The Nebula Award nominees for best novel are here! This award, presented by the Science Fiction Writers of America, recognizes the best science fiction or fantasy work published in the previous year. Check out the nominees in all categories at the website of the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Started in 1965 by the Science Fiction Writers of America, which became the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., the Nebula Awards are voted on and presented annually by active members. Membership began with 78 writers and has grown to more than 1,500. Awards are given for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year’s award, with Best Script added in 2000. Nominees for the 2015 novel award, which will be presented the second week in May at the annual awards banquet in Chicago, are shown below. In addition to the nominees, previous Nebula Award winners in the novel category are available for checkout.
Have you avoided reading fantasy because it’s “just not your thing”? Ever picked up an interesting book, only to put it down again when you saw the science fiction sticker on the spine? You might be missing out on great stories! Whether your usual read is a classic spy novel, a contemporary work of literature, or a historical adventure, the titles below will have you rethinking your to-be-read pile.
For readers of John LeCarre, Chris Pavone, and other international spy stories:
- City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
For readers of Raymond Chandler, Dennis LeHane, and other gritty, noir and noir-inspired mysteries:
- Storm Front by Jim Butcher
For readers of Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett, and other complex novels of humanity and spirituality:
- The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, and other sharp observers of the role of race:
- Kindred, Octavia Butler
For readers of Patrick O’Brien, Alexander Kent, and other adventures from the golden age of sail:
- His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik
This debut novel centers around a woman born with no hair, her husband who is a prize winning robotics scientist and their autistic son. As the characters work through a set of unusual circumstances, the main character is reminded that her quest for conventional American “normalcy” has eroded away the things that matter most to her. This novel is beautifully written and reveals their story in surprising ways. An extremely engaging book, it ultimately poses the question of whether autism is truly a disorder or an evolution of intellect and adaptation.
Dr. Ransom is a professor on a solitary walking tour of the English countryside, searching for a place to lay his head for the night. Instead, he finds himself drugged, forced onto a space ship and thrust into a cosmic journey with eternal implications.
Ransom’s two captors, each with his own malicious motives, transport him to the planet Malacandra, planning to offer him as a human sacrifice to the planet’s ruler. However, as Ransom escapes and begins to explore Malacandra on his own, he discovers that its creatures are not quite what he or the other humans had imagined. In fact, this world’s beings and their story might illuminate the story of the universe, as well as the dangers facing Ransom’s home planet, earth.
This book is excellent in its own right, and is just the first in C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy. If you love to read about other fictional worlds or that we are part of a much bigger story, this book might just be the summer read you’ve been looking for.
Jason Dessen made a life-altering decision when he chose to forego his research in a cold, sterile lab to marry Daniela, the woman of his dreams, and have a son with her. He gladly pursued a career as an ordinary college physics professor, reveling in the time spent with his family. Before he’s knocked unconscious by a masked abductor one night while walking home, he’s asked, “Are you happy with your life?” Jason gains consciousness in a room where he’s strapped to a gurney and surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. They know him but he doesn’t know them. And, his life is not the one he knows—he’s a renowned genius who has achieved something remarkable but he has no wife and son. Which of these lives is real and how can Jason return to the family he loves? This immensely entertaining book is “for anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.”
Time weaves its way through every genre - fantasy, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, even realistic fiction - taking the reader into new worlds, realms, futures, pasts, and lives! We have some fantastic books about time - ones where the charcaters travel back in time, forward in time to strange and unreal futures, give moments of their lives to another, learn about their ancestry, find romance between decades, and even jump only 15 minutes in their own pasts. So, come, explore, and tunnel through time this summer with these fun picks! (Links open in new window)
Time Travel - From the Present to the Past or Future
Time - Fanatsy and Science Fiction
Romantic Time Travel
Contemplating the Effects of Time
Last week, Goodreads announced the Goodreads Choice Award winners for 2014. These awards–covering everything from Humor to Memoir to Picture Books–reflect the popular vote of the website's 30 million members across 20 different categories. Four hundred books were nominated and 20 were chosen. Have you read them all?
- Fiction: Landline, Rainbow Rowell
- Mystery & Thriller: Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King
- Historical Fiction: All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
- Fantasy: The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness
- Romance: Written In My Own Heart's Blood, Diana Gabaldon
- Science Fiction: The Martian, Andy Weir
Check out the other winners on Goodreads!
For many people, the end of the year is a time to take stock, reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the last twelve months, and make plans for the future. But what kind of future can you plan if you can’t remember your past and your present is full of people who want to kill you?
The Bourne Identity, Robert Ludlum: Jason Bourne is fished out of the sea with a head wound and no memory of his past. His talent for violence suggests that he’s been a very bad man—as do the assassins pursuing him across Europe. With the clock ticking, he must discover what his enemies want from him and answer the question: Who is Jason Bourne?
The Rook, Daniel O'Malley: Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany) Thomas wakes up in a London park surrounded by bodies—and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Following the instructions she left for herself before her memories disappeared, she discovers that she’s a high-ranking member of a mysterious supernatural organization called The Chequy—and one of her colleagues wants her dead.
Fledgling, Octavia Butler: Shori is badly burned and nearly dead, with no memory of how or why she was injured, when she awakens in a cave. After killing and eating a large animal with her bare hands, she makes an unnaturally speedy recovery. Is she human? Or something more? With the help of a stranger she meets on the road, Shori discovers what she is, why she woke up alone—and why she may be the last hope of her species.
Even librarians can be surprised by what’s on the shelf at the library. Earlier this week, I was passing the New Books shelves when a title caught my eye—Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Mercy, the third book in a series that began with the Hugo and Nebula-winning Ancillary Justice. It continues the adventures of the mysterious and vengeful Breq: soldier, ship, rebel, and—in the most recent book of the series—captain. I’m planning to read it on my flight to Albuquerque this weekend (home, incidentally, of the alternate-history author S. M. Stirling, whose most recent novel is also on our new book shelves).
Ancillary Mercy isn’t the only follow-up to a highly regarded debut on our shelves—the hotly anticipated The Invasion of the Tearling continues the story of novice ruler Kelsea Glynn, whose attempts to right the wrongs of her country’s past have put her on a collision course with a powerful and dangerous enemy.
Sound good? That’s just a fraction of the amazing books waiting for you at the library. Rather browse from home? You can find ebook versions of all the titles in this post (and many more!) in our digital downloads collection.