Jan 16 2011 10:44am

Hugo Nominees: 1966

Photo by Michael BenvenisteThe Hugo Awards for 1966 were handed out in Tricon, in Cleveland. (For earlier posts in this series, see Index.) The Best Novel Award was a tie, for the first time ever, and one of only three novel ties in the history of the award. The two winners were Frank Herbert’s Dune (post) and Roger Zelazny’s “And Call Me Conrad” aka This Immortal. They are both wonderful books, and I’ve just re-read them back to back, and if I’d had the deciding vote I’m not sure which I’d have given it to. (Now, that is. If you’d asked me in 1966, I’d have probably voted for Green Eggs and Ham.)

Dune is a huge book, an overwhelming experience, clever, full of ideas, baroque. It has factions plotting over spice that makes people prescient and able to travel FTL, it has a messiah, and it has a really good description and experience of being prescient. It’s written in an ornate way. And Call Me Conrad is a short, funny book about a wisecracking mutant immortal in a post-apocalyptic future Earth that wants to be free of alien domination. It uses Greek mythology for resonance. It sets a pattern for what Zelazny was going to do later. It’s accomplished and stylish in a way Dune just isn’t. You could compare them to a bludgeon and a stiletto. But they are both great books, and great classics of science fiction, and they both deserve their Hugo.

I’ve read both of them a million times. Dune is thoroughly in print, and is in the library in both languages. This Immortal doesn’t seem to be in print—but please tell me I’m wrong. There was a Gollancz Masterworks edition in 2000, and an iBooks edition. It’s in the library in French only. By the measures I’m using, then, Dune has lasted better. There have also been two films of Dune, and lots of sequels, and no films or sequels to This Immortal. It would make a great film. But thank you, Zelazny, for writing Lord of Light and the Amber books and not giving us This Immortal Messiah, Children of This ImmortalGod Emperor of This Immortal... no. There should be more books complete as they are. And This Immortal should be in print, dammit.

In some ways we have one traditional winner and one New Wave winner—but then again, Dune isn’t that traditional.

Dune was published over two years in Analog, and then as a book, and so was eligible in 1964, when first nominated, and still eligible to win in 1966. I’m glad these rules have been tightened up since, because it gave some books more than a fair chance.

And the other nominees were:

Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (post). This was also eligible twice, in magazine and book form, and it won the year after, so let’s leave it for then.

E.E. Doc Smith’s Skylark Duquesne—the conclusion of the Skylark series. I haven’t read it, but I have every reason to believe it’s slightly old fashioned top class pulpy adventure like the rest of Doc Smith. It’s not in print, and it’s not in the library.

John Brunner’s The Squares of the City—this isn’t in print or in the library either. This is a book about a revolution in a third world country where the two leaders are doing it as a game of chess played with real people in a real city without the real people knowing. It’s perhaps a little too clever, and I don’t much care for the main character, but it was an ambitious book that helped get Brunner into position for writing his truly great books later.

So, five books, two winners, an ecological messianic novel, a mythologically resonant novel of a devastated future Earth, a revolution on the moon, a pulp adventure in space, and a low key revolution in a third world country. Not quite what you would expect, and an interesting set of books that show how diverse and exciting SF was at that moment.

What else might they have considered, and was there anything they missed? Well, for the first time for a long time, there were other awards. The Nebulas, the awards given by the professional association the Science Fiction Writers of America, were given for the first time that year. The Nebula ballot is extremely long. People say the Nebulas are the professional award and the Hugos the popular one, so in a year in which the Hugos were won by Zelazny and Herbert, as you’d expect the Nebula was won by Dune, and This Immortal wasn’t even on the ballot. Indeed, apart from Dune, there’s no overlap at all.

The Nebula ballot consisted of

Most of these seem like they’d have been reasonable additions to the Hugo ballot, none of them seem as if they’re screaming to be on there in place of the actual nominees.

And what else was there? Using ISFDB as recommended last week by DemetriosX, I see Harry Harrison’s Bill the Galactic Hero, Samuel Delany’s City of a Thousand Suns, Philip Jose Farmer’s Dare, H. Beam Piper’s Gunpowder God (post) and Poul Anderson’s The Corridors of Time.

In other categories, we start with a new one:


  • “Foundation” series, Isaac Asimov
  • “Barsoom” series, Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • “Future History” series, Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Lensman” series, Edward E. Smith
  • The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien

Well, that’s a very odd category with some extremely odd nominees, and some of those things are not like the others and I think they could have done with my post on different kinds of series. Because LOTR is one book, just saying. I’m somewhat surprised that Foundation won, even though I like the Foundation books. There is a problem with series and awards, and maybe an award for series (to be given in the year the last volume comes out?) would be a good idea, because they are different from a novel in the same way a novel is different from a short story. But “best all time series” is a little silly.


