Still Good Award Winning SciFi in the World

hyperion

Cover art for Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion.

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It’s been almost three years since I wrote Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read. I authored the blog post mainly in response to the idea that these awards have really changed over the years. At the time, I was reading for review N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season in an attempt to understand how I remembered Hugo award winning novels being so outstanding in “the old days” vs. how I perceived the more modern tomes.

If you click the first link, you’ll see a list of the winning and nominated novels I’d consumed in my youth, their awards issued between 1953 and 1988. I read most of them.

I was posting something similar in a Facebook group earlier today and started wondering if, by now, I’d read any more recent Hugo recipients. I have:

  • 1990 Hyperon by Dan Simmons (winner).
  • 1993 Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (nominated).
  • 2013 Redshirts by John Scalzi (winner).
  • 2021 Network Effect by Martha Wells (nominated).

I read and reviewed Hyperion mainly because it was a Hugo winner AND Simmons was being trashed on an online fanzine (which shall not be named) by modern SciFi fans because of his politics. I hear that after all these years, it’s going to become a movie. Simmons is still with us and I wish him success.

I couldn’t stand Robinson’s Red Mars and only got a little way into the book before I gave up and returned it to the library. It was plodding, preachy, and boring.

Scalzi’s Redshirts was a free download from Tor.com (Yes, I know, it doesn’t come any more left biased). I read and reviewed his book The Collapsing Empire and was curious. Besides, I like free stuff. But the author is also a jerk so I’ve put off wasting expending my time on him and his “every other word I use is f*ck” writing. I’ll get around to it one of these days.

I really like the Murderbot Diaries and Wells truly does deserve every bit of hype praise she receives. I’ve read her first two installments All Systems Red and Artificial Condition. They and a few more (novella) books were also Tor freebies and in this case, I’m glad I have them. Network Effect is the fifth in the series, and since I’m only slowly working my way forward, I might not get to it for a bit.

I’m surprised at myself for at least owning some more recent Hugo nominated and winning SciFi given my opinion of the modern incarnation of the Hugos. Then again, I’ve been tremendously enjoying The Expanse book series, so I guess there’s still good storytelling out there in the world not too badly diluted by social and political skewing.

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