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Nebula Awards 32: SFWA’s Choices for the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year

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Works by Nicola Griffith, Elizabeth Hand, Jonathan Lethem, Jack Vance, and many others grace this volume of “the closest thing SF has to a literary yearbook” (Locus).


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Works by Nicola Griffith, Elizabeth Hand, Jonathan Lethem, Jack Vance, and many others grace this volume of “the closest thing SF has to a literary yearbook” (Locus).

30 review for Nebula Awards 32: SFWA’s Choices for the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thom

    Think of this volume as a rather thick magazine. It has articles, awards, and short stories. The last is the best part, though I did enjoy reading about Science Fiction Films of 1996. Jack Dann acted as editor, and I wonder if he influenced the choice of Time Travel stories (my favorite genre) for this volume. Unfortunately Jack Dann's story "DaVinci Rising" is the one I liked least. Most impactful was the very short "A Birthday" by Esther Friesner. Will keep an eye out for more by her. This sligh Think of this volume as a rather thick magazine. It has articles, awards, and short stories. The last is the best part, though I did enjoy reading about Science Fiction Films of 1996. Jack Dann acted as editor, and I wonder if he influenced the choice of Time Travel stories (my favorite genre) for this volume. Unfortunately Jack Dann's story "DaVinci Rising" is the one I liked least. Most impactful was the very short "A Birthday" by Esther Friesner. Will keep an eye out for more by her. This slightly dog-eared book has been riding around in my car since February, and I am glad to replace it with another short story collection for the summer.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Casebolt

    This anthology of the 32nd Nebula Awards winners is overall a strong collection of some of the best scifi and fantasy of 1996. Leaving aside various non-fiction essays and poetry, I summarize the story contents as follows: MUST AND SHALL, Harry Turtledove. Louisiana, 1942. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Suppression hunt for Nazi weapons smuggled into the occupied provinces of the Old Confederacy. Turtledove is best in short form, where his weakness in character and dialogue don't have room to de This anthology of the 32nd Nebula Awards winners is overall a strong collection of some of the best scifi and fantasy of 1996. Leaving aside various non-fiction essays and poetry, I summarize the story contents as follows: MUST AND SHALL, Harry Turtledove. Louisiana, 1942. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Suppression hunt for Nazi weapons smuggled into the occupied provinces of the Old Confederacy. Turtledove is best in short form, where his weakness in character and dialogue don't have room to derail his highly imaginative and entertaining plotting of alternate history. IN THE SHADE OF THE SLOWBOAT MAN, Dean Wesley Smith. An ageless vampiress confronts the mortality of her human partner. Short, sweet, and sad, this was a surprisingly moving meditation on love and loss. DA VINCI RISING, Jack Dann. Leonardo da Vinci becomes increasingly obsessed with his theoretical flying machine, igniting a chain of unpredictable consequences. This was an interesting idea too thin for a full novella, and which spent too much time in da Vinci's inner dialogue. A BIRTHDAY, Esther M. Friesner. A woman struggles to cope in a world where a compromise has been struck: abortion is fully legalized, but not without consequence. Deeply personal and powerful, this story profoundly moved me, and will likely stay with me for some time. THE CHRONOLOGY PROTECTION CASE, Paul Levinson. The universe would unravel from paradox if time travel could be achieved, and getting too close can be costly. This is a fairly straightforward police procedural with a clever twist, and likely a one-time read for me. THE MEN RETURN, Jack Vance. Life finds a way, if you want to call it life, when causality no longer exists. Vance's world of effect without cause is wildly exotic and terrifying, and well worth a visit to this blasted landscape where only the irrational can truly thrive. YAGUARA, Nicola Griffith. A deeply private photographer awakens to her sexuality and to life in the mystical jungles of Belize. The concept of ancient Mayan jaguar cults thriving in the modern age is interesting enough, but I found the execution a bit too lengthy and the theme of unleashing the wildness within a little too on the nose. It was also a more sexualized story than I prefer, prude that I am. FIVE *****, Jonathan Lethem. A man and a woman are drawn to each other irresistibly and catastrophically. Again, being the prude that I am, I find the vulgarity of the title an unfortunate heading for a weird and wild and completely unique ride. Sex is never consequence-free, but I don't think I've ever seen consequences laid out in such an insane or entertaining way. LIFEBOAT ON A BURNING SEA, Bruce Holland Rogers. Immortality through technology can take many faces, but so can mortality; and splitting the difference can be devastating. The ideas here are evocative and thought-provoking, but the story that develops from them fell short for me. I'd like to see more roads explored along this otherwise intriguing line.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    Nonfiction from 1996 seems really dated now; most sf does not. Weird.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne Nowselski

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Lestina

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  8. 4 out of 5

    Madkropotkin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ann Hartenstein

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Marsh

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Alkire

  14. 5 out of 5

    Casey Lynn

  15. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  17. 4 out of 5

    Remy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Antoniewicz

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Frank Ashe

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rex

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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