The Los Angeles Times coverage of this year’s Nebula Awards® begins with two suggested tweets:
Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ takes best novel at the Nebula Awards
There’s a fungus among us! Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ wins a Nebula
Perhaps a little background is in order. First off, the Nebula Awards® have been described as “science fiction’s most important award” (Laura Miller, Salon Reader’s Guide) and “the Oscars of the SF/F field” (Locus Magazine). They have been given annually since 1966 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States during the previous year. This year, at the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation took home the big prize. (As for the fungus tweet, check out the LA Times review of Annihilation.)
The LA Times also notes that Vandermeer’s publisher is “known for literary fiction, not science fiction.” And indeed, so far as we can tell, this is the first Nebula Award for an FSG author. In fairness, they are only fifty years in. And it’s not as if FSG has never had a finalist—check Hild just on last year’s list. Nonetheless, we’re thrilled that the Originals have brought FSG to this milestone.
Meanwhile, unable to attend the ceremony in-person, VanderMeer’s good friend Usman Tanveer Malik accepted the award on his behalf, reading one heck of a speech…
If I have anything else left to say—beyond cursing the fates at having a scheduling conflict the year Nick Offerman hosted the Nebulas—it would just be this…It’s an encouraging sign that Liu Cixin’s novel made the ballot this year, and I hope it’s the start of a trend. I’m uncomfortably aware of the fact that for a lot of international writers US- and UK-based awards seem distant and inaccessible. The more that writers from outside of the Usual Places feel like their work is being seriously considered, the more we build a broader and more diverse community. The more we enrich our own work as well.
If I had to confess to influences on the Southern Reach trilogy, they would come from all over the world, and from amazing writers who published stunning novels and stories in English but who never even made a Nebula ballot. In accepting this award, I must also accept that I am only as good as the sum of that diverse reading. So I dedicate this win to those writers and to their legacy.