Locus's 2011 Recommended Reading List

jojajihisc

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I always like seeing the Locus recommended reading list when it comes out because it is so exhaustive and I generally agree with the panels' picks. There isn't much in their SF novels category though this time that interests me but a ton of stuff in the short fiction that I did read and agree with. I thought Robert Reed's "The Ants of Flanders" was really good as was "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu. Technology Review: Science Fiction was a great original anthology albeit way too short. Night Shade Books had a good year with debuts of which I only read Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh but thought it was solid. If this is the first you've heard of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline I'd just like to ask what the weather is like on your planet?

Anything stand out as particularly worthy? What's missing?
 

J-Sun

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Can't say about worthiness or missingness, as I haven't read much new recently, alas. But I will probably give in and get Leviathan Wakes and, unless something goes wrong in my reading, I'll get the Haldeman and Egan and Vinge.

Hey. I actually have one - I got the Carol Emshwiller collection and, while I haven't read it yet, I've read a big chunk from it and it's pretty indispensable. And as long as Sterling's Visionary in Residence doesn't somehow suck, I'm so looking forward to Gothic High Tech.

Ah, two. I have Dozois' 28th annual. It's always recommended but this year was - I dunno, maybe not "great" but very good - extra-recommended. :)

Oh, cool - speaking of that annual, while Nina Allen's story in it didn't strike me as just exactly perfect, it put her on my radar and I see Locus recommends "The Silver Wind" and that's available in PDF. So I look forward to that.

Interestingly, Dozois is listed as a contributor for the consensus on the recommended stories, yet it doesn't look much like his forthcoming annual. They do recommend one I've read: Lavie Tidhar's "The Smell of Orange Groves". I don't know how that guy's suddenly been published in every month in every magazine with dozens of net interviews and multiple best-of-the-year selections but he doesn't appeal to me. This one was almost like a more verbose restatement of the one that was in the last annual that I didn't like much either ("The Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String" - precisely the kind of "precious" title that is funny in music and a drag in fiction). Are they competent? Yes. Are they much besides that? Not in my view though, obviously, different strokes.

But, yeah, overall, the list looks pretty reasonable with several items of interest. I'm glad you posted this so I could find out more about Allan. Thanks. :)
 

jojajihisc

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They do recommend one I've read: Lavie Tidhar's "The Smell of Orange Groves". I don't know how that guy's suddenly been published in every month in every magazine with dozens of net interviews and multiple best-of-the-year selections but he doesn't appeal to me.

Me either so far, although I've read only four of five of his.

But, yeah, overall, the list looks pretty reasonable with several items of interest. I'm glad you posted this so I could find out more about Allan. Thanks. :)

A good one from two years ago.
 

J-Sun

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No problem and thanks - I'll look myself, too, but my google-fu is not strong.

Oh, and the Tangent Online list has been posted/linked to. I'm sure you'll see it anyway, but just making sure.
 

Galacticdefender

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I read Leviathan Wakes. By far my favorite book I read in 2011. I highly recommend it. I'll definitely be getting the sequel, Caliban's war, when it comes out sometime this year.
 

Mark_Lawrence

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have to admit I'd never even heard of Locus until someone sent me scan of a very nice review they did on Prince of Thorns. In fact I'd been reading fantasy for 35 years and writing it for 10 years without having heard of Hugos or Nebulas or any of the lists and prizes my facebook & twitterfeed seem to be full of. I wonder how much any of this stuff means to the submerged part of the sff reader-iceberg that don't persue their interest onto the internet/to conventions etc... Still, always nice to get a mention anywhere. T.C McCarthy tells me his book Germline is on the list & I'm having fun reading that at the moment, so clearly my taste isn't perpendicular to theirs.
 

J-Sun

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I wonder how much any of this stuff means to the submerged part of the sff reader-iceberg that don't persue their interest onto the internet/to conventions etc...

Shortly after getting into SF I started reading the magazines which mentioned the awards and had non-fiction which might mention Locus. They also had ads for the SFBC (back when it was a strong and useful thing) and the Hugo anthologies were prominent offerings. I joined the SFBC and bought the Hugo anthologies. I also got the yearly "Best of"s which usually mention the awards and Locus (Charles N. Brown even wrote essays in Carr's annuals), so I've "always" known about the awards and Locus.

When the Web happened and I finally got online, some of the first places I found were the Locus and Analog/Asimov's sites but I didn't learn of them there and I've still never gone to a convention. Maybe it's different for fantasy readers and/or people who read nothing but novels but I'd figure most SF/short fiction readers would know of them.

That said, magazines were the totality of the SF genre for a time, were the vital core for long after, and still should be, but have long dropped into tiny circulations for less than a handful of mags, so the center will not hold. Conventions were really sub-networks of the larger magazine network which predated the computer network by decades. First fandom and the first conventions were created out of the subscriber list of Amazing. Magazine letter columns were the first genre BBSes.

But, like I say, I don't know that fantasy has any of this. If we define fantasy "A" as post-Weird Tales and pre-Tolkien-paperback-reprints (1918-1964) then (except for 1918-1925, of course) it was really second banana to SF and if we define fantasy "B" as post-Tolkien paperback and the countless imitations (1965- ), then that's a sort of "book island" rather than a magazine network. Fantasy has its own awards but I don't know how, or if, pure-fantasy people find out about those.
 

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