Commentary: Cory Doctorow: End to End

Within the very first year of operation, 1878, Bell’s company learned a sharp lesson about combining teenage boys and telephone switch­boards. Putting teenage boys in charge of the phone system brought swift and consistent disaster. Bell’s chief engineer described them as ‘Wild Indians.’ The boys were openly rude to customers. They talked back to subscribers, saucing off, uttering facetious remarks, and generally giving lip. The rascals took Saint Patrick’s Day ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Graham Sleight

My usual comment on publishing and novels ap­plies even more strongly this year. 2022 was an ex­traordinary year in global events and (I think) an exceptional one in the SF and fantasy it saw pub­lished. However, there’s so much lag between an event occurring, an author choosing to write a book about it, and the book mak­ing its way through the publishing process that it’d be a genuine shock if ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

I can’t, in good con­science, pass up the op­portunity to alert read­ers that Mike Ashley’s The Rise of the Cyber­zines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Maga­zines from 1991 to 2020, the fifth and concluding volume in his magisterial and unrivalled history of SF/F magazines from their incep­tion to the (just about) present, was pub­lished in April by Liverpool University Press. Alas, I also can’t discuss the volume in any ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Charles Payseur

It’s difficult to capture a year spent reading most­ly short fiction and poet­ry, especially one where I’ve been trying to learn new reading patterns and settling into a new role as short fiction reviewer here at Locus. Short fic­tion and poetry always seem like a ‘‘blink and you’ll miss it’’ field, where new works are constantly incoming, and taking the time to pause and reflect can bow beneath the weight

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The Year in Review 2022 by Colleen Mondor

I average three books a month reviewed for Locus, occasionally managing to squeeze in a fourth. Of the 40 or so books I read for the magazine in 2022, sev­eral impressed me ei­ther for their twisty sur­prises, unique stories, or the sheer beauty of their writing. In no particular order, here are my favorite reads of the year, each of which I heartily recom­mend.

Rebecca Ross’s fantasy A River En­chanted

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The Year in Review 2022 by Ian Mond

I had already read my favourite book of 2022 while writing my Locus wrap-up for 2021. I knew as much at the time, re­marking in my review: ‘‘I know it’s only January, but I’m sure [this] will be one of my best nov­els of the year.’’ The novel in question was John Darnielle’s Devil House, an astonish­ing metanarrative that questions the ethics of true crime books while recognising that ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Tim Pratt

I read a lot of science fic­tion, fantasy, and horror in 2022, because I am (yet again) serving on an award jury, and my overall impression is that the field is healthier than ever, with standout work by established authors, impressive new writers breaking in, and sto­ries from an ever-expanding chorus of voic­es capable of speaking to a vast range of human experience. I went through my long list of ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Russell Letson

While groping around for an organizing idea for this annual attempt to impose a shape on my shamble through the field, I kept coming back to maps and territories and borders. What fol­lows is not a map of the field but a hand-drawn sketch of the back yard of my own long-cultivated personal tastes. And now that I’ve introduced the metaphor of the map: my wander through the titles had

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The Year in Review 2022 by Paula Guran

First, I want to rave. It took me most of 2022 to finally catch up to online periodical The Sunday Morning Transport. Julian Yap, editor-in-chief, and Fran Wilde, managing editor, publish a single science fiction or fantasy (sometimes dark) short story (almost) every Sunday. Free subscrib­ers receive one story a month. Paid subscrib­ers receive one story each week, 50 weeks a year. Last year’s contributors included Max Gladstone, Karen Lord, ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Alex Brown

Every year fans of young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror – like myself – are blessed with well over 300 traditionally published titles, be­tween the Big Five, indies, and small presses. Even though covering YA SFF/H is a big chunk of my reviewing work, even I can’t keep up with numbers that high, much less the average reader. There are countless Best of and No­table lists wrapping up the ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Arley Sorg

Since becoming co-editor-in-chief at Fantasy Magazine in 2020 (a gig I do in my spare time: Locus is my 40+ hour-a-week day job) I have little time to read just for pleasure. But I’m a reg­ular reviewer at Light­speed, and I run a short fiction discussion group. A benefit of these activities is that I read new and recent work beyond the Fan­tasy slush pile. This year’s reviews focused on ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Adrienne Martini

Another year closes, and with it, another year of memorable new books, a few of which close out many years’ worth of worldbuilding and character develop­ment.

Naomi Novik’s The Golden Enclaves, expertly wraps up her Scholomance trilogy about a school for wizards that is much, much darker and more fulfilling than anything that Scottish lady could imagine. While this third book buttons up El’s growth from a teenager into ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Gabino Iglesias

I believe this is my third “year in review” essay for Locus, and I’m pretty sure the previous two have started with some version of “It was a great year to be a reader.” Well, 2022 was no dif­ferent. In fact, I think every year gets better, and that’s a tough thing to do. In any case, I enjoyed a lot of what I read in 2022. Here’s some of ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Maya C. James

My favorite books this year have some dra­matic themes: outcasts and revolutionaries, ar­ranged marriages and lovers, generational gifts and curses, uprisings against authoritarians, fascists, and more. Hav­ing the opportunity to read some powerful novels this year meant that I could hardly choose just a few favorites for this special year-end essay.

