Slightly prompted but actually as a response to whilst, I do think it's a solid shortlist, I kinda think it's a bit boring too. A lot of the shortlists this year are looking the same which means probably last year was a bit lean near the top. And I was less enthusiastic in reading last year, maybe that wasn't burnout.
The 2009 Locus Awards Shortlist can be found here. The Locus Awards Ceremony will be in Seattle WA, June 26-27, 2009.
The top five finalists in each category of the 2009 Locus Awards are:
Science Fiction Novel-
Matter, Iain M. Banks (Orbit UK);
City at the End of Time, Greg Bear (Gollancz, Del Rey);
Marsbound, Joe Haldeman (Ace);
Anathem, Neal Stephenson (Atlantic UK, Morrow);
Saturn's Children, Charles Stross (Orbit, Ace).
No female writers
The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow);
Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt);
The Bell at Sealey Head, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace);
The Dragons of Babel, Michael Swanwick (Tor);
An Evil Guest, Gene Wolfe (Tor).
Traditionally the "female category" these days. Two female writers. Not that female dominated, it seems.
Thunderer, Felix Gilman (Bantam Spectra);
Black Ships, Jo Graham (Orbit US);
Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory (Ballantine Del Rey);
The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann, Knopf);
Singularity's Ring, Paul Melko (Tor).I think Jo Graham is female.Young-Adult Novel-
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (Tor);
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, Bloomsbury);
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Knopf);
Nation, Terry Pratchett (Doubleday UK, HarperCollins);
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi (Tor).Awesomely strong list, can't deny that. Really am loving Little Brother. And heard good things about the others. And if you really only read one book this year, I reckon you should go Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels which also got a nod in the Tiptrees this weekend.
But again, in a category with a lot of standout best selling female writers, just the one representing here. And arguably that book is NOT YA. Read it and then tell me if you're gonna recommend a kid to read it. Novella-
"The Erdmann Nexus:, Nancy Kress (Asimov’s 10-11/08);
"Pretty Monsters", Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters);
"The Tear", Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires);
Once Upon a Time in the North, Philip Pullman (Knopf);
"True Names", Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2).Two female contenders in this list. Almost half! I just didn't actually like either of those stories :)Novelette-
"Pump Six", Paolo Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories);
"The Ice War", Stephen Baxter (Asimov’s 9/08);
"Shoggoths in Bloom", Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 3/08);
"The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away", Cory Doctorow (Tor.com 8/08); "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08).That "Pride and Prometheus" sure gets around. If you are liking Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you might like this one too.
Just Elizabeth Bear representing the female writers in this category.Short Story-
"King Pelles the Sure", Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads);
"Boojum", Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette (Fast Ships, Black Sails);
"Exhalation", Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two);
"The Kindness of Strangers", Nancy Kress (Fast Forward 2);
"After the Coup", John Scalzi (Tor.com 7/08)."Boojum" was on my Year's Best List over at LSS. So yes! I loved that story. Nancy Kress gets a second nod here to bring the female writers in this category up to 3, for 2 out of the 5 stories. 2 of the 3 writers are also nominated in other categories.
(Also side issue to cheer for the Ted Chiang. Cause, yo, new Ted Chiang. Go read it and love it like you know you want to.)Magazine-
Realms of Fantasy;
Subterranean.Same old, same old, eh? Must be the part of me that's the young generation, always looking for something new and out there, challenging and pushing the boundaries. Probably just me. Publisher-
Night Shade Books;
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds. (St. Martin's Griffin);
Galactic Empires, Gardner Dozois, ed. (SFBC);
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin's);
Eclipse Two, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade Books);
The Starry Rift, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Viking).
A sad nod to the Years Best Fantasy and Horror series which is no more.
I reckon I'm a bit disappointed that with the reinvigoration of the anthology as a product in the last couple of years, two spots here are taken by reprint collections, likely with lots of the stories that were individually listed on these shortlists in the year before ie not new fiction.
Nice to see Jonathan Strahan, Aussie, getting two spots here. Both awesome collections. Galactic Empires is a nice novella collection - worth picking up if you like your stories longer. Collection-
Pump Six and Other Stories, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books);
The Drowned Life, Jeffrey Ford (HarperPerennial);
Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link (Viking);
The Best of Lucius Shepard, Lucius Shepard (Subterranean Press);
The Best of Michael Swanwick, Michael Swanwick (Subterranean Press).Given the above, not so surprising to see just Kelly Link representing the XX here. She wasn't the only female author with a collection out this last year though. Check out the Tiptree Awards list.Editor-
David G. Hartwell;
Gordon Van Gelder.Ellen sings it for the sisterhood, again! Artist-
Michael Whelan.No women. None.
I am forced, again, to be torn between Shaun Tan and Bob Eggleton (who I met at WFC and is awesome and does fantastic cover art).Non-Fiction/Art Book-
Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books);
What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction, Paul Kincaid (Beccon);
Rhetorics of Fantasy, Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press);
P. Craig Russell, Coraline: The Graphic Novel, Neil Gaiman, adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins);
Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia (Allen & Unwin; Scholastic '09).2/5 again.
Tales from Outer Suburbian is utterly delightful. You need to own it.
So, really, when I break it down like this, it's not really at all surprising that I find this a bit boring. I'm not the demographic. I need to go away and recompile my list with discussion - I promised something for Drink Tank and I think I have thought about this enough to finally sit down and write it.
Good luck to all. It's a strong ballot.