January, February, March 2010
Actually Locus needs no introduction, anyone who has even a very superficial knowledge of science fiction knows that this is one of the oldest magazines devoted to science fiction, but its content is not fiction, but non-fiction. So once again pronounce the obvious and known to all is necessary.
In each issue of the magazine there are two interviews, one is represented to the front page (very rich and interesting interview with Delany and Crowley in January and March issues), the second is more modest (depending on the author). Sometimes, instead of one interview there is some discussion, seminar etc. Interviews are very detailed, something like the rules of life in Esquire, it has no questions, only answers. Not all of them are equally interesting, but it depends on the author, too.
As the saying goes, meat of the issue is reviews. Reviewers all can (and should) be read. Books between reviewers divide this way: Rich Horton and Gardner Dozois write about short prose, Gary K. Wolfe writes about the best books, Faren Miller is about the fantasy in its pure form (for the hardcore fans of fantasy, although I am not saying that choosing books are the bad ones), Paul Witcover writes about fiction on border (too often it is fantasy), special section Reviews by Divers Hands (there often Tim Pratt and Stefan Dziemianowicz write) is devoted mostly to horror. I like most Rich Horton (I love him for trying to find something new) and Gary K. Wolfe (whose second book of reviews from Locus is out, I hope to write about it soon). Publishers make a lot of books every month, for that many reviewers need to. Everyone will find a favorite reviewer not only by the choice of reviewed books, but also by how the chosen one wrote a review. Reviews is of very high quality.
Reports from conventions, somewhere from Japan, Greece or the Czech Republic, remain me indifferent. But what curious to read is the business news: who sold the new novel, who finished the book, also obituaries section.
Lists of received books and magazines is a useful thing for those readers who either read a lot, or have a few favorite of prolific writers, to make sure that all their books are already in his own library. Sometimes it's funny to dig something unfamiliar to eye out, but most often it is purely bibliophilic quirk. And how much space is killed, eh.
Well, lists of forthcoming books. Also on about 10 pages. I am a person rarely giving (given?) attention to new books and reading basically that ones unsold on the shelves, I only recently realized the usefulness of such lists for yourself. In the U.S. everything is very clear: the February issue had already given list of forthcoming books until December. There is, of course, mainly the most notable things, and from large publishing houses, but it is useful in any case.
Locus is worth subscribing for both international and US readers.