Monday, October 8, 2007

The Hugo Award Winning Novels

My journey through these books began early this year when I came across a hardbound copy of the first Hugo award winning novel, Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man, in a used book store. It occurred to me as I bought it that I had only read a handful of the winners (fifteen of the roughly fifty) and many of the award winners were on my list of books I had been intending to read. And so started a very lengthy journey to collect each of them in hard cover and read them all.

The Hugo awards are voted on yearly by the members of Worldcon, a traveling science fiction convention that is hosted by other science fiction conventions (the next to be held at Denvention on August 6 - 10, 2008). Along with the Nebula award which is handed out of the Science Fiction Writer's Association the Hugo is considered to be the most prestigious award for science fiction. While the award is not always the best book of the year or even the most memorable it does a fine job of conveying what the fans though was the best at that moment in time.

While I'm going to be concentrating on the novels there are also currently categories for novella, novelette, short story, long form dramatic presentation (mainly for movies), short form dramatic presentation (usually for television shows), and more. I'll be reviewing each of these novels in turn so the following list is a convenient guide to what I'm going to do as well as a handy chart for anyone else who wants to attempt this.

So without further ado, the list:

1953 - The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
1955 - They'd Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley
1956 - Double Star by Robert Heinlein
1958 - The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
1959 - A Case of Conscience by James Blish
1960 - Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
1963 - The Man in High Castle by Phillip K. Dick
1964 - Way Station by Clifford Simak
1965 - The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
1966 - ...And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny (tie)
1966 - Dune by Frank Herber (tie)
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
1968 - Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
1969 - Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
1970 - The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursala K. Le Guin
1971 - Ringworld by Larry Niven
1972 - To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Phillip Jose Farmer
1973 - The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
1975 - The Dispossessed by Ursala K. Le Guin
1976 - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1977 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
1978 - Gateway by Frederik Pohl
1979 - Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre
1980 - The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
1981 - The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge
1982 - Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh
1983 - Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
1984 - Startide Rising by David Brin
1985 - Neuromancer by William Gibson
1986 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1987 - Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
1988 - The Uplift War by David Brin
1989 - Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh
1990 - Hyperion by Dan Simmons
1991 - The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
1992 - Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1993 - Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (tie)
1993 - A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernon Vinge
1994 - Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1995 - Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
1996 - The Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson
1997 - Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1998 - Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
1999 - To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
2000 - A Deepness in the Sky by Vernon Vinge
2001 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
2002 - American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2003 - Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
2004 - Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
2005 - Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke
2006 - Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
2007 - Rainbow's End by Vernon Vinge

Some of you may notice that there are some missing years at the beginning of the list. Worldcon skipped giving out an award in 1954 and did not hand out an award for any fiction in 1957. An effort was made a few years ago to fill in these gaps and awards were given for 1946, 1951, and 1954 but since they were awarded with fifty years of hindsight these "retro-Hugos" are not usually considered to be canonical winners. For novels they are:

1946 - The Mule by Isaac Asimov
1951 -
Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
1954 - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury