Thoughtful Thursday: The 2018 Nebula Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 54th Annual Nebula conference (May 16-19) will be held in Los Angeles, and the 2018 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Today let’s talk about the finalists for Best Novelette and Best Short Story. We’ll talk about other categories in future columns.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories:


“An Agent of Utopia” by Andy Duncan , Small Beer PressThe Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander, publishing“The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections" by Tina Connolly,“The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births” by José Pablo Iriarte , Lightspeed“The Rule of Three” by Lawrence M. Schoen, Future SF Digest“Messenger” by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne & R.R. Virdi, LMBPN Publishing


“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" by P. Djèlí Clark , Fireside Magazine“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies“The Court Magician" by Sarah Pinsker, Lightspeed“Interview for the End of the World” by Rhett C. Bruno, Aethon Books“Going Dark” by Richard Fox, Bayonet Books “And Yet” by A. T. Greenblatt, Uncanny

Which stories have you read? Who do you predict will win? Who do you want to win?

Give us your thoughts and predictions in the comments. One random commenter with a USA mailing address will win a book from our stacks.

Good luck to all the finalists!

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MARION DEEDS, with us since March 2011, is retired from a 35-year career with county government, where she met enough interesting characters and heard enough zany stories to inspire at least two trilogies’ worth of fantasy fiction. Currently she spends part of her time working at a local used bookstore. She is an aspiring writer herself and, in the 1990s, had short fiction published in small magazines like Night Terrors, Aberrations, and in the cross-genre anthology The Magic Within. On her blog Deeds & Words, she reviews many types of books and follows developments in food policy and other topics.

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  1. Noneofyourbusiness /

    I’ve heard a lot of good around “The Only Harmless Great Thing”.

  2. Sethia /

    Unfortunately I haven’t read any of these this year.😭

  3. Lady Morar /

    “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” has a great title!

  4. Peter /

    I haven’t read any of these :0( I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but there are some INSANE looking covers right there!

  5. The Distinguished Professor /

    We picked up an issue of Fireside Magazine at the last World Fantasy Convention.

  6. I’ve been working my way through these lists for my Nebula post! Thank you very much for posting the links to ALL of them!!!

  7. Mary Henaghen /

    I am hoping “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” in Apex wins, especially that Apex is going on hiatus. Hopefully a win’s publicity will help them get back on their feet.

    Not to mention it’s an awesome story that deserves to win!!!

  8. “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly is fantastic!

  9. Leland Eaves /

    Haven’t read any of these but there are several that sound good. I see several authors I know are as worthy as any.

  10. John Smith /

    Maybe “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” will win. Judging by the small excerpt, it seems really well written!

  11. Peter, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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