Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read


Cover image of NK Jemisin’s 2015 Hugo Award winning novel “The Fifth Season

You might be wondering about why I’ve posted the lengthy lists of tabular data below.

Last summer and so on, when I was writing blog posts critical of the Hugo Awards, WorldCon, and a seeming lack of objectivity in how the Hugos are awarded, I learned a lot.

I’m not going to post a bunch of links to past blog missives, but I did learn that the Hugos were never meant to be particularly objective. Various works, including novels, are voted on by people who have paid to be at that year’s convention, people who are, for all appearances, very hard-core Science Fiction and Fantasy fans, and not necessarily the sort of person who might casually pick up a SciFi novel to read here and there (like most of us).

I also noted one of the criticisms leveled against SF author Robert Silverberg in the comments section at File 770 after Silverberg criticized NK Jemisin’s most recent Hugo Award acceptance speech, was that it was said Silverberg hadn’t read a SF novel in the past decade, like that’s a bad thing.

So, in order to be fair in my assessment of more recent SF/F novels and short stories, last month I said I’d make an effort to read works published within the last ten years, which should be anything since 2008/09.

I put a hold on NK Jemisin’s Hugo Award winning novel The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth) (2015) and I’ve just been notified via email that it’s waiting for me at my local public library. I’m going to pick it up over my lunch hour.

To prepare myself for the experience, I decided to catalog, as best as my memory would allow, all of those Hugo Award winning and nominated novels I’ve read. In the list below, novels with an asterisk (*) by their title are winners and all the others were nominated.

In total (again, to the best my memory serves), I’ve read 51 novels which have won or been nominated between 1953 and 1988, or a span of 35 years. I didn’t read them year by year, but in clusters. I did notice that I haven’t read a winning novel more recently than 1988. That’s the year my youngest daughter was born, and perhaps the duties of family and work interrupted somehow. It’s not that I stopped reading books, including SF, but I guess I just wasn’t choosing them based on any award-winning criteria.

Take a look at the tables below, and if you’re a Science Fiction fan, tell me how many of these you’ve read. I remember how much fun they were to read back in the day, but creative works are a product of their time. I haven’t read a novel that’s won a Hugo in the past 30 years. I wonder what differences I will find, both in the nature of SF and culture when I apply myself to NK Jemisin’s book?

When I’m finished, I’ll write a review and let you know.

1953 Alfred Bester* The Demolished Man Galaxy Science Fiction
1960 Robert A. Heinlein* Starship Troopers The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Gordon R. Dickson Dorsai! (also known as The Genetic General) Astounding Science-Fiction
1961 Walter M. Miller, Jr.* A Canticle for Leibowitz J. B. Lippincott & Co.
1962 Robert A. Heinlein* Stranger in a Strange Land Putnam Publishing Group
1963 Philip K. Dick* The Man in the High Castle Putnam Publishing Group
1966 Frank Herbert* Dune Chilton Company
Robert A. Heinlein The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress If
Edward E. Smith Skylark DuQuesne If
1967 Robert A. Heinlein* The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress If
1967 Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon Harcourt Trade Publishers
1968 Roger Zelazny* Lord of Light Doubleday
1969 John Brunner* Stand on Zanzibar Doubleday
1970 Ursula K. Le Guin* The Left Hand of Darkness Ace Books
1970 Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five Delacorte Press
1971 Larry Niven* Ringworld Ballantine Books
Poul Anderson Tau Zero Doubleday
1972 Philip José Farmer* To Your Scattered Bodies Go Putnam Publishing Group
Ursula K. Le Guin The Lathe of Heaven Amazing Stories
Anne McCaffrey Dragonquest Ballantine Books
Roger Zelazny Jack of Shadows The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
1974 Arthur C. Clarke* Rendezvous with Rama Galaxy Science Fiction
Robert A. Heinlein Time Enough for Love Putnam Publishing Group
1975 Ursula K. Le Guin* The Dispossessed Simon & Schuster
Larry Niven The Mote in God’s Eye Harper & Row
1976 Joe Haldeman* The Forever War St. Martin’s Press
1977 Joe Haldeman Mindbridge St. Martin’s Press
Frank Herbert Children of Dune Analog Science Fact & Fiction
Frederik Pohl Man Plus The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
1978 Frederik Pohl* Gateway Galaxy Science Fiction
Larry Niven Lucifer’s Hammer Playboy Press
Jerry Pournelle
Gordon R. Dickson Time Storm St. Martin’s Press
1979 Vonda N. McIntyre* Dreamsnake Houghton Mifflin
1980 Arthur C. Clarke* The Fountains of Paradise Victor Gollancz Ltd
Frederik Pohl Jem St. Martin’s Press
1981 Robert Silverberg Lord Valentine’s Castle The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Larry Niven The Ringworld Engineers Galileo Magazine of Science & Fiction
Frederik Pohl Beyond the Blue Event Horizon Del Rey Books
1982 C. J. Cherryh* Downbelow Station DAW Books
1983 Isaac Asimov* Foundation’s Edge Doubleday
C. J. Cherryh The Pride of Chanur DAW Books
Arthur C. Clarke 2010: Odyssey Two Del Rey Books
Robert A. Heinlein Friday Holt, Rinehart and Winston
1984 David Brin* Startide Rising Bantam Books
John Varley Millennium Berkley Books
Isaac Asimov The Robots of Dawn Doubleday
1985 Larry Niven The Integral Trees Del Rey Books
1986 Orson Scott Card* Ender’s Game Tor Books
1987 Orson Scott Card* Speaker for the Dead Tor Books
1988 David Brin* The Uplift War Bantam Spectra

2 thoughts on “Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read

  1. I have read many of those. I love the Hugo Awards. I’m not really one for awards picked by “committees or selected individuals” no matter how “close” they supposedly are to the field. I dislike the ALA awards for that reason. Librarians may have an ear on what people are reading, but they are not the ones reading it (for the most part, and I know many librarians lol).

    Liked by 1 person

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