On June 27, Connie Willis will host the Virtual 2020 Locus Awards Ceremony. The Locus Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers.
Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We’ve included the cover art for our favorites. The Locus Award list is always fascinating, almost always very different from the Nebula and Hugo lists.
Which, if any, of these finalists have you read? Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Are there any titles you think should have been on this list but aren’t? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks.
BEST SHORT STORY
- “A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy” by Rebecca Roanhorse, Saga Press
- “Thoughts and Prayers” by Ken Liu, Future Tense
- “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear” by Kelly Link, Tin House
- “The Bookstore at the End of America” by Charlie Jane Anders, One World
- “Fisher-Bird” by T. Kingfisher, The Mythic Dream
- “It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning” by Ted Chiang, New York Times
- “The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex” by Tobias S. Buckell, New Suns
- “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde, Uncanny
- “I (28M) created a deepfake girlfriend and now my parents think we’re getting married” by Fonda Lee, MIT Technology Review
- “Lest We Forget” by Elizabeth Bear, Uncanny Magazine
- “For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll, Tor.com
- “Phantoms of the Midway” by Seanan McGuire, Saga Press
- “Late Returns” by Joe Hill, William Morrow
- “Omphalos” by Ted Chiang, Knopf
- “Binti: Sacred Fire” by Nnedi Okorafor, DAW
- “The Justified” by Ann Leckie, Saga Press
- “A Country Called Winter” by Theodora Goss, Mythic Delirium Books
- “Emergency Skin” by N.K. Jemisin, Amazon Original
- “Erase, Erase, Erase” by Elizabeth Bear, Fantasy & Science Fiction
- “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker, Uncanny Magazine
- The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang, Tor.com Publishing
- Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney, Tor.com Publishing
- “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” by Ted Chiang, Exhalation
- This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone, Saga
- The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark, Tor.com Publishing
- The Deep by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes, Saga
- To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton
- Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds, Tor.com Publishing
- A Time to Reap by Elizabeth Bear, Uncanny 12/19
- The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain, Tor.com Publishing
BEST FANTASY NOVEL
- A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay, Berkley
- The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie, Orbit
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Del Rey
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday
- Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer, MCD
- Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, Saga
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, Tor.com
- The Iron Dragon’s Mother by Michael Swanwick, Tor
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Flatiron
- Jade War by Fonda Lee, Orbit
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
- The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders, Tor
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Nan A. Talese
- Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone, Tor
- Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald, Tor
- The Rosewater Insurrection/The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson, Orbit
- Wanderers by Chuck Wendig, Solaris
- Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell, Titan
- Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, Saga
- The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz, Tor
- The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley, Saga
BEST HORROR NOVEL
- The Toll by Cherie Priest, Tor
- Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand, Mulholland
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, Riverhead; Hamish Hamilton
- The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager US & UK
- The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, Saga
- The Institute by Stephen King, Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton
- The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North, Orbit US & UK
- Prisoner of Midnight by Barbara Hambly, Severn House
- Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, Grand Central; Orion
- Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju by Kim Newman, Titan US & UK
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
- Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, Make Me a World; Faber & Faber
- The Wicked King by Holly Black, Little Brown; Atom
- War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi, Razorbill
- King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, Imprint; Orion
- Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer, TorTeen
- Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, Disney Hyperion
- Angel Mage by Garth Nix, Katherine Tegen; Allen & Unwin; Gollancz
- The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman, Knopf; Penguin UK & David Fickling
- Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller, Harper Teen
- Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds, Orbit US; Gollancz
BEST FIRST NOVEL
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, Redhook; Orbit UK
- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Tor.com Publishing
- A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker, Berkley
- A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, Tor
- The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling, Harper Voyager
- Finder by Suzanne Palmer, DAW
- Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan, MCD x FSG Originals
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World
- Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan, Tor; Head of Zeus
- Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey, Tor
I hope Alix wins!!
There are so many of these I want to read and I’ve heard such good things about them, it’s hard to say who will win. But Gideon the Ninth was fantastic.
So many great books! I can’t wait to get into my copies of “Ninth House”, “Gideon the Ninth” and “Dead Astronauts”!
“For He Can Creep” is listed twice under Novellas.
Thanks, I’ve fixed that.
I’ve read This is How You Lose the Time War, which was brilliant, A Brightness Long Ago, which made me cry, Magic for Liars, which was amazingly twisty, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which was stellar story-telling. So, not enough depth to say “this one should win over the others”, but I can say that any of those DESERVE to win.
I mean Novelettes.
Gideon the Ninth was easily my favorite book read all year, so fingers crossed for it to win best novel. There are almost too many excellent books to choose from for best Fantasy, but I adored Storm of Locusts and the Starless Sea especially!
I really want Middlegame to win. It was amazing to read.
And it did!
I’ve always found the concept behind the “Anno Dracula” series fascinating (an alternate history ruled by Dracula after he marries Queen Victoria).
Some really great nominees here! I’ve read (and usually reviewed) most of the short stories and novelettes, and several of the novels. Kelly and I had the most fascinating email discussion about “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear” and I came away from it with a huge respect for what Kelly Link subtly accomplished in that story. That and Ken Liu’s “Thoughts and Prayers” get my vote for the win in the short story category, though I haven’t read the other two “favorites” in this list.
Novelettes: I’d vote for “For He Can Creep,” with “Late Returns” a strong second. I still have to read “Phantom of the Midway,” though.
Fantasy novel: A Brightness Long Ago and Middlegame. Loved both.
First novel: I loved both Gideon the Ninth and The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but haven’t read the others.
Some are on my shelf still waiting to be known, “The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday”, “The Raven Tower”. But I so want to get copies of JY Yang’s series.
I have Middlegame on my tar pike. I haven’t read any of the other books
“For He Can Creep” sounds so interesting, and I love cats!
I’ve got a few in TBR piles/files but the only one I’ve actually read is Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse. It’s a fantastic book!
A lot of good titles up there. My favorite was The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, my most want to read is Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer.
Emma C. Wolfe, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!