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2019 Locus Award Finalists Announced

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced its shortlists for the best science fiction and fantasy works of 2018. The Locus has been awarded since 1971, and the nominees and winners are chosen based on the votes of Locus magazine readers.

If you’ve been looking for your next sci-fi read, look no further. The categories each have ten finalists, so there’s no shortage of books to choose from. The winners will be announced over the weekend of June 28th, at a ceremony in Seattle that will be MC’d by author Connie Willis.

Some stand-outs from the shortlist include future Rebels With a Cause book club choices The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley and Severance by Ling Ma. Having read Severance last year, I can attest to the high quality of the dystopian novel’s writing and I’m so happy to see it shortlisted for First Novel. I cannot wait for more Ling Ma books. Also in that category are novels that have been on my TBR for some time after hearing some good recommendations, like Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (the latter now being made into a film).

Check out the shortlists below:


Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager US; Hodder & Stoughton)

The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

If Tomorrow Comes, Nancy Kress (Tor)

Revenant Gun, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)

Embers of War, Gareth L. Powell (Titan US; Titan UK)

Elysium Fire, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US)

Red Moon, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Unholy Land, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)

Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)


Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch (DAW; Gollancz)

Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown; Jo Fletcher)

The Monster Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson (Tor)

Deep Roots, Ruthanna Emrys ( Publishing)

Ahab’s Return, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)

The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Headley (MCD)

The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)

Creatures of Want and Ruin, Molly Tanzer (John Joseph Adams)


In the Night Wood, Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams)

Unlanguage, Michael Cisco (Eraserhead)

We Sold Our Souls, Grady Hendrix (Quirk)

Coyote Songs, Gabino Iglesias (Broken River)

The Hunger, Alma Katsu (Putnam; Bantam Press UK)

The Outsider, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton)

The Listener, Robert McCammon (Cemetery Dance)

Cross Her Heart, Sarah Pinborough (HarperCollins UK/Morrow)

The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay (Morrow; Titan UK)

Tide of Stone, Kaaron Warren (Omnium Gatherum)


The Gone Away Place, Christopher Barzak (Knopf)

The Cruel Prince, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)

The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform; Gollancz)

Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman (Random House)

Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Cross Fire, Fonda Lee (Scholastic)

The Agony House, Cherie Priest & Tara O’Connor (Levine)

Half-Witch, John Schoffstall (Big Mouth House)

Impostors, Scott Westerfeld (Scholastic US; Scholastic UK)

Mapping the Bones, Jane Yolen (Philomel)


Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)

Semiosis, Sue Burke (Tor)

Armed in Her Fashion, Kate Heartfield (ChiZine)

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)

The Quantum Magician, Derek Künsken (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

Annex, Rich Larson (Orbit US)

Severance, Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Witchmark, C.L. Polk ( Publishing)

Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri (Orbit US; Orbit UK)


The Black God’s Drums, P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)

The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)

Umbernight, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld 2/18)

Black Helicopters, Caitlín R. Kiernan ( Publishing)

Time Was, Ian McDonald ( Publishing)

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Kelly Robson ( Publishing)

The Freeze-Frame Revolution, Peter Watts (Tachyon)

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells ( Publishing)

Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells ( Publishing)

The Descent of Monsters, JY Yang ( Publishing)


“The Donner Party”, Dale Bailey (F&SF 1–2/18)

“Okay, Glory”, Elizabeth Bear (Twelve Tomorrows)

“No Flight Without the Shatter“, Brooke Bolander ( 8/15/18)

The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)

“The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections“, Tina Connolly ( 7/11/18)

“An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)

“Queen Lily“, Theodora Goss (Lightspeed 11/18)

“Nine Last Days on Planet Earth“, Daryl Gregory ( 9/19/18)

“Quality Time”, Ken Liu (Robots vs Fairies)

“How to Swallow the Moon“, Isabel Yap (Uncanny 11–12/18)

SHORT STORY - Click the links below to read

The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington“, Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)

STET“, Sarah Gailey (Fireside 10/18) - *N.b this is remarkably clever.

Firelight“, Ursula K. Le Guin (Paris Review Summer ’18)

The Starship and the Temple Cat“, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2/1/18)

Mother of Invention“, Nnedi Okorafor (Future Tense)

The Court Magician“, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)


The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Night Shade)

The Book of Magic, Gardner Dozois, ed. (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Worlds Seen in Passing, Irene Gallo, ed. ( Publishing)

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, N.K. Jemisin & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)

Robots vs Fairies, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

The Underwater Ballroom Society, Tiffany Trent & Stephanie Burgis, eds. (Five Fathoms)


The Tangled Lands, Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell (Saga)

Brief Cases, Jim Butcher (Ace; Orbit UK)

An Agent of Utopia, Andy Duncan (Small Beer)

How Long ’til Black Future Month?, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The Dinosaur Tourist, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)

Fire & Blood, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)

All the Fabulous Beasts, Priya Sharma (Undertow)

The Future Is Blue, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)

Starlings, Jo Walton (Tachyon)

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale, Jane Yolen (Tachyon)




Beneath Ceaseless Skies





Strange Horizons



Angry Robot






Small Beer





John Joseph Adams

Neil Clarke

Ellen Datlow

Gardner Dozois

C.C. Finlay

Jonathan Strahan

Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Sheila Williams

Navah Wolfe


Kinuko Y. Craft

Galen Dara

Julie Dillon

Leo & Diane Dillon

Bob Eggleton

Victo Ngai

John Picacio

Shaun Tan

Charles Vess

Michael Whelan


Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, Ursula K. Le Guin & David Naimon (Tin House)

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, Catherine McIlwaine, ed. (Bodleian Library)

None of This Is Normal: The Fiction of Jeff VanderMeer, Benjamin J. Robertson (University of Minnesota Press)


Yoshitaka Amano, Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography – Beyond the Fantasy, Florent Gorges (Les Éditions Pix’n Love 2015; Dark Horse)

John Howe, A Middle-earth Traveler: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; HarperCollins UK)

Jeffrey Alan Love, The Thousand Demon Tree (Flesk)

Simon Stålenhag, The Electric State (Fria Ligan ’17; Skybound)

Shaun Tan, Cicada (Lothian; Levine ’19)

Charles Vess, The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga)

Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History, Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, & Sam Witwer (Ten Speed)

Lisbeth Zwerger, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling (Levine)


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