Feb 20 2011 10:19am

Hugo Nominees: 1971

1971 Hugo Awards trophyThe 1971 Hugo Awards were given at Noreascon I in Boston. (For earlier posts in this series, see Index.) The best novel award went to Larry Niven’s Ringworld, a picaresque adventure story with aliens and interstellar engineering set in Niven’s “Known Space” universe. It’s bursting with science fiction ideas—breeding humans for luck and kzinti for pacifism, the “cowardly” alien puppeteers, the Ringworld itself, a flat inhabitable plane circling its sun like a slice of a dyson sphere. The human characters are there just to lead us through the universe and have adventures, but there’s some lovely dialogue. (“You scream and you leap!”) I loved Ringworld when I was fourteen, and if it blows me away rather less now that’s because the ideas and the story have become familiar. There have been multiple sequels. It’s still part of the conversation of SF. It’s in print, and it’s in the library in French only.

There were four other nominees of which I’ve read only two, which is the lowest percentage for a while.

Hal Clement’s Starlight is a physics-oriented hard SF novel in which the very weird aliens from Mission of Gravity go with humans to an even stranger world. I haven’t read it for years, and what I most remember is the atmosphere—lots of ammonia! It’s in print from NESFA, in a compilation with the other connected works. It’s not in the library.

Tau Zero is another big-concept hard SF novel, this one focused on relativity—there’s an FTL space ship that can’t slow down and which keeps right on going through the whole universe and out the other end. The ship does have a crew, but I’d have to walk over to the bookshelves to tell you their names. This has never been one of my favourite Andersons. It’s in print from Gollancz, but it’s not in the library and I haven’t heard anybody talk about it for ages. I should read it again.

Tower of Glass seems to be a Robert Silverberg novel that I’ve completely missed, because I idiotically thought until about thirty seconds ago that it was a variant title for The World Inside. Fantastic Fiction say it’s about a man and some androids building a glass tower in the Arctic to communicate with aliens, and couldn’t possibly have forgotten that if I’d read it. It’s not in print, and it’s not in the library, so it may be a little while before I can get hold of it.

At least I knew I hadn’t read Wilson Tucker’s The Year of the Quiet Sun. I haven’t read it because it looks like a bit of a downer—somebody time travels to a radiation-scarred future. It’s neither in print nor in the library.

The thing that strikes me about these five books is how very hard SF they are when seen as a set, compared to the nominees I’ve been looking at for the last few years. Not just Ringworld, which is actually closer to space opera, but the whole lot of them. Indeed, I think this is the set of five hardest SF books nominated since we’ve had nominees.

What else might they have picked?

SFWA’s Nebula Award also went to Ringworld, again disproving the “more literary” theory of the Nebulas. Their nominees included the Silverberg and the Tucker, and added Joanna Russ’s And Chaos Died, R.A. Lafferty’s Fourth Mansions, and D.G. Compton’s The Steel Crocodile. I think the Russ at least should have been on the Hugo list, and the addition of any of these would have made it feel more representative of where SF was in 1971.

Locus began giving their awards this year. though they didn’t have as many categories as they do now. Their first award went to Ringworld, which was clearly blowing everybody away. Other nominees not previously noted: Gordon Dickson’s Tactics of Mistake, Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil, Dean Koontz's Beast Child, Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni Rising, D.G. Compton’s Chronocules, Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber, and Ron Goulart’s After Things Fell Apart.

The one that leaps out at me is I Will Fear No Evil—the first of the late period Heinleins, and not a good book. I’m surprised by the good sense the Hugo voters showed in neglecting a weak work by a popular writer.

Then there’s the Zelazny—one of his best loved works and beginning his significant series, but it got no attention at all? Very strange. It was nominated for the Mythopoeic Award however, which was won by Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave. Other nominees were the Kurtz, and Lloyd Alexander’s The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian.

The BSFA Award went to Brunner’s The Jagged Orbit, a 1969 book. The Ditmar (Australian SF) went to A. Bertram Chandler’s The Bitter Pill, and their International Award was won by “no award.” (It must be horrible to be nominated and hope to win and then lose to “no award.”)

Looking at the ISFDB for anything everybody missed, I see a number of possibilities but no real probabilities and no screaming injustices. The only thing I’d really like to draw attention to is Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day, a dystopia written by a thriller writer who always hovered on the edges of genre, and which happened to be one of the first SF books I ever read.

