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.
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