THE BEST OF THE NEBULAS by Ben Bova

THE BEST OF THE NEBULAS

KIRKUS REVIEW

The Science Fiction Writers of America has been voting to award "nebulas" since 1965; this, then, is a 21-story best-of-the-best collection (novels excluded), 1965-85, again as voted by the SFWA. The stories are indeed a fine crop, oft-anthologized and many justly famous. Among them: Samuel R. Delany's sexually ambiguous future astronauts, "Aye, and Gomorrah . . ."; "Behold the Man," Michael Moorcock's classic Christ/time-travel yarn; "Dragonrider," one of the earliest of Anne McCaffrey's enduring saga of planet Pern and its corrosive Thread; Harlan Ellison's shocking "A Boy and His Dog," where future people behave bestially and beasts resemble saints; James Tiptree Jr.'s feminist classic of male astronauts facing an all-female world, "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?"; and Fritz Leiber's stunning alternate-world yarn, "Catch That Zeppelin!" The other authors represented here are Roger Zelazny, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Silverberg, Joanna Russ, Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda N. Mclntyre, John Varley, Clifford D. Simak, and George R.R. Martin. A look at the nebula-winning novels rounds out the package. Almost as fascinating as the stories themselves is Bova's analysis of the SFWA vote. Despite protestations to the contrary, the SFWA voted for name-brand recognition rather than any notion of quality, originality, or craftsmanship, just as longtime nebula detractors have claimed. Still. most of the yarns stand up, popularity contest or no.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1989
ISBN: 0312931840
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1989




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