Sun
May 8 2011 10:00am

Hugo Nominees: 1982

The 1982 Hugo Awards were presented at Chicon IV in Chicago. The award for best novel was given to C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station (post). It’s a story of interstellar war and diplomacy set in a complex and thoroughly developed universe—it feels like history in a way that science fiction seldom manages. It’s about what it means to be human, when the boundaries start to blur, it’s about what people will do to survive, and it’s about shifting definitions of home and independence and loyalty. I didn’t like Downbelow Station in 1982—I only started to like it after I liked other books in the same universe. It’s not where I suggest people start with Cherryh. But it’s a major achievement and a major novel, and I’m very glad it won a Hugo and encouraged her to keep on with this kind of thing. It’s in print from DAW, and it’s in the Grande Bibliotheque of Montreal (hereafter “the library”) in English only.

There are four other nominees, three of which I’ve read.

Making up in a small way for overlooking The Shadow of the Torturer in 1981, we have The Claw of the Conciliator here. It’s still brilliant, but it really doesn’t stand alone, so I’m not surprised it didn’t win. The Book of the New Sun is so much one thing that it’s a pity we don’t have an award for completed things that take more than one year to publish. It’s in print in a beautiful Orb edition, and in the library in French and English. It’s definitely still part of the dialogue of science fiction.

John Crowley’s Little, Big is—well. It’s strange. It’’s definitely fantasy, and it’s contemporary, and it’s about a family and magic and strangeness. It’s one of those books that seems to dance along the edge of dreams. I have read it once and never again because I didn’t like the way it seemed to creep up on me when I wasn’t looking. Many of my friends count it as a favourite book. It’s certainly a significant book and thoroughly deserves to be on this list. It’s in print from Harper, and in the library in English.

Julian May’s The Many Coloured Land is what I’d have voted for in 1982, and now I think it’s the weakest book on the list. It was so exactly to my taste then and so little to my taste now that you could use it to graph precisely how my tastes have changed. It’s about people in a multi-planet future with psi powers who have a one-way gate to the Pliocene of Earth, through which people can go into Exile, and when they get there they discover to their astonishment a society of Celtic aliens. There are sequels, which I kept reading for far longer than I should have. It’s not in print and it’s not in the library, but if anybody’s interested I remember exactly how all the magic-enhancing torcs worked and the names of the different kinds of psi.

I don’t know how I missed Clifford Simak’s Project Pope. It’s not in print and it’s not in the library and I suppose nobody ever mentioned it to me and I never happened to see a copy. I usually like Simak. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

So, three men and two women, one space science fiction, one far future science fiction, one fantasy, one science fantasy, and one I haven’t read that looks like theological SF as far as I can tell.

These are a pretty good bunch, and I’m feeling good about them, especially after last week.

What else could they have chosen?

SFWA gave their Nebula Award to The Claw of the Conciliator. Non-overlapping nominees are A.A. Attanasio’s Radix, Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker, and Suzy McKee Charnas’s The Vampire Tapestry.

The World Fantasy Award went very appropriately to Little, Big. Non-overlapping nominees: Ramsey Campbell’s The Nameless, Michael Moorcock’s The Warhound and the World’s Pain, D.M. Thomas’s The White Hotel.

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award went to Riddley Walker.

The Locus Award went to The Many Coloured Land, thus demonstrating that it wasn’t only sixteen-year-old me who liked it. Non-overlapping nominees: Windhaven, George R. R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle, Dream Park, Larry Niven & Steven Barnes, God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert, The Cool War, Frederik Pohl, Sharra’s Exile, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Oath of Fealty, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, The Divine Invasion, Philip K. Dick, The Book of Dreams, Jack Vance, The Sardonyx Net, Elizabeth A. Lynn, King David’s Spaceship, Jerry Pournelle, Worlds, Joe Haldeman, At the Eye of the Ocean, Hilbert Schenck, The Unreasoning Mask, Philip José Farmer, Voyagers, Ben Bova, Dream Dancer, Janet Morris, The Pride of Chanur, C.J. Cherryh, The Dreamers, James Gunn, Twelve Fair Kingdoms, Suzette Haden Elgin, Giants’ Star, James Hogan, The Affirmation, Christopher Priest, Deathhunter, Ian Watson, VALIS, Philip K. Dick, Lilith, Jack L. Chalker, Systemic Shock, Dean Ing, In the Hands of Glory, Phyllis Eisenstein, Wave Without a Shore, C.J. Cherryh. 

Locus Fantasy went to the Wolfe, which is of course SF. Non-overlapping nominees: The Changing Land, Roger Zelazny, The Captive, Robert Stallman, Camber the Heretic, Katherine Kurtz, The Keep, F. Paul Wilson, Horn Crown, Andre Norton, A Sense of Shadow, Kate Wilhelm, Lycanthia, Tanith Lee, Path of the Eclipse, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Delusion’s Master, Tanith Lee, Peregrine: Secundus, Avram Davidson, Kingdom of Summer, Gillian Bradshaw, Esbae: A Winter’s Tale, Linda Haldeman, Journey Behind the Wind, Patricia Wrightson, The Sable Moon, Nancy Springer, Madwand, Roger Zelazny, Gryphon in Glory, Andre Norton, Too Long a Sacrifice, Mildred Downey Broxon, Cujo, Stephen King, Blue Adept, Piers Anthony.

The Mythopoeic Award went to Little, Big. All the nominees have been mentioned already.

Was there anything everybody missed?

There’s Richard Cowper’s A Dream of Kinship, and Elisabeth Vonarburg’s The Silent City in the original French publication, and M.A. Foster’s The Morphodite, Diana Wynne Jones’s The Time of the Ghost.

A lot of good stuff, and I like The Price of Chanur better than Downbelow Station, but nothing that stands out as a clear omission, or clearly better than the nominees we have.

So I’d say 1982 was a year where the nominations did what they should. Good!

Other Categories

NOVELLA

  • “The Saturn Game,” Poul Anderson (Analog 2 Feb 1981)
  • “Blue Champagne,” John Varley (New Voices 4)
  • “Emergence,” David R. Palmer (Analog 5 Jan 1981)
  • “In the Western Tradition,” Phyllis Eisenstein (F&SF Mar 1981)
  • “True Names,” Vernor Vinge (Binary Star #5)
  • “With Thimbles, With Forks and Hope,” Kate Wilhelm (Asimov’s 23 Nov 1981)

Really? Gosh. The Anderson is okay, but the Varley and the Vinge are classics.

NOVELETTE

  • “Unicorn Variation,” Roger Zelazny (Asimov’s 13 Apr 1981)
  • “The Fire When It Comes,” Parke Godwin (F&SF May 1981)
  • “Guardians,” George R. R. Martin (Analog 12 Oct 1981)
  • “The Quickening,” Michael Bishop (Universe 11)
  • “The Thermals of August,” Edward Bryant (F&SF May 1981)

SHORT STORY

  • “The Pusher,” John Varley (F&SF Oct 1981)
  • “Absent Thee from Felicity Awhile,” Somtow Sucharitkul (Analog 14 Sep 1981)
  • “The Quiet,” George Florance-Guthridge (F&SF Jul 1981)
  • “The Woman the Unicorn Loved,” Gene Wolfe (Asimov’s 8 Jun 1981)

NONFICTION BOOK

  • Danse Macabre, Stephen King (Everest)
  • After Man, Dougal Dixon (Macmillan)
  • Anatomy of Wonder, 2nd Edition, Neil Barron, ed. (R.R. Bowker)
  • The Art of Leo & Diane Dillon, Leo & Diane Dillon, edited by Byron Preiss (Ballantine)
  • The Grand Tour, Ron Miller & William K. Hartmann (Workman)

I love After Man, though I wouldn’t call it non-fiction exactly. What an odd category this is!

