Here are comments, very lightly edited and presented anonymously, submitted by voters in this year’s Locus Poll and Survey. Results of the poll will be published in the magazine’s July issue; survey results will appear in August issue.


A link to a sample of each entry would help, if it’s a book we haven’t tried yet. There are so many it’s bound to happen. Especially for artists.

A lot of what you appear to be classifying as “Young Adult” is actually “Middle Grade”. There is a significant difference in the types of books in those age categories. At very least, it would be good if you labeled the “Young Adult” section as “Young Adult and Middle Grade”, although separate sections would show the diversity of content better.

All of you are the Best! Thanks.

Although I get that it does not help with the demographic, etc. info for your advertisers, you should explore data on reading from the library.

although i’ve never been a subscriber i have donated to at least one project (sf archive related) you all have done in the past. and i love love love what you do with the list, the poll, reviewing in general, and offering a way to broaden one’s perspective on the field (even though i pay more attention some years than others). keep up the good work!

Are the Dragon Awards legitimate awards? Is there any transparency at all in how/who is nominated and selected?

As a retired person on a fixed income I have started using the library to keep up with the Locus Recommended list purchasing books when I have to.

As always: Define “collector.” I checked “no” because I’m more of an accumulator, not a systematic collector — but I own thousands of books. In the “pleasure reading” question, define SF — science fiction in the narrower sense, or all spec fic? I checked “yes” because I assume fantasy is included. As for the magazine, I register my usual perception that the number of book reviews has declined in recent years. If so, I wish you would add a few more pages of short reviews to each issue. (Personally, I would prefer those over additional interviews if choices had to be made.)

As per usual — a lot of the books I buy are “remainders” and I am never sure whether you want me to count those as new or used.

As usual in recent years, I didn’t vote for anything in the poll. I rarely read short fiction and I only buy new novels in mass market pb, and there are so few of those now that only a very few are on your list, and I haven’t read them yet. I continue to strongly believe that the “trade paper” book format is a ripoff of the reader (and the only purpose for hardbacks is to go into libraries), and I refuse to buy them new. For the last few years, I’ve been buying them used online – more expensive than libraries but much more flexible and convenient for me. Sooo…. it’s fine if you don’t want to give me an additional month for filling in the survey.

Avid reader

Continue doing a great job. I look forward to getting Locus.

Continue doing reviews on horror and weird fiction!!!

Could you please add a graphic novel selection to this nomination list?

Demographic & cultural outlier. A dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

Fantastic magazine with remarkable staff

Glad you’re still here. Keep up the good work!

Good job. Go ahead! 🙂

Great magazine – keep up the good work.

Great magazine. Thank You.

Great magazine: the reviews have led to me to wonderful reading, the upcoming lists are really useful. I was very sad that the World Fantasy Award removed Lovecraft.

Hang in there, LOCUS! I know financial times are tough for us all, but HANG IN THERE! The field needs you!

Hard to single out Rich Larson far and away best of 2016. So many good stories which to nominate?

Hello, Locus Crew, Sorry for sending this so late. I was waiting to see if my granddaughter would sign up for softball this year. She would have played in a division that used score keepers. But she decided not to play so I will have to wait one more year when my grandson (her cousin) will be out of T-Ball and in a Coach Pitch League that will need a score keeper. It has been 15 years since my son has played so I might be a little rusty but I am ready to get back to it.

Hi colleagues, good article and fastidious arguments commented at this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

I adore Locus and it is one of the main sources for book shopping that I use every year. Keep up the *great* work.

I appreciate the terrific job that the Locus staff does every month in keeping up to date on the world of science fiction. I look forward to every issue.

I bet the readership is continuing to age, slowly & gracefully.

I buy very few books as I receive about 20 a month for free.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that Locus exists — thank you. Keep up the good work!

I don’t really read books any more. When I did read books, they were nonfiction books such as Stiff and Salt. I buy hard and soft cover books for friends and family for Christmas. I don’t watch TV, but I do go out to the movies. I signed up for HBO just to watch Game of Thrones. I watch science and humor videos on YouTube. Hope this helps!

