Maurice Broaddus: Black AF

Maurice Gerald Broaddus was born April 30, 1970 in London, England, but moved to Indiana at age six. He grew up in In­dianapolis, where he still resides with his wife and two sons and works as a middle-school teacher.

Broaddus began publishing genre work with “Since We Can Die but Once” (2006). Though he mostly wrote horror to start, he has since expanded into urban fantasy, alternate history, and science ...Read More

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Year-in-Review: 2021 Magazine Summary

Year Two in the Time of COVID: We saw sur­prising resilience this year on the magazine front. There are a number of mags for whom we expanded entries and several new additions, although there were still a few that dropped out of print and at least one false start. We asked publish­ers which Hugo Award category they qualify for or used the data from <semiprozine.org> or our best determination; the ...Read More

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Kelly Barnhill: When Women Were Dragons

Kelly Regan Barnhill was born December 7, 1973 in Minneapolis MN. She worked various jobs, including as a bartender, activist, park ranger, and teacher, and lived in Florida and the Pacific Northwest for a time before returning to Minnesota.

Her debut novel was middle grade The Mostly True Story of Jack (2011), followed by Andre Norton Award finalist Iron Hearted Violet (2012) and The Witch’s Boy (2014). The Girl Who ...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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Spotlight on: Olivie Blake

OLIVIE BLAKE is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories. She has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the BookTok-viral Atlas series. As Alexene, her young adult rom-com My Mechanical Romance releases May 2022. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, and rescue pit bull. Find her at olivieblake.com.

 

Tell ...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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The Year in Review 2021 by Ian Mond

2021 saw my reading fall off a steep cliff. To be fair, it never really recovered from last year’s lockdowns. Even as Melbourne (my city) returned to a resemblance of normality late in 2020, I felt little urge to read, feelings only exacerbated when we entered our fifth and sixth lockdown (thank you, Delta) in 2021. (Fun fact: Melbourne broke the record, held by Buenos Aires, as the city that ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Marcela Bolívar, Artist

 

MARCELA BOLÍVAR is a Colombian digital artist based in Germany. Currently, she works as an illustrator for various international publishing houses while develop­ing further her personal work. Her work aims to disengage photomontage of its technologic and automated nature, pushing the limits of photog­raphy as she merges it with a variety of pictorial expressions. The mixture of various media such as photography, painting and sculpture brings forth a world ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Colleen Mondor

Of the three dozen books I reviewed for Locus last year, there were a few that particularly stood out. Because last year was, well, such a year, I’m afraid some of them might have been overlooked, and taking advantage of my chance here to shine the spotlight a little brighter on those I think might have been missed.

Femi Fadugba’s The Upper World introduces Esso, who is having the worst ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Gabino Iglesias

Well, the world didn’t stop burning and COVID refused to go away, but 2021 was slightly better than 2020, and it was a superb year for speculative fiction. It was also a year in which I found great balance while reading outstanding work from Big Four publishers, independent presses, and self-published authors. This matters because it speaks volumes about the quality of work out there and the fantastic way in ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Arley Sorg

“As rough as the year has been for the country, it’s been a great time for reading.” As I write this, a New Year is around the corner, bringing with it the hope of better times. And yet, this opening line from last year’s “Year In Review” piece still holds true: it’s been another rough year, but the reading has been awesome!

My 2021 reading choices were anthology-heavy, mostly because ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Aspen Words

ASPEN WORDS was founded in 1976 as a literary center based in Aspen CO. A program of the Aspen Institute, their mission is to encourage writers, inspire read­ers, and connect people through the power of stories. AW’s year-round programs include Summer Words, a writing conference and liter­ary festival; Winter Words, a speaker series presenting the best of contemporary literature; the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 an­nual award for fiction ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Rich Horton

This issue of Locus is the 20th anniversary of my first column on short fiction for the magazine. It also contains my last such column. (Not to worry (or perhaps to worry?) I’ll still be contributing occasional work to Locus.) That issue also contained my first “end of the year summary” essay, so this is my 21st. While I expect I’ll continue writing these in coming years, it seems worthwhile ...Read More

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DisCon III Report and 2021 WSFS Business Meeting

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, took place December 15-19, 2021 at the Omni Shoreham in Washington DC. Guests of honor were John Harris and Nancy Kress, with special guests Andrea Hairston, Malka Older (who attended virtually), and Sheree Renée Thomas, plus fan guest of honor Ben Yalow. CoNZealand (Worldcon 78 in 2020) was the first entirely virtual Worldcon, and DisCon III was the first hybrid Worldcon, with ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Alex Brown

For me, 2021 was a year of increasing challenges. Just when it seemed like things might be looking up, something awful would jump out of the shadows and bring it all back down again. Fiction, especially of the romance and speculative genres, helped me keep my head above water even during the worst of it.

Let’s start off with my favorite adult spec fic books. C.L. Polk closed out their ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Paula Guran

First, I must confess that a major change in my personal life – working full time in a business not connected to publishing – cut into my reading (and reviewing and editing) in 2021. Luckily, most of what I did get to read was outstanding.

Like most folks, I loved Arkady Martine’s first Teixcalaanli novel, A Memory Called Empire (Tor), an imaginative blend of space opera, murder mystery, and interstellar ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Russell Letson

Here we are, two years into a pandemic, with half of the nation arguing with the other half like grumpy uncles at a holiday dinner, and the planet deciding whether it’s time to raise those sea levels a meter or ten or just blow us all away in megastorms, and I’m sitting at home, reading. And not books about stopping climate change or improving our civic character, but space operas. ...Read More

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Marlon James: Dark Stars

 

MARLON JAMES was born November 24, 1970 in Kingston Jamaica. He attended the Wolmer’s Trust High School for Boys and attended the University of the West In­dies, where he studied Language and Literature, graduating in 1991. He moved to the US, where he later earned his MFA in creative writing at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006.

His debut novel was John Crow’s Devil (2005), followed by The Book ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Adrienne Martini

As is usual with these end-of-the-year columns, I’m not sure what the best approach would be, partic­ularly given that my 2021 standouts are mostly con­tinuations or conclusions of long-running series. Maybe, first, then, Antho­ny Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land, the one book that stands alone.

Doerr is a known entity in literary fiction circles. His All the Light We Cannot See ran the table of celebrity book clubs and award ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Gary K. Wolfe

It doesn’t seem to ever go away. It spreads, mutates, develops new strains, infects every age group, and sometimes seems immune to immunization. Its symptoms may range from the severe to the indifferent. Even if you think you’re safe from it, you might occasionally need a booster shot. By now, it’s become an accepted part of the fabric of modern life.

I’m talking about SFF, of course. Or whatever you ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Nilah Magruder

 

Nilah Magruder is based in Maryland. She is the author of M.F.K., a middle-grade graphic novel, and winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity, How to Find a Fox, and Wutaryoo. She has published short stories in Fireside Magazine and the All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages anthology. Nilah has also written for Marvel Comics, illustrated children’s books for Disney-Hyperion, Scholastic, and Penguin, ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Rich Horton

You started reviewing short fiction for Locus in the February 2002 issue, 20 years ago. What a career! What’s the origin story for you as a reviewer; what brought you into this?

I started reviewing for the short fiction reviewzine Tangent – back when it was a print fanzine. Dave Truesdale posted a notice somewhere saying he was looking for reviewers, and I thought, ‘‘I like short fiction’’ – even ...Read More

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Eugen Bacon: Agents of Change

EUGEN MATOYO BACON was born near Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and moved to Nairobi, Kenya, with her family as a toddler. Her parents and siblings later returned to Tanzania, but she stayed in Kenya at a boarding school run by German sisters. She studied Information Technology at Strathmore College and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Greenwich in the UK. She had her son at a hospital in ...Read More

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Simon Jimenez: Resonance

Simon Emmanuel Jimenez is a Filipino-American author born in 1989. He spent time in Canada and the Philippines growing up, and attended Emerson College, where he earned an MFA in cre­ative writing.

Jimenez has published short fiction in literary venues. Debut novel The Vanished Birds appeared in 2020, and was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and a British Fantasy Award. Epic fantasy novel The Spear Cuts Through ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature

From 1811-1816, a secret society styling themselves “the Luddites” smashed textile machinery in the mills of England. Today, we use “Luddite” as a pejorative referring to backwards, anti-technology reactionaries.

This proves that history really is written by the winners.

In truth, the Luddites’ cause wasn’t the destruction of technology – no more than the Boston Tea Party’s cause was the elimination of tea, or Al Qaeda’s cause was the end ...Read More

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Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki: Decolonizing the Mind

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki was born in Ughellii, Delta State, Nigeria. He studied Law at the University of Lagos and later attended law school there. He is currently writing and editing full-time.

He began publishing stories in 2018, and has produced several stories, including Nommo Award winner “The Witching Hour” (2018). “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon” (2020) won the Otherwise Award and was a finalist for BSFA, Sturgeon, Nebula, and Nommo ...Read More

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Maggie Tokuda-Hall: Power & Justice

Maggie Tokuda-Hall was born in 1984 and grew up in California, living in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. She earned a BA in studio art from Scripps College in Claremont CA, and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco.

Her debut novel, queer YA fantasy The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, appeared in (2020) and was selected for the Otherwise Award honor list; a sequel ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Gary Villarreal, Artist

Talk a bit about the process of Kickstarting and printing Villarrte Sketchbook Vol. 1, a Locus Recommended Reading List title. What was the experience like? Highlights and hindsights?

My wife and I were extremely nervous about launching the Kickstarter during the pandemic. Too many uncertainties. So there were a lot of doubts about whether this was going to be a success. One of the highlights, though, was going through with ...Read More

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Fonda Lee Guest Post–“We Can’t All Be Optimus Prime: Portraying Organizational Leadership in Fiction”

Who’s the best fictional leader?  

Optimus Prime? Jean-Luc Picard? Captain America?  

I’m willing to wager that all three of those iconic characters would be among the most popular contenders if the question were asked in a general poll, and for understandable reasons. When I was ten years old, sitting in front of a television set on a Saturday morning, Peter Cullen’s voice as Optimus Prime ordering, “Autobots, roll out!” made ...Read More

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