Locus Awards Weekend

 Keffy R. M. Kehrli is a science fiction and fantasy writer who lives in Seattle. His fiction has been published in Fantasy Magazine, Escape Pod and Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction. He also edits for Shimmer Magazine and can be found at



Last weekend (June 15-17), I attended Locus Awards Weekend. The Locus Awards have been held in Seattle since 2006. This year, they were sponsored by Locus Magazine, and NW Media Arts. NW Media Arts also sponsored a two day workshop (with James Patrick Kelly and Connie Willis as instructors) on Friday and Sunday at Richard Hugo House.

For those of us who didn’t do the workshop, the weekend started on Friday evening. Attendees were treated to a reading by Connie Willis and James Patrick Kelly, followed by a short meet and greet. One of the things I really enjoy about Locus Awards Weekend is that the event is small enough that I have a chance to talk to most of the other attendees.


On Saturday, there were two 45-minute panels in the morning, followed by a short memorial for Ray Bradbury, a book signing (with books available to purchase from the University Bookstore), and the awards banquet.

Confession time. I didn’t wear a Hawai’ian shirt to the Locus Awards this year. Of course, while we were eating lunch, Connie Willis came around to enforce the Hawai’ian shirt rules. People without Hawai’ian shirts were entered into a drawing to choose from a small selection of supposedly tacky shirts. My own sense of style is so warped, however, that I found everything on the table somewhat disappointingly tasteful. Yes, I realize that there are things wrong with me.

The awards announcements were fairly quick. Locus Award short lists aren’t announced at the awards, so despite my inability to remember to go shopping for a Hawai’ian shirt, Catherynne Valente had asked me to accept for her if she won in any of her categories and it turned out that she won three, all in a row. I was a little bit nervous during lunch that I’d completely botch her speeches if I had to go to the podium, but luckily the audience was pretty laid back.

Saturday evening was the Clarion West Party, which is always fun. It’s always great to meet the year’s incoming Clarion West students before they’re exhausted from too much critiquing and not enough sleep. Of course, I ruined the effect of Former Clarion Students Tell The Incoming Class That Doom Awaits Them by standing near the cake and telling the few students who wandered over that really it’s not that bad.

Just in case you were avoiding the internet last week, here’s a list of the 2012 Locus Award Winners:


Science Fiction Novel

Embassytown by China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)


Fantasy Novel

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)


First Novel

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday)


Young Adult Book

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Feiwel and Friends)



Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)



“White Lines on a Green Field” by Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean Fall ’11)


Short Story

“The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman (A Study in Sherlock)









The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-eighth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois, (St. Martin’s Griffin)



The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers (Tachyon)



Ellen Datlow



Shaun Tan



Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature by Gary K. Wolfe (Wesleyan)


Art Books

Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art by Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner (Underwood)


You can find the shortlist at the Locus Online announcement here: