Archives for category: Prose

Okorafor's book is among those being considered for this year's Best Novel Nebula Award.

The Oscars and Grammys may be over, but those of us invested in seeing our favorite art and artists win the recognition they deserve can still look forward to this year’s various literary award ceremonies. Among those ceremonies is the Nebula Awards, which along with the Hugos are some of the most important to be given to works of science-fiction, fantasy and speculative literature.

The Nebulas have been awarded each year since 1965 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, an organization of authors who’ve published genre fiction in the form of novels, short stories, screenplays and more. The first novel to receive a Nebula? Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Nominees for the 2010 Nebula Awards were announced in an official press release on Feb. 22, and voting officially closed Wednesday. While there are outstanding nominations in six different categories – short story, novelette, novella, novel, dramatic presentation and young adult – here are the novels you might want to check out before the winners are announced on May 21:

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson is a fantasy work with zombies, warlocks and steampunk technology set in Reconstruction-era America.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin is the first book in a trilogy about a young woman who must compete with her cousins’ political machinations for control of her violent homeland.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal might find fans among devoted readers of Austen. Set in an alternative Regency era, Kowal’s book involves a young woman seeking magical tutelage from a Byronic older gentleman.

Echo by Jack McDevitt is actually the fifth entry in a sci-fi series about an investigation into the truth of Earth’s past and future. Sort of Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes meets spaceships.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is truly a work of speculative fiction, with elements of fantasy and the supernatural combining to buttress a coming-of-age story set in post-apocalyptic Africa.

Blackout and All Clear are two novels by Connie Willis published back-to-back, but considered one long work. They follow three historians from 2060 Oxford who travel back in time to study World War II. Of course they are trapped there and must then find their way back home.

All six best novel nominees may be found in local book stores, on Amazon.com and in ebook format. And if you’re going to be in Washington, D.C. from May 19-22, you might consider dropping in on Nebula Awards Weekend to find out which novel will pick up the prize.

-Mairuru

On Christmas, my brother handed me a pretty sizeable box. I unwrapped it to find more boxes and even more taped surfaces. “Oh no,” I said out loud, conscious of what I was in for. I tore the gift down anyway, layer by layer, one empty box after another, to finally get to a glass penguin no bigger than my thumb. I placed it upright on my palm and looked at it, and that’s when I discovered the secret to being cute:

You have to be tiny.

Everything seems more adorable miniaturized. Babies’ toes are just delightful. The adult version is, well, not so much. Ferocious creatures like lions, bears and dinosaurs are endearing when we imagine them to be just three inches high. Even the tiny robots in Transformers drew a couple of “aww”s from the audience (despite the fact that they were shooting at people).

Likewise, in writing, there seems to be a growing interest in shorter and shorter stories. We’ve always had novels, novellas, and short stories; we’re even able to compress our thoughts into pieces of flash fiction. But today, the expansion of the internet has allowed writers to have more control over their weblogs and web magazines, to make their pieces more widely read, reviving an interest in extremely short stories that would take web-surfers only a few hundred seconds to finish. Mostly known as micro-fiction (or tiny stories, tiny fiction, little stories, very short stories, and possibly even extremely-ultrally-superduperly-mega-short-stories) these pieces are usually just a couple hundred words, and they are definitely just delightful. Read the rest of this entry »

An unprecedented thirteen of the twenty finalists for the 2010 National Book Awards are women, according to author Pat Conroy’s Wednesday, October 13 announcement for the National Book Foundation.

For Fiction, these finalists are Jaimy Gordon for Lord of Misrule, Nicole Krauss for Great House, Lionel Shriver for So Much for That, and Karen Tel Yamashita for I Hotel. Jonathan Franzen’s latest critically acclaimed and bestselling novel Freedom was not the fifth finalist in this category; that honor is instead Peter Carey’s, for Parrot and Olivier in America. Read the rest of this entry »

Howard Jacobson won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel The Finkler Question, according to the press release issued by the Man Booker Prizes official website.

One of the joys of living across the pond is that we get to learn off the Booker recipient during the day instead of waiting until the late hours of the night when the winner is announced during a formal dinner banquet in honor of the six authors whose books were shortlisted for the prize.

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