Saturday, April 25, 1981

1981 Nebula Award Nominees

Location: Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, New York.

Comments: This Nebula award winner for Best Novel in 1981 is the only Nebula award winning book that I was assigned to read as part of a class when I was a student at the University of Virginia. As part of the required reading for the course "Introduction to Cosmology", I read this book, which was my first exposure to Benford's writing. I've read other books by Benford since then, but Timescape will always hold a special place for me as the science fiction book I read for college credit.

In 1981 the Nebula awards had a mild controversy when Craig Strete's short story A Sunday Visit with Great-Grandfather was removed from the ballot as ineligible due to its publication in Strete's 1977 collection The Bleeding Man and Other Stories. This was only a mild controversy, as the rules for eligibility are pretty clear, and Strete's story clearly didn't meet them. On the other hand, one has to wonder how the story managed to get all the way to the final ballot before someone thought to check and see if it qualified.

Best Novel

Timescape by Gregory Benford

Other Nominees:
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Mockingbird by Walter S. Tevis
The Orphan by Robert Stallman
The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Best Novella

Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas

Other Nominees:
The Autopsy by Michael Shea
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch (reviewed in Fantasy & Science Fiction: Volume 116, Nos. 4 & 5 (April/May 2009))
Dangerous Games by Marta Randall
Lost Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson
There Beneath the Silky-Trees and Whelmed in Deeper Gulphs Than Me by Avram Davidson

Best Novelette

The Ugly Chickens by Howard Waldrop

Other Nominees:
Beatnik Bayou by John Varley
The Feast of Saint Janis by Michael Swanwick
Ginungagap by Michael Swanwick
Strata by Edward Bryant
The Way Station by Stephen King

Best Short Story

Grotto of the Dancing Deer by Clifford D. Simak

Other Nominees:
Secrets of the Heart by Charles L. Grant
War Beneath the Tree by Gene Wolfe
Window by Bob Leman
A Sunday Visit with Great-Grandfather by Craig Strete [nomination withdrawn]

Go to previous year's nominees: 1980
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1982

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