Saturday, April 27, 1996

1996 Nebula Award Nominees

Location: Queen Mary, Long Beach, California.

Comments: The Nebula Awards in 1996 were slightly controversial because Robert Charles Wilson's nominated story The Perseids was deleted from the ballot. After the story was placed on the Best Novella ballot is was discovered that the work was not novella length, but was actually a novelette. In this case, removing the story was exactly the correct thing for the SFWA to do. However, the fact that The Perseids got onto the Best Novella final ballot before someone thought to check to see if it qualified as a novella is somewhat troubling. How difficult is it to check the length of a piece of fiction before you put it on the final ballot for a literary award?

On the plus side, this year saw Robert J. Sawyer win a best Novel Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment. I know there are a lot of people who are not entirely impressed with Sawyer's writing, but whether you love him or not, it is clear that he can write novels that win awards. I remember attending a presentation he gave at Dragon*Con in 2011 in which he said that someone had calculated that he is the most honored science fiction novelist in history, which is kind of an interesting bit of trivia.

Best Novel

The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer

Other Nominees:
Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress
Caldé of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe
Celestis by Paul Park
Metropolitan by Walter Jon Williams
Mother of Storms by John Barnes

Best Novella

Last Summer at Mars Hill by Elizabeth Hand

Other Nominees:
Bibi by Mike Resnick and Susan Shwartz
Mortimer Gray's History of Death by Brian Stableford
Soon Comes Night by Gregory Benford
Yaguara by Nicola Griffith
The Perseids by Robert Charles Wilson [nomination deleted]

Best Novelette

Solitude by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other Nominees:
Home for Christmas by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Jesus at the Bat by Esther M. Friesner
The Resurrection Man's Legacy by Dale Bailey
Tea and Hamsters by Michael Coney
Think Like a Dinosaur by James Patrick Kelly
When the Old Gods Die by Mike Resnick

Best Short Story

Death and the Librarian by Esther M. Friesner

Other Nominees:
Alien Jane by Kelley Eskridge
Grass Dancer by Owl Goingback
The Kingdom of Cats and Birds by Geoffrey A. Landis
The Lincoln Train by Maureen F. McHugh
The Narcissus Plague by Lisa Goldstein
Short Timer by Dave Smeds

Go to previous year's nominees: 1995
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1997

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