Staff Picks: Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Liz Bourke selects Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear. Russell Letson describes it as “a big book (with a promise of more bigness to come – the title page says it is ‘White Space Book 1’) crammed with a variety of SF motifs and tropes and furniture items: space operatics, interstellar civilization, Big (Variably Smart) Objects, alien encounters, deep galactic history, artificial intelligences, ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

One of top titles of the year is Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer. Ian Mond says, “Going as far as back his debut, Dradin, In Love and, more recently, his extraordinary (and hugely successful) Southern Reach Trilogy, VanderMeer has built a career on narratives that explore the limits of fiction, both in terms of language and form. His latest novel, Dead Astronauts ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Liza Trombi selects Ted Chiang’s latest collection, Exhalation. Gary K. Wolfe says, “At their best they have much the same kind of appeal of Borges’s most provocative tales – not without feeling and empathy, but, fundamentally, explorations of the sheer romance of thinking.”

You can read his review online or in the May 2019 issue of Locus. ...Read More

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Staff Picks: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Adrienne Martini chooses To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, “a tight, frequently funny, character-driven novella that tells a cozy space exploration story, except what’s being ex­plored is human brains rather than bug-eyed aliens and exotic worlds.”

You can read her review of it in the December 2019 issue of Locus. ...Read More

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Staff Picks: The Best of Greg Egan

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

One of our top collections of 2019 is The Best of Greg Egan. Russell Letson says, “Egan is determined to make sense of everything – to understand the whole world as an intelligible, rational, material (and finally manipulable) realm – even if it means abandoning comfortable and comforting illusions. This is fundamental to the whole project of SF and it’s why ...Read More

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Staff Picks: War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Arley Sorg picks War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi as a top 2019 title. “War Girls is a thoughtful meditation on culture and conflict. It’s action-driven but complex, brutal but brilliant.”

In her review of Onyebuchi’s debut last year, Colleen Mondor said, “Beasts Made of Night is a thoughtful, thoroughly unique novel, and it heralds the arrival of a dazzling talent.”  ...Read More

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Staff Picks: The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

For space opera fans out there, we selected The Outside by Ada Hoffman. Liz Bourke says, “Compellingly written, tense, and thrilling, with fascinating (and weird) worldbuilding and brilliant characters, The Outside is a fantastic debut. I can’t wait to see what Hoffmann does next.”

You can read her review online or in the July 2019 issue of Locus. ...Read More

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Staff Picks: The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Colleen Mondor chooses The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum, “A novel about space travel where the characters barely leave the earth. I am so impressed by how the author crafted such a compelling and determined protagonist in Ryann Bird. She will make you cheer every hard-won step of the way.”

You can read Colleen’s review of it online or in ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Liza Trombi picks Wanderers, which she calls “Chuck Wendig at his best.”

Tim Pratt says, “This isn’t just a post-apocalyptic story: it’s a pre-, peri-, and post-apocalyptic novel, viewed through the eyes of multiple viewpoint characters who have lots of room to strive and suffer across a gener­ous and sprawling page count.” You can read his review of Wanderers online or ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Reviews editor Jonathan Strahan says, “The hippest, hottest book of the year was Tamsyn Muir’s debut, Gideon the Ninth. Blurbed as being about lesbian necromancers in space (it is!), it will grab you by the throat and won’t let you go ’til it spits you out on the last tear-stained page. Perfect for  just about anyone who loves swords and space ...Read More

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Staff Picks: The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Hein­lein by Farah Mendlesohn

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

For our non-fiction selection: “The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein by Farah Mendlesohn, is the kind of book that a writer of his stature deserves – an academic but readable overview from a modern perspective, covering his full career, and written by a scholar of wide interests and learning whose ideas have been shaped by something more than reading Heinlein ...Read More

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Staff Picks Short Fiction: Suzanne Palmer and Nghi Vo

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Short fiction reviewer Karen Burnham selects some top stories of the year:

“The Painter of Trees” by Suzanne Palmer in Clarkesworld and “Boiled Bones and Black Eggs” by Nghi Vo in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