  • “’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” Harlan Ellison (Galaxy Dec 1965)
  • “Day of the Great Shout,” Philip José Farmer (Worlds of Tomorrow Jan 1965)
  • “The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth,” Roger Zelazny (F&SF Mar 1965)
  • “Marque and Reprisal,” Poul Anderson (F&SF Feb 1965)
  • “Stardock,” Fritz Leiber (Fantastic Sep 1965)  

Great selection, good choice. And wasn’t Zelazny having a good year?


  • If, Frederik Pohl
  • Amazing Stories, Cele Goldsmith
  • Analog, John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • F&SF, Joseph W. Ferman
  • Galaxy, Frederik Pohl

I can see that Pohl was one of the best editors that year, but If, rather than Galaxy?


  • Frank Frazetta
  • Frank Kelly Freas
  • Jack Gaughan
  • Gray Morrow
  • John Schoenherr


  • ERB-dom, Camille Cazedessus, Jr.
  • Double: Bill, Bill Mallardi
  • Niekas, Edmund R. Meskys & Felice Rolfe
  • Yandro, Robert Coulson & Juanita Coulson
  • Zenith Speculation, Peter R. Weston

And... no Dramatic Presentation category, presumably because there was nothing eligible and good. How sensible they were! How I wish we’d quietly decide to do without it in such years.

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 on January 18th, 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.

Scot Taylor
1. flapdragon
Sorry, but Zelazny doesn't get off the hook on sequels. I too love "Lord of Light" and "Creatures of Light and Darkness," but the Amber series was ENDLESS and was clearly written to milk the cash cow. Obviously money was part of Herbert's motivation to write the sequels, but I think the larger part was (a) fan demand and (b) a genuine desire to plumb his created world further, to stretch the boundaries of his post-humans further.
Scot Taylor
2. flapdragon
I'd also say that PKD's "Three Stigmata" deserved a place on the Hugo ballot at least alongside Herbert and Zelazny, and above Heinlein, Smith, and Brunner.
David Levinson
3. DemetriosX
This seems to have been a pretty good year for SF. The two winners are both worthy and I suspect I'd have voted for Dune, but you never know. I think TMisHM's eligibility is a bit wonky, since only one fifth of it had been published in 1965. The Smith is the last thing he wrote, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the nomination was more of a lifetime achievement honor than anything else. The Brunner was very experimental and definitely New Wave. It was also based on a real chess match.

Of the Nebula nominees, I can see Palmer Eldritch and maybe the Simak and Disch. But Dune still wins.

The series award is weird. I agree with you 100 % on LotR, it's a book not a series. Barsoom? There was an ERB revival, but it's horribly pulpy, not to mention some of the racial aspects. Not to cast too many aspersions on Burroughs, who was a man of his time, but people were starting to think about things like that by 1966. Lensman is also very pulpy and competence porn to a very high degree. Heinlein's Future History was rather loosely connected, more a universe than a series per se. What strikes me most about Foundation is that the total word count in 1966 was probably significantly less than that of Dune.

Can't much argue with the short fiction winner, though I'd probably have voted for the Zelazny. “Day of the Great Shout” was the first half of To Your Scattered Bodies Go. "Marque and Reprisal" is a Gunnar Heim story, which doesn't say much to me. "Stardock" was a Fafhrd & the Mouser tale in which they climb a mountain and dally with invisible girls. Probably very sexy for its time.
Jo Walton
4. bluejo
Flapdragon -- yes, you're right, what Zelazny did with Amber is at least as bad. I kept reading those until they were homeopathically good, too.
5. etranger
Roger Zelazny also won two Nebulas for short stories that year.
6. James Davis Nicoll
“Marque and Reprisal,” Poul Anderson (F&SF Feb 1965)

If I remember correctly, this is the first section of the fix-up novel The Star Fox, the bit that has as a key bit the fact that the US never formally renounced the use of Letters of Marque (the ability to issue them is still one of Congress' powers), although they have not actually issued one since the 19th century.

Aside from a minor issue with the neighbors, the Star Fox-o-verse wasn't a bad place but as far as I know Anderson only returned to it once, for Fire Time.

