May 26, 2020

Review: The Nebula Awards Showcase 2013

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It’s the dream of many a science fiction author.

The Nebula Awards are one of the biggest recognitions in the world of science fiction. Every year, the Nebulas honor the very best in sci-fi novels, novellas, short stories and poetry.

This week, we take a look at the best of the best in the Nebula Awards Showcase 2013, edited by Catherine Asaro and out from Pyr Books. Whether your interest leans toward the fantastical, or harkens back to the hard “rockets & rayguns” of science fiction past, the 2013 compilation brings it all together for you in one tome.

This year ‘round, you’ll find the collected works of such ascending sci-fi stars as Connie Willis, Delia Sherman, Katherine Sparrow and more. I always like these snapshot roundups, as it invariably points me towards some new hip author or hidden gem that I might’ve missed in the past year. Some of these tales have made their way to our attention previously via other markets, such as the Drabblcast and EscapePod podcasts.

Some of our faves from the 2013 collection include;

Sauerkraut Station by Ferrett Steinmetz: Featuring the only producer of the classic side dish for light years around. This tale melds the life and times of a family caught in the middle of interstellar conflict. Who knew that sauerkraut would be a potent tool in galactic politics?

The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman: A miracle lurks in the scorched city of Glory to God. But even in such an alien realm, human habits die hard. Perhaps the moral of the story in this parable is never let your sibling play with the last example of a (soon to be) extinct species.

The Migratory Pattern of Dancers by Katherine Sparrow: What happens when you splice human genes with avian ones? A fantastic migration results, as the urge to return “back to Capistrano” finds a new host. The touching tale of migrating primates.

This is but a small sampling of the fantastical tales that await the speculative fiction reader. There’s also a handy list of past Nebula winners and alumni included in the back of the novel.

Where is the future of science fiction headed? Will sci-fi poetry ever break into the “mainstream”? Will exposition give way to artful prose? The answers to these questions and many more may be found upon examination in the best that science fiction has to offer. The literature of sci-fi has always been “where-it’s at” as the cutting edge of the genre is light years ahead of what’s making it out into the mainstream via movies and television. There’s even an example of “hypertext fiction” in the 2013 Nebula Awards Showcase called The Axiom of Choice by David W. Goldman. Hypertext fic is “reader interactive,” giving the reader choices and consequences based on those decisions. To our knowledge, this is the first of its kind to be placed in the running for a Nebula…

Do pick up a copy of the Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 for a look at the best in science fiction. And to the rest of scifi writer-dom, there’s always 2014…


  1. [...] new names as well. This is also our 3rd year covering the compilation, as fans will remember our 2013 and 2012 reviews of the Nebula Awards Showcase [...]

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