Other Categories


  • “Ill Met in Lankhmar,” Fritz Leiber (F&SF Apr 1970)
  • “Beastchild,” Dean R. Koontz (Venture Aug 1970)
  • “The Region Between,” Harlan Ellison (Galaxy Mar 1970)
  • “The Snow Women,” Fritz Leiber (Fantastic Apr 1970 [nomination withdrawn])
  • “The Thing in the Stone,” Clifford D. Simak (If Mar 1970)
  • “The World Outside,” Robert Silverberg (Galaxy Oct/Nov 1970)

No Novelette category? Good winner, and I suppose Leiber withdrew the other story because he didn’t want to split the vote, not that it works that way with the Hugos. The Nebulas also gave the award to Leiber.


  • “Slow Sculpture,” Theodore Sturgeon (Galaxy Feb 1970)
  • “Brillo,” Ben Bova & Harlan Ellison (Analog Aug 1970) 
  • “Continued on Next Rock,” R. A. Lafferty (Orbit 7)
  • “In the Queue,” Keith Laumer (Orbit 7)
  • “Jean Duprès,” Gordon R. Dickson (Nova 1)

Definitely the right winner—but as it won the Nebulas as a novelette, it’s a pity we didn’t have a novelette category too.


  • no award
  • “Blows Against the Empire” (recording)
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project
  • “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers” (recording) 
  • Hauser’s Memory (TV drama)
  • No Blade of Grass

I never get tired of seeing “no award” winning this category. It isn’t even horrible for the nominees to lose to it, because 90% of the time they couldn’t care less about the award—there are movie awards they care about instead.


  • F&SF, Edward L. Ferman
  • Amazing Stories, Ted White
  • Analog, John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Galaxy, Ejler Jakobsson
  • Vision of Tomorrow, Philip Harbottle


  • Leo & Diane Dillon
  • Frank Kelly Freas
  • Jack Gaughan
  • Eddie Jones
  • Jeff Jones


  • Locus, Charles Brown & Dena Brown
  • Energumen, Michael Glicksohn & Susan Glicksohn
  • Outworlds, Bill Bowers & Joan Bowers
  • Science Fiction Review, Richard E. Geis
  • Speculation, Peter R. Weston

Look at all thise women! Was Locus actually a fanzine then? I mean it’s clearly the best Locus ever, but that’s a different question.


  • Richard E. Geis
  • Terry Carr
  • Tom Digby
  • Elizabeth Fishman
  • Ted Pauls


  • Alicia Austin
  • Steve Fabian
  • Mike Gilbert
  • Tim Kirk
  • Bill Rotsler

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.

Alter S. Reiss
1. Alter S. Reiss
While "Ill Met in Lankhmar" is a classic which deserved the award, there's another novella from 1970 that's still a part of the conversation of SF. I speak, of course, of Jim Theis' "The Eye of Argon." This is a story that fans get together to read aloud, as a group; there aren't many other stories which can claim that distinction.

There was a 2007 edition of "The Eye of Argon" from Wildside Press, apparently.
Rich Horton
2. ecbatan
Early post today -- before I left for church!

Of the novels, I certainly enjoyed, indeed was wowed by, much of Ringworld when I first read it. But even then it didn't seem successful to me as a novel, more as a travelogue. And I have always hated (hated hated hated*) the ending. Of the other Hugo nominees, I think my vote would go to Tau Zero, which has a well adumbrated and resolved neat concept, though as a novel it too has shortcomings -- it's a novel that really impressed me, but that I've never quite loved.

*when I say "hated" here, however, it doesn't mean it retroactively ruined the book for me, just that I mentally stop the book before it gets to it.

If we go to the Nebula nomination list, it does add a novel I prefer to either of those, Joanna Russ's And Chaos Died, which I loved on first reading (around 1975 or so), despite its examination of one of my less favorite SF tropes, telepathy. I do think it also is less than wholly successful as a novel, but it still would probably get my vote as the Best SF novel of 1970. I must say, though, that I haven't reread it, and that in discussions of Russ's career it seems to be somewhat neglected these days -- the Alyx stories, and The Female Man, and some other great short fiction ("Nobody's Home", "My Boat", "Souls") is what seems most remembered. Perhaps And Chaos Died has not aged well -- perhaps I should reread it.

