Thoughtful Thursday: The 2020 Nebula Awards: Novels, Novellas, Andre Norton

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 56th Annual Nebula conference (June 4-6) will be held online this year (as it was last year) and the 2020 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Last week we discussed the finalists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette. Today we’ll talk about the novels and novellas, including the Middle Grade and Young Adult novels nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories.




Here are our favorites (hover for title & author, click for our review):

Which are your favorites? Which stories have you read? Who do you predict will win?

Give us your thoughts and predictions in the comments. One random commenter with a USA mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. (If you’re outside the USA, we’ll send you a $5 Amazon gift card.)

Good luck to all the finalists!

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  1. John Smith /

    I would love to read “Piranesi.” It sounds really fascinating with its great and mysterious endless mansion.

  2. Frederick Rossero /

    I haven’t read Mexican Gothic yet, but I’ve heard great things. And of course I adored Network Effect. Murderbot is so loved I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a (deserving) winner.

  3. My favorites don’t tend to win these awards, so I’m going to make my predictions based on the impact and the critical acclaim of the nominees (watch me get it all wrong).


    Books: Own: ALL; Read: 1
    My Favorite: “Black Sun” by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Potential Winner: “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


    Books: Own: ALL; Read: 4
    My Favorite: “Riot Baby” by Tochi Onyebuchi
    Potential Winner: “Ring Shout” by P. Djeli Clark


    Books: Own: 4; Read: NONE
    My Favorite: I did start reading “Raybearer” by Jordan Ifueko and “Elatsoe” by Darcie Little Badger, and I’m enjoying them so far.
    Potential Winner: “Elatsoe” by Darcie Little Badger

    Once again, I could be wrong about ALL of my predictions.

  4. Shereen /

    I haven’t read any of these but I am excited for Mexican Gothic and A Wizard’s Guide. I love anything dark or whimsical.

  5. Roxana /

    All of these that I’ve read so far were highlights in my reading – but I’m especially into Piranesi, which was simply breathtaking.

  6. Rose Sorooshian-Tafti /

    I love everything CL Polk has written, and The Midnight Bargain is no exception!

  7. Paul Connelly /

    The only category that I’ve read any of the nominees in is Best Novel. Piranesi was my favorite of the ones listed. Black Sun and Network Effect were both pretty good too. Mexican Gothic was okay but less than what I was hoping for. Have not read the other two.

    Not sure if they were published in the right timeframe to be eligible, but Harrow the Ninth (Tamsyn Muir) and Unconquerable Sun (Kate Elliott) would have been good additions to the list.

    Is it generally true that series books after the first volume don’t make the final ballot? I guess if the awards are (as they seem) mostly marketing devices for attracting new readers, that might make sense, since once you’ve started a series an award is not likely to be the deciding factor in whether you continue or not.

  8. Sharon L /

    Piranesi and Mexican Gothic are both on my to-read list already, but these all look amazing!!!

  9. The Best Novel category is the strongest ticket I’ve seen in ages–any of these deserve to win! I’m pulling for Murderbot, Black Sun, or Piranesi, though. I haven’t read any of the Novellas yet, but I’m eager to read Ring Shout. And I’d love to see Elatsoe win in the YA category!

  10. SandyG /

    A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking sounds like fun

  11. Dina Passno /

    Imo.The midnight Bargain was one of the best books ive read all year and i read ALOT in 2020 some here i have not ..but would love to. Im def in the US so this is a great opportunity

  12. The Distinguished Professor /

    As a fan of “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell”, I look forward to reading “Piranesi”, although I’d really like to read a sequel to the former.

  13. Noneofyourbusiness /

    I hear good things about the Murderbot series.

    Nora Jemisin read the short story that became The City We Became (no pun intended) when she visited our class in Buffalo.

  14. Jillian /

    So many of these sound good! Piranesi and Mexican Gothic are must reads for me.

  15. Lady Morar /

    “A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking” certainly has the most interesting title!

  16. Sethia /

    I really enjoyed The Network Effect!

  17. ¬¬¬Roxana,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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