Reading through the Nebula winners which I have not already reviewed online brings me to this old friend, the first novel of Bujold’s Vorkosigan series (albeit one with no mention of the Vorkosigans or their planet at all). It’s a feel-good, future engineering novel with a social twist: our hero has to defeat the evil man from management and rescue hundreds of genetically modified children and teenagers from certain doom. A pleasure to reread it and refresh my memory of the origin of parts of Bujold’s future universe.
The other novels shortlisted for the 1988 Nebula were Deserted Cities of the Heart by Lewis Shiner, Drowning Towers by George Turner, Great Sky River by Gregory Benford, The Urth of the New Sunby Gene Wolfe, Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson and Red Prophet by Orson Scott Card. I have read only the Gibson and the Card; as usual with Gibson, I can’t remember anything about Mona Lisa Overdrive, and while I enjoyed Red Prophet, Falling Free is better in almost every way. Bujold, Card and Gibson got Hugo nominations for those books, as did Bruce Sterling for Islands in the Net, but the Hugo itself was won by Cyteen (which I bounced off).