terça-feira, 2 de novembro de 2010

Nebula Awards Showcase 2010




Welcome.
Putting together the Nebula Award anthology is an activity that has been rather thought-provoking.
Looking at the amazing list of past, and reading the current, winners has made me think back to a life spent reading and working with Science Fiction and Fantasy. A personal history that begins as a very  young boy under a shade tree struggling to learn to read with Tom Swift books and growing up following and then creating in what has become a mediaconquering genre.

You can't turn on the television without finding a ghost, alien, or advanced technology on the screen, and those are the reality shows.

Science Fiction has sure come a long way.

In this Nebula Awards anthology we take a look at the long and starlit road. Included among the stories of this anthology are a number of articles in which we take a look back at the evolution of Science Fiction writing, mostly as seen on a very personal level, over the last century. Each of these articles covers a decade or era in the history of SF.

Fortunately many of them are written by the very authors who wrote and shaped the genre during that time. So, among them you will find the esteemed and prolific Robert Silverberg telling you about the fifties and Lynn Abbey explaining the explosion of shared-world anthologies in the eighties.

This collection also has the privilege of including along with all four Nebula Award-winning works an excerpt from the Andre Norton Award winner's novel, the amazingly creative Joss Whedon's acceptance speech for the Bradbury Award, and more SF insights from the three esteemed winners of the Solstice Award that is now given for Service to the Science Fiction community. Finally, we feature at the end a short story by Grand Master Harry Harrison that is introduced by TOR publisher Tom Doherty.

A few themes stand out when you look at the field of Science Fiction as a whole. Subject always to exceptions that are numerous because that is the nature of SF itself, to be the exception and outside the box, the unexpected and the new. But over time one thing has begun to stand out to me when reading, sitting on a panel at a SF convention, or even just chatting with a few other writers and fans by e-mail.

After half a century in the field I have come to a startling conclusion that explains not only the still growing and continuing popularity of what we read and write, but why so many of the people who do one or both are someone you want to meet at a convention. We Science Fiction writers and readers are optimists.

Yep, positively Pollyanna-like, even the darkest of us, even Harlan Ellison. This is the case whether you write fantasy or more traditional Science Fiction. Why, simply put, Science Fiction assumes there will be a future.

From the books of Jules Verne to WALL-E mankind survives, reaches the stars, and prevails, or at least survives and will prevail in the sequel. We all assume that man will travel someday to the stars. Some of us even work towards that with NASA or other organizations, but we all start with the idea that the human race will prevail, will not blunder and fall into darkness (at least not permanently), and will eventually reach some higher destiny. That is optimism, that is the positive attitude that underlies Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and the other mass media successes. It is part of their appeal.

Even in the darkest tale of Science Fiction futures always end with hope. One of the first and darkest SF disaster novels, Wells' The Time Machine, ends with the new mankind beginning to progress again with the Morlocks defeated.

There was, in the sixties, a group of post-holocaust novels, mostly set after a massive atomic war. That is a scenario that is about as dark as you can conjure up. One that was very real, and still is, for those of us who were taught to "duck and cover" in grade school. Among them you find novels set after the holocaust such as A Canticle for Leibowitz and A Boy and His Dog and again everything has gone wrong and nuclear war just about destroyed civilization, but mankind survives and begins once more to triumph. On the Beach is the exception here, and it really is about the human spirit prevailing even in the face of total doom. In the backstory for Star Trek you have the Vulcans landing not long after Earth has suffered a nuclear disaster so traumatic that it changed the world views of the survivors in very positive ways. Even those very dark Mad Max movies always end with us being told the race survived and has begun again to move forward. Optimism.

We SF types are by genre and nature optimists. Individually we can be occasionally cantankerous, feel the same day-to-day pressures as mundane, and many of us are fairly sure the publishing industry is doomed. But still we write about the future from the assumption that there will be a future. And an interesting future at that.

Shared optimism is part of why SF readers and writers are fun to be with, interesting, and our gatherings are so famously open and welcoming. So welcome to the Nebula Awards Showcase, my fellow optimists. Join us where mankind has a long and interesting future, where human nature can overcome demons and dark spells, and we even have a few laughs along the way.


Introduction
NEBULA AWARD BEST NOVELLA - THE SPACETIME POOL
THE GOLDEN AGE - DAVID DRAKE
AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEBULA AWARD-WINNING BEST NOVEL - POWERS
SCIENCE FICTION IN THE FIFTIES: THE REAL GOLDEN AGE - ROBERT SILVERBERG
THE SOLSTICE AWARD
SELECTED COMMENTARIES - ALGIS BUDRYS
RULES OF THE GAME - KATE WILHELM
A CHANCE REMARK - MARTIN H. GREENBERG
WRITING SF IN THE SIXTIES - FREDERIK POHL AND ELIZABETH ANNE HULL
NEBULA AWARD BEST NOVELETTE - PRIDE AND PROMETHEUS
SCIENCE FICTION IN THE 1970S: THE TALE OF THE NERDY DUCKLING - KEVIN J. ANDERSON
NEBULA AWARD BEST SHORT STORY - TROPHY WIVES
INTO THE EIGHTIES - LYNN ABBEY
AUTHOR EMERITA - TALKING ABOUT FANGS
SCIENCE FICTION IN THE 1990S: WAITING FOR GODOT . . . OR MAYBE NOSFERATU - ...
THE RHYSLING AND DWARF STAR AWARD-WINNING POETRY
PLACE MAT BY MOEBIUS
EATING LIGHT
THE SEVEN DEVILS OF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
THE ANDRE NORTON AWARD
AN EXCERPT FROM THE ANDRE NORTON AWARD-WINNING YOUNG ADULT NOVEL - FLORA'S DARE
MEDIUM WITH A MESSAGE - JODY LYNN NYE
AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEBULA AWARD-WINNING BEST SCRIPT - WALL-E
THE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH OF BRADBURY AWARD WINNER, JOSS WHEDON
AN APPRECIATION OF THE GRAND MASTER: HARRY HARRISON - TOM DOHERTY
THE STREETS OF ASHKELON - HARRY HARRISON
THE SFWA AUTHOR EMERITUS
PAST NEBULA AWARD WINNERS



Nebula Awards Showcase 2010 [ Download ]