I don’t remember when I first saw the words “Nebula Award Winner” emblazoned on a science fiction paperback. It might well have been alongside “Hugo Award Winner” on the cover of The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C Clarke, which won both of speculative fiction’s premier awards in 1979 and 1980. I can’t have known that the Hugos were named for editor Hugo Gernsback and awarded at the annual science fiction WorldCon, or that the Nebulas were awarded by the membership of Science Fiction Writers of America. What I did know was that any book that had won one or both awards stood a good chance of being amazing. Following the Hugo/ Nebula trail led me to Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Ursula K LeGuin and a host of other writers so wondrous I can barely imagine life without them.
Published by Damien Walter
Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book. View more posts