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2010 Locus Recommended Reading
February 18, 2011 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, is the paper of record in the science fiction community. Every year the editors and reviewers at Locus publish a recommended reading list which includes novels, YA novels, first novels, anthologies and collections, related non-fiction, art books, and three types of shorter work (novellas, novelettes, and short stories). If you are at all interested in the current state of the SF&F genre you can't do better than Locus' yearly effort. The list for 2010 appears in the February issue.

Lists from previous years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000.
posted by Justinian (25 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't quite read every novel on the Locus list each year, and I read far fewer of the shorter or non-fiction works, but I await February with great anticipation and scrutinize the list closely with an Amazon tab open. I generally end up with at least a half dozen novels in my cart, and often quite a few more.

If you care about the field at all you owe it to yourself to bookmark Locus and, even if you never visit the site at any other time, check it religiously each February.
posted by Justinian at 3:38 PM on February 18, 2011


The Locus blog has a roundup of the recommend short fiction available online.
posted by penguinliz at 4:06 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Connie Willis, but Blackout didn't grab me. Read a sample chapter and then didnt buy it. Maybe I'll try it again.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:12 PM on February 18, 2011


One of my stories is on that list! Specifically, The Interior of Mister Bumblethorn's Coat.
posted by overglow at 4:24 PM on February 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


THANK YOU. That is all.
posted by anarch at 4:50 PM on February 18, 2011


Huh, and here I thought Locus was a purple-haired halfbreed chick with a magic sword (NSFW)
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:54 PM on February 18, 2011


I love pretty much everything Tobias Buckell writes. If you like things like Halo and Hellblazer and Wolverine, you will also like Tobias Buckell's writing. Just saying.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:55 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gah, I don't usually read a lot of horror and there's a relatively large amount of it on this list this year, so I had to order 10 books today. Send help.
posted by Justinian at 5:17 PM on February 18, 2011


Well congratulations, overglow!
posted by Mister_A at 5:32 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you. And I LOVE that "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is classified fantasy. Because it totally is.
posted by eugenen at 5:33 PM on February 18, 2011


Gah. Too many books to read!

Zoo City was really good. Like surprisingly good. You should read it. Yes, you.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:39 PM on February 18, 2011


Ooh, this is perfect. I was just wondering what to read after finishing Perdido Street Station.

No books from The Dresden Files in the list? Boo.
posted by Memo at 6:11 PM on February 18, 2011


I usually just read what artw tells me to, but I'm willing to give reading what Justinian tells me to a try.
posted by Mister_A at 6:12 PM on February 18, 2011


Sweet! Several of my favorite stories from Clarkesworld are on the list, which is nice to see. And ulterior motives demand that I place a vote for The Way of the Wizard (anthology), as I have a story in that one.
posted by crackingdes at 6:32 PM on February 18, 2011


I've read some of the YA book picks in the last few months. Gonna see if I can pick up more at the library soon. Thanks!
posted by dragonplayer at 6:45 PM on February 18, 2011


I love Connie Willis, but Blackout didn't grab me. Read a sample chapter and then didnt buy it. Maybe I'll try it again.

Blackout is a frustrating novel - I wanted to slowly strangle each and every one of the characters whilst whispering to them, 'thou shalt not be a dithering prat.'

The sequel 'All Clear' is better - both in storytelling and pacing. It ends up somewhat predictable, but the payoff is decent. I've decided that to appreciate Willis in those books you have to appreciate her research, which is exacting, it seems. After reading both, I decided the ordeal of the first book was worth it in finishing the second.
posted by Thistledown at 7:01 PM on February 18, 2011


No books from The Dresden Files in the list? Boo.

Yeah, that's not exactly the kind of book Locus is usually looking for. Hell, Pratchett is probably only grudgingly allowed on.
posted by Justinian at 7:06 PM on February 18, 2011


Locus's online story links are great, but the novels and so forth just go to Amazon links, not all of which have excerpts. (And the ones that do seem an arbitrary page-length.) So! Here's a very partial list of more curated available excerpts to the Locus online reading list:

