Who Swept This Year’s Nebula Awards? Women.

On May 14, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America held its annual Nebula Awards, which recognizes the best science fiction and fantasy writing published in the United States the previous year. This year, women writers swept the awards ceremony, which was held in Chicago.

Women won the following awards:

  • Naomi Novik (pictured above) won in “Best Novel” for Uprooted
  • Nnedi Okorafor won in “Best Novella” for Binti
  • Sarah Pinsker won in “Best Novelette” for “Our Lady of the Open Road,” featured in the June 2015 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction
  • Alyssa Wong won in “Best Short Story” for “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” featured in the Oct. 2015 issue of Nightmare Magazine
  • Fran Wilde won the “Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy” for her novel, Updraft

There was only one award handed out that night that went to men. The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation went to Mad Max: Fury Road and is technically not a Nebula. It is worth noting, however, that Mad Max: Fury Road was hailed as one of the most feminist films of 2015.

The Nebula Awards and the Hugo Awards are the two top prizes in science fiction and fantasy writing and occur every year. While this is a big achievement for the genre, there is still much work to be done to reach full equality.

In 2014, women won almost half of the science fiction awards offered up. But as a 2014 article in The Atlantic said, “As with anything else, women have long been working alongside men to create fiction that covers on science, the future, technology and more.”

Women have been here all along, but it’s taken years (hundreds of years if you consider Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) for women to be recognized for their work in science fiction and fantasy. Not just women, either. While the genre is known to be male dominated, it is also a very white, cis-gender genre as well.

Take the 2015 Hugo Awards for example. While diversity has been celebrated with the past two Nebula Awards, the Hugo Awards – where any science fiction fan can buy into a membership – were hijacked by voters who were upset with the increasing diversity of award recipients and subject matter. Wired reports that according to one of the movement’s leaders, the genre was starting to prioritize “politics over plot” and cater to social justice warriors.

But as The Atlantic piece stated, there have been amazing non-white male authors all along. We’ve just done a pretty lame job of unearthing them. Now, thanks to blogs, self-publishing and word of mouth, authors of all backgrounds can publish stories of all kinds of lived experiences. And as it turns out, great authors aren’t just limited to white, cis-gender men.

Photo Credit: GageSkidmore

66 comments

Jim Ven
Jim V1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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R Wheeler
R Wheeler2 years ago

Hooray for women! Let's continue to strive for excellence in science, medicine and research as well.

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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

great news

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Iona Kentwell
Iona Kentwell2 years ago

Most of my favourite authors are women. All my life I have read female sci-fi writers, think Madeleine L'Engle, Ursula Le Guin, Andre Norton.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Jax L.
Jacqueline L2 years ago

Thank you!

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Jax L.
Jacqueline L2 years ago

Great Article!

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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