This means there's a little more overlap between the Nebulas and the Hugos than is first apparent.
7. Roz Kaveney
I'd let Zelazny off the hook in respecct of the first buch of Amber books which read like slices of the same long book, but not of the second sequence which do read a bit more like pot-boiling.
8. vcmw
Maybe it's because the 2nd set of Amber books were actually coming out about as I was reading them, but I've always rather liked them.
I think they read better as not-quite-cyberpunk than as anything else, mind you, but I do like them. In a way the whole series of 10 seems unlikely to appeal equally to one reader because the first 5 and last 5 do such very different things. The first 5 feel, to me, like they're playing with a tool box that is full of Edgar Rice Burroughs and heroic 1950s sf and all of that. The later 5 don't feel like they're built from the same pieces - they feel to me like they're built from bits of 60s and 70s sf mixed with cyberpunk. Merlin doesn't have nearly the narrative certainty and weight that Corwin does, but that seems right to me.

Factors likely to have affected my opinions: my 9-10 year old self really liked the covers of the last few Amber books in hardcover; Alice in Wonderland sourced-stuff was one of my favorite things at the time (though not enough so to sustain my attempt to read the Riverworld books, thanks). But I've read them plenty of times since reaching adulthood, and I still think the 2nd set work as their own thing though I would agree that they fail as being a continuation of the first thing in structure/tone etc.
Joe Romano
9. Drunes
Can't quibble with either Dune or This Immortal. I would agree with DemetriosX -- a very good year for SF. I'd also like to throw a little praise Ellison's way. Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman is a marvellous story.
Clifton Royston
10. CliftonR
I bounced off the second Amber series after the first or second book (I can't remember, which says something about it) but I give Zelazny the pass on them. As I recall, he was trying to put his kids through college at the time and his health was already bad; they were almost literally potboilers. I believe he kept writing right up until his death.

I've read, I think, eight of the Nebula nominees and they were all worthy books. Of that list, I'd actually give it to Nova Express but I know some people have a hard time seeing W S Burroughs as SF, and a lot of people just have a hard time with Burroughs at all.
11. Gardner Dozois
My heart belongs to THIS IMMORTAL, one of my favorites books, and that's almost certainly what I would have voted for, probably still would, but, to be honest, DUNE has had a far greater and more sustained impact on subsequent SF than THIS IMMORTAL did.

"The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth" is equisitely written, one of the best-written SF stories of the decade if not of all times, but it's calorie-light on content, being (as Alex Eisenstein pointed out at the time) basically the familiar story of the Great White Hunter who loses his nerve, becomes a burnt-out drunk, and has to face his fears before he can put his life back on track again. I like "Stardock," but what SHOULD have won in this category, in my opinion, was Zelazny's other 1966 story, the novella "He Who Shapes," which is much better at that length than it was padded out to the novel THE DREAM MASTER.

Yes, the "best series" category is weird, and full of inapproprate choices. Leaving Tolkein out of it (since, as you say, it's not a series), I'd probably have to go for the "Future History" series, which did have an effect on subsequent SF (as did the "Foundation" series, I must admit--but I was never a major fan of the Foundation books). Where's Cordwainer Smith's "Instrumentality" stories, I wonder?

Fred Pohl considered GALAXY to be his major, prestigious magazine and IF the "remainder outlet" where he dumped stuff he didn't have room for in GALAXY, and it annoyed him that IF kept winning the Hugo instead of GALAXY, as it did several times in a row. IF was more fun, though, a loosier, jazzier magazine than the somewhat stuffy GALAXY, more full of colorful adventure fiction, and I'd have voted for it myself.
12. manglar
Another good eligible story for that year was Ballard's "The Drowned Giant", which was originally published in Playboy.
13. JohnnyMac
THIS IMMORTAL is one of my favorite stories by Zelazny. He manages to walk the tightrope between wisecracking and myth in a way that impresses me every time I read it.

I love the passage were Conrad explains the riddle of the Kallikanzaros to a friend:

"So feathers or lead?" I asked him.
"It is the riddle of the kallikanzaros. Pick one."
"You're wrong."
"If I had said 'lead'...?"
"Uh-uh. You only have one chance. The correct answer is whatever the kallikanzaros wants it to be. You lose."
"That sounds a bit arbitrary."
"Kallikanzaroi are that way. It's Greek, rather than Oriental subtlely. Less inscrutable, too. Because your life often depends on the answer, and the kallikanzaros generally wants you to lose."

Page 41 in the Ace paperback.
Cathy Mullican
14. nolly
This Immortal is available in audio through I don't know if the print version is easily available new or not.

I'm one of the rare people who hated Dune. I found reading it much like walking across a desert -- a long, dry, tiresome slog. Maybe i was just too young for it, but I've never goine back.

I quite enjoyed This Immortal, so it would definitely get my vote, if I'd had one.

