Early in the history of the Nebula Award, the winning novels often corresponded to the Hugo award winning novels. In recent years, this has changed somewhat. The Nebulas — unlike the Hugos — are awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (so, by their peers). Of the NON-Hugo award winning Novels I can only add a few…. Babel-17, Flowers for Algernon, The Einstein Intersection, Man Plus, Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea, and Red Mars. As always, I’m mostly lacking books from the last twenty years and the majority of the fantasy winners (Jeff VanderMeer is really the only recent fantasist which I have wholeheartedly devoured). Unlike the Hugo List, where I’ve read 40/55 winners I’m barely reaching 50% for the Nebulas….
…Again, this is a useful list for those new to the genre!
Again, this is a useful list for those who have some substantial holes (ME) in their collections — maybe I should stop piddling around reading the worst of the famous sci-fi authors of the 60s and read some later classics…
(BOLD= Those I’ve read)
1965 – Dune, Frank Herbert
1966 – (tie) Babel-17, Samuel R. Delany
1966 – (tie) – Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
1967 – The Einstein Intersection, Samuel R. Delany
1968 – Rite of Passage, Alexei Panshin
1969 – The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
1970 – Ringworld, Larry Niven
1971 – A Time of Changes, Robert Silverberg
1972 – The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimoc
1973 – Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
1974 – The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin
1975 – The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
1976 – Man Plus, Frederik Pohl
1977 – Gateway, Frederik Pohl
1978 – Dreamsnake, Vonda McIntyre
1979 – The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke
1980 – Timescape, Gregory Benford
1981 – The Claw of the Conciliator, Gene Wolfe
1982 – No Enemy But Time, Michael Bishop
1983 – Startide Rising, David Brin
1984 – Neuromancer, William Gibson
1985 – Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
1986 – Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
1987 – The Falling Woman, Pat Murphy
1988 – Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold
1989 – The Healer’s War, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
1990 – Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea
1991 – Stations of the Tide, Michael Swanwick
1992 – Doomsday Book, Connie Willis
1993 – Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson
1994 – Moving Mars, Greg Bear
1995 – The Terminal Experiment, Robert J. Sawyer
1996 – Slow River, Nicola Griffith
1997 – The Moon and the Sun, Vonda McIntrye
1998 – Forever Peace, Joe Haldeman
1999 – Parable of the Talents, Octavia E. Butler
2000 – Darwin’s Radio, Greg Bear
2001 – The Quantum Rose, Catherine Asaro
2002 – American Gods, Neil Gaiman
2003 – The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon
2004 – Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold
2005 – Camouflage, Joe Haldeman
2006 – Seeker, Jack McDevit
2007 – The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon
2008 – Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
2009 – The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
Again, as before, suggestions from this list (especially in regards to the best Fantasy entries — I suspect that genre has new material to offer every now and then and it’s just my obstinate character refusing to investigate) are greatly appreciated! The Hugos are definitely more of my domain…
26 thoughts on “Update: The Nebula Award for Best Novel (and the ones I’ve read)”
One of the thing I love the best about the Nebula’s is the diversity of the books that have won. Compare Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, to the Dispossessed or Flowers for Algernon and you have tremendously different books, yet each excellent in their own right.
I actually prefer the Hugo Award (I have a post on them as well)… Perhaps because I’ve read SO many more of the winners;)
I’m not convinced if I like The Gods Themselves….
The Dispossessed is wonderful…. (the Left Hand of Darkness is FAR superior)
And, Flowers for Algernon — read that in 9th grade.
But yes, the variety for both awards is quite broad (including, to my grave dismay, children/young adult books)
But, I’m so glad that Delany has been honored with the Nebula a few times (Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection) since he hasn’t won a Hugo.
I find it interesting that you read Ender’s Game but not the sequel, Speaker of the Dead. Did you like Ender’s? I loved it. The sequel isn’t anything like it, so consequently I was disappointed but I know a lot of people love it.
This is the reason I don’t like Ender’s Game. The article might be a little out there but I have some SERIOUS problems with Orson Scott Card’s depiction of Ender…
(I’m also put off by Card’s poor prose)
This all might be too harsh…. but, I’ve tried to read some of Card’s other works without success.
Definitely read that article!
I enjoy O.S.Card’s blog – http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/ titled Uncle Orson reviews. I particularly liked his latest book, the Pathfinder. Recommend highly: http://wp.me/p7SVH-Z9
Thanks for stopping by! And the suggestions!
