The Website of The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field
Locus Online
The Magazine

From this issue:

Table of Contents

Recommended Reading List

last year's
Recommended Reading List

2009 Locus Recommended Reading List

This recommended reading list, published in Locus Magazine's February 2010 issue, is a consensus by Locus editors and reviewers -- Liza Groen Trombi, Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, Faren Miller, Russell Letson, Paul Witcover, Graham Sleight, Carolyn Cushman, Adrienne Martini, Tim Pratt, Karen Haber, and Rich Horton -- with inputs from outside reviewers, other professionals, other lists, etc.

Essays by many of these contributors, highlighting their particular favorite books and stories, are published in the February issue.

Novels - Science Fiction

Novels - Fantasy

Young Adult Books

First Novels


Anthologies - Original

Anthologies - Reprint

Anthologies - Bests

Non-Fiction / Art Books

Art Books


  • The Women of Nell Gwynne's, Kage Baker (Subterranean)
  • Horn, Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • "Sugar", Leah Bobet (Shadow Unit 4/5/09)
  • "Cuckoo", Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear, & Leah Bobet (Shadow Unit 8/2/09)
  • "Paradiso Lost", Albert E. Cowdrey (F&SF 6-7/09)
  • "Hot Rock", Greg Egan (Oceanic)
  • "Where the Winds Are All Asleep", Michael F. Flynn (Analog 10/09)
  • "Wives", Paul Haines (X6)
  • The Push, Dave Hutchinson (NewCon Press)
  • "Act One", Nancy Kress (Asimov's 3/09)
  • "Sea-Hearts", Margo Lanagan (X6)
  • "The Wide, Carnivorous Sky", John Langan (By Blood We Live)
  • "Crimes and Glory", Paul McAuley (Subterranean Spring '09)
  • "Vishnu at the Cat Circus", Ian McDonald (Cyberabad Days)
  • Shambling Towards Hiroshima, James Morrow (Tachyon)
  • A Special Place, Peter Straub (Borderlands Press)
  • "Palimpsest", Charles Stross (Wireless)
  • "The Far End of History", John C. Wright (The New Space Opera 2)


