Nebula Awards Introduces Game Writing Category, and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Is a Nominee

A scene from Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Photo: Netflix

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has released its list of nominees for the 2018 Nebula Awards, and things are looking good this year. Not only is this year’s Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Performance category a powerhouse of great nominees, but there’s also a brand-new category that, surprisingly, includes Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

As reported by Tor.com, this year has a solid group of nominees for the Nebula Awards. For example, The Good Place’s Jeremy Bearimy,” Sorry to Bother You, and Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer were all nominated for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, among other equally amazing projects. However, there’s a new category this year: Game Writing, which honors video game storytelling.

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The inaugural year for the category includes God of War and the interactive novel The Road to Canterbury by Kate Heartfield. But there’s also a curious addition: Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which was a (non-trademarked) Choose Your Own Adventure-style television special that blurred the line between viewing and playing. It’s interesting to see Bandersnatch getting recognized for its excellence in game writing, rather than general storytelling, and hints that we could see interactive films and shows continuing to move into the gaming sphere.

The Nebula Awards winners will be announced during the Nebula Conference, which takes place May 16-19. Here’s the full list of nominees:

Novel

The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Witchmark, C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)
Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

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Novella

Fire Ant, Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)
The Black God’s Drums, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
Alice Payne Arrives, Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing)
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
Artificial Condition, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

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Novelette

The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
“The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” Tina Connolly (Tor.com 7/11/18)
“An Agent of Utopia,” Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
“The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births,” José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18)
“The Rule of Three,” Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18)
“Messenger,” Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)

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Short Story

“Interview for the End of the World,” Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)
“Going Dark,” Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)
“And Yet,” A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)
“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
“The Court Magician,” Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)

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Game Writing

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)
The Road to Canterbury, Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
God of War, Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio/Sony/Interactive Entertainment)
Rent-A-Vice, Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)
The Martian Job, M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

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The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy” (Written by Megan Amram)
Black Panther (Written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole)
A Quiet Place (Screenplay by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman)
Dirty Computer (Written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning)
Sorry to Bother You (Written by Boots Riley)

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The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
Aru Shah and the End of Time, Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)
A Light in the Dark, A.K. DuBoff (BDL)
Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman (Random House)
Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, Henry Lien (Henry Holt)

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About the author

Beth Elderkin

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.