Nebulas in Science Fiction
Nebulas are fairly common in science fiction, especially in visual science fiction as a backdrop to the generally bland black of space.
Nebulae in Star Trek
In Star Trek, nebulae often have exotic properties that hinder the performance of starships trying to operate in or near them. Most nebulae interfere with shields and sensor function to some degree, and some have corrosive effects on starship hulls. Others are inhabited by alien life forms. Sometimes they are referred to as "spacial anomalies" rather then nebulae.