2011 Locus Award Finalists

And the Locus Award Finalists for 2011 have been announced.  Interviews with BookBanter are linked and indicated, while book reviews are linked via the book cover.

Science Fiction Novel

Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks (Orbit UK; Orbit US)
Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Zero History, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Pyr; Gollancz)
Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

Fantasy Novel

Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay [BookBanter interview] (Penguin Canada; Roc)
Under Heaven

Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey)
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
The Sorcerer’s House, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

First Novel

The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer (Night Shade)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin [BookBanter interview] (Orbit UK; Orbit US)

Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz; Tor)
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu (Pantheon)

Young Adult Book

Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

Enchanted Glass, Diana Wynne Jones (HarperCollins UK; Greenwillow)
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; HarperCollins)
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)


Bone and Jewel Creatures, Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Mystery Knight”’, George R.R. Martin (Warriors)
“Troika”, Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’10)


“The Fool Jobs”, Joe Abercrombie (Swords & Dark Magic)
“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, Neil Gaiman (Stories)
“The Mad Scientist’s Daughter”, Theodora Goss (Strange Horizons 1/18-1/25/10)
“Plus or Minus”, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s 12/10)
“Marya and the Pirate”, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s 1/10)

Short Story

“Booth’s Ghost”, Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn’t See and Other Stories)
“The Thing About Cassandra”, Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)
“Names for Water”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 10-11/10)
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time”, Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/10)
“The Things”, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)




Night Shade Books
Subterranean Press


Zombies vs. Unicorns, Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier, eds. (McElderry)
The Beastly Bride, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (Viking)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s)
Warriors, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor)


Swords & Dark Magic, Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders, eds. (HarperCollins)


Mirror Kingdoms, Peter S. Beagle (Subterranean)
What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Karen Joy Fowler (Small Beer)
Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)
The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson, Kim Stanley Robinson (Night Shade)
The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny: Volume Five: Nine Black Doves, Roger Zelazny (NESFA)


Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois [BookBanter interview]
Gordon Van Gelder
David G. Hartwell
Jonathan Strahan


Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
John Picacio
Shaun Tan
Tales From Outer Suburbia

Michael Whelan


80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen Joy Fowler & Debbie Notkin, eds. (Aqueduct)
Conversations with Octavia Butler, Conseula Francis (University Press of Mississippi)
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)
CM Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary, Mark Rich (McFarland)
Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)

Art Books

Bob Eggleton, Dragon’s Domain (Impact)
Spectrum 17, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
Donato Giancola, Middle-Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth (Underwood)
Shaun Tan, The Bird King and Other Sketches (Windy Hollow)
Charles Vess & Neil Gaiman, Instructions (Harper)

“Tales From Outer Suburbia” by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009)

Tales From Outer Suburbiastarstarstarstar

Artist and writer Shaun Tan returns with another spectacular piece of artwork. Unlike bestselling The Arrival, Tales From Outer Suburbia features both entertaining and moving short stories and flash fiction, combining with beautiful original artwork, making the reader savor each word choice and brush stroke on the page.

Like The Arrival, this is also a commentary on our current western civilized society of suburbia and what it really means to be ordinary and bland, with everything perfect and the same.  Tan looks to shake up this foundation with bizarre stories that have deeper meanings that go beyond a simple tale.  There is the story of Eric, the foreign exchange student, who looks and acts very different and is just strange, but upon going back to his home, leaves an indelible gift.  The story of the sea cow, or dugong, that miraculously appears on the lawn of a family going through personal troubles, giving the child something new and different in his life.  In “Grandpa’s Story,” grandpa tells the tale of the special journey he and his newlywed wife had to go through that was dangerous and life-threatening, but ultimately brought them closer together.

Tales From Outer Suburbia is a collection of unique stories that will have you grabbing it off the shelf at least once a month, perhaps to escape from the ordinariness of your life, or to just be entertained by the bizarre.  Ultimately, you will be comforted by these stories, as each of them serves as a cathartic tonic.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on March 27th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

“The Arrival” by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine, 2007)

The Arrivalstarstarstarstarstar

Shaun Tan was born and grew up in Australia. He has illustrated The Red Tree, The List Thing, and The Viewer and Memorial written by Gary Crew. Using a unique art style and form that seems modern but still comprehensible, it immediately catches the eye, making the viewer “read” on. In Tan’s latest work, The Arrival, he has outdone himself with a unique story of immigration and insertion into a new and very different culture.

The world is filled with different and diverse cultures, and when people immigrate to another culture, it is a very hard and trying life event to either be assimilated, or simply to fit in with this new culture. The many citizens of the United States have known this for centuries, while many these days are still dealing with the problem of how to keep their own culture alive, but to also be a part of the culture they live in. While some can understand and sympathize with people of different cultures who go through this great change, it varies from culture to culture as to what their lives will be like.

Tan has taken a unique step here in making The Arrival a story of immigration into a new culture universal and understandable to everyone, whatever cultural background they come from. A father must leave his wife and children and journey to a new country, get a job, and begin his life there. When he is ready, the rest of his family will join him. Except this is an alien world, with weird shapes and objects, people look strange, there are unusual creatures everywhere, and travel is done somehow by hot air balloon. There is a type of symbolic writing that seems uninterpretable to the naked eye. So the reader begins the journey with the man, trying to comprehend what is going on, what people are saying to him, trying to get by each day with some kind of understanding.

The result is a very special story that has incredible art from an alien world which is fascinating and enchanting, but at the same time is telling the story of the plight of the many over hundreds of years who have immigrated and begun their life over in a new culture with new and different ways.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on December 2nd, 2007 ©Alex C. Telander.