Wednesday, May 04, 2016

2016 Locus Award Finalists

Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Locus announced the finalists for their annual Locus Award yesterday.

This is likely worth a longer discussion, but this year's Locus Awards are pretty close to what the Hugo Awards should have looked like in the absence of the Rabid Puppy participants voting a slate in apparent lockstep.

Granted, Locus splits Science Fiction and Fantasy, and from the best of my memory, if a book hits First Novel it will not also be in one of the two other categories (which allows Locus to spread the recognition around).

I've read nearly half of the fiction nominees, and they're almost all really darn good. I also seem to be in the minority on the the ones I didn't appreciate quite so much.

Now, there are things we can argue with because it isn't an awards list or a list of books at all if there isn't something to argue with. For example, the YA category features five books written by men even though a huuuuuuge number of YA novels are written by women. Further, Navah Wolfe points out that the nominees in this category are, across the board, writers best known for adult science fiction and fantasy.

In terms of the Locus Awards, I think this is a bug rather than a feature. Locus (and it's readers who voted / nominated), as a whole, is far more plugged into the adult SFF scene. Their nominees for Young Adult Book very strongly reflects this.

This isn't to say that these finalists are bad, because they very much are not, but they are also not reflective of the YA field.

If you want a good overview of what some of the best science fiction and fantasy is today, and what is happening and current in the genre, you can do far worse than reading the finalists for the 2016 Locus Awards.

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL 
The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (Borzoi; Orbit UK)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)
A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

FANTASY NOVEL 
Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard (Roc; Gollancz)
Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand (PS; Open Road)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

YOUNG ADULT BOOK 
Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Harper Voyager UK)
Half the World, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey)
Harrison Squared, Daryl Gregory (Tor)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)

FIRST NOVEL 
Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (Ace; Macmillan UK)
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)
Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris)
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury US; Bloomsbury UK)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com)

NOVELLA 
Penric’s Demon, Lois McMaster Bujold (self-published)
‘‘The Citadel of Weeping Pearls’’, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 10-11/15)
‘‘The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred’’, Greg Egan (Asimov’s 12/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Slow Bullets, Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

NOVELETTE 
‘‘The Heart’s Filthy Lesson’’, Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
‘‘And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead’’, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
‘‘Black Dog’’, Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning)
‘‘Folding Beijing’’, Hao Jingfang (Uncanny 1-2/15)
‘‘Another Word for World’’, Ann Leckie (Future Visions)

SHORT STORY 
‘‘Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight’’, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 1/15)
‘‘Madeleine’’, Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
‘‘Cat Pictures Please’’, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
‘‘The Dowager of Bees’’, China Miéville (Three Moments of an Explosion)
‘‘Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers’’, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

ANTHOLOGY 
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-second Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Old Venus, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Bantam)
Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About Japan, Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington, eds. (Haikasoru)
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, Nisi Shawl & Bill Campbell, eds. (Rosarium)
Meeting Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

COLLECTION
The Best of Gregory Benford, Gregory Benford (Subterranean)
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, Neil Gaiman (Morrow)
The Best of Nancy Kress, Nancy Kress (Subterranean)
Dancing Through the Fire, Tanith Lee (Fantastic Books)
Three Moments of an Explosion, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey 2016)

MAGAZINE 
Asimov’s
Clarkesworld
F&SF
File 770
Tor.com

PUBLISHER 
Baen
Gollancz
Orbit
Tor
Subterranean

EDITOR 
John Joseph Adams
Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois
David G. Hartwell
Jonathan Strahan

ARTIST 
Galen Dara
Julie Dillon
Bob Eggleton
John Picacio
Michael Whelan

NON-FICTION 
The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks, Simone Caroti (McFarland)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Edward James (University of Illinois Press)
Letters to Tiptree, Alisa Krasnostein & Alexandra Pierce, eds. (Twelfth Planet)
Frederik Pohl, Michael R. Page (University of Illinois Press)
Ray Bradbury, David Seed (University of Illinois Press)

ART BOOK
Julie Dillon’s Imagined Realms, Book 2: Earth and Sky, Julie Dillon (self-published)
Women of Wonder: Celebrating Women Creators of Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner, ed. (Underwood)
Spectrum 22: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, John Fleskes, ed. (Flesk)
Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art & Design, Steven Heller, ed. (Pomegranate)
The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume One: Lands & Legends, Malcolm R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer (Michael Publishing)

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