2021 Locus Award Finalists: Novels, Novellas, Novelettes, Short Stories

The 2021 Locus Awards Finalists have been announced ! They’ve been voted by anyone on an open public ballot. There is no final round of voting, and the winners will be announced at 26.06.2021.

I extract only a few categories which are interesting for me. My intention is to review at least the short works, but this will have to wait until the end of May. Some reviews are already available, mostly due to overlap with Nebula and Hugo Nominations.

Here are all the nominees from short to long story. Links in the title lead to freely available online publications:

Best Short Story

Just like the Nebula finalists, I have no clear favorite 5 star story in this category. My bets lie on John Wiswell’s story Open House on Haunted Hill which also won the Nebula Award. This and Rae Carson’s story are the intersecting ones with the Nebula Awards. I enjoyed all the stories, there wasn’t any bummer among them. But with the great author lineup – Alix E. Harrow, Yoon Ha Lee, Naomi Kritzer, Ken Liu, and Aliette de Bodard – I’d have expected a better average and I’m a little bit disappointed.

Best Novelette

Best Novella

  • ★★★★★ • Ring Shout • 2020 • Historical horror novella by P. Djèlí Clark • review
  • ★★★★★ • The Four Profound Weaves • 2020 • Fantasy novella by R.B. Lemberg • review
  • ★★★★☆ • Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders • 2020 • Urban Fantasy novella by Aliette de Bodard
  • ★★★+☆☆ • Riot Baby • 2020 • Superhero novella by Tochi Onyebuchi • review
  • ☆ • Finna • 2020 Horror SF novella by Nino Cipri • no review (horror)
  • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, Zen Cho (Tordotcom)
  • Seven of Infinities, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
  • Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tordotcom)
  • Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tordotcom)
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tordotcom)

Best SF Novel

  • ★★★★☆ • Attack Surface • 2020 • Near Future SF novel by Cory Doctorow • review
  • ★★★★☆ • Agency • 2020 • Cyberpunk/Time travel novel by William Gibson • review (sorry, German review only)
  • ★★★★☆ • The Ministry for the Future • 2020 • CliFi novel by Kim Stanley Robinson • review
  • Machine, Elizabeth Bear (Saga; Gollancz)
  • Unconquerable Sun, Kate Elliott (Tor)
  • The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor; Solaris)
  • War of the Maps, Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
  • The Last Emperox, John Scalzi (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)
  • Interlibrary Loan, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • ★★★★★ • Black Sun • 2020 • High Fantasy novel by Rebecca Roanhorse • review
  • ★★★★★ • The Once and Future Witches • 2020 • Fantasy novel by Alix E. Harrow • review
  • ★★★★☆ • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue • 2020 • Fantasy novel by V.E. Schwab • review
  • ★★★☆☆ • Piranesi • 2020 • Speculative fiction novel bySusanna Clarke • review
  • The Trouble with Peace, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
  • The Angel of the Crows, Katherine Addison (Tor; Solaris)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US & UK)
  • Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Tegen Books; Allen & Unwin; Gollancz)
  • The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)

First Novel

  • ★★★★+☆ • The Vanished Birds• 2020 • SF novel by Simon Jimenez • review
  • ★★★★☆ • The Bone Shard Daughter• 2020 • Fantasy novel by Andrea Stewart • review
  • The Space Between Worlds, Micaiah Johnson (Del Rey; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Unspoken Name, A.K. Larkwood (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
  • Beneath the Rising, Premee Mohamed (Solaris)
  • Architects of Memory, Karen Osborne (Tor)
  • Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas (Swoon Reads)
  • The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, Maggie Tokuda-Hall (Candlewick; Walker UK)
  • Hench, Natalie Zina Walschots (Morrow)
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6 Responses to 2021 Locus Award Finalists: Novels, Novellas, Novelettes, Short Stories

  1. This is a very busy time for you, with all these awards announcing their nominees/your reading list 😉 Good that you only choose categories that interest you though. I’m usually only skimming the short fiction categories, and go for the novels – I’m happy I’ve read most of fantasy already!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      I‘m less thorough with the novels. What ch of the fantasy novels that I didn’t read would you recommend? The Abercrombie is obvious, but anything else?


      • Angel of Crows might be worth checking out, but it’s sort of a mixed bag unless you’re really going for the “Sherlock Holmes with angels” angle. But really, I would go for the Abercombie as the must-read for now – Black Sun, Once and Future Witches, Addie LaRue etc. you’ve already read 🙂 I also didn’t LOVE The Unspoken Name, but for a debut it has potential for the rest of the series to be quite good. And did you read Gideon the Ninth? I see now that it’s the sequel that is on this list, which I actually haven’t read.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Andreas says:

          Thanks for the recommendation! I‘ll stick with Abercrombie, then.
          No, I haven’t read Gideon the Ninth, it’s a maybe tbr. And Angel of Crows… well, I don’t like mysteries and surely not a Sherlock story.


  2. I still have the link for the Badass Moms short story highlighted and will have to read it one of these days because… zombies!!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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