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Locus Award

Entry updated 24 June 2024. Tagged: Award.

Popular Award voted on by readers of the leading sf news magazine (or Newszine) Locus, and presented annually since 1971. Each year's Locus awards normally honour work first published in the previous year. Thanks to their exceptionally wide reader base, these sf awards have come to share the stature of the Hugos (which reflect the preferences of fans and professionals who attend the annual Worldcon) and the Nebulas (which reflect the professional judgment but also sometimes the internal politics of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Where the Hugo and Locus awards differ, it is often thought that the Locus assessment is the more accurate reflection of general reading tastes. The Locus Award is not only good for vanity and sales: it has taken a very attractive form in perspex and metal.

As with the Hugos, the Locus award categories have been subject to some experimental tinkering over the years. Many, naturally enough, correspond to Hugo classifications: novel, novella, novelette, short story, editor (not added until 1989), professional artist, and so on. The novel award was split in 1978 and from 1980 onward to provide a separate fantasy novel category. A further Horror/dark fantasy novel category appeared from 1989 to 1999. The category for first novels – without any genre split – was introduced in the 1981 awards. Young Adult books have had their own category since 2003. Before 1974, the professional artist award was subdivided into paperback-cover and Magazine artists. Further long-established Locus Award categories cover single-author collections (since 1975); Anthologies (since 1981), which was split into original and reprint subcategories from 1972 to 1975; nonfiction, related or reference books (since 1976); art books (since 1979); and book publishers (1972), split between hardcover and paperback publishers in 1975 and 1976 only. The award for critic was short-lived, appearing from 1974 to 1977. Some Fandom categories were initially included, but none survived beyond 1977, at which point Locus itself had won six out of seven Fanzine awards presented.

In recent years, the adoption of on-line voting has thrown open the poll to readers who may see Locus only through its popular website. Many observers felt that these awards' credibility was badly damaged by the handling of the 2008 poll, in which it was announced after polling had closed that the votes of paid-up Locus subscribers would count double. The July 2008 Locus stated: "Connie Willis's The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories won with a lead of just over 70 points [...] Cory Doctorow's Overclocked came in third – despite having the most votes and the most first-place votes. The doubled subscriber votes made Willis, ever a favourite with Locus subscribers, the winner; without the extra points, she would have come in second behind Doctorow, who has a large online fan base." Why such a radical adjustment of the figures should be either necessary or desirable was not explained. [DRL]

Novel (from 1980, sf novel)

