Diversity in the 2015 Nebula Award Nominees

Nebula Awards logo

The Nebula Award is one of the most well-known literary award for science fiction and fantasy. Oftentimes, the genre is seen as lacking in the diversity department, not only in story content but in the creators behind them. The 2015 Nebula nominees show that progress is happening.

The Nebula Awards recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), membership in which is open to professional science fiction and fantasy authors. The organization is recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations, with approximately 2,000 members of science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals.

A boon for women and POC authors 

Of the six categories with nominees announced, let’s look at five of them (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy) together.  Of the 36 nominees, 23 were women and seven were people of color (POC).

*Charts based on the following five categories Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Television and Movies still behind the curve

The one category where women and POC falter is (not surprisingly) in the dramatic presentation category which covers television and film. Since most of the titles nominated for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation have a team of creatives, I think it makes sense to view it separately from the rest.

In this category, of the six nominees, only 2 teams had included women. Of the six, only one team also included a male POC.

Now without further ado, I present the nominees for the 2015 Nebula Awards.


7 nominees, 4 being women, 2 POC

  • Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
  • The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu
  • Uprooted, Naomi Novik
  • Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen
  • Updraft, Fran Wilde

6 nominees, 4 being women, 2 POC

  • Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato
  • “The Bone Swans of Amandale,” C.S.E. Cooney
  • “The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer
  • “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” Usman T. Malik
  • Binti, Nnedi Okorafor
  • “Waters of Versailles,” Kelly Robson

6 nominees, 4 being women 

  • “Rattlesnakes and Men,” Michael Bishop
  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead,” Brooke Bolander
  • “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds,” Rose Lemberg
  • “The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society,” Henry Lien
  • “The Deepwater Bride,” Tamsyn Muir
  • “Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker
Short Story

6 nominees, 3 being women, 1 POC

  • “Madeleine,” Amal El-Mohtar
  • “Cat Pictures Please,” Naomi Kritzer
  • “Damage,” David D. Levine
  • “When Your Child Strays From God,” Sam J. Miller
  • “Today I Am Paul,” Martin L. Shoemaker
  • “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation 

6 nominees, 1 team with a woman, 1 team with a woman and a POC

  • Ex Machina, Written by Alex Garland
  • Inside Out, Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original
    Story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
  • Jessica Jones: AKA Smile, Teleplay by Scott Reynolds & Melissa Rosenberg;
    Story by Jamie King & Scott Reynolds
  • Mad Max: Fury Road, Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick
  • The Martian, Screenplay by Drew Goddard
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Written by Lawrence Kasdan & J. J. Abrams
    and Michael Arndt
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

 9 nominees, 8 being women, 2 POC

  • Seriously Wicked, Tina Connolly
  • Court of Fives, Kate Elliott
  • Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
  • Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • Zeroboxer, Fonda Lee
  • Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older
  • Bone Gap, Laura Ruby
  • Nimona, Noelle Stevenson
  • Updraft, Fran Wilde

Congratulations to all the 2015 Nebula Award nominees! The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference which will run from May 12 to 15 in Chicago, Illinois and feature seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions.

Brenda Noiseux

Brenda Noiseux

Community builder, artist, convention organizer, gamer, geek writer @womenoncomics, @Sidequest_BHP. Owner, Bittenby Studios