As for Amber, I read all 10 in an omnibus. When I'm really into something, chapter headings and such don't exactly register. Especiallywith the first five, but also somewhat with the second five, the only way I noticed I'd started a new book was the recaps. That is, I"m reading along, notice I"m in the middle of a recap, flip back a couple of pages, and sure enough, I'm in another book. The endings didn't read as endings, except for 5 and 10.
David Levinson
15. DemetriosX
On the Amber front, I was going to suggest we were getting ahead of ourselves, but I checked and not one of the 10 got a Hugo nod. Pleanty of other awards, but no Hugo. I'll forgive him, because it paid the bills. Zelazny was never more than a mid-list writer, despite his popularity, and Amber brought in the bucks where his better stuff never did.

I eagerly awaited the publication of Courts of Chaos, and ran out to buy it as soon as it was published (possibly one of my first hardback SF purchases). I found it rather disappointing, so much so that I never even started the second set.
Madeline Ferwerda
16. MadelineF
Ooo, vcmw @8, that is a great point about reading the second Amber series as cyberpunk, and a fresh point that I have not encountered before. Gives me an excuse to feel better about them.

One thing about series, they give a lot more chance for mental purchase than single books. If the books in the series are even remotely ok, and Zelazny managed that fine, there are just a lot more places to dig in your mental claws and hold on. Single books don't develop fandoms or RPGs or devoted conventions, so far as I know. So, one series that starts well and continues ok can keep your entire ouvre fresh and alive far longer than a series of great single books. Look at Zelazny vs Dick.

I liked Doors/Lamps because I think that was the Zelazny story where I noticed that his women, oming from the noir tradition, all want something and take action to get it. They're usually opposed to the guys who are the main characters, and thus often fail, but at least they could have been protagonists of their own story with just a step to the left.

Haven't read "Repent Harlequin"; probably won't; I first heard of Harlan Ellison in the mid 90s when I ran into a guy at a con who was wearing a button that said "I survived an elevator ride with Harlan Ellison".

I bounced off _Dune_ the first time I tried to read it. Subsequently I believed someone who was like "The first 100 pages are bad, but once you get past that it's worth reading!" Which turned out to be true, but 100 pages of bad? Man. On the other hand, I dearly love Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" song and video, and would it have been as cool without the Dune allusion?

The Skylark books would be so fantastic remade as Steampunk anime or live action... It's almost all there already, because they originated in the 20s when technology really was about swapping in and out bus bars, whatever the heck those are. Things are going wrong! Quick, get out your slide rules! I don't remember if Skylark Duquesne was great, but Duquesne is certainly one of the best villians of SF so far as _Skylark of Space_ testifies. Arch and confident and sensible and coldblooded.

_Bill the Galactic Hero_ was an incredibly depressing book. I wonder if people of the time found it funny. I do still think about it when I see those sponges squashed and dessicated into business card size, that they sometimes hand out from booths as advertising thingies.
Joe Romano
17. Drunes
MadelineF: I think I need to look for an Ellison button, too, but you really should try Repent Harlequin or any other Ellison . My favorite story about Harlan Ellison is the one Gay Talese describes in Esquire Magazine( ). Anyone who could torment Sinatra by their very presence is okay.
john mullen
18. johntheirishmongol
I have tried to read Zelazny but I either picked up the wrong stuff or he just isn't too my taste. I rather detested Lord of Light. I don't ever remember reading This Immortal but I did try a couple of the Amber books. Funny thing is I like smartass writers.

Dune, on the other hand, to me still ranks as the top scifi book (I am excluding fantasy) that is a stand alone novel. There is some better writing out there, but it's like an epic movie, just too big and important to compare with a 200 page novel. It's bigger and deeper and harder to do. Hated the 2 original sequels, especially the first one, didn't care for the movies either even though I know David Lynch somewhat casually. The other books in the universe were better from my lowered expectations of them.

I have all the others but the right novel won.

On the nebula list, I really liked A Plague of Demons, and The Star Fox was perfect Poul Anderson, what he did best.

On the all time best series, I have read them all, I love them all and it's a stupid category.
Rich Horton
19. ecbatan
I decided long ago that I can't pass on writers simply because they aren't great people. (A sufficiently bad person, I might make an exception for, but even Ellison's worst enemies can't call him all that evil. My own one phone encounter with him was very pleasant, and very professional, and as far as I can tell from all the stories, he can be annoying, doesn't suffer fools gladly and makes too quick decisions about who might be a fool, but is also very generous and loyal and honest.)
Rich Horton
20. ecbatan
I don't have any new novels to add to the list of potential nominees. For myself, I'd certainly have added Dick's Three Stigmata to the novel nomination list (in place of the Smith, of course). Back in the day, I'd have voted for Dune. Now I might prefer either the Dick or Zelazny novels (though I think This Immortal fairly slight), but I still agree that Dune's influence is so great you can't argue with its award.