I generally do NOT write-in my votes but this year I did. It seemed to me that 2016 was a weaker year for SF/F Short fiction than 2015. I nominated and voted in the Hugo awards both years and read a lot relative to what I used to read.

I get 98% of my books from the Library

I get most of my books from the library.

I have a digital subscription, & a paper one. The latter I can share with a friend who can’t afford his own. I prefer to read novels in paper, and shorter fiction on my i-pad (Kindle) I find it surprising to see so many fantasy stories on the Hugo, when there’s also a World Fantasy Convention, etc. Doesn’t seem fair to me.

I have been subscribing to Locus for years. The quality of the writing, editorials and commentary continues to remain exemplary. Locus Staff…you are appreciated!

I have only read TWO of the “suggested” books. The rest I would not read if you paid me, as they just aren’t good stories (and I am NOT a “sad puppy,” just a normal SF/mystery/historical fictions reader, who reads for plot and character) FYI, I avoid anything the New York Times recommends, as well. Same reason. “Literary” does not mean interesting.

I just found out about Locus. I don’t feel I read enough of the books to vote for any. I dislike it when people vote for the only book in the category that they read. I think it would be worth noting, that I can read a book electronically, and only barely remember the title and author. Others have told me the same thing. That isn’t the same with print books. Perhaps research or an article on this could be interesting.

I look forward to Locus every month.

I lost interest in Locus when it was the same old names, indies ignored, especially women authors.

I love good genre fiction. Scalzi is a current favorite in sci fi because of his humor and decency.

I love Locus! I don’t like this survey! I love SF. Unfortunately, most of what I see today is fantasy by and about women and I can’t relate or identify as I could in the past.

I love the poll. I wish I could keep up on short fiction like I used to many years ago. I don’t collect anymore, only buying my absolute favorite authors (and occasional new ones), as I’m 70 now and need to downsize my extensive collection. So I use the library a lot, which means it’s hard to read books as they come out (libraries take a while to actually get the books). I’m a novice e-reader and expect my usage will increase over time. And my new year’s resolution is to subscribe to some of the online magazines Real Soon Now! It’s the only way to spot the new writers!

I love your collection of sci-fi awards news.

I mainly read on my smartphone so should I be including that in with ereader…?

I miss Lois Tilton’s short fiction column.

I never have enough time to read all that I want

I read a lot less now than I did when I had the bookstore….

I read a lot of library books, I hardly buy any.

I think that it is great that Locus readers are provided a voice through this poll & survey.

I wish people would stop worrying about who writes the fiction and concentrate more on the worth of the story or the book. Who cares whether the author is black, white, male, female, able bodied, disabled or a pile of spaghetti with too much garlic as long as they write good stories.

I wish you would stop asking how many books, etc. are purchased per month. If I buy 2-3 trade paperbacks a year, how am I supposed to answer the per month question? Isn’t yearly enough? The magazine continues to be great; keep up the good work!

I would like to subscribe to an electronic version. An app would be nice.

I’d heard of LOCUS for years, but couldn’t afford a subscription and often couldn’t find it in bookstores. Finally was able to subscribe a couple years back and hope to continue to do so for another 20+ years. GREAT publication!! I like the poll; wish I’d had more time to read even more of the entries here.

I’d like more coverage of sf: hard, social, international. Less fantasy & horror. Some perspective pieces too.

I’ll be honest, never heard of locus till a new author I support asked us Patreons to come vote for his books here. I hope you guys check Matthew Rossi out. Thanks!

I’m getting old enough now to see a lot of the SF concepts I read about as a child becoming reality, makes me wonder if today’s speculative fiction, especially hard SF, will have as much creation in reality in the future, if so it will be an amazing, and perhaps frightening, world.

I’m not buying as much sf/f as I did in the past — not because I’m not interested, but because, lord help me, I’m a writer and I’m broke. Busted. Bereft of funds. Two of the classes I teach were canceled this spring, so if it weren’t for libraries I could barely keep up at all. I could kvetch for hours but that would be a bore. Other than being destitute I’m doing all right. I like what I’m writing and teaching, when I get my gets, is more rewarding than should be legal. I could be worse.