As to R. A. Lafferty's Fourth Mansions, which I had cited as a potential 1970 nominee (even though I don't like it) for the simple reason that it was first published in 1969 -- I don't know how it made the 1971 Nebula list.

I would say, on balance, that this seems a year to counter 1968, which had four quite wonderful, fully Hugo-worthy, novels (Stand on Zanzibar, Nova, Camp Concentration, and Pavane). While I generally enjoy Ringworld, Tau Zero, and And Chaos Died, I'd vote for any of the four 1968 novels mentioned ahead of them.

One nitpicky note about Compton's The Steel Crocodile: its English title (and perhaps Compton's preferred title?) is The Electric Crocodile. One might add that the other Compton novel from the Locus list, Chronocules, also had variant titles. Compton's original title for Chronocules was Hot Wireless Sets, Aspirin Tablets, the Sandpaper Slides of Used Matchboxes, and Something that Might have been Castor Oil, which to me is twee and self-indulgent. A UK reprint (which I own a copy of) managed to misspell the new title as Chronicules, just to make things worse. At any rate, I disliked Chronocules, and I haven't read The Steel Crocodile.

Other potential nominees:

from the genre

Robert Silverberg's Downward to the Earth

from the YA shelves:

Sylvia Louise Engdahl's Enchantress From the Stars

Joy Chant's Red Moon and Black Mountain

John Christopher's The Prince in Waiting

books of interest that don't strike me as Hugo quality but do seem worth mentioning:

Star Virus, by Barrington Bayley
The Communipaths, by Suzette Haden Elgin
Alien Island, by T. L. Sherred

The first two are early novels by interesting writers, and both were published as Ace Doubles. The third is the first novel by a writer who made a huge splash with the SF Hall of Fame story "E for Effort" in the late '40s, published a few stories in the early '50s, then disappeared until this novel.

and from the mainstream:

The Ice People, by René Barjavel -- first published in French in 1968, but 1970 saw the English translation

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach -- okay, it's pretty crappy. And it's not a novel -- probably no more than novelette length. But it was a huge bestseller.

Fifth Business, by Robertson Davies. This is a great great novel, but while, as with much of Davies' work, it skirts the edge of the fantastic without, to my mind, crossing over. Still, a better novel than any of those I've mentioned.

and finally, Time and Again, by Jack Finney, a very well-regarded novel by a writer who of course published some other fine SF work (The Body Snatchers, most notably), but who seemed regarded as a popular mainstream writer rather than an SF writer.

Rich Horton
Rich Horton
3. ecbatan
And as to the short fiction -- first, Alter, "The Eye of Argon" is probably only novelette length. But by all means let's add it to the list!

I find it interesting that both the Hugo and Nebulas gave only two short fiction awards this year, for different reasons, and they went to the same two stories in each case, which were a novella and a novelette. Both are very good: I fully endorse the awards to "Ill Met in Lankhmar", and while I'd have given the award to another novelette, I do like "Slow Sculpture".

Of the other novella nominees in Hugo, all seem OK but not great. However, there is one Nebula nominee I like a great deal: "A Style in Treason", by James Blish, which does not seem to be that well known.

I don't actually see any other 1970 novellas that seemed worthy of a nomination, either. One might note the presence of Ellison's "The Region Between" and Anderson's "The Fatal Fulfillment" on the Nebula (and Hugo in the case of the Ellison) ballots: those these both first appeared in magazines, they were commissioned for a themed original anthology, Five Fates. This sort of thing hadn't happened much before (except maybe for the Twayne Triplets in the 1950s) but it was about to become very common indeed!

As to novelette, as I said, I really do like "Slow Sculpture". But there is another story on the Nebula shortlist that to my mind is one of the enduring classics of SF of that era, or any era, and which in retrospect should clearly have won:

Joanna Russ's "The Second Inquisition". This is truly a masterwork, a very moving story, and metafictional in the best of way. Remember how it ends: "no more stories". Heartbreaking.

I also think Thomas Disch's "The Asian Shore" is wonderful. I'd have placed "Slow Sculpture" third behind "The Second Inquisition" and "The Asian Shore".

