Jan 30 2011 10:42am

Hugo Nominees: 1968

1968 Hugo Award trophyThe 1968 Hugo Awards were presented in Baycon in Oakland. (For earlier years, see the Index.) The novel winner was Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light (post). It's science fiction in which the crew of a starship have taken on the attributes of Hindu gods to rule the planet populated by the descendants of passengers of the ship, and one of the original crew starts a new Buddhist religion as a rebellion. Many people love it. (I'm not one of them, see my post for details.) It's in print in the SF Masterworks series, and it's in my library in English and French, so I think we can say it has lasted.

There are four other nominees, and I've read three of them, and I'm really sorry but 1968 seems to be a “books I don't like” year.

Let's start with the one I do like, but which should never have been a nominee—were the voters all stoned? Chester Anderson's The Butterfly Kid is that rare thing: hippie science fiction. It was 1968, and doubtless this was published right at the heart of the summer of love. It's a charming book about drugs that really change reality. It's part of the loose “Greenwich Village” trilogy with Michael Kurland's The Unicorn Girl and T.A. Waters's (much weaker) The Probability Pad, and the characters have the names of the authors. I read The Unicorn Girl first—indeed I read it very early, before I knew what SF was, and it's surprising it didn't warp me forever. The Butterfly Kid is very much of its time and I kind of like it, but it has all the depth of a twinkie. It isn't in print and hasn't been republished since 1980. It isn't in the library and I think it's fair to say that while some people remember it fondly it's mostly forgotten.

The Einstein Intersection is my least favourite Samuel Delany science fiction novel. I tried re-reading it last year after I suddenly loved Nova, but clearly I'm still not old enough for it, dammit. It's about far-future mutants, and it's about searching for love, and it uses mythological imagery in the same way Delany did so brilliantly in Nova and Babel-17 but I can't find anything to connect to and it always slips away from me. It's another classic example of a story that doesn't have a surface for you to skitter over. But I'm quite ready to admit that my problem with it is a problem with me—indeed, I'm longing for this problem with me to be fixed, and fairly confident that if I keep trying I'll like it sometime in the future. Delany's one of my favourite writers after all! (But... this has been my stance with reference to this book for the last thirty years.) This probably is a worthy nominee that I just don't appreciate. It's in print from Wesleyan University Press, and it's in the library in English.

Robert Silverberg's Thorns is brilliant but terrible. It's the story of a future sadistic media tycoon getting two damaged people to fall in love for the entertainment of the masses. I read it in the early eighties and I've never re-read it, because it's just too painful. Silverberg is a wonderful writer, but with a subject like this that's not a plus. It's just too much. Thorns definitely deserved the nomination. It's not in print, though it was fairly recently reprinted in the Gollancz Masterworks series. It's in the library in French only.

Last comes the one I haven't read, Piers Anthony's Chthon. It's his first novel and apparently grim, about a prisoner in a horrific future—and also atypically cleverly structured. I have no opinion on it, and I'm unlikely to read it even though people say it's better than the Anthony I have read. It's neither in print and nor in the library.

So 1968's nominees match my tastes least of any year yet! Was it just a year when everyone was writing books I don't like, or what else might they have chosen?

The Nebula went to The Einstein Intersection and the nominees overlap except for the addition of The Eskimo Invasion by Hayden Howard instead of the Anderson. I know nothing about this book except that it's a fix-up of shorter work that was briefly discussed in last week's comment thread.

Books I'd have preferred to see on the ballot include: Ursula Le Guin's City of Illusions (post), Thomas M. Disch's Echo Round His Bones, Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, Robert Silverberg's Gate of Worlds, Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop, Clifford Simak's Why Call Them Back From Heaven? and Poul Anderson's World Without Stars.

Other books published in that strike me as reasonable possibilities include: Norman Spinrad's Agent of Chaos, Philip K. Dick's Counter Clock World, Brian Aldiss's Report on Probability A, Michael Moorcock's The Jewel in the Skull, E.C. Tubb's The Winds of Gath... oh all right, not really Hugo material, but I did enjoy those Dumarest books and this is the first one.

And YA books which wouldn't have been considered eligible then but which totally are these days, Nicholas Fisk's Space Hostages, and John Christopher's The City of Gold and Lead, both of which are solid SF, and Alan Garner's The Owl Service, which is fantasy and probably his best book.

Do I think the five nominees are the best five books of the year? Not a chance. Do I think they give a good picture of where the field was? I think they probably do. And I also think that despite all its problems, Lord of Light was the best of them.