  • "Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor's Vengeance", Daniel Abraham (Postscripts 19)
  • "The Best Monkey", Daniel Abraham (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Three)
  • "A Tiny Feast", Chris Adrian (The New Yorker)
  • "Things Undone", John Barnes (Jim Baen's Universe 12/09)
  • "Formidable Caress", Stephen Baxter (Analog 12/09)
  • "By Moonlight", Peter S. Beagle (We Never Talk About My Brother)
  • "Vanishing", Peter S. Beagle (Intergalactic Medicine Show 3/09)
  • "The Qualia Engine", Damien Broderick (Asimov's 8/09)
  • "This Wind Blowing, and this Tide", Damien Broderick (Asimov's 4-5/09)
  • "Truth and Bone", Pat Cadigan (Poe)
  • "Lowland Sea", Suzy McKee Charnas (Poe)
  • "One of our Bastards is Missing", Paul Cornell (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Three)
  • "Healing Benjamin", Dennis Danvers (Realms of Fantasy 8/09)
  • "Yes We Have No Bananas", Paul Di Filippo (Eclipse Three)
  • "The Lion's Den", Steve Duffy (Cern Zoo: Nemonymous Nine)
  • "The Dragaman's Bride", Andy Duncan (The Dragon Book)
  • "each thing i show you is a piece of my death", Gemma Files & Stephen J. Barringer (Clockwork Phoenix 2)
  • "The Death of Sugar Daddy", Toiya Kristen Finley (Electric Velocipede Spring '09)
  • "Sails Above Greensea", Adam Corbin Fusco (Realms of Fantasy 4/09)
  • "Economancer", Carolyn Ives Gilman (F&SF 6-7/09)
  • "It Takes Two", Nicola Griffith (Eclipse Three)
  • "Dragon's Deep", Cecelia Holland (The Dragon Book)
  • "Dragon's Teeth", Alex Irvine (F&SF 12/09)
  • "Seventh Fall", Alex Irvine (Subterranean Summer '09)
  • "The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles", Kij Johnson ( 7/14/09)
  • "Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance", John Kessel (The New Space Opera 2)
  • "Galapagos", Caitlín R. Kiernan (Eclipse Three)
  • "Blood Dauber", Ted Kosmatka & Michael Poore (Asimov's 10-11/09)
  • "First Flight", Mary Robinette Kowal ( 8/25/09)
  • "A Wild and a Wicked Youth", Ellen Kushner (F&SF 4-5/09)
  • "Technicolor", John Langan (Poe)
  • "Clockatrice", Tanith Lee (Fantasy 10/5/09)
  • "The Pain of Glass", Tanith Lee (Clockwork Phoenix 2)
  • "The Bones of Giants", Yoon Ha Lee (F&SF 8-9/09)
  • "Secret Identity", Kelly Link (Geektastic)
  • "Diana Comet", Sandra McDonald (Strange Horizons 3/2 - 3/9/09)
  • "White Charles", Sarah Monette (Clarkesworld 10/09)
  • "Mongoose", Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear (Lovecraft Unbound)
  • "The Heart of the City", Garth Nix (Subterranean Summer '09)
  • "The Long, Cold Goodbye", Holly Phillips (Asimov's 3/09)
  • "Thieves of Silence", Holly Phillips (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 7/16/09)
  • "Controlled Experiment", Tom Purdom (Asimov's 6/09)
  • "Siren Beat", Tansy Rayner Roberts (Siren Beat/Roadkill)
  • "Hair", Adam Roberts (When It Changed)
  • "SinBad the Sand Sailor", R. Garcia y Robertson (Asimov's 7/09)
  • "Wife-Stealing Time", R. Garcia y Robertson (Asimov's 10-11/09)
  • "Cracklegrackle", Justina Robson (The New Space Opera 2)
  • "Lion Walk", Mary Rosenblum (Asimov's 1/09)
  • "You", Geoff Ryman (When It Changed)
  • "A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon", Ken Scholes ( 2/17/09)
  • "Sylgarmo's Proclamation", Lucius Shepard (Songs of the Dying Earth)
  • "The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale", Robert Silverberg (Songs of the Dying Earth)
  • "Infinities", Vandana Singh (The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet)
  • "Black Swan", Bruce Sterling (Interzone 3-4/09)
  • "Monetized", Jason Stoddard (Interzone 2/09)
  • "Zeppelin City", Michael Swanwick & Eileen Gunn ( 10/6/09)
  • "Eros, Philia, Agape", Rachel Swirsky ( 3/3/09)
  • "The City Quiet as Death", Steven Utley & Michael Bishop ( 6/9/09)
  • "Riders of the Three-Toed Horse", Garrett W. Vance (Jim Baen's Universe 2/09)
  • "Conquistador de la Noche", Carrie Vaughn (Subterranean Spring '09)
  • "The Island", Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2)
  • "Sails the Morne", Chris Willrich (Asimov's 6/09)
  • "This Peaceable Land; or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe", Robert Charles Wilson (Other Earths)
  • "Utriusque Cosmi", Robert Charles Wilson (The New Space Opera 2)
  • "Everland", Paul Witcover (Everland and Other Stories)
  • "Twilight of the Gods", John C. Wright (Federations)

