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Saturday, February 6, 2010

The 2009/10 Locus Awards

For me the Locus Award has been the most interesting and useful of all sff awards in a while now, while the two UK sf awards (Clarke and BSFA) come pretty close though they are more limited in breadth by their eligibility rules; recently the Gemmell Award, of which more in a further post, has the potential of becoming very interesting too and of course for general fiction though again limited by eligibility rules The Man Booker is unmatched.

Despite the vote-rigging changes - after the voting was done - in 2008 that insured some winners more on the taste of the Locus organizers and of course insured a large drop in voting in 2009 besides the resulting outcry, I still voted in 2009 on the last day since I felt the Locus Award is too important and useful. The said changes - counting subscriber votes twice - are not unfair imho and definitely the organizers had all the right to implement them, but the way it was done after the vote and because the results were considered unpalatable was not right.

This year I had no qualms about voting and as soon as I saw the online form, I took some time and voted and I urge every lover of sff to do so. Using the Locus Recommended list for drop-in votes is also ok since after all you can use the fill-in boxes for your own choices as I happily did in quite a few cases.

Below I will present some of my votes and some comments; my votes for the novel category in both sf and fantasy follow exactly my sff part of the list of Top 2009 Books.

SF Novel:
1: (drop-in box) Banks: Transition
2: (write-in) In the Courts of the Sun, Brian D'Amato
(write-in) Mirror Space, Marrianne de Pierres
drop-in box) McAuley: Gardens of the Sun
5:(write-in) Nova War, Gary Gibson

Fantasy Novel:
1:(write-in) The Rats and the Ruling Sea, Robert Redick

2:(write-in) Wildfire, Sarah Micklem

3:(write-in) Naamah's Kiss, Jacqueline Carey

4:(write-in) Best Served Cold, Joe Abercrombie

5:(drop-in box) Gilman: Gears of the City

I have reviewed seven of the novels above, Robert reviewed Gears of the City and The Rats and the Ruling Sea and I reviewed The Quiet War and will review Gardens of the Sun on its US Pyr publication so I won't give more reasons for my votes, except to note that I thought Gears of the City more in the New Weird tradition than Thunderer but it worked very well for me, I agreed 100% with Robert's review of Rats and the Ruling Sea while Gardens of the Sun is as good as The Quiet War and an excellent conclusion to it.


From my other Locus votes I want to highlight the YA novel and Best Collection where I voted only one book each, namely

YA:1: (drop-in box) Westerfeld: Leviathan
(write-in) In the Valley of the Kings, Terrence Holt,

I highly, highly recommend both, one a great Vernian romp updated with modern sensibilities, the other an unbelievable debut that should be on any list with pretensions to literary quality.

*After* I voted I checked my votes for editor and imprint of last year (see here) as opposed to the ones this year (below) and the names remained the same though I shuffled the order somewhat based essentially on what I read in 2009 vs 2008. As opposed to last year all were drop-in this time, so I will include just the names and ranking.

remained still my number one publisher since I think they are unmatched in overall quality, while Lou Anders remained number one editor since alongside *being* Pyr, he is also the best sf cheerleader I know whose voice does so much to mute the (silly and tiresome imho) *doom and gloom* voices that are heard often - and have been heard for 40 years at least now and sf is still *not dead* as it happens.

I would like to mention which does not have a separate category and I was not sure it was eligible as such, but both in 2009 and upcoming in 2010 they have a smaller but amazing lineup of favorite authors of mine (A.Tchaikovsky, C.Mieville, G. Gibson, N. Asher, PF Hamilton...) and I would have definitely ranked it in my top 3 separate from the larger Tor imprint which has great work too but only a fraction of which I am interested in.


Gollancz: 1

Orbit: 2

Solaris: 3

Baen: 4

Pyr: 5


Lou Anders: 1

George Mann: 2

Toni Weisskopf: 3

Peter Crowther: 4

Jonathan Strahan: 5


Finally I would like to mention the three sff magazines I ranked which are the only ones I read consistently these days. All were write-in votes and I hope they become well known and established to be drop-in next year since they really deserve it:

1: Greatest Uncommon Denominator

2: Escape Velocity

3: Alternative Coordinates


Go and vote and let your voice heard too!


kaolin fire said...

On behalf of GUD Magazine, I'd just like to say, "Thank you!"


Liviu said...

You are welcome :)

I found out about GUD several years ago (I think issue 1 was current then but could be wrong) and I bought a pdf of either issue 0 or 1 and from then on I just was hooked and got and read all issues through 4 with 5 just obtained and looking as good as the others from a quick browse

jc@ac said...

Hello Liviu,

From the staff at Alternative Coordinates, Thank you!


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