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Nebula Awards 33: The year's best SF and fantasy chosen by the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

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The year's best science fiction and fantasy are showcased in the annual volume honoring Nebula Award prizewinners. The year's best science fiction and fantasy are showcased in the annual volume honoring Nebula Award prizewinners.


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The year's best science fiction and fantasy are showcased in the annual volume honoring Nebula Award prizewinners. The year's best science fiction and fantasy are showcased in the annual volume honoring Nebula Award prizewinners.

30 review for Nebula Awards 33: The year's best SF and fantasy chosen by the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    The whole anthology is excellent, as they always are, but the story that really stuck in my memory is Michael Swanwick's "The Dead", which is possibly one of the best zombie stories ever written. I was discussing the distinction between zombies and ghouls with a co-worker, and a few days later he loaned me this book with that story bookmarked. It has zombies and technology in a bone-chilling dystopic vision: what more could you want? The whole anthology is excellent, as they always are, but the story that really stuck in my memory is Michael Swanwick's "The Dead", which is possibly one of the best zombie stories ever written. I was discussing the distinction between zombies and ghouls with a co-worker, and a few days later he loaned me this book with that story bookmarked. It has zombies and technology in a bone-chilling dystopic vision: what more could you want?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    Good stories all, but they just didn't have anything special (for me). But I thoroughly enjoyed Poul Anderson "The Martyr" This is my first exposure to Anderson and will have to read more of his work. Good stories all, but they just didn't have anything special (for me). But I thoroughly enjoyed Poul Anderson "The Martyr" This is my first exposure to Anderson and will have to read more of his work.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Glen Engel-Cox

    The latest collection of this long-running series that presents the award-winning fiction for the previous year. I’ll comment on the individual stories: Jane Yolen, “Sister Emily’s Lightship” — I’ve never been a Yolen fan. While I find her prose professional enough, I’ve never read anything by her that would make me jump up and rush out to force someone to read it. This story is no exception. The premise of Emily Dickinson meeting an alien is too…precious, and Yolen’s sole contribution to that pr The latest collection of this long-running series that presents the award-winning fiction for the previous year. I’ll comment on the individual stories: Jane Yolen, “Sister Emily’s Lightship” — I’ve never been a Yolen fan. While I find her prose professional enough, I’ve never read anything by her that would make me jump up and rush out to force someone to read it. This story is no exception. The premise of Emily Dickinson meeting an alien is too…precious, and Yolen’s sole contribution to that premise in this story is to emphasize some of the ethereal and otherworldly quality of Dickinson’s poetry, and that doesn’t come until the end. Yeah, she did her Dickinson research, but so what? Other than the alien, there is no reason for this story to be science fiction (see “Abbess Phone Home” in the Turkey City Lexicon). James Patrick Kelly, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” — I read this one last year and commented on it in this space. It was better on the re-reading, using technology of the future to portray a true human characteristic. Vonda McIntyre, excerpt from The Moon and the Sun — As someone who has not read this Nebula-winning novel, the excerpt presented here does exactly what it is supposed to do–whet your appetite for more. I had no idea what the subject of the book was before I read this, now I do, and have had a taste of how it is told. I’m not going to rush out and get it, but I’m much more interested now than I was before. Nancy Kress, “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” — An excellent story with its basis in that most Phil Dick-ian question, “What is reality?” This is the kind of SF that I look for, where aliens help us understand, through them as a metaphor, a fundamental idea of life. That it has a plot, an unique setting, and fascinating characters makes it an award winner. I’m not giving anything away with this one, but just point you to it and say, “go read.” Gregory Feeley, “The Crab Lice” — I disliked the beginning of this story so much that I didn’t even finish it. There was nothing for me to grab onto to orient myself in the story, and life is just too short. Nelson Bond, “The Bookshop” — A nice little classic story, where every writer’s fantasy comes true, but at a price, of course. You could do a collection of these ultimate library tales (Jorge Luis Borges comes to mind). James Alan Gardner, “Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Bloodstream” — Another one that I have written about before. It’s a great story, with some unique twists to alternate history (so much better than the Feeley). Michael Swanwick, “The Dead” — An audacious story, and right up my alley. I liked it well enough, but there was something missing–I’m not sure what, maybe more of an explanation for the Donald character and his background. The anger that it stems from is good. Karen Joy Fowler, “The Elizabeth Complex” — This could have been as bad as the Yolen, yet it works to some extent because of its experimental nature. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of these things, but once was interesting. Jerry Oltion, “Abandon in Place” — Wow, I liked this story a lot, even though it is so ridiculous that it is laughable. One must come at this as if reading a fairy tale–there is nothing plausible here. The science is bogus, the characters are straight wish-fulfillment from Robert A. Heinlein days. But the mythology is strong, and if one has any remorse for the space program whatsoever, there’s a good chance that it will tug the correct strings. Poul Anderson, “The Martyr” — A classic from the latest grand master, a nice little mystery about why those infuriating aliens continue to treat us differently. All in all, this is a worthy volume to grab, especially if you don’t want to dedicate the time to reading the Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best or the magazines themselves.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    "The Nebula Awards series has been lauded as 'a monument of SF literature' and 'an indispensable representation of the genre's best.' This splendid volume continues that tradition of excellence. In addition to presenting the prize-winners and outstanding nominees for this year's [1997] Nebula Awards -- the fiction honors bestowed annually by the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America -- Nebula Awards 33 includes the Rhysling Award winners for best SF poetry; classic stories by Grand Mas "The Nebula Awards series has been lauded as 'a monument of SF literature' and 'an indispensable representation of the genre's best.' This splendid volume continues that tradition of excellence. In addition to presenting the prize-winners and outstanding nominees for this year's [1997] Nebula Awards -- the fiction honors bestowed annually by the Science-fiction and Fantasy Writers of America -- Nebula Awards 33 includes the Rhysling Award winners for best SF poetry; classic stories by Grand Master Poul Anderson and Author Emeritus Nelson Bond; ten original essays; and editor Connie Willis' sparkling commentary. Don't miss this collection." ~~back cover I grabbed this book because I will read absolutely anything Connie Willis has a hand in! And I was a bit disappointed -- most of the stories didn't appeal to me, but were "slog reads." Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream by James Alan Gardner wasn't an engaging read but it all fell into place in the third part. Or, as Connie Willis says "It's an alternate history ... no, it's a parody of ... it's hard science, but not exactly ... it's about biology, politics, religion ... no. it's actually ... well, uncategorizable. And great." The Dead by Michael Swanwick is another uncategorizable story, and a bone chilling one at that. As Connie Willis says "None of the many fascinating futures [in SF] is more frightening than this one. Or more thought provoking. Or more possible," Abandon in Place by Jerry Oltion is an enjoyable story. As Connie Willis says "Over the years, there have been lots of stories about space travel in SF, and stories about strange supernatural happenings, and stories with a 'gee whiz!' sense of wonder, and hard-science 'no nonsense' stories about NASA' space program, and 'soft-science' stories about memory and regret and longing. There have been plots involving trips to the Moon and plot involving ghosts and plots involving NASA. ... But this is the first time they're all been in the same story." the Martyr by Poul Anderson is the final entry, and a fascinating one. You shouldn't miss it. In fact, you probably should at least get this book from the library to read these three, if not the whole book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JT

    Any compilation of award winning/nominated stories is going to contain a significant amount of nattering on by the editor and folks she's invited to say this or that about whatever. This one's got that and some poems too, which is great if you go in for that, and less so if you don't. However, no one is forcing one to read the poems or the essays, so I skipped them. Yeah, so I'm a Philistine. Live with it. As one would expect, the only stories in here that aren't good are ones where a very good a Any compilation of award winning/nominated stories is going to contain a significant amount of nattering on by the editor and folks she's invited to say this or that about whatever. This one's got that and some poems too, which is great if you go in for that, and less so if you don't. However, no one is forcing one to read the poems or the essays, so I skipped them. Yeah, so I'm a Philistine. Live with it. As one would expect, the only stories in here that aren't good are ones where a very good author decided to stunt write. I'm looking at you, Karen Joy Fowler. "The Elizabeth Complex" is a nifty piece of experimental writing that will make lovers of P.K. Dick grin. Leaves me flat, but I do appreciate what she was trying to do. Other than that, the rest are excellent, with the following particularly good (in descending order): Jerry Oltion, "Abandon in Place" - Had me grinning like a fool with tears running down my face. This should be required reading in every science class for 4th grade on up. Poul AndersonPoul Anderson, "The Martyr" - Fantastic story with a real kick in the gut at the end. James Alan Gardner, "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream" - Surprisingly, this is exactly what it says on the tin, and much more fascinating for all of that.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mind Bird

