The Hugo awards are presented at an evening ceremony during the World Science Fiction Convention. Nominations are as result of ballots cast by the convention members who vote by mail. They are counted using a weighted method whereby ballot entries, listed by preference, are assigned a value and then tallied. Those who fail to meet the cutoff or have the least number are dropped and the counting is redone until such time as a clear winner appears.
Below you'll find an overview of the winners, with cover/title links to the SF Site reviews (where applicable) along with synopses of those titles yet to be reviewed (cover images are linked to larger images).
|Hugo Award for Best Novel|
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"All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected -- healthy, young, and naked as newborns -- on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth's history -- and prehistory -- must start again."
reviewed by Trent Walters
Louis Wu on his 200th birthday is bored, having done all he wants to do in Known Space. A Puppeteer, a two-headed tripod with clawed hooves, ensnares Wu's curiosity on a job that will take him out of the known world. The Puppeteer recruits a Kzin, a five-hundred pound feline alien named Speaker-to-Animals, by insulting it. Teela Brown, another human but bred genetically lucky, also signs on after learning that her love, Wu, is going and that humanity's hope for survival hinges on a new starship that the Puppeteers will give Wu and Brown upon completing their mission to a place the Puppeteer is cryptic about.
"Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male or female at the peak of their sexual cycle. Genly Ai is soon drawn into the complex politics of the planet."
reviewed by Charlene Brusso
From the misty depths of the late 60s, Brunner gives us the ultimate dysfunctional society, a world of decadence spilling into decay, of high tech advances and the loss of common sense. There's a good bit of cyberpunkish foreshadowing here. The drugs, the mean streets, the ragged suburbs, and Mr and Mrs Everywhere on your TV set, who can be programmed to look just like you; through them you can attend the most exclusive parties, visit the most scenic places on Earth, meet the rich and famous, all at the flick of a remote control.
reviewed by Rich Horton
On a colony planet, men have established a society based on technological means of imitating the Hindu religion. It is possible to reincarnate the "mind" or "soul" to a new body, even an animal. But some of the earliest colonists have additional powers, which give them the status of gods. And a faction among them is using that means in political ways: punishing their enemies with reincarnation as animals, or with the "true death."
"Luna is an open penal colony and the regime is a harsh one. Not surprisingly, revolution against the hated authority is planned. But the key figures in the revolt are an unlikely crew: Manuel Garcia O'Kelly, an engaging jack of all trades, the beautiful Wyoming Knott -- and Mike, a lonely computer who likes to make up jokes."
reviewed by Rich Horton
This is a good read, with plenty of Zelaznyesque brio. It won a Hugo in a tie with Frank Herbert's Dune. The story concerns Conrad Nomikos, still living on Earth centuries after a nuclear war and after the bulk of the population has gone to the stars to work for the advanced, civilized Vegans. In the past, he'd been involved in the "Returnist" movement, urging people to return to Earth, and resisting the Vegans' moves to buy up the best Earth real estate.
reviewed by Alma A. Hromic
"I was fourteen years old when Frank Herbert shone a strange and penetrating light into my world, and it was in that light that I first came to know many things. About the many kinds of love -- the selfish versus the unselfish, the romantic versus the passionate versus the pragmatic versus the loyal, the love of people versus the love of power, and how none of these can exists by itself but instead twine and tangle until the heart of any average sentient human being aches from the weight of love laid upon it."
reviewed by Marc Goldstein
It kicks off when an artificial planet, quickly nicknamed the Wanderer, materializes from hyperspace within earth's orbit. The Wanderer's gravitational field captures the moon and shatters it into something like one of Saturn's rings. On earth, the Wanderer's gravity well triggers massive earthquakes, tsunamis, and tidal phenomena. The multi-threaded plot follows the exploits of a large ensemble cast as they struggle to survive the global disaster.
reviewed by Rich Horton
Enoch Wallace is a reclusive man living in the Southwest corner of Wisconsin. A U.S. agent has tracked down stories about Enoch that prove he is 124 years old, the last survivor of the Civil War, though in appearance he is perhaps 30. Enoch has a secret: he was chosen by aliens to operate a way station of their interstellar teleportation network. Earth is not yet ready for membership in the Galactic co-fraternity of races, so Enoch must keep his station secret.
Suppose Japan and Germany won WWII and partitioned the United States. Slavery is legal again, surviving Jews live under assumed names and the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages in San Francisco. This novel won the 1962 Hugo award for Best Novel.
"The Federation ship Champion has gone to Mars, discovering a powerful and ancient Martian civilisation. It returns, bringing the sole survivor from the previous mission, a young man who knows nothing about humanity and life on Earth. He is the child of the dead crew-members, nursed and educated by Martians. Valentine Michael Smith is rescued from government clutches by Gillian Boardman and delivered to Jubal Harshaw, a doctor and lawyer, who may be the only man who may be able to ensure Mike's liberty."
reviewed by Stephen M. Davis
Here is a novel that demands to be read. The author speaks through his characters on a number of universal issues -- euthanasia, abortion, the differences between men and animals, and the conflict between the Book of Nature and the Book of God. The long-awaited sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, has just been published in hardcover.
In a future where citizenship must be earned through military service, Juan Rico signs up with the infantry on a lark. Despite the grueling hardships of boot camp he finds himself determined to make it. But it's not until war comes with mankind's greatest enemy -- the bugs -- that he truly learns what it means to be a soldier.
reviewed by Martin Lewis
A contact team of four scientists have been sent to decide whether to open up Lithia to Earth. This decision is complicated by the fact that Lithia is inhabited by intelligent, civilized aliens with the appearance of 12-foot high reptilian kangaroos. Michelis believes the planet should be opened up so Earth can benefit from contact with the peaceful, unified Lithians; Carver believes the planet's high quantity of lithium makes it ideal for turning into a bomb factory; Agronski is undecided, flitting between both views; Ruiz-Sanchez, a priest as well as a biologist, believes Lithia should be placed in permanent quarantine because it is a creation of the devil.
"Part of and likely the most important of his Change War series, doctors, entertainers, and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time. The novel is a tense, claustrophobic SF mystery, and possibly the ultimate locked-room whodunit."
"One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was -- as usual -- in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars. Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake -- failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line -- for if he wasn't assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever."
"The government ordered it built: a thinking machine that could foresee catastrophe and eliminate human error. Reasearch trainee Joe Carter sees another possibility -- create a machine that will make ordinary people telepathic -- and immortal."
reviewed by Todd Richmond
It takes place in a future where a small percentage of the population has developed telepathic powers. Called peepers, they have revolutionized business, government, and, most importantly, law enforcement. In fact, no act of premeditated murder has been committed in more than 70 years. So Lincoln Polwell is somewhat astonished to be summoned to a popular socialite's home to investigate both a murder and a disappearance.
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