The 2016 Nebula Award Nominees Have Been Announced

Check out the best in science fiction and fantasy with the Nebula Award nominees for books, short stories, YA novels and movies.

The Nebula Awards, handed out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, have just announced this year’s nominees. The awards honor the best sci-fi and fantasy novels published in the U.S. in 2016, as well as the Bradbury award for movies and TV, and the Norton award for YA fiction.

The biggest award is for the best sci-fi or fantasy novel of the year, and there are some popular choices amongst the nominees, including Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky and N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate.

Best Novel

All The Birds in the Sky is the debut adult novel from’s editor in chief Charlie Jane Anders. The story follows two friends, one a science genius and one with magical abilities, from high school to adulthood and the start of the apocalypse.

Mishell Baker’s Borderline is the first novel in The Arcadia Project, a new urban fantasy series. The novel follows a failed movie director, Millie, who is invited to join something called the Arcadia Project. The secret organization controls a passage to a parallel reality where mythological creatures pass through.

The Obelisk Gate is the second novel in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, following The Fifth Season. The series takes place on a planet called The Stillness, where catastrophic events unfold every few centuries. The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award in 2016.

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee is the first book in a trilogy that is rich in world building, military tactics and mathematics. The hard sci-fi novel creates its own technology and numerology and is likely a very challenging read for the casual science fiction fan.

Nisi Shawl’s Everfair is an alternate history novel set in the Congo during the period of Belgian invasion (late 1800s). In this fantasy version of our world, the natives learn steampunk technology and groups of natives and European settlers attempt to create a utopic society within the Congo.


If you’re not much a reader but still a major sci-fi/fantasy geek, you’ll be excited about the Bradbury award. This special Nebula prize is for movies and TV shows. Westworld is the sole TV show that snuck in, and will be competing against Arrival, Kubo and the Two Strings, Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Zootopia.

The Full List of Nominees


  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Borderline by Mishell Baker
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
  • Everfair by Nisi Shawl


  • Runtime by S.B. Divya
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • “The Liar” by John P. Murphy
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson


  • “The Long Fall Up” by William Ledbetter
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford
  • “The Orangery” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
  • “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” by Fran Wilde
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, Alyssa Wong

Short Story

  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • “Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff
  • “Things With Beards” by Sam J. Miller
  • “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door” by A. Merc Rustad
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” by Alyssa Wong
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim


  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard


  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman

SWFA members will announce the winners during the Nebula Conference on May 18 – 21 in Pittsburgh.