The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the nominees for the 52nd Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book in a press release Feb. 20.
“The Nebula Awards recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America,” according to the press release. “The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.”
The awards will be presented in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center during a ceremony May 19.
I’ll give you a brief preview of each novel finalist. You can check out the rest of the nominees in the other five categories here.
Here’s the breakdown of the seven finalists in the Novel category.
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor, 416 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut.
- The Stats: Amberlough has 75 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (91%), 4 star (8%), and 3 star (1%).
- First Line: “At the beginning of the workweek, most of Amberlough’s salaryfolk crawled reluctantly from their bed — or someone else’s — and let the trolleys tow them, hungover and half asleep, to their office.”
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (Saga, 417 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture … a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes. But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.
- The Stats: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter has 135 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (55%), 4 star (27%), 3 star (9%), 2 star (6%), and 1 star (3%).
- First Line: “Mary Jekyll stared down at her mother’s coffin.”
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory (Knopf; riverrun; 416 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind—Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.
- The Stats: Spoonbenders has 161 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (54%), 4 star (31%), 3 star (8%), 2 star (4%), and 1 star (3%).
- First Line: “Matty Telemachus left his body for the first time in the summer of 1995, when he was fourteen years old.”
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK; 464 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.
- The Stats: The Stone Sky has 250 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (82%), 4 star (7%), 3 star (7%), 2 star (2%), and 1 star (2%).
- First Line: “Time grows short, my love.”
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (Orbit US, 400 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: On a spaceship far from earth, someone is murdering the crew. And the crew’s newly awakened clones will have to find their killer — before he strikes again! Maria Arena awakens in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. She has no memory of how she died. This is new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died. Maria’s vat is one of seven, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it can awaken. And Maria isn’t the only one to die recently.
- The Stats: Six Wakes has 149 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (57%), 4 star (28%), 3 star (8%), 2 star (5%), and 1 star (2%).
- First Line: “It is unlawful to create more than one clone of a person at a time.”
Jade City by Fonda Lee (Orbit US; Orbit UK; 512 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: Lee explodes onto the adult fantasy scene with Jade City, an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kungfu, set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.
- The Stats: Jade City has 52 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (56%), 4 star (34%), 3 star (6%), and 2 star (4%).
- First Line: “The two would-be jade thieves sweated in the kitchen of the Twice Lucky restaurant.”
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK 2018; 298 pages)
- Amazon Teaser: Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane. Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand. And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?
- The Stats: Autonomous has 126 reviews on Amazon. 5 star (48%), 4 star (17%), 3 star (13%), 2 star (13%), and 1 star (9%).
- First Line: “The student wouldn’t stop doing her homework, and it was going to kill her.”
There you have it. The seven novel finalists. Good luck to the authors. If you’ve read any of the nominated books, let me know what you thought about them in the comments below.
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