The 2011 Nebula Nominees

The Nebula nominess for this year were just announced the other day. You can find the full list here, which includes novellas, novelettes, short stories, and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. (Doctor Who, woohoo!)

The nominees for novel are:

Among Others Cover
* Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)

I read this one and quite liked it. I think if you’re not typically a science fiction or fantasy reader, but you are a reader, this is the one you’ll appreciate the most. For those of you who are sf/f fans, you can geek out with the main character as she reads sf/f books you’ll know and love for the first time. I do have a nit to pick with her about blue dragons though!

* Embassytown, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press)

I have not read this one, so I’ll leave you with the blurb from our catalog: Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist on a distant planet populated by the Ariekei, sentient beings famed for their unique language, returns to Embassytown after many years of deep space exploration to find she has become a living simile in the Ariekei language even though she cannot speak it, and she is torn by competing loyalties when hostilities erupt between humans and aliens.

I did like his novel Un Lun Dun though.

Firebird Cover
* Firebird, Jack McDevitt (Ace Books)

The cover of this one appeals to me. Rightly or wrongly, I keep thinking of a Japanese carp. Here’s the catalog’s blurb: Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that a missing renowned physicist had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system where they vanished. Following the physicist’s trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.

* God’s War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)

This is one I hadn’t even heard of. The library doesn’t have a copy of it. We can ILL it for you though! (Well, we can try, only one library in NH has it right now. Salem’s Kelley library wins the day on this one.)

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* Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books)

Ditto this one on all counts. Four libraries have this one, one of which is Salem – Kelley once again.

* The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Yes, this one! One of my favorite books of 2011. This is part three of a trilogy, so you should probably start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but you won’t be sorry. This is epic fantasy with gods and magic and all that good stuff.

Next up is the YA books. I love me some YA.

These are the nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book:

* Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking Juvenile)

Sad to say we don’t have this. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. A number of NH libraries have it, so we can ILL it for you.

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* Chime, Franny Billingsley (Dial Books; Bloomsbury)

Blurb: In the early twentieth century in Swampsea, seventeen-year-old Briony, who can see the spirits that haunt the marshes around their town, feels responsible for her twin sister’s horrible injury until a young man enters their lives and exposes secrets that even Briony does not know about.

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* Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hodder & Stoughton)

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

* Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Overburdened by his parents’ bickering and a bully’s attacks, fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War, but during a visit to Arizona, his aunt and uncle and their beautiful neighbor, Ginny, help him find a new perspective.

* The Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Well, we did have this one, until it went missing! We can ILL it from another NH library for you.

* The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)

We don’t have this one?! Ashamed to say I haven’t read it yet. I bought it when it first came out. I might’ve even pre-ordered it. Heard lots of good things about it since and yet still haven’t read it! Three NH libraries have this, although the state catalog has an unfortunate cover picture of the ARC and not the nice green cover of the book itself.

* The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books)

We do not have this one. A lot of NH libraries do though.

* Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson (Orchard Books; Carolrhoda Lab)

We do not have this one either. A bunch of other NH libraries do.

I don’t know about you, but now I have more books I need to read.

Have you read any of these nominees? Any you’d recommend to others? Any sf/f books from 2011 that you’re sad didn’t make the list?

Beauty Queens Cover
Me, I’ve been evangelizing for Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, but some don’t see it as science fiction. It totally is! It’s a plane full of beauty pageant contestants who crash land on an island. I’ve been calling it Lord of the Flies with beauty pageant contestants. Only it’s even more awesome than that.

I’ll leave you with a final picture, even though it’s not a nominee.

Remember you can ask us to borrow any of these that we don’t have through interlibrary loan. The rule is it has to be at least 6 months old, but most of these are.

The Nebula Award winners will be announced in May. Also coming up soon, the Hugo Award nominees!

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