Sun
Dec 19 2010 11:08am

Hugo Nominees: 1962

Hugo Awards trophy 1962The 1962 Hugo Awards were given at Chicon II in Chicago. (There’ll be another Chicon in 2012, interestingly.) The Best Novel Hugo went to Robert A. Heinlein for Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein’s third Hugo. (Post.) Stranger in a Strange Land was certainly an amazing phenomenon, becoming popular way outside normal science fiction reading circles. Some say it was one of the precipitating influences on the counterculture of the sixties, it founded a religion and did a lot to popularise polyamory. It has never been out of print, it has been a bestseller for decades. It’s in my library. It’s my perception that the critical reputation of the book isn’t as high as it used to be, but I could be mistaken.

There were four other nominees, of which I’ve read two:

Daniel Galouye’s Dark Universe, which I have read. It’s a fun story of people living underground, originally to escape a nuclear disaster, but subsequently out of habit. It’s the story of one boy who wants more and finds a new world outside, one where having eyes is useful, as it hasn’t been down in the darkness. It wasn’t published as YA, but it reads as one now. It’s not in print. It’s in the library in French.

Clifford Simak’s Time is the Simplest Thing (The Fisherman) is a story about a man who has contacted telepathically aliens and is consequently on the run. I read this a very long time ago and don’t remember it well, I should read it again. It isn’t in print, but it is also in the library in French.

James White’s Second Ending. I couldn’t remember whether I’d read this or not—I’ve read some White and it’s a fairly bland title. It’s described as “the last man in a universe of robots” which I think I would remember. It isn’t in print, and it isn’t in the library.

Harry Harrison’s Planet of the Damned (A Sense of Obligation). I definitely haven’t read it, it isn’t in print or in the library. It seems to be about a man who must leave Earth and save a hellish planet called Dis.

Looking at these five, I’d say we have one enduring classic that I do not like very much, two minor fun novels I have read and enjoyed but which have not lasted well, and two minor novels I haven’t read and which also haven’t lasted well. So surely this couldn’t be the best possible shortlist out of what was available?

Turning again to Wikipedia’s list of books published in 1961 I see the following possibilities: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Door Through Space, Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust (post), Stanislaw Lem’s Memoirs Found in a Bathtub, Return From the Stars, and Solaris, Lester Del Rey’s Moon of Mutiny, Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night, Poul Anderson’s Orbit Unlimited and Three Hearts and Three Lions, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth (children’s fantasy wasn’t considered eligible then, but it is now), Theodore Sturgeon’s Some of Your Blood, and Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat.

It’s very hard to look at that list and not think that at very least Solaris and A Fall of Moondust should have been on the Hugo ballot. I think the nominators dropped the ball here, I don’t think they picked the five best books that showed what the field was doing. As with the previous year, I think Stranger’s a good winner and might well have won against any competition available. But with all the benefit of hindsight, this strikes me as a disappointing shortlist.

Other categories

SHORT FICTION

  • “Hothouse” series (collected as The Long Afternoon of Earth), Brian W. Aldiss (F&SF, Feb., Apr., July, Sep., and Dec. 1961)
  • “Lion Loose,” James H. Schmitz (Analog, Oct 1961)
  • “Monument,” Lloyd Biggle, Jr. (Analog, Jun 1961)
  • “Scylla’s Daughter,” Fritz Leiber (Fantastic, May 1961)
  • “Status Quo,” Mack Reynolds (Analog, Aug 1961)

This strikes me as a very good list of short fiction, much of which has lasted. I’d have given it to Biggle, but maybe the voters felt sorry they’d slighted Anderson as best new writer.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION

  • The Twilight Zone (TV series)
  • The Fabulous World of Jules Verne
  • Thriller (TV series)
  • The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon
  • Village of the Damned

What was The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon? Was it some kind of adaptation of Flowers For Algernon?

PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE

  • Analog, John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Amazing Stories, Cele Goldsmith
  • F&SF, Robert P. Mills
  • Galaxy, H. L. Gold
  • Science Fantasy, John Carnell

PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

  • Ed Emshwiller
  • Virgil Finlay
  • Mel Hunter
  • John Schoenherr
  • Alex Schomburg

FANZINE

  • Warhoon, Richard Bergeron
  • Amra, George Scithers
  • Axe, Larry Shaw & Noreen Shaw
  • Cry, F. M. & Elinor Busby & Wally Weber
  • Yandro, Robert Coulson & Juanita Coulson

Chicon II also gave three special awards

  • Special Award: Cele Goldsmith for editing Amazing and Fantastic
  • Special Award: Donald H. Tuck for The Handbook of Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Special Award: Fritz Leiber and the Hoffman Electric Corp. for the use of science fiction in advertisements

The first of these seems particularly odd because Amazing, with Goldsmith as editor, was nominated for a Hugo and did not win. The other two are clearly things for which the Hugos did not have categories at the time—the last one still doesn’t. Having a Hugo for Best Ad seems like something from a Frederik Pohl story. I don’t know what those SF advertisements were, and a cursory Google search isn’t finding much. Anyone?


Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and eight novels, most recently Lifelode. She has a ninth novel coming out in January, Among Others, and if you liked this post you will like it. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

52 comments
Phiala
1. Phiala
It's got to be this (scroll down about a third of the way, or search for Hoffman).

"Hoffman Electronics, a firm that contracted for the Defense Department,
commissioned six short-short stories by various well-known SF authors.
These stories appeared throughout 1962 as part of advertisements for
Hoffman which originally appeared in the pages of Scientific American "

Authors: van Vogt, Asimov (2), Leiber, Riley, Heinlein.

Page images of five of the stories are at the above link. They also feature full-color artwork.

I hadn't known anything about these ads either. That's fascinating. I wish SF had that kind of place in modern innovation.
Phiala
2. Raskolnikov
Shame about the Heinlein win again, obviously. Beyond the rather pointed aesthetic issues it's rarely good for the early years of an award to keep going to the same author, it establishes a really bland, backward looking mentality among the voters, particularly for someone as particular as Heinlein. There's the issue of snubbing Lem, and sadly I don't think organized SF has gotten much better at recognizing science fiction talent from beyond the U.S. and U.K. And only marginally better at people that aren't white males, but that's perhaps a consideration for another post, such as once the journey has caught up with the present. Certainly Solaris should have been there, but it probably was a long shot. At's more surprising a Fall of Moondust didn't make it, though.

The Twilight Zone certainly was dominant in Hugo votes for those years, wasn't it?
Stefan Mitev
3. Bergmaniac
Solaris was ineligible for the Hugo. Its first translation in English was several years later (from the French translation, BTW, and still there isn't a direct translation from Polish, which is a travesty).
Unless the rules were different back then, but it wouldn't have made a difference since I doubt many Worldcon voters could've read it in 1961 or 1962 anyway.
Phiala
4. Steven Oerkfitz
I'm a big fan of both Some of Your Blood and Mother Night both neither are SF or fantasy. Like the choice of Hothouse for short fiction. Reread these recently and they hold up quite well.
Joe Romano
5. Drunes
We've talked so much about Stranger in a Strange Land lately that there's little else to say. It probably was a good choice, though, if for nothing else than that it's a book even non-science fiction readers know. I would agree with Raskolnikov that Americans tend to ignore works outside the U.S and UK, and, hey, I'm an American, too. Still, how can you ignore Solaris?

I haven't read Clifford Simak's Time is the Simplest Thing, but I love Simak and will look for that one in the library. Also, although Mother Night is my favorite Vonnegut book, I agree with Steven. It's not science fiction or fantasy.

I just read The Long Afternoon of Earth this past summer and have mixed feelings about Brian Aldiss. I generally like his work, but a little goes a long way. I ended up skimming the book to finish it. (Sorry, Jo.)

One other thing. Twilight Zone was dominant in the Dramatic Presentation category because it was "that" good. Many of the best episodes have stood the test of time and the lesser episodes were hands above what was around in the early 1960s.
David Levinson
6. DemetriosX
There seem to still be some irregularities in the whole eligibility thing. A Fall of Moondust was nominated in the following year, so maybe they were still using US publication. Of the novels on the ballot, I suppose I'd pretty much have to go with Stranger, and maybe even over any of the other novels Jo found for the year (Lem has never really appealed to me).

None of the short fiction really rings any bells for me, but it does make me realize that there are some fairly big names who are largely forgotten these days. Schmitz still gets a small bit of recognition for the Tigger stories, but Mack Reynolds is almost completely unknown. Even Lloyd Biggle is something of a footnote.

After 63, the dramatic presentation went on a bit of a hiatus and when it came back, specific episodes of TV shows were nominated. It would be interesting to see what episodes of TZ would have been nominated. The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon, according to IMDB, was an episode of "The United States Steel Hour" and was indeed an adaptation of Flowers for Algernon. It even starred Cliff Robertson as Charlie, so maybe it set the stage for the movie.