There are people who say that the people who came into fandom via Star Trek shifted the balance of the Hugos. I don't see any evidence of that in this novel list. What I do see here is the victory of the New Wave.

Other Categories


  • (tie) “Riders of the Purple Wage,” Philip José Farmer (Dangerous Visions)
  • “Weyr Search,” Anne McCaffrey (Analog Oct 1967)
  • “Damnation Alley,” Roger Zelazny (Galaxy Oct 1967)
  • “Hawksbill Station,” Robert Silverberg (Galaxy Aug 1967)
  • “The Star Pit,” Samuel R. Delany (Worlds of Tomorrow Feb 1967)

Look, a novella category! And what a terrific one! You couldn't ask for two more different winners, but they are both wonderful in their own ways... and I really love “Hawksbill Station” and “The Star Pit,” too. The Nebulas gave their novella award to Moorcock's “Behold the Man.” Can't argue with that. And (as well as some overlap) they also nominated Sturgeon's “If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?” So if this was a bad year for novels it was one of the best years ever for novellas. I honestly would have had a hard time nominating just five and I don't know how I would have voted.


  • “Gonna Roll the Bones,” Fritz Leiber (Dangerous Visions)
  • “Faith of Our Fathers,” Philip K. Dick (Dangerous Visions)
  • “Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes,” Harlan Ellison (Knight May 1967) 
  • “Wizard's World,” Andre Norton (If Jun 1967)

Dangerous Visions cleaning up in the awards, and not surprising. It really was an astonishing anthology. The Nebulas also have Niven's “Flatlander,” and Zelazny's “The Keys to December,” and “This Mortal Mountain.”


  • “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,” Harlan Ellison (If Mar 1967)
  • “Aye, and Gomorrah…,” Samuel R. Delany (Dangerous Visions)
  • “The Jigsaw Man,” Larry Niven (Dangerous Visions)

Again, a hard choice. The Nebulas gave it to “Aye, and Gomorrah,” and also listed “Answering Service,” by Fritz Leiber, “Baby, You Were Great,” by Kate Wilhelm, “The Doctor,” by Ted Thomas, “Driftglass,” by Samuel R. Delany and “Earthwoman,” by Reginald Bretnor, inexplicably ignoring Ellison and Niven.


  • Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Harlan Ellison
  • Star Trek: “Mirror, Mirror,” Jerome Bixby
  • Star Trek: “The Trouble with Tribbles,” David Gerrold
  • Star Trek: “The Doomsday Machine,” Norman Spinrad
  • Star Trek: “Amok Time,” Theodore Sturgeon

All Star Trek, all the time. I don't think I've seen any of these episodes but I know a surprising amount about them, just by fannish osmosis. I didn't, however, know that “Amok Time” was by Sturgeon. But of course it was. It all makes sense now. Who else could have put the sex in?


  • If, Frederik Pohl
  • Analog, John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • F&SF, Edward L. Ferman
  • Galaxy, Frederik Pohl
  • New Worlds, Michael Moorcock


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


  • Amra, George Scithers
  • Australian SF Review, John Bangsund
  • Lighthouse, Terry Carr
  • Odd, Raymond D. Fisher
  • Psychotic, Richard E. Geis
  • Yandro, Robert Coulson & Juanita Coulson


  • Ted White
  • Ruth Berman
  • Harlan Ellison (nomination withdrawn)
  • Alexei Panshin (nomination withdrawn)
  • Harry Warner, Jr.

Panshin said in File 770 last year that he withdrew because he had won the year before and hoped to set a precedent. Ellison reportedly withdrew because he had won a Hugo and Nebula in the past.


  • George Barr
  • Johnny Chambers
  • Jack Gaughan (nomination withdrawn)
  • Steve Stiles
  • Arthur Thomson
  • Bjo Trimble

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently 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.

Tex Anne
1. TexAnne
Chthon: ugh ugh ugh. I read it once in college because it was there, and the "ugh" is all I retain of the experience.

I loved the Tripods when I was 10, even though I noticed that the girls' job was to be pretty and die; then I read them as an adult and discovered that they've been visited by the Homophobia Fairy. (Wow, that sounds wrong.) I'm shocked that they were republished, frankly. Did no one reread them beforehand?
john mullen
2. johntheirishmongol
You are right, I am all about the novelettes this year and not the novels. While LOL probably was the best pick, I was not a big fan then or ever. I didn't really like any of the others either. But I really liked the novelettes. I might have given a slight edge to Weyr Search which was the best thing McCaffery ever wrote.

