2015 Locus Award Finalists Announced

The Locus Award finalists have been announced for 2015:

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
•The Peripheral, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
•Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
•The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu (Tor)
•Lock In, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)
•Annihilation/Authority/Acceptance, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

FANTASY NOVEL
•The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
•Steles of the Sky, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
•City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway; Jo Fletcher)
•The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman (Viking; Arrow 2015)
•The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot US)

NOVELLA
•“The Man Who Sold the Moon”, Cory Doctorow (Hieroglyph)
•We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
•Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
•“The Regular”, Ken Liu (Upgraded)
•“The Lightning Tree”, Patrick Rothfuss (Rogues)

NOVELETTE
•“Tough Times All Over”, Joe Abercrombie (Rogues)
•“The Hand Is Quicker”, Elizabeth Bear (The Book of Silverberg)
•“Memorials”, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 1/14)
•“The Jar of Water”, Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House #62)
•“A Year and a Day in Old Theradane”, Scott Lynch (Rogues)

SHORT STORY
•“Covenant”, Elizabeth Bear (Hieroglyph)
•“The Dust Queen”, Aliette de Bodard (Reach for Infinity)
•“The Truth About Owls”, Amal El-Mohtar (Kaleidoscope)
•“In Babelsberg”, Alastair Reynolds (Reach for Infinity)
•“Ogres of East Africa”, Sofia Samatar (Long Hidden)

EDIT: Here are the YA and First Novel categories:

YOUNG ADULT BOOK
•Half a King, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Voyager UK)
•The Doubt Factory, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
•Waistcoats & Weaponry, Gail Carriger (Little, Brown; Atom)
•Empress of the Sun, Ian McDonald (Jo Fletcher; Pyr)
•Clariel, Garth Nix (Harper; Hot Key; Allen & Unwin)

FIRST NOVEL
•Elysium, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct)
•A Darkling Sea, James L. Cambias (Tor)
•The Clockwork Dagger, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager)
•The Memory Garden, Mary Rickert (Sourcebooks Landmark)
•The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley (Tor; Tor UK)

There are other categories that I haven’t included. Although the Locus (smartly, in my opinion) splits the Fantasy and SF novel categories, these might be what the Hugos would have looked like without the Sad/Rabid Puppy influence. The Locus Awards are a result of a direct vote of the Locus Magazine subscribers and anyone else who is interested; this doesn’t exactly overlap with WorldCon, but historically they’ve been in the same ballpark. The Locus Award are friendlier to sequels, and to short stories/novellas/ from collections, but otherwise they mirror each other fairly well, particularly at the finalist stage.

So, what do you think of this list? It strikes me as a “right down the middle” selection, choosing most of the critically and readerly acclaimed books of the year.

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4 responses to “2015 Locus Award Finalists Announced”

  1. MadProfessah says :

    I also think it is a great thing to split the fantasy and sci-fi categories but then what happens when you get a book that can’t be clearly categorized into one area or the other? Do you ask the author where they want to be placed? (This is a similar problem the Emmy’s have been having recently with Orange is the new Black and Glee which have been bouncing between the comedy and drama series categories.

    Anyway, as for the nominees themselves, love to see Three-Body Problem showing up again. I’m pretty stunned at Scalzi’s nomination, but he’s incredibly powerful. I DNF Lock In and I am a huge mystery and sci-fi fan. I barely got through Annihilation and have no intention or interest in getting through the others.

    It took my three tries to get through City of Stairs which I ended up liking in the end (or at least I was happy that I finished it). I could not get through <i.The Goblin Emperor.

    I agree that this list is probably closer to what the Hugo list would look like if it were canine-free.

    Any links to where we can read the nominated novellas online?

    • chaoshorizon says :

      I think most of these novellas are still behind paywalls: I know the Gregory and the Kress were published as stand-alone books, and the Doctorow and Rothfuss are from collections. All of those certainly aren’t free. Liu put a free copy of “The Regular” up on his website: if you search Ken Liu The Regular in google, it’ll take you right there. Readers are becoming very reliant—perhaps overly-reliant—on getting their free copies of novels and novellas from the Hugo Voters Packet. Authors got to make money too!

      I recognize the problem of split-genre books; I think you let the voters decide, and then aggregate the votes across both genres. So if people voted for The Bone Clocks as both a Fantasy and SF novel (which you easily could), you’d compare the total number of Fantasy and SF votes, put the book in whatever category it won, and then add all the votes up not to put it at a disadvantage. Perfect? Not at all, but no award is going to be.

  2. Jo Walton says :

    The category I think you ought include is”Best First Novel” which is where, when looking at these awards historically, first novel Hugo nominees — like last year for instance, show up.

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