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The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy

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The Barnes & Noble Review The introduction to The Locus Awards says it all: "This book contains some of the finest science fiction and fantasy short fiction ever written." Included within are some of the best Locus Award winning stories covering the last three decades. From Ursula K. Le Guin to Bruce Sterling, this collection is, simply put, essential reading for any The Barnes & Noble Review The introduction to The Locus Awards says it all: "This book contains some of the finest science fiction and fantasy short fiction ever written." Included within are some of the best Locus Award winning stories covering the last three decades. From Ursula K. Le Guin to Bruce Sterling, this collection is, simply put, essential reading for any serious fan of the genre. Groundbreaking classics and author masterworks abound in this collection, which includes Harlan Ellison's "Jeffty Is Five," a nostalgic tale about a boy who remains five years old -- a conduit to the 1940s world of comic books, candy bars, and serial radio shows -- while society keeps rolling on; and John Varley's "The Persistence of Vision," an unforgettable story about one man's experience in an isolated colony of deaf and blind people. George R. R. Martin's "The Way of Cross and Dragon" takes an unyielding look at the future of religion, and Octavia E. Butler's "Bloodchild" examines the symbiotic relationship between humans on a planet inhabited by sentient insectlike aliens. The Locus Awards, presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll, are arguably as prestigious as the Hugo and Nebula because they are chosen by the people who really matter -- the readers. The 18 multi-award-winning stories included in this collection, all in chronological order, take the reader on a retrospective tour of the genre and its many evolutions. From Gene Wolfe's "The Death of Doctor Island" (1973) to Neil Gaiman's homage to Ray Bradbury in "October in the Chair" (2003), this is an absolutely monumental collection worth its weight in gold. Paul Goat Allen


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The Barnes & Noble Review The introduction to The Locus Awards says it all: "This book contains some of the finest science fiction and fantasy short fiction ever written." Included within are some of the best Locus Award winning stories covering the last three decades. From Ursula K. Le Guin to Bruce Sterling, this collection is, simply put, essential reading for any The Barnes & Noble Review The introduction to The Locus Awards says it all: "This book contains some of the finest science fiction and fantasy short fiction ever written." Included within are some of the best Locus Award winning stories covering the last three decades. From Ursula K. Le Guin to Bruce Sterling, this collection is, simply put, essential reading for any serious fan of the genre. Groundbreaking classics and author masterworks abound in this collection, which includes Harlan Ellison's "Jeffty Is Five," a nostalgic tale about a boy who remains five years old -- a conduit to the 1940s world of comic books, candy bars, and serial radio shows -- while society keeps rolling on; and John Varley's "The Persistence of Vision," an unforgettable story about one man's experience in an isolated colony of deaf and blind people. George R. R. Martin's "The Way of Cross and Dragon" takes an unyielding look at the future of religion, and Octavia E. Butler's "Bloodchild" examines the symbiotic relationship between humans on a planet inhabited by sentient insectlike aliens. The Locus Awards, presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll, are arguably as prestigious as the Hugo and Nebula because they are chosen by the people who really matter -- the readers. The 18 multi-award-winning stories included in this collection, all in chronological order, take the reader on a retrospective tour of the genre and its many evolutions. From Gene Wolfe's "The Death of Doctor Island" (1973) to Neil Gaiman's homage to Ray Bradbury in "October in the Chair" (2003), this is an absolutely monumental collection worth its weight in gold. Paul Goat Allen

30 review for The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Peavy

    "Bears Discover Fire" By:Terry Bisson. I first heard this story on the Drabblecast. They have a fantastic reading of it. Check it out http://www.drabblecast.org/2012/01/26... "Buffalo" by John Kessel is a story about an intelligent laborer who Meets and converses with H.G. Welles. They seem to have a lot in common. "Even the Queen" by Connie Willis is an irreverent feminist tale concerning one girls choice to have her mensis, and her families reaction to her choice. "Gone" by John Crowley addresses "Bears Discover Fire" By:Terry Bisson. I first heard this story on the Drabblecast. They have a fantastic reading of it. Check it out http://www.drabblecast.org/2012/01/26... "Buffalo" by John Kessel is a story about an intelligent laborer who Meets and converses with H.G. Welles. They seem to have a lot in common. "Even the Queen" by Connie Willis is an irreverent feminist tale concerning one girls choice to have her mensis, and her families reaction to her choice. "Gone" by John Crowley addresses loss, the promise of future peace is you keep some things in mind, and hope for the future. "Maneki Neko" by Bruce Stirling, is about the future of social networking. In this future, people of the world are all interconnected by some sort of super intelligent computer. This story gave me some hope for the future of social networking in life. "Border Guards" by Greg Egan, was a very technical tale of a deathless future. I'm not sure I really understood the game they were playing.... "Hell is the Absence of God" by Ted Chiang was on Podcastle http://podcastle.org/2009/02/06/pc040... was a very interesting story of an alternate God. I have listened to this story several times and I still think it's fascinating. "October in the Chair" by Neil Gaiman I have also read before. It was a coming of age story with a twist, kinda cute