I don't have any arguments with any of the choices but I don't know how 2001 A Space Oddessey doesnt get a nomination.
René Walling
3. cybernetic_nomad
The Einstein Intersection was either the first or second Delany I ever read (the other one being Babel 17). I know I borrowed Babel (in French) from my library, I just don't recall exactly when. I know the exact summer I read The Einstein Intersection (it was 1981) and I loved it but forgot the title (this is typical for me, forget either the author or the title of a book) and was overjoyed when I "found" it again several years later. It's still one of my favourite Delany's

@johntheirishmongol: Maybe becasue 2001 was released in 1968 and so was only eligible for a 1969 Hugo (which, IIRC, it won BTW)
Geoffrey Dow
4. ed-rex
I read Lord of Light a very long time ago (I was maybe 16, priviledged to be taking part in a "science fiction literature"(!) seminar-style class and was spoiled on Zelazny from that point 'till now. Which means I'm basing what follows on a 30 year-old memory, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Lord of Light was interesting only because it was all dressed up in Hindu rags. Beneath the "daring" multi-cultural trappings was a pretty standard super-hero vs super-villain story that might have been fun as such, if it hadn't gone to such hypocritical lengths to convince people it was really literature instead of just another power-fantasy.

Maybe I've been missing out on a lot of great work from Zelazny, but not even "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" stays enough in memory to make me bother finding out.

I find it interesting that you didn't enjoy The Einstein Intersection. I know I've read it, and almost certainly more than once, but unlike just about any other novel of Delaney's that I've read, I couldn't tell you a damned thing about it.

Like you, since it's Delaney I'm inclined to think the fault is mine and not his, but there you are ...
Michael Walsh
5. MichaelWalsh
Regarding Anthony's Chthon .... having read it when it came out (back when one could pretty much read almost all the SF published) ... oh yes it's grim & oh yes it's cleverly constructed.

I can't imagine what a reader of nothing but his Xanth novels would think when they stumble across this. Probably a bunch of brain cells will explode.
Kevin Standlee
6. Kevin Standlee
Why would the YA novels not have been eligible back then? I don't think the eligibility rules were that much different than they are now.
Kevin Standlee
7. Doug M.
The late 1960s were Silverberg's experimental period. He got out of SF after the magazine market collapsed in the late 1950s, and spent the next five or six years writing what passed for porn in the early 1960s. ("Racy" paperbacks with lurid covers that were sold from under a counter. They're collectors items today.)

A number of SF authors did this around this time -- Silverberg, Sturgeon, Farmer, Malzberg (briefly) and Mike Resnick. The pulp-sex market was cheek by jowl with SF, in many cases sharing distributors and agents, so it was an easy crossover. Both Resnick and Silverberg have written frank and funny retrospectives on their porn-writing days. Resnick's is online -- -- but Silverberg's seems to have vanished into whatever limbo holds back issues of Omni.

Anyway. Silverberg made a remarkable amount of money in those years; that market paid well, if you could hack it, and he was extremely prolific. So by 1966 or thereabouts, he'd made enough to buy a large house, sans mortgage, and to have a fair pile of money in the bank. Not Larry Niven levels of wealth, but enough that he no longer needed to write for cash for a while.

To Silverberg's credit, he responded to this newfound financial independence by trying all kinds of new stuff: stories about sex, religious SF, McLuhanesque dystopias, you name it. Some of it was good, some was less so, but he was definitely out there swinging for the fence.

(N.B., this is why a certain generation of New Wave fans can still get cranky about _Lord Valentine's Castle_ . They'd come to think of Silverberg as a brilliant experimentalist, and then he went and wrote a gentle, comforting fantasy about a true prince reclaiming his throne, and it sold a million copies and then he wrote sequels. Unacceptable!)

Anyway. We'll be seeing Silverberg again here.

Doug M.
jon meltzer
8. jmeltzer
Wow, what a novella year. It's too bad there couldn't have been a five-way tie - and if only McCaffrey had stopped the dragon series after Weyr Search. Lessa was at her best here.

Piers Anthony will be on the Hugo list again - this was his starving-serious-author phase. I'm not sure I'd want to read Chthon again, though; I fear that the Squick Fairy has gotten to it.

