I'm pleased and honored to have two stories on the Preliminary Nebula Ballot -- "Fountain of Age" and "Safeguard." I'm also, once again (this is getting to be a chronic state) bemused because neither of these stories was picked up by any of the three Best of the Years that, instead, chose others of my 2007 publications. This is clear evidence that I should never work as an odds bookie in Las Vegas.
The novella ballot is an interesting one: four stories from F&SF and mine from ASIMOV'S. The F&SF stories are by Gene Wolfe, Bruce Sterling, Lucius Shepard, and Matt Hughes. All of us are well over 50. There are younger writers in the other categories, but we Baby Boomers (plus Gene, who is perpetually young) seem to have the novella category to ourselves. Does this mean anything? Does the next generation of SF writers prefer to go either shorter or longer?
The novella is my absolute favorite length to write. It's long enough to create a well developed background, but short enough to need only one plot, without a lot of subplots to keep track of. Much of SF's classic, Golden Age work took the form of novellas. I hope the form is not dying out.
Another interesting point, and a contrast to previous years: All five novella nominations appear to be SF, not fantasy. I say "appear to be" because I have not yet read Matt Hughes's "The Helper and His Hero," although a quick scan of the download gave me the impression it's SF. For an SF writer all too aware of the eclipse of my favorite genre by fantasy, this is encouraging news indeed.