Thoughts on the Nebula Novelettes

Ballots for the 2012 Nebula Awards were due March 30th.  As a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, I get to vote, which is very cool.  I seldom have time to read all of the nominees, so I tend to focus my voting on the short story and novelette categories.  I did finish reading all of the nominees in both categories in time to cast my ballot, and I posted my thoughts on the short stories earlier, and here are my thoughts on the novelettes.

Unlike the short stories, I found that many of the novelettes weren’t particularly to my liking.  I’m not suggesting these novelettes were inferior per se, they just didn’t appeal to me as a reader (this also happened last year, so maybe it has something to do the novelette form itself; I don’t know).  The nominated novelettes covered a wide range of topics, and some were stylistically interesting.  I must admit, I had a hard time finishing a few of them (but I did finish them all).  Also unlike the short stories, no single novelette jumped out to me as a standout, which made it difficult to decide which story should get my vote.

I did enjoy Catherynne Valente’s “Fade to White,” an interesting exploration of gender roles in an alternate 1950s United States.  I also thought Ken Liu’s “The Waves” was a strong story with a “golden age” feel to it that held my attention throughout.

While all of these novelettes will likely not be your liking, I recommend you check out the novelettes if you haven’t already (links to several can be found here).  If you do read any of them (or have already them), I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

About D. Thomas Minton

Writer of speculative fiction
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