I guess Thorns could be a prediction of reality TV.
Stefan Mitev
9. Bergmaniac
Silverberg is one of those rare writers who excelled both as a hack and in writing experimental highly literate work. At about this point he got bored of doing the fiirst and as Doug M. pointed out, mde enough money from writng porn and other purely commercial work that he could afford to indulge himself, and started writing for himself, and the result was one of the strongest periods of any science fiction writer ever IMO. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he wrote so many excellent works of all kinds novels, short stories, novellas.

Thorns is an excellent novel, but I am not really eager to revisit it soon either.
steve davidson
10. crotchetyoldfan
I'm one of those who "I think it's fair to say that while some people remember it fondly" regarding Anderson's The Butterfly Kid.

In fact, I just re-read it a week or so ago. If the Hugo voting constituency were more inclined to reward humor, (which they aren't as evidenced by the prior year's failure to give the award to Bill, The Galactic Hero) it might have stood a chance of winning; under any other regime, it's kind of surprising to see that it made it to the ballot. Perhaps getting it there was a fannish vote in favor of the new culture (or maybe the 'let's piss Pournelle off' crowd managed to get it together).

It reminds me greatly of Sturgeon's 'Pruzzie's Pot' (published in National Lampoon in, I think, 1977).

One can also almost define all of science fiction about drugs between the bookends of Anderson's The Butterfly Kid and Disch's Camp Concentration.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll read them back to back and see if my brain explodes....
Kevin Standlee
11. Doug M.
I think someone needs to link to Liz Henry's awesome essay on _Dragonflight_. There are a lot of essays on the sketchy sex and gender issues in those books, but I just like this one a lot:

"The old Benden weyrwoman, Jora, is bad, because she’s fat and lazy. She used to be pretty. She’s also really slutty. She’s also disgusting and stupid. I get the idea she’s a blowsy blonde truck stop waitress with too much eyeshadow, drinking all day on a stone divan with bronze riders at her feet while her dragon doesn’t get pregnant enough. Her weight comes up a lot as metonymy for the world’s problems. Pretty much everything wrong with the world is blamed on her being fat...."

"The Women of the Lower Caverns. Dragonriders whoosh around all of Pern taking the prettiest young girls back to the weyr to live in the 'Lower Caverns' and be their kitchen and sex slaves. The girls supposedly dream of this glorious fate because it’s better than their regular lives... No 'woman of the Lower Caverns' ever objects to her life of housework and cooking in service to dragonriders – for the glory of Pern I guess."

"Lessa. Spunky. Feisty. Annoying. Every time she does anything tough, she becomes childlike and dependent on F’lar... She has her strong-woman moments, which we all suck down like candy; she’s a rebel, she’s vengeful and fierce and angry; she goes bravely back in time 400 years and almost dies. She throws back her shoulders and puts her chin up. Her eyes are crackling and flashing with defiance. That’s all cool... BUT. It's as if because she’s strong, the story has to establish and emphasize her weakness and vulnerabilty, always in relation to men. Whenever F’lar actually likes her it’s because she’s 'young and vulnerable and almost pretty'. When F’lar looks at her she is childlike. She’s sweet. She’s innocent. She’s waiflike, candid, trusting, torn, reluctant, little, physically powerless like a little kitten who snarls at you but that you could just laugh at and pick up. Her hero-qualities are undermined on every page."

"The main thing Lessa seems to do in her capacity as Weyrwoman is to serve food. She’s always deftly serving F’lar’s dinner. She pours the klah during important meetings. She clears the table a lot too, and rings for food. Which appears magically from a dumbwaiter from the Lower Caverns where all the slutty kitchen women live. You could go through the book and mark up all her waitress moments."

"We could really make a drinking game where you drink every time Lessa has hysterics and F’lar helps her by slapping and shaking her."

"There should be a collection of F’lar’s adverbs. Grimly! Firmly! Sternly! Dryly! Evenly! Sharply! And with deliberate callousness, his voice carefully neutral. Maliciously! That was only two pages."

Doug M.
David Levinson
12. DemetriosX
It really doesn't seem to have been a good year for novels. I haven't read The Butterfly Kid, but from what I've heard, I doubt I'd like it. I think my vote would go to Lord of Light simply by default.

