Saturday, January 05, 2008

SF | How Many Hugo Award Winners Have I Read?

As you guys may remember, I'm currently absorbed by Cyteen, the Hugo award winning novel by C.J. Cherryh (I'm starting to sound like her publicist, aren't I?)

What's a "Hugo"? Well, I googled it, and the Hugo Award, also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award, is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). The distinguishing characteristics of the Hugo Award are that it is sponsored by WSFS, administered by the committee of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) held that year, and determined by nominations from and a popular vote of the membership of WSFS. In general, a Hugo Award given in a particular year is for work that appeared in the previous calendar year. [source]

Now, don't you feel informed? J. K Rowling was one of the past Hugo winners -- though that was something of a fluke and a lot of hardcore SF fans were not too happy about that.

On a curious whim, I decided to google the past Hugo Award winners and just see how many of the past Hugo winners for Best Novel I have actually read.

Worlds Without End has a complete list of past award winners for the major Science Fiction & Fantasy awards, like the Nebula, Locus SF, Locus F, Campbell and Clarke. So, it was fun to see how I fare.

For the Hugo Best Novel alone, I have read the following:

  • 1989: CYTEEN by C. J. Cherryh

  • 1988: THE UPLIFT WAR by David Brin
  • 1987: SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD by Orson Scott Card
  • 1986: ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
  • 1985: NEUROMANCER by William Gibson
  • 1982: DOWNBELOW STATION by C. J. Cherryh
  • 1981: THE SNOW QUEEN by Joan D. Vinge
  • 1968: LORD OF LIGHT by Roger Zelazny
  • 1962: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A. Heinlein
  • 1960: STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A. Heinlein

Eleven. Is that good or bad?

You know, somebody can make a Reading Challenge out of this.


Carl V. Anderson said...

Were you reading my mind or what? (See the end of today's post review of The Big Time).

I've only read 4 Hugo winning novels: American Gods, Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and The Big Time. And 3 of those have been in the last month. I suspect before The Sci Fi Experience is over that I'll have read a few more.

I like the idea. It would make a good challenge. You should host it and tie it in with The Sci Fi Experience! At the very least if you don't want to do it this year, think about it for next year.

Ana S. said...

No, someone ought NOT to make a challenge out of this, because then I'd be unable to resist it :P

I remember that a while ago Chris said that it'd be cool to have a Hugo Project or a Nebula Project, just like the Pulitzer and Booker Projects.

Anyway, I've read Hugo winners: American Gods, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Harry Potter and Lord of Light. Not surprisingly, most of those are fantasy titles. I really need to read more science fiction.

Sara said...

That would be an excellent challenge, since many of the common challenge participnats don't read a lot of sci-fi.

The winners that I've read are: Johnathon Strange, Blue Mars, Green Mars, Ender's Game, Neuromancer, The Left Hand of Darkness, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and The Dispossessed.

I read one Harry Potter book as well, and it may or may not have been the one on the list. I don't really remember.

darkorpheus said...

Carl I recall you mentioning how you're going to go read the award winners. I think it might have planted an idea for this post.

But just a Hugo Award Challenge? A Sci-Fi Awards Challenge? Have to think about this. Like - how many books? How long? Just sci-fi? Or Sci-fi and fantasy?

Nymeth Hee. These challenges are torture, aren't they? But it's a great excuse to read more sci-fi though.

Odd though - I have read more Hugo than Nebula award winners. I wonder why. And I was looking at the Locus SF & F award winners -- and I'm curious about many of the titles there too.

One day I will read Jonathan Strange. But let me get through War and Peace and Cyteen first. Too many chunksters (okay, 2) this month.

But I loved Lord of Light (Call him "Sam"). It was funny, and a little poignant at the end, with Kali. (No spoilers for the others who have not read it. Shhh.)

Sara Everyone seems to have read Jonathan Strange but me. :(

I'm hoping to finally read A Canticle for Leibowitz this year. It's "scheduled" for my 100 Books To Read.

I actually have Red Mars on my bookshelves. Unread. That's like the story of my life.

chrisa511 said...

I've read 8 Hugo winners which is many more than I would've thought! And thanks for reminding me of Lord of Light! I have that one sitting on my bookshelf and completely forgot about it. I've been wanting to read that one for awhile.

I have to agree with Nymeth, lol...someone most certainly ought NOT to make a challenge out of this :p There are entirely too many challenges right now and I couldn't resist either.

And I totally don't blame you for passing on Jonathan Strange right now. While it is a great book, it's entirely too chunky to share the nightstand with War and Peace.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I like the idea of using the list I compiled on my site (the link is in the review for The Big Time) and making the challenge a year long. In fact, if we added the Stoker awards, It could be a challenge that fit in with all the other challenges. Allow people to overlap books and this would cover The Sci Fi Experience, Once Upon a Time 2, R.I.P. 3, and those are just my challenges. Other challenges going on this year would also no doubt overlap with this one. Sounds fun!

chrisa511 said...

Bad Carl, Bad Carl!

darkorpheus said...

Sounds like Carl has some ideas rolling. ;p

But, yes. Bad, bad, Carl. *wag finger*

Carl V. Anderson said...

Hey, I'm selling those ideas to the highest bidder, free of charge! ;) I've got enough on my plate already.