I’ve finished the seven short stories nominated for the Nebula Award (you can find links to all of them here). All of these stories are well-written and interesting, and they cover an impressive range of topics, styles, and emotional impact. I was particularly impressed by the diversity of settings and influences in these nominees: four are distinctly non-western in their characters and/or settings.
While I’ve not made any final decision as to which one will get my Nebula vote just yet, I particularly liked Adam-Troy Castro’s “Her Husband’s Hands” published in Lightspeed Magazine. Mr. Castro has a talent for using speculative elements to dig into the emotional core of his characters (this story is no exception), and I found this one to be haunting and a little disturbing, which I believe are good qualities. Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie” did something similar, using a fantasy trope. I also liked how Nancy Fulda handled autism in “Movement.” This one struck a personal chord for me, because I have a sibling with autism, and Ms. Fulda handled her protagonist’s condition with grace.
If you haven’t read these stories yet, you’re missing out some interesting fiction and fine examples of what speculative can be. Due to their diversity, I suspect not all of them will appeal to you, but all are worthy of your time.