On the other hand, it was simply a great year for short fiction. And for Harlan Ellison. Twelve short fiction nominees in 3 categories; 5 are from Dangerous Visions and 2 more are stories by Harlan personally. My novella vote would have gone to "Hawksbill Station". I'm not much of a Farmer fan, because I've always felt let down by his work; interesting ideas, but he doesn't know how to wrap things up in a satisfying ending. We've talked elsewhere about the problems with Pern. And "Damnation Alley" is so atypical for Zelazny that it might as well have been written by another, much lesser author.

"Gonna Roll the Bones" is one of my absolute favorite Leiber stories. No argument from me, but both "Faith of Our Fathers" and "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" would have been worthy winners.

I'm also not going to argue with "I Have No Mouth" for the short story winner. "Aye, and Gomorrah" could easily have won and I'm glad it won the Nebula. It may have been a little too freaky-sexy for the average Hugo voter, though.

Boo, hiss on the Dramatic Presentation category. "What was your favorite Star Trek episode?" Seriously?. It must have bugged Harlan, though. There wasn't a whole lot left of his original script. I think he even wanted the Cordwainer Bird pseudonym attached to it. But what is interesting is to look at the credited authors. Four of them were published SF writers and the fifth soon would be.
Kevin Standlee
13. Doug M.
You know, come to think of it, this was one of the most misogynistic collections of Hugo winners maybe ever.

_Lord of Light_: Only major female character is a cardboard villain, a vicious, treacherous witch who delights in death and destruction for its own sake. Oh, and who is also sexually aggressive. Minor female characters include a gay woman who inhabits a man's body so she can have a harem, and who is also treacherous and rather stupid, and who gets killed by the hero, who sneaks up on her from behind and crushes her skull.

"Weyr Search" -- see above.

"Riders of the Purple Wage" -- all male characters IIRC, except for the morbidly obese mother and the hero's gf who claims implausibly to be pregnant by him.

the runner-up "Damnation Alley" has IMS a single female character of any note; she gets rescued by the hero, has sex with him, and then dies. (I have to say that I don't remember if she was in the novella version, though.)

"Gonna Roll the Bones" -- This is a story about Joe Slattermill escaping a spell cast by his Wife (Leiber's capitalization) "to let him get a little ways away and feel half a man, and then come diving home with his fingers burned". Leiber himself said , "For the modern American male, as for Joe Slattermill, the ultimate bogey may turn out to be the Mom figure: domineering-dependent Wife or Mother, exaggerating their claims on him beyond all reason and bound." Yeeah.

On the other hand, it beat Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes, whose title says it all.

"I Have No Mouth..." -- Actually, while the only female character here is horrible, and is the shared sex partner of the five survivors, and the narrator hates her, /everyone/ in this story is horrible, and everyone hates everyone else, and the twisted sexuality is arguably part of the awfulness.

That said, the assertion that Ellen likes sex with Benny best because he's an ape-man with a huge penis is just a the teensiest bit of an eyeroller.

"City on the Edge..." -- The woman is a pacifist whose actions will cause Nazi Germany to win the war and conquer the world. She has to die. Wait, she'll fall in love with Kirk first. /Then/ she has to die.

I dunno. Probably this is just pure coincidence! But if you were trying to string these together, you could argue for a theme of "Women should not have agency, because when they do, it's dangerous."

Doug M.
Madeline Ferwerda
14. MadelineF
Hah! Doug M., nice rundown. There is definitely a section of integrally sexist SF that all the rest of SF either stands with or walks away from. My impression from here is that the 60s were terrible, and the 70s were largely as bad except with more effed up sex. Not that the individual books were bad, but that if you have a radiation badge that stopped you from reading when you hit your dose, you couldn't pick up more than a couple.
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Re Anthony - his early phase is really hard core sci-fi. I read Chthon back in the day and don't recall it well but I just re-read Macroscope, which I liked, and would blow the mind of Xanth fans. Ditto re the Omnivore trilogy that follows as well. The sex, fun and puns stuff don't manifest for a number of years.

And, boy, I may need to read Dangerous Visions and Again Dangerous Visions again. What great collections of SF.