Two new names in the artist category. John Schoenherr got to be a pretty big name, closely associated with the Dune universe. Schomburg was huge in the comics business and went all the way back to Gernsback in SF illustration.

And George Scithers pops up in the fanzines. Another who would go on to be an important pro.
Clark Myers
7. ClarkEMyers
At the risk of repeating myself the Harrison is, I suggest, a political tale of culture clash (interesting similarities to cultures still in the news) and nation building not world building - what might have been, the scientific issues of parallel evolution and protein compatibility and all the rest are IIRC sidestepped in favor cultural comparisons with a War of the Worlds style saved by the discovery of a SPOILER SPACE







parasite, maybe like a river worm?, ending.
Agreed these selections are and by rights ought to be the fan favorites - not the critic's favorites - most likely to be recently read by all and discussed among a group of fans meeting for dim sum. I suspect this is more apparent with the longer works where it's easier to talk about ideas than about writing - especially easier with the right blend of old and new. Still distribution and availability mattered a great deal and in the days before the graying of fandom availability was a different thing. It was still an era of science fiction - including social sciences - over fine writing or fantasy.

I rather suppose the award to Cele Goldsmith was the proverbial walking dog award for keeping the publications alive if not necessarily prospering.
Phiala
9. James Davis Nicoll
Second Ending was included in the 1970s-era collection Monsters and Medics, which might be easier to find than an older version.

Briefly: young man wakes up out of medically required cold sleep to discover that his medical issue has been cured and that while he was frozen, humanity has exterminated itself and the biosphere as well.

He assigns the robots of the job of rebuilding the Earth's ecosystems with an eye to making Humanity Mark 2, using as their basic tool the seeds that happened to be caught in his trouser cuffs the day he was frozen. Unsurprisingly this project turns out to be somewhat time consuming, enough for stellar evolution to matter. He spends the hundreds of millions of years skipping through time as a sleeper but the robots get to the future the hard way and experience some changes of their own.

Taking stellar evolution into account - even being aware of modern models of stellar evolution - was somewhat unusual at that time. Of course on human time scales, it generally doesn't matter how stars age.

1: I think he also lucked out in that previous attempts by the robots to revive the frozen had not gone entirely well and while his waking had some nightmare fuel in it, at least it didn't kill him.



Huh. The recatcha image has a pi symbol in it....
Phiala
10. James Davis Nicoll
Planet of the Damned is somewhere between minor and awful, so about average for Harrison. It's no Daleth Effect or One Step from Earth but at least it's better than the most recent Stainless Steel Rat novel. If we weren't in different provinces I could lend it to you.

The one I missed was the Galouye. As far as I can tell, nothing by him ever made it to Waterloo County's bookstores or libraries.
Phiala
12. James Davis Nicoll
I would agree with Raskolnikov that Americans tend to ignore works outside the U.S and UK, and, hey, I'm an American, too.

Donald Wollheim tried to address this in the 1970s after he got his own imprint (DAW Books), importing and translating SF books from other languages (Generally European, as I recall, or at least if DAW had e.g. a Japanese author I missed it). My impression is that sales were generally dismal.

As an indication of the nightmarish future towards which we careen, I think it's easier for Yank publishers to find, acquire and successfully market foreignlandish fiction in North America than it it was 30 years ago. Where an American author in the 1980s might feel the need to adopt a more mainstream name to avoid the Soviet taint of their birth surname, there days Ogawas, Lukyanenkos, Sapkowskis, Sakurazakas and so seem not to driving readers away with their flagrantly non-Anglo-Celt names.

Of course J.K. Rowling had to be translated into American to sell in the US. I blame lingering resentments from the Monroe administration.


1: Asimov got to stay Asimov because he got published first by someone who wasn't John W. Campbell, Jr. IIRC Asimov's comments correctly.
Phiala
13. Kevin Standlee
Jo:

If the Special Awards were the same way they are today, they weren't Hugo Awards. Special Awards are given by the committee, not by the voter-selection process. (A Special Hugo category is not the same thing: that's a category added by the committee to the nominating ballot, after which it behaves like the other categories.)

Bergmaniac @3: Solaris would have been eligible -- first publication in any language counts -- but it's unlikely enough voters would have seen it. First English publication gives another shot. (This assumes the rules were the same back then as they are now. I'm too lazy right now to go look through the historical versions of the WSFS constitution to find out when the English-publication rule was added.)

As far as I know, the Hugo Award has never actually been explicitly only for English-language SF, although it appears many people assume that it always has been and currently is. Indeed, a fair number people appear to assume that the Hugo is exclusively for American Science Fiction, the number of counter-examples notwithstanding. They never read the rules, since they already know The Truth and facts are irrelevant.
David Levinson
14. DemetriosX
James @12/10: To be fair, Rowling didn't get translated much and that largely because they were initially sold as children's books. Yes, the marketeers at the publisher insisted on changing the first title, but I bet these days she has the clout to insist otherwise. Terry Pratchett is quite adamant about his books not being Americanized and he gets away with it.

Planet of the Damned may depend on what version you read. It was later expanded to true novel length. I've noticed that a lot of these early novel Hugo nominations have gone to magazine serializations, some of which were later published as books in a somewhat different form.
Phiala
15. James Davis Nicoll
Terry Pratchett has his own sword forged by his own hands from meteoric iron, which must be of considerable utility when negotiating contracts.
Phiala
16. Doug M.
_Some Of Your Blood_ was probably too squicky and strange for a Hugo ballot in 1962. Or today, for that matter. Good story, but.

I'm surprised there hasn't been a shout-out for _Three Hearts and Three Lions_. IMO it's Anderson's best book-length non-doom fantasy. (For best effect, read it back to back with _The Broken Sword_). If you're looking for a fun medieval romp, it's IMO at least a full cut above _The High Crusade_.

Mind, it may have suffered from the fact that (1) it was a fixup of a 1953 novella, with some additional scenes added to pad it out to book length; and (2) nobody knew who the hell Holger Dansk was.


Doug M.
Phiala
17. James Davis Nicoll
As I recall, there's a vocal minority who believe only SF is eligible for the Hugo. Again, example of people not reading the actual rules.
Phiala
19. James Davis Nicoll
Wasn't Three Hearts and Three Lions serialized in the 1950s?

Still, Anderson must have had a ton of stuff in 1961 that was eligible.

isfdbward ho!

Huh. Actually, kind of a slow year for Anderson:

Novels: Time Patrol, After Doomsday, Strangers from Earth,

(Also Twilight World but it has older material in it and is really a collection)

Short stories:

Time Lag, My Object All Sublime, Night Piece, and Goodbye, Atlantis!


After Doomday is interesting; it's a murder mystery where the victim is Earth.
john mullen
20. johntheirishmongol
It would have been interesting to see the vote totals, because with that list, Stranger could have been the all time highest vote getter, at least percentagewise. I would have though Fall of Moondust would have been a nominee too. Solaris, though, was just ok for me.

Twilight Zone was still the best show on TV back then, though never the most popular. As for the Charlie Gordon show, I know there were a bunch of movies remade in the GE(?) Playhouse and that may have been one, since it was about that time that the movie was made.
Stefan Mitev
21. Bergmaniac
Kevin Standlee @13- thanks for the explanation about the eligibility issue for non-English language works. I did a very quick check before my previous posts, noticed that they are eligible in the year of their publishing in English and didn't check more.
j p
22. sps49
Stranger would likely have won anyway, but The Stainless Steel Rat is my favorite of these.

Of course, I haven't read Solaris.

And did voters know authors' race, color, etc.? Awards must be given based on the works available. Blame publishers if you want (I like Leigh Eddings' work- the earlier the better) but I don't control how or what is presented, I "vote" with my cash based on the work itself.
Phiala
23. Raskolnikov
I certainly wouldn't disagree that Twilight Zone deserved the repeated honour. Some of the episodes certainly are a bit hokey now or have rather clumsy premises, (or are just diluted in impact from being repeated/parodied so often) but a lot of their episodes are powerful, and still feature now as top rate genre fiction. I'm just curious if there was any other popular picks among the Hugo voters of the time, it seems that the other shows have rather failed to retain whatever popularity they had. It would be interesting to have precise voter numbers on this count.

I'll echo general consenses on the Vonnegut---Mother Night is one of his best novels, I feel, and if it had anything to do with science fiction or fantasy I'd have been thrilled to have it win a Hugo. As is, it seems to be his most 'realistic' novek, at least from what I've read, even God Bless You Mr. Rosewater had a bit more in the way of genre perspective.

sps49, #22: Well, it's a more complex system than just voters arbitrary prejudice, but in many ways the fan community in the '60s and to a large extent up to the present seems like a closed door. There has been first rate stuff outside the usual block of American and British white folks, and even being published, but most of it isn't widely distributed or acknowledged. And so a genre that defines itself on imagination and extending beyond the perceptions of the present proves incredibly stunted in actually recognizing talent beyond 'folk like us'.

