fashion, I guess.

      I would call it more post-apocalyptic than dystopian.

      • well, a post-apocalyptic dystopia.

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          I think a "dystopia" refers to a more or less functioning society and civilization, according to some definitions I have looked up it, "describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible".

          Post-apocalyptic implies that civilization is pretty much dead or shattered and people are picking up the scraps, if they are surviving at all. You could call that dystopic, or there could be surviving remnants that have survived as dystopias, but the terms don't necessarily go hand-in-ha

    • Re:Fury Road (Score:5, Interesting)

      by plover ( 150551 ) on Monday May 16, 2016 @09:51AM (#52119993) Homepage Journal

      Me too.

      It could be the visuals on The Martian were so good, they were almost invisible. My suspension of disbelief was maintained throughout the whole movie - it looked like it was shot on location, and they never delivered anything that didn't look like NASA has been showing us since VIKING. And it didn't hurt that Matt Damon was able to pull it off magnificently, convincing everyone that his veins were filled with The Right Stuff. If those events ever happened in reality, this movie could plausibly stand in as a documentary, it was that believable.

      With Fury Road, the stunts were absolutely amazing -- far and away the best stuntwork I have ever seen. But they were stunts performed strictly to be cool looking stunts. A story that abysmal could only have been written specifically to justify the stunts: "Show unbelievably ridiculous world ruled by even more ridiculous comic-book tyrant. Ragtag band of misfits drive away to promised land. Fight awesome battles against long odds. Discover promised land not as advertised. Fight even more awesome battles against even longer odds. Return victorious. Drop mic and walk off."

      But sometimes you just want to see cool looking stunts, so you give them an award anyway.

      • A story that abysmal could only have been written specifically to justify the stunts:

        What do you mean abysmal? It all started when the turned left and, er... Well, OK the plot was kinda simple. But...

        But sometimes you just want to see cool looking stunts, so you give them an award anyway. ... but basically who cares! The stunts WERE awesome. Wall to wall action with smooth, clear cinematic shots, none of that bullshit shaky cam crap that's been popular recently. Plus everyone kicked massive amounts of ass a

    • by Anonymous Coward

      IMHO the Mad Max movie, as good as it was (and I liked it), shouldn't even qualify. It's not Sci Fi.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Dystopias are still in fashion, I guess.

      I suppose this explains Slashdot.

  • No book in French this year :-(
  • It would seem there is no Nebula equivalent of the Hugo's "Sad Puppies" campaign.

    • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

      If you look at how the Nebulas are nominated and voted for, you'd already know why that is: in fact, that's one of the Sad Puppy arguments, of a self-reinforcing in-group. . .

      • Yes, made up of the people who actually write the stuff.
        • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

          There are plenty of SF authors who are NOT members of SFWA: either they let their memberships lapse, for percieved lack of value, or never joined.

          I repeat my first statement: SFWA is a self-reinforcing in-group. It only very recently allowed Indie-published authors to join. . .

          • But it also means that it's more difficult to stuff the ballot box, as it were. I mean, anyone can pony up the amount of cash it takes (what, something like $60, right) to be able to vote on the Hugos. If you don't meet the qualifications for SFWA membership, you CANNOT vote on the Nebulas.

            So, yeah, it's a much more insular bunch, taken from a certain point of view. But it also means you don't have a rabble rousing idiot like Beale getting huge whacks of votes for a predetermined slate.

  • Is there any hard sci-fi among them? I am starving for good hard sci-fi.

    • by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Monday May 16, 2016 @09:22AM (#52119839)

      Try 3-body Problem. It may be a slow start, though and I don't think it was a nominee. For that matter, I'm not sure it's a current-year book, but it was a good read.

      I think The Water Knife was on the list, though.

      In a sense, Dan Brown's Inferno is sci-fi, although like all his books, it's as much about arcana and action as about what-if. And mass-market writing, of course. Just heard it's coming out as a movie.

      • Try 3-body Problem. It may be a slow start, though and I don't think it was a nominee. For that matter, I'm not sure it's a current-year book, but it was a good read.

        I think The Water Knife was on the list, though.

        In a sense, Dan Brown's Inferno is sci-fi, although like all his books, it's as much about arcana and action as about what-if. And mass-market writing, of course. Just heard it's coming out as a movie.

        So none of the winners is hard sci-fi?

        • "Try 3-body Problem. It may be a slow start, though and I don't think it was a nominee. For that matter, I'm not sure it's a current-year book, but it was a good read."

          The second or third volume of Cixin's trilogy probably is, though.

        • I don't know how "hard" your "hard sci-fi" definition runs, if 3-Body isn't hard sci-fi, then I'd probably have to strike off Robert L. Forward's "Dragon's Egg" and Clarke's "2001 A Space Odessy" for starters.

          Brown is primarily action/adventure, but the prime motivator is more based on real-world science than the Andromeda Strain.

          Water Knife has certain parallels with A Canticle for Leibowitz, although more immediate.

          • The Three-Body Problem IS hard SciFi. Well... it starts as such. Sorta.

            But then the supposed hard SciFi turns into science fantasy with deus ex machinae around every corner.
            A big part of the story is about aliens building a proton-sized computer by "folding-out" a proton to 11 dimensions, then folding it back in.

            Which would not be such a huge problem - if the said alien civilization wasn't forced to invade Earth on account of its own solar system's inhospitableness reaching critical levels.
            Said civilization

            • And boy... if you have a short fuse for "everyone is stupid" episodes of Star Trek or some other SciFi show where every otherwise smart character acts like a complete idiot in order to serve the plot... well...

              OK, I have enough data now to give the book a wide berth.

              • Look up Carbide Tipped Pens. [amazon.com]

                He has a story called "The Circle" in there, which he redid for Three Body Problem later.
                It's about the emperor of China and his lead sage and building a computer made out of people.
                Same thing happens at one point in the TBP... while the original story suffers from the same "Why is everyone acting stupid?" issues.
                If you don't mind that story, you'll get through the books too.

                He DOES have interesting ideas... but the reasoning behind how and why it all takes place is often straine

          • "The three body problem" was nominated but didn't win a Nebula award.

    • You're looking at an award. Please. If you want something worth reading you're wrong here. This is about making people feel good, not telling you what's worth reading.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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