Kevin Standlee
16. HelenS
I liked The Butterfly Kid, too (a friend of mine in college turned me on to it -- ahem, sorry, phrasing inevitable). Must try to find it again.
Steven Halter
17. stevenhalter
Lord of Light is one of my favorite books, so I would say that the Hugo was well deserved.
Harlan did have an excellent year.
Kevin Standlee
18. Gardner Dozois
A weak year for novel. LORD OF LIGHT is not my favorite Zelazny novel (as stated before, THIS IMMORTAL is), but it's really the only reasonable winner out of that field, and the only one that's really still read and talked about anymore. (The first two sections of it are really excellent; it goes downhill after that, and ends up reading like a print version of a Marvel Thor comic book.) THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION is marvelously written, but a little too abstract, perhaps, THE ESKIMO INVASION is minor at best (being kind), the Disch, the Silverberg, the Anderson, the Dick, and the Spinrad are all minor works by their authors, and REPORT ON PROBABILITY A is one of the few Aldiss books I never liked, even remotely. I was the right age for it, but never liked THE BUTTERFLY KID either. I did like PLANET OF EXILE, one of Le Guin's most underestimated and unread books (didn't we discuss this last time?), but there's no way it was ever going to beat LORD OF LIGHT, and even now is less well-remembered.

It was a much stronger year for novella, although I never liked either the much overhyped "Riders of the Purple Wage" or "Weyr Search," and Zelazny's "Damnation Alley" is weak, although the novella version is stronger than the novel version (let alone the film). The clear winner here is Delany's "The Star Pit," head and shoulders above everything else, which shows what Delany could do with Space Opera when he bothered to try, and which shares some of the same strengths as NOVA. Runner-up would be Silverberg's "Hawksbill Station," a tough-minded and rather stark story, also much better as a novella than in its expanded novel version.

In novelette, Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bones" is overrated, and won mostly for nostalgia for better things Leiber had published in the past, I think. "Faith of Our Fathers" is brutal and hard-hitting, and is actually much more of a horror story (where God, or something that will pass for Him, is the supernatural menace) than an SF story. "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" is one of Ellison's best stories, although again, more a horror story than an SF story. "Wizard's World" is weak. The Hugo here should have gone to Zelazny's "The Keys to December," one of his strongest stories, much more so than his rather weak "This Mortal Mountain."

Although it's secured it's place as a famous story and is probably read more than anything else here, I've never really liked "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," which seems overheated to me. The Niven, the Wilhelm, the Thomas, the Leiber, and the Brentnor are all relatively minor. I liked "Aye, and Gomorrah...," and it's certainly been influential (I saw its undeniable footprints on a Lavie Tidhar story just this year), but I would have given the Hugo to Delany's "Driftglass," which is less flashy but deeper and more humane.

Ellison wins the Best Star Trek Episode race, although Gerrold isn't far behind him. IF deserved its Best Magazine win.

Silverberg didn't make ALL of his money writing soft-core porn. He also churned out a number of non-fiction books on various eclectic subjects, rivaling Isaac Asimov in that department for awhile there. Some of his non-fiction books, like the ones about the Mound Builders or Prester John, are still considered to be standard references in those areas even today.
Ron Griggs
19. RonGriggs
@DemetriosX on Star Trek episodes: "But what is interesting is to look at the credited authors. Four of them were published SF writers and the fifth soon would be."

I thought this too. It should also be noted (and Gerrold freely admits) that "The Trouble with Tribbles" is basically the Martian flat cat episode from Heinlein's The Rolling Stones, unconsciously borrowed. So this category could have been called "Star Trek Plots by Famous Science Fiction Writers."
Rich Horton
20. ecbatan
I'll echo the comments of a number of folks here and say that while I liked Lord of Light, it's not my favorite Zelazny (at novel length, that would actually be Doorways in the Sand!). Yet, given the other nominees, it might be the right choice. I do recall liking Chthon -- it really is much better than almost anything else Anthony wrote. That said, it's not Hugo-worthy. The Butterfly Kid -- slight. The Einstein Intersection -- incomprehensible (to me!). Thorns -- what everybody else is saying. The Eskimo Invasion -- minor.

Of the other potential nominees Jo mentions, City of Illusions is fine work, but somehow it's never been a favorite of mine. Haven't reread it in ages, though, so maybe I'd change my mind. Why Call Them Back From Heaven? was one of the first SF books I read from the adult section, age 12 or so, and I recall it with great affection. Still not sure it quite deserved a Hugo though.

I'd like to make a couple of suggestions among books I haven't read:

An Age, by Brian W. Aldiss -- as I said, I haven't read it, but it's by Aldiss, so it ought to be in the hunt

Ice, by Anna Kavan -- seems to be held in EXTREMELY high regard by those who have read it. I really must try it.

And some recommendations of books I have read:

Algis Budrys's The Iron Thorn aka The Amsirs and the Iron Thorn -- seems to be not much liked, but I loved it. Then again, I love most of Budrys' work.

