Sunday, May 15, 2011

Locus Awards "Finalists"

Locus magazine has released the top five finishers in each of the categories of their readers' poll, ahead of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame Weekend in Seattle in late June, on their website.

Of course, Locus already knows what the winner is, in every category -- this is just the list of the top five finishers reorganized alphabetically -- but it does have the shape of a shortlist, so Locus hopes that we will all treat it as one.

And the awards will go to an already-determined subset of the following works:

Science Fiction Novel
I've reviewed both Cryoburn and the Willis dyptych; I haven't read the others.

Fantasy Novel
I've reviewed Kraken, The Fuller Memorandum, and The Sorcerer's House here, and not read the other two.

First Novel
I've reviewed Shades of Milk and Honey and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe; I haven't read the others yet -- though The Quantum Thief is only being published in the US this month.

Young Adult Book
I've reviewed I Shall Wear Midnight and Behemoth here, and I'd missed the publication of Enchanted Glass entirely. (I now have a hold at the library for it.)

Interesting to see that this category is now dominated by books; I'm not sure what that says about the traditional SF magazines.

  • "The Fool Jobs", Joe Abercrombie (Swords & Dark Magic)
  • "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains", Neil Gaiman (Stories)
  • "The Mad Scientist's Daughter", Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons 1/18-1/25/10)
  • "Plus or Minus", James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's 12/10)
  • "Marya and the Pirate", Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov's 1/10)
I reviewed both Swords & Dark Magic and Stories; I'd agree that the Gaiman was one of the best stories in that book -- and one of the best I'd read last year -- but I would not go as far with the Abercrombie. And the magazines do make a comeback in this category; perhaps current circumstances make it difficult for them to publish novellas? (Or, perhaps, just the highest-profile novellas?)

Short Story
  • "Booth's Ghost", Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn't See and Other Stories)
  • "The Thing About Cassandra", Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)
  • "Names for Water", Kij Johnson (Asimov's 10-11/10)
  • "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time", Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/10)
  • "The Things", Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)
Clarkesworld has an amazing batting average this year; remember that they only publish two stories a month.

  • Analog
  • Asimov's
  • F&SF
  • Subterranean
  • is a magazine? You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means. Just because something publishes short fiction semi-regularly does not make it a magazine.

  • Baen
  • Night Shade Books
  • Orbit
  • Subterranean Press
  • Tor
If anyone thinks Tor won't win this category, for the umpty-umpth year running, I'd be happy to make a little side wager.

As previously mentioned, I reviewed Swords & Dark Magic; I haven't read the others.

  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Jonathan Strahan

  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Michael Whelan
Once again I have to ask, seriously, what genre art Whelan has done recently? He's an excellent artist, and did piles of great SF/Fantasy book covers, true. But he's been retired from that part of his career for over a decade, and it's time for the fans to get that through their thick heads and start voting for the great artists who still are working in the field.

I'd love to think that something other than the Heinlein book had a chance here, but I'm much too cynical for that.

Art Books
I note, with mild puzzlement, that the author of the book comes first in this category, unlike all of the others -- and except for the one book edited by non-artists. This is very curious. I resolutely refuse to read anything into that fact, but I do always hope for greater consistency in the future.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew,

One thing to consider regarding novellas -- we small presses are able to pay much more ($.20-$.50 a word, as an advance) than the magazines, especially when we publish the tale as a standalone.

That might account for some of the drift toward novellas as single books, at least.



Anonymous said...

"If anyone thinks Tor won't win this category, for the umpty-umpth year running, I'd be happy to make a little side wager."

I won't take your side bet for two reasons: these "entity" categories tend to be lagging indicators (to which point see your comments on artists), and that money is already allocated to buy books. However, I have noticed that, if Tor (the personified entity Tor) could see the "where my money went" pie chart of my expeditures last year vs. two years ago, it would be running to the refrigerator to see if its lunch was still there. And where would its lunch have gone, you ask? Orbit.

However, as the TV cancellations and renewals have recently reminded me, I've aged out of everyone's target demographic. Tor may not mind that I used to be a nearly-wholly-owned revenue stream, and now I'm not.

Susan Loyal

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