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:

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* 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.

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* 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!

Hugo Awards Logo

I told you about this year’s Tiptree Award Winners and the Nebula Award Nominees. So it would be remiss of me if I didn’t also mention the Hugo Awards.

The Hugo Awards are nominated and voted on by attendees and supporters of WorldCon, the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. Though this does say ‘world’, most of the works tend to be in English. There are tons of categories for this award, and I’m not going to cover them all. Or even most of them. You can find the full list here.

(Links below go to the Aquabrowser page for the book. So you can find more information about it and place a hold on it if it sounds good!)

The nominees for best novel are:

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Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

Time travel. British history. What’s not the like? Is it only in the science fiction and fantasy field that it’s acceptable to take one novel and break it into two or more separate books?

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Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

The latest in the Miles Vorkosigan saga. If you don’t know what space opera is, this is it!

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The Dervish House by Ian McDonald

I’ve got nothin’, sorry!

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Feed by Mira Grant

Not to be confused with Feed by M.T. Anderson.

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

Have you read this one yet? It may sound familiar! Since it appeared on both the Nebula Nominees and the Tiptree Honor List.

Under the short fiction categories, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine garnered 5 nominations for stories it published. If you’d like to read those, we have the entire year’s worth of back issues.

The nominated movies (Best Dramatic Presentation, long form) are:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
How to Train Your Dragon
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Toy Story 3

I have not seen “Inception”, but I highly recommend all of the others.

Doctor Who Series 5 DVD Cover

For Best Dramatic Presentation, short form, Doctor Who episodes got 3 of the 5 nominations. If you’re not watching Doctor Who, why aren’t you?

You may have noticed a lot more links in this post to books in our catalog than were present in my Tiptree or Nebula posts. (Some of them are even available as downloads from Overdrive!) I have to say the reason I believe this is is that works that get selected for library shelves across the country (and other English-speaking countries) are the ones the WorldCon attending public are most likely to have heard of and read, because they were on those library shelves. In a very real sense, the Hugo awards are a popularity contest. Not that the novels nominated aren’t great books. But other, better books, may get overlooked because they didn’t receive the right marketing or the right reviews. So they didn’t get purchased in quantity by bookstores or by libraries. So the Hugo voters didn’t know about them, not in enough numbers for that novel to get on the ballot.

Who will win? We won’t know until August 20th! My prediction is either Connie Willis or Lois McMaster Bujold. But we’ll see!

A jar of Tiptree chutney

The James Tiptree, Jr Award winner was announced recently. This award is given annually to science fiction and fantasy works that ‘expand and explore our understanding of gender’. It’s supported by a yearly auction at Wiscon and by bakesales at numerous other conventions.

This is a juried award. Each year, the jury is made up of different people. And each year, that jury can decide exactly how they want to run things. Most years, there’s been a winner (or two winners), a short list, and a long list. Generally the long list are works that may not be science fiction or fantasy, or may not say too much new about gender, but the jury really liked them and they sort of fit the Tiptree Award mission.

If I have included a link below, it’s either a link to the book/dvd in the Nashua Public Library collection, or a link to where you can read/listen to the story online.

The winner this year is Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic.

Translated from the Croatian, it shows that the Tiptree Award jurors are never afraid to give an award to something not originally written in English. Last year’s winner included a manga, Let the Right One In made the honor list, and then went on to be made into two movies. (Låt den rätte komma in and Let Me In).

I borrowed Baba Yaga Laid an Egg through interlibrary loan. You can too! I have to say, at first I didn’t understand why it won the award. It read a bit like chick lit. But then it got a little stranger. And then it got really strange. Definitely feminist. And if you like Baba Yaga or want to know scads more about her, this is the book to read.

The short list, or ‘honor list’ as it’s called this year, is:

The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum (Orbit 2010)

I have not read this, but it’s available through interlibrary loan. Maybe I’ll request it right now!

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit 2010)

NPL owns this and the sequel and I highly recommend it! It’s also been nominated for a Nebula, as per my previous blog post.

“Diana Comet and the Disappearing Lover” (Read Part 1 and Part 2 Online) by Sandra McDonald (published as “Diana Comet,” Strange Horizons, March 2 & March 9, 2009)

You can also find it in her collection Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories. Which I just finished and I love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any New Hampshire libraries own it!

