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1945 Retro Hugos

(3 posts)
  • Started 2 weeks ago by CarlGlover
  • Latest reply from Marian

  1. CarlGlover

    An interesting lineup, with which I mostly agree.

    But one puzzles me: Rocklynne's "Intruders from the Stars."

    Seeing it, I thought it must be a great lost classic somehow overlooked until now.

    So, I read it.

    A classic? By no means. It's a wildly melodramatic interplanetary tale typical of the uber-patriotism consistently seen in pulp fiction of the WWII era, with cringe-worthy, politically incorrect characterizations of the enemy, juvenile plotting and a magical resolution more typical of 1930 than 1944.

    So, why?

    For one thing, it is written in a sort of pseudo-unusual, quasi-experimental style that Rocklynne sometimes fell prey to, but which often degraded rather than enhanced his work. Was its nomination simply an attempt to recognize the author's efforts to be different from those of the stereotypical sf pulpster?

    But, perhaps more important in terms of the reason why, the principal character is a "strong woman" whose ambitions outstrip those of every man in sight, including the nominal hero of the tale. She has raised herself by her own bootstraps from a vilified and spat-upon slave girl to planetary conqueror.

    One can easily see how this scenario might have considerable appeal to a certain segment of today's Hugo voters. She is initially ambitious to the point of murderous psychosis, with an all-consuming drive for power that would perhaps have said voters cheering "You go, girl!" as they mark their ballots. Yes, I can see that.

    However, there is a caveat, and a really big one, or so it seems to me. The happy ending to the story entirely depends upon a vast sea-change in her personality and view of her place in the universe. She is suddenly transformed from a power-mad lunatic into a rational and humane woman whose ambitions are entirely directed toward enhancing the welfare of the human race. She has been cured of her insane and unwomanly views and is ready to settle into a benign and maternal leadership role in the new order.

    And how does this miraculous transformation occur? According to the modern pc view of such things, by the most unlikely of agents: the Christian religion and the love of a good man.

    I am assuming that the majority of those who voted it onto the ballot did not read it to the end, if they read it at all.

    Anyone have a different take?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  2. Marian

    Here is the link to the winners.

    Posted 4 days ago #
  3. Marian

    Shadow Over Mars by Leigh Brackett won Best Novel. The only novel of hers I've read is post nuclear war The Long Tomorrow. It was quite good though its been decades since I read it. I know she was called The Queen of Space Opera and Shadow Over Mars certainly sounds like that! Has anyone read it? What did you think? Did it deserve the award?

    Posted 4 days ago #

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