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Dragonslayer
  • Excalibur
  • Outland
  • Time Bandits

Raiders is genre now? I suppose there was that two second bit at the end. But No Award all the way.

PROFESSIONAL EDITOR

  • Edward L. Ferman
  • Terry Carr
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • George Scithers

David Hartwell said last week that he’d been having a good year that year, but this must have been the year people noticed!

PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

  • Michael Whelan
  • Vincent Di Fate
  • Carl Lundgren
  • Don Maitz
  • Rowena Morrill

Doug M. suggests that Whelan covers had some influence on the nominators. I have no idea if this is right. I didn’t see the U.S. covers at the time and they don’t have any resonance for me. Even if I looked them up, I can’t possibly judge how American nominators would have seen them—and these posts take long enough without adding cross-cultural art criticism to them. But Whelan is winning for Professional Artist, so people who did see and like U.S. covers clearly did like his work.

FANZINE

  • Locus, Charles N. Brown
  • File 770, Mike Glyer
  • Science Fiction Chronicle, Andrew Porter
  • Science Fiction Review, Richard E. Geis

FAN WRITER

  • Richard E. Geis
  • Mike Glyer
  • Arthur D. Hlavaty
  • Dave Langford

FAN ARTIST

  • Victoria Poyser
  • Alexis Gilliland
  • Joan Hanke-Woods
  • Bill Rotsler
  • Stu Shiffman

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER (Not a Hugo)

  • Alexis Gilliland
  • David Brin
  • Robert Stallman
  • Michael Swanwick
  • Paul O Williams

This is a year where two of the nominees went on to become major writers, writing important books and winning Hugos. Unfortunately, neither Brin nor Swanwick was the winner, though they’d both have been really excellent ones, just the kind the award was designed for, significant writers at the beginning of their careers.

Gilliland had already won a Hugo as Fan Artist in 1980. He published six books between 1981-1992, none of which I’ve read.

Robert Stallman was already dead before being nominated, but it shows how impressed people were with his work.

Paul O. Williams wrote seven post-apocalyptic SF novels between 1981 and 2004, and apparently was also devoted to the haiku form and was President of the U.S. Haiku society. He died in 2009.

So one nominee who didn’t achieve any more because he was dead, two minor writers, including the winner, and two major writers.


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.

65 comments
Rich Horton
1. ecbatan
I have little to add to the list of novels., I would have voted for The Claw of the Conciliator, and while I've not quite warmed to Little, Big as many others have, I still think it quite remarkable -- so for me Downbelow Station (which I thought a bit too earnest, too slow -- though it can't help that I lost my first copy by leaving it on a plane) is only third on the list, but still a worthy book.

I'm right with you on The Many-Colored Land -- loved it at the time, don't think it holds up at all.

One more significant mainstream novel seems worth mentioning: Alasdair Gray's Lanark, which I believe has been cited as a major influence by Iain Banks.

Other novels I liked, though none of these are Hugo-worth: Fred Pohl's The Cool War, Avram Davidson's Peregrine Secundus, Phyllis Eisenstein's In the Hands of Glory, Christopher Priest's The Affirmation, Dean Ing's Systemic Shock, Somtow Sucharitkul's Starship and Haiku, and Kevin O'Donnell's very fun first two McGill Feighan novels, Caverns and Reefs.

Plus one very significant, and very very good, YA novel: The Homeward Bounders, by Diana Wynne Jones.

As to the Campbell -- well, obviously a hugely wrong choice. Either Swanwick or Brin, as you note, would have been strong choices -- and both of them had published very good work that provided ample evidence of their talent.

Like William Rotsler, Gilliland was a popular fan artist, and that may have helped his cause. (Rotsler wasn't a Campbell nominee, but a Hugo nominee that some find surprising.) And to be quite fair to him, the Rosinante books, which started coming out in 1981, were quite fun -- light stuff about a future space-based revolution. Still and all, it's shocking that he won over Brin and Swanwick.

--
Rich Horton
Rich Horton
2. ecbatan
In Novella, as you say, "The Saturn Game" is merely OK. "True Names" is a classic, though its significance was not as clear at the time. "Blue Champagne" is very good.

But my favorite novella that year, in one of my personal favorite sub-sub-genres (time viewers), was Phyllis Eisenstein's "In the Western Tradition". It obviously wasn't ignored -- it got the award nominations and all -- but to me it still seems a bit underappreciated.

Only a few more novellas seem worth mentioning: Michael Shea's "Polyphemus", David Brin's "The Loom of Thessaly", and a wacky courtroom story by Charles Harness, "The Venetian Court".

In novelette I might have gone for "The Quickening", or even for Brin's "The Tides of Kithrup", but I can't argue with the award to "Unicorn Variations".

In short story I had a clear favorite, that didn't appear on the Hugo or Nebula ballots (thought it was fourth on the Locus list!) -- perhaps it was missed because it was published as part of a book marketed as a novel, C. J. Cherryh's Sunfall. The story is "The Only Death in the City", and I think it's wonderful.

We should also note a couple of William Gibson stories: "Johnny Mnemonic" and "The Gernsback Continuum", and John Kessel's "Not Responsible! Park and Lock It!", and also Joe Haldeman's "A !Tangled Web".

And the Nebula short story award was controversial, because Lisa Tuttle, who won for "The Bone Flute", declined the award.

--
Rich Horton
Hello There
3. praxisproces
So I've been thinking of getting into Cherryh, Jo, and I know you've read her widely and with great affection; is there any chance you'd consider a post suggesting a path through her (immense and daunting) oeuvre?
René Walling
4. cybernetic_nomad
@Connor, if you do a search for "Cherryh" on this site, you'll file a pile of posts by Jo about Cherryh's books. IIRC, she'll often mention which ones are good starting points.
Howard Brazee
5. Howard Brazee
More than in other years, I agree with your change of tastes over the years in this review. What I liked then and what I like now have changed. I guess it's about time I re-read Downbelow Station.

Although it was "True Names" all the way for me, even though Varley is the author who somehow missed the Hugos so many times he should have gotten.

Incidently, it was at Denvention II when Vernor's ex-wife won her Hugo - that she read "True Lies" at a reading, introducing his writing to me.
Richard Dickson
6. DailyRich
I'd have to disagree with your blanket dismissal of the Dramatic Presentation nominees. While Raiders is a bit of reach, Dragonslayer and Time Bandits are both wonderful fantasy films that your disdain for the category shouldn't allow to be overlooked. Dragonslayer in particular has a lot going on with regards to the death of magic and the rise of religion, and how both require their own brand of faith to operate. While in an objective sense there's no way Raiders isn't the best film of that bunch, Dragonslayer would have been the better Hugo winner.
Jo Walton
7. bluejo
Connor: Have a look at my "Where do I start with that: C" post, for a lengthy discussion of this.
David Levinson
8. DemetriosX
Downbelow Station was the first Cherryh I ever read and it pretty much put me off of her stuff for good. I'm largely with you on The Many-Coloured Land and Claw. All in all, it's a rather weak year for novels.