Novels - Science Fiction

* Yarn, Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
* Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks (Orbit; Orbit UK)
* Directive 51, John Barnes (Ace)
* Chill, Elizabeth Bear (Ballantine Spectra)
* Hull Zero Three, Greg Bear (Orbit US)
* CryoBurn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
* The Passage, Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
* Zendegi, Greg Egan (Night Shade Books; Gollancz)
* Zero History, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
* Feed, Mira Grant (Orbit)
* Starbound, Joe Haldeman (Ace)
* Sleepless, Charlie Huston (Ballantine)
* Brain Thief, Alexander Jablokov (Tor)
* The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Pyr; Gollancz)
* Terminal World, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Ace)
* Birdbrain, Johanna Sinisalo (Peter Owen) - couldn't find one for this
* Blackout / All Clear, Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)

Novels - Fantasy

* The Golden Age, Michal Ajvaz, translated by Andrew Oakland (Dalkey Archive)
* The Bird of the River, Kage Baker (Tor)
* Zoo City, Lauren Beukes (Jacana South Africa; Angry Robot UK; Angry Robot US)
* The Desert Spear, Peter V. Brett (Ballantine Del Rey; HarperVoyager)
* Changeless, Gail Carriger (Orbit US)
* The Wolf Age, James Enge (Pyr)
* Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde (Viking; Hodder & Stoughton)
* The Jade Man's Skin, Daniel Fox (Del Rey)
* The Half-Made World, Felix Gilman (Tor)
* Horns, Joe Hill (Morrow; Gollancz)
* Kings of the North, Cecelia Holland (Forge)
* Hespira, Matthew Hughes (Night Shade Books)
* Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay (Penguin Canada; Roc)
* The Bards of Bone Plain, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace)
* Kraken, China MiƩville (Macmillan UK; Ballantine Del Rey)
* The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell (Random House)
* Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
* The Folding Knife, K. J. Parker (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
* A Matter of Blood, Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz) - couldn't find one for this
* The House of Discarded Dreams, Ekaterina Sedia (Prime Books) - couldn't find one for this
* A Dark Matter, Peter Straub (Doubleday; Orion)
* The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
* The Habitation of the Blessed, Catherynne M. Valente (Night Shade Books)
* The Sorcerer's House, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

First Novels

* The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer (Night Shade Books)
* Noise, Darin Bradley (Spectra)
* Clowns at Midnight, Terry Dowling (PS Publishing) - couldn't find one for this
* A Book of Tongues, Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
* The Native Star, M. K. Hobson (Ballantine Spectra)
* Meeks, Julia Holmes (Small Beer Press)
* The Last Page, Anthony Huso (Tor)
* The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
* Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
* Redemption in Indigo, Karen Lord (Small Beer Press)
* The Dream of Perpetual Motion, Dexter Palmer (St. Martin's)
* The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz; Tor 2011)
* The Bookman, Lavie Tidhar (Angry Robot UK; Angry Robot US)
* The Replacement, Brenna Yovanoff (Razorbill)
* How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu (Pantheon)

Some books have multiple excerpts floating around if you get really invested in something. Happy reading!
posted by greenland at 7:17 PM on February 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yes! My post receives the credit for all of greenland's hard work!
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on February 18, 2011


You bastard. I'm supposed to be reading work related materials.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:29 AM on February 19, 2011


Directive 51 by Barnes is on the list for last yet. It so happens that I read it last week. Not my favorite Barnes by a long shot; it reads like it was written for Red Bull addicted ferrets who just took their first hit of meth. I wonder if anyone would get a reference to McCutheon's Law? In any case, 51 is Barnes writing Steve Stirling's initial Change novel without all the woo woo mysticism. Even if it's pretty clear the woo woo mysticism in Stirling is some kind of alien space bat and not actually mysticism.

On the other hand I also just finished the Banks, and it is his best work in decades.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 PM on February 19, 2011


I'm surprised that many of these have very low review scores on Amazon.

Memo - quite different compared to Perdido, but Mieville's The City and the City is pretty great. For some reason, Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl kinda felt like Perdido.
posted by porpoise at 5:51 PM on February 19, 2011


Yes! My post receives the credit for all of greenland's hard work!

Heh. *discreetly pushes tip jar forward* My pleasure!
posted by greenland at 6:12 PM on February 19, 2011


The Dresden Files: Yeah, that's not exactly the kind of book Locus is usually looking for.

Given that according to Locus's figures, science fiction is has now been pushed into third place in terms of books published, I wonder how long before they cave and start covering paranormal romance.

Fantasy novels: 614
Paranormal romance: 384
SF novels: 285
Horror novels: 251
posted by ninebelow at 1:19 AM on February 20, 2011


Fangfuckers are just a fad! A fad!
posted by Justinian at 11:48 AM on February 20, 2011


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