Being close to the end of the year, it occurs to me it might be interesting to talk about some of the books we’re most looking forward to in 2015, and why. I will mention three to get the ball rolling. Daryl Gregory’s Harrison Squared (March 24, 2015). I love Daryl’s writing, and this Lovecraftian teen story promises to be dark, comical and poignant all in one. Kit Reed’s Where ...Read MoreRead more
Five SF stories about Linotype machines
We don’t see much science-fiction about Linotype machines any more, and it’s easy to forget how radically those big, noisy heffalumps changed the world. Their invention in 1886 spawned publishing’s industrial revolution, and the machines remained pretty much the same over the entire 20th century, even as they were being superseded, first by phototypesetting and then by digital type.
The Linotype and its operators ...Read MoreRead more
Five books that really evoke ship life
I grew up on a boat. Tight quarters, sparse living. It wasn’t living aboard a spaceship, and it wasn’t military naval service, but it was a taste of what it’s like to keep your own environment with you. I also spend time working around crew on other ships of various sizes. And one thing that resonates with me are books that give me ...Read MoreRead more
The Five Best… …genre stories about creepy telepathic kids.
Everybody loves a mind-reader, right?
The telepath or mentalist has been a part of the genre landscape since the days of vaudeville and traveling carnival sideshows, where “mind-readers” trained in observation would use shills and accomplices to wow the crowd with amazing displays of their supposed psychic powers. It was understandable that these figures would loom large in the science fiction, ...Read MoreRead more
Five Books/Series That Should Totally Be Adapted With Puppets
Many of us, fans and authors alike, play the dream casting game where we imagine who should star in film or television adaptations of our favorite books. But not all stories were meant for live-action, or even animation. Some stories require the warmth, creativity, and downright fun of puppetry.
- The Discworld Series, by Terry Pratchett. I’m assuming you’re all familiar
Five Animal Stories that Manage Not to Be Twee
Animal stories have a certain quality that really lets writers play with emotions. There’s a reason White Fang and Black Beauty are classics. And plenty of speculative fiction writers have advantaged themselves of the approach. And OMG sometimes the twee factor runs far too high in this. It’s very easy to do in an animal story.
But we do it nonetheless. ...Read MoreRead more
5 sf books worth reading I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered if I hadn’t been reading for SF Mistressworks
I’d always considered myself well-read within the genre, but when people started talking about the poor representation of women sf writers in late 2010/early 2011, I discovered that my own reading was chiefly of books by male writers. And this was despite the fact that through the years my favourite writers had ...Read MoreRead more
Five Obscure Books I Recommend You Read
For my “best of” list, I decided to go out of my way to highlight some titles that readers of Locus are unlikely to have already read. For fans, it seems that their favorite authors are always underrated. Ever hear of Asimov? Gaiman? Uh, yes. Here are some authors, and books, you may not have heard of yet.
The Holy Bile by Cameron ...Read MoreRead more
Contact Highs: Five Fine Writers of Altered States
Here we go, then: five writers who, I think, write drugs right. I could have added a few more, and I’m sure there must be more that I’ve not yet encountered — I’m disappointed to see I’ve produced a list of white male writers, for a start, and have only my ignorance for an excuse — and so I’d be very grateful ...Read MoreRead more
As a complement to the overall Locus Recommended Reading List, I like to collect all the short fiction that’s easily available online here. Please let me know if any other stories are or become available, and I’ll update the list as soon as possible.
- “In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 1/12)
- “Twenty Lights to ‘The Land of Snow’“, Michael Bishop (Going Interstellar
Teachable Science Fiction and Fantasy
For the past decade, in the Honors College of the University of Alabama, I have taught a weekly interdisciplinary seminar on 21st-century science fiction and fantasy: science fiction in the fall, fantasy in the spring. In fact, it’s generally more limited even than the 21st century; my rule is to include no text on the syllabus older than five years. I break the rule occasionally, ...Read MoreRead more
Here’s a brief list of works that deal with the idea of “invisibility,” both literally and figuratively, what is seen and unseen
The Invisible Man — H. G. Wells and/or Ralph Ellison
I’m a fan of the science fiction novels of H. G. Wells. The writing is succinct and the stories seem “essential” (Island of Dr. Moreau, The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, ...Read MoreRead more
Per popular request, I asked our Locus Roundtable panel of experts to cast votes in the same categories as the recent Locus All-Centuries Poll for Novels. I told them that I would weigh their responses by rank, but I lied. Instead I compiled all the votes equally and have now produced results based on any works which were mentioned by more than one person. Don’t worry–below you will be able ...Read MoreRead more
In the wake of the recent Locus All-Centuries Poll results, there’s been a lot of conversation about lists. It seems like there are more lists out there than you can list: Best of the Year, Award Winners, Award Nominees, Best I Read Last Year, Most Popular, etc. Now that we’ve wrapped up a popular voted-on list, I thought that I’d make some space here for quirky lists curated by specific ...Read MoreRead more
There’s a lot more explanation and details here, but probably the most amazing thing about these results is that Ted Chiang takes the #1 spot in 3 out of the 6 categories.
20th Century Novella:Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes 1 Chiang, Ted : Story of Your Life (1998) 978 63 2 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Word for World Is Forest (1972) 666 45 3 ...Read More Read more
You can find more details on the results and the procedure here; but feel free to comment here.
20th Century SF Novel:Rank Author : Title (Year) Points Votes 1 Herbert, Frank : Dune (1965) 3930 256 2 Card, Orson Scott : Ender’s Game (1985) 2235 154 3 Asimov, Isaac : The Foundation Trilogy (1953) 2054 143 4 Simmons, Dan : Hyperion (1989) 1836 131 5 Le Guin, Ursula ...Read More Read more
Here is a selection from this year’s Locus Recommended Reading List with links to online content. If you spot anything that I’ve left off, please contact me and I’ll add it in.
- “Kiss Me Twice“, Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s)
- “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary“, Ken Liu (Panverse Three)
- Silently and Very Fast, Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)
- ‘‘The Silver Wind’’, Nina Allan (Interzone 3-4/11)
Mathematical sf isn’t very common, but it can be very good indeed – as I was reminded when I recently read Vandana Singh’s “Infinities” in the Hartwell/Cramer Year’s Best SF 15. There are a couple of theme anthologies on the subject – Rudy Rucker’s Mathenauts (1987) and Clifton Fadiman’s Fantasia Mathematica (1958) and The Mathematical Magpie (1962). Since the Rucker book, several writers have emerged who write around mathematical themes ...Read MoreRead more
I see over at io9 there is a poll for the the best year in science fiction, with several candidate years listed with their qualifications… the qualifications being, in almost all cases, movies.
Suppose we decided based on books? Say…
1950 Ray Bradbury, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES Isaac Asimov, I, ROBOT A.E. van Vogt, THE VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE Jack Vance, THE DYING EARTH Hal Clement, NEEDLE
1953 Arthur C. ...Read MoreRead more