The interesting thing to me about the novellas is that so many of them deal in one way or another with artificial realities influencing and bleeding over into real life. I suppose it's part of the mix leading up to the birth of cyberpunk. "Emergence" really works better when it's integrated into the novel.My favorite was the Wilhelm, which kicked off one of her more popular mystery series.

Absolutely no arguing with the novelette winner, even if it was inspired by a joke from George RR Martin. Of the short stories, I know almost nothing. Only the Wolfe is really familiar to me and the companion story "The Woman Who Loved the Centaur Pholus" was better.

Dramatic presentation: Raiders is fun, but I agree that it's barely genre. Of course, it's also easy to forget its impact at the time, now that it's been watered down by sequels. I'm going to disagree heavily with DailyRich @6 on Dragonslayer. It was so heavily hyped at the time that it would have been impossible for it come close to living up to it. It was generally disappointing, but maybe it holds up better once it's stripped of all the expectations. I love Excalibur dearly. It's a gorgeous film with a cast that would go on to bigger things and Nicol Williamson absolutely steals it. But it also terribly self-indulgent and sometimes overblown (Boorman may have invented the cliche of using the Carmina Burana for emotional action scenes), so not really a good winner. Outland is High Noon in space with extra violence thrown in. Time Bandits is typical Terry Gilliam, but I've always had problems with the way it tears down heroes. I would probably have voted for Outland at the time (Raiders is a better movie, but it just isn't genre), but no winner would have been a better choice.

The Campbells will always be regarded as one of those weird things that no one can really explain. Swanwick or Brin would have been an excellent choice and I would probably lean more toward Swanwick.

There were two new artists this year. Carl Lundgren did a lot of illo and cover work, before doing a Watterson and giving it up for "fine art". This was also the first of Rowena Morril's only 3 Hugo nominations. Indeed, she has had very little recognition award-wise: very few nominations and only one award. I don't really understand that. She's one of the busiest cover artists around and certainly one of the better ones out there.
Michal Jakuszewski
9. Lfex
Not much to add, really. The Claw of the Conciliator was clearly the best book of the batch, but its chances of winning were slim. I would also vote for Many-Colored Land back then, but it didn't stand the test of time very well, IMHO, so I am happy with Downbelow Station winning. Didn't like Little, Big but I know people who love it a lot. It too literary to have a real chance of winning, though. Project Pope was awful, IMHO.

As for non-nominated novels, nothing comes to mind. You list The Pride of Chanur which was nominated the next year, and was so robbed!

In short fiction categories - Anderson over Vinge and Varley? Come on, it was ridiculous. Two other winners were all right, IMHO.

Gilliland winning Campbell over Brin and Swanwick does seem strange today, but you never know how beginner writers will turn out.
Howard Brazee
10. Doug M.
"Time Bandits" is a bit of a mess, but it's a mostly entertaining mess. I think of it as a finger exercise for "Brazil".

It's a bit too bad that Jack Vance didn't get a nomination for _The Book of Dreams_, which really is a fine conclusion to his Demon Princes series. I think people thought they had Vance pigeonholed as "writes entertaining adventures, fine prose stylist" and left it at that. The Demon Princes are actually a fair bit deeper than people give them credit for. 'Meditation on evil' sounds a bit pretentious, but they're definitely more than just adventure stories.

I'm with Jo on _The Many-Colored Land_ -- although I'd add that the original tetralogy of the series still impresses for pure brio. The Suck Fairy has nibbled at it a bit, yes. And also the the dismal prequels. But I'll forgive much if there's fun, scope, and sensawunda, and the first books had all three.

Doug M.
Howard Brazee
11. James Davis Nicoll
It’s a story of interstellar war and diplomacy set in a complex and thoroughly developed universe

Although many details of the universe appear to make no sense and only get worse the more we've learned about the Alliance/Union setting over the years. Prior to 2248, for example, nobody had FTL; what was worth shipping light years at sublight speeds? It had to be valuable, and whatever it was worth a war.

The significance of Pell's world is that it let colonists grow their own food. This suggests that before they found Pell's World, they were importing food from Earth. At sublight speeds. That banging sound is my forehead hitting the edge of my desk over and over.

How is it the Union, with perhaps ten million people scattered across many systems, can even be a superpower? And the Alliance apparently has even fewer people.

On a different axis than makes no sense, the use of Azi is repellent and we know from Serpent's Reach will only become more abusive. It's a pity Earth had no Sherman or at least a Lucas Trask to grant the Union the boons it so dearly needs.



And don't get me started on how she has ships dock with rotating structures.
Howard Brazee
12. Gshall
I loved Little, Big, though I also have never re-read it, having found it, as you say, strange in a strange way (I mean, come on, SFF *is* strange!). My recollection of it is as a deep and complex piece, and I'm not sure I ever got it, even while I was reading and enjoying it.
Howard Brazee
13. James Davis Nicoll
NOVELLA


“The Saturn Game,” Poul Anderson (Analog 2 Feb 1981)
“Blue Champagne,” John Varley (New Voices 4)
“Emergence,” David R. Palmer (Analog 5 Jan 1981)
“In the Western Tradition,” Phyllis Eisenstein (F&SF Mar 1981)
“True Names,” Vernor Vinge (Binary Star #5)
“With Thimbles, With Forks and Hope,” Kate Wilhelm (Asimov’s 23 Nov 1981)

Really? Gosh. The Anderson is okay, but the Varley and the Vinge are classics.

You are far too kind to the Anderson; it's one of the stupidest stories he wrote. The moral is it's bad to enter into delusional, hallucinatory states while exploring alien worlds. How is that worth a Hugo? How is it more worth a Hugo than the Varley or the Vinge? And why was this story inserted into the Polesotechnic timeline, guaranteeing that decades later as Anderson's work is reprinted in the (quite worth getting, if not as splendid editions as NESFA's Anderson collections) Baen reprints I would have to read it again?

I am literally incoherent with rage at the voters on this one.

Although I suppose it's interesting as an early example of SF authors dealing the then-fairly new hobby of role-playing . I preferred John M. Ford's take on rpgs, both the Mandalay stories and the articles he wrote for Asimov's (sadly, not reprinted as far as I know and unlikely to be reprinted).

1: Actually, the Anderson does remind me of one of my favourite cartoons from the Fantasy Gamer: two nerds and a large, tattooed man in motorcycle leathers are at a bar. One of the nerds has a shocked, horrorified look on his face. The biker looks angry. The second nerd looks calm and is saying something like "Yeah? Well, my 12th level fighter could kick your ass."

The caption reads "true story."

2: Note to self: remember to be the only one enthusiastic about The Princes of the Air.
Howard Brazee
14. CarlosSkullsplitter
"The Saturn Game." Like The Avatar, but replacing the moist thighs of a folksinger with a d20.
Howard Brazee
15. James Davis Nicoll
Gilliland had already won a Hugo as Fan Artist in 1980. He published six books between 1981-1992, none of which I’ve read.

Seven novels: three in the Rosinante series, three in the Wizenbeak series and one stand-alone, End of the Empire (although I think there are hints that it is in the same future history as the Rosinante books). I would recommend trying at least the first of the Rosinante series; it's from olden times from before it became so acceptable to publish fragments of books and can be read as a stand-alone.

I know his career got crunched in the early 1990s due to the combination of chains tracking sales and Del Rey decreasing each successive print run. He had an MS he was trying to sell in the 1990s and an associated short story about what happens when two crooked senior officers discover one of their subordinates has listed as a hobby "forensic accounting". The first has never appeared as far as I know but he used to give reading of the second.

