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28 Nov 2014
The Best of the Nebula Winners

Nebula Award

For about the past year and a half I have been reading my way through winners of The Nebula Award. Sometimes this task felt long and arduous, but much to my surprise, and mostly because lists have strange motivational powers, I finished this one out (sort of). Here are some notable subsets out of the 49 total award winning novels:

Top 8 by Authors New to Me

  • 2312 (Kim Stanley Robinson - 2012)
  • Parable of the Talents (Octavia E. Butler - 1999)
  • The Windup Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi - 2009)
  • A Time of Changes (Robert Silverberg - 1971)
  • American Gods (Neil Gaiman - 2002)
  • The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (Michael Chabon - 2007)
  • Among Others (Jo Walton - 2011)
  • The Healer’s War (Elizabeth Ann Scarborough - 1989)

The Best of the Mediocre

These books lacked the full package needed to blow me away, but either their ideas, characters or prose make them worth the read.

  • Ancillary Justice (Ann Leckie - 2013)
  • Red Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson - 1993)
  • Timescape (Gregory Benford - 1980)
  • Stations of the Tide (Michael Swanwick - 1991)
  • Tehanu (Ursula le Guin - 1990)
  • Gateway (Frederik Pohl - 1978)
  • Darwin’s Radio (Greg Bear - 2000)
  • The Terminal Experiment (Robert J. Sawyer - 1995)

List of Books Left Unfinished

  • The Moon and the Sun (Vonda N. McIntyre - 1997)
  • Dreamsnake (Vonda N. McIntyre - 1978)
  • Forever War (Joe Haldeman - 1976)
  • Forever Peace (Joe Haldeman - 1998)
  • Camouflage (Joe Haldeman - 2005)
  • Doomsday Book (Connie Willis - 1992)
  • Blackout/All Clear (Connie Willis - 2010)
  • Startide Rising (David Brin - 1984)
  • Ringworld (Larry Niven - 1970)
  • Seeker (Jack McDevitt - 2006)

I must be missing something when it comes to authors like Connie Willis and Joe Haldeman. I found their books to be painful reads yet both are decorated and beloved authors within the SF community.

Worth Another Shot

I didn’t finish these books, but I have not lost faith in these authors. Perhaps I simply didn’t like these particular works by these authors.

  • Falling Free (Lois McMaster Bujold - 1988)
  • The Claw of the Conciliator (Gene Wolfe - 1981)
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