The Nebula award will be announced May 19, 2018, at this year’s Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Since 1965, the Nebula Awards have been given each year for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year’s award. This post is the first in a series of reviews of the nominees for this year’s Nebula award for best novel. The other nominees are Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (which I reviewed for the Philip K. Dick award), and Autonomous by Annalee Newitz.
“He might only be a dockworker’s bastard who would never have a martial education at Wie Lon Temple School or Kaul Dushuron Academy, but at least he was Kekonese all the way through. He had guts and nerve; he had what it took to be somebody. Jade made you somebody.”
Fonda Lee is the much-loved author of a number of fantastic novels, and it’s no wonder that her SFF epic Jade City caught the eye of the Nebula award committee. Jade City is eye-catching indeed, with an exciting premise, a fresh new take on magic, gangsters, politics, family, betrayal, and … mining? The back cover promises more than enough to have this book flying off the shelves – and boy does it deliver!
Literally by page three I was already blown away by Lee’s world building. You can read more about her take on world building in SFF in this interview over on the Barnes & Noble SFF blog, and you should – because she is a master. There were a couple of places where I found I was asking questions about “how things worked,” only to find that she answered them 10-20 pages later. The world she’s created for Jade City is wonderful, inspiring, and I’m truly glad it looks like we’re all going to get at least two more books in which to explore it.