The other 1970 novelette I love is a curious beast: it's an Avram Davidson story that appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine as "Manhattan Night's Entertainment". Latter day readers (like me) will know it better as "The Lord of Central Park", the title Davidson gave it when he reprinted in his 1978 collection The Redward Edward Papers. It's a lovely story.

My novelette shortlist of five would have been closed out with R. A. Lafferty's very fine "Continued on Next Rock".

A couple further novelettes of interest: another Roxie Rimidon story from Sonya Dorman, "Alpha Bets"; and Edgar Pangborn's "Longtooth".

The story of the Nebula short story is interesting. For the only time in Nebula history, the short story award went to "No Award". I have heard that this was possibly a result of confusing ballot instructions. At any rate, supposedly when Isaac Asimov was reading the results, he missed the "No Award" and announced the winner as the second place piece: Gene Wolfe's "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories". Much embarrassment ensued. It is my assumption than Wolfe deserved the award anyway, and presumably would have won had the ballot instructions been clearer, but that's just me guessing, I don't know the details. Anyway, it's a great story, and it would have been a worthy winner. And Wolfe had a great year, publishing a ton of first rate pieces -- besides "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories" the best was probably "How the Whip Came Back". It was at this point, I think, that it became obvious he was a major major writer.

The other Nebula short story nominees are quite good too. Harry Harrison's "By the Falls" is a strange story, and perhaps his best single work. Lafferty appears with "Entire and Perfect Chrysolite", which is excellent, but he also published such fine stories as "About a Secret Crocodile" and "All Pieces of a River Shore". Gardner Dozois's "A Dream at Noonday" was his first major story, but he also had the excellent "Horse of Air", which oddly enough appeared on the following year's Nebula shortlist.

Other strong short stories included:

"Gone Fishin'", by Robin Scott Wilson
"The Man Who Could Not See Devils", by Joanna Russ
"The Same to You Doubled", by Robert Sheckley
"Things" aka "The End", by Ursula K. Le Guin
"America the Beautiful", by Fritz Leiber

One should also note how excellent Damon Knight's Orbit was in this period. No fewer than three editions were published in 1970, numbers 6 through 8, and Orbit 6 was particularly strong, featuring "The Second Inquisition", "The Asian Shore", "Entire and Perfect Chrysolite", and "Things". Orbit 7 had "Continued on Next Rock", "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories", "A Dream at Noonday", and also Kate Wilhelm's "April Fool's Day Forever" and Keith Laumer's "In the Queue". And Orbit 8 had "Horse of Air", "All Pieces of a River Shore", plus Ellison's "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty". The gibes by people like Alexei Panshin (as I recall -- maybe it was someone else) that Orbit was dominated by "nonfunctional word patterns" or some such phrasing have always struck me as simply stupid.
Alter S. Reiss
4. RustyM
Tower of Glass is one of my favourite Silverbergs from the wonderful decade that began with Thorns and ended with Shadrach in the Furnace. As a matter of fact, I may just dig out my copy and give it a re-read this week.
David Levinson
5. DemetriosX
This is actually a pretty good year for novels, though most of them are a little dark. Ringworld is, well, what it is. At the time it was innovative and had a real old fashioned sensawunda. Even if Louis Wu did go the wrong way around the Earth in the version everyone voted for. Star Light (two words, not one) is fairly average Clement, but it isn't his best work. Tau Zero is very interesting in concept, even if the execution isn't terribly memorable in the details. I missed Tower of Glass and also originally thought it was another name for The World Inside. The Year of the Quiet Sun is a downer, but not really in the way you might think from that brief description. It hasn't necessarily dated well, since it is largely based on a straight line extrapolation of racial tensions, but it might well have been my vote.

I can't really argue against "Ill Met in Lankhmar", though I like "The Snow Women" better (it's Fafhrd's origin story). The other stories don't really click in my memory, though I think "The World Outside" might have been incorporated into The World Inside.

Short story: A good winner. "Brillo" is famous mostly for having been stolen by Paramount for Future Cop and Harlan and Bova winning a sizeable award for it. "Continued on Next Rock" is strange, even for Lafferty. It can be found on line, though I'm not sure how legal it is. "In the Queue" is slightly atypical for Laumer, sort of Kafka with humor. It can also be found online, though definitely legally through Baen.