Recently I discovered there are e-book editions of his Rosinante books. Just now when I checked the publisher's site, the Gilliland books are no longer there, but they seem still to be available on Amazon.

1: A company called Sizzler. Not Work Safe for the most part and an odd fit for Gilliland.
Howard Brazee
16. James Davis Nicoll
I seem to recall the owner of a west coast genre book store mentioning that he had no trouble selling Little Big at $100 a pop when it was out of print but couldn't sell the affordably priced MMPB edition. I did point out the logical solution - price the MMPB at $100.00 - but he seemed resistant to this idea. In retrospect my error was not involving the concept of Veblen goods.
Howard Brazee
17. James Davis Nicoll
The Grand Tour, Ron Miller & William K. Hartmann (Workman)

I've owned a couple of editions of this; it's a glorious celebration of the New Solar System and the New Solar System (updated), a setting SF authors have fleeing since space probes revealed what the Solar System was actually like.

I am pleased to report that in the last year or so I have seen a remarkable number of new(ish ) stories set in our Solar System: The Quiet War, Gardens of the Sun, Up Against It, Rocket Girls, Rocket Girls: The Last Planet, The Quantum Thief, The Next Continent, Platinum Moon, and Leviathan Wakes all come to mind.


1: Some of them came out earlier in Japan but were not translated until recently
Howard Brazee
18. Doug M.
So the Campbells. Some have said this is the worst Campbell ever. I used to think so, but now I don't.

The case for: Alexis Gilliland seems to have gotten this Campbell more or less for being a nice guy who'd been active in fandom for 20+ years. You can almost hear the wheels turning in the voters' heads: "Oh, look, good old Alexis is on the ballot. I love that guy. Let's throw a vote his way, just because."

So Gilliland was chosen over a couple of writers who'd go on to much, much greater things. Well... the voters couldn't know the future, and had to vote based on what the had then.

The problem here is, what they had then wasn't much. Gilliland had written two novels, Revolution from Rosinante and Long Shot from Rosinante. These are decent enough novels, a cut or two above average. But..."Best New Writer" for the first two Rosinante books? Gilliland himself was utterly flabbergasted to win. By his own account, he stumbled up to the stage, stared blankly at the audience, and couldn't manage more than a stunned "Thank you".

So why isn't this the Worst Campbell Ever? Well, two reasons. One is that, as of 1982, the rest of the field wasn't all that great either. Yes, Brin and Swanwick. But Brin's output consisted of one novel (Sundiver) anda couple of short stories ("The Loom of Thessaly" and "Coexistence"). Swanwick, meanwhile, had maybe five or six short stories in print... I'm not sure of exact publication dates, but it wasn't more than half a dozen. Some of these short stories were startling and excellent -- "Ginungagap" alone was enough to announce the arrival of a major new voice -- but they're barely enough to fill a slim paperback.

Total speculation: some of the voters may have been thinking of 1975, when the Campbell went to P.F. Plauger on the basis of... a handful of short stories. Whereupon Plauger promptly abandoned the field to write computer books. Maybe they were thinking, hey, good old Alexis, at least he's shown a clear commitment to SF. At least we know he'll stick with it.

And Gilliland did stick with SF. Or try to. He finished the Rosinante trilogy, followed it with a fantasy trilogy ("Wizenbeak") and a couple of standalone novels, and a couple of short stories and... that was it. He continued to be an artist and a fan, but by the late 1980s he'd pretty much given up publishing new SF.

Publishing, not writing. According to people who would know (including our own James Nicoll), Gilliland wrote at least two more books and tried to get them published. But the "Wizenbeak" books had sold poorly -- poorly enough to make poor Gilliland damaged goods. Apparently he couldn't find anyone who'd take a chance on his new stuff. A name change might have helped (no, seriously -- apparently there are authors who have done exactly that), but I guess he didn't want to go that route.

The funny thing is, nobody says the Wizenbeak books were dreadful. Apparently they were perfectly OK midlist fantasy. Just, for some reason or other, they sold really badly. These things happen sometimes. And if you're an author who sells modestly to begin with, you can end up with a kneecapped career. So that's the other reason I wouldn't call this the worst Campbell: Gilliland's career got sidetracked for reasons to some extent beyond his control

He did win four Hugos for best fan artist. And I've heard that the Rosinante books were to be reprinted as an omnibus. Don't know if it ever happened -- anyone?

Trivia: A while back I said that Jerry Pournelle was the oldest surviving Campbell winner. Not quite: Gilliland is still alive at age 80, and he's got Pournelle beat by a year or so.

This is getting long, so losers in the next post.


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
19. Doug M.
Campbell award, losers:

Paul O. Williams was best known for the six books of the Pelbar Cycle (_The Breaking of Northwall_, et seq.) He was an English professor who also wrote some important works about Japanese poetry and haiku. He died in 2009, age 74 -- R.I.P.

Then we have David Brin and Michael Swanwick.

To have both these guys on the ballot should have marked this as a very good year for the Campbell. To have them both on the ballot, and then have both /lose/... to Alexis Gilliland... marks this as the year the river ran backwards, the sky rained frogs, and the cow gave birth to an insurance salesman.

You're reading tor.com, so you know who these guys are. Let me just briefly run the numbers, then.

Brin: 16 novels, 3 collections. 3 Hugos, 1 Nebula, 1 Campbell Best Novel. Brin is notable for collecting a lot more nominations than wins; this was particularly obvious in 2002, when Kiln People came in second place for the Hugo, the Locus, the Campbell and the Clarke -- each time behind a different book.

Brin seems to have wandered away from SF -- his last book was in 2002 . Still, it's a pretty respectable pile.

Swanwick: 7 novels, 10 collections. 5 Hugos, 1 Nebula, 1 World Fantasy Award. Swanwick has collected even more nominations than Brin. He's been on the Hugo ballot about a dozen times in the last 15 years. And unlike many of our nominees so far, Swanwick seems to be getting better late in life; while we've seen a lot of people who never matched the promise of their early stuff, Swanwick seems to be going from strength to strength.

Still... in 1982 their stature was still far from obvious. So, while this definitely qualifies as one of the strangest Campbells, I'm not sure we can call it the worst.

Robert Stallman: Stallman was the only person ever to be nominated for two consecutive Campbells despite having been dead both times. In any other year, that would have been striking and weird.

Trivia: Between Gilliland (51), Stallman (50), and Williams (45), this was probably the oldest group of Campbell nominees ever. (Brin and Swanwick were both 32, so they're both 61 or so today.)


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
20. James Davis Nicoll
IIRC, what Gilliland claimed in the late 1990s was that his sales were sabotaged by Del Rey deciding to give each book a smaller print run than the previous book despite sell-through on the previous print runs being pretty good. It could be he misunderstood the sitution (although he would be getting reports from Del Rey) or I misunderstood his explanation. In any case, to chains it would have looked like his sales were in a death spiral; I am sure I don't need to rattle off the authors who have also been caught in this sort of trap.

