On June 26, 2021 Connie Willis will host the Virtual 2021 Locus Awards Ceremony. The Locus Award finalists, listed below, are chosen by a poll of readers using an open public ballot. The Locus Award list is always fascinating because it’s a lot different from the Nebula and Hugo lists.
Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. (Sorry we didn’t manage to read all of them this year!)
We’ve included the cover art for our favorites.
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 or a $5 Amazon gift card.
BEST SHORT STORY
- In the Lands of the Spill by Aliette de Bodard, Avatars Inc.
- The Sycamore and the Sybil by Alex E. Harrow, Uncanny
- 50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know by Ken Liu, Uncanny
- Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson, Uncanny
- Dresses Like White Elephants by Meg Elison, Uncanny
- The Girlfriend’s Guide to Gods by Maria Dahvana Headley, Tor.com
- Wait for Night by Stephen Graham Jones, Tor.com
- Little Free Library by Naomi Kritzer, Tor.com
- The Mermaid Astronaut by Yoon Ha Lee, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell, Diabolical Plots
- A Stick of Clay, in the Hands of God, Is Infinite Potential by JY Neon Yang, Clarkesworld
- Color, Heat and the Wreck of the Argo by Catherynne M. Valente, Strange Horizons
- The Inaccessibility of Heaven by Aliette de Bodard, Uncanny
- A City of Red Midnight: A Hikayat by Usman T. Malik, Tor.com
- The Pill by Meg Elison, Big Girl
- Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super by A.T. Greenblatt, Uncanny
- A Whisper of Blue by Ken Liu, The Book of Dragons
- Two Truths and a Lie by Sarah Pinsker, Tor.com
- Fairy Tales for Robots by Sofia Samatar, Made to Order
- If You Take My Meaning by Charlie Jane Anders, Tor.com
- The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho, Tordotcom
- Finna by Nino Cipri, Tordotcom
- Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark, Tordotcom
- Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders by Aliette de Bodard, JABberwocky
- Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey, Tordotcom
- Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, Tordotcom
- Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, Tordotcom
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, Tordotcom
- Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard, Subterranean
- The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg, Tachyon
BEST FANTASY NOVEL
- The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie, Orbit
- The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison, Tor
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Bloomsbury
- The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, Redhook
- The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin, Orbit
- Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Tordotcom
- The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix, Tegen Books
- The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk, Erewhon
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Saga
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, Tor
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
- Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow, Tor
- Agency by William Gibson, Berkley
- War of the Maps by Paul McAuley, Gollancz
- The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal, Tor
- The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, Orbit
- The Last Emperox by John Scalzi, Tor
- Network Effect by Martha Wells, Tordotcom
- Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott, Tor
- Machine by Elizabeth Bear, Saga
- Interlibrary Loan by Gene Wolfe, Tor
BEST HORROR NOVEL
- The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, Quirk
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Saga
- Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley, MCD X FSG Originals
- The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher, Saga
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Del Rey
- Devolution by Max Brooks, Del Rey
- Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, Morrow
- The Deep by Alma Katsu, Putnam
- The Hole by Hiroko Oyamada, New Directions
- Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay, Morrow
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
- Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Rick Riordan Presents
- Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland, Balzer + Bray
- Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker, Tordotcom
- A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher, Argyll
- A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow, Tor Teen
- Shadowshaper Legacy by Daniel Jose Older, Scholastic
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, McElderry
- The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi, Wednesday
- The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke, Erewhon
- A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
BEST FIRST NOVEL
- Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, Morrow
- The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson, Del Rey
- Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, Levine Querido
- Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed, Solaris
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart, Orbit
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, Swoon Reads
- The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez, Del Rey
- The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood, Tor
- Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne, Tor
- The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Candlewick
The cover art for the novelette “Two Truths and a Lie” grabs you because it’s really great, and the idea behind the story is fun and intriguing.
There are several books here that I have long wanted to read, and I will have to read “The Last Emperox” by John Scalzi at some point, in some format.
I’ve read Upright Women Wanted, Come Tumbling Down, and The Deep
Two Truths and a Lie,
Harrow the Ninth,
The Hollow Places,
And A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
Having read so few, I can’t really say who I would predict to win.
I haven’t read nearly enough of these, but wow, that Novella ballot is absolutely stacked with amazing authors!! I’ve read Race to the Sun, Legendborn, The Bone Shard Daughter, Network Effect, and The Sycamore and the Sybil.
I haven’t read any of them, but they sure all sound interesting! “The Mermaid Astronaut”, wow.
The Only Good Indians is really good. I think it has an excellent chance of winning. Mexican Gothic is on my reading pile in the next several months, and I can’t wait to get my hands on The Once and Future Witches. Hoping they will have it on sale during Prime Days. :)
I have “The Only Good Indians” and “Harrow the Ninth” in my library.
Looking forward to Piranesi and I wish Susanna Clarke would write a sequel to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Curious about how Seanan McGuire writes a fictional book in Over the Woodward Wall.
I’m really looking forward to reading Hench and I loved all systems red from the murderbot series. All these new releases make me so excited.
Adrian,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks, or a $5 Amazon gift card..
Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!