The Magus , by John Fowles -- a major novel, though to my mind not really fantastical enough for this award. But you could make a case.

A Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- one of the best novels I have ever read. But of course it had no chance of winning, having appeared only in Spanish at that time.

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov -- also one of the best novels I have ever read. I believe the 1967 version (of a book written in the '30s, of course) was censored, however.

The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien -- like The Master and Margarita, a posthumous publication of a work finished decades earlier. And a great novel.

So, seriously, you could have had a great nomination list composed entirely of works published in the mainstream: the Marquez, O'Brien, Bulgakov, Fowles, and Kavan novels.

Finally, one potential nominee will I believe show up next year with its book publications, but it was serialized in New Worlds in 1967: Thomas Disch's brilliant Camp Concentration.

And since I mentioned a Tom Purdom Ace Double that had a sequel in Asimov's last time, I should mention that in 1967 he published Five Against Arlane, an enjoyable short novel, as an Ace Double, a sequel to which also appeared last year in Asimov's: "Haggle Chips".
Rich Horton
Andrew Barton
21. MadLogician
I still like Lord of Light, although Zelazny has written far better. It does have the memorable line 'And then the fit hit the Shan'.
Arthur D. Hlavaty
22. supergee
The Butterfly Kid was a lot of fun at the time. "As you Earthlings say, if you cannot run your tongue along them, merge with them." I don't think I dare go back to it.
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
@21 - as I recall, that particular line is one of the reasons Jo doesn't like the book. R
Jo Walton
24. bluejo
After a conversation with Rene last night about how he read The Einstein Intersection when he was twelve, I've had to face the horrifying idea that maybe I was too old for it.
Kevin Standlee
25. Doug M.
"Leiber's 'Gonna Roll the Bones' is overrated, and won mostly for nostalgia for better things Leiber had published in the past"

Personally I'm inclined to agree, but I have to note that at least one worthy critic -- Michael Swanwick -- considers this a truly great short story.

IMS he acknowledges that it doesn't make much sense, but loves it anyway for its language, vivid imagery, and the sheer American Tall Tale brio of the thing.

Doug M.
Joe Romano
26. Drunes
I don't have anything to add about the pros that won awards in 1968, but besides writing his own stories, George Scithers, the Fanzine winner, went on to edit Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories, and, of course, the king of the pulps, Weird Tales. An impressive list! Aspiring writers getting a "good rejection" from him while he was at those magazines, got some very vaulable advice.
Kevin Standlee
27. James Davis Nicoll
I don't think I dare go back to it.

Oh, I think it still is fun. In fact, in general if you have to read just one book this year about futuristic hippies living in Greenwich Village who find themselves protecting Earth from malevolent space lobsters and their human quisling, read this one.
Kevin Standlee
28. Gardner Dozois
There's dozens of those! I get tired of them.
Rich Horton
29. ecbatan
Okay, the short fiction.

Novellas first. I enjoyed the two novella winners in their way, "Weyr Search" probably more back then, and I don't think they are bad stories, but neither would get my vote. Of the other nominees, I'm not a big "Damnation Alley" fan, and "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister" is fine but not at all my favorite Sturgeon. "Hawksbill Station" is excellent. But the clear runaway best story of the nominees is "The Star Pit", which is astonishingly good, and which has always seemed to me to get less notice than it deserved.

There was also a good Richard McKenna novella, "Fiddler's Green".

But even "The Star Pit" might not get my vote for Best Novella of 1967 -- though it might. There was another story with star in the title that I totally love:

"Starfog", by Poul Anderson

which is close to my favorite Poul Anderson story of all time. For me, it's between that and Delany's story for Best Novella.

The novelette list of nominees is decent. "The Keys to December" is probably the best, though it's really a 1966 story (in New Worlds, which is why it was only eligible for the Nebula for 1967, after its reprint in the Wollheim/Carr Best of the Year book). I do like "Gonna Roll the Bones", but I might agree that it's overrated.

However, a bunch of great novelettes were missed. Here's my list:

from Thomas Disch (who was at his SFnal peak):
"Problems of Creativeness" (which became part of his novel 334); and
"Casablanca" (which the ISFDB credits to an Alfred Hitchcock anthology, Stories That Scared Even Me, which surprises me as I hadn't known they featured originals).

