The introduction to this year’s Nebula Awards Showcase states, nay warns, the reader that when gathering material for the sci-fi/fantasy anthology, one of the book’s key aspects is including the type of fiction that makes the audience think, but not necessarily be liked. Throughout the epic sagas included in this hefty volume, that much rings true. It’s a pleasure to discover then that there’s still plenty to like about this collection of the weird and the wonderful.
2016’s Nebula Awards Showcase allows twenty authors to run riot as they craft tales of adventure, death, romance, mystery and more, all in the head-spinning settings that speculative fiction brings. In true anthology fashion, each story here will intrigue just about every type of reader, but that in itself brings the feeling of disorientation. The Nebula Awards Showcase doesn’t read like a conventional collection of sci-fi/fantasy fiction – it ain’t meant to. We jump from mechanically-inclined science fiction to mermaid-themed fantasy in the blink of a page, skipping merrily across a diverse array of genre-twisting creativity.
However, there you have the biggest selling point of the Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 in a nutshell. Every story is in a league of its own in terms of style and consistency, meaning that any sense of fatigue as we journey from world to world isn’t felt at all. It’s hard also to feel overwhelmed at the wide variety of fiction here, when this book is tailor-made for dipping in and out of.
The Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 most definitely lives up to its promise of making you think. It’s ingenious, frustrating, spell-binding, imaginative, and sometimes even all too brief with its individual stories, but the one thing it isn’t is boring. A potent collection that’s more than worthy of residing on your bookshelf.
NEBULA AWARDS SHOWCASE / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: PYR / RELEASE DATE: 15TH MAY