I have recently finished reading all the Nebula Award nominees for this year. The Nebula’s always provide some really interest and diverse novels, that I often find myself preferring to the Hugo offerings. Even saying that, this year’s nominees are particularly good.
Here they are, in the order I personally rank them in terms of quality, although there are a lot of tight judgement calls on this list.
Among Others, by Jo Walton
Embassytown, by China Miéville
God’s War, by Kameron Hurley
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, by Genevieve Valentine
The Kingdom of Gods, by N.K. Jemisin
Firebird, by Jack McDevitt
And keep in mind, I really liked Firebird. There are no bad books on this list.
However, Among Others is a transcendent book. It would be an excellent novel if it had been written in any genre, but the way Walton weaves fantasy elements into the everyday life of a young girl is incredible. It feels very personal, almost autobiographical, like you’re getting a snapshot of an adolescence, a coming into maturity. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
The fact that I placed it ahead of a China Mieville book that focused largely on the evolution of language should tell you a lot about how highly I thought of Among Others.