Nebula Awards Showcase 2002 by Kim Stanley Robinson (editor)
List Price: $15.00
Paperback - 304 pages (April 2, 2002)
Roc; ISBN: 0451458788

Review by Ernest Lilley
Check out this book at: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Note: The 2001 Nebula Awards will be announced at the 2002 Nebula Awards® Weekend: Kansas City, Missouri, April 25–28.

You can still make a complete 2x series of the Nebula Awards Showcases by buying the all three books, the 2000, 2001, and 2002. Now that I mention it, I think I'll run out and do it myself. - Ern

Nebula Awards Showcase 2001, The Year's Best SF and Fantasy Chosen by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America -- Robert Silverberg (Editor); Paperback

Nebula Awards Showcase 2000 : The Year's Best SF and Fantasy Chosen by the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers -- Gregory Benford (Editor); Paperback

Nebula Awards Showcase 2002: Here's a classy little trade paperback worth picking up and hanging onto on a yearly basis. Not only does it contain a year's worth of Nebula winners (or the ones that fit in 304 pages, anyway) but there's Philip Jose Farmer's acceptance speech (worth reading) for Grand Master, with Robert Silverberg's essay in appreciation of the same author and Editor David Hartwell's appreciation of Robert Scheckley.

The 2002 showcase reprises the 2000 Nebula Awards. I guess they couldn't very well put "2000" on the cover and expect to sell copies, but if they explain what year the book covers anywhere else, I missed it. Disingenuous, it is. A Good Book though.

  2000 Nebula Winners  
  (SFWA Nebula Page )
Novel: Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio, (Ballantine Del Rey, Sep 1999)

Novella: Linda Nagata, "Goddesses", (Sci Fiction/SciFi.com, July 5, 2000)

Novelette: Walter Jon Williams, "Daddy's World", (Not of Woman Born, Constance Ash, Ed., Roc, Mar 1999)

Short Story: Terry Bisson, "macs", (F&SF, Oct/Nov 1999)
(Reprinted in: In the Upper Room and Other Likely Stories, Tor, May 2000 hb; Jun 2001 pb)

Script: Robert Gordon, David Howard, Galaxy Quest, (Dreamworks, Dec 1999)

Special Awards & Honors

Grand Master: Philip José Farmer

Bradbury Award: Yuri Rasovsky and Harlan Ellison

Author Emeritus: Robert Sheckley

There's an excerpt from Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio, which made me remember what as good book it was and appreciate the fallibility of memory to be able to enjoy it again.

Walter Jon Williams winning novella, "Daddy's World", is part of the cluster of humans uploaded into computers stories (as KSR puts it) which would be giving the game away a bit if you weren't a science fiction reader, but pretty obvious if you are. Williams isn't a fan of the idea of getting stuffed into a simulation, and his story of a child saved in a virtual world makes his case tellingly. More than that though, it raises questions about life outside the box, makes one think...you know?

As does Terry Bisson's "macs", a dark little story about revenge, closure, and the death penalty. Bission is a great short story writer, and though he live up in NYC, it seems to me those southern roots come through in his writing, dark and exotic in a way that's a bit alien to Yankees.

"Goddesses" by Linda Nagata is in here as well, and it's possibly the most terrifying story I've read in a long time, especially in that only its time frame (a little while from now) labels it as science fiction. It's about remediation of waste scarred land, corporate globalization, the contrast of the haves and the have nots, and more importantly, the clash between cultures that we are seeing acted out all over the world.

Beyond the stories there are some essays very much worth reading. Kim Stanely Robinson posed the question often asked of SF pros, about the value and relevance of SF in a world that looks so much like the future, or so little like the future, we've been writing about for all this time, and the answers from Gwyneth Jones, Andy Duncan, Damon Knight, Gene Wolfe, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Ken MacLeod, Paul McAuley, Nalo Hopkinson, and John Clute drive home the importance of the field, its relevance...and its  responsibility.

Then to cap it all off, there's a contribution from Gardner Dozois, probably the most Hugo laden human alive, not as an editor but as a short story writer, which brings the question of real versus virutal back into focus (having started off the volume in William's "Daddy's World") and opening the door to the future wide for us to step through.

 

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu