cover image The Best of the Nebulas

The Best of the Nebulas

Ben Bova. Tor Books, $19.95 (608pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93184-1

In 1965, the Science Fiction Writers of America instituted the Nebula Awards to recognize and celebrate the best works of the year. Editor Bova asked SFWA members to pick five favorite works from among the more than 100 winners, and the result is this stellar collection of 21 novellas, novelettes and short stories. Long-time fans will find this all familiar material; for new readers, there could be no better introduction to modern SF. Among the stories are ``He Who Shapes,'' Roger Zelazny's novella of a psychotherapist who treats his patients by entering the landscapes of their minds, and of the danger he courts in the psyches of the insane; Harlan Ellison's exercise in nostalgia, melancholia and retreat from adulthood, ``Jeffty is Five''; Fritz Leiber's scary and exhilarating tale of a confrontation with the devil over a gambling table, ``Gonna Roll the Bones''; George R. R. Martin's intensely frightening ``Sandkings.'' There are also outstanding contributions by Samuel R. Delany, Ursula Le Guin, Theodore Sturgeon, Joanna Russ, Anne McCaffrey and Clifford Simak. Each story bears a short introduction by the author or the editor, and there are also essays on the 10 best novellas. (Apr.)