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…
In a world of short attention spans and instant updates it’s remarkable when you come across something on the internet that stays with you, sitting in your brain, waiting to be digested. But that’s the specialty of FSG Originals author Robin Sloan.
“The Counselor” is a piece of fiction he wrote for the “Intelligence & Autonomy” project, hosted by “the think/do tank” Data & Society. Initially intended exclusively for the participants of the “I&A” forum, who gathered to (hang on, it’s a mouthful) “identify the core set of challenges that consistently arise in deploying intelligent systems regardless of arena,” it has now been published by Vice’s Motherboard.
At least as we read it, the story does just what Data & Society was after: It grabs onto a fantasy, mixes it with a strong taste of reality, and lets your imagination do the rest. Hungry for more, we tracked Sloan down on the World Wide Web to ask him a few questions about the project…
In celebration of GUTSHOT’s first week on bookshelves everywhere here’s a glimpse of some of the passionate praise it’s already inspired.
Buzzfeed Books editor-at-large Isaac Fitzgerald managed to pack his love for GUTSHOT into six powerful seconds (which you’ve at least partially experienced by now—unmute at your own risk), while NPR Books wrote one beautiful literary love letter…
The following essay is included in John Freeman’s How to Read a Novelist and reproduced here, in its entirety, in honor of the late Günter Grass, who died in the German city of Lübeck on April 13, 2015.