Broken Monsters, Lauren Beukes (Mulholland)
The Lesser Dead, Christopher Buehlman (Berkley)
The Unquiet House, Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher)
Bird Box, Josh Malerman (Ecco)
Confessions, Kanae Minato (Mulholland)
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
These are the Shirley Jackson Award nominees. As Locus Magazine explains, this award is for "... outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction. "
I think, too, this will help me decide what to review today. I usually have my reviews in to Bitter Empire by Sunday morning, but this weekend was surprisingly busy. I had my usual three hour shift at North St. Paul library and Mason attended the Teen Lit Con. My Mother's Day gift to Shawn was to take her fabric shopping and NOT COMPLAIN, which I managed on Saturday morning, as well. It was nice weather on Saturday, too, so I did a little light gardening, too--finally getting some things in the ground that we'd ordered. On Sunday, what Shawn said she wanted was food. So, I made her blueberry bread pudding for breakfast and then we spent most of the afternoon and evening making fleischkuechle - an ethnic food of Shawn's family (Germans from Russia.) We thought to only make two batches, which would have been a couple of hours work, but ended up with over a hundred some how and so we prepared and fried from 1 pm to 7 pm.
A little longer than either of us really wanted.
BUT the results are tasty, and now we have a stockpile for the freezer.
So, at any rate, I need to settle in and write up a review of Annihilation, I think. I'm not sure how much I should talk about this in that, but Annihilation is the only book up for the Nebula this year that I made it all the way through.
I got well over 100 pages into both Three-Body Problem and Ancillary Sword, but I gave up on both of them because I found myself caring less for the main characters. Both of those novels are very idea-driven, which is fine, but I just had no emotional investment whatsoever and when you start looking at how much of the book you have left with trepidation, I thought: nope, I'm done. Plus, no spoilers, but when I finally found a character that I liked in Ancillary Sword, they didn't last.
I tried Coming Home, (and Shawn shakes her head at me about this because Jack McDevitt is one of her all time favorite SF authors and I've had diner with the guy and he's AWESOME), but I just bounce out of almost every one of his books for some reason -- maybe because it's a long-running series? I'm not sure, because Shawn has them all and has tried, repeatedly, to get me to read them. I guess it's just one of those things.
The other Nebula nominee, Trial by Fire, I have upstairs and I started it.... and it's okay. It's just very hardcore military SF which I wasn't entirely in the mood for when I started it. I haven't sent it back yet, so I may still get through that one. I often really enjoy military SF, so I don't think that's necessarily the reason. Do you have this problem? Where you have to be in the right mood for a certain TYPE of book?
At any rate, I ripped through Annihilation like it was cotton candy. That surprised me because it is very psychological and atmospheric (not always my normal fave) and, in places, difficult. I have, in the past, not gotten very far into VanderMeer's works before. *whispers*He's one of those 'it' kids that I have to confess being predisposed AGAINST because of straight-up envy*/whispers* But I really ended up enjoying this book.
I'll see where I end up going with this review. The other thing I may end up talking about is the fact that I've heard rumors that the next target the Sad Puppies might have is the Nebula, which I think will be a far harder nut for them to crack because membership is actually fairly difficult to obtain. (And the Nebula, if you didn't know, is nominated and voted on SOLEY by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America.)
So, lots of directions.
Right, I should go do that then.