Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Nebula nominees: or, how far behind are you in your reading this year?

I am this far behind: I have not read ANY of the nominees, even though I own three of them. Here are the nominees:

Novel

  • The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang
  • Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller
  • Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik
  • Witchmark, C.L. Polk
  • Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse

I have every intention of reading Spinning Silver one of these days. Also The Poppy War. The other one I have on my TBR pile so far is Trail of Lightning.

Who knows, maybe the rest of them, but probably not. Can’t even guarantee I’ll get to the ones on my TBR pile; some titles have literally been on the pile for five years at this point. There is no hope of ever getting close to well-read in current titles, and in general I don’t worry about this, but I really am surprised I haven’t read Spinning Silver yet.

Also these novels are up for the Andre Norton award:

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

  • Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time, Roshani Chokshi
  • A Light in the Dark, A.K. DuBoff
  • Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman
  • Dread Nation, Justina Ireland
  • Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, Henry Lien

I haven’t read a single one of those, either. Tess of the Road is the only one I’ve heard of, I think.

Beyond novels, let me see . . . Martha Well’s has another Murderbot novella in the Novella category, so good luck to her. That’s “Artificial Condition,” the one that introduces ART, my favorite non-continuing character. Hopefully we’ll see ART again in the Murderbot novel.

My vote for best title among all the nominees, all categories:

“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”, Alix E. Harrow 

Isn’t that a great title? Came out from Apex, you can read it here if you like, maybe I will do that but I haven’t yet, so I can’t either recommend or dis-recommend it.

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9 Comments Nebula nominees: or, how far behind are you in your reading this year?

  1. Jo in OKC

    Aru Shah and the End of Time is the first book in the Rick Riordan Presents line. So, it got a lot of publicity among Rick Riordan fans.

    Riordan’s written stories mixed with Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Nordic mythology. His “Presents” line has similar stories, but in different cultures/mythologies.

  2. mona

    I had forgotten about Kowal’s Lady Astronaut. I think there was a short story on Tor.com? I know I want to pick this one up, anyhow.

    I enjoyed Spinning Silver immensely. Hope you do too.

  3. Rachel

    Oh, yeah, I read one of Riorden’s books and wasn’t impressed. Probably won’t be interested in tie-ins to that series.

    Surely I will get to Spinning Silver some time this year …

  4. Elaine T

    I keep meaning to get to Spinning Silver as I quite liked Uprooted. Started Witchmark, DNF .
    The Teen read Tess and said ‘all right, glad I read it from the library instead of purchased. ‘
    I know I’ve looked at that Roanhorse title, but it made little impression.
    I must look at Peasprout just for that title.

  5. Kathryn McConaughy

    Spinning Silver was good… although for the first hundred pages the main characters were presented as rather unpleasant people. You really have to pay attention to their actions rather than what they have to say about themselves. Too much POV jumping, but otherwise a good read.
    Kowal’s Lady Astronaut novella is free somewhere. The main character had an engaging voice, so Calculating Stars will probably be worth reading.
    Aru Shah & the End of Time hit pretty much every YA fantasy trope except for romance stuff. It’s… okay. It perpetuates the thing that most annoyed me about Riordan’s series–namely, that the mythological figures have basically American attitudes about the world.

  6. Kim Aippersbach

    I have to rave about Spinning Silver and Tess of the Road: they were possibly my favourite 2018 books (not including novellas, because Murderbot. Also the Sharing Knives novella).

    Tess just won the Cybils award in its category. (Though I know there was some debate about its teen appeal, so I’m interested to hear about Teen’s meh response. It certainly isn’t your typical teen novel.) Both of these novels are very feminist, very empowering books that I would thrust into the hands of as many teen girls as I could.

    I thought both books were far better than their authors’ previous books, and I had really liked those.

  7. Elaine T

    Kim, FWIW, the Teen did not like Hartman’s other work that she tried. I don’t think she even finished it. Hartman just may not be a compatible writer for this reader.

  8. Rachel

    Kim, I liked Uprooted, but less after the fact than while I was reading it. The ending seemed weaker and weaker to me the more I thought about it. So I’m happy to hear you say you thought Spinning Silver was a better book; I’ll hope not to feel the same way about that one.

  9. Elaine T

    I took a re-look at the ending of Uprooted. Given the constraints… especially, the Queen CANNOT be killed.. it seemed like a decent resolution. And it’s not like that constraint came out of nowhere, it was built up to throughout the book.

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