One encouraging trend I saw this year was the youths (or ‘‘yoots’’ as some of us prefer) rising up ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2022 by Gary K. Wolfe

As I write this, the Locus Recommended Reading list for 2022 is still being finalized, but I can already attest that, as in past years, it contains both too many books and stories, and not enough. Not enough, because there inev­itably worthwhile works that fell through the cracks despite our best efforts, and too many because anyone attempting even a sem­blance of a normal life would find it impos­sible to ...Read More

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Italian Speculative Fiction in Translation by Rachel S. Cordasco

Italian works of science fiction, fan­tasy, magical realism, and horror have increasingly found their way into English with each passing year since the start of the 21st century (like SF in translation – SFT – from many other countries), though the numbers are still quite small. Since 2017, both short- and long-form Italian SFT have hovered between two percent and eight percent of all translated SF each year. The exciting ...Read More

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SF in Ukraine: Ten Ukrainian SF/F Writers You Never Knew You Must Read


Terrified by a war that has no place in the 21st century, the interest in Ukrainian history and culture has risen, including science fiction and fantasy. Writer Volodymyr Arenev and literary critic Mykhailo Nazarenko recently published a general historical overview of Ukrainian SF/F (trans­lated by Alex Shvartsman) in Clarkesworld 9/22. Even earlier, in January 2018, Locus magazine published a short review of Ukrainian Fantastic literature by Michael Burianyk.

However, ...Read More

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Commentary: Cory Doctorow: Social Quitting

As I type these words, a mass exodus is underway from Twitter and Facebook. After decades of eye-popping growth, these social media sites are contracting at an alarming rate.

In some ways, this shouldn’t surprise us. All the social networks that preceded the current generation experienced this pattern: SixDegrees, Friendster, MySpace, and Bebo all exploded onto the scene. One day, they were sparsely populated fringe services, the next day, every­one ...Read More

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There Has Always Been Locus by Christopher J Garcia

There has never been a time when I didn’t know Locus.

When I was a kid, I liked to color. In everything. If I wasn’t melting my crayons, I was coloring in a coloring book, or on a tablecloth, or in a book, or on the inside walls of the linen closet. I loved coloring, and my dad, bless him, had a stack of these printed things that had cartoons. ...Read More

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Commentary by Cory Doctorow: The Swerve

If the bullies at the school gate steal your kid’s lunch money every day, it doesn’t matter how much lunch money you give your kid, he’s not gonna get lunch. But how much lunch money you give your kid does matter – to the bullies. Hell, they might even start a campaign: “The chil­dren of Jack Valenti Elementary School are going hungry! Congress must step in to give those kids ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Moneylike

“Five thousand quatloos that the newcomers will have to be destroyed.”

Quatloos. Credits. Euros. Dollars. Dogecoin.

Wait, Dogecoin?

At some point in your life, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What is money?” There’s something existential about pulling a bank-note out of your wallet and asking yourself, “Why does so much of my wak­ing life revolve around getting more of these slips of green paper?” (Outside of the USA, you may ask ...Read More

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Nia Davenport Guest Post–“Finding Belonging and Home When You’re a Minority In a Country That Doesn’t Love You”

Arguably, all science fiction/fantasy works serve as a mirror to reality in some fashion. The Blood Trials is no different. When I wrote the novel, I sat down with the explicit intention of creating a world that perpetuated the worst aspects of Anti-Blackness, so that I could have a conversation on-page about the most pervasive and insidious bigotries that run deep in American society. It’s a conversation that I invite ...Read More

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Veronica G. Henry Guest Post–“Getting In Where I Fit In”

Thoughts on writing genre-bending novels and the potential to be shunned by both communities

Expectations. Readers, publishers, the entire literary canon–everyone’s got expectations. What in their minds are tried and true conclusions drawn from decades of statistics and industry experience. Data that categorizes works of fiction according to things like age group, target audiences, and genre.

There are as many definitions of genre floating around as there are opinions about ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Six Weeks Is A Long Time

Greetings from the past.

I write these words six weeks before you will read them. I used to do this all the time, back in the glory days of print. Hell, I spent most of the ’90s writing a monthly guide to interesting websites, which came out two months after I submitted it.

I’ve been writing six columns per year for Locus for fourteen years and I have not missed ...Read More

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A Note from Kyiv

Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine has been under invasion by Russian regular forces. The Russians have destroyed houses, schools, hospitals, and infrastructure facilities, and they are targeting and killing civilians. But I say they will not be able to win – because Ukrai­nians are resisting and will continue to resist as long as they can. This is the 21st century – an­other century, another Nazism. We are calling it ‘‘Russaism’’ ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Vertically Challenged

Science fiction has a longstanding love-hate relationship with the tech tycoon. The literature is full of billionaire inventors, sometimes painted as system-bucking heroes, at other times as megalomanical supervillains.

From time to time, we even manage to portray one of these people in a way that hews most closely to reality: ordinary mediocrities, no better than you or I, whose success comes down to a combination of luck and a ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Last year in this space I mentioned the field’s ongoing engagement with older genre history, and while there are some titles of a similar ilk in this year’s crop, there are also, it seems to me, more studies of recent fiction and contemporary trends, as well as forward-looking surveys on a diversity of aesthetic spaces. Perhaps, given the current state of world affairs, this heightened attention on futurity is less ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Graham Sleight

As Locus’s statistics keep revealing, there’s so much SF and fantasy being pub­lished these days that any one person can’t keep track of everything. What I hap­pen to have read in a given year is an emergent property of many things: whether I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous work, whether I’ve had a book recommended to me or seen it reviewed positively, what I happened to notice on a bookshop shelf ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Tim Pratt

I spent 2019 and 2020 serving on award juries, and as a result I read nothing but new SF, fantasy, and horror (in staggering quantities). This year, I eschewed all such responsibilities, and as a result my reading was more scattered, and included older books and lots of work outside the genres we’re covering here. I feel less informed about the field as a whole than I did in my ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Karen Burnham

2021 was a tumultuous year for me personally, but I’m ending it in a much better place than I began (psychologically speaking). I fervently wish the same for all of you, and I think we all hope that 2022 might, some­how, be less tumultuous than the last few years. Through it all I’m always amazed and impressed by the writers who keep writing and the editors who keep editing, through ...Read More

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