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Nebula Awards 32: SFWA's Choices for the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Paperback – April 17, 1998

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The annual Nebula Awards anthology has been a tradition since 1965, when Damon Knight edited the first in the line, Nebula Award Stories. The anthologies are a collection of the year's best SF&F stories, as selected by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. As the title suggests, the stories are taken from the winners and nominees of SFWA's annual Nebula Awards, the only awards given by SF professionals to their peers. 1998's anthology includes nine short stories, nine essays on the current state of SF by authors such as Lucius Shepherd, Norman Spinrad, and Elizabeth Hand, a survey of 1996 SF films, a short feature on SFWA grandmaster Jack Vance, the winners of the 1996 Rhysling Award for best SF poetry, and several appendices explaining what SFWA is and what the Nebulas are. The stories are the focus here and every one is worth the price of admission, but those interested in the SF field will find that the various essays make for some enlightening and entertaining reading as well. --Craig Engler

From Kirkus Reviews

paper 0-15-600552-2 The 1996 awards, as voted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Esther M. Friesner (``A Birthday'') carried off the Best Short Story Award for the second year running; Bruce Holland Rogers captured the Best Novella Award with ``Lifeboat on a Burning Sea''; and editor Dann's ``Da Vinci Rising,'' a spinoff from his alternate-world novel The Memory Cathedral (1995), claimed Best Novelette. Best Novel winner Nicola Griffith (Slow River) is represented by her 1995 novella finalist, ``Yaguara.'' Finalists Harry Turtledove, Dean Wesley Smith, Paul Levinson, and Jonathan Lethem also appear, as do Rhysling Award (poetry) winners Marge Simon and Bruce Boston. ``The Men Return'' represents Grand Master winner Jack Vance, while Robert Silverberg and Terry Dowling sing his praises. Bill Warren heroically watched all the year's movies. Also, nonfictionally, Lucius Shepard gloomily records the death of literary science fiction; Norman Spinrad gets hissy about authors who rent out their creations (``evil stuff''); and Elizabeth Hand growls that fiction itself has become ``a barrio of the entertainment industry.'' Keith Ferrell tracks sf via the Web; Robert Frazier recites sf poetry; Ian Watson keeps a stiff British upper lip; and cobbers Terry Dowling and Sean McMullan do Australia. Read. Enjoy. Just don't mention ``franchising'' if Norman Spinrad's within earshot. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Nebula Awards Showcase
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (April 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005524
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,097,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael F Phebus on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The fiction is wonderful, from the breezy if forgettable "DaVinci Rising" to the earthy, cerebral yet wrenching "A Birthday", the writing is still as good as Science Fiction ever was, which is to say it's pretty terrific. But please, enter more fiction and cut out some essays! If I want essays, I'll hunt them down at a library (I doubt that I'd spend a great deal of money to read this many of them). The point of sci-fi is to read the stories. Some background on the authors and the stories is useful and enjoyable, and the balance is difficult to find, but this volume leaves you aching for more stories, which isn't altogether a bad thing (and may be the intent). Once you're there, though, don't miss the stories. Would you believe a near-future story on abortion that pulls no punches yet leaves you wondering just where the author is coming from? How about an alternate history that makes you believe that a Balkanized America was not only possible, but likely? How about a "protective" universe that kills those that get too close to the truth? You gotta buy this book, you'll like it a lot -- despite all the non-fiction, not because of it, because the fiction is that good. You'll wonder why you don't read more of this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read several of the previous Nebula Awards compendiums, I expected nothing less than 350 pages of excellent sci-fi. While many of the pieces in this book were excellent (Silverberg's comes to mind) some of the essays also seemed somewhat pendantic and overly emphasized in the volume (it seemed that there were as many essays as short stories). If you haven't read a Nebula Awards book before, I suggest buying a previous volume. Even so, #32 was good enough to merit me purchasing it after borrowing it from a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Duncan on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every reader - and I guess every writer - has some blind spots, and I guess this book may be one of mine. I just don't think "32" was a good year for science fiction. Most of the stories seem average at best. Nothing is particularly distinguished in this book. I enjoyed the essays in most Nebula Awards annual books and even the essays in this one don't seem all that thoughtful. (Writers complaining and whining and groaning...etc.) Of course some years are better than others and this seems like one of those down years. Suggest the reader try other years first before getting this collection.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Floyd on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a great fan of anthologies and science fiction short stories generally.
That said, I am sad to say that this book disappointed me more than any other book in recent memory. There was no discernable evidence of science in any of these science fiction stories. In most there was very little evidence of a story line.
Probably the best description of my opinion is that I gave this book away before my wife could read it so she wouldn't know what I had bought.
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