CLICK HERE for quick access to the materials for the 2016-17 Speculative Fiction Genre Study.
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Locus Recommended Reading List: Best of 2016 in Speculative Fiction

Today is ARRT Speculative Fiction Genre Study day and to celebrate Locus released their annual, expert curated, Recommended Reading List of the best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror from the past year. Well not really, but still, it was excellent timing.

Screen shot from the announcement:

Use this link to pull up the full list of all the best books, collections, and short stories from the year that was in Speculative fiction.

I cannot stress enough how useful this annual list is to our work with readers and for collection development. Speculative fiction is where some of the best and smartest stories come from. It is where our current ideas, beliefs, and issues are debated. It is a place from where fiction can lead to real world change.

Don’t forget, Locus has been publishing this list in every February 1st issue for years. And they always put the full list on their website. Backlist options work especially well for speculative fiction. The current boost in sales of books like 1984 is only one example of many titles that prove this point. Use these older lists!

The easiest way to find those old lists is to do a search from the Locus homepage for “Recommended Reading List.” [Because they use Google to run their searches, you need to do this yourself; the link I will give you might not work.] It will pull them up out of order. Add the year to your search if you want a specific list. Remember though, the February 2017 issue has the 2016 Recommended Reading List. They have not tagged every list with a list specific tag, but my suggested work around does the job.

Here a reminder that back in 2015, I wrote this post on why I love and use this resources. Here is an excerpt:
Here is why I love this resource no matter the year:

  1.  It is a great collection development tool. You can use it to make sure your collection has the key titles from the past year.
  2. It is a wonderful science fiction and fantasy training tool.  You can use the list to make sure that you and your staff are aware of who’s who in the genre today. 
  3. All of the lists from the current one to those from years' past make for the perfect sure bet backlist reading list for speculative fiction fans. I recently showed the 2014 list to a friend who needed a suggestion for vacation, and she now thinks I am THE GREATEST LIBRARIAN EVER. [She checked out The Bees for her trip, by the way.] 
Click through to that post if you want more details from me, but at the very least, look at this year’s list, see how your collection stacks up to what the experts think are the very best pieces of speculative fiction [and nonfiction], and start suggesting, making lists, putting up displays, etc... for all of these titles.

Go on now....get to work! You’ve got plenty to do now, and I’ve got a Speculative Fiction Genre Study meeting to get to. We are leading off with this post!

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