Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 Online - Catherine Asaro

To Eleanor Wood,

who has given so much to the field of speculative fiction.

“The Paper Menagerie,” copyright 2011 by Ken Liu, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011.

“The Ice Owl,” copyright 2011 by Carolyn Ives Gilman, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2011.

“Ado,” copyright 1988 by Connie Willis, first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, January 1988.

“The Migratory Pattern of Dancers,” copyright 2011 by Katherine Sparrow, first published in GigaNotoSaurus, July 2011.

“Peach-Creamed Honey,” copyright 2010 by Amal El-Mohtar, first published in The Honey Month, Summer 2010. Used by permission of Papaveria Press.

“The Axiom of Choice,” copyright 2011 by David W. Goldman, first published in The New Haven Review, Winter 2011.

“Club Story,” copyright 1993–2012 by John Clute, first published in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Third Edition (2011–),

“What We Found,” copyright 2011 by Geoff Ryman, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October 2011.

Among Others, copyright 2011 by Jo Walton. Used by permission of Tor Books and Constable & Robinson Ltd.

“Movement,” copyright 2011 by Nancy Fulda, first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, March 2011.

“Sauerkraut Station,” copyright 2011 by Ferrett Steinmetz, first published in GigaNotoSaurus, November 2011.

“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” copyright 2011 by E. Lily Yu, first published in Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2011.

“Ray of Light,” copyright 2011 by Brad R. Torgersen, first published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2011.

The Freedom Maze, copyright 2011 by Delia Sherman. Used by permission of Big Mouth House.

“The Sea King’s Second Bride,” copyright 2011 by C. S. E. Cooney, first published in Goblin Fruit, Spring 2010.

“The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” copyright 2011 by Kij Johnson, first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011.

Introduction: A Harmony of Thoughts

Catherine Asaro

The Paper Menagerie

Ken Liu

The Ice Owl

Carolyn Ives Gilman


Connie Willis

The Migratory Pattern of Dancers

Katherine Sparrow

Peach-Creamed Honey, poetry

Amal El-Mohtar

The Axiom of Choice

David W. Goldman

Club Story, essay

John Clute

What We Found

Geoff Ryman

excerpt from Among Others

Jo Walton


Nancy Fulda

Sauerkraut Station

Ferrett Steinmetz

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees

E. Lily Yu

Ray of Light

Brad R. Torgersen

excerpt from The Freedom Maze

Delia Sherman

The Sea King’s Second Bride, poetry

C. S. E. Cooney

The Man Who Bridged the Mist

Kij Johnson

2012 Nebula Awards Winners, Nominees, and Honorees

Past Nebula Awards Winners

About the Cover Artist

About the Editor

Drawing is not what you see, but what you must make others see.

—Edgar Degas, The Shop-Talk of Edgar Degas,

edited by R. H. Ives Gammell

When I was a child, my parents gave me several framed prints of ballerinas by painter Edgar Degas. To this day, they remain in my old bedroom, on the wall above the ballet barre where I was supposed to practice but almost never did. Although I loved to dance, doing it alone in my room held little appeal when the alternative was to join my friends, the other dancers at the studios where I trained. Those Degas paintings, however, remain a part of the creative landscape in my mind, whether I am writing, dancing, composing music, or solving the partial differential equations of quantum scattering theory.

The conventional assumption in our culture is that artistic endeavors are distinct from analytic pursuits such as science and math. On one side lies the lush realm of emotion; on the other, we find the straight lines of logic. That separation is reflected in how we view works of speculative fiction. Although the division is most prominent in comparisons between fantasy and hard science fiction, it comes into play for all the speculative subgenres.

I protest this idea that emotion and logic are two mutually exclusive lands separated by a wall of our perceptions, that these realms must be disparate, one ruled by passion, the other by logic. In my experience, the analytic and artistic threads of human endeavor are so thoroughly entangled, it is impossible to separate them. In reading the stories on the ballot this year, I was struck by how well they illustrate that idea.

I wish I could have included every nominated story in this anthology. Unfortunately, that would have resulted in a book that cost more than would fit between two covers, while giving the contributors little more than the proverbial penny for their thoughts. However, the full ballot appears in this anthology, and I recommend all the stories.

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.

—Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

David W. Goldman’s short story “The Axiom of Choice” is an ingenious play on a famous (some might say infamous) mathematical axiom. The axiom of choice seems simple at first glance.