Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Nebula Update: All the Birds in the Sky

I finally got around to reading the 2017 Nebula Best Novel winner, All the Birds in the Sky. It was not as good as I would have liked. I can't put my finger on what bothered me the most, but here are a few things. The style was very breezy. The first part felt like a YA novel (not in a good way). I gather that may have been a conscious choice to reflect the characters' ages, but it did not really mature as the book went on; it just added more "mature situations". At one point, an apartment was described as looking like it was from the show Hoarders. That's just not a good description for me. Also, the billionaire bankrolling science that is going to change the planet tires me out by this point. The author may have done some things differently with that, but it's still a warped view of how technological progress happens.

While I read that, the latest award went out to The Calculating Stars. Sadly, it was not the nominee I had already read. It's part of a series with a novella that I "kind of enjoyed." It's not the ringing endorsement I'd like, but I will plunge forward. This still leaves me with 8 books to read:

  1. 1966: Flowers for Algernon (tie)
  2. 1966: Babel-17 (tie)
  3. 1968: Rite of Passage
  4. 1976: Man Plus
  5. 1978: Dreamsnake
  6. 1981: The Claw of the Conciliator
  7. 2018: The Stone Sky 
  8. 2019: The Calculating Stars