“Drag Queen Astronaut” (Read it Online) by Sandra McDonald (Crossed Genres issue 24, November 2010)

I don’t believe this is in her collection. I need to go read this!

The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms by Helen Merrick (Aqueduct Press 2009)

This is nonfiction and not available at any New Hampshire library. I own it and need to read more of it. Good stuff.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW 2010)

One of those books I keep meaning to read! Available through interlibrary loan.

Living with Ghosts by Kari Sperring (DAW 2009)

I know nothing about this one. It’s showing as having been at a New Hampshire library at some point, but possibly no longer. :(

The Colony by Jillian Weise (Soft Skull Press 2010)

I know nothing about this one either. Two NH libraries have it, so you can request it through interlibrary loan.

The following works made this year’s ‘long list’:

Beth Bernobich, Passion Play (Tor 2010) [1 NH library has!]

Stevie Carroll, “The Monitors” (in Echoes of Possibilities, edited by Aleksandr Volnov, Noble Romance Publishing 2010)

Roxane Gay, “Things I Know About Fairy Tales” (Necessary Fiction, May 13, 2009)

Frances Hardinge, Gullstruck Island (MacMillan 2009)

Julia Holmes, Meeks (Small Beer Press 2010) [Small Beer Press is out of Massachusetts. They’re awesome. Available at 2 NH libraries.]

Malinda Lo, Ash (Little, Brown 2009) [She has another book out called Huntress.]

Alissa Nutting, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls (Starcherone Books 2010)

Helen Oyeyemi, White Is for Witching (Doubleday 2009)

Rachel Swirsky, “Eros, Philia, Agape” (Read it Online or Listen to the Podcast) (, March 3, 2009)

To get a quick idea of what the award is all about, you can read one of the Tiptree anthologies. 1, 2, and 3. These contain short stories, essays, and excerpts from novels that have won. Again, I highly recommend them. They are awesome.

Helix Nebula

The Nebula Award nominees were announced not that long ago. The Nebula Awards are given out by SFWA, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. This means it’s an award nominated and voted on by professional sf/f writers and editors, and others in the industry who are qualified to join SFWA.

The Full List of Nominees is Here

Notable this year is a fairly good representation of women writers and writers of color. Also notable to me is that I have friends and acquaintances on this list! Including a Clarion classmate of mine.

Did you know there are a lot of science fiction and fantasy magazines online? I don’t mean just as ebooks, although there are a number of those. Here’s some of them that have stories nominated this year. You can read them for free! – Yes, by the same company as Tor Books, but they publish new short fiction here.

Lightspeed Magazine – This magazine is actually new this year! So it’s pretty amazing it has two stories on the ballot.

Apex Magazine

The big print magazines also make an appearance. Asimov’s, Analog, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Realms of Fantasy. No love for Weird Tales this year.

The Nashua Public Library has copies of Asimov’s going back to February 2009. You can check out back issues, or read the current one in the Stearns Room.

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The nominees in the novel category are:

* The Native Star, M.K. Hobson
* The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin
* Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
* Echo, Jack McDevitt
* Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor
* Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis

As you can see from the links, we have three of the books in our catalog. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms has a sequel, The Broken Kingdoms. Blackout is available as an ebook from Overdrive. If you’re wondering why it says Blackout/All Clear, it’s because it’s really one novel, just broken up into two volumes. Rather like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one movie broken up into two movies. Not quite the same thing as a sequel.

I haven’t read Shades of Milk and Honey, but I do remember it, because they were giving away scented fans at Readercon. I’m used to seeing bookmarks, postcards, little buttons, but I’d never seen a fan before. So it was really eyecatching and memorable.

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

* Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi
* White Cat, Holly Black
* Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
* Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, Barry Deutsch
* The Boy from Ilysies, Pearl North
* I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
* A Conspiracy of Kings, Megan Whalen Turner
* Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld

Again, the links go to it in our catalog, so you can see if it’s checked in and where to find it. Or place a hold on it if it’s checked out.

White Cat has a sequel coming out next month called Red Glove. And you should totally read it. Mockingjay is third in a series. And you should also totally read that! Behemoth is second in a series. I’m less enthusiastic about that one, to be honest. I haven’t read any of the others in the list, but I’m sure they’re good too.

Of the novels, I’m rooting for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and I think Mockingjay is a shoe-in.

What are your picks?