The end of his time with Del Rey was also around the time of the Great Purge at Del Rey, where they dumped many of the perfectly cromulent mid-listers accumulated by Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey, a development not necessarily to the company's advantage. Some of these authors are now with Tor (it seems that if someone stays in the game long enough they inevitably end up at Tor or Baen or Tor and Baen, although sometimes that is because they began there) but at least one, Michael McCullum, ended up creating his own online company.
Howard Brazee
21. CarlosSkullsplitter
A quick check: "The Saturn Game" has a 'Judas Priest' count of two, and a 'yonder' count of six. Did Anderson read a lot of pulp Westerns? It has all the sentence patterns you expect from late Anderson -- ABSTRACTION ACTIVE-VERBED etc -- which means much of it reads as though it was translated from one of the smaller, more obscure languages of Europe by someone paid in schnapps.

What else. Garcilaso and Minamoto for Andersonian ethnic characters' last names. I wonder if non-English-speaking writers use Plantagenet and Chaucer for American last names.

A lot of television bashing, which is interesting. It's a shame there aren't anthologies of science fiction about the baggy pants kids today are wearing.

There's a rather stinky reference to "a copy of The Machinery of Freedom which had nearly disintegrated but displayed the signature of the author" which is a shout-out to a Society for Creative Anachronism colleague (Milton Friedman's wayward son) -- maybe this had something to do with the award? the SCA and its sympathizers possibly a large enough voting bloc to swing the election -- but it's probably also a sign that Anderson's critical faculties about politics had been irreversibly damaged by 1980. In a few years, the unsuspecting reader will find diatribes about the "Internal Reaming Service" shoehorned into Anderson's fiction.
Howard Brazee
22. James Davis Nicoll
Brin seems to have wandered away from SF -- his last book was in 2002 .

While the '00s were not an SF-friendly time, I must point out he did have Shoresteading in in 2008. For some reason it's never appeared as a book as far as I know, just a serial in Baen's Universe. I think he also did some graphic novels. That said, he's part of the SF author absurdist comedy group posing as advisors on national security; their act is hilarious and they are completely deadpan about it, almost as though they take themselves seriously. I'd rate them as nearly equal to Daniel Graham's Team B or even Stephen Colbert.
David Levinson
23. DemetriosX
I believe Brin had a couple more short stories in the 00s, though I'm not positive. He just had a short graphic novel (graphic short story?) come out and by his own account is working on a new novel right now. He seems to have been focused on doing things that bring in real money for the last few years, largely being a professional futurist. Since his kids are slowly approaching college age, you can hardly blame him.
Howard Brazee
24. Doug M.
Carlos @21, ha, I hadn't thought of the SCA connection. I'd been thinking it was a lifetime achievement award, but that doesn't really make sense -- Anderson wasn't even 60 yet in 1982, and was still writing at least a book a year.

_Machinery of Freedom_ has been OOP for over 20 years in our timeline.

James @22, do online serials never published as an actual book (whether e-book or print) count as "published"?


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
25. James Davis Nicoll
24: Yes, absolutely. Baen's Universe was a legitimate publication.

And now that I think about it, I think Shoresteading (or a version of it) was collected somewhere...

Ah! It was in Elizabeth Ann Hull's Gateways, a birthday tribute anthology for Fred Pohl.
Howard Brazee
26. Doug M.
Cover love: _The Many-Colored Land_ had a Whelan cover, and it's absolutely gorgeous. Glowing, multicolored fantasy warriors on horseback (except you look closer and those aren't quite horses...), rising through the air in a spiral to attack some obviously SFnal spaceship-looking flying craft, against the background of a burning city. It's a scene from the book, it's intriguing as hell without giving too much away, it's just wonderful.

-- Idle thought in passing: I have become allergically sensitive to most forms of Celtitude in fantasy and SF. But for all its faults, _The Many-Colored Land_ doesn't trigger the pain. Perhaps it's because the Celtish aliens are not just high-tech barbarians, but deliberately and willfully so; they're refugees from a more advanced society that pretty clearly views them as a cross between the Society for Creative Anachronism and Al Qaeda.

One of several reasons the prequels ruined the original tetralogy is that you could read the first four books and think that May was winking at us about this stuff. She's clearly familiar with the fannish fascination with retro, and at least one character -- Dougal, the demented seeker after Aslan -- is pretty clearly an affectionate but sharp sendup of a certain sort of fan. But the later books make it clear that, no, she kinda does think Celts Are Awesome. Oh, well.

Anyway. Cover love, cont'd: Michael Whelan would win an eye-popping *twelve* Best Artist Hugos -- including six in a row from 1980 through 1985.

The _Book of the New Sun_ would have gorgeous covers of their own: not Whelan, but the equally talented Don Maitz, who would go on to win two Best Artist Hugos (1990 and 1993). If Maitz is slightly less celebrated within the genre, that may be because he's done more work outside of it; he's also a very successful commercial artist, known for (among other things) creating the very successful "Captain Morgan" character for Seagram's 'Captain Morgan's Rum'.


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
27. James Davis Nicoll
Dean Ing's Systemic Shock

This has the odd aspect that it is a sequel to someone else's work; it's set a few years after General Sir John Hackett's The Third World War (Hackett's I Was a Stranger, his account of what happened after he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans as a consequence of Market Garden is worth looking for).

It's also odd in that Canada emerges as a significant power after WWIV, not only batting well out of our weight class during the war but provided the northern third of the USA with a much needed protectorate after the war. What makes this truly remarkable is that not only is the region we conquer provide vital guidance to one that has more people in it than Canada does but Canada, being to a first order uninhabitable save through applied technology, is a very urbanized culture whose population is even more vulnerable to one second urban renewal than the US; a surprising fraction of our population can and could be found in Toronto and the lesser cities of Montreal and Vancouver. Logically Canada should have lost even more of its population than the US does (and the US loses a third in the first round) and yet there we are, a Great Power. Just shows the power of poutine and the Canadiens.
Rich Horton
28. ecbatan
James -- I had already noted that The Princes of the Air comes out the next year, and was planning to cite it as a favorite ...

Doug -- Brin had also published "The Tides of Kithrup", a pretty strong story, as well as a lesser story, "Just a Hint", along with Sundiver, "Co-existence", and "The Loom of Thessaly". Hard for me to suggest that that's not enough to deserve a vote ahead of Gilliland. And yes, Swanwick's works were all short, but several very good.

DemetriosX -- yes, the Wilhelm story is very nice and she wrote a number of fine novels and shorter works about Constance and Charlie.

Carlos: I want to say I saw someone remarking on the occasional odd surname choices non-English speaking writers make for English-speaking characters, though I can't give a citation. I dare say it's much less common, though, due to the ubiquity of English.

--
Rich Horton
Howard Brazee
29. James Davis Nicoll
The funny thing is, nobody says the Wizenbeak books were dreadful. Apparently they were perfectly OK midlist fantasy.

I would go farther and call them charming.

The Rosinante books manage to show the Contra Darwinists (1) in a somewhat sympathetic light, despite them being the sort of people who would dash a child's head out against a wall for ideological reasons and whose all consuming paranoia about losing control of the North American Union manages to trigger the events they were most afraid of.

1: it's not really clear how it happened but Canada, Mexico, the US and several other nations end up in one big union after what seems to have been an energy crisis and a WWIII-lite. Right-wing protestant religious extremists of the YEC sort capture control of the federal government and then spend their time obsessing about whether elements of the Old Regime are conspiring against them. Once it becomes clear to people who could be seen as elements of the Old Regime that the choice is conspiracy or being dragged off on trumped up charges to an unjust execution, conspiracy starts looking really good even to the apolitical types.