    Really really disappointing. I checked this out of the library the same day as the "Eclipse One" SF anthology, and they are night and day. Except for one story by Nancy Kress and an old goodie by Nelson Bond, I found myself barely able to get involved enough in a story to finish reading it. Maybe the McIntyre piece is good, but it is an excerpt from a novel, and I will probably read her novel later anyway. "The Dead" is about the undead, and it's passable but its plot been done so much better el Really really disappointing. I checked this out of the library the same day as the "Eclipse One" SF anthology, and they are night and day. Except for one story by Nancy Kress and an old goodie by Nelson Bond, I found myself barely able to get involved enough in a story to finish reading it. Maybe the McIntyre piece is good, but it is an excerpt from a novel, and I will probably read her novel later anyway. "The Dead" is about the undead, and it's passable but its plot been done so much better elsewhere. The editor seems to be fascinated with science fiction about history---a story about Emily Dickinson, another mess about several Elizabeths of history, one about snakes in the blood that reads with the liveliness of a Vatican law journal, one that is unconscionably long about the ghosts of NASA. The problem is that they are truly boring stories. I have never read a worse SF collection.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    I don't know why I ever get away from reading SF anthologies, because they never fail to blow me away. (On second thought, I think I might have drifted away from them because I liked them so much, it frustrated me to wait a year between editions, once I'd caught up on all the past editions I could get my hands on) This one was jam-packed full of awesome stories from some of the best authors of the genre any genre. The editor is a favourite author of mine, as well. Best, and most impactful, story o I don't know why I ever get away from reading SF anthologies, because they never fail to blow me away. (On second thought, I think I might have drifted away from them because I liked them so much, it frustrated me to wait a year between editions, once I'd caught up on all the past editions I could get my hands on) This one was jam-packed full of awesome stories from some of the best authors of the genre any genre. The editor is a favourite author of mine, as well. Best, and most impactful, story of this edition had to be Poul Anderson's The Martyr, which ended in one of those classic "ohhhh snap!" moments for the human race. Definitely recommended for anyone who loves sci-fi, or is curious about it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I picked this up because I figured any collection curated by Connie Willis would be good, because the lineup was half women writers, and because I wanted ideas about what I could read next to expand my sci-fi literacy. Nebula Awards 33 did not disappoint.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Interesting and enjoyable - almost all of them

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Liked many of the stories. Commentary interesting too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The only story that really grabbed me was "The Elizabeth Complex" by Karen Joy Fowler. The rest of the collection left me bored. (Sorry, Connie Willis! It's not you, it's me!) The only story that really grabbed me was "The Elizabeth Complex" by Karen Joy Fowler. The rest of the collection left me bored. (Sorry, Connie Willis! It's not you, it's me!)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    7

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    There are some excellent stories in this volume, which makes me want to find the others and read them as well.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue Davis

    "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream," James Alan Gardner: one of my favorites. "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream," James Alan Gardner: one of my favorites.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Not all the stories were great. I just liked: Sister Emily's Lightship Itsy Bitsy Spider The Moon & the Sun Spotting UFOs While Canning Tomatos Not all the stories were great. I just liked: Sister Emily's Lightship Itsy Bitsy Spider The Moon & the Sun Spotting UFOs While Canning Tomatos

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Antoniewicz

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sande

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yashvir Dalaya

  23. 5 out of 5

    René Beaulieu

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  27. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barry Myers

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rex

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brett

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