Saturday, June 24, 2006

Possible Embarrassment, Pt. 2: The Nebulas

No one pointed and laughed the first time, so here comes round two: the Nebulas. I intend to do this at least one more time, for the World Fantasy Awards, and I might continue on to do the more specialized -- or maybe I mean "minor" -- awards as well. That all depends, of course, on how few of the WFA winners I've managed to read so far.

In case you missed the Hugo Edition, below is a list of winning novels (in this case of the Nebula Award), which I've annotated to see how many of them I've read (and, occasionally, about other things as well). I did the first one because Scott Lynch had just bragged about finishing reading all of the Hugo-winners, so blame him.

Anyway, these are your Nebula Award-winning novels:
  • 2005 Camouflage by Joe Haldeman
    No; Ellen Asher and I seem to be unofficially alternating reading Joe's books for the SFBC, and this one was her turn. Maybe someday.
  • 2004 Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • 2003 The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
  • 2002 American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • 2001 The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro
  • 2000 Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
  • 1999 Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
  • 1998 Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
    Yes. (It was my turn that year.)
  • 1997 The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre
  • 1996 Slow River by Nicola Griffith
    Yes. This is the best science fiction novel about sewage treatment I've ever read. Hell, it's the best novel of any genre about sewage treatment, I bet. And Griffith is now yet another writer who's left SF for The Dark Side (mysteries), like John D. MacDonald and Donald Westlake.
  • 1995 The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer
    No. Sawyer's another writer whom I only seem to manage to read every other book of his, though I usually enjoy the ones I do hit.
  • 1994 Moving Mars by Greg Bear
  • 1993 Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 1992 Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • 1991 Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick
  • 1990 Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • 1989 The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
  • 1988 Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • 1987 The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy
    No, but I have a copy, and I've been meaning to read it for about ten years now.
  • 1986 Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • 1985 Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
    No (see comments on Hugo list)
  • 1984 Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • 1983 Startide Rising by David Brin
  • 1982 No Enemy But Time by Michael Bishop
  • 1981 The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe
  • 1980 Timescape by Gregory Benford
  • 1979 The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
  • 1978 Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre
  • 1977 Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  • 1976 Man Plus by Frederik Pohl
    Yes. In fact, I read it nearly half a dozen times in the early '80s, because I kept picking it up in my library after having forgotten I'd read it before. I'm not sure if that's exactly a recommendation, but I did like it every time.
  • 1975 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  • 1974 The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
    No. I know I should, but it's just not a book I have any great interest in reading.
  • 1973 Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
  • 1972 The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
    No; though I did try once and probably will try again, one day.
  • 1971 A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg
    I don't think so, but I've read a lot of Silverbob novels, and I sometimes forget which one is which.
  • 1970 Ringworld by Larry Niven
    No. Oddly, I have read the last two "Ringworld" novels, but not the first one.
  • 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • 1968 Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin
    Yes. One of the short list of "Great Heinlein juveniles not written by Heinlein" (along with John Barnes' Orbital Resonance, Steven Gould's Jumper, and a few others).
  • 1967 The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany
    Yes. I can't claim to have completely understood it, but I did read every word.
  • 1966 (tie) Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
  • 1966 (tie) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • 1965 Dune by Frank Herbert
I've read 23 of 42: just a little more than half. Oddly, I've read all of the winners from even-numbered years for the past two decades, but mostly not the books from odd-numbered years. I have no explanation for this, but it's a fun pattern. To hit every even-numbered year, I'd have to read Babel-17, Ringworld, The Gods Themselves, The Dispossessed, Timescape, No Enemy But Time and Speaker for the Dead. If Dispossessed wasn't in there, I'd probably do it...


Kendall said...

In the Hugo post, you said you'd read Ringworld; here you say (more than once) that you haven't, so the Hugo post seems to need a tweak.

I highly recommend Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers! (I couldn't get into the next one or two, and gave up on the series....)

Anonymous said...

I read Ringworld a while back, knowing going in that it was a Hugo winner. The characters did almost nothing for me. Everything else was great. It was a weird experience. ("Hooray! More general exposition!")

Robert Hutchinson said...

That was me. Crazy form fill-in.

James Nicoll said...

If I recall a comment I just googled that Griffith made after I mentioned she'd left SF for the dark side, she had an unrevised SF MS sitting around and had just thought of an idea for a fantasy novel, so there's hope we might get her back.

That was about a year ago.

If only the mystery market wasn't over ten times the size of SF (exclusive of fantasy). It's not so
much that I don't like mysteries -- I do (My preference goes SF -> mystery -> fantasy -> [...] -> books where sharpened spikes leap out of the pages and into my forehead -> self-congratulatory alternate history novels). It's just that I wish there was a lot more SF to read.

Andrew Wheeler said...

I've checked what passes for records here at Castello di Hornswoggler, and I have not read Ringworld. I'll now have to restate the previous year's financial statements...

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