  2. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Excellent collection. Of course, when you're aiming to select the best stories from the last 30 years, you're bound to get some good ones! I'd already read about half of them, which wasn't a bad ratio, and I only disliked a couple. The anthology really works as an overview and a retrospective of the genre - I'd recommend it highly to anyone who asked me, "So, why do you like SF, anyway?" Contents: The Death of Doctor Island • (1973) • Gene Wolfe The Day Before the Revolution • (1974) • Ursula K. Excellent collection. Of course, when you're aiming to select the best stories from the last 30 years, you're bound to get some good ones! I'd already read about half of them, which wasn't a bad ratio, and I only disliked a couple. The anthology really works as an overview and a retrospective of the genre - I'd recommend it highly to anyone who asked me, "So, why do you like SF, anyway?" Contents: The Death of Doctor Island • (1973) • Gene Wolfe The Day Before the Revolution • (1974) • Ursula K. Le Guin Jeffty Is Five • (1977) • Harlan Ellison The Persistence of Vision • (1978) • John Varley The Way of Cross and Dragon • (1979) • George R. R. Martin Souls • (1982) • Joanna Russ Bloodchild • (1984) • Octavia E. Butler The Only Neat Thing to Do • (1985) • James Tiptree, Jr. Rachel in Love • (1987) • Pat Murphy The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter • (1988) • Lucius Shepard Bears Discover Fire • (1990) • Terry Bisson Buffalo • (1991) • John Kessel Even the Queen • (1992) • Connie Willis Gone • (1996) • John Crowley Maneki Neko • (1998) • Bruce Sterling Border Guards • (1999) • Greg Egan Hell Is the Absence of God • (2001) • Ted Chiang October in the Chair • (2002) • Neil Gaiman

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://nhw.livejournal.com/197044.html[return][return]This is a totally superb collection. OK, $15.95 for 500 pages paperback may seem a bit pricy, but the quality of the stories really justifies it. Of the 18 stories, I had read eight previously - the six that have won both Hugo and Nebula (as well as the Locus Award, a precondition for inclusion), and also Sterling's "Maneki Neko" and Le Guin's "The Day Before The Revolution". The other ten are all classics which I should have read years ago http://nhw.livejournal.com/197044.html[return][return]This is a totally superb collection. OK, $15.95 for 500 pages paperback may seem a bit pricy, but the quality of the stories really justifies it. Of the 18 stories, I had read eight previously - the six that have won both Hugo and Nebula (as well as the Locus Award, a precondition for inclusion), and also Sterling's "Maneki Neko" and Le Guin's "The Day Before The Revolution". The other ten are all classics which I should have read years ago and somehow hadn't:[return][return]"The Death of Doctor Island" by Gene Wolfe[return]"The Way of Cross and Dragon", by George R.R. Martin[return]"Souls" by Joanna Russ[return]"The Only Neat Thing to Do", by James Tiptree Jr - possibly the weakest story in the collection, I thought, but still very good[return]"Rachel In Love", by Pat Murphy[return]"The Scale-Hunter's Beautiful Daughter", by Lucius Shepard[return]"Buffalo", by John Kessel[return]"Gone", by John Crowley[return]"Border Guards", by Greg Egan[return]"October in the Chair", by Neil Gaiman[return][return]Go out and buy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    JulieAnn

