cover image THE LOCUS AWARDS: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy

THE LOCUS AWARDS: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Charles N. Brown, Jonathan Strahan, . . Eos, $15.95 (528pp) ISBN 978-0-06-059426-8

The 18 Locus Award–winning novelettes and short stories selected for this solid anthology by Brown, the longtime editor/publisher of the influential SF/fantasy news magazine, and Strahan, the mag's reviews editor, show how SF and fantasy have matured from the 1970s to the present. Standouts include Harlan Ellison's nostalgic tale of unchanging age, "Jeffty Is Five"; Octavia E. Butler's boundary-stretching "Bloodchild," in which an intelligent alien race uses human beings both as pets and as repositories for their grubs; John Kessel's poignant, semi-autobiographical "Buffalo," about a meeting of Kessel's blue-collar father with his idol, H.G. Wells, in 1934; and Neil Gaiman's wistful homage to Ray Bradbury, "October in the Chair." Gene Wolfe's "The Death of Doctor Island" and Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Day Before the Revolution" are also fine stories, but others don't succeed as well. The youngster who wants to fly the space-lanes in James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Only Neat Thing to Do" inevitably reflects the larger-than-life heroics of earlier genre fiction. Connie Willis's "Even the Queen" tries to be both feminist and humorous, but comes off as a sitcom pilot, while Bruce Sterling's "Maneki Neko" is too cute by a Pokémon and a half. The volume concludes with a list of previous winners in a wide range of categories. (July 6)