I’m not sure how long I’ve subscribed to Locus, but I read it from the newsstands for several years before I did. I’m embedded in a network of friends (20+) across the country with varying tastes with whom I trade recommendations and personal evaluations of genre fiction. Locus helps me be among the most knowledgeable and helpful to others with suggestions.

Interesting about your asking about use of e-books. I have just made the decision this year to buy all my new SF as an e-book. If I like the story, I will then try to source a really good used hardcover copy, if possible. It is all down to the best bang for the buck.

Keep in mind I write fantasy with science fiction overtones, sometimes called spec fiction or scifan fiction.

Keep up the fantastic work!!! You continue each year to do Charles proud!!!

Keep up the good work. Without Locus, collecting scifi/fantasy/weird books wouldn’t be the same. Love from Sweden.

Keep up the great work!

Keep up the great work.

Keep up the increased coverage of dark fantasy and horror. I’d love it if you covered more small press publications.

Last year I let my subscription to Locus lapse for the first time in decades. I wasn’t reading the issues when the arrive in the mail, and I figured I could just pick up occasional issues at B&N. Well, you know what happened. I found myself flipping through every issue at B&N, and eventually buying it. At least I was reading it now! I finally re-subscribed last fall, and I’m glad I did.

Less choices on the forms, please. I went in knowing 2-3 things I wanted to vote for in most categories, and by having so many things on the list it was near impossible to find things I’d read and liked that I maybe didn’t remember off the top of my head.

Locus covers most of the things in the world of Science Fiction hence, I get the updated information here itself in my country. We remain grateful for the work done by the entire team.

Locus is a great way for me to find out what is coming out in book form. I prefer ink and paper to ebooks. Thank you for being such a great resource.

Locus is amazing. The poll helps me see the breadth and depth of our field, especially neat stuff I would otherwise miss.

Locus is indispensable for reviews, information, issues, and images from art and ads

Locus is one of the foundation-stones of my universe.

Locus is the best magazine ever published, especially for book collectors. However, I do wish there were more horror titles/interviews included. Thank you to all of you who work so hard to keep us informed.

Love LOCUS website!

Love Locus; always interesting!

Make it easier to find this online poll – it should be on the home page and easy to find (I had to search for “poll survey” to find it).

Most of my fiction buying is ebook. I occasionally add to my collection, but infrequently because of lack of space! I prefer non DRM ebook sellers but still buy a lot from Amazon.

My cat submitted my form for me, when it was only half filled out…this is the complete survey. Sorry about that. I’m afraid Bugbear is aptly named.

My stack of to be read books probably reaches to the moon now. 🙁

Need an easy way to tell novella/novelette/short story apart. I’m darned if I know how long something is (yes, I know it’s easy with e-books, but by the time the poll comes out I rarely have the originals around).

Not much to comment on. The real world is far more fantastic (and horrifying) than the books I read! Since I got an e-reader a couple of years ago, my book buying has exploded because I no longer need to worry about where to put all of them anymore! I now may actually achieve the library of my dreams. I read more first novels this past year than I typically have in the last 20 years or so and I liked three of them! It may well happen someday in the future when more of my reading isn’t SF, as I’m starting to read more non-fiction again. I’m reading again about the Civil War — it beats reading the news! I know how that will end. I had trouble deciding what short fiction to vote for, as I could probably do a completely different ballot in novelette and short story and still be happy with the results. I could probably replace three or four novellas and not mind the results. I suppose that means it was a good year.

Not sure if the book-buying section is meant to represent anything about book-reading practices… I answered the way I did because I review books for a living so am most often not buying them anymore.

Note: I accidentally hit submit w/out an email address 5min ago. I am not a subscriber(and am a bit weirded out by the questions asking me for so much demographic info…please reconsider/condense, it’s in poor taste to ask for income and housing status like this. The book questions I understand and would answer if the creepy stuff for you to sell to advertisers wasn’t there). I do visit the Locus website regularly. I find the updates on awards and lists of forthcoming books (both the weekly ones and the big one under ‘Resources’) very useful. Thanks for those:)

Nowadays mostly read online publications offline (i.e. after printing them)… p.s. international mailing form only lists 8-digit number

Our Locus subscription is in my husband’s name, but I do read it every month.