    I say I have read this book but I save a few stories to read later. A great collection. There is a lovely story by Harvey Ellison. It was the reason I picked it up in the first place. I would recommend this book for anyone's collection.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    The first story wasn't particularly engaging, so it has taken me a long time to finish the book. Glad I stuck with it though, as there are several stand-out stories and the final story, a tribute to Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman, was probably the best. A chunky book though, while you want to take the stories to read with you everywhere the hefty tome demands you stay in bed or on the couch to dedicate time to reading this collection. Looking forward to more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    https://www.goodreads.com/award/show/... "Popular Award voted on by readers of the leading sf news magazine (or Newszine) Locus and presented annually since 1971. Each year's Locus awards normally honour work first published in the previous year. Thanks to their exceptionally wide reader base, these sf awards have come to share the stature of the Hugos (which reflect the preferences of fans and professionals who attend the annual Worldcon) and the Nebulas (which reflect the professional judgment https://www.goodreads.com/award/show/... "Popular Award voted on by readers of the leading sf news magazine (or Newszine) Locus and presented annually since 1971. Each year's Locus awards normally honour work first published in the previous year. Thanks to their exceptionally wide reader base, these sf awards have come to share the stature of the Hugos (which reflect the preferences of fans and professionals who attend the annual Worldcon) and the Nebulas (which reflect the professional judgment but also sometimes the internal politics of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Where the Hugo and Locus awards differ, it is often thought that the Locus assessment is the more accurate reflection of general reading tastes. The Locus Award is not only good for vanity and sales: it has taken a very attractive form in perspex and metal." Here the editors provide their choice of Locus readers' choice for "best of" for 33 years between 1971 and 2003. Possibly the major years when I read mountains of SF and Fantasy, and certainly geek enough to read Locus regularly. I didn't read "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" where many of these stories first appeared. So whilst I read them first here their authors are well known to me, any one is well worth the cost of admission. Short Story, novella, novelette; slight balance in favour of the short story for obvious reasons, 18 in total out of 92. Plenty of room for a volume 2. I wouldn't have opened with Gene Wolfe, excellent writer that he is, he can be more of an acquired taste, and this piece I found difficult. But can't complain when it's then straight into Le Guin, Ellison, Varley and then Martin. For a survey of the era and its writers, this is a worthwhile anthology particularly if the reader didn't live through it. Enjoyed it so much may put an in-depth review on my review blog.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Favorite stories: "The Persistence of Vision" by John Varley "The Way of Cross and Dragon" by George R.R. Martin "Bloodchild" by Octavia E. Butler "Rachel in Love" by Pat Murphy "Buffalo" by John Kessel "Hell Is the Absence of God" by Ted Chiang

  8. 5 out of 5

    The Final Song ❀

    Really hit and miss, some stories are great others are just boring.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charles Walker

    An excellent collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Stories I liked were by Ursula K Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, George R.R. Martin, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree Jr., Pat Murphy,

  11. 5 out of 5

    Philip Hollenback

    This was in general a good collection. I've read a lot of sci-fi 'best of' anthologies, so there were certainly a few stories in here I've read before (although to be honest, Terry Bisson's Bears Discover Fire never gets old). One story in this book made me genuinely uncomfortable: John Varley's Persistence of Vision. A key part of that story involved an ongoing sexual relationship between a 47 year old man and a 13 year old girl. Maybe that was an acceptable thing to write about in the 1970s This was in general a good collection. I've read a lot of sci-fi 'best of' anthologies, so there were certainly a few stories in here I've read before (although to be honest, Terry Bisson's Bears Discover Fire never gets old). One story in this book made me genuinely uncomfortable: John Varley's Persistence of Vision. A key part of that story involved an ongoing sexual relationship between a 47 year old man and a 13 year old girl. Maybe that was an acceptable thing to write about in the 1970s (shades of Roman Polanski?) but wow it just comes off as super creepy and disturbing in modern times.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    The first story is one by Gene Wolfe, and this book is already worth the money--I'm not even done with the story yet. Very excited to read some good stuff... ---- Update: It's all pretty good stuff. The Harlan Ellison story was good, but pretty much a one-trick pony. I really enjoyed the LeGuin story (more than I've enjoyed either of the two novels of hers I've read), and the story about Saint Judas Iscariot, by George R.R. Martin was pretty much written for me. I'm only a fourth of the way The first story is one by Gene Wolfe, and this book is already worth the money--I'm not even done with the story yet. Very excited to read some good stuff... ---- Update: It's all pretty good stuff. The Harlan Ellison story was good, but pretty much a one-trick pony. I really enjoyed the LeGuin story (more than I've enjoyed either of the two novels of hers I've read), and the story about Saint Judas Iscariot, by George R.R. Martin was pretty much written for me. I'm only a fourth of the way through this book and already it's probably my fave anthology, ever. ---- Update: Finished this, regretfully, the other day. I love every single story in here, with one exception. Best anthology I've ever read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rena Sherwood

    The big problem with this anthology is that most (if not all) of the stories presented here have appeared in lots of other anthologies. Science-fiction has a lot of awards -- the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and others that I'm forgetting right now. Stories that win in one award group will often sweep the others as well. If you've been reading Nebula award books or the Year's Best Science Fiction books, then you've already read most (if not all) of the stories here. However, if you've never read a science The big problem with this anthology is that most (if not all) of the stories presented here have appeared in lots of other anthologies. Science-fiction has a lot of awards -- the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and others that I'm forgetting right now. Stories that win in one award group will often sweep the others as well. If you've been reading Nebula award books or the Year's Best Science Fiction books, then you've already read most (if not all) of the stories here. However, if you've never read a science fiction short-story anthology before, then you are in for a treat. Don't expect happy endings though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Toggedout