One can certainly advance the gender argument, though, as in almost all cases it was relatively apparent who was male and female, and the choice overwhelmingly went to the former. 15 female winners out of 62 (counting ties and the retro Hugos). The first female winner came only in 1970. That's...not very good at all. Now, I'll hardly defend the mainstream literary award cycle as being without it's own patterns of bias, but it doesn't offer anything that appalling. In nuts and bolts issues that matter SF fandom has more often declared itself to be a wave of the future than it actually took progressive steps.

That factors around to the Hugo novel winner under comparison, when the genre-altering work still regarded a lot as a classic is so actively preachy, misguided, simplistic and fundamentally disturbing. There are consequences for failing to move beyond Robert Heinlein as a standard-bearer, I'd suggest. And while much of the automatic literary contempt for science fiction is unjustified--reference Atwood's infamous comment on "I don't write talking squid"--there are some ways it's extremely justified. Which I think this track back through the Hugo winners indicates--for every work that was an enduring classic and a triumph of speculative fiction writing (such as 1963's, which we should be exploring soon...) there are winners like A Stranger in A Strange Land which we should frankly be rather embarassed with now.

Not that the current generation can necessarily be smug in making better choices, as witness bestowing "best genre novel of the year" on such 21st century flops as Hominids, Goblet or Fire and The Graveyard Book. But I suppose that discussion can wait until summer of 2011 or whenver we catch up to that point.
Jo Walton
24. bluejo
James: And if you were closer I could lend you _Dark Universe_, which I think you'd enjoy.

Raskolnokov: I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this series is going to stop with the Hugo winners of 2000. I don't think we can have any perspective yet on anything closer to that.
Phiala
25. Gardner Dozois
I've always had a sneaking fondness for A FALL OF MOONDUST, although it's far from Clarke's best and the science is completely obsolete. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS is one of Anderson's most enjoyable books; I always saw it as his attempt to write a De Camp & Pratt book, such as THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER. One of the few Secondary World fantasy novels out on the shelves before the Big Tolkein Wave hit. SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, an almost totally unknown Sturgeon, is still one of my favorites, although even today it's going to be too strange, and yes, "squiky," for many people.

None of these books would stand a chance against STRANGER though, particularly in 1962.

The "Hothouse" stories probably deserved to win, but don't overlook "Scylla's Daughter," one of the best of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories, and perhaps the one that blurs the genre boundaries the most--a time-traveller pops up in the middle of it! Most of the other stories are pretty much forgotten by this point.
Phiala
26. Raskolnikov
That is disappointing, although I understand the logic.
Phiala
27. tps
As of Oct. 8, Daniel Galouye's Dark Universe is back in print from small press Phoenix Pick. Well worth a read, I think.
Rich Horton
28. ecbatan
As noted, it's silly to complain about Solaris not having won the Hugo in 1962. It had only been published in Polish by then, as far as I know. (Perhaps it had been translated to French or German.) Be that as it may, to expect the body of fandom to have found it is just insane. The Hugo is not officially for "Best Work in English", but it is de facto for that, and I don't see a sensible way around that.

Books are eligible for the Hugo not only on first publication, but also on first publication in English. It's fair to argue that that books in translation haven't really gotten much of a chance at the Hugo, but let's leave the argument at that, and not complain about books very few of us will have had a chance to read in the original language.

I'll comment about the actual awards next.
Rich Horton
29. ecbatan
First, novel. Let me add a couple of potential nominees. Sylva, by Vercors, is a novel I haven't read, but I have heard much praise of it. (And though originally written in French, it apparently was available in English in 1961.) A for Anything, by Damon Knight, is a pretty good (but not great), and rather bitter, examination of the societal problems caused by a perfect duplicator.

There's another Damon Knight novel worth consideration -- his Ace Double The Sun Saboteurs. This is an expansion of "The Earth Quarter", one of his very best stories. (It's only about 37,000 words long, so technically novella length, but still eligible for the award as a novel.) I tend to think the shorter version is better -- it's a great dark story, and sadly underappreciated. But the expansion is still first rate.

All that said, of all the books listed, I probably got more pleasure from The Phantom Tollbooth than any of the others. I also remember enjoying Time is the Simplest Thing. I don't really like Stranger in a Strange Land much in retrospect, but as a 13 year old it did make quite an impact on me. I haven't read either the Galouye or White novels -- I suspect I'd enjoy both, but still consider them somewhat minor. I do agree with James Nicoll that most of Harrison's work ranges from minor to dreadful, but I haven't read Planet of the Damned.

It's hard for me to argue that any work would reasonably have beaten Stranger in a Strange Land in 1962 -- it was longer, more intricate, more ambitious, than anything else in what honestly strikes me as a disappointing year. I just don't much like it, in retrospect. From this perspective, I think I'd argue for The Sun Saboteurs, but in all honesty it never had a chance.
Rich Horton
30. ecbatan
Now, the short fiction. I quite like the "Hothouse" stories, and of the nominees listed, I think they're the best choice for the award (much as part of me wishes James Schmitz had won a Hugo sometime!) But we should remember that their award was highly controversial -- because it was not for a single story, but for a linked group of stories. I believe the rules were clarified after that to make sure that future awards went only to single stories.

There were several other short stories worthy of nomination, however. My list:

"A Planet Named Shayol", by Cordwainer Smith
"Alpha Ralpha Boulevard", by Cordwainer Smith
"An Old-Fashioned Bird Christmas", by Margaret St. Clair
"Billennium", by J. G. Ballard
"Harrison Bergeron", by Kurt Vonnegut
"The Beat Cluster", by Fritz Leiber
"The Deep Down Dragon", by Judith Merril
"Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night", by Algis Budrys

I think that's an impressive list. I particularly like the two Smith stories, and the Vonnegut -- and perhaps most of all, the Budrys. I love "Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night".

But, do I think "Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night" should have won the Hugo? No. Do I think the Hothouse stories should have won the Hugo? No.

In fact, one of the great SF stories of all time was published in the January 1961 issue of F&SF. One of my favorite stories ever. I think the clear cut choice for the 1962 Hugo for Best Shortfiction should have been Avram Davidson's "The Sources of the Nile", a very funny, and also oddly heartbreaking, story of a family that anticpates fashion, and a man's obsession with them.
Phiala
31. ofostlic
Time is the Simplest Thing is certainly worth reading, and I liked it more than Stranger. Even so, I think you could have predicted back then which one would still be in print and which one would have a single copy listed on Abebooks.

Phiala
32. James Davis Nicoll
Even so, I think you could have predicted back then which one would still be in print and which one would have a single copy listed on Abebooks.

This suggests a hilarious game. Thank you.
Phiala
33. Steven Oerkfitz
Ectaban-Sylva was on the ballot for 1963-better known by the title You Shall Know Them in the U.S.
Also have to agree on the Cordwainer Smith and Budrys stories. Budrys wrote quite a bit of good short fiction in the 50's and 60's.
Phiala
34. Gardner Dozois
Those two Cordwainer Smith stories are particularly brilliant, and should have at least made the ballot, and perhaps even won.
David Levinson
35. DemetriosX
The sad thing is that Cordwainer Smith never won a Hugo, not even a Retro so far.
Phiala
36. DBratman
The impression I get from talking with more dedicated Heinlein fans than myself is that Stranger has definitely lost its former status as Heinlein's flagship novel for adults. Now, especially if you're going for mid-period Heinlein, the finger would point to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (which also won the Hugo in its turn).

Clark E Myers #7: Cele Goldsmith's special award was for more than keeping Amazing and Fantastic alive. Under her editorship, they were going through a brief period of strikingly high quality, which was noticed even before some of the authors whose first stories she published became Big Names. People like Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, Thomas M. Disch, and (you can't win them all) Piers Anthony.
Phiala
37. James Davis Nicoll
It may be hard to believe this at this point in time but there was a period when Anthony was seen as an up-and-comer. He even got a story onto one of the Dangerous Visions anthologies.

Macroscope I recall as being an at least half-good Stapledonian space opera. I will preserve this memory by never revisiting the novel in question.

David Dyer-Bennet
38. dd-b
Quite right about Anthony. I remember Macroscope reasonably fondly, but have also not chosen to check those memories. I have even fonder memories of a few of his last serious works, from the Cluster series.

From things he's said in essays and interviews, he seems to be an actual case of an aspiring author who decided, after a while, to become a highly-paid hack instead -- and made it work.

Oh, hey -- there are more Jason Stryker novels! I wouldn't go so far as to say the first 4 were good, but I did enjoy reading them. I should look into one of the later ones, perhaps a bit cautiously.
Rob Munnelly
39. RobMRobM
I re-read Macroscope this year (found a copy in the book reuse section of our Town dumpt) and thought it held up well, except for a bit of 60s era racial talk that would be handled differently today. Impressive how much hard science is in it (and in other early works such as the Omnivore trilogy) compared to the Xanthian stuff that has been coming out over past decade or two.

