The Nebula Awards are the science fiction awards chosen by the writers.
The nominees can be found here, as can links to excerpts from the books nominated.
Let me start by saying that the SFWA Awards Rules Committee (SARC) may be the most misunderstood of all SFWA committees. But it’s not because people treat us badly. It’s the old name. Until 2005, the committee was known as the Nebula Awards Committee – implying that we were the people who ran the Nebula Awards – and we’re not. A whole crew of other dedicated volunteers do that, starting with the Nebula Awards Report (NAR) editor, and continuing with those who arrange the hotels and banquets, and buy and design the trophies. Even the counting of the final ballot is handled by the League of Women Voters. So what do we do?
Our new name, with Rules in it, is much better, because our sole job is to pass judgment on questions of eligibility and rules interpretation. To paraphrase Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest, we have just one job on this ship, and it’s an obscure one, but we’re going to do it! Our mission: to make decisions based on both the spirit and the letter of the Rules, to ensure that all works compete on a level playing field. (The “we” currently consists of Jack Williamson, Connie Willis, and yours truly. The NAR editor, Brook West, serves as secretary and nonvoting member.)
We’re the Nebula Court of Appeals. Suppose a story is recommended for the Nebula, but a question arises as to its eligibility. The NAR editor rules on it if he can, or bumps it to us. The plaintiff can appeal to us, in any case. That’s when we “lumber into action,” as the SFWA Officers’ Guidelines put it, and render a judgment. And if the plaintiff doesn’t like our ruling? The Nebula Rules are silent on the matter. But the Officers’ Guidelines name the Board of Directors final arbiter, a role they have filled on at least one occasion that I am aware of.
We’re often asked by hopeful writers for advice about Nebula Award eligibility, how to get noticed, and so on. Since these questions tend to run in the same vein, I thought it would be useful to put together some Frequently Asked Questions, and maybe make things clearer to all of you who toil in the field, hoping for recognition…