Celebrating its 35th year with Showcase 2001, the Nebula Awards anthology series once again offers a fine snapshot of the world of science fiction. Edited by former Nebula Award winner Robert Silverberg, the anthology mixes stories, excerpts, and poetry with essays from speculative fiction notables. Silverberg introduces the collection with a hazy nonexplanation of why works from both 1998 and 1999 are considered for the 1999 Nebula Awards, along with the story of Damon Knight, how SFWA began, and what happened during that first Nebula banquet. |
Of course, the reason for the anthology is the winning stories, and they are on display with nice introductions from Silverberg and a bit from each writer on how the story came to be. Featured stories include Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life" (best novella), Mary A. Turzillo's "Mars Is No Place for Children" (best novelette), Leslie What's "The Cost of Doing Business" (best short story), and an excerpt from Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Talents (best novel). Other stories include two nominees, David Marusek's "The Wedding Album" and Michael Swanwick's "Radiant Doors," as well as 2000 Grand Master Brain W. Aldiss's 1958 story "Judas Danced."
The most notable essay in the Nebula Showcase comes from Gary K. Wolfe, who examines the field of science fiction and publishing from several different angles, although Wolfe's take on SF movies seems to be thrown in as an afterthought. Winding up the anthology is a thoughtful and enlightening excerpt from Author Emeritus 2000 Daniel Keyes's memoir, Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer's Journey, which is about how he wrote Flowers for Algernon, and poetry from Rhysling Award Winners Bruce Boston and Laurel Winter.
For anyone serious about science fiction, the Nebula Awards Showcase 2001 provides an invaluable look at how the professionals view their field.
Source: Kathie Huddleston, Amazon.com.
The Nebula Awards are the Academy Awards of science fiction, the finest works each year in the genre as voted by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.The Nebula Awards anthology series has now reached its thirty-fifth year. This edition contains the complete award-winning texts by Ted Chiang, Mary A. Turzillo, Leslie What, and Octavia E. Butler (an excerpt from her novel The Parable of the Talents); a report on the field ("still inarguably dynamic") by Gary K. Wolfe; runner-up stories by David Marusek and Michael Swanwick; an early story by 2000 Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss; and 2000 Author Emeritus Daniel Keyes's account of how he wrote Flowers for Algernon.In his introduction, editor Robert Silverberg looks back wryly at Damon Knight, the beginnings of SFWA, and the first Nebula banquets.