Locus Award winners

Locus magazine has announced the winners of this year's Locus Award:
* Science Fiction Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

* Fantasy Novel: Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey)

* First Novel: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)

* Young Adult Book: Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)

* Novella: The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

* Novelette: "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains", Neil Gaiman

* Short Story: "The Thing About Cassandra", Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)

* Magazine: Asimov's

* Publisher: Tor

* Anthology: Warriors, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor)

* Collection: Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)

* Editor: Ellen Datlow

* Artist: Shaun Tan

* Non-fiction: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)

* Art Book: Spectrum 17, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)

Announcing the 2011 Locus Award Winners


  1. I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on Kraken. I found it a pretty slow read. There were many brilliant ideas in there – seriously brilliant. But that’s what it was, a splurge of good ideas. Like there were so many things in Mieville’s head that he just had to get down somehow. It could have used a bit of editing to make something leaner and more impactful.

    1. I bought Kraken, and it couldn’t sustain my interest. I found Perdido Street Station to be a much more engaging read.

      The Locus awards committee isn’t the only one slavering over Mieville; positively loves everything he writes. I, on the other hand, expected better from someone that comes so highly recommended. Maybe I’ll give The City And The City a try, hopefully that’s better.

    2. I liked Kraken quite a bit. I was actually a pretty scary read, and brought to mind older Neil Gaiman novels. It did suffer a bit of chunky in places though, and did get a tiny bit slow. I don’t know if it needed editing though, it was dense, but most of it needed to be there (IMO).

      I’m very happy (judging from his last to books) that he seems to be getting a bit neater in his writing now.

  2. I liked Kraken a lot. There is a lot of stuff crammed in there, but I thought it all held together pretty well. Not my favorite Mieville book, but that’s only because several of the others are really brilliant and haunting, and this was lighter. I particularly liked how it was simultaneously funny and scary and deeply respectful of the completely ridiculous.

  3. Kraken was very slow at the start and even by the end there were so many side-plots/issues/thingies that it never really got up to full speed.

    It is a brilliantly atmospheric story though. The characters and their goals are fascinating and it really hits a Neverwhere-ish vibe with most of them (two very much so).

    I liked it and in general it was worth the slog through the dense bits.

  4. I was seriously disappointed in Kraken. Yes, there were some neat ideas, but that does not a novel make. None of the characters felt wholly believable to me so it was hard to really care much about them. I would second (third?) the view that the work would have benefited from more editing, not merely to tighten it up but actually correct all out mistakes (such as missing words etc) that were too numerous. But, to be fair, that is probably not something that Mieville had any control over — it’s hard finding publishers that are willing to devote the editorial resources that a book needs to make it shine.

    I find that Powers or Blaylock are more successful in creating “alternate” magical worlds existing in tandem with the mundane, and I prefer their prose as well. Still, kudos to Mieville for getting some labor issues into his book (and for the award too, obviously)!

  5. I thought Kraken was Mieville’s weakest for a while. And I was not massively impressed by Connie Willis’s books either. The voices she created in her WW2 were perfectly convincing and seemed of their period, the problem is that all her future characters seemed to sound the same way. Britain doesn’t sound that way now any more, not even Oxford… as a result it was rather unconvincing. In fact, for much of the time, the tone of the books made them feel like Young Adult novels rather than adult versions.

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