One might note that technically This Immortal did not win the Hugo. Rather, the F&SF serial "... And Call Me Conrad" won. This Immortal was not published until 1966, and it is about 5,000 words longer, and revised (lightly) in other ways. Indeed, my Ace edition of This Immortal has a note inside to the effect that "... And Call Me Conrad" already won the Hugo, and perhaps the book version could win again, making it the first story to win two Hugos! Of course in the event it wasn't even nominated -- I suspect it technically was eligible (on the grounds of its revised status), but fans were likely to feel that it already had its fair shot -- and its fair award -- and thus not choose to nominate it.
Rich Horton
21. ecbatan
Now to the short stories. "Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman" made a great impression on me when I first read it, and I don't think it's a bad choice for the Hugo. That said, from this remove, my favorite among the nominees is "The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth".

Let's take a quick look at the Nebula winners in short fiction. The Nebulas introduced the concept of three separate short fiction categories, which the Hugos eventually, after some fits and starts, adopted. So,

Nebula, Best Novella:
"He Who Shapes", Roger Zelazny (Amazing Stories Jan,Feb 1965)
"The Saliva Tree", Brian W. Aldiss (F&SF Sep 1965)
The Ballad of Beta-2, Samuel R. Delany (Ace)
"The Mercurymen", C. C. MacApp (Galaxy Dec 1965)
"On the Storm Planet", Cordwainer Smith (Galaxy Feb 1965)
"Research Alpha", A. E. Van Vogt and James H. Schmitz (If Jul 1965)
"Rogue Dragon", Avram Davidson (F&SF Jul 1965)
"Under Two Moons" Frederik Pohl (If Sep 1965)

And interesting list. Note the Ace Double half from Delany -- normally in those days these were called novels. But The Ballad of Beta-2 is only 29,000 words long, so it is correctly called a novella. I'd say the voters unerrantly picked the two best novellas of the nominees -- I like them both. Note that Zelazny's novella was also an Ace Double, under the title The Dream Master.


* "The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth", Roger Zelazny (F&SF Mar 1965)
* "102 H-Bombs", Thomas M. Disch (Fantastic Mar 1965)
* "The Adventure of the Extraterrestrial", Mack Reynolds (Analog Jul 1965)
* "At the Institute", Norman Kagan (Worlds of Tomorrow Sep 1965)
* "The Decision Makers", Joseph Green (Galaxy Apr 1965)
* "The Earth Merchants", Norman Kagan (F&SF May 1965)
* "Four Ghosts In Hamlet", Fritz Leiber (F&SF Jan 1965)
* "Goblin Night", James H. Schmitz (Analog Apr 1965)
* "Half a Loaf", R. C. Fitzpatrick (Analog Aug 1965)
* "Laugh Along with Franz", Norman Kagan (Galaxy Dec 1965)
* "The Life of Your Time", Michael Karageorge (Analog Sep 1965) (Karageorge is a pseudonym for Poul Anderson)
* "Maiden Voyage", J. W. Schutz (F&SF Mar 1965)
* "The Masculinist Revolt", William Tenn (F&SF Aug 1965)
* "Masque of the Red Shift", Fred Saberhagen (If Nov 1965)
* "Planet of Forgetting", James H. Schmitz (Galaxy Feb 1965)
* "Shall We Have a Little Talk?", Robert Sheckley (Galaxy Oct 1965)
* "The Shipwrecked Hotel", James Blish & Norman L. Knight (Galaxy Aug 1965)
* "Small One", E. Clayton McCarty (If Feb 1965)
* "Vanishing Point", Jonathan Brand (If Jan 1965)

Boy, the Nebula nomination lists were long in the early years! According to my source for these lists, Mark Kelly's Locus Index to SF Awards, any story that got even one nomination made the final ballot.

For me there are two great stories here: "The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth", and "Four Ghosts in Hamlet. My clear choice lies with the actual winner, Zelazny's story.


