Here they are, by shuttle and dragon’s back and all kinds of fantastic means (okay, but mostly by email and conference call) – our esteemed expert judges for this year’s summer poll!
As many of you may know by now, our summer polls are not just a popularity contest. Instead, we take your votes and pass them on to a group of fantasy writers and reviewers, who will use them to curate a final list of 50 of the most extravagant sci-fi and fantasy reads of the past. ten years. And if you haven’t voted yet, what are you waiting for?
Amal El Mohtar is critical for both NPR Books and the New York Times (although we had his first, neener neener), and award-winning author Hugo, Nebula and Locus de “Seasons of glass and iron” and co-author with Max Gladstone This is how you lose the time war. In his Book the concierge’s recommendation, Jason Sheehan called Time war “brilliant, breathtaking and accessible at the same time.”
Amal lives in Canada, has two high quality cats and is very fond of owls.
Anne Leckie is the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of the Ancillary series and The Raven Tower. Accessory justice, the first in the series, was part of the very first Book Concierge in 2013 – “Come for the action that turns the pages and stay for the amazing character development and world building that will leave you speechless”, said critic Annalee newitz.
“The last ten years have been amazing for science fiction and fantasy!” Leckie said. “So many new voices – not voices that are new to the field exactly, because science fiction and fantasy readers and writers have always been a beautifully diverse group of people, but new to the wide recognition they deserve. I feel like there has been an opening to what editors and editors consider to have wide appeal. I’m not sure exactly what caused this to happen, but I am so happy to see so much amazing work coming out. “
Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of Riot Baby – a choice Concierge 2020 (do you feel a theme here?) and finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and NAACP Image Awards. His other works include War girls and Beasts made by night, and he is also a critic of NPR Books.
“Over the past decade, two things have braided to help make the field of SFF as exciting and brain-working / heart-filled as it is,” he says. “With the doors weakened by our ancestors, the children and grandchildren of Empire entered. And they brought with them not only the social and theoretical concerns that characterized their worldview, but also the stylistic audacity and the formal innovation. There were literary experiments in SFF before this decade, but now the field is really becoming a place where you regularly come to see literature as a form gloriously taken to its extremes. “
And Fonda lee is the creator of the Green Bone Saga, winner of the World Fantasy Award (also beloved of the Concierge!) and novels Zeroboxer, Exo and Crossfire. She’s also a former business strategist and black belt martial artist who loves action movies, which I can say as a reader really shines through in her work!
Lee says she had a “wow” moment around 2018 or 2019 when I looked at lists of upcoming books and saw not one, not two, but a dozen early novels by fantasy authors. Asian Americans, and dozens more of authors from all walks of life, with stories set in a much wider variety of cultures and eras than I could have imagined in the days when I ‘wrote Jade City in 2014-2016. At that time, I was afraid that my novel was too different from the norm and that no one would publish it. Now I feel like I always have to work on top of my game just to keep pace. It’s a wonderful feeling. “