Admittedly, in retrospect Texas Governor Panoblanco's decision to raze the Alamo to make room for affordable housing may have been a tad inflamatory to the white minorities in Texas but it is unreasonable for reasonable accommodation to include preserving some rundown bit of 19th century architecture just to keep a handful of ethnic extremists happy. And anyway, taking Panoblanco out with a cruise missile turned out to be even more inflammatory.
Howard Brazee
30. James Davis Nicoll
28: Let's get into an acrimonius argument over which of the two of us doesn't like Prince of the Air enough!

19: Paul O. Williams was best known for the six books of the Pelbar Cycle (_The Breaking of Northwall_, et seq.)

Back in the 1980s I didn't really care for these (despite which I seem to have bought most of them) but I reread them in the '00s and it was kind of pleasant to read a series where the general arc was of small, once hostile communities coming together to form something greater.
john mullen
31. johntheirishmongol
I remember the Julian May book fondly though I haven't read it in many years. I haven't reread it lately but I try to judge the books on the impression they made on me at the time, not in hindsight. I did read a few of them and like almost all, the sequels get weaker and weaker. I am fine with it as a winner.

If any book should have been should have been added, I still enjoy reading Dream Park. It combined arcologies, gaming and scifi seamlessly in a mystery on a mystery. One of my favorite stories.

On the movie front, I thought this was a good year for genre movies. Raiders may not really have been genre if it wasn't for Lucas/Speilberg connection but its a great movie. Time Bandits was a blast and Dragonslayer is one of the best early fantasy films. Who would have thought the young pretty boy apprentice wizard in Dragonslayer would turn out to be Larry in Number$, one of the biggest geek characters of all time.

If I was picking the Campbell, I would have gone for Brin. I wish he would write more. Big fan
Andrew Love
32. AndyLove
James:

I preferred John M. Ford's take on rpgs, both the Mandalay stories and the articleshe wrote for Asimov's (sadly, not reprinted as far as I know and unlikely to be reprinted).



I remember enjoying those essays very much! I think I still have the Asimov's issues they were published in - I should reread them. Why won't they be reprinted?
Rich Horton
33. ecbatan
For Best Artist, someone should make the obvious joke, I suppose, and wonder if there were any Hugo Ballots from Iraq with Rowena Morill's name at the top.
Howard Brazee
34. CarlosSkullsplitter
28: I don't want to harsh too much on Anderson, but the man lived a stone's throw from San Francisco. Presumably the 1980 phone book had dozens if not hundreds of Japanese and Spanish last names he could have picked through.
Howard Brazee
35. Kvon
"It’s a pity we don’t have an award for completed things that take more than one year to publish."

I'm wondering how something like this would work...how many series have a definite finish in any given year? I know there are some--the Hunger Games just ended this year. I think Jim Butcher's Codex series. And of course Steven Erikson's Malazan books. Although it would still work against the open-ended series. Maybe we should just leave this category to cage-matches on suvudu.com.
Howard Brazee
37. James Davis Nicoll
32: From Neil Gaiman's Monday, October 30, 2006 journal entry, "Important And pass it on...."

John M. Ford was pretty much the smartest writer I knew. Mostly. He did one thing that was less than smart, though: he knew he wasn't in the
best of health, but he still didn't leave a proper will, and so didn't,
in death, dispose of his literary estate in the way that he intended to
while he was alive, which has caused grief and concern to the people who
were closest to him.

My understanding, which could well be incorrect, is that because Ford died without properly assigning his literary rights as he wanted, they were passed to his family, who did not care for his choice of career and who were, the last I heard, not inclined to allow reprints of Ford works that were out of print.
Howard Brazee
38. James Davis Nicoll
There's a rather stinky reference to "a copy of The Machinery of Freedom which had nearly disintegrated but displayed the signature of the author"

Because of the discussion of The Avatar in a previous discussion, I tried to reread it. No go but I did get as far as "Judas priest, are you aware that dead-serious talk is going on in the council about resurrecting Keynsian fiscal policies." I can hear the tone of horror.
Christopher Key
39. Artanian
Of the four nominees that I've actually read the books, I'd have voted for 'Many Coloured Land' in 1982, and I'd probably still vote for it today, although I agree it hasn't held up as well as some. This is just pretty close to the least favorite Cherryh that I've read, and 'Little Big' and 'Project Pope' were perfectly ok books that didn't really stick with me. I've never read The Book of the New Sun though, everyone raving about it in these threads tells me I should, so if it ever shows up on Kindle I'll probably snag them to read.

However of books not nominated, I'd have voted for 'The Cool War', 'Oath of Fealty', and 'VALIS' all above all of the actual nominees, and 'Oath of Fealty' would have gotten my overall vote in 1982, and probably still would in retrospect.
Bob Blough
40. Bob
1981 was not a particulaly good year for novels - and while I loved Cherryh, I did not like this one at the time. Need to re-read it. My choice would have been Little Big which is brilliant or Claw of the Conciliator which is brilliant but unfinished. Riddley Walker came out 1980 in Britain and would have been in my top five either year. Agree with the consensus here - The Many Colored Land has lowered in my opinion since 1981 but I still like those first four books in the series. Three really good first novels that year - Starship and Haiku by Somtow Sutcharitkul (keeping his promise of his Campbell the year before - this novel is forgotten now - it has some first novel problems but it is good), Radix by A.A. Attanasio (if you like his writing, it's great!) and the one deserving of being on the ballot - At the Eye of the Ocean by Hilbert Schenck. It is SF and it is moving and quite powerful. Jo, read it if you haven't. I like Project Pope, but Simak seems a bit out of place these days in the fast moving SF we expect. I miss him a lot. And The Captive by Stallman is a good follow-up to his first novel last year - not as polished but still worthy of re-reading.

Novellas were a good lot. I liked all that were nominated this year. Contrary to some, I loved the Anderson - voted for it in second place on my Locus ballot , but "Blue Champagne" came first. "With Delicate Mad Hands" by Tiptree was not her best but was still good. I agree with you, Rich, about "In the Western Tradition" - it seems somehow forgotten, even with all the nominations. The Wilhelm that I think is her best that year was "The Winter Beach". In fact it's one of my favorites of Wilhelm's works - period. It was published in Redbook of all places! But after it was nominated for the Nebula - I somehow found a copy and read it. Really fine work.
Other possibilities:
"Through All Your Houses Wandering" by Ted Reynolds
"Polyphemous" by Michael Shea
"The Desert of Stolen Dreams" by Robert Silverberg


I don't really like "Unicorn Variations" or "Guardians" even though they are by two of my favorite genre authors. I think "The Quickening" is exquisite but I also really liked "The Thermals in August" another terrific story by Edward Bryant and "The Fire When it Comes" as well as "Going Under" by Jack Dann.
Other really good work would be:
"The Haunted Tower" and "Sunliner" both by C.J. Cherryh - (another 2 great stories from Sunfall)
"Mummer Kiss" and "Waldon Three "by Michael Swanwick
"Waiting for the Earthquake" and "A Thief in Nimoya" by Robert Silverberg
"Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson

For short story one of the best shorts written in this decade seemed to get by all the Best of... books and nominations this particular year and that would be "Executive Clemency" by Gardner Dozois and Jack C. Haldeman - absolutely brilliant story. My second choice was a very quiet but moving story by Greg Benford called "Exposures" Both of them should be read and re- read by SF readers. "The Pusher" I really like as well. "Absent Thee from Felicity Awhile" is very good. I don't see how "Venice Drowned" by Kim Stanley Robinson could have been forgotten
Others that could or perhaps should have been nominated:
"The Needle Men" and "Remembering Melody" by Georgee R.R. Martin - horror but well written horror.
"The Only Death in the City" by C.J. Cherryh which is Rich's pick.
"The Bone Flute" by Lisa Tuttle
"Disciples" by Gardner Dozois

All in all a very good year for short fiction and a mediocre one with the novels.
Cathy Mullican
41. nolly
If the pieces are clearly labeled as not-completed, a completed thing that takes more than a year to publish should still fall under the serialization rule, I do believe.
Howard Brazee
42. Doug M.
Anderson and libertarianism: I think there's a generational aspect here.