Pet peeve: “She was like …” used by C. J. Anders in her author’s voice; otherwise very good book, would have ranked first.

SF and F, for so many decades a large measure of my reading, has dwindled to near zero. I read your reviews, which to a one, excite me to read this or that book; so I buy it, begin reading, put it down unfinished, and walk away grumbling. Has the ability to tell a good story compellingly been lost? Or am I now just an old fart? I find better writing elsewhere so find fulfillment in those genres, mainstream literature included. While I could answer none of your business questions re the buying and reading of books, I thought to share my demographic specifics to aid your marketing effort. I enjoy reading each new issue of Locus, so want you all to continue. And to have fun in the endeavor. [I believe] Locus helps make for a sense of community comprised of people who otherwise would be too preoccupied with the enjoyable but solitary pursuit of reading. People such as me. Though of the age, I tend not to read obituaries — but I sure do appreciate the remembrances that occur in the pages of Locus. As a (sub-) culture, it is warming to remember who we were so we can better know who we are, where we came from. You guys humble me. Thank you for all you do. Best wishes!

Some of these questions are too personal and detailed. I’m just doing this as a favor to my editor. We all need to be careful about giving out information to strangers.

Start some book clubs!

Still here, still reading locus

Thank you for allowing me to express my humble opinions! 🙂

Thank you for allowing non-subscribers to vote. Money is VERY tight in my house (most books come from the library) but I still love genre fiction!

Thank you for another outstanding year of Locus

Thank you for listening to your readership and continuing to allow write in choices

Thank you for the wonderful work you all do…I appreciate the coverage you still give to authors and work not of the immediate era. How about an interview with Robert Silverberg?

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thanks for the chance to put a few nominations in. I look forward to following your work in the future.

Thanks for the hard work!! 🙂

Thanks you all for everything you do!

The buying questions were hard to answer as they vary so wildly, but I basically only buy new books as gifts. There are a couple authors whose works I know I will reread, but otherwise I buy used or borrow from the library. I could not afford to buy all the books I want to read.

The front cover design keeps getting worse and worse. The March 2017 cover with the heart trapped in barb wire is repulsive and in poor taste. I would rather have a blank cover than the cover designs you are using now.

The online magazine section of the poll could use some updating next year. ChiZine has not regularly published online content in some time. Numerous excellent publications such as Shimmer, The Book Smugglers, The Dark, and others, are regularly left off as options. Overall, Locus and Locus Online do excellent work in reviewing and providing news about the SF/F/H genres. Thank you!

There have been so many changes, fads, and different directions that science fiction and fantasy have taken since I first discovered LOTR 55 or so years ago. Many of those changes have been good–new authors, new discoveries–others, not so much. I look forward each month to see what Locus considers special, and I need to read more of those recommendations. Maybe someday…

There should be a separate podcasts category!

This is a lot of work! I hope it helps 🙂 as

This survey is too long, I nearly quit before I finished. It’s also too invasive. You don’t ask about how many free books people receive; your quiz makes it look like I’m not drowning in free books.

When you guys say “new books” do you mean new as in “not used” or new as in “it was first published this calendar year”?

Why did you snub Too Like the Lightning, probably the best book of 2016? It makes me doubt your judgement, it really does.

Works/people that give me the most hope and make me the most excited for our genre: Uncanny Magazine/Michi Trota/Lynne & Michael Thomas Sofia Samatar Mary Robinette Kowal Kat Howard Ken Liu Anthony Ryan Michael J. Sullivan Saga Press Navah Wolfe and: Locus! etc. Thanks for all you do!

You guys continue to rock it hard after all these years. Thanks for being my lifeline into the worlds of SF!!!

You guys didn’t ask about Library use – I read way more than your survey indicates, because I can’t afford to buy every book I want to read – but CAN take them out at the library – and that goes for e-books, too!

You should include both publishers where something is published in the US and the UK!