The Nebula Award finalists for 2010 have been announced by SFWA (the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). Presented in several categories, from novel to short forms, The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. The novel finalists are:
- The Native Star, M.K. Hobson (Spectra)
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)
- Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
- Echo, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
- Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
- Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)
Of the six books in the novel category, two---Who Fears Death and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms---appeared on Amazon’s SF/F top 10. Who Fears Death has, in particular, been one of the most talked about SF/Fantasy releases from 2010. For finalist Nnedi Okorafor, the nomination is just another step in an ongoing and unpredictable journey that started with a book signing on the Michigan State campus. During the event, she was verbally attacked by African academics for addressing issues of female circumcision in a science fiction setting.
“Since then," Okorafor told me, "I’ve had plenty of Africans attack me via email and snail mail for the same thing [but] even more Africans have applauded me for writing ‘African science fiction’ and addressing such volatile issues. Nigerians of the Diaspora continue to let me know how interesting it is to read fantasy/sf based in mythology and cultures specifically germinated and grown in ‘Naija’ (slang for Nigeria). I’ve had feminists both applaud and condemn the way I handled the circumcision scene [in the novel]. I had one guy email me in a fit of rage because something happened to a character that he really loved. I read a wonderfully glowing review of Who Fears Death written by a '30-something white American male' who usually typically preferred '30-something white American male stuff.' I recently learned that male prisoners have been 'devouring' my novels, including Who Fears Death…Considering the plethora of reactions to the novel I’ve encountered, all so strong and passionate, I think did something right.”
As for the short fiction categories, a trend toward more representation from online magazines was blunted somewhat this year, with publications like Realms of Fantasy, Analog, Asimov’s SF Magazine, and The Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy earning nods. However, the new online magazine Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams, had two nominations, including "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno" by Vylar Kaftan. Kaftan, who is helping organize FOGCon next month, describes "I’m Alive…" as "a love story about two people who just can't get in sync…Add to that the time adjustments caused by nearly-light-speed travel, and they've got a lot of problems." Kaftan’s story was the first chosen for publication by Lightspeed.