Librarians picked it first. The number one LibraryReads pick for May 2015, Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (PRH/Del Rey; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample) was announced as the winner of the 2016 Locus Award for Fantasy on Saturday, having also won the Nebula last month.
The winner in the Science Fiction category is Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) the final book in the series which began with Ancillary Justice winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The middle novel, Ancillary Sword, also won the Locus award in 2015.
The late Terry Pratchett won the YA category for The Shepherd’s Crown (HarperCollins; HarperCollinsAudio and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Pratchett and his fellow nominees in the YA category are all male, a choice that has raised eyebrows even as the Locus awards have avoided much of the controversy that has plagued the Hugo awards.
The Guardian reports on the story, saying that “the Locus awards were broadly representative of a sci-fi field that is continuing to grow in diversity: 18 female to 17 male writers, with many upcoming writers of colour among the voters’ top picks. Placed in that context, the way the YA category has turned out seems less like myopic sexism, and more indicative of the older demographic of readers who read Locus magazine and see the YA genre from their own preferences.”
However, YA author Gwen Katz said:
“YA, including YA fantasy, is a vastly female-dominated age category, but there’s a history of male authors being picked out for awards or heralded as champions of the age category … Yet another all-male slate reinforces the message that an art form primarily practised by women and girls only becomes noteworthy when a man gets in on it.”
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample) won best First Novel.
Neil Gaiman won twice: in the Novelette category for ‘Black Dog,’’ a piece in Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which also netted Gaiman another trophy for best Collection.
Beyond the winners, readers’ advisors looking for suggestions in SFF will find a ready list of titles in the award’s short lists.
The SF nominees read like a who’s who of the genre:
• The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample)
• Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Hachette/Orbit; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)
• Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (HC/ William Morrow; OverDrive Sample)
• A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)
The Fantasy short list is equally impressive:
• Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)
• The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard (PRH/Roc; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)
• Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand (PS; Open Road; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample)
• The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit; OverDrive Sample)
The First Novel Short list points to the breadth of these two genres, their international flavor, and the range of subjects being explored:
• Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (PRH/Ace; OverDrive Sample)
• Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris; OverDrive Sample)
• The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample)
• The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)
The controversial YA category included:
• Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (PRH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)
• Half the World, Joe Abercrombie (PRH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)
• Harrison Squared, Daryl Gregory (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample)
• Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine; Scholastic Audio ; OverDrive Sample)
Also useful for readers advisors is the annual reading list created by Locus, a gold mine of titles and authors to know.
The full list of winners is online.