The 1977 Nebula winners in three categories, each followed by one of the runners-up in its field. In each case, the also-ran chosen by Delany embarrassingly outshines the actual winner. Harlan Ellison's short story ""Jeffty Is Five""--showing a gifted writer at his slickest and most syrupy--appears to striking disadvantage beside John Varley's ""Air Raid"" (a numbingly clever little horror about a time-traveling press gang). In the novelette category, Raccoona Sheldon's ""The Screwfly Solution"" presents a fine and chilling idea about new dimensions in the war between the sexes, but wrecks it with a pair of insipid protagonists. Edward Bryant's ""Particle Theory,"" with its elegant half-stated metaphor of cancer cells and exploding stars as corresponding parts of a cosmic billiard game, is a more exiguous but also more appropriately realized piece of work. As for Spider and Jeanne Robinson's novella of weightless dancing in free fall, ""Stardance"" (expanded into a 1978 novel of the same name), it appears a mass of softheaded clichâ€šs beside Vonda N. McIntyre's coolly and thoughtfully constructed ""Aztecs,"" in which a young pilot learns the physical and emotional ramifications of the drastic operation that has prepared her for her space career. Editorially speaking, a lesson in making something out of nothing.