Reviews of Locus First Novel Award Winners

This is a list of Locus Award winners for best first novel, including ratings for those books that I've read and links to reviews where I've written one. This award is voted on by the readers of Locus and was originally intended to provide recommendations and suggestions for Hugo voting, but now often draws a larger total number of voters.

Locus's policy appears to be (I haven't been able to find official confirmation) that a first novel is only eligible for this award, not for the science fiction or fantasy awards.

Prior to 1981, books that would be eligible for this award were instead part of the slate for the science fiction and fantasy awards.

2023 Ray Nayler The Mountain in the Sea
2022 P. Djèlí Clark A Master of Djinn 7 out of 10
2021 Darcie Little Badger Elatsoe
2020 Tamsyn Muir Gideon the Ninth 8 out of 10
2019 Rebecca Roanhorse Trail of Lightning 4 out of 10
2018 Theodora Goss The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
2017 Yoon Ha Lee Ninefox Gambit 7 out of 10
2016 Ken Liu The Grace of Kings
2015 M. Rickert The Memory Garden
2014 Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice 10 out of 10
2013 Saladin Ahmed Throne of the Crescent Moon 7 out of 10
2012 Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus
2011 N.K. Jemisin The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms 7 out of 10
2010 Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl 7 out of 10
2009 Paul Melko Singularity's Ring
2008 Joe Hill Heart-Shaped Box
2007 Naomi Novik His Majesty's Dragon 7 out of 10
2007 Naomi Novik Throne of Jade 6 out of 10
2007 Naomi Novik Black Powder War 7 out of 10
2006 Elizabeth Bear Hammered 8 out of 10
2006 Elizabeth Bear Scardown 8 out of 10
2006 Elizabeth Bear Worldwired 8 out of 10
2005 Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell 8 out of 10
2004 Cory Doctorow Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
2003 Alexander C. Irvine A Scattering of Jades
2002 Jacqueline Carey Kushiel's Dart 9 out of 10
2001 Geoffrey A. Landis Mars Crossing
2000 Paul Levinson The Silk Code
1999 Nalo Hopkinson Brown Girl in the Ring
1998 Ian R. MacLeod The Great Wheel
1997 Sage Walker Whiteout
1997 Sarah Zettel Reclamation
1996 Linda Nagata The Bohr Maker
1995 Jonathan Lethem Gun, with Occasional Music 6 out of 10
1994 Patricia Anthony Cold Allies
1993 Maureen F. McHugh China Mountain Zhang 8 out of 10
1992 Kathe Koja The Cipher
1991 Michael F. Flynn In the Country of the Blind
1990 Allen Steele Orbital Decay
1989 Ian McDonald Desolation Road
1988 Emma Bull War for the Oaks
1987 Jack McDevitt The Hercules Text
1986 Carl Sagan Contact 6 out of 10
1985 Kim Stanley Robinson The Wild Shore
1984 R.A. MacAvoy Tea with the Black Dragon
1983 Clare Bell Ratha's Creature
1982 Somtow Sucharitkul Starship & Haiku
1981 Robert Forward Dragon's Egg

Ratings for books that don't have a review are based on my memory of the book. The rating may well change if I get a chance to read the book again.

Last modified and spun 2023-06-27