Saturday, April 26, 1986

1986 Nebula Award Nominees

Location: Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, California.

Comments: 1986 was the year that Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card's one really good book, won the Nebula Award. Which is kind of a shame, because the book beat out some other great works including Bear's Blood Music, and Sterling's Schismatrix. The problem isn't that Ender's Game is an undeserving winner, the problem is that Card has had an extended career based primarily on the strength of this one book, and the rest of his career has been a pale shadow of it. And yet he still gets published. Without Ender's Game, Card's career likely would have been much shorter, and this might have paved the way for a better and less homophobic author to get a break.

One story that I have always had questions about is The Gods of Mars by Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick. Multiple author collaborations are fairly common, but The Gods of Mars is a short story, so one wonders why it needed three authors to write it, or how they managed to fit all their contributions into such a short tale.

Best Novel

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Other Nominees:
Blood Music by Greg Bear
Dinner at Deviant's Palace by Tim Powers
Helliconia Winter by Brian W. Aldiss
The Postman by David Brin
The Remaking of Sigmund Freud by Barry N. Malzberg
Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling

Best Novella

Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg

Other Nominees:
24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai by Roger Zelazny
The Gorgon Field by Kate Wilhelm
Green Days in Brunei by Bruce Sterling
Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Only Neat Thing to Do by James Tiptree, Jr.

Best Novelette

Portraits of His Children by George R.R. Martin

Other Nominees:
Dogfight by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson
The Fringe by Orson Scott Card (reviewed in The Folk of the Fringe)
A Gift from the GrayLanders by Michael Bishop
The Jaguar Hunter by Lucius Shepard
Paladin of the Lost Hour by Harlan Ellison
Rockabye Baby by S.C. Sykes

Best Short Story

Out of All Them Bright Stars by Nancy Kress

Other Nominees:
Flying Saucer Rock & Roll by Howard Waldrop
The Gods of Mars by Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick
Heirs of the Perisphere by Howard Waldrop
Hong's Bluff by William F. Wu
More Than the Sum of His Parts by Joe Haldeman
Paper Dragons by James P. Blaylock
Snow by John Crowley

Go to previous year's nominees: 1985
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1987

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