2009 Locus Award Winners

Well, this should help me remember books that were published in 2009: The Locus Awards were just announced. As seen on SF Awards Watch, the winners are:

Science Fiction Novel: Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)
Fantasy Novel: The City & The City, China MiƩville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
First Novel: The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
Young Adult Novel: Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)
Novella: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
Novelette: “By Moonlight”, Peter S. Beagle (We Never Talk About My Brother)
Short Story: “An Invocation of Incuriosity”, Neil Gaiman (Songs of the Dying Earth)
Magazine: F&SF
Publisher: Tor
Anthology: The New Space Opera 2, Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan, eds. (Eos; HarperCollins Australia)
Collection: The Best of Gene Wolfe, Gene Wolfe (Tor); as The Very Best of Gene Wolfe (PS)
Editor: Ellen Datlow
Artist: Michael Whelan
Non-Fiction/Art Book: Cheek by Jowl, Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct)

(For a full list of nominees, see Tor.com.)

There are two surprises for me on this list:

1) I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the Le Guin book.

2) Boneshaker, which is full of zombies, is “science fiction”. How often is steampunk seen as a subgenre of SF rather than F? Is it because it’s alternate history of a sort, and that’s traditionally considered SF even though there’s no science to it whatsoever? Very puzzling. I mean, it’s awesome that Boneshaker won, and it is certainly better than the other finalists (in my opinion), but it’s not an award I would have expected it to even be nominated for.

Finally, because I’m curious, an informal poll: Which of the big awards–Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and WFA–are most likely to influence your to-read list? And which do you think carries the most cachet for an author?

4 thoughts on “2009 Locus Award Winners

  1. L. Merciel

    Woah, I didn’t even notice that Boneshaker won as “science fiction” until you pointed it out.

    I loved the book and am happy that it won, but I would never in a million years have categorized it as SF rather than fantasy. Although the steampunk elements are front and center, and clockwork tech is key to the plot, it’s also very clearly fantasy tech as opposed to anything that could actually exist. So yeah, I dunno on what basis it got classified as SF, unless we’re counting magic as science if it comes in gear-patterned wrapping paper.

    re: awards — honestly, none of them. Awards tend not to coincide with my preferred reading material so I don’t pay them much mind, beyond being happy when an author or book that I like wins something.

  2. Jacqie

    I’ve read Cheek By Jowl. It’s actually a collection of her essays on science fiction, genre, and animals in books. I loved it. Sadly, don’t think I can find enough of them anymore for my science fiction book club- it’s already fading away.

  3. Pierce Watters

    I was at the awards and wondered about the classification of Boneshaker. I tend to think of Steampunk as closer to fantasy. The LeGuin book was published by L. Timmel DuChamp at Aqueduct Press here in Seattle. Their distribution is small but their awards are many. It also afforded me the opportunity to finally meet Ms LeGuin, my favorite living author. When I was young I depended on the Hugos to find new authors. Then in my college days I got all snooty and leaned toward the Nebulas. Now, with so many titles, I use all three to help me choose books.

  4. John Warren

    Defining “science fiction” seems to be an endless source of debate. A friend of mine recently referred to the Star Wars movies as science fiction. Fair enough, but they’re really more like “space fantasy.”

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