cover image Nebula Awards Twenty-Seven

Nebula Awards Twenty-Seven

James Morrow. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-164935-8

This weighty collection brings together stories, poems, novellas and essays of the high quality that has come to be associated with the Nebula Awards. The range is wide as these authors show the maturing strides that science fiction and fantasy writing have been taking lately. Among the highlights are Allan Brennert's story about an American soldier killed in Vietnam who finds himself inhabiting the spirit-world afterlife of indigenous Vietnamese culture; Brennert's descriptions of that grotesque world are haunting. Karen Fowler's story also takes up the theme of Vietnam, this time through a frightening tale of bubonic plague spread by the U.S. military. Perhaps the best story is Nancy Kress's, about people who are genetically engineered to need no sleep. This small group, with a third more time to learn and do, achieve more than anyone else and eventually become the targets of bigoted fear from those who need shut-eye. Essays on fantasy films of 1991 and an SF reaction to postmodern literary criticism add a nice touch, as does the poetry. Fans will particularly appreciate a series of tributes to Isaac Asimov, who died in 1992. Morrow wrote Only Begotten Daughter. (Apr.)