Nebula Award Winners

Books that WON the prestigious Nebula Award
These speculative fiction books won Nebula awards -- one of the most prestigious speculative fiction awards given out every year to the best speculative fiction book.
In this book, Chabon created a world where Israel had never been founded after World War II. Instead the state of displaced Jews is located in Sitka, Alaska. Chabon used real-life historical documents which suggested just such a plan to relocate the Jewish population. In the fictional world, the country of Israel was lost to the Arabs shortly after its inception and the plans moved these people to Alaska instead. Against this intriguing backdrop Chabon creates the familiar alcoholic detective who finds a dead man in his flophouse with an unfinished game of chess as the only dying clue in the case. The detective involves his partner as the case turns into a matter with ties to the mafia and possibly the detective's ex-wife.Why It Made the List The book was nominated in multiple genres, scoring a number of science-fiction award nominations because of the alternate universe presented in the novel, mystery award nominations for the mystery within. Chabon is a Pulitzer winner for his other non-genre works, and he's made forays into mystery fiction before (which his wife writes) with novels about Sherlock Holmes and others.'Read It If You Like'ethnic mysteries, alternative universes, alcoholic detectives

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Harry Kemelman wrote a series of mysteries about a rabbi.

Paladin of Souls is the only book I know of featuring a middle-aged, retired queen on a pilgrimage, who is chalked up as mad—though personally I think she's just bored and tired of being shoved aside. Ista is everything you need in a hero: complex and powerful in surprising ways. My favorite part of Ista's story is that she's not young and foolish (though her entourage does question her sanity at times). She is sensible resolute, and noble; just haunted. She knows how to get things done, and does it without all the fluttering of a younger heroine. She starts off with no real power or even purpose really, but the power she finds is divine rather than political and her purpose is conquering demons of the very real variety. Bujold has a way of taking an epic fantasy ride, and taking it deeper; making it more personal and significant. It's no wonder this masterpiece has landed Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for Best Novel.

Books in World Of The Five Gods Series (2)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman won the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novel. 
"American Gods" is a novel written by Neil Gaiman, first published in 2001. The story follows the character of Shadow Moon, a recently released convict who is recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday to work for him. As Shadow becomes embroiled in a war between the old gods of mythology and the new gods of technology, he must navigate a world filled with supernatural beings and ancient powers.

The novel has since been adapted into a TV series by the same name, which premiered in 2017. The series follows the same basic plot as the novel, but with some differences in character and story arcs. The TV series has been critically acclaimed for its visuals and performances, although it has been criticized for its departures from the source material.

Overall, "American Gods" is a fascinating exploration of mythology and culture, as well as a thrilling story about power and belief.

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Anansi Boys

You should read Anansi Boys by Gaiman -- features one of the same characters from American Gods and is about the same sort of story.

Really though, any of Gaiman's novels are good. His next best recommended is probably Neverwhere. Many people will tell you that Gaiman's best work of his career is his The Sandman graphic novels -- which, really, are probably the best graphic novels ever written, IMHO. 


Myths and Legends Co-Existing with the Modern Age:


Mythago Wood

For other Fantasy concerned with myth and legends coexisting (or struggling) with the modern world, read Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood.

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni: Two legends from myth -- Arab myth and Jewish myth -- find themselves left over and out of place in the modern world and find they need each other to survive.


Ysabel by Guy Gaverial Kay. Kay's very good Ysabel also deals with a similar theme.

The Anubis Gates

You will also enjoy Tim Power's The Anubis Gates which is a rip-roaring adventure that incorporates some of the same themes (myths coming to life).

God's Behaving Badly

Another (quite funny) take on the same theme is Marie Phillips' Gods Behaving Badly.

American Elsewhere

American Elsewhere by Robert Bennet Jackson. A damaged woman inherits a house and moves back after a midlife crisis only to find there's something odd about the town and she the center of it all. His newest work, City of Stairs, also explores the idea of old extinct God's coming back to haunt the modern world, though City of Stairs is more pure fantasy than urban fantasy.

The Stolen Child

Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child is another book that grapples with the reality of folk tales' (fairies') effect on the modern world. It's also a deep look into a man's search for his identity.


Kraken by China Mieville also explore the same theme (old myths living amongst and struggling with today's realities) in his novel, Kraken.

Works by Charles de Lint

Another popular author that also likes to juxtapose myth and modern society is Charles de Lint. Myth existing in today's world does seem to be a common them with the Urban Fantasy subgenre, but the above books are the best written that feature myths living in the modern world.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes won the 1967 Nebula Award for Best Novel along with Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany. This is the only time since the start of the Nebula Awards two books tied for the the Best Novel award.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes won the 1967 Nebula Award for Best Novel along with Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany. This is the only time since the start of the Nebula Awards two books tied for the the Best Novel award.
A blend of sci-fi and fantasy, Frank Herbert's Dune created a foundation for many of the themes in modern genre fiction. Its exploration of ecology, pacifism, and mysticism pairs with a story of destiny to remain relevant fifty years after its publication. However, underneath that apt commentary lies a powerful coming of age story. The story follows Paul Atreides, the heir of a family that controls the planet of Arrakis. In a layered, complex world of religion and politics, Paul becomes a hero and messiah. This happens not in a sudden rush of circumstance but slow and painful progress through training. Throughout it, Herbert weaves an expertly adapting mental state. The protagonist comes to understand the meaning of equality, love, and most importantly, time. Dune is not an easy read. It's wordy, jargon-filled, and examines difficult but important concepts. But if you can get past Herbert's initial learning curve, you'll find a rich world that's only overshadowed by its use of character. Read if you like: Epic sci-fi, philosophy in fiction, dense reads.

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Annihilation won the 2015 Nebula Award for Best Novel. It beat out the following nominees to win:The Goblin Emperor Trial by Fire Ancillary Sword The Three-Body Problem Coming Home