Fantasy novel

Horror/dark fantasy novel

First novel

Young adult book



  • 1975: Harlan Ellison, "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W" (October 1974 F&SF)
  • 1976: Ursula K Le Guin, "The New Atlantis" (in The New Atlantis, anth 1975, ed Robert Silverberg)
  • 1977: Isaac Asimov, "The Bicentennial Man" (in Stellar #2, anth 1976, ed Judy-Lynn del Rey)
  • 1979: John Varley, "The Barbie Murders" (January/February 1978 Asimov's)
  • 1980: George R R Martin, "Sandkings" (August 1979 Omni)
  • 1981: Thomas M Disch, "The Brave Little Toaster" (August 1980 F&SF)
  • 1982: George R R Martin, "Guardians" (October 1981 Analog)
  • 1983: Harlan Ellison, "Djinn, No Chaser" (April 1982 Twilight Zone)
  • 1984: George R R Martin, "The Monkey Treatment" (July 1983 F&SF)
  • 1985: Octavia E Butler, "Bloodchild" (June 1984 Asimov's)
  • 1986: Harlan Ellison, "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (in Universe 15, anth 1985, ed Terry Carr)
  • 1987: David Brin, "Thor Meets Captain America" (July 1986 F&SF)
  • 1988: Pat Murphy, "Rachel in Love" (April 1987 Asimov's)
  • 1989: Harlan Ellison, "The Function of Dream Sleep" (June 1988 Midnight Graffiti)
  • 1990: Orson Scott Card, "Dogwalker" (November 1989 Asimov's)
  • 1991: Dan Simmons, Entropy's Bed at Midnight (1990 chap)
  • 1992: Dan Simmons, "All Dracula's Children" (in The Ultimate Dracula, anth 1991, ed Byron Preiss, David Kellor and Megan Miller)
  • 1993: Pamela Sargent, "Danny Goes to Mars" (October 1992 Asimov's)
  • 1994: Dan Simmons, "Death in Bangkok" (June 1993 Playboy; rev vt "Dying in Bangkok" in Lovedeath, coll 1993)
  • 1995: David Gerrold, "The Martian Child" (September 1994 F&SF)
  • 1996: Mike Resnick, "When the Old Gods Die" (April 1995 Asimov's)
  • 1997: Ursula K Le Guin, "Mountain Ways" (August 1996 Asimov's)
  • 1998: Connie Willis, "Newsletter" (December 1997 Asimov's)
  • 1999: (tie) Greg Egan, "The Planck Dive" (February 1998 Asimov's); Bruce Sterling, "Taklamakan" (October/November 1998 Asimov's)
  • 2000: (tie) Stephen Baxter, "Huddle" (May 1999 F&SF); Greg Egan, "Border Guards" (October 1999 Interzone)
  • 2001: Ursula K Le Guin, "The Birthday of the World" (June 2000 F&SF)
  • 2002: Ted Chiang, "Hell Is the Absence of God" (in Starlight 3, anth 2001, ed Patrick Nielsen Hayden)
  • 2003: Ursula K Le Guin, "The Wild Girls" (March 2002 Asimov's)
  • 2004: Neil Gaiman, "A Study in Emerald" (in Shadows Over Baker Street, anth 2003, ed Michael Reaves and John Pelan)
  • 2005: (tie) Kelly Link, "The Faery Handbag" (in The Faery Reel, anth 2004, ed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling); China Miéville, "Reports of Certain Events in London" (in McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, anth 2004, ed Michael Chabon)
  • 2006: Cory Doctorow, "I, Robot" (2005 Infinite Matrix)
  • 2007: Cory Doctorow, "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" (2006 Jim Baen's Universe)
  • 2008: Neil Gaiman, "The Witch's Headstone" (in Wizards anth 2007, ed Jack Dann)
  • 2009: Paolo Bacigalupi, "Pump Six" (in Pump Six and Other Stories coll 2008)
  • 2010: Peter S Beagle, "By Moonlight" (in We Never Talk About My Brother coll 2009)
  • 2011: Neil Gaiman, "The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains" (in Stories: All-New Tales, anth 2010, ed Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio)
  • 2012: Catherynne M Valente, "White Lines on a Green Field" (Fall 2011 Subterranean)
  • 2013: Pat Cadigan, "The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi" (in Edge of Infinity anth 2012, ed Jonathan Strahan)
  • 2014: Neil Gaiman, "The Sleeper and the Spindle" (in Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, anth 2013, ed Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt)
  • 2015: Joe Abercrombie, "Tough Times All Over" (in Rogues, anth 2014, ed Gardner Dozois and George R R Martin)
  • 2016: Neil Gaiman, "Black Dog" (in Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances coll 2015)
  • 2017: Alyssa Wong, "You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay" (May/June 2016 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2018: Samuel R Delany, "The Hermit of Houston" (September/October 2017 F&SF)
  • 2019: Brooke Bolander, The Only Harmless Great Thing (2018)
  • 2020: Ted Chiang, "Omphalos" (in Exhalation coll 2019)
  • 2021: Meg Elison, "The Pill" (in Big Girl coll 2020)
  • 2022: John Wiswell, "That Story Isn't the Story" (November/December 2021 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2023: John Chu, "If You Find Yourself Speaking to God, Address God with the Informal You" (July/August 2022 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2024: Uchechukwu Nwaka, "The Rainbow Bank" (August 2023 GigaNotoSaurus)