Rob
Phiala
40. James Davis Nicoll
compared to the Xanthian stuff that has been coming out over past decade or two.

Or alternatively, the last 33, going on 34, years....

To someone just now encountering the series, the first book is as old as Stapledon's Sirius or Cleve Cartmill's deadline were to me back in 1977....
Rich Horton
41. ecbatan
Stefan Oerkfitz@33 -- thanks for the heads up on Sylva aka You Shall Know Them. I guess perhaps it wasn't published in English until 1962, then. It was the first novel in translation to get a Hugo nomination, and, I see on checking, the only one.

I checked the Nebula nominee list, and the only work in translation to get a Best novel shortlist position seems to have been Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities in 1975 (a good book, but I wouldn't call it a novel -- and it was one of 18 -- 18! -- books on the shortlist).
Phiala
42. Raskolnikov
Yes, what was up with the Nebula shortlist in 1975? A fifteen way tie, or were they compensating for only having four items on the shortlist for 1974? In any case, given it featured a highly deserving actual winner and lots of other stuff too ambitious to get on a conventional shortlist (The Female Man, Invisible Cities and Dhalgren) it's not necessarily a failure. Far too unwieldy for most purposes, naturally, but glad that it was able to give some recognition to works that now have to be seen as high-points of that era.

When is there going to be the next opportunity for a Retro Hugo? I'd agree that there are some earlier figures criminally neglected at this point.

DBratman: Interesting, my conversations with more focused Heinlein fans indicated they regarded Stranger as still the classic, the game-changer for opening up science fiction. Although they seem to agree that 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' is the better polished novel overall.
Rich Horton
43. ecbatan
In all honesty, I wouldn't have been in the least surprised to see both The Female Man and Dhalgren on a 5 novel shortlist for the Nebula that year. Invisible Cities, maybe not!

The next possible RetroHugo will be in 2014, for works from 1939.
Madeline Ferwerda
44. MadelineF
28 ecbatan: "The Hugo is not officially for "Best Work in English", but it is de facto for that, and I don't see a sensible way around that."

The way around that would be to open up voting (making it less price-gouging, making it possible to buy in over the internet well in advance, cracking its connection to a single physical con held in an English-speaking country, etc), and the current Hugo voters are staunchly opposed to that.

As for 1962, the book on this list that I love is _The Stainless Steel Rat_. There is far, far too little caper fic in SF. I mean, nearly 50 years on, what is there to compare to the first 2-3 Stainless Steel Rat books? Even trying to find Sci-Fi that lives in its world, instead of loftily looking to the horizon as it epically skates along, is hard.
Rich Horton
45. ecbatan
It is worth noting that the Worldcon has been held several times in non-English speaking countries, most recently in Japan, though to be sure there are still plenty of structural reasons that works published in English have an advantage.
Bob Blough
46. Bob
Great year for short fiction! I have always loved "Hothouse" - I've read them as individual stories and then as the connected novel. (In fact both versions - the shortened American version called All the Afternoons of Earth, I think - and then the full British version called Hothouse.) I agree with Dozois that "Scylla's Daughter" is vintage Leiber. As I recall it became the basis for his only Fafhrd and Grey Mouser novel. But to overlook both of the Smith works, even as nominations, is a total crime. The Davidson is also brilliant. As for novels I think that Time is the Simplest Thing is the most underappreciated book by this wonderful author. For me it is as good as City or Way Station or Ring Around the Sun to name my favorites. I re-read it last year and it is terrific - if you I like his writing style. I do very much. So while Stranger had to win (nothing else like it had ever been attempted by a true genre author) I'd go for the Simak.
Bob Blough
47. Bob
Second Ending and Dark Universe are also very good. The Harrison I don't care for at all. Some of Your Blood, in my opinion, is Sturgeon's most successful novel. It is definately horror but not of a supernatural kind. Superbly written, however. Also really like Three Hearts and Three Lions and I admire Solaris a lot. Other than Stranger and Time is the Simplest Thing though, the short fiction is what shines brightest for me for this year.
Michael Walsh
48. MichaelWalsh
"and the current Hugo voters are staunchly opposed to that."

There aren't that many Hugo voters. The vast majority of the Worldcon membership does not bother to nominate or vote.

