I finished the last of the Nebula-nominated novellas over the weekend, just in time to get my ballot in before the voting deadline. I finished the short stories last week and posted my thoughts on them earlier.
Unlike previous years, I enjoyed the novelettes better than the short stories this year. Not surprisingly, Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars” was very good, mixing some high-concept science fiction with a personal story of family. I also enjoyed Henry Lien’s “The Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters,” an amusing story of figure skating and kung fu told from the delightful perspective of an “ungrateful daughter.” The other stories were also strong, but I was disappointed with “They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass.” The first two-thirds of this story were spellbinding—impressive world-building, interesting characters, and an intriguing plot—but I thought the story fell apart with an ending that answered none of my questions, saw no real character development, and thus felt anti-climactic.
The Nebula Award winners will be announce on May 17th. If you haven’t read them yet, I recommend you do. While not every story with appeal to everyone, you’re sure to find something you like.