Short story

  • 1971: Harlan Ellison, "The Region Between" (March 1970 Galaxy)
  • 1972: Poul Anderson, "The Queen of Air and Darkness" (April 1971 F&SF)
  • 1973: Harlan Ellison, "Basilisk" (August 1972 F&SF)
  • 1974: Harlan Ellison, "The Deathbird" (March 1973 F&SF)
  • 1975: Ursula K Le Guin, "The Day Before the Revolution" (August 1974 Galaxy)
  • 1976: Harlan Ellison, "Croatoan" (May 1975 F&SF)
  • 1977: Joe Haldeman, "Tricentennial" (July 1976 Analog)
  • 1978: Harlan Ellison, "Jeffty is Five" (July 1977 F&SF)
  • 1979: Harlan Ellison, "Count the Clock that Tells the Time" (December 1978 Omni)
  • 1980: George R R Martin, "The Way of Cross and Dragon" (June 1979 Omni)
  • 1981: Clifford D Simak, "Grotto of the Dancing Deer" (April 1980 Analog)
  • 1982: John Varley, "The Pusher" (October 1981 F&SF)
  • 1983: Ursula K Le Guin, "Sur" (1 February 1982 The New Yorker)
  • 1984: James Tiptree Jr, "Beyond the Dead Reef" (January 1983 F&SF)
  • 1985: Lucius Shepard, "Salvador" (April 1984 F&SF)
  • 1986: Harlan Ellison, "With Virgil Oddum at the East Pole" (January 1985 Omni)
  • 1987: Isaac Asimov, "Robot Dreams" (in Robot Dreams, coll 1986)
  • 1988: Pat Cadigan, "Angel" (May 1987 Asimov's)
  • 1989: Harlan Ellison, "Eidolons" (July 1988 F&SF)
  • 1990: Orson Scott Card, "Lost Boys" (October 1989 F&SF)
  • 1991: Terry Bisson, "Bears Discover Fire" (August 1990 Asimov's)
  • 1992: John Kessel, "Buffalo" (January 1991 F&SF)
  • 1993: Connie Willis, "Even the Queen" (April 1992 Asimov's)
  • 1994: Connie Willis, "Close Encounter" (September 1993 Asimov's)
  • 1995: Joe Haldeman, "None So Blind" (November 1994 Asimov's)
  • 1996: Maureen F McHugh, "The Lincoln Train" (April 1995 F&SF)
  • 1997: John Crowley, "Gone" (September 1996 F&SF)
  • 1998: James Patrick Kelly, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (June 1997 Asimov's)
  • 1999: Bruce Sterling, "Maneki Neko" (May 1998 F&SF)
  • 2000: Terry Bisson, "macs" (October/November 1999 F&SF)
  • 2001: Larry Niven, "The Missing Mass" (December 2000 Analog)
  • 2002: Ursula K Le Guin, "The Bones of the Earth" (in Tales from Earthsea, coll 2001)
  • 2003: Neil Gaiman, "October in the Chair" (in Conjunctions 39, anth 2002, ed Peter Straub)
  • 2004: Neil Gaiman, "Closing Time" (in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, anth 2003, ed Michael Chabon)
  • 2005: Neil Gaiman, "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire" (in Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales, anth 2004, ed Deborah Noyes)
  • 2006: Neil Gaiman, "Sunbird" (in Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things ..., anth 2005, ed Ted Thompson and Eli Horowitz)
  • 2007: Neil Gaiman, "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (in Fragile Things, coll 2006)
  • 2008: Michael Swanwick "A Small Room in Koboldtown" (April/May 2007 Asimov's)
  • 2009: Ted Chiang, "Exhalation" (in Eclipse 2, anth 2008, ed Jonathan Strahan)
  • 2010: Neil Gaiman, "An Invocation of Incuriosity" (in Songs of the Dying Earth, anth 2009, ed George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois)
  • 2011: Neil Gaiman, "The Thing About Cassandra" (Songs of Love and Death, anth 2010 ed George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois)
  • 2012: Neil Gaiman, "The Case of Death and Honey" (in A Study in Sherlock, anth 2011, ed Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger)
  • 2013: Aliette de Bodard, "Immersion" (3 June 2012 Clarkesworld)
  • 2014: Caitlín R. Kiernan, "The Road of Needles" (in Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales, anth 2013, ed Paula Guran)
  • 2015: Amal El-Mohtar, "The Truth About Owls" (in Kaleidoscope, anth 2014, ed Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios)
  • 2016: Naomi Kritzer, "Cat Pictures Please" (January 2015 Clarkesworld)
  • 2017: Amal El-Mohtar, "Seasons of Glass and Iron" (in The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, anth 2016, ed Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe)
  • 2018: Linda Nagata, "The Martian Obelisk" (19 July 2017
  • 2019: Phenderson Djèlí Clark, "The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" (February 2018 Fireside)
  • 2020: Charlie Jane Anders, "The Bookstore at the End of America" (in A People's Future of the United States anth 2019 ed Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams)
  • 2021: Naomi Kritzer, "Little Free Library" (8 April 2020
  • 2022: Sarah Pinsker, "Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather" (March/April 2021 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2023: Samantha Mills, "Rabbit Test" (November/December 2022 Uncanny Magazine)
  • 2024: P Djèlí Clark, "How to Raise a Kraken in Your Bathtub", (January/February 2023 Uncanny Magazine)



Nonfiction/related/reference book

Art book


Magazine/fanzine/anthology series

Book publisher

Professional artist



Fan writer

  • 1971: Writer: Harry Warner Jr; Critic: Ted Pauls
  • 1972: Charlie (Charles N) Brown
  • 1973: Terry Carr

Fan artist

  • 1971: Artist: Alicia Austin; Cartoonist: Bill (William) Rotsler
  • 1972: Bill (William) Rotsler
  • 1973: Bill (William) Rotsler
  • 1974: Tim Kirk
  • 1975: Tim Kirk


  • 1972: Noreascon

Special award

  • 2018: Clarion West (see Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop) for "community building and inclusivity"
  • 2019: Mary Anne Mohanraj for "community outreach and development"
  • 2020: K Tempest Bradford, Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, "Writing the Other" (online classes and workshops) for "inclusivity and representation education"
  • 2021: Bill Campbell and Rosarium Publishing for "amplifying diverse voices"
  • 2022: The Codex Writers' Group for "community building and career development"
  • 2023: The Carl Brandon Society for "developing diversity in genre communities"
  • 2024: Jeanne Cavelos and the Odyssey Writing Workshop for "fostering excellence in craft and career"


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