And "the voters" aren't the ones controlling the rules, those Worldocn members who bother to attend the annual Business Meeting of WSFS do. And there are fewer people attending the Business Meeting than who vote.
Phiala
49. James Davis Nicoll
non-English speaking countries, most recently in Japan,

While Canada is probably seen abroad as an Anglophone nation and while it is quite possible to get along almost everywhere in English (and is the default in 8 of ten provinces ), the most recent Worldcon to be held in Canada was held in Montreal, in Quebec. La charte de la langue française, good old Bill 101, specifies French as their official language.

Montrealers are cosmopolitan and generally fairly tolerant of Anglo tourists but it qualifies as a non-English venue.



1: New Brunswick is official bilingual (English and French). For some reason they had this specified in Canada's constitution, which we call "the constitution".

Note for American making up wild tales involving the Canadian constitution: the original documents are kept in the House of Lords in the UK for procedural reasons.
Joe Romano
50. Drunes
MichaelWalsh's comment got me wondering... How many votes are ususally cast for the Hugos?
Phiala
51. James Davis Nicoll
I think this is the right link for the 2010 Hugos. Warning: pdf.

http://www.aussiecon4.org/hugoawards/files/2010HugoVotingReport.pdf

This is an old discussion of the vote totals:
http://www.nesfa.org/fanzines/votehist.html

Totals tend to be lower for Worldcons outside the US .
Rich Horton
52. ecbatan
I did say "English-speaking countries", and Canada is definitely an "English-speaking country". It's also a French-speaking country, of course. And as for the point I was responding too, I don't think it's a very good argument that having a Worldcon in Quebec would significantly affect the likelihood of English speakers making up a huge portion of the attendance, while one could at least argue that conventions in Japan and Germany, for example, might feature a much greater percentage of non-English speakers. (They probably did, to be sure -- but given that the nominating community includes supporting members and members of the previous convention, the proportion of native English spearkers doubtless remains high.)
Phiala
53. Michael F. Flynn
The story I heard about the live TV version of Flowers for Algernon was this (from Stan Schmidt, who had it from fellow-Ohioan Daniel Keyes).
Cliff Robertson really loved the story and brought it to TV. During rehearsals, the Sponsor became distraught. "Charly regresses at the end!" That might be okay for a movie, but TV is inside people's homes, and happy endings are preferred. The last scene had Charly reading a physics book with despair -- he could no longer understand it, but knew that he once could.
So, just add a final final scene, they told him: have it all suddenly come back to him.
Now it was Robertson's turn to be appalled. That would ruin the whole point of the story! The Sponsor said, People don't like to feel unhappy inside their own homes. Have him reading the book, then his eyes brighten, and he starts to flip the pages with more excitement, and we fade to black.
Robertson was stuck.
But they forgot it was live TV and Robertson was an actor. He timed the show perfectly... to run a little long. And he did let his eyes go wide and he did flip the pages with gathering excitement -- after the cameras had gone dark.
As a result, he couldn't get a TV gig for quite a few years.
René Walling
54. cybernetic_nomad
"The way around that would be to open up voting (making it lessprice-gouging, making it possible to buy in over the internet well in advance, cracking its connection to a single physical con held in an English-speaking country, etc), and the current Hugo voters are staunchly opposed to that."

What you consider price gouging, thousands of people consider value for their money. That said, Worldcon committeee do work very hard to limit the costs of memberships since they know people have to pay out of their own pocket.

You can buy Worldcon memberships online, usually more than a year ahead of time. If that's not in advance, I don't know what is.

The Hugos are tied to Worldcons and, IMO, should be. By definition, the Hugos are the Awards given out by the World Science Fiction Society and Worldcon is WSFS' annual convention). That's kind of like saying the Oscars should be separated from the Motion Picture Academy.

As for being tied to a single physical convention, most awards are tied to a single event or organization. Some events travel and others don't. Worldcons do. So chances are it is possible to go to one relatively near where you live eventually. In any case, you don't have to attend to nominate and vote for the Hugos -- purchasing a supporting membership (which, essentially, is a WSFS membership for the current year) will allow you to do so.

The Hugos are run democratically, anyone attending a Worldcon can propose an amendment to the WSFS constitution (the document that, among other things, defines the Hugos and the rules that govern them) and vote for or against them. Most Worldcon members choose not to, but that also is their prerogative.
Michael Walsh
55. MichaelWalsh
The 2012 Worldcon in Chicago has online registration:
http://www.chicon.org/membership.php

Most Worldcons open up registration the day of their "win". And I suspect most over the last few years have their online forms up and running as soon as possible.

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