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The Locus Recommended Reading List

It’s my ongoing quest to get book groups to give more attention to speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction and horror. These genres are not just guilty pleasures or greasy kid stuff. Yes, there are plenty of escapist works in the speculative genres, but there are also books filled with the interesting characters, issues, and conflicts that book groups love.

A thoughtful list of speculative fiction worth the time of serious readers (and worthy of an hour of your discussion time) is put out by Locus magazine in its February issue each year. The list of 2009 books has just arrived and you can view it here. Clicking book titles on the Locus site will take you to Amazon for a chance to purchase the book, but fans of these genres should consider subscribing to review the magazines monthly reviews, which are always a cut above–thoughtful and highly literate. With timely news, reviews, and booklists, Locus is the single most important tool that I use in developing my library’s speculative collection.

Note the link on the left of the Locus page to last year’s Recommended Reading List. Lists back to the year 2000 are available on the site. Just type the year and “Recommended Reading” in their search box.



About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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