Locus Awards 2021

I’m coming out of hiding because this year’s Locus Awards have me so damn happy I’ve got to yell about them here on the blog. See, I’ve been telling y’all about a couple of these authors for at least a year now, and it’s always so super cool when an author I recommend wins an award!

I’m not going to run through the entire list — you can find that on Locus Mag — but I’m going to call out a few names in particular. First up, there’s Katherine Addison, who won with The Angel of the Crows. I found out about Addison because friends on Twitter were raving about her book The Goblin Emperor. I read it myself, fell completely in love with it, as they had, and went on to Angel of the Crows. Best way I can describe Angel is this: it’s Sherlock Holmes in an alternate universe, where angels are real and vampires and werewolves walk openly. And it’s so gooooooooood. Well. Obviously. It won a freaking Locus Award.

Martha Wells won Best Science Fiction Novel for Network Effect, which made me cheer out loud; I am a huge fan of her Murderbot series! (Network Effect also took the Nebula Award, was a finalist for the Hugos, and is a NYT Bestseller. The first book in the series, All Systems Red, took home even more awards back in 2017. Just saying.)

By the way, I’m not going to link directly to a sale site for any of the books. I will, instead, direct you to IndieBound, where you can find your nearest independent bookstore and order from them. It will take longer. It might cost more. You might have to pick up the phone. But I’ll be dogdamned if I steer more business to a chain store at the moment. Those indies who have scraped through the past year NEED YOU TO ORDER THROUGH THEM. I can’t emphasize that enough. Please. PLEASE.

OK. Back to our planned post.

There is a long list of winning books I *haven’t* read but want to: C.L. Polk, for The Midnight Bargain. Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Two Truths and a Lie, by Sarah Pinsker. Catherynne M. Valente’s novelette Color, Heat, and the Wreck of the Argo. Sarah Gailey, with her novella Upright Women Wanted. Aliette de Bodard won not once but twice, with her novellas Seven of Infinity and Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders. Alma Katsu, with The Deep. Premee Mohamed, with her first novel, Beneath The Rising. I follow Mohamed on Twitter, and I love her posts, but I haven’t followed that thread back to her books just yet.

This isn’t unusual for me, by the way. I follow a lot of authors on Twitter, and if I really like their style there, I tend to go find their books. That’s how I found Seanan McGuire; her threads of epic life events hooked me long before I fell desperately in love with her writing. Same with Ursula Vernon

WHO, BY THE WAY, WON BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL (under the pen name T. Kingfisher) for A Wizard’s Guide To Defensive Baking, a book I have been SCREAMING at various people to read for a while now because it’s so damn excellent. I literally yelped with joy when I saw this one announced. I’m still wiggling-in-the-brain happy about it. She also won with The Hollow Places, a horror novel I have not read yet and probably won’t, because I’m hearing it’s really terrifying and I can’t read seriously scary stuff right now. It’s literally the only thing under that name I haven’t read, and it’s on my list for when I’m feeling stronger.

Seanan McGuire also won, with her novella Come Tumbling Down, the latest in her Doorway series of fantasy novellas. One of the things I love about McGuire’s work is that each series, unless it has a deliberate overlap, is entirely different: the characters, the setting, even the tone are unique. Many authors develop a “stock type”, over as many books as McGuire has written, where the characters and setting start to feel more than slightly formulaic (even Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are/were guilty of this at times). McGuire has not done this and I suspect she never will. Each series is a new, fresh, wondrous adventure.

Oh, I recognize and respect so many of the authors on this win sheet!

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories via links posted on Twitter, so I even know a couple of the winners in that category. Dresses Like White Elephants, by Meg Elison, is a strange and lovely story that … it’s … just go read it. *flails* It’s good. The Sycamore and the Sybil, by Alix E. Harrow, is a Daphne myth-adjacent retelling, which I always love seeing. And this one has a particularly good twist at the end.

So there you go, and here we are: a list of books and stories, all linked on the Locus site if you want to buy through Amazon. I’ve added in links to the author sites when possible, and again, please track down your local independent to order through.