This year's Nebula winner, which I bought expecting not to enjoy much - the Nebulas have been as much miss as hit for me in recent years, and I had read autopope's brief critiques.
I'm therefore a little surprised to report that I really enjoyed it. As a lapsed historian and even more lapsed archaeologist, I lapped up McDevitt's portrayal of a far-future quest for a lost human colony, driven by the discovery of a plastic cup with an inscription in the forgotten language of English, with an imaginative astronomical twist at the end of the story. autopope does make a good point, in that taken as a novel about the future it is a little unexciting, but I think it should be read also as a novel about the past, and how we will deal with the past in the future, and I found it pretty satisfying on that score.
Having said that, the best sf book I read published i the time frame of eligibility for this year's Nebula award is still Elizabeth Bear's Carnival.