However, I dislike Card with a passion not only his ultra-conservatism/unbridled jingoism but his rather paltry prose. I might be unduly harsh but he’s a writer I’ve never been able to stomach — especially Ender’s game.
Pathfinder probably won’t be my cup of tea — I’m not a fan of young adult fantasy….
That was a really interesting article by Kessel. Perhaps it’s because I had a happy childhood that I didn’t find ‘Ender’s Game’ all that great! I certainly didn’t identify with him (though I think I read it in my early- or mid-twenties, so felt rather distant). I’ve not read anything else by Card, having been rather put off by the one novel of his that I have read.
I struggled through Ender’s Game as well… Not only did I not identify with Ender in the least but, as Kessel points out, Card repeatedly vindicating Ender’s brutal nature really really bothered me.
The article is interesting. I did identify with Ender somewhat and I never worried about his personal morality because I saw it all as pre-defined training from the adults at the battle school. They wanted to crush this kid to make him a killer. I felt that the constant reassurances that he was good were never honest, but simply empty words meant to make Ender believe he was in the right and continue down the violent path that they wanted him to go down. Ender is a fairly shallow character and I can totally understand the criticism, but I still feel that it is a quality book despite these flaws.
Doesn’t he kill someone in the very beginning of the book before he’s been conditioned? I read Ender’s Game a good nine or ten years ago so I’ve forgotten quite a bit about the specific plot….
He might, it’s been a long time for me also. I remember him getting into a fight with kids at home, but I don’t remember any outcome or specifics.
Hmm…. I always interpreted him as violent from the beginning — something which they definitely took advantage of in his conditioning. I still think that essay makes a good point — Card still want’s us to think that Ender is innocent despite the fact that he’s committing genocide.
Is Speaker for the Dead better than Ender’s game?
I didn’t think Speaker for the Dead was anywhere near as good as Ender’s Game. It’s completely different though. Ender is like 40 in it and has become this quasi-religious figure searching for a new homeworld for the aliens. I don’t think it’s worth it.
i might read it at some point just to fill in all the gaps of the Hugo Award winners…. (but that’s not any time in the near future). Have you ready any other works by Card?
I used to own quite a few but ditched them all after I read Ender’s Game.
Nope, just Ender’s & Speaker. I haven’t bothered with anything else because I think my time would be better spent elsewhere.
I read a fair number of the Alvin Maker books (which had ups and downs), some of the Ender Cycle and Ender’s Shadow Cycle, bits of the Worthing Saga, and then there was Wyrms….
I enjoyed much of his stuff… particuarly Enders Game (which I will differ from your view on… I quite liked it), but Wyrms was… well… disturbing.
Any book in which ends with a fifteen year old girl having sex with a big grub (or at least really really wanting to) is not really my cup of tea. Were she older, I might not have found the whole concept quite so revolting… but fifteen? WITH A GRUB?
thomas: no wonder my sister’s reaction to Wyrms was so strange… (I never read the book due to my dislike of Ender’s Game)
Will: Have you read any Delany? ‘Nova’ is a great work… The ones he won Nebulas for on this list (The Einstein Intersection and Babel-17) are average…. But ‘Nova’ is a masterpiece. He’s quite literary which I suspect has reduced some of his popularity (doesn’t appeal so much to the 14 year old boys which constitute the bulk of sci-fi audiences in the 60s and 70s — hahaha)
No I haven’t. Sounds good though. I have a lot to catch up with!
I realize the last comment was posted 7 months back, but I just found this site. So far, I really like that you are reviewing older and lesser-known titles. I noticed you haven’t read Gene Wolfe’s The Claw of the Conciliator (on the above list), which is book 2 of his Book of the New Sun quartet. Wolfe is as much a master as Vance (another favorite of mine), though quite different. I highly recommend Wolfe’s work to you, if you get a chance.
Yeah, I haven’t read anything by Wolfe. He’s definitely been on my radar. Thanks for the kind words 🙂 But yes, I prefer works from the late 50s, 60s and early 70s…
Now this is odd… looking at the Hugo List I know most of them but looking here at the Nebula, I see lots of books I don’t even recognise…
Yeah, they are voted on by authors and tend to be the less popular ones….
Gene Wolfe’s “The Fifth Head of Cerberus” was written in the 70s and is truly excellent.Check out the cover of the British edition by Arrow with the evocative Bruce Pennington cover.
Yeah, Wolfe is one of the greats I haven’t read yet — I will, I will, I will. haha