* "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", Harlan Ellison (Galaxy Dec 1965)
* "Balanced Ecology", James H. Schmitz (Analog Mar 1965)
* "Becalmed in Hell", Larry Niven (F&SF Jul 1965)
* "A Better Mousehole", Edgar Pangborn (Galaxy Oct 1965)
* "Better Than Ever", Alex Kirs (F&SF Mar 1965)
* "Calling Dr. Clockwork", Ron Goulart (Amazing Stories Mar 1965)
* "Come to Venus Melancholy", Thomas M. Disch (F&SF Nov 1965)
* "Computers Don't Argue", Gordon R. Dickson (Analog Sep 1965)
* "Cyclops", Fritz Leiber (Worlds of Tomorrow Sep 1965)
* "Devil Car", Roger Zelazny (Galaxy Jun 1965)
* "The Eight Billion", Richard Wilson (F&SF Jul 1965)
* "Eyes Do More Than See", Isaac Asimov (F&SF Apr 1965)
* "A Few Kindred Spirits", John Christopher (F&SF Nov 1965)
* "Founding Father", Isaac Asimov (Galaxy Oct 1965)
* "Game", Donald Barthelme (The New Yorker 31 Jul 1965)
* "The Good New Days", Fritz Leiber (Galaxy Oct 1965)
* "The House the Blakeneys Built", Avram Davidson (F&SF Jan 1965)
* "In Our Block", R. A. Lafferty (If Jul 1965)
* "Inside Man", H. L. Gold (Galaxy Oct 1965)
* "Keep Them Happy", Robert Rohrer (F&SF Apr 1965)
* "A Leader for Yesteryear", Mack Reynolds (If Oct 1965)
* "Lord Moon", Jane Beauclerk (F&SF Apr 1965)
* "The Mischief Maker", Richard Olin (Analog Oct 1965)
* "Of One Mind", James A. Durham (If Mar 1965)
* "Over the River and Through the Woods", Clifford D. Simak (Amazing Stories May 1965)
* "The Peacock King", Larry McCombs & Ted White (F&SF Nov 1965)
* "Slow Tuesday Night", R. A. Lafferty (Galaxy Apr 1965)
* "Souvenir", J. G. Ballard (Playboy May 1965)
* "Though a Sparrow Fall", Scott Nichols (Analog Jul 1965)
* "Uncollected Works", Lin Carter (F&SF Mar 1965)
* "Wrong-Way Street", Larry Niven (Galaxy Apr 1965)

Ellison won here as well, and a worthy winner. I do like "Balanced Ecology" a good deal. I note the presence of two early Niven stories -- clearly, he got instance notice. The other real contender, in my mind, is Lafferty's "Slow Tuesday Night".
Rich Horton
22. ecbatan
Finally, I was able to find several really surprising ommissions from the nomination lists. I'm not sure of their length, but any of these stories would have seemed at least worth a Nebula nomination:

"The Muddle of the Woad", by Randall Garrett
"Computers Don't Argue", by Gordon Dickson
"Come to Venus Melancholy", by Thomas M. Disch
"Man in His Time", by Brian W. Aldiss
"Traveller's Rest", by David I. Masson

Of those, at least "Man in His Time" and "Traveller's Rest" are brilliant. However, they weren't actually eligible for the Nebula, as they both first appeared in the UK, the Aldiss story in Science Fantasy, and the Masson in New Worlds. That explains the lack of notice from the Hugo nominators, too. In fact, "Man in His Time" did get nominations the following year for both Hugo and Nebula, and "Traveller's Rest" was picked for both Merril's Year's Best, and Wollheim/Carr's.

At any rate, my Best Short Fiction nomination list would have had the Ellison, Zelazny, Aldiss, and Masson stories for sure, plus either "Slow Tuesday Night" or "Four Ghosts in Hamlet". And to my mind, the clear best story of 1965, at this remove, is "Traveller's Rest", by David I. Masson, a truly amazing story.
Jonah Feldman
23. relogical
I read somewhere that Asimov himself was surprised that Foundation won the "Best Series" award, because he assumed the award was created for Tolkien to win.
24. Gardner Dozois
In the Nebula short story ballot, my vote would probably go to "Slow Tuesday Night," although Davidson's "The House the Blakeneys Built" is good too.

Novella, I'd go for "He Who Shapes," followed by Smith's "On the Storm Planet."

Novelette, probably "The Doors of His Face," although "Four Ghosts in Hamlet" is very good too.
Geoffrey Dow
25. ed-rex
If I recall Asimov's autobiography correctly, the all time series award was specifically designed with the intention that Tolkien would win it; presumably the con organizers either thought a bit of Middle Earth would rub off on Cleveland, or they really wanted to honour Tolkien (or both). In any case, The Lord of the Rings was not just on the ballot but was used as an example. Oh nevermind; Asimov was good with indexes (page 406).

The convention organizers, therefore, proposed a Hugo nomination in a new categorgy, the "Best All-time Novel Series." They defined a "novel series" as consisting of at least three interconnected novels, and advanced Lord of the Rings as an example of what they meant, which, to me, was a clear hint as to how they wanted the voting to go.

