Locus Awards Wrap-Up – Raven Oak

Locus Awards Wrap-Up

The 2017 Locus Awards were held this past weekend, an event requiring Hawaiian attire and a good sense of humor. I say the latter part because the MC is Science Fiction Grand Master Connie Willis, who has a sharp and sarcastic sense of humor. Absent was her heckler, Nancy Kress, but we made due without their awesome dynamic (Nancy was teaching at Taos Toolbox).

The panels are pretty short as this weekend isn’t meant to be a convention so much as a gathering of SF/F readers and writers. This year, the panels were:

“Polishing the Potato: The Best Story from the Worst Idea” panel with Annie Bellet, Robert Jackson Bennett, Curtis Chen, Carrie Vaughn, and Connie Willis, and “How Much Is That Trope in the Window? Repurposing Genre Elements to Tell New Stories” panel with Daryl Gregory (m), Seanan McGuire, Matt Ruff, and Nisi Shawl.

Polishing the Potato became Polishing the Turd among other things thanks to Matt Ruff. 😉 It was pretty awesome hearing about his book, Lovecraft Countryas well as hearing Nisi talk about her book, Everfair. Both are EXCELLENT books if you haven’t checked them out.

Here, Connie is not sure whether to laugh or cry at the guy wearing a shirt made of Connie’s face and her book covers.

Better shot of his shirt.

I discovered that Annie Bellet has an amazing Moogle tattoo.

Getting ready for Panel 2

I missed Friday night’s reading with Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn due to my allergy test, which left me itchy and fatigued. Generally not a good way to be pleasant company! This means I also missed the Friday night party and a friend’s birthday party. <insert sad face here>

I was in good company in the autographing room. I got to sit next to the fabulous and dapper Bruce Taylor and on the other side of him was Nisi Shawl, Connie Willis, and Carrie Vaughn. Nisi’s mother sat in the chair beside me. It was a great honor to talk to such an awesome 82-year-old. I want to look that good at 82!

Autographing time

Also signing in the room were friends and colleagues Liz Argall, Greg Bear, Annie Bellet, Robert Jackson Bennett, Curtis Chen, Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Randy Henderson, Scott James Magner, Julie McGalliard, Seanan McGuire, Adam Rakunas, Cat Rambo, Matt Ruff, Jack Skillingstead, Patrick Swenson, Michael Damian Thomas, and Caroline M. Yoachim. You can see Bruce’s dapper hat to the right.

Authors Patrick Swenson and Jack Skillingstead across from me. Daryl Greggory was there, but hopped up to take a photo.

Connie Willis, MC of the Locus Awards and all-around awesome.

This is the trivia contest. Randy Henderson, Curtis Chen, and Annie Bellet competed, among others.

Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn giving away prizes.

Connie announcing award finalists. 

Seanan’s book, Every Heart a Doorway, won Best Novella, which made me happy since it’s an excellent book. I was also happy to see Ellen Datlow win Best Editor. Other winners were:





  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US ’17)









  • Tor


  • Julie Dillon



Overall, a fun weekend. If you’ve never been to the awards, you should come some year. They’re held in Seattle and quite affordable to attend, not to mention the hilarity of watching Connie Willis as the MC. 😉

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