Hugos There

And the 2012 nominees are...

Hugos There

Postby admin » Sun May 14, 2006 10:09 am

I try to read all the Hugo winners, because it is a good way to keep up with the authors people are talking about. Not all Hugo winners are worth reading, but enough of them are to make it worth while.

Up to 1994, all the Hugo winning short fiction was reprinted in collections. Those ended. Many, but not all, Hugo winning short stories can also be found in the various Best SF of the Year volumes, which began with Bleiler & Dikty in 1949. At least one "best" volume has appeared every year since then. And Asimov and Greenberg published 25 "best of the year" books that pushed the starting date back to 1939. Before that, there is Damon Knight's Science Fiction of the 1930s, but frankly, except for H. G. Wells, the good stuff begins in 1939, the year Asimov, Heinlein, Bester, Van Vogt, Leiber, and Sturgeon all published their first science fiction stories. A very good year.

The Hugo Awards were first given in 1955 and awards for short fiction have been given every year since then except 1957. There have also been retro-Hugos for 1954, 1953, 1951, and 1946.

I've read all the Hugo winning fiction up to 1994, and have recently starting closing the gap between 1995 and today.

For a complete list of Hugo winners, go to www.hugo.org/hy.html
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Postby Brightonian » Mon May 15, 2006 5:38 pm

This is pretty shaming. I seem to have seen most of the movies - sorry, "dramatic presentations" - back to 1998, but the most recent novel I've read is The Dispossessed (1975). I did make a start on Neuromancer but coulnd't get on with it. I guess I have some catching up to do ...
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novels

Postby admin » Tue May 16, 2006 8:52 am

The Hugo Winning novels are of uneven quality. Just looking at the novels since 1995, The Diamond Age, A Deepness in the Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Paladin of Souls, and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell are great.

Mirror Dance, Forever Peace, To Say Nothing of the Dog, American Gods, and Hominids are pretty good.

Blue Mars is very good, but reading the Mars trilogy is not really fun.
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Postby temp » Wed May 17, 2006 10:35 am

..I tried really really hard to get through the Mars books...alas, I was forced to put down the first one (Red) due to boredom...
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Postby jdalton » Wed May 17, 2006 3:30 pm

Huh. Looks like I've read about half of the "best" books of the last 30 years. Possible reactions to this knowledge:

1.) I have great taste in books. Keep it up, me!

2.) Oh crap- another ten years and I will have run out of the best books to read. I will then need to start reading the worst.
Jonathon Dalton
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luck

Postby admin » Wed May 17, 2006 4:39 pm

You're in luck. The total quantity of great art in existance is equal to the number of years needed to enjoy it.
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Postby k1w1taxi » Sun May 21, 2006 4:36 am

I am up to American Gods in my quest to read every Hugo and Nebula winning Novel. It has been a long process, and not always enjoyable. Some winners have been really boring (Mars Trilogy, Darwins Radio, Dune) while others have been unfathomable (Einstein Intersection, A Case of Concsience) while others have been just plain bad (Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers)
Real Stand outs have included
Canticle for Liebowitz
Way Station
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Stand on Zanzibar
Enders Game
Speaker for the Dead
To Say Nothing of the Dog
A Deepness in the Sky
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Postby spacecat » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:13 pm

I have to agree with the 'uneven quality' remark. But part of that, for me, is that I like some styles much better than others.

Some of the winners seem to be more SERIOUS than others. I can like both the serious and the entertaining books, but when picking out the best of the best that serious tone gives those books a little something extra.

But maybe I really love the entertaining books more and just don't want to admit it! :?
Anyway...I was also trying to read all the Hugo and Nebula winners until a few years ago when I found the SFSite and started getting lots more recommendations. So I have read about three fourths of the winners and to me one of the real standouts both for enjoyment and having something to say to us is The Left Hand of Darkness. That one I reread every few years.
(=^._.^=)

I'm trading SF&F books at
Paperbackswap.com

Tell'em spacecat sent you!
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Postby pablo » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:05 am

Have read 36/60. Read most of the winners in the 70's and 80's but very little since. Getting very picky in my old age...
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late youth

Postby admin » Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:18 am

Older readers/younger readers. Some older readers just want the same thing over and over -- another nurse romance, another Agatha Christie. Others get picky, picky, picky.

I remember a quote from an older Edger Rice Burroughs who said that he had almost given up reading fiction, and read non-fiction instead, mostly about WWII.

I also find I have less interested in reading everything -- even by an author I generally like -- but only want to read the good stuff. I recently cut back my Poul Anderson collection to just Brain Wave, The High Crusade, The Star Fox, Three Hearts and Three Lions, The Broken Sword, The Enemy Stars, and three mystery novels and a collection of shorter works. Not that his other books weren't good. They were good. But they weren't that good.
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Postby pablo » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:29 am

With the advent of the internet it is so much easier to identify reading material.

For years I would wander the stacks of my local library mining for gold. Some of these forays would pay off and I would leave with a few, well-chosen nuggets. On other days I could browse for an hour and come up empty.

While we all have our favorite authors, the internet allows us to identify promising material and be much more selective. We are now able to use 'best of' lists and reader comments as a means to search out new authors and reading material. Moreover, local librarys have linked their catalogues to provide better service to their reading public. My habits have changed so much that I now order books on line and use the library only for pick ups and drop offs.

It's encouraging that there is so much 'good stuff' out there and one no longer has to judge a book by its cover while perusing the stacks!
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Postby k1w1taxi » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:45 am

One interesting thing about recent Hugo awards is the influence of Fantasy. Not just the general melding of fantasy and sf, but the fact that three recent winners are pure fantasy, and therefore one suspects shouldn't even be eligible for the Hugos.

The specific titles are
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
Paladin of Souls
Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell - which in fact also won the World Fantasy award last year.
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Hugo

Postby admin » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:31 am

The Hugo awards have always been for either sf or fantasy, though the best novel is usually won by an sf novel. Robert Bloch's fantasy "That Hell Bound Train" won the short story award in 1959.
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Postby Keis » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:13 am

Am I the only one who really enjoys Kim Stanley Robinson?

He makes interesting characters and he's very political, making comments referring to the world today. But he is not just trying to entertain. After I had finished Antartica, I went to the library to find books on the history and geology of Antartica - I just had to! That is the great thing about him - he's very demanding.

I think he's one of the best active writers around.

:) Rasmus
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Postby temp » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:44 pm

Am I the only one who really enjoys Kim Stanley Robinson?


yes.
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