Here are comments, presented anonymously, submitted by voters in this year’s Locus Poll and Survey. Results of the poll were published in the magazine’s July issue; survey results will appear in August issue.
A friend has a subscription and I read his copies.
Anybody who doesn’t read classic hard SF is not my kind; any convention that has many such people, or fatties, is something I want to avoid.
As a reader, I’m take great pleasure in the ever-increasing diversity of the writers of science fiction and fantasy. I’m always finding new writers that I enjoy. At the same time, I’m leaving behind older writers who no longer interest me.
Bravo and thank you, Locus!
Continue to love the magazine as one of my primary information conduits and connections to the field. It’s time for a grand new poll of the readership – ask a fun question or on fun and controversial subjects, and run with it.
Enjoyed last year’s Locus Awards Ceremony, but will miss this one, alas!!
Essential to someone working in the field; but the review selections are rather eccentric.
Glad I found this, really appreciate your mag!
Good stuff, folks!
Hello from France !
I actually read a couple of first novels I liked, which surprised me! I don’t read those very often these days, but these were strongly urged on me and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been reading e-books for about a year now and they’re starting to form a large chunk of my “book” buying in general, though I still buy more genre in print form than e-book. I’m buying a lot of the old classics in e-book (i.e., Ye Olde Deade Whyte Guys, like Twain, Shakespeare, Mary Shelley (;)) and some of the older sf/f/h titles as well. The “Great Distemper of 2015” left me with a dull ache behind my eyes and reminded me why I ducked out of the fannish aspects of SF 20 years ago or so. I fervently hope it goes away soon. I read more and liked more of what I read last year. There must be something wrong with me! (innocentlookicon) I’m trying very hard to work up my inner “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!” attitude about the state of SF, but I can’t.
I am so glad that you are still publishing this magazine. I look forward to it.
I am surprised at how many popular authors, publishers and artists you do not include in your suggestion lists. I find that very odd.
I borrow many SF/F books and e-books from the library but that’s not reflected in any questions in the survey. Please sort stories by title, not author.
I buy a fair amount of my hard copy from crowdsourcing and also support a number of magazines through crowdfunding and Patreon. You might want to include those questions next year for where buy.
I could not be a reader without my library.
I didn’t read all of the selections but chose authors I normally enjoy, sorry –
I do almost all my reading in e-book form now, and I buy several e-books a week. I am also a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. The only print books I buy new these days, I buy directly from their authors; that has the bonus of letting me get signed copies.
I do not consent to my personal details to be used for any purposes other than vote gathering for this award, and definitely not to be sold, given or released to 3rd parties or other parts of your own company. All legal remedy will be sought if this occurs. I also find it disheartening how selective this poll was in the entries displayed. This poll is supposed to discover the interest of the community whatever it may be, not to shape it. A truly ethical data collector should not have a pre established preference, that they are attempting to confirm (or which causes them to recoil in shock when the general public fails to confirm it). I hope your organisation tries to be as truly inclusive as possible into the future, and not just ‘inclusive’ to your preferred in-group. Future actions to further marginalise fans who do not have officially sanctioned preferences/tastes would be especially disheartening. As a mixed race paraplegic who leans middle/right politically and is for individualism over collectivism, I feel heavily marginalised by your practices, because by your metrics I should not exist. Or I should be a card board cut out that graciously allows people like you to do all my speaking for me.
I don’t own a dedicated ebook reader, because I use my smart phone. Maybe you should revise those questions to try to capture how much people are reading ebooks versus paper copies.
I enjoy every issue of Locus. I especially enjoy the reviews and books to come.
I have enjoyed Locus magazine for over thirty years. I find it the best, most informative, and most impartial science fiction review magazine around, either in print or online. It is one of the best laid out also, it is not as confusing as others to find what I want.
I have macular degeneration and can’t read printed publications anymore. I get most of my audio SF from Braille Institute for free, but I do buy some very new stuff from audible.com.
I have read some really great sf in the last few years. I’ve been reading sf for 50 years (since I was 8-10 yr. old) and after my first decade’s burst of reading works from the field’s (then) present and past, it’s the past 20 years, including especially the past 2-3 years, that have provided to me the best sf reading (and tv!) of my life. (sorry for the run-on sentence, but I’ve been really surprised at this development) The enormous variety facilitated by the internet has finally (finally!) born a fruit of enormous variety and new authors that has made me read each issue of Locus to find out what’s out there with an energetic anticipation that I had lost. Bravo to the sf/f/h field for expanding its view of the future to include worlds of great fun and wonder grounded in history and mystery. (also, my local public library is great, and lets me read many works so that I can make informed decisions about what to buy)
I haven’t read any dead tree books since I got my first iPad. Which was the day they were 1st released. Best invention ever!
I look forward to each issue, read it, then pass it on to a friend who can’t afford his own copy. Since I bought an i-pad, I’ve started buying anthologies to read on it, but I still buy novels, etc, in paper. I’ll see you at world con.
I love LOCUS. It’s the best ever.
I love the digital edition.
I love the paper version of Locus, and I really hope that this magazine continues into the foreseeable future. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job with the magazine, and for keeping it alive and well.
I love you guys, but as you’re working toward, you need a bolder online presence. If you price it nicely, I think publishers can help support the growth.
I read about 60% SF and 40% history and historical biography.
I read Locus cover to cover monthly, maybe just skimming the horror reviews and more data-oriented sections (new books and such).
I read the reviews
I realize it looks odd for an avid reader to have so few votes tallied; I dislike short stories and often don’t hear about books until they’ve been out for a year or two, so a lot of what I read isn’t eligible.
I really like Locus but I’m a lingering victim of six-figure-advance envy…
I think Locus is awesome, and though I’m not a subscriber, I buy it from time to time when I’m in London and go to Forbidden Planet. Thanks for running the poll!
I used to buy millions of books–but then I started drowning in them, so now I use the library whenever possible. (Also I’m OLD so I don’t have the money to spend that I did when my husband was employed too. ALSO I can’t find my Locus number because I don’t have the mailer. Damn!
I wish someone at Locus was paying attention to Douglas Nicholas, has published 3 books in a wonderful historical fantasy series. I don’t understand why Martha Wells never gets listed in the Locus recommended list, she is writing at the top of the field. I love the plastic mailers/mailing service, haven’t missed an issue since you switched mailing services.
I wish you would change the interview format — stringing together decontextualized quotes from the subject does not work well, in my opinion.
I would love to subscribe to Locus digitally, but I don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of juggling epubs or pdfs – if you were just available as an iPad magazine subscription, like Wired, the New Yorker, MacLife and all the other magazines I subscribe to, you’d have my subscription immediately. No offence, but your currently digital delivery scheme is kludgy and old-school.
I’d be interested in seeing the drop-off rate for this survey.
I’d love to see the layout of the print magazine updated. I realize I’m in the minority, but I don’t particularly care about the photos and convention wrap-ups unless they cover actual news from cons (like analysis of who won and speculation on why).
I’m a book reviewer so the large majority of the books I receive and read are review copies sent by a review publisher or a book publisher, or fetched from Netgalley. Might add this to the “how many many books do you buy a year?” part of the survey.
i’m interested primarily in diverse sf. poc, queer, genderqueer, stories by and about women.
I’m very glad that publishing is becoming so decentralized that the SJWs are mostly unable to censor what we read.
I’ve probably said this before, but what the hey: it may seem like science fiction is in a period marked by turmoil and/or dullness, but who knows what it will look like when we review it twenty or thirty years from now? I maintain great hopes for our field. We’re going to see some incredible writing in the next few years — you can feel the tremors. Science fiction is going to save the world — again. It’s what we do.
I’ve really enjoyed reading these poll results, over the years, and seeing the changes. Great stuff!
Just starting to read science fiction again. I gave up in the early 90s- and the occasional times I checked during that decade I found nothing worth reading all the way through. I only started getting interested in the genre again (beyond occasionally picking up a used copy of an older work) when I discovered Baen books. Now I tend to give anything released by Baen or smaller publishers such as Castalia House a try and only pay attention to a few authors published by other houses.
Keep up the great work! Frankly, of all the magazines I subscribe to, LOCUS is the only one that I read every month.
Keep up the great work. I especially appreciate Gary Wolfe’s reviews & the annual Recommended List. The interviews are fun too.
Less pushing and lionization of sexual disorders, and SF/F will be a good genre again.
LOCUS – excellent job with superb staff! Book business-shorter & more diverse genre fiction, certainly; I wish it was easier (& less expensive) to find/afford it – the small press prices are prohibitive. Constant excellent work by ‘newer’ authors: Langan, Barron, Hand, Valente, and the up-and-comers show much promise Keep up you good and necessary work!
Locus continues to maintain a high level of excellence, but as usual i am generally uninterested in forthcoming books, and feel the space could be put to better use such as more reviews. As to the state of SF and Fantasy in general: i feel it is continually lamentable that many new titles are stretched into trilogies. This trend has become the norm, and i find it just another way for the publisher to triple the bucks. It is so frustrating to have the continuity of a story stretched out. There should be an added circle in hell for the publishers that make a regular practice of this butchery. That said, i still love SF and continue to make it one of my primary reading choices.
LOCUS is great. I can’t imagine getting along without it, particularly with the current fragmentation/expansion of the sf field. When I was young–fifty years ago–it seemed possible to read everything significant in the genre; now that’s impossible. Locus, with its reviews, news, and even its ads, helps me to steer in the direction of the things I might like. Please, keep it up.
Locus is still an incredible magazine. Hats off to the locus staff.
Locus is wonderful!! This survey is not!! I have a lot to say about SF, but neither the room nor the patience to say it.
Locus rocks!! I look forward to the “Forthcoming Books” issues like extra Christmases – they help me plan my book purchases (and I buy about 140 of them each year, so there is a lot to plan).
Love how many areas Locus covers; forthcoming books is a wonderful resource as is the books received section, and the reviews are top-notch. Also, wd like to compliment you on staff when I have called to renew: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. Above, I answered the convention question as “no” but if the NecronomiCon Providence is considered to be an SF con, please change my answer to “yes.”
Love Locus magazine. Love the news that Locus online provides.
Love Locus, keep up the good work!
More reportage of anime/manga, please!
Nice summary. Voting was difficult because I’d never seen a lot of the recommended novels/stories/etc.
Please consider adding a Middle Grade book category, distinct from YA. This year I would’ve nominated The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. Please consider creating categories for speculative poetry and speculative poetry journals. They seem to get lost in the shuffle.
Please keep the magazine going. Thanks for good work.
Re the Science Fiction Book Club question : I’ve been a member for many years (when I joined I got ten books for ten cents) because I enjoyed getting hardback books at a very reasonable price, sometimes cheaper than the cost of a paperback. I haven’t purchased anything from SFBC in quite a few years. The cost of their books combined with the shipping and handling charges became ridiculously expensive. I buy mass-market paperbacks almost exclusively. I purchase perhaps one or two hardbacks a year. I never get trade paperbacks, the cost is excessive. And I deplore the trend toward “premium” mass-market paperbacks; they’re just taller paperbacks at a very inflated price. I’ve given up on authors whose work I enjoy, simply because their books are issued in premium paperbacks for two or three dollars more. Consider adding a section on future surveys about what people read or skip in Locus. Might be interesting.
Re.: “Locus” — I get & read it every month, but wholesale via a friend who manages the local comics shop. I order Diamond-distributed merchandise thru him, he orders Ingram-distributed books thru me…
Read Locus forever, it seems; it’s one of a very few venues I regularly follow to obtain genre/author/fannish information. This is the first Locus Poll in which I’ve participated. As a retired [person],I can’t afford physical books or mags anymore. E-readers are my only vehicle for accessing the vast majority of my reading pleasure. My reading volume has actually grown through discovery of new authors through on-line sources.
Same as last year: In “Does SF form the major part of your pleasure reading?” does SF include all spec fic? I’m assuming Yes. “Do you consider yourself a book collector?” Define “collector” (someone who has accumulated thousands of books or someone who deliberately buys selected editions for their “collectible” value?). I answered Yes this year even though I’ve answered No in the past. The magazine: I still think your quantity of reviews (the main feature for which I subscribe to the magazine) has decreased in recent years. I would gladly see the second interview in each issue replaced by 3 or 4 more pages of short reviews. And I wish you could review novels from some of the small e-book-first publishers (on your website, maybe?). Otherwise, I love the magazine; keep up the great work.
Should Worldcon Hugo package count in e-fiction query? (Doesn’t really change the $0 answer, but might add $0 for e-books, that I don’t acquire at all otherwise.)
Sincere apologies. My reading in the field this past year was zero — or the books I read were neither memorable nor particularly good. I completed the survey portion in an effort to help your data collection. I understand if this half-completed ballot is not sufficient for the added issue. See you at LocusCon!
Still a great magazine, keep up the good work.
Still a great magazine. Love the reviews, news and interviews. I think most of the best writers are currently in science fiction – think Leckie, Corey, Stephenson. There are good fantasy writers – just not as many right now. YA fiction used to be cutting edge in fantasy but now is sunk in derivatives of Potterdom and Hunger Games.
Still wish first books of an author didn’t have to pass the write-in barrier to compete in the major categories as well.
Thank you for another great year of Locus
Thank you for honoring writers in a world that seldom pays them what they deserve!
Thank you for quality year after year.
Thanks for all your amazingly thorough and highly professional hard work!
Thanks for allowing non-subscribers to vote in the Locus poll, I would be interested in learning more about subscribing and the SF Book Club!
Thanks for putting this together, and for all your work on the magazine!
Thanks for your continued support for the SF community!
The list each year really needs to strive to include more work by writers of color, particularly women of color. Also, more indie/independent/self-published authors.
There’s no option for libraries; I get the vast majority of my books and movies from the library, including audiobooks. And after doing so much critting and slushing, it’s hard to read a book for fun unless its nonfiction, but I do listen to an awful lot of audiobooks, which is also not much of an option in this survey.
Thorough poll! But most of the stuff I got this year had appeared earlier, so not many votes cast.
Too many books, too little time
Used to subscribe, then used to buy the occasional issue (especially the February) when I could find it on the shelves at my two local Barnes & Noble locations. They haven’t carried it for almost two years now. My local library still maintains a subscription to it, and I check it out from them whenever I can find issues in stock that haven’t been stolen.
Very long poll. I am moving away from paper books and getting into e-books. An e-reader is easier to read from and to transport around. Plus it saves on storage space for paper books
Very much enjoy Laird Barron’s reviews of dark fiction / fantasy and hope your magazine continues to cover the Weird Fiction boom that is happening lately. Truly great work being produced in that field recently.
Would have liked a category for urban/modern fantasy.
Would like more on state of publishing & authors, loss of imprints, editor firings, etc.
You might wish to consider treating media tie-ins with more respect, and consider interviewing authors other than those based on the West coast.
You put together a nice little poll here. I respect basic competence.
You should allow voters to choose their top 10 in each category–at least in each fiction category. Secondly, maybe more practically, clumping original-story anthologies with reprint anthologies really doesn’t make any sense at all. Of course reprint anthologies by good editors will likely have a higher proportion of excellent reading–the privilege of hindsight. But original-story anthologies, which I find almost always much more uneven than a “Year’s Best”, are important to the field in a different way. One keeps stories in print or revives or enhances recognition, whereas the other takes a risk by hoping for the best from its authors in their response to a theme or set of tropes that the editor has asked them to explore. The originality of that often risky proposition is part of what should be rewarded in an original anthology–a criterion that’s virtually absent in a retrospective anthology.