This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

Best sci-fi and fantasy novels crowned at the Nebula awards

Great must-reads for genre fans

Best sci-fi and fantasy novels crowned at the Nebula awards

If you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and who isn’t now Game of Thrones reigns supreme on our screens, you’ll be interested in the Nebula Awards.


The awards were set up in 1965 to celebrate the best in science fiction and fantasy writing – and since the organisation was set up, it has gained over 1,500 members from the community who vote on the awards each year.


Related: best dystopian novels


This year’s winners have just been announced – and there are some real good’uns on the list.


Robinette Kowal’s book The Calculating Stars won best novel. It reimagines 1950s America following a huge meteorite strike that destroys Washington D.C.


The book follows a young woman who seeks to propel humanity to space following the disaster, so feels pretty pertinent despite its retro setting.


Best game writing, interestingly enough, went to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker. Critics debated whether the interactive was a film or a game – this award could go some way to clarifying where it actually sits.


And the Ray Bradbury Award, which honours the best film writing, was a hotly contested category this year. Black Panther, Sorry to Bother You, The Good Place and A Quiet Place were all up for the gong – but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won out in the end.


Related: best marvel movies


Here’s the full list of winners:


Best Novel:

  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
  • Witchmark by C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Novella:

  • Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)
  • The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
  • Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Novelette:

  • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly (Tor.com July 11th, 2018)
  • An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
  • The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births by José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed Jan. 2018)
  • The Rule of Three by Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest Dec. 2018)
  • Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)

Best short story:

  • “Interview for the End of the World” by Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside Feb. 2018)
  • “Going Dark” by Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)
  • “And Yet” by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny March-April 2018)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Feb. 6th, 2018)
  • “The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed Jan. 2018)

Best game writing:

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)
  • The Road to Canterbury by Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
  • God of War by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio / Sony / Interactive Entertainment)
  • Rent-A-Vice by Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)
  • The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

The Ray Bradbury Award for dramatic presentation:

  • The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram
  • Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
  • A Quiet Place, screenplay by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
  • Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning
  • Sorry to Bother You, written by Boots Riley

Want to scratch your sci-fi itch? Check out these 10 great sci-fi TV series.