Dramatic Presentation: No award was definitely the right winner, but what an odd assortment. "Blows Against the Empire" is Jefferson Starship's first album. It isn't terribly successful as a concept album frankly. Colossus is based on a DF Jones novel. It's so-so as a film, but probably paved the way for War Games and even Terminator (for the concept of SkyNet). "Don't Crush That Dwarf"? I like Firesign Theater as well as any other American who was a teen in the 70s, but WTF? I just don't see the sfnal connection at all. Hauser's Memory is based on the Curt Siodmak novel of the same name. It's sort of a sequel to Donovan's Brain. No Blade of Grass is a cosy catastrophe based on a John Christopher novel (which Jo may know as The Death of Grass). But I think no award was the right choice.
john mullen
6. johntheirishmongol
It's been some time since I read Ringworld, but I loved the concept, the ideas, the story...not so much the characters, but I did feel it was the best that year.

Tau Zero is one of my favorite Anderson stand alone novels, because it not only was an excellent read but it made the physics come alive for me in a year I was taking the course.

While I thought Mission of Gravity was a great book, this followup was much weaker by Clements.

The other 2 nominees don't ring a bell with me at all.

Of the non-nominated books, the one I would have added is Tactics of Mistake, which is the lead book in the Dorsai novels and still one of my faves.

I'm very ambivalent about I Will Fear No Evil. Heinlein is such a good writer that you can't help but enjoy the read, but the concept was grotesque. I think it was about this time that there were a lot of weird sexually centered books in other genre's. Portnoy's Complaint and Myra Breckinridge both came about a year or so earlier and I don't know if it was an influence or maybe just the time. The mid-60's to early 80's was a very open sexual time because it was after the pill gained wide acceptance and before AID's became a part of our lives. There was a lot of barriers that fell and it was a major cultural shift at the time.

There was absolutely nothing worth a vote in TV or movies that year.
Michal Jakuszewski
7. Lfex
I still like Ringworld, even if sequels were decidedly inferior. That is, the second novel, The Ringworld Engineers was quite decent, IMHO, but two next novels were awful.

Tower of Glass was indeed one of good Silvebergs, but I liked Downward to the Earth more - perhaps the only novel which deserved to beat Ringworld that year.

And, yes I Will Fear no Evil was really horrible. There are very few books I couldn't finish and it is one of them.
Nancy Lebovitz
8. NancyLebovitz
I loved Tau Zero for a long time as a fine example of big concept sf, and then it fell flat for me. I'm not sure why, though getting told that ramscoops just can't work like that may have contributed, or possibly I noticed that the characters weren't interesting.

It's cheering to think of the book as a much superior version of Speed (a summer movie about a bus which has been rigged with a bomb so that it will blow up if it slows down).

The only thing I remember from And Chaos Died is a bit about the viewpoint character being able to see inside things, and realizing that a hypersexualized woman is a mass of surgeries inside. I don't know how the passage would look to me now, but at the time, I liked the bit about how artificial the ideal can be.

Fourth Mansions isn't as wild as Past Master-- it's got a contemporary setting. Some good bits-- the main character is in an insane asylum and says to the psychiatrist, "You wouldn't look out the window if I said it was raining". One of the other characters is described as a crackpot, "but it wasn't an ordinary pot that had cracked. It was a giant Gothic garboon." I have no idea what a garboon is, and google doesn't recognize the word as a sort of pot. Lafferty has enough real and false scholarship that this may be an accurate historical usage.

The same character explains that normal has two opposites-- abnormal and enormous. A norm is a carpenter's square, and enormous is outside the square.

Ellison's "Brilllo" loses some points-- one of the ways the robot cop fails to be as clueful as a human is that it tries to enforce the law against domestic abuse.
Alter S. Reiss
9. PeteTillman
I don't think of Wilson Tucker’s
The Year of the Quiet Sun
as hard SF: Time-travel is heavily involved. That said, I commend it to you as my favorite of Tucker's works: very impressive, quiet variation on post-apocalypse. I liked it, and I think you would too.

