Locus published their annual Recommended Reading List earlier this week. I was looking at it and became curious about its composition. Then I became curious about possible trends in the Reading List and looked at the lists for the last five years, 2011 to 2015. I took the data from the Locus website and copied it into Excel so I could manipulate it.
I want to preface this by saying that I believe that the Locus staff works very hard on this list and intends for it to be as comprehensive as they can make it. I know how hard it can be to stay on top of the flood of fiction and other affiliated works that are produced each year.
But I also believe that Locus has a responsibility to think about their biases so that lists of these type don’t inadvertently perpetuate structural inequalities–as our field’s magazine of record, this Reading List is published around the same time that Hugo nominations open and while qualified members of SFWA are filling out their Nebula nomination ballots. The Locus Recommended Reading List is a logical place for many people to start looking for works to populate their ballots.