She also gives special mention to:

“Every Little Star” by Fiona Moore in Mad Scientist Journal; “Malinche” by Gabriela Santiago in Clarkesworld;
“Enchiridion of the Soltite” by Xue
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Staff Picks: A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Liza Trombi chooses A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs, “two finely wrought tales of cosmic horror.” This collection of two short novels includes the previously published The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and the original My Heart Struck Sorrow. John Langan says, “The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky is an excellently written, Lovecraft-inflected novella concerned ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Josh Pearce picks Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald as a top title of the year. Ian Mond says, “Since before the publication of the first book, McDonald’s trilogy (initially a duology) has been compared to Game of Thrones, just set on the Moon. That’s fair enough.” Russell Letson says, “Even if McDonald does decide to stop here, the Luna triptych ...Read More

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Staff Picks: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Liz Bourke and Russell Letson select A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine: “Not, despite some of the marketing copy, space opera but an anthropological novel-of-intrigue about First Contact across cultures.” Liz calls it “The part-espionage-thriller-part-novel-of-manners about culture, colonisation, and the tension inherent in imperial centres of power that blew me away.”

You can read Russell’s review online or in the March ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Colleen Mondor chooses Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: “The question is whether or not the author pulls off the trick of keeping a repetitive plot interesting enough to engage readers when the same sad ending stops the story in its tracks at the most stressful of moments.

Let me put your concerns at ease right now: he nails it. Big ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Our non-fiction reviewers enjoyed Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pio­neered Horror and Speculative Fiction, by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson.

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro says, “Kröger & Anderson’s book eloquently proves ‘that women have been contributing to the genre since its inception,’ and the thrill of the rediscoveries they have made avail­able to us is perhaps only outshined by the hope ...Read More

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Staff Picks Short Fiction: Caroline M. Yoachim, John Chu, and A.T. Greenblatt

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Short fiction reviewer Karen Burnham selects some top stories of the year:

“The Archronology of Love” by Caroline M. Yoachim in Lightspeed; “Beyond the El” by John Chu in Tor.com; and “Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt in Clarkesworld.

She also gives special mention to: “Tiny Bravery” by Ada Nnadi in Omenana; “Mulch” by Vajra Chandrasekera in See the Elephant ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

One of Adrienne Martini’s favorite titles is Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: “If you are a fan of Lev Grossman’s Magicians series or Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, odds are much better than even that you’ll fall head­first into Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House and not want to ever emerge again.”

Check out her review online or in the October 2019 issue of ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Jonathan Strahan chooses Tim Maughan’s debut novel, Infinite Detail: “the sharpest, smartest most on-point science fiction novel of the year. If you ever wanted to know what the author of Neuromancer would have been doing if he was writing a first novel in 2019, it’s this. Infinite Detail deserves to win the Hugo and Nebula, and would if it was left ...Read More

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Staff Picks: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Reviews editor Jonathan Strahan recommends The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow: “I adore this book beyond all reason. Wonderfully written, this immediately engaging, multiversal tale of books and doors that open on new worlds is filled with intrigue, magic, and delight. Perfect for everyone you know who ever loved a book, even for a moment, or ever dreamt ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

For the young adult reading crowd, Locus staff selects Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby as one of the top titles of the year. “If litera­ture exists to make us think, to broaden our minds, to make a difference, then there can be no better a book to read right now.”

Check out Colleen Mondor’s review of this book ...Read More

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Staff Picks: Aliens in Popular Culture, Edited by Michael M. Levy & Far­ah Mendlesohn

It’s Locus’s 2019 Holiday Countdown of Staff Picks!

Our non-fiction reviewers recommend Aliens in Popular Culture, edited by Michael M. Levy & Far­ah Mendlesohn.

You can read Alvaro Zinos-Amaro’s review of it online and in the August 2019 issue of Locus. He says, “I heartily recommend this volume to anyone who wishes to learn more about the whys and wherefores of our pop culture renderings of aliens.” ...Read More

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