Two really neat stories from Joanna Russ, the first two of her Alyx stories, both from Orbit 2 (one of the truly great single issues of an original anthology series I know of):
"The Adventuress" (later retitled "Bluestocking"); and
"I Gave Her Sack and Sherry" (later retitled "I Thought She Was Afeard Till She Stroked My Beard").
(I like all four of those titles.)

Another Orbit 2 story, Gene Wolfe's first genre publication: "Trip Trap".

Jack Vance's "The Narrow Land".

and one from Keith Roberts: "Coranda", his first story of a couple set in Michael Moorcock's Ice Schooner future.

I'm not really sure to which I'd give the Hugo were I to vote again now -- one of the Disch or one of the Russ stories, perhaps.

And Short Story -- odd that there were only three nominees in a pretty strong year, all Ellison-related stories. My favorite is "Aye, and Gomorrah", which I really think is amazing. (Yes, "Driftglass" is also very good, but I'd still say I prefer "Aye, and Gomorrah".) I do like the Ellison story a lot, though (as with much Ellison) "overwrought" is indeed a fair description. And Niven's "The Jigsaw Man" is also very fine.

Besides the Nebula nominees (of which "Driftglass" and "Baby You Were Great" are the only ones I really remember), I might suggest the following as potential nominees:

"Go, Go, Go, said the Bird", by Sonya Dorman

"Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne" and "Land of the Great Horses", by R. A. Lafferty

the ever controversial "The Heat Death of the Universe", by Pamela Zoline

"The Winter Flies" aka "The Inner Circles", by Fritz Leiber

"The Power of Every Root", by Avram Davidson

"Full Sun", by Brian W. Aldiss

Of all the short stories, I'd stick with "Aye, and Gomorrah" as the best short story of 1967.

Rich Horton
Kevin Standlee
30. Gardner Dozois
"Fiddler's Green"--a very odd story, almost Lafferty-like in its conceptulization, and almost unknown today--and "Starfog" are both very good, but, for me, they don't beat "The Star Pit."

It's a tough call between "Problems of Creativity" and "The Keys to December." Think I'd go with the Zelazny, though.

"Thus We Frustrate Charlemange," "Full Sun," and "Coranda" are all very good, but I think I'll stick with "Driftglass."
j p
32. sps49
Ellison was a good collector, and wrote some twisty good stuff, but can't get over his experience playing in Roddenberry's sandbox. I lost almost all respect for him when he waited until Roddenberry died before publishing his tantrum and original scripts- what, was he afraid of being sued?
steve davidson
33. crotchetyoldfan
@32: there are all kinds of possibilities; law suit judgments, respect, waiting until you are in a strategically better position....

Go find a copy of Ben Bova's the Starcrossed and you might gain a slightly better appreciation for Hollywood's relationship with le enfant terrible
David Dyer-Bennet
34. dd-b
LoL is still my favorite Zelazny, and on my top 5 SF novels list. It's certainly holding up for me! (His very best work is at shorter lengths, I do think. but LoL I like very very much.)

Chthon was from before Anthony deliberately decided to write crap and be a best-seller (quite clearly a deliberate choice, he talks about it in various introductions afterward). However, he wasn't to my taste a top-flight author even before that. Still, I wouldn't tar the pre-sell-out works with the brush he's built up post-sell-out.

The Silverberg is one of his that strikes me as possibly being good literature, but doesn't hit my SF receptors worth a darn. I've read them once, and am not interested in reading them again. I don't actually much care for the literary genre.

Shorter lengths were definitely doing wonderful things around that time. I have very fond memories of Driftglass (of the whole collection of that title, in fact). Delany was one of my favorite authors at the time (I revoked that status after Dhalgren).
Kevin Standlee
35. Neil in Chicago
I'm a severe Zelazny fan, pre-Amber. I still remember some of the F&SF covers from segments of Lord of Light. It's a bit of a pity you're only covering the Hugos themselves; the infamous Agni, god of fire in the St. Louis Worldcon masquerade inspired the special effects rule.
Baycon was my first con, and one of my firmest memories is Anne McCaffrey leaning on Randall Garrett to hold herself up. It's one of my favorite sf trivia queations that the first dragon story was a Campbell Analog story.

No, The Butterfly Kid isn't Hugo quality, but it's fun, and sweet. And more historical than that. He went out to San Francisco, bought a Gestetner with some of the money from the novel, and opened the Communication Company on Haight St., where anyone could bring in anything, and get it reproduced. free, of course It was an important feature of Haight St. in 66/67.

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