Pete Tillman
>I remember reading a proposal for fusion-powered >microbes, but I can't find it now...
--Logan Kearsley, rass. I miss Usenet....
Alter S. Reiss
10. Dr Hoo
I liked Ringworld, mostly for the physics, but wasn't blown away by the story. Tactics of Mistake deserves more love here, certainly the most re-readable novel and my favorite from the year. A pretty weak year overall with the exception of the Leiber Ill Met in Lanhkmar.
Alter S. Reiss
11. Gardner Dozois
There's no "supposedly" about it, Rich. I was there, sitting at Gene Wolfe's table, in fact. He'd actually stood up, and was starting to walk toward the podium, when Isaac was told about his mistake. Gene shrugged and sat down quietly, like the gentleman he is, while Isaac stammered an explanation of what had happened. It was the one time I ever saw Isaac totally flustered, and, in fact, he felt guilty about the incident to the end of his days.

It's bullshit that this was the result of confusing ballot instructions. This was the height of the War of the New Wave, and passions between the New Wave camp and the conservative Old Guard camp were running high. (The same year, Michael Moorcock said in a review that the only way SFWA could have found a worse thing than RINGWORLD to give the Nebula to was to give it to a comic book). The fact that the short story ballot was almost completely made up of stuff from ORBIT had outraged the Old Guard, particularly James Sallis's surreal "The Creation of Benny Hill", and they block-voted for No Award as a protest against "non-functional word patterns" making the ballot. Judy-Lynn del Rey told me as much immediately after the banquet, when she was exuberantly gloating about how they'd "put ORBIT in its place" with the voting results, and actually said "We won!"

All this passion and cholar seems far away now, as if we were arguing over which end of the egg to break.

At any rate, this seemed like a weak year for novels to me. I liked but wasn't wildly enthusiastic about either RINGWORLD or TAU ZERO. I WILL FEAR NO EVIL is a weak book, probably the weakest Heinlein to be published to that date (although there were worse to come), STAR LIGHT is weaker than MISSION OF GRAVITY, FOURTH MANSIONS is weaker than PAST MASTER, and THE YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN wasn't Hugo material. AND CHAOS DIED is in parts brilliant--but also in parts opaque almost to the point of deliberate obscurity. On balance, they probably should have given it to DOWNWARD TO THE EARTH, although the one of the year's novels that's probably still read the most is NINE PRINCES IN AMBER--which, of course, though, doesn't actually end.

If we were going to give novella to one of those on the list, I think I'd go with Leiber's "The Snow Women" rather than "Ill Met in Lankhmar." For novelette, if there had been such a category, I'd have voted for "The Second Inquisition," "The Asian Shore," or "Longtooth" before "Slow Sculpture," although I've always liked "Continued on Next Rock" and "All Pieces of a River Shore" too.

Short story should have gone to "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories," although Leiber's "America the Beautiful" would have been a strong choice too.
Alter S. Reiss
12. Gardner Dozois
No Award should have won in Dramatic Presentation--all the choices sucked.

Interesting that F&SF has started winning now that Fred Pohl isn't doing GALAXY or WORLDS OF IF anymore.

The Dillions won mostly on the strength of their work for Terry Carr's Ace Specials line, I think.
Rich Horton
13. ecbatan
Gardner -- I had never heard the story about block voting for "No Award" from the Old Guard keeping Wolfe's story from winning. Thanks for the correction. I think I read the "ballot instruction" story in one of Asimov's autobiographical works, but perhaps I simply misremembered it.

Such silliness, really. (Though with real costs to people.) Wolfe has won the Hugos and Nebulas he deserves since then, but I always count that in my head as one more for him.

I might note re Moorcock's comic book comment that it would not be too many years before there was actual controversy about giving awards to comic books (and if anything it was people on Moorcock's side of the divide more determined that they ought to be eligible).

Blows Against the Empire, by the way, adds to its SFnal cred (such as it is) by having the lyrics to one song ("Mau Mau (Amerikon)") derived rather directly from the epigraph to a Mark Clifton/Alex Apostolides story ("Hide! Hide! Witch", one of the precursor stories to "They'd Rather Be Right", as I recall). Uncredited, natch.
Alter S. Reiss
14. Gardner Dozois
The "confused by ballot instructions" was come up with later as an explanation/justification for the whole affair, in my opinion, after passions had faded, but I never believed it, especially as I saw Old Guard members celebrating and congratulating themselves before everybody had even left the Banquet room. And that was certainly the way the New Wave people there took it, as a deliberate rebuff.