And, fond as I am of the Foundation books, they don't hold a candle to Tolkien's. But to an SF fan at a time not long after Analog had been the leading light in the field? The Lord of the Rings probably didn't even qualify as SF, so why should it have won?
26. David Scholes
They both were and still are wonderful books indeed.

Interesting to note that the EE Doc Smith novel was a nominee. I've read all of his work. Though years ago.

I've been reading science fiction novels and also American comics for well over 50 years now. After all that time I decided to give a little something back to the genre, here's a sample:

Michael Ikeda
27. mikeda

And Isaac himself was so sure that LoTR was going to win that when Harlan Ellison announced that Foundation was the winner it took him a while to realize that it wasn't Harlan playing a joke.

It occurs to me that having Harlan give out the award was (at least in part) probably a case of the convention organizer using Harlan's reputation as a bit of a camoflage. According to Isaac's autobiography, Isaac was responsible for handing out the other awards. However, at practically the last minute, the organizer told Isaac that Harlan wanted to handle the series award.

Make a switch like that with almost anyone else in a category that Isaac is nominated for and it looks very much like an advance tipoff that Isaac actually won. With Harlan, however, the organizer could just pass it off as Harlan being stubborn.
28. cmm
Intrigued by the description of This Immortal, I did a search for it and it does indeed appear to be out of print. However, an unabridged audio version is available through, and is generally favorably reviewed there.
Clark Myers
29. ClarkEMyers
Any comments on how Dune might have ranked if what I understand to be the full original concept and intent had been published as single work? This sort of length may be treated as a single work one of these days in an e-book.

The complex nature of the first three books as a unit rather than a first and second sequel as well as conjectured editing for the first magazine serial publication (and writing to please the first sale - that is publisher - market) is discussed at some length ex thread on the In league with the future .... thread.

More specifically I'm curious given the folks who like only the first part of the projected work how commercially successful a simultaneous publication might have been and how many folks would view the entire arc as visited by the suck fairy or the brain eater in the later pages.

On Zelazny and sequels I like his arguably related books as Hindu in Lord of Light and Egyptian in Creatures of Light and Darkness but I was bitterly disappointed that Changeling/Madwand bent over backwards to extol magic and denigrate technology when two very capable characters with much in common might have given science what I consider its proper place in science fiction. For my money Frankenstein's monster is the more cliched.
Michael Walsh
30. MichaelWalsh
Regarding "This Immortal" , while it does seem to be out of print, the magazine serial version " ... and Call Me Conrad" is available in Vol 2 of the NESFA Press "The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny".
lake sidey
31. lakesidey
I actually have a copy of Skylark Duquesne (purchased second-hand long ago), and I seem to recall that in the skylark series, just as in the lensman series, each book tended to get more outrageous in terms of the levels of technology and the sheer scope of the story (starting with Earth and maybe 1 or 2 other planets, and by the end of the series, bam, you have a whole galaxy as the playground, with people blowing up solar systems for fun). Also, everyone is too perfect, the villain is only a tenth of a percent less than the hero in every respect, and everyone else is way behind them, so they can battle in peace.

Still, both series made for a good fun I'm not complaining. Of course, I felt Dune was in another league altogether (although, unlike most of my friends, I actually liked Children of Dune (slightly) more than Dune itself). Conrad, not read, so can't comment. But I'll go out and have a look for it someday soon, I guess!

32. Brisconnet
Ecbatan -

"Come to Venus Melecholy" and "Computer's Don't Argue" are both on the Nebula Short Story list, and as you say "Who Can Replace a Man" is nominated next year for it's publication in book form. So, really the nominations did extremely well.

The 1965 novel for me is This Immortal - the other nominees for me would be Dune, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, All Flesh is Grass and The Genocides. But, the only ones I don't really care for are Skylark DuQuesne, The Escape Orbit, and The Squares of the City. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress would be a nominee, as well, but it rightly shows up next year - in both awards.

The Nebulas got it right in the short fiction categories. "He Who Shapes" is one of the greatest novellas printed in the SF field (much better than it's elongated version as The Dream Master) and "Repent, Harlequin..." is one of my favorite Ellison stories.
"The Doors of His Face..." was the definite best novelette. This time period was Zelazny at his most wondrous. From 1965- 1967 he could do no wrong. ( Sometimes, I think when a writer goes professional - meaning goes from doing it around his day job to doing it for a living - the product becomes less personal and less interesting. Not bad, mind you, but less of the output is of top quality. Does that idea hold any water for others? ) 1965 was a great year for the genre.
33. Gardner Dozois
For what it's worth, I do think that Zelazny did his best work at short story length before he quit his job and became a full-time writer. He himself admitted that he felt he had to speed up his production after that.
Rich Horton
34. ecbatan

You're absolutely right -- I can't imagine how I missed those two stories in the nomination list.

