Steve’s Reviews of Nebula Award Winners - Novels

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In 2003, I made a personal project to read every single Hugo award winning novel.    As part of that project, I realized that in some cases I was also reading Nebula Award winners.

The Nebula Awards are given by Science Fiction Authors and are frequently different from the Hugos which the fans award.

You can read my short reviews of the Hugo winners on this page.

 I am also reading and reviewing the P. K. Dick Award winners on this page.

I have started reading the World Fantasy Novel Award winners on this page

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Sixties

1965 - Dune

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1966 - Flowers for Algernon by Keyes

A classic tragedy, but re-reading it makes me wonder if it is really sci-fi.

 

Babel-17 by Delany

An interesting espionage plot that revolves around linguistics.

 

1967 - Einstein Intersection by Delany

An attempt to render the Orpheus myth kinda falls flat because the aliens aren't explained or described much.

 

1968 - Rite of Passage by Panshin

Right on the cusp of when Sci-Fi was half juvenile and half serious.  A coming of age story with an interesting twist.

 

1969 - Left Hand of Darkness

My favorite LeGuin novel, I like it even better than Dispossessed.

 

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Seventies

1970 - Ringworld

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1971 - Time of Changes by Silverberg

Very odd sociological discussion about identity and acceptable use of language.  Unusually soft for Silverberg, I much prefer StarDancer.

 

1972 - The Gods Themselves

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1973 - Rendezvous with Rama

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1974 - Dispossessed

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1975 - Forever War 

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1976 - Man Plus by Pohl 

The first real investigation of what a cyborg might be like, with a clever plot twist at the end

 

1977 - Gateway

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1978 - Dreamsnake by McIntyre

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1979 - Fountains of Paradise

See my review on the Hugo page

 

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Eighties

1980 - Timescape by Benford

Dreadful little romance comparing the 1960's to the 1980's.  Because it was written in the 70's it got dated really fast.

 

1981 - Claw of the Conciliator by Wolfe

Post apocalyptic fantasy, this is the middle novel of a set, so it is a little disjointed.  Fun read.

 

1982 - No Enemy but Time by Bishop

Strange, but readable tale about a time traveler with a fetish for proto-humans

 

1983 - Startide Rising

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1984 - Neuromancer 

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1985 - Enders Game 

1986 - Speaker for the Dead 

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1987 - Falling Woman by Murphy

Fantasy-ish novel set in Pre-Columbian Meso-america, kind of slow and seems to be more based on WS Burroughs than real history.

 

1988 - Falling Free by Bujold

Yet another space opera in the same universe as Vor Game and Barrayar.  This time a woman character isn't interesting enough to support the whole book.

 

1989 - Healer's War by Scarborough

Who let this person write?  Yet another viet nam guilt throwback.

 

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Nineties

1990 - Tehanu: last book of Earthsea by LeGuin

Longwinded and unusually bitter feminism from this author.  Much less interesting than the Last Wind.

 

1991 - Stations of the Tide by Swanwick

A tight little detective story that mixes up technology and magic very nicely.

 

1992 - Doomsday Book

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1993 - Red Mars by Robinson

I was surprised at how much I liked this book.  It had a little bit of sketchy science, but it was an interesting story about colonizing Mars.

 

1994 - Moving Mars by Bear

Sci-fi writers shouldn't write political drama, espeically if they don't understand the technology involved.

 

1995 - Terminal Experiment by Sawyer

A sad attempt to copy Crighton's psuedo-sci-fi.  Worst of all it ends on a cliff hanger and there was no sequel.

 

1996 - Slow River by Griffith

A puzzling attempt at lesbian cyberpunk, however the piercing stories in "On Our Backs" have better hardware and better lesbians.

 

1997 - Moon and the Sun by McIntyre

I didn't think Vonda McIntyre could write a book that I found completely boring, she proved me wrong.  An attempt at alternate history that falls flat on it's over-rich depiction of pre-revolutionary France.

 

1998 - Forever Peace

See my review on the Hugo page

 

1999 - Parable of Talents by Butler

The book contains the most hate filled descriptions of white evangelists I have ever read, and not much else.

 

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2k and Beyond

2000 - Darwin's Radio by Bear

A strange novel in the near future where a kind of super-ebola virus erupts all over the world.  It was gripping most of the time, but there were some needlessly soap-opera-ish subplots.

 

2001 - Quantum Rose by Asaro

Not a sci-fi book at all, but a romance with a few sci-fi props.  This wasn't even written as well as a Harlequin romance.

 

2002 - American Gods by Gaiman

See my review on the Hugo page

 

2003 - Speed of Dark by Moon

A dreadful little attempt to rewrite the classic "Flowers for Algernon".  More than 1/2 the book passes before even the slightest bit of science appears.  This isn't sci-fi, and it doesn't belong on this list.

 

2004 - Paladin of Soul

See my review on the Hugo page

 

2005 - Camouflage - Haldeman

I originally thought this was a Hugo winner, but it is actually a Nebula winner.  Tedious, really really tedious, especially for Haldeman

 

2006 - Seeker - McDevitt

A really good mystery novel set in the far future.

 

2007 - Yiddish Policemen's Union - Chabon

See my review on the Hugo age

 

2008 - Powers - LeGuin

Yet again, she rants.  This time she unsuccessfully tries to prove that slavery is bad.  Another sad decline for this author.

 

2009 – Windup Girl – Bacigalupi

See my review on the Nebula page.

 

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