Friday, February 22, 2008

Interesting Nebula Observation 

Locus Online's version of the final Nebula ballot is now posted (and integrated into the SF Awards index, at least insofar as the Nominee Indexes are concerned), and I couldn't help but noticing a significant fact: that, despite the rolling 2-year eligibility rule for Nebula nominations, almost all of this year's final ballot consists of books and stories published last year, 2007, with only a very few leftovers from 2006. I checked, and the proportion of recent to leftover eligibles has never been higher than on this year's ballot.

Don't know that that means anything...; certainly the disconnect between nominees and the favorites of the various Locus Recommended Reading List is just as wide. I'm not *quite* as cynical as CNB about the Nebula nominating process (see February's editorial), but the facts, er, the nominations, speak for themselves.
I think the reason is fairly simple -- it's tied to the "nomination drive" late in the process. People noticed that embarrasingly few stories had received the requisite 10 recommendations to make the preliminary ballot, so there was a last minute push for people to rec stories. But of course stories can only be recommended in the 12 month period following their publication -- so only 2007 stories (and some late 2006 stories) benefited.

I've already made my view of the nominations clear -- while the stories on the ballot are almost all decent, they aren't for the most part the BEST stories of the last year (or two). The problem isn't so much the stories nominated -- none of them are bad -- it is the really outstanding stories that aren't on the list.

Rich Horton
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king under the dome

doctorow makers

banks transition

kress steal sky

atwood year flood

roberts yellow blue tibia

wilson julian comstock

 ness ask and answer

collins catching fire

collins hunger games

sawyer flashforward

baker hotel

disch proteus

tan tales

mazzucchelli asterios

zebrowski empties

morrow shambling

hamilton cpt future

beckett genesis

meller evo rx


kurzweil transcend

sawyer wake

ness knife never letting go

barzak love we share

mcewan cement garden

holland sci-fi art

gladwell outliers

bittman food matters

baggini what's it all about

Still in progress:

ross rest is noise

aldiss billion year spree

pollan omnivore's dilemma

Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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