And, as I mentioned but didn't quite explain, neither "Traveller's Rest" nor "Man in his Time" were eligible for the Nebula, which is (or at least was) only given to work published in North America. (The Hugos, as I recall, are given to works either first published in a given year, or first published in English in a given year, or awarded extended eligibility in certain special cases.)

Still, any excuse to mention "Traveller's Rest" is a good one. Do read the story if you haven't.

Rich Horton
David Dyer-Bennet
35. dd-b
Quite a year! Three of my favorite books ever were on the ballot (Dune, Skylark Duquesne, and the Heinlein). And the Herbert and Heinlein are both on my "top 5 SF novels ever" list.

I think Skylark Duquesne is probably Smith's best book. It's something of a long-delayed sequel, and does show some of the kind of changes in the author that big gaps can leave. I like it because it fleshes Duquesne out a bit; he finally gets over wanting to rule Earth just because it's Earth, and seems to be actually interested in creating an authoritarian paradise with himself as philosopher-king (probably helped along by a super-computer). And to me, at least, even on first reading (which wasn't that long after it was first published), it was clear that it wasn't going to work. Thus, we see Duquesne and Hunky heading off at the end of the book to start their tragedy.

I've never cared for This Immortal much; it seemed fairly light. And the publishing history and so forth suggests I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Pamela Adams
36. PamAdams
This Immortal may qualify as the only Hugo winner to parody a Judy Garland song.

Conrad has just handed Myshtigo, the alien, a gun.

It vanished beneath his fluttering shirt.

Puff-puff-puff, went the Vegan.
Damn-damn-damn, went my thoughtstrings.

I now have an uncontrollable urge to watch Meet Me in St. Louis.
Bob Blough
37. Bob

I just re-read "Traveller's Rest" in my old paperback Best of 1966 by Donald A. Wolheim and Terry Carr. It is as amazing as you said. That you for re-reminding me of past stories to be re-read. Keep it up.

@Pam Adams

I know that part makes me laugh exactly where I shouldn't! And brings on the song so strongly I can't get it out of mind for pages! :)
David Levinson
38. DemetriosX
Not really relevant to the Hugo discussion, but I just read that J. Michael Straczynski has optioned "Harlequin", completed a screenplay, and is now shopping it to directors and producers. Harlan always said he'd only accept it being done if he wrote the script, but he and JMS seem to work well together and I bet he had some input and approval. It's a long way from actually being made, but it could be promising.
John Adams
39. JohnArkansawyer
James Davis Nicoll @ 6:

“Marque and Reprisal,” Poul Anderson (F&SF Feb 1965)
If I remember correctly, this is the first section of the fix-up novel The Star Fox

Your memory is good, and this is one of Anderson's best novels.

Gardner Dozois @ 11:

what SHOULD have won in this category, in my opinion, was Zelazny's other 1966 story, the novella "He Who Shapes," which is much better at that length than it was padded out to the novel THE DREAM MASTER.

Oh, yes. That is a magnificent story that gained nothing by the expansion.

MadelineF @ 16: For your own sake, don't hold Harlan Ellison the human being against Harlan Ellison the writer. Whether or not you want to enter an elevator with him (and Ellison has a side to that story), he is a killer writer at short length. Chekov never wrote a novel, either.
40. neroden
Am I the only one who found "Repent, Harlequin" boring, didactic, and obvious? Honestly, I'm usually fond of Harlan Ellison stories, but I can't stand that one. There's just nothing *to* it.

I assumed its win was due to the usual Nebula bias towards pretentious stories, but apparently it's actally quite popular!

Maybe it's a generational thing? Born in 1976 it just seems *simplistic*. Maybe it resonates more to older people, brought up in a period when non-conformism was actually a radical suggestion?

I've been reading through all the Nebula and Hugo award collections (just for a way to keep occupied), so this is an interesting series of posts to run into. It's pointed me to a few I should look for which didn't make the runner-up lists.
Rich Horton
41. ecbatan
Neroden --

Actually, I reread "Repent, Harlequin" quite recently (after my comments on this thread) and I found it rather diminished. I don't think I would quite call it boring -- there's some linguistic fun going on that is worth the time -- but certainly didactic and obvious apply, and yes, there's a lot less there than I had at first thought.

But I do remember being quite impressed on first reading, aged 15 or so (which for me means in 1974 or 1975). A generation thing? Or just a teenage thing?

So, anyway -- if you're reading through old SF like the Hugo and Nebula collections, by all means also track down a copy of David Masson's "Traveller's Rest" and read it -- it's the best SF short story published in 1965.
Rich Horton

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