    Some of these stories are really gripping: The Death of Doctor Island, Jefty is Five, The Persistence of Vision, Bloodchild, and Rachel in Love. Truly heart-rending and amazing. Most of the other ones, though, fall to the tired trope of "technology equals amazing, so read me", or "I'm on the cutting edge of sci-fi so I don't even have to be sci-fi anymore." Most of the unnamed (by me) stories in this collection reminded me of the hipster culture of Williamsburg, NY. Some were nifty, some were Some of these stories are really gripping: The Death of Doctor Island, Jefty is Five, The Persistence of Vision, Bloodchild, and Rachel in Love. Truly heart-rending and amazing. Most of the other ones, though, fall to the tired trope of "technology equals amazing, so read me", or "I'm on the cutting edge of sci-fi so I don't even have to be sci-fi anymore." Most of the unnamed (by me) stories in this collection reminded me of the hipster culture of Williamsburg, NY. Some were nifty, some were emotional, but as the reader I always knew that the writer was just trying to be more hip than anyone else. I'd still recommend it to a neophyte and a master of the genre.

  15. 4 out of 5

    James

    This took a few years to read but almost every story in this book is fantastic. There are only a few stinkers but that may be just a matter of opinion. To me, the best science fiction stories are those that use technology/science/the future/etc to examine issues of human nature and this collection is replete with these type of stories (as opposed to those that use a science fiction setting for yet another action adventure).

  16. 5 out of 5

    CJ Bowen

    A couple of excellent stories, many enjoyable stories, a couple of mind-numbingly bad stories. Highlights: Jeffty is Five - Harlan Ellison The Only Neat Thing to Do - James Tiptree The Way of Cross and Dragon - George R.R. Martin Maneki Neko - Bruce Sterling October in the Chair - Neil Gaiman Duds: Even the Queen - Connie Willis Border Guards - Greg Egan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Matthews

    How can I count thee? Many many short and medium stories of thinking lore. It is amazing to think, too, of how predicting some of the stories are. The dates range from 1970 - 2010 -- and there are some to love, but all to at least LIKE [and there is something wonderful waiting just around the corner of the page].

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barney

    A very strong anthology of high quality work. Unlike many anthologies there is little if any "filler" to be found here. Worth owning for the Ellison, Varley, Gaiman and Bisson stories. Gaiman's OCTOBER IN THE CHAIR is a loving homage to Bradbury that should not be missed. And for the record this got remaindered quickly and may currently be had for pennies on Amazon.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet Cameron

    Why the HELL did I ever stop reading science fiction? Constantly surprising, often devastating collection. 'Souls' by Joanna Russ is the kind of story that makes me want to haul people off the street and tell them to read it. Save me the trouble and do so immediately.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    This was such a great collection of science fiction short stories. I can see why they all won the Locus Award. My favorite stories in the collection were John Varley's "The Persistence of Vision" and George R. R. Martin's "The Way of Cross and Dragon". Fantastic read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Desmond Rivet

    A mixed bag. The Neil Gaiman one was mediocre. The George R. R. Martin one ("The Way of Cross and Dragon") was excellent, as was the one by Ted Chiang ("Hell is the Absence of God"). The Only Neat Thing To Do was pretty good too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    This was well worth the read. I believe that there were 18 stories in the book and of those only two or three dragged at all. A few of these really are wonderful and worth getting the book just for them alone (Harlan Ellison's story for example).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma Griffiths

    A lot of variety and very different examples of the genre. I particularly liked The Death of Doctor Island, The Persistence of vision, The Only Neat Thing To Do and Even The Queen. Has been a while since I read a good compilation of short stories. Very American collection.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Graham Clements

    Easily the best speculative fiction anthology I have read. Most of the stories are novella length and there is not a dull story among them. A fantastic read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    bluetyson

    isbn,original

  26. 5 out of 5

    Traci Loudin

    Some really neat stories and fresh ideas from several decades of great authors.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Burkhart

    Overall, mostly really great short stories. Some are, as would be expected, really weird. It's nice that there are some good women authors--Octavia Butler, James Tiptree Jr, etc.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fishsanwitt

    stamped Merged review: catalogued

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Patton

    Now to finally get that subscription to Locus...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Wonderful short stories from many of my favorite Sci-Fi authors!

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