It says something about the frame of mind we writers get in that I was initially tepid about doing one of these posts. And then I thought, wait a minute, I was on last year's ballot. Maybe folks would want to know what's going on with me. (Not to mention, under the new rules, I can make nominations.)
So, I'm going to post my eligibility list, in ascending order of enlightened self-interest.
1) I want to point out an incredible and very eligible short story to everyone: "And Their Lips Rang with the Sun" by Amal El-Mohtar (tithenai), over at Strange Horizons. There may be other short stories eligible this year that are as good as this one, but I don't think you're going to find any that are better.
2) Very important to note, at least to me, likely to others as well: Every story in Clockwork Phoenix 2 is eligible for the Nebula this year.
I'm going to break it down by category. Here are the novelettes:
- Claude Lalumière, "Three Friends"
- Tanith Lee, "The Pain of Glass"
- Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, "each thing i show you is a piece of my death"
And here are the short stories:
- Leah Bobet, "Six"
- Marie Brennan, "Once a Goddess"
- Ian McHugh, "Angel Dust"
- Ann Leckie, "The Endangered Camp"
- Mary Robinette Kowal, "At the Edge of Dying"
- Saladin Ahmed, "Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela" (available online here)
- Joanna Galbraith, "The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain"
- Catherynne M. Valente, "The Secret History of Mirrors"
- Forrest Aguirre, "Never nor Ever"
- Kelly Barnhill, "Open the Door and the Light Pours Through"
- Barbara Krasnoff, "Rosemary, That's For Remembrance"
- Steve Rasnic Tem, "When We Moved On"
I'll be the first to acknowledge that the odds of any of the stories in CP2 making it onto the ballot are extremely slim, because it's a small press antho not available in physical stores. (In fact, though I generally approve of the new rules, I do think they will make it near impossible for any work from an out of the way venue to make the final ballot. So it goes.)
However, I think these stories are worthy and I'm not afraid to say so, and I am willing to provide PDF review copies to SFWA members curious enough to investigate further: contact me at email@example.com if you wannit.
Of course I stand by the quality of all these works, but for those looking for further guidance, I can report that reviewers have heaped particularly enthusiastic praise on Mary Robinette Kowal's "At the Edge of Dying,"* Marie Brennan's "Once a Goddess," Tanith Lee's "The Pain of Glass" and Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer's "each thing i show you is a piece of my death."
Saladin Ahmed's "Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela" has also fared well, and is available for everyone to read online here.
3) Finally, my own work. I had two short stories published this year that are eligible. The same thing I said above applies — they appeared in out-of-the-way venues, so the odds of them making the ballot are pretty slim. But then, "The Button Bin" appeared in a tremendously out-of-the-way place, so who knows?
The first story was "The Blessed Days" in Tales of the Talisman. I'll be honest — "The Button Bin" was a bit too horrific for some Nebula voters, and with "The Blessed Days," we're talking about a story that begins with the two main characters soaked head-to-foot in blood and builds from there. I'm very happy with how the story turned out, but I don't believe, realistically, it would have a chance with the Nebula voters. But if you want to have a look at it, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can accommodate you.
Really, if you feel any interest in considering something of mine for this, the one I hope you'll look at is my second story of the year, "Stone Flowers," available for anyone to read online here.
I think I'll leave it at that. Good luck to everyone.
*ETA: I see that Mary Robinette has publicly stated she will decline any Nebula nominations this year. I, of course, think "At the Edge of Dying" is plenty worthy, but I also wanted to acknowledge her wishes.