SFWA Announces the 56th Annual Nebula Award® Finalists

March 15, 2021 – The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 56th Annual Nebula Awards®.The awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony on June 5, 2021, hosted by returning Toastmaster Aydrea Walden.

SFWA is pleased to welcome back Aydrea for a second year. Walden has written for the series Yin Yang Yo! and created, written, and starred in the Webby-nominated series Black Girl in a Big Dress. She has worked in the animation department on the films The Croods, Home, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Walden also performs, appearing in her one-woman show, The Oreo Experience: A Total Whitey Trapped in a Black Chick’s Body, the short film Sci-Fi 60, and an episode of The Mandalorian.



Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury US; Bloomsbury UK)

The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US & UK)

Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)

The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)

Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga; Solaris)

Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)


“Tower of Mud and Straw”Yaroslav Barsukov (Metaphorosis)

Finna, Nino Cipri (Tordotcom)

Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom)

“Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon”, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aurelia Leo)

The Four Profound Weaves, R.B. Lemberg (Tachyon)

Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom)


“Stepsister”, Leah Cypess (F&SF 5-6/20)

“The Pill”, Meg Elison (Big Girl, PM Press)

“Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 5-6/20)

“Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com 6/17/20)

“Where You Linger”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Uncanny 1-2/20)

“Shadow Prisons”, Caroline M. Yoachim (serialized in the Dystopia Triptych series as “The Shadow Prison Experiment”, “Shadow Prisons of the Mind”, and “The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma”, Broad Reach Publishing + Adamant Press)


“Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny 1-2/20)

“Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math”, Aimee Picchi (Daily Science Fiction 1/3/20)

“A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, Solaris)

“The Eight-Thousanders”, Jason Sanford (Asimov’s 9-10/20)

“My Country Is a Ghost”, Eugenia Triantafyllou (Uncanny 1-2/20)

“Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots 6/15/20)



RaybearerJordan Ifueko (Amulet)

Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll)

A Game of Fox & Squirrels, Jenn Reese (Holt)

Star Daughter, Shveta Thakrar (HarperTeen)



Blaseball, Stephen Bell, Joel Clark, Sam Rosenthal (The Game Band)

Hades, Greg Kasavin (Supergiant) 

Kentucky Route Zero, Jake Elliott (Cardboard Computer)

The Luminous Underground, Phoebe Barton (Choice of Games)

Scents & Semiosis, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Cat Manning, Caleb Wilson, Yoon Ha Lee (Self)

Spiritfarer, Nicolas Guérin, Maxime Monast, Alex Tommi-Morin (Thunder Lotus Games)


Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Christina Hodson, Warner Bros. Pictures (Clubhouse Pictures/DC Entertainment/Kroll & Co. Entertainment/LuckyChap Entertainment)

The Expanse: “Gaugamela”, Dan Nowak, Amazon Prime (Alcon Entertainment/Alcon Television Group/Amazon Studios/Hivemind/Just So)

The Good Place: “Whenever You’re Ready”, Michael Schur, NBC (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal)

Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Misha Green, Shannon Houston, Kevin Lau, Wes Taylor, Ihuoma Ofordire, Jonathan I. Kidd, Sonya Winton-Odamtten, HBO Max (Bad Robot/Monkeypaw Productions/Warner Bros.Television)

The Mandalorian: “The Tragedy”, Jon Favreau, Disney+ (Golem Creations/Lucasfilm)

The Old Guard, Greg Rucka, Netflix (Skydance Media/Denver and Delilah Productions/Marc Evans Productions)

The results of the final ballot will be announced at the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® ceremony during the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4–6, 2021. Open to SFWA members and nonmembers alike, the annual Nebula Conference is taking place entirely online for a second year. 

For $125, registered participants will gain entry to professional development panels, virtual socializing spaces dubbed the “Airship Nebula,” mentorship opportunities, office hours with experts, an archive of the content, and access to ongoing educational events throughout the following year. 

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