The debate about the Hugo Awards is still going on and reaching ever more ridiculous proportions. If you feel like wading into all that, the tireless Mike Glyer at File 770 offers daily summaries of the latest entries in the debate. And if you’re in need of a laugh, check out “Sad Puppies Review Books” by Alexandra Erin, parody reviews of popular (American) children’s books written Sad Puppy style.
With all the controversy surrounding the Hugos, it’s easy to forget the other important SFF award, which would be a pity, because the winners of the 2014 Nebula Awards have been announced this weekend.
As I said in my Nebula nominations reaction post from February, this year offered a worthy and pleasantly diverse group of Nebula nominees and the winners reflect this.
Jeff Vandermeer wins in the Best Novel category for Annihilation, the first book in his Southern Reach trilogy. It’s certainly a worthy winner, though personally I prefer both Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor (and it’s going to be very hard to decide which one to give the top spot on my Hugo ballot). What is more, Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy very likely lost a Hugo nomination due to puppy shenanigans, so I’m happy to see him win the Nebula.
I loved Ursula Vernon’s “Jackalope Wives”, which won in the short story category, and indeed the story was on my Hugo nomination ballot. Alaya Dawn Johnson took home two well-deserved Nebulas, one in the novelette category as well as the Andre Norton Award for the best YA book. Nancy Kress in the novella category is another worthy winner, though I haven’t read the work in question.
Guardians of the Galaxy won in the dramatic presentation category, proving that at least this year, colourful and fun science fiction won out over dull and earnest entries like Interstellar. But then I feel that Guardians of the Galaxy is really the SFF movie to beat this year, even though puppy shenanigans may have harmed its chances at the Hugo due to several voters having vowed to place all slate nominees (and Guardians was on the puppy slate, because even crying canines occasionally have taste) under “No Award”.
The recipients of the Grand Master and Solstice Awards are all very worthy choices as well, though it’s a pity that Joanna Russ couldn’t receive this honour in her lifetime. I also agree with some of the commenters at File 770 that deserving as Larry Niven is, it would be great to see more Grand Master Awards go to the many great women writers in the genre.