2010 Nebula Awards & Picks of Best Heroic Fantasy

I don’t normally pay attention to various awards, except in a tangential way, but I did take note of last year’s nominees for the Nebula Awards, which are given out by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.  They’ve been presenting these awards in various categories since 1965, which just happens to be when I was born, not that this has anything to do with my post. :)

Anyway, they do also have some other awards, one of which is the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, which we’ve discussed here in the past, is one of the nominees.  I really don’t recognize any of the other books, except for one, that it’s up against, so I’m curious if anyone else is familiar with some of the books and what chances you think Mockingjay has of winning.  Personally I thought Mockingjay the weakest book in Collins’ trilogy, but I think it has good chances of winning.

I also have to admit that aside from Mockingjay, I haven’t read any of the other works in the various award categories.  There are several I’ve got on my Amazon wish list but haven’t picked up yet.  Any that you all recognize or have read?

In similar vein, here’s a list of what one person thought were the best heroic fantasy novels of 2010.  Again, I only recognize two on this list, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson & The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, both of which are on my wish list.  So, see if you can recognize any on this list.

One final question, what sort of attention do you give to various book or movie awards?  Do they make you more likely to give a work a try, less likely, or do they not make a difference to you at all?  Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “2010 Nebula Awards & Picks of Best Heroic Fantasy

  1. I’m not much into book awards. That’s because the short-lists for the ones I read about – the Pulitzer (US), the Man Booker (British Commonwealth), the Giller (Canada), and the Nobel (international), invariably consist of books I have either never heard about or have not read. I think this is because I’m not much into “serious” fiction, being more of a “genre” reader. Which having said, I don’t take genre awards (such as the Nebula, the Hugo, the Crime Writers Association) very seriously either.

    I have tried to read some winners of the “serious” awards, but don’t usually enjoy them much. I think the problem is that I’ve become a lazy reader, not willing to stray out of my comfort zone, and not willing to put much effort into a new book unless there’s a certain pay off.

    I”m much more adventurous with movies, however, and will eagerly see a movie whose reviews appeal to me, regardless of whether I recognize the names of cast or the director. Hence my enjoyment this year of Winter’s Bone. And I do look forward to the Oscars and try to prepare each year by seeing as many of the nominees as possible ahead of time. This is my best year in a long time: I’ve seen six of the ten nominees for best pictures.

  2. I usually have a look at the Nebulas and the Hugos, there’s always something I like to read in them, maybe because I am more into science fiction than into fantasy. On the Andre Norton list, I have only read “Mockingjay”, but I have heard good things about both “Behemoth” and “Shipbreaker”.

    As for the Nebulas, I am currently reading one of the nominees, “Blackout” by Connie Willis. And I definitely plan to read “Echo” by Jack McDevitt, but there are two more books in the Alex Benedict series I’ll have to read before that one.

    Among the short stories, I have read “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro and “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno” by Vylar Kaftan. Several of the other titles are currently on my TBR.

  3. Dune won the Hugo and Nebula awards and I love that book. I saw the cover of a sci-fi novel in a shop that said it had won the Hugo and Nebula awards. I thought “Yay! a book as good as Dune” in my naive way… Boy was I disappointed.

  4. I love Connie Willis, but was very disappointed in Blackout and All Clear–repititious, dragging, bloated, and the characters stock and dimensionless. There was a good story in there and it should have been highly trimmed and contained in one novel. A friend who also loves Willis agreed. I wouldn’t have nominated either of these. I’ll be interested to see what you think, Minerva.

    Although I agree that Mockingjay was the weakest book and also overkill (pun intended), I do think it deserved its nom.

    Awards and noms aren’t my criteria for book or film selection, although I pay more attention to that with films. But voting is so skewed, what with “sentimental” awards, or “life achievement” (gotta give him one before he croaks) awards, and trendy preference. Often I think others should have won. So it’s odd to be in sync this year with The King’s Speech.

  5. Quick, Korg, set up a poll for us to vote for best picture for the Academy awards. I say quick because the ceremony is on Sunday night.

  6. Arabella, I am only a bit more than halfway through “Blackout” right now, so my final judgment is still uncertain. For now, I would say it started rather slow, but I like the characters (especially Eileen/Merope and the horrible Hodbins – what does that say about me? :-)) and Willis’s writing is just good. I am generally not that much interested in WWII, but she keeps me reading, which is a good sign. The “problem” with Connie Willis and awards is that she always gets a nomination and quite often wins.

    I don’t know whom I would like to win this year since I haven’t read the other nominees in the novel category. N. K. Jemisin is supposed to be an interesting new writer, but I have never heard of M.K. Hobson or Nnedi Okorafor. As I have already said, I love Jack McDevitt, especially his Alex Benedict novels, some kind of space opera/mystery which I have discovered only recently.

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