I suppose BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE has points in its favor, but after having been trapped in the '60s as the only non-stoned person in a room full of stoned people who insisted on playing the same side of BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE forty times in a row, I'm afraid that it's forever lost its luster for me.
j p
15. sps49
The Late Philip J. Fry is a cute and clever episode of Futurama that appears to be clearly inspired by Tau Zero. The original was still a clever and, um, original concept, even among the other nominees.

I still love Ringworld. Just because others have improved the genre since does not detract from my enjoyment of it. I even liked the most recent, so sue me (ha!).

I didn't know the Deryni books started so long ago. I read them once, and that was it.

I have nothing else that hasn't already been said, and probably better.
Joe Romano
16. Drunes
I liked both Ringworld and Tau Zero when I read them, but barely remember much about either story now. I think they're both important works in the genre and should be read by every SF fan, even if you don't like hard science fiction. As such, Ringworld was a good pick for a Hugo, but Tau Zero would have been, too.

And, Gardner, I've been meaning to thank you for your comments all along. It's good having your perspective on things. I look forward to your comments on these posts.
Alter S. Reiss
17. James Davis Nicoll
The Year of the Quiet Sun was involved in what was imo one of the more bizarre committee choices of the 1970s; in 1976, the jury for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award decided

"The committee felt that no truly outstanding original novel was published in 1975. 1st place, therefore, was a "special retrospective award" made to a truly outstanding original novel that was not adequately recognized in the year of its publication (1970)."

The claim that "no truly outstanding original novel was published in 1975" didn't stop them from handing out a second place award to Silverberg's The Stochastic Man or a third place to Shaw's Orbitsville.
Alter S. Reiss
18. Gardner Dozois
"Your book sucks, but it doesn't suck quite as bad as THIS one."
Alter S. Reiss
19. Raskolnikov
For novel of this year, it's got to be And Chaos Died or The Steel Crocodile, both thoroughly original and engaging works. Ringworld I liked when I first read it, but it doesn't seem to have stood the test of time very well, there are many better writter, better characterized issues, and the big dumb object concept seems small-scale now.
Jo Walton
20. bluejo
Gardner: Wow. Thank you so much for telling that story. I am stunned by the pettiness.
Alter S. Reiss
21. Gardner Dozois
There was plenty of pettiness and vindictiveness on both sides. That's why they called it a "War."
Bob Blough
22. Bob
It is sad to say, that though Gene Wolfe has won two Nebulas, he has never received a Hugo award. Now that sucks.
Josh Jasper
23. joshjasper
Jo - Thank god we're all More Evolved (tm) these days ;-)
Alayne McGregor
24. alaynem
I think The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories would have been a fine choice for best short story. What a pity it wasn't recognized for its quality by certain people. (And I've alays loved the way Wolfe then turned it into an anthology title...)

I had just been seriously reading SF for a few years -- and had barrelled through all of Heinlein and was a great fan (well, except for a few books like Sixth Column and Farnham's Freehold that even then I had qualms about) -- when I Will Fear No Evil came out. It took The Number of the Beast to finally convince me that yes, Heinlein could write a really bad book, but this one made me wonder. There are parts (mostly the society-building and the satire) that I still really like, but on the whole I felt it didn't work emotionally or logically.

And I'd been looking forward to it for AGES. And had run home from the library with it when it came in so I could read it fast. And I was SO disappointed.
Bob Blough
25. Bob
I wish "Continued on Next Rock" by Lafferty had won. It remains my favorite piece he ever wrote. Would go for "Asian Shores" , "The Second Inquisition", "Slow Sculpture" , and "The Encounter" by Kate Wilhelm (from Orbit 8) after that. Simak's "The Thing in the Stone" is unjustifiably forgotton and while I don't say it should have won it was my second favorite that year. Also, "Beastchild" by Dean R. Koontz was very good as I recall. Anyway - loved "Ill Met in Lankhmar" and "The Snow Women" by Leiber and "April Fool's Day Forever" by Wilhelm and "The Region Between" by Ellison.
Shorts were too plentiful to mention: two by Dozois "A Dream at Noonday" and "Horse of Air", "All the Pieces of the River Shore" (perhaps my second favorite Lafferty story), "A Happy Day in 2381" by Robert Silverberg, "The Island of Doctor Death" by Gene Wolfe, "In the Queue" by Keith Laumer, and "By the Falls" by Harry Harrison and "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty" by Ellison. I, again think it was a very good year - even if these are not all "remembered" now.

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