If you look at the writers who (1) were entirely self-supported by their writing -- no outside sources of income, inheritance, spouse with job, what have you; and who (2) were reasonably successful, at least keeping themselves in the middle class; and who (3) had most of their careers during the Golden Age of American Taxation, 1952-1981, when marginal tax rates for upper-middle-class income earners were 50% or more -- well, a lot of these guys grew more conservative and libertarian over time. The type specimen would be Heinlein, who went in 30 years from being an Upton Sinclair progressive to "There is nothing worse you can do to a man than force him to pay taxes for something he does not want!". Similarly, Anderson went from being a Truman Democrat -- peace through strength, unions are a key part of a good society, taxes? what about them? -- to "evil taxmen and bureaucrats are trying to stop humanity's expansion into spaaaace!"



Doug M.
Jo Walton
43. bluejo
James: From what I've heard, I believe that your understanding of the Ford thing is substantially correct. And really awful.

However, I hear that his unfinished last novel Aspects will be published -- it's as finished as most first volumes, it's just that regrettably we already know it won't be continued. It's going to be a really bittersweet read. I've already read most of it, and it's wonderful. But when it comes out and I have read the rest of it, that will be all.
Howard Brazee
44. Doug M.
Odds and ends:

-- _The Cool War_ is not a great book, but it's one of the few serious attempts to sketch a particular sort of near future ... one that's dominated by energy shortages and massive environmental problems, but in which civilization is still hanging on and even creeping forward. It's a surprisingly short list. I suspect this book of having had some minor influence on Bruce Sterling -- see, e.g., _Heavy Weather_.

-- _King David's Spaceship_ is probably Pournelle's least obnoxious book. It's a Boys Own Adventure with occasional flickers of actual fun. If I were feeling uncharitable, I'd point out that the subtext can be described as "clean, hard-working white people must struggle to avoid being wrongly classified as wogs", and that part of the way they manage this is by massacring a horde of such (dark-skinned, dirty, backward, religious fanatic) wogs themselves. But at least it's subtext instead of text, and I'll forgive much if you can keep me turning the pages. It's a fixup of "A Spaceship for the King", a novella he'd written a decade or so earlier, which in turn was basically Pournelle trying to channel the late H. Beam Piper. (It is a bit amazing how influential Piper was, and to some extent still is.)

-- It's hard to believe that _The Changing Land_ and _Madwand_ were both written by Zelazny within a year of each other. Both are light minor fantasies, and very derivative. But TCL is delightful, frothy but fun, while _Madwand_... well, it's better than _Changeling_, I'll give it that. TCL and its companion volume (_Dilvish, the Damned_) have been OOP for years but are well worth picking up if you like heroic fantasy with the occasional ironic twist.

Anyway, this begins the last phase of Zelazny's career, when he wrote stuff either for his own amusement (Eye of Cat, Lonesome October) or to pay the bills (second Amber series). Not that there's anything wrong with either of these! but in Zelazny's case, they resulted in fewer books that I'm interested in rereading.

-- _Too Long a Sacrifice_, by Mildred Downey Broxon. Broxon was a superfan in the 1970s and early 1980s. AFAICT this is her only published work. (It's not very good.) But anyway: some friends and I were recently discussing whether Broxon was the basis for the female bard character in Anderson's _The Avatar_. All of us were certain that she was, but none of us could place exactly where and how we'd heard it. Go figure.


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
45. Dan Blum
Note to self: remember to be the only one enthusiastic about The Princes of the Air.

Hey, I like The Princes of the Air. It's not Ford's best novel but that's still better than most novels.

And I agree that Ford's articles on RPGs were good (I have a few issues of Asimov's containing them - probably not all). Of course, he actually played the games (and wrote gaming material, a few years later), which helps a lot.
Howard Brazee
46. James Davis Nicoll
_Too Long a Sacrifice_, by Mildred Downey Broxon. Broxon was a superfan in the 1970s and early 1980s. AFAICT this is her only published work. (It's not very good.)

Ah, now you know better than that; she also co-wrote The Demon of Scattery with ... Poul Anderson. According to ISFDB there's a third novel, Eric Brighteyes #2: A Witch's Welcome published under the penname Sigfriour Skaldaspillir; that seems to be a sequel to Eric Brighteyes by H Rider Haggard.

Broxon also had about 20 short stories (She seems to have liked Vertex but there are Carr collections in there and also Clarion (!)) and at least four essays, including 1979's "The Irish". Broxon was one of the authors that led me to assert that under no circumstances should New Worlders of Irish descent be allowed to writefiction about Ireland, in particular about the Troubles .

1: I'm not that keen on New World Scots writing about Scotland, either, esp if they focus on stuff from before the Scottish Enlightenment.
Howard Brazee
47. (still) Steve Morrison
Although Dilvish the Damned is out of print, it's worth noting that all the stories are in the recent NESFA collections.
Howard Brazee
48. CarlosSkullsplitter
42: That's too charitable. These people all knew each other. My goodness, they all played dress-up together: "Sir Bela" and "Duke Cariadoc" and "Knight-Marshall Jerome Robert McKenna." Their movement is more like the spread of a cult (something SF is also known for) than a generational social reaction.

Consider: if young Poul had moved back to Denmark after the war and, I don't know, become a package tour magnate like Pastor Krogager, would we be subjected to the ludicrous use of medieval Iceland as any kind of political good example? A society much like the hill clans of Albania, but with fewer guns and more sex slavery? I don't think so.

I know Jo doesn't like the biographical approach, but we should realize that the authors and personalities of this era often formed a weird and insular network of their own, much of it still hidden from public view (e.g., the 'Breendoggle'), with consequences we still see today.
Pamela Adams
49. Pam Adams
Well, these posts have sent me to Amazon to order thr Robert Stallman books- at least one of them priced at a penny!

I too loved the May book- and at least a couple of the sequels- but don't recall the prequels at all. (and for that matter, didn't recall anything about the original except the idea of time travel and torcs)

I would have preferred the Varley or Emergence over the Anderson- I'm always sorry that Palmer hasn't written more. The Pusher is something that I didn't read at the time, but it's in the collected Varley, and very good, if twisty.
Howard Brazee
50. James Davis Nicoll
I'm always sorry that Palmer hasn't written more.

You know about the three-part serial that ran in Analog in 2008, right? Sequel to Emergence, I think.
Howard Brazee
51. Gardner Dozois
I loved THE CLAW OF THE CONCILIATOR, but I must admit that it doesn't stand alone as a novel even as well as THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER did, which at least brought one segment of Severian's life to a close. Most of the other novels here don't impress me all that much. I think I'd have gone for Vance's THE BOOK OF DREAMS, a solid ending to the "Demon Princes" series, with some very unsettling undertones.

"True Names" is the clear winner here in retrospect, and the only one of these novellas of any historical importance or that is still read today, although I too liked "In the Western Tradition." "The Winter Beach" was also good.

"Unicorn Variations" is cute and amusing, but I don't think I'd have given it a Hugo. Novelette seems weak this year. Might have gone for Jack Dann's "Going Under."

With the advantage of 20.-20. hindsight, the sh0rt story probably should have gone to "Johnny Mnemonic," the story which heralded the birth of cyberpunk, and was certainly doing something different from what anybody else was doing at the time. The much quieter "Exposures" was also good, as was "Venice Drowned," Kim Stanley Robinson's first major story.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK certainly WAS a genre movie, with a clear and obvious fantasy element, and probably deserved its win. TIME BANDITS was two-thirds of a brilliant movie that fell completely to pieces in the last third. I though EXCALIBUR was laughably bad, particularly the scene where the knight fucks a woman while wearing a complete suit of armor. Nicol Williamson's accent was also very strange, almost like something out of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL.

My opinion should probably be taken with a grain of salt, since I was Swanwick's mentor and we've remained close colleagues and collaborators ever since, but I think Swanwick deserved the Campbell even on the strength of the work he'd already done by that point, particularly the brilliant "Ginnungagap."
Howard Brazee
52. Doug M.
"a weird and insular network of their own, much of it still hidden from public view"

"ah, now you know better than that; she also co-wrote The Demon of Scattery with ... Poul Anderson."

You guys are just baiting me now.


Doug M.
Howard Brazee
53. dancingcrow
Downbelow and Sardonyx Net remain tightly linked in my head, so it is reassuringto see they came out in the same year, which was also, coincidentally one of the years I was working and could afford a fistful of books.

The only thing I remember about the Mays books was one of the protagonists. When I am particularly cheerful, I will still sing to myself "Peo Peo Mox Mox BURKE!!!!" The rest has faded into a happily remembered and happily forgotten haze.
Rich Horton
54. ecbatan
Doug -- I was going to mention King David's Spaceship but I find that the memories of A Spaceship for the King (which was a full length novel serialized in Analog, just rather shorter than King David's Spaceship) supersede it -- as with several other revised novels that have come up in this space recently (Eyes of Fire vs. A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire, Forsake the Sky vs. The Skies Discrowned, Treason vs. A Planet Named Treason, David Eddings' first trilogy vs. all his others (just kidding about that one!)). In general I'd suggest it's better to write new novels than rewrite your old ones ... unless you are going to more radically transform it (a la Against the Fall of Night vs. The City and the Stars).

One exception: Brunner. He rewrote many of his early '60s novels in the late '60s and early '70s, and generally the result was just fine.
Howard Brazee
55. James Davis Nicoll
"Johnny Mnemonic," the story which heralded the birth of cyberpunk,


Web of Angels heralded the birth of cyberpunk; it's just that sometimes people don't listen carefully enough.
Howard Brazee
56. James Davis Nicoll
Wow, that looks a lot snarkier in print than it sounded in my head. What I meant was "it is my belief that had readers in general noted the Ford novel, they would have seen in it elements that would be now seen as Cyberpunk. The novel was tragically not as well known as it should have been. Curse you, readers of the early 1980s whose tastes diverged ever so slightly from my own!"
Howard Brazee
57. Gardner Dozois
Although the cyberpunks would always contend that the movement had sprung full-grown from the head of William Gibson, there was other work being done here and there simultaneously that had at least some of the same elements and feel to it. "True Names," for instance, which is certainly at least "cyber" if not particularly "punk." Or the aforementioned "Ginnungagap," for that matter. That's why I've always believed that cyberpunk was an organic evolutionary movement--it was Cyberpunk Time, so several different artists were independantly trying to invent it, without consulting with each other at all. It was Gibson, though, who pretty much set the tone and aesthetic feel of it with high-profile stories like "Johnny Mnenomic" and "Burning Chrome," and subsequent work was at least in dialog with that to some extent, even if not directly influenced by it.
Howard Brazee
58. James Davis Nicoll
there was other work being done here and there simultaneously that had at least some of the same elements and feel to it.

I feel obligated to mention Bruce Bethke's 1983 story "Cyberpunk" at this juncture.
Howard Brazee
59. James Davis Nicoll
Huh. I can't seem to find an edition of the proto-cyberpunk novel The Shockwave Rider that is more recent than the 1990s. That can't be right, can it?
Howard Brazee
60. James Davis Nicoll
52: You guys are just baiting me now.

My doctor assures me maniacal laughter is a valid mitigating treatment for sleep apnea (1): I assume standing with my head thrown back and my fists balled on my hips is some sort of posture-related exercise.

1: although not as useful as playing the didgeridoo turned out to be; who knew some cats respond positively to the sound of that instrument?
Howard Brazee
61. Dan Blum
Huh. I can't seem to find an edition of the proto-cyberpunk novel The Shockwave Rider that is more recent than the 1990s. That can't be right, can it?

While the most recent edition is dated 1995, it appears to still be in print. Or at least it is available as a new book from Amazon, which is not necessarily the same thing.
William S. Higgins
62. higgins
In #15 James Nicoll mentions a publisher (of a novel) that was "an odd fit for Gilliland."

This might also be said of the publisher of his books of cartoons, Loompanics Unlimited. The Loompanics line offered how-to manuals for readers desiring to go on the lam, live off the grid, create false identities, or manufacture various illicit substances. A variety of tracts on politics, radical in various directions, also appeared in the Loompanics catalogue.

But then again, what would be a "normal" publisher for a collection of fanzine cartoons?

By Chicon IV Mr. Gilliland had won a Hugo for Best Fan Artist, and would go on to win three more. Today, vast numbers of his fine cartoons can be seen on his Web site. This appears to include the contents of his cartoon collections. Treat yourself.
Howard Brazee
63. Gardner Dozois
I ran many of his cartoons in ASIMOV'S in my day. He's a brilliant cartoonist. Many of them are not only funny, but slyly smart.
Howard Brazee
64. James Davis Nicoll
But then again, what would be a "normal" publisher for a collection of fanzine cartoons?

Advent? NESFA? A $300.00 hardcover edition from Subterranean, printed on Archangel-hide leather?
Howard Brazee
65. Alan Heuer
Here is how I voted in 1982:

Best Novel
1. Little, Big John Crowley
2. The Claw of the Conciliator Gene Wolfe
3. Downbelow Station C.J. Cherryh
4. The Many-Colored Land Julian May
5. Project Pope Clifford D. Simak

Best Novella
1. "Blue Champagne" John Varley
2. "Emergence" David R. Palmer
3. "True Names" Vernor Vinge
4. "The Saturn Game" Poul Anderson
5. "With Thimbles, with Forks and Hope" Kate Wilhelm
6. "In the Western Tradition" Phyllis Eisenstein

Best Novelette
1. "The Fire When It Comes" Parke Godwin
2. "The Quickening" Michael Bishop
3. "The Thermals of August" Edward Bryant
4. "Unicorn Variation" Roger Zelazny
5. "Guardians" George R.R. Martin

Best Short Story
1. "The Pusher" John Varley
2. "The Quiet" George Florance-Guthridge
3. "The Woman the Unicorn Loved" Gene Wolfe
4. "Absent Thee from Felicity Awhile..." Somtow Sucharitkul

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment