Feature Friday: Locus Magazine's 2011 recommended reading list, audiobooks style

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Feature Friday: Locus Magazine's 2011 recommended reading list, audiobooks style

Posted on 2012-02-03 at 14:0 by Sam

One of my more favorite resources in the sf/f world is the yearly recommended reading list from Locus Magazine. Well, their list looking back at 2011has just been published, and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the list and see which books have audiobooks available and which do not (yet?) along with (maybe!) some commentary:

The first bit of commentary is: if you were looking for the excellent novels Zoo City by Lauren Beukes and The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, which saw their first US print publications this year, you should check out last year’s Locus list as they were published elsewhere, last year. OK, that out of the way:

Novels – Science Fiction

In the sf category, it’s Enigmatic Pilot and The Courier’s New Bicycle which come out of the blue for me; the first I’ve heard of a book and it’s on this year-end list? Well, I’d better go take a look, eh? That said Embassytown was excellent here, and would be my pick of this sf list.

Novels – Fantasy

Now that both categories are out of the way, I’d have liked to see Osama by Lavie Tidhar, Never Knew Another by JM McDermott, and Sensation by Nick Mamatas here somewhere, along with audiobooks for Briarpatch, The Hammer, and The Uncertain Places. (And Osama, Never Knew Another, and Sensation, while I’m at it.) On this Locus list, I’ll take The Magician King, followed by Among Others. I’m not sure where/if 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami fits in, or if it being published previously in Japanese means it is not eligible this year.

Young Adult Books

Here, some more suggestions are: The White City: Book 3 of The Clockwork Dark by John Claude Bemis and The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Stephen Messer. On the Locus list… I haven’t read any of the books yet, though A Monster Calls is starting to look like a must-read, as it’s also a finalist for the Kitschies Red Tentacle for best novel.

First Novels

In the first novel category, I’d have really liked to see T.C. McCarthy’s Germline, Teresa Frohock’s Miserere, David Halperin’s Journal of a UFO Investigator, and Natania Barron’s Pilgrim of the Sky. But it’s hard to complainin a category as well-stocked as this one: The Tiger’s Wife, The Night Circus, Mechanique, Ready Player One… Of the Locus list, I’d really like Of Blood and Honey in audio, please.

As the other categories (anthologies, collections, non-fiction, novellas) are very few and far between in audio, here’s just the ones available in audio:

Also, all of the Clarkesworld and Beneath Ceaseless Skies stories and almost all of the Lightspeed/Fantasy stories are available in audio as well (along with the stories in the anthologies and collections above), along with some other stories on other podcasts:

My supplemental thoughts on short fiction would swerve into the realms of rambling long lists and/or self-promotion, so I’ll close instead by congratulating M. David Blake for his story “Absinthe Fish” being selected, and by saying that I’m really tickled to see Paul Park’s amazing poem “Ragnarok” on the list.

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