2017 Nebula Novelette Nominees

SFWA Nebula Awards

This week we’re shaking up our usual format, and taking on the Nebula nominees in the Novelette category — those of them available online, anyway.

So we’ll be discussing:

We’ll also discuss “Red in Tooth and Cog,” by Cat Rambo, which was nominated for a Nebula, but fell between the cracks of the wordcount categories (and ultimately judged in the short story category, at 7,070 words).

What do you think of this batch of Nebula nominees? Which make you squee, and which make you snark? Join the discussion in the comments!

8 thoughts on “2017 Nebula Novelette Nominees”

    1. Cool!

      The Pinsker story I’ve been saving for last; she’s one of my favorites.

      Could you tell a bit of what you liked about “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”? We discussed that quite recently, but we didn’t have anybody who really cottoned to it. It’d be great to hear from one of the many that did 🙂

  1. My favourite is probably one of “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” and “Red in Tooth and Cog” which have extremely different tones but both look at our future relationship with technology. Blood Grains is quite a bravura piece, I think – there’s quite a lot of worldbuilding to get over while presenting an (initially) pretty unsympathetic character. RiTaC is much gentler and eases you in. Interestingly given the Nebula length issue, they both felt about the same length to me, despite Blood Grains actually being much longer. I think that’s mostly because RiTaC packs quite a lot in.

  2. In Pinsker’s “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into The Sea,” I’m intrigued by the “Inside the Music” asides.

    Are these Gabby’s internal monologue; dreams of future glory? This seems reasonable. In the penultimate of these snippets, Gabby says “There is no you anymore. No reality television, no celebrity gossip, no music industry. Only an echo playing itself out on the ships and in the heads of those of us who can’t quite let it go.” And they all start with the same “Tell us what happened” opening.

    That would make the final snippet kind of self-mocking, brutally self-aware. There’s no future fame; when she says “People seem to like my new stuff”, there’s no “people” except for Bay. There’s joy in that — a signal of a new future, of reconciliation and contentment in her new life.

    But if, in any way whatsoever, these snippets are interpreted as returning to civilization and mass media… that makes them really weird. They would be brutally undercutting the story’s central thrust and romance; signalling that the relationship Gabby and Bay find here is temporary, and Gabby’s going to end up elsewhere, spreading bullshit on the airwaves. I don’t think this is the intention — but if it is, the story turns cynical and vicious. Those asides are so minor you hardly think of them, but they’re capable of completely changing the story’s significance. I find that extremely intriguing…

  3. It’s interesting to me how “The Orangery” uses Apollo as its villain.

    When we’re talking about a whole forest full of trees, each representing a victim of rape, there’s something strange to me in the implication that “Oh, but half of these are all due to just this one guy.”

    I’m not sure whether Apollo is meant to feel here like an individual, like one monster victimizing all these women, or if instead he’s more of an archetype — representing victimizers, serving as their avatar.

  4. I’ve commented previously on “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories.” I’ll spotlight one particular reaction to it:

    There’s something that really bugs me about the grains being so blatantly evil, uncaring, incapable of compromise or sense of proportion, and practically every anchor but Frere-Jones being fine with that. When you’re *that* restrictive and constraining, and *that* overwhelmingly powerful, people are going to chafe.

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