Short Stories

  • "On the Destruction of Copenhagen by the War-Machines of the Merfolk", Peter M. Ball (Strange Horizons 7/6/09)
  • "Strappado", Laird Barron (Poe)
  • "Home Again", Paul M. Berger (Interzone 3-4/09)
  • "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", Holly Black (Troll's Eye View)
  • "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown", Holly Black (The Eternal Kiss)
  • "Under The Shouting Sky", Karl Bunker (Cosmos 8-9/09)
  • "Baby in the Basket", Cecil Castellucci (Strange Horizons 5/18/09)
  • "Voice Like a Cello", Catherine Cheek (Fantasy 5/4/09)
  • "Early Winter, Near Jenli Village", J. Kathleen Cheney (Fantasy 5/4/09)
  • "Three Fancies from the Infernal Garden", C.S.E. Cooney (Subterranean Winter '09)
  • "Erosion", Ian Creasey (Asimov's 10-11/09)
  • "Bad Matter", Alexandra Duncan (F&SF 12/09)
  • "Lady of the White-Spired City", Sarah L. Edwards (Interzone 5-6/09)
  • "The Pelican Bar", Karen Joy Fowler (Eclipse Three)
  • "An Invocation of Incuriosity", Neil Gaiman (Songs of the Dying Earth)
  • "As Women Fight", Sara Genge (Asimov's 12/09)
  • "Child-Empress of Mars", Theodora Goss (Interfictions 2)
  • "A Story, With Beans", Steven Gould (Analog 5/09)
  • "Butterfly Bomb", Dominic Green (Interzone 5-6/09)
  • "Salt's Father", Eric Gregory (Strange Horizons 8/03/09)
  • "In the Lot and in the Air", Lisa Hannett (Clarkesworld 7/09)
  • "Spar", Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 10/09)
  • "Collision", Gwyneth Jones (When It Changed)
  • "Going Deep", James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's 6/09)
  • "The Logic of the World", Robert Kelly (Conjunctions 52: Betwixt the Between)
  • "The Motorman's Coat", John Kessel (F&SF 6-7/09)
  • "Echoes of Aurora", Ellen Klages (What Remains)
  • "Singing on a Star", Ellen Klages (Firebirds Soaring)
  • "Dulce Domum", Ellen Kushner (Eclipse Three)
  • "On the Human Plan", Jay Lake (Lone Star Stories 2/1/09)
  • "Ferryman", Margo Lanagan (Firebirds Soaring)
  • "Living Curiosities", Margo Lanagan (Sideshow)
  • "The Cinderella Game", Kelly Link (Troll's Eye View)
  • "Excellence", Richard A. Lovett (Analog 1-2/09)
  • "Useless Things", Maureen F. McHugh (Eclipse Three)
  • "Catalog", Eugene Mirabelli (F&SF 2/09)
  • "The Persistence of Memory, or This Space for Sale", Paul Park (Postscripts 20/21)
  • "Her Voice in a Bottle", Tim Pratt (Subterranean Winter '09)
  • "Narrative of a Beast's Life", Cat Rambo (Realms of Fantasy 12/09)
  • "Before My Last Breath", Robert Reed (Asimov's 10-11/09)
  • "Tests", Robert Reed (Postscripts 20/21)
  • "Edison's Frankenstein", Chris Roberson (Postscripts 20/21)
  • "Writ of Exception", Madeleine E. Robins (Lace and Blade 2)
  • "My She", Mary Rosenblum (Federations)
  • "Colliding Branes", Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling (Asimov's 2/09)
  • "The Men Burned All the Boats", Patricia Russo (Fantasy 2/9/09)
  • "Blocked", Geoff Ryman (F&SF 10-11/09)
  • "Of Melei, of Ulthar", Gord Sellar (Clarkesworld 10/09)
  • "Wizard's Apprentice", Delia Sherman (Troll's Eye View)
  • What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night, Michael Marshall Smith (Nightjar Press)
  • "Bob Choi's Last Job", Jonathan Stroud (The Dragon Book)
  • "The Dying World", Lavie Tidhar (Clarkesworld 4/09)
  • "The Shangri-La Affair", Lavie Tidhar (Strange Horizons 1/19/09)
  • "Ragged Claws", Lisa Tuttle (Postscripts 20/21)
  • "A Delicate Architecture", Catherynne M. Valente (Troll's Eye View)
  • "The Radiant Car Thy Sparrows Drew", Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/09)
  • "Bespoke", Genevieve Valentine (Strange Horizons 7/27/09)
  • "Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction", Jo Walton ( 2/6/09)
  • "Three Twilight Tales", Jo Walton (Firebirds Soaring)
  • "Donovan Sent Us", Gene Wolfe (Other Earths)
  • "The Horse Angel", Marly Youmans (Postscripts 20/21)
February 2010 Issue

2009 Recommended Reading

posted 1 February 2010

february cover
Cover Design: Arnie Fenner

US/Canada readers may purchase this issue for $6.95 + $3 shipping -- click the PayPal button to order.

Overseas readers -- please query, or phone at (510) 339-9198, to send a check or place a credit card order for this issue. (Or, Subscribe.)

© 2010 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.