2017 Locus Award novella finalist PART I

2017 Locus Award novella finalist PART I

A few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet by John Scalzi, an author I follow. He linked to the 2017 Locus Awards novella finalists, where he has a title.

I bought three of the titles, then eventually bought all of them. I am now writing short reviews for each novella. It’s been a great deal of fun being introduced to so many completely different universes and such varied ways of thinking and telling stories.

Many of these authors I had never heard of, though most of them if not all are accomplished successful writers.

Here are three reviews picked from the ten in no particular order:

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire took me into its world within a few pages of reading. At first, I didn’t know what I was getting into, then it opened up to me, and I fell back into my childhood of hidden worlds inside of closets and behind mirrors. What a lovely ride. This is a child’s world of worlds. Even the “adults” portrayed are adults imagined by a child. The “real” adults, those who worry about taxes, rent, going to work, and watching the evening news, don’t appear in this novella. They are sometime talked about, but are never the center of any scene, and are only mentioned when they are needed for context. The murder mystery is a bit too easy, sure, however that didn’t take away from the enchantment of the story. Thoroughly enjoyable. I’ll be looking for more stories from McGuire.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson took me on a fascinating journey through hell of many different kinds, though it’s not a scary book, it is a page turner. The world the main character inhabits is so strange and unwelcoming, especially to it’s woman protagonist, that it’s unhinging much of the time. It is a quest, a long journey through dark forests, underworlds, weird religions, and a strangely friendly king, full of nasty gods and a sense of absolute doom and destruction that could hit at any time. This was fun to read. I’d like to visit this place again.

Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling. Okay, so I’m not sure. I enjoyed the story, though the alternative historical aspect of it was difficult for me. It did force me to learn about the real Fiume, something I knew absolutely nothing about. The writing is excellent, beyond a doubt impeccable. I love the decors, the pirates, the crazy costumes, the high-mindedness–this should be a movie with high contrast lighting and colors, with long cigarettes smoked with even longer cigarette holders by ladies who wear silk gloves and fake eyelashes… I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. But in the end, I think that the story was possibly a bit too clever for its own good.

Thank you for reading my reviews! Tell me what you think. I will post reviews of the remaining novellas soon.


The list of all ten books:
The Lost Child of Lychford, Paul Cornell (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part III
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part I
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part III
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part II
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part I
This Census-taker, China Miéville (Del Rey 2017) — Part III
The Iron Tactician, Alastair Reynolds (NewCon Press 2016) — Part III
The Dispatcher, John Scalzi (Subterranean 2017) — Part II
Pirate utopia, Bruce Sterling (Tachyon Publications 2016) — Part I
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing 2016) — Part II

Peace & Love

François Pointeau

please buy my books:




Locally, my books are available in Austin, Texas at Book People, Malvern Books
and Half Price Books (2222 & Lamar)
My books are also available in Houston, Texas at Wired Up on Dunlavy & Westheimer.


  1. Thanks, Art, for your comment! Yeah, I didn’t know anything about Locus Awards until I saw a tweet by John Scalzi. In any case, what a great source of books and authors. Locus is definitely going to be a place for me to go look for new books and stories. Thanks!

  2. Nice to see someone reading the Locus list… I’ve read most of the authors, but almost none of these titles – with the exception of Iron Tactician, because I’ll basically read anything by Alastair Reynolds.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *