On February 20th, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the finalists for the 55th Annual Nebula Awards. This year's finalists include a saga of pissed-off intergalactic necromancers; a historical fantasy exploring Mexican folklore; the first installment in a gripping political space saga; and more stories of the extraordinary.
Winners will be announced May 30th during the Nebula Conference in Los Angeles, California. In the meantime, see the full lists of finalists below, including contenders for the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation.
If you haven't explored the year's best in SFF yet, now's the ideal time to get lost in one of these unique stories!
Best Novel Nominees
Marque of Caine
Marque of Caine is the fifth book in the Caine Riordan series, which follows the titular hero's adventures throughout the galaxy. Caine is on a mission to the realm of the Dornaani, where he hopes to rescue his love Elena, the mother of his child.
But as Caine struggles to make the Dornaani appreciate the urgency of his own agenda, he uncovers disconcerting secrets about the future of the Dornaani empire — and the future of Earth.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
This gorgeous turn-of-the-century portal fantasy follows January Scaller, the ward of Mr. Locke, head of the New England Archaeological Society. While her father explores faraway lands, January is left largely alone to explore Mr. Locke's isolated mansion.
Within his rambling home January discovers doors, both literal and figurative, to alternate realities — and a new insight on her own.
A Memory Called Empire
The first book in the Teixcalaan Empire series is already a Library Journal Best Book of 2019, in addition to receiving numerous other accolades. A space opera whodunnit, A Memory Called Empire follows Mahit Dzmare, an ambassador for her home station on an ill-fated mission to the heart of the Teixcalaan Empire.
Once there, Mahit learns her predecessor was murdered. If she fails to discover the truth behind their death, she may doom herself, and her home.
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Gods of Jade and Shadow
Set in 1920s Mexico, this absorbing adult fantasy follows Casiopea Tun, a young woman yearning for a life beyond the domestic drudgery of her grandfather's house and her quiet hometown.
When she finds a mysterious box in her grandfather's home, Casiopea gets what she wishes for — and more. In opening the box, Casiopea unleashes Hun-Kame, the Mayan god of death. Hun Kame will kill Casiopea if she fails to help him recover the power he's lost. But even as Casiopea fears Hun Kame, she finds herself falling for him as well.
Gideon the Ninth
The first book in the Locked Tomb Trilogy, Gideon the Ninth is a totally unique sci-fi tale of life and death, and life after death. The Lady Harrowhark Nonagesimus, heir to the Ninth House, is a necromancer in need of a swordsman. But Gideon, an orphan who has long been trained as a swordsman, is ready to leave her life in the Ninth Ward behind.
Gideon is bitter about accompanying Harrow to Caanan House, where the pair must work together to survive, and to secure Harrow a coveted role as the Emperor's lyctor. Romance, science fiction, horror, and snark combine for an unforgettable reading experience.
A Song for a New Day
A love letter to music and humanity's need for community, A Song for a New Day is set in a near-future period called the After. Public congregations of any kind, including concerts, have been banned in light of international conflict and disease.
That's bad news for Luce, who was rocketing towards rock-and-roll superstardom in the Before. Luce keeps the music alive by performing in illegal concerts. But her secrets are complicated by Rosemary Laws, an online entrepreneur.
Rosemary has made a living in the After on Hoodspace, a virtual reality marketplace where humans can fulfill their desires without leaving to need their actual homes. When Rosemary finds a way to bring the songs of the Before the people of the After, both women are forced to face the music.
See the full list of finalists below!
“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga; Jo Fletcher)
Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, Vylar Kaftan (Tor.com Publishing)
The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
Catfish Lullaby, A.C. Wise (Broken Eye)
“A Strange Uncertain Light”, G.V. Anderson (F&SF 7-8/19)
“For He Can Creep”, Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com 7/10/19)
“His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light”, Mimi Mondal (Tor.com 1/23/19)
“The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 7-8/19)
Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)
“The Archronology of Love”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 4/19)
“Give the Family My Love”, A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld 2/19)
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power”, Karen Osborne (Uncanny 3-4/19)
“And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons 9/9/19)
“Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, Nibedita Sen (Nightmare 5/19)
“A Catalog of Storms”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 1-2/19)
“How the Trick Is Done”, A.C. Wise (Uncanny 7-8/19)
The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez (Disney Hyperion)
Catfishing on CatNet, Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee (Disney Hyperion)
Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, Henry Lien (Holt)
Cog, Greg van Eekhout (Harper)
Riverland, Fran Wilde (Amulet)
Outer Wilds, Kelsey Beachum (Mobius Digital)
The Outer Worlds, Leonard Boyarsky, Megan Starks, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile (Obsidian Entertainment)
The Magician’s Workshop, Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
Disco Elysium, Robert Kurvitz (ZA/UM)
Fate Accessibility Toolkit, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry (Evil Hat Productions)
The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Avengers: Endgame, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Marvel Studios)
Captain Marvel, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Marvel Studios)
Good Omens: “Hard Times”, Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios)
The Mandalorian: “The Child”, Jon Favreau (Disney+)
Russian Doll: “The Way Out”, Allison Silverman and Leslye Headland (Netflix)
Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof (HBO)