Friday, February 15, 2008

Nebula Awards 2007 - novellas: Brief summaries & my rankings

List below is based on the results of preliminary ballot, final ballot, & the official winners announcement. Some remarks on peculiar Nebula conventions are in the opening paras of my post of Nebula 2007 short stories.

My rating in brackets (ABC: A = worth your time; C = don't bother). Where I have posted a separate review of the entry, link on story title takes you there.

Story list (5 stories, best first).

While I don't find any of these exceptional, I prefer Kiosk to all others. I don't really have specific preferences among next three entries & could have ordered them differently. Hughes' entry is more package than content. Last one - the jury nominee - is hopeless.
  1. [final, prelim] Bruce Sterling's "Kiosk" (B); download; F&SF, January 2007; science fiction: Consumers win a fight to get material copying machines legalized - after a violent revolution.
  2. [final, prelim] Gene Wolfe's "Memorare" (B); download; F&SF, April 2007; science fiction: Kind-of please-everyone novella about raiders of human tombs in space, & their makers who don't want the tombs of their dear ones raided.
  3. [winner, final, prelim] Nancy Kress' "Fountain of Age" (B); download; Asimov's, July 2007; science fiction: An old man cannot get over love of his youth.
  4. [final, prelim] Lucius Shepard's "Stars Seen Through Stone" (B); download; F&SF, July 2007; fantasy: A cocktail of - a small music label owner nurtures a talented but maladjusted musician, a romance, & evil waves that harvest human creativity. It's a good story, except for incomprehensible waves part.
  5. [final, prelim] Matt Hughes' "The Helper and His Hero" (C); download; F&SF, February/March 2007; fantasy: The great no-content story. Great language, beautiful imagery, epic scope - only weak point is the story. It has evil aliens that can survive imprisonment in a "gravitational cyst(?)" through geological ages to come bug humans again, medieval society, chants that summon magical powers, mystical places called "Commons", ... Summarizing this story is not easy. If you prefer package to content, you may like this story.
  6. [final] Judith Berman's "Awakening" (C); download; Black Gate, #10 (Spring 2007); fantasy: Ghosts, sorcery, swords, etc. Note that this was not on the list of preliminary ballot (I think they call it jury nominee).


  1. 2007 Nebula Awards short stories, novelettes.
  2. 2008 Hugo Awards novellas.