Jan 4, 2010

2010 - The Hugo Awards

One of the things that I am hoping to accomplish in 2010 is something that I really should have done by now already. As a fan of science-fiction, I really should already have read every novel that has won a Hugo award. I haven't and that's something I plan on rectifying this year.

For those of you who aren't quite nerdy enough, and you know who you are, the Hugo Awards are given to outstanding works of science fiction or fantasy and they are named after Hugo Gernsback, the man behind the sci-fi magazine Amazing Stories.  You gotta love a guy named Hugo.  They give out awards for Best Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Non-Fiction Book, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  But I'm only gonna focus on the Best Novel winners.

So I'm gonna give it a go. I've read a bunch of them, but I have my work cut out for me as I don't really read quite as much as I used to. So wish me luck. Here are all the winners since 1953 with those that I've read in boldface:

1953 - The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
1954 - no award
1955 - They'd Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley
1956 - Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
1957 - no award
1958 - The Big Time by Fritz Lieber
1959 - A Case of Conscience by James Blish
1960 - Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
1963 - The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
1964 - Here Gather the Stars by Clifford D. Simak
1965 - The Wanderer by Fritz Lieber
1966 - (tie) Dune by Frank Herbert
1966 - (tie) ...And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
1968 - Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
1969 - Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
1970 - The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
1971 - Ringworld by Larry Niven
1972 - To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer
1973 - The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
1975 - The Dispossessed by Ursula 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 D. 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 - (tie) A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
1993 - (tie) Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1994 - Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1995 - Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
1996 - The Diamond Age by Neal 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 Vernor 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 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2006 - Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
2007 - Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
2008 - The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
2009 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Phew!  57 seven winners since 1953 including ties and I've read 28 of them.  I was hoping it was gonna be closer to 35 or 40. 

That leaves 29 books that I am tasking myself to read in 2010.  I know that I'm glad that I read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell when it first came out because I don't think I could go through that again.  Don't get me wrong...it was great.  But it was about 5,000 pages long or so.  OK, maybe not that long, but it was pretty massive.

I don't know in what order I am gonna tackle this list.  Maybe by author since there are a lot of repeat winners up there.  I dunno.   Time to break out the old library card.

Again...wish me luck!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. A return to reading for 2010!


badgerdaddy said...

Wow, great WV - 'donew'.

Can I add one to your list? Not a Hugo winner (and I know one Hugo who's a bit of a tosser), but a World Fantasy Award winner - Replay, by Ken Grimwood. Recently read it and it's an absolute peach. Actually thought of you as I finished it, and meant to email you but then Christmas happened.

Unknown said...

This is a much better idea than my resolution to read the treatises behind each and every economics Nobel Prize.


Water Logged Canine said...

That's so weird...I've read every other book on your list except the one's in boldface.

Slyde said...

i never realized just how much cooler i am than you, until this moment..

sybil law said...

Um... good luck.

icowdave said...

29 books this year? You're more ambitious that I am. I've got 12 on my list for a reading challenge I'm taking part in. It'll move me closer to the Hugo finish but not all the way. This site can help you with your quest. You can read synopses for all the books on your list and you can track the books you've read. Good luck and happy reading. You've got some great books in front of you.

Verdant Earl said...

badger - Are you freakin' kidding me? Try me in 2011.

Limpy - that's good bathroom reading there.

Doggie - I'm not surprised. You are quite the contrarian (sp?) these days.

Slyde - Wow! Are we really gonna have THIS discussion? Didn't you just tell me yesterday how you were planning on attending the Nerd by Nerdeast convention later this month? That's, um, cool.

Sybil - gulp!

Dave - Heya! And I just checked out your site. Very cool. Thanks for stopping by.

Water Logged Canine said...

Ha! Just because I think that Pitch Black is garbage doesn't make me a contrarian. Or does it?

Verdant Earl said...

Doggie - There is also the curious case of Stardust. Another chink in the armor, Ted.

savannah said...

i started JS&MN, twice and just couldn't get into i. i think i'll give it another go, everyone who's read says i'm missing out. i have read all the heinlein works you've listed. most recent read, the yiddish policeman's union. good luck with your goal for this year! xoxoxo

Verdant Earl said...

Savannah - You know, the other day on someone else's blog they mentioned Heinlein and I thought I had read a bunch of his stuff. So I looked at his bibliography and I was shocked to see that I had only read two of his novels. Stranger in a STrange Land and Job. But I had read a bunch of his short stories. And I'd like to say that JS&MN was a Harry Potter for the adult set, but I really enjoyed the Harry Potter books. And they weren't nearly as difficult a read as JS&MN was. Phew!

Mrs. Hall said...

You get down with badself Earl!

That Hank said...

When Heinlein was on, he was really on. Starship Troopers is one of my favorites. This looks like fun - good luck!

Verdant Earl said...

Holly - Consider me down.

Hank - It was actually an article on Starship Troopers that got me thinking about this. I'll email it to you.

Mik said...

Cool list, I've not read much Sci-fi/fantasy books and have not read any of the list. Have to rectify that methinks.

I am currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.

RW said...

Dune remains an ultimate for me, but do you think Harry Potter really fits? I can't decide.

Verdant Earl said...

Mik - Well that's a pretty good start. Not a bad film adaption of it either.

RW - Part of me thinks no, but there are definitely some other winners on the list that seem just as un-Hugo-ish, if that makes sense. I always associate the Hugo with sci-fi, not fantasy. And sci-fi definitely rules the list, so maybe that was just a down year for it in 2001, oddly. I dunno.

Bruce Johnson said...

I have always been more of a fan of the short story when it comes to Science Fiction and was captivated by Larry Niven's "Tales of Known Space" while I was in college. Ringworld is the only book on the list I have actaully read all the way through.

I sort of question the Harry Potter selection. I assume that was an attempt by the Hugo committee to remain relevant to the tween generation.

Barlinnie said...

For the love of christ.... when will you find time to drink?

Water Logged Canine said...

Stardust? Pitch Black? That faint sound you hear is the dissipation of my respect for your taste in movies. Too soon?

justsomethoughts... said...

we would be most grateful for a simple letter grade next to all the ones youve completed, so we can easily navigate our way through the recommended and the not-so-recommended reading

thank you
from all of us

Verdant Earl said...

Bruce - JK Rowling became a much better writer over the course of the series and as the kids grew up, so did the storylines.

Jimmy - Oh, I'll manage.

Doggie - I'd be pissed at ya for dissing my movies, but I just saw that you use that pic of Han and Lando as your link. I can't quit you!

Duderino - I'm gonna do a little something in the sidebar, but I haven't figured it out yet.

Avitable said...

Starship Troopers is an excellent book - much better than the movie.

I've only read four of the Hugo Winners.