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Locus Magazine


February 2009 issue
(Table of Contents)



2008 Recommended Reading List
posted 1 February 2009

This recommended reading list, published in Locus Magazine's February 2009 issue, is a consensus by Locus editors and reviewers -- Charles N. Brown, Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, Faren Miller, Russell Letson, Graham Sleight, Carolyn Cushman, Tim Pratt, Karen Haber, and Rich Horton -- with inputs from outside reviewers, other professionals, other lists, etc. Essays by many of these contributors, highlighting their particular favorite books and stories, are published in the February issue.

SF novels

Fantasy novels

First novels

Young Adult Books


Anthologies - Original

Anthologies - Reprint

Anthologies - Best of the Year


Art Books


  • Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key, Kage Baker (Subterranean Press)
  • "The Overseer", Albert E. Cowdrey (F&SF 3/08)
  • The Word of God: Or, Holy Writ Rewritten, Thomas M. Disch (Tachyon Publications)
  • ďThe Political Prisoner", Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF 8/08)
  • "Arkfall", Carolyn Ives Gilman (F&SF 9/08)
  • The Luminous Depths, David Herter (PS Publishing)
  • "Mystery Hill", Alex Irvine (F&SF 1/08)
  • "The Erdmann Nexus", Nancy Kress (Asimovís 10-11/08)
  • "Pretty Monsters", Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters)
  • "The Surfer", Kelly Link (The Starry Rift)
  • "The Hob Carpet", Ian R. MacLeod (Asimovís 6/08)
  • "The Tear", Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
  • "Tenbrook of Mars", Dean McLaughlin (Analog 7-8/08)
  • Once Upon a Time in the North, Philip Pullman (Knopf)
  • "The Man with the Golden Balloon", Robert Reed (Galactic Empires)
  • "Truth", Robert Reed (Asimovís 10-11/08)
  • "True Names", Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
  • "Wonjjang and the Madman of Pyongyang", Gord Sellar (Tesseracts Twelve)
  • "The Philosopherís Stone", Brian Stableford (Asimovís 7/08)


  • "The Gambler", Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
  • "Pump Six", Paolo Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories)
  • "Tangible Light", J. Timothy Bagwell (Analog 1-2/08)
  • "Radio Station St. Jack", Neal Barrett, Jr. (Asimovís 8/08)
  • "The Ice War", Stephen Baxter (Asimovís 9/08)
  • "Turingís Apples", Stephen Baxter (Eclipse Two)
  • "The Rabbiís Hobby", Peter S. Beagle (Eclipse Two)
  • "The Tale of Junko and Sayuri", Peter Beagle (InterGalactic Medicine Show 7/08)
  • "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel", Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads)
  • "Shoggoths in Bloom", Elizabeth Bear (Asimovís 3/08)
  • "The Golden Octopus", Beth Bernobich (Postscripts Summer í08)
  • "If Angels Fight", Richard Bowes (F&SF 2/08)
  • "From the Clay of His Heart", John Brown (InterGalactic Medicine Show 4/08)
  • "Jimmy", Pat Cadigan (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "Catherine Drewe", Paul Cornell (Fast Forward 2)
  • Conversation Hearts, John Crowley (Subterranean Press)
  • "The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away", Cory Doctorow ( 8/08)
  • "Crystal Nights", Greg Egan (Interzone 4/08)
  • "Lost Continent", Greg Egan (The Starry Rift)
  • "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story", James Alan Gardner (Asimovís 2/08)
  • "Memory Dog", Kathleen Ann Goonan (Asimovís 4-5/08)
  • "Shining Armor", Dominic Green (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • "The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm", Daryl Gregory (Eclipse Two)
  • "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08)
  • "The Art of Alchemy", Ted Kosmatka (F&SF 6/08)
  • "Divining Light", Ted Kosmatka (Asimovís 8/08)
  • "Childrun", Marc Laidlaw (F&SF 8/08)
  • "Machine Maid", Margo Lanagan (Extraordinary Engines)
  • "The Woman", Tanith Lee (Clockwork Phoenix)
  • "The Magicianís House", Meghan McCarron (Strange Horizons 7/08)
  • "An Eligible Boy", Ian McDonald (Fast Forward 2)
  • "The Dust Assassin", Ian McDonald (The Starry Rift)
  • "Special Economics", Maureen F. McHugh (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar-Pirates of SarskŲe", Garth Nix (Fast Ships, Black Sails)
  • "Infestation", Garth Nix (The Starry Rift)
  • "Immortal Snake", Rachel Pollack (F&SF 5/08)
  • "The Hour of Babel", Tim Powers (Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy)
  • "Five Thrillers", Robert Reed (F&SF 4/08)
  • "Fury", Alastair Reynolds (Eclipse Two)
  • "The Star Surgeonís Apprentice", Alastair Reynolds (The Starry Rift)
  • "The Egg Man", Mary Rosenblum (Asimovís 2/08)
  • "Sacrifice", Mary Rosenblum (Sideways in Crime)
  • "Days of Wonder", Geoff Ryman (F&SF 10-11/08)
  • "Lester Young and the Jupiterís Moonsí Blues", Gord Sellar (Asimovís 7/08)
  • "Gift from a Spring", Delia Sherman (Realms of Fantasy 4/08)
  • "An Alien Heresy", S.P. Somtow (Asimovís 4-5/08)
  • "Following the Pharmers", Brian Stableford (Asimovís 3/08)
  • "The First Editions", James Stoddard (F&SF 4/08)

Short Stories

  • "Donít Go Fishing on Witches Day", Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden)
  • "Goblin Music", Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden)
  • "The Occultation", Laird Barron (Clockwork Phoenix)
  • "King Pelles the Sure", Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads)
  • "Boojum", Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette (Fast Ships, Black Sails)
  • "Private Eye", Terry Bisson (F&SF 10-11/08)
  • "Offworld Friends Are Best", Neal Blaikie (Greatest Uncommon Denominator Spring í08)
  • "The Man Who Built Heaven", Keith Brooke (Postscripts Summer í08)
  • "Balancing Accounts", James L. Cambias (F&SF 2/08)
  • "Exhalation", Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
  • "The Fooly", Terry Dowling (Dreaming Again)
  • "Truth Window: A Tale of the Bedlam Rose", Terry Dowling (Eclipse Two)
  • "Awskonomuk", Gregory Feeley (Otherworldly Maine)
  • "Daltharee", Jeffrey Ford (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "The Dismantled Invention of Fate", Jeffrey Ford (The Starry Rift)
  • "The Dream of Reason", Jeffrey Ford (Extraordinary Engines)
  • "The Seventh Expression of the Robot General", Jeffrey Ford (Eclipse Two)
  • "Readerís Guide", Lisa Goldstein (F&SF 7/08)
  • ďGlassĒ, Daryl Gregory (Technology Review 11-12/08)
  • "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss", Kij Johnson (Asimovís 7/08)
  • "The Voyage Out", Gwyneth Jones (Periphery)
  • "Evil Robot Monkey", Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • "The Kindness of Strangers", Nancy Kress (Fast Forward 2)
  • "The Sky that Wraps the World Round, Past the Blue into the Black", Jay Lake (Clarkesworld 3/08)
  • "The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross", Margo Lanagan (Dreaming Again)
  • "The Goosle", Margo Lanagan (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "The Thought War", Paul McAuley (Postscripts Summer í08)
  • "[a ghost samba]", Ian McDonald (Postscripts Summer í08)
  • "Midnight Blue", Will McIntosh (Asimovís 9/08)
  • "Fallen Angel", Eugene Mirabelli (F&SF 12/08)
  • "Mars: A Travelerís Guide", Ruth Nestvold (F&SF 1/08)
  • "The Blood of Peter Francisco", Paul Park (Sideways in Crime)
  • "The Small Door", Holly Phillips (Fantasy 5/08)
  • "His Masterís Voice", Hannu Rajaniemi (Interzone 10/08)
  • "The House Left Empty", Robert Reed (Asimovís 4-5/08)
  • "Fifty Dinosaurs", Robert Reed (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • "Traitor", M. Rickert (F&SF 5/08)
  • "Snatch Me Another", Mercurio D. Rivera (Abyss & Apex 1Q/08)
  • "The Film-makers of Mars", Geoff Ryman ( 12/08)
  • "Talk is Cheap", Geoff Ryman (Interzone 6/08)
  • "After the Coup", John Scalzi ( 7/08)
  • "Invisible Empire of Ascending Light", Ken Scholes (Eclipse Two)
  • "Ardent Clouds", Lucy Sussex (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  • "From Babelís Fallín Glory We Fled", Michael Swanwick (Asimovís 2/08)
  • "The Scarecrowís Boy", Michael Swanwick (F&SF 10-11/08)
  • "Marrying the Sun", Rachel Swirsky (Fantasy 6/08)
  • "A Buyerís Guide to Maps of Antarctica", Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 5/08)
  • "Fixing Hanover", Jeff VanderMeer (Extraordinary Engines)
  • "The Eyes of God", Peter Watts (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • "Ass-Hat Magic Spider", Scott Westerfeld (The Starry Rift)
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