ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hugo recommendations: 1939 retro awards

Best Novel
  1. Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
  2. Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
  3. The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)
  4. The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
  5. No Award
Left off ballot:  Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Argosy, February 1938)

Best Novella
  1. Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)
  2. "Who Goes There?" by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)
  3. No Award
Left off ballot:  "A Matter of Form" by H. L. Gold, "Sleepers of Mars" John Beynon, "The Time Trap" Henry Kuttner.

Best Novelette
  1. "Rule 18" by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
  2. "Pigeons From Hell" by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, May 1938)
  3. "Dead Knowledge" by Don A. Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Stories, January 1938)
  4. No Award
Left off ballot: "Hollywood on the Moon" by Henry Kuttner,  "Werewoman" C. L. Moore

Best Short Story
  1. "Hollerbochen's Dilemma" by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)
  2. "How We Went to Mars" by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
  3. "Helen O'Loy" by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
  4. "The Faithful" by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
  5. "Hyperpilosity" by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
Best Editor
  1. John W. Campbell
  2. No Award
Left off ballot: Farnsworth Wright, Mort Weisinger, Raymond A. Palmer,  Walter H. Gillings

Just look at those stories compared to the stories nominated in 2014. If that's not evidence of a catastrophic decline since 1939, I don't know what is.

OTHER HUGO AWARD RECOMMENDATIONS

Best Novel
Best Novelette
Best Short Story
Best Editor 

Labels:

39 Comments:

Anonymous NPR fan July 18, 2014 10:34 AM  

MOAR DINOPORN!!!

Blogger James Dixon July 18, 2014 10:38 AM  

> If that's not evidence of a catastrophic decline since 1939, I don't know what is.

Some of the ones you left off the ballot (Burroughs and Moore) are probably better than most of the ones on the ballot this year.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 July 18, 2014 10:42 AM  

It seems like the generations that have followed our grandfathers and great-grandfathers can't seem to suck of their imagination tits at all.

Secondly, if C.S. Lewis were alive today, I doubt "Out of the Silent Planet" would even be a nomination. Too Christian, despite its subtle hints.

Anonymous Rex Little July 18, 2014 10:45 AM  

Can you imagine the pinkshirts' reaction if Anthem (or anything by Ayn Rand) were to win an award? The explosion of heads would be enough to level a small city.

Blogger James Dixon July 18, 2014 10:56 AM  

> Can you imagine the pinkshirts' reaction if Anthem (or anything by Ayn Rand) were to win an award

I've read Anthem. It's OK, and probably the best on that list. If Vox only rates Helen O'loy third on the best short story list, I may have to check out the others.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia July 18, 2014 11:16 AM  

Clearly this is a case of Good Ol' Days Syndrome.

DinoPorn for the win.

Anonymous bob k. mando July 18, 2014 11:30 AM  

i would say that it was Good Ol Boys Syndrome but Ayn ... oh, i see your point.

Anonymous NateM July 18, 2014 11:36 AM  

If Vox were a dinosaur, my love. He'd eviscerate the rabbits with aplomb...

Anonymous Daniel July 18, 2014 11:43 AM  

Who Goes There? recommended second is a great example of a classic that was influenced by a previous classic. In other words: derivative is not an epithet, but an aspiration. Because science fiction is so...weird, modeling stories off of other stories and finding the right tweaks can result in brilliant stories in their own right.

There is way too much "write what you know" and far too little "read, and write what you have read" these days. Now writing awards are being given to functional illiterates. As pointed out yesterday, Swirsky isn't even that familiar with dinosaurs as a subject matter.

Carson of Venus is pretty bad. Burroughs' tail-end stuff in his career completely lost their zest and intelligence. It is too bad that Hugo voters not familiar with him will be introduced to his worst works.

Blogger Tim July 18, 2014 11:52 AM  

Just look at those top three in the novel category! What wouldn't I give to have three like that as the top three in today's Hugos.

Blogger James Dixon July 18, 2014 12:00 PM  

> Carson of Venus is pretty bad.

And yet probably still better than at least two of the novels nominated this year.

Anonymous Wyrd July 18, 2014 12:04 PM  

"MOAR DINOPORN!!!"

With Nazis.

If You Were A Dinosaur, Mein Fuhrer

Anonymous Daniel July 18, 2014 12:17 PM  

And yet probably still better than at least two of the novels nominated this year.

That brings up a good point. I wonder if the entire Amtor series should have qualified in one of the 1940s Retro Hugos as a "published novel" like Wheel of Time did now. Amtor as a whole is better than Carson alone. But his John Carter books were much better. I think people still like the Venus books for the same reason that close knock-offs sell. Burroughs gave the readers what they liked. The Amtor series is just...I don't know, a way more tame version of John Carter (the good ones, not the really late moneymakers, which were worse than Amtor).

Anonymous Stickwick July 18, 2014 12:21 PM  

Even if you disregard the stories, themselves, the SF titles alone back then were a million times better. How can you improve on Out of the Silent Planet and Galactic Patrol?

Carson of Venus is pretty bad.

At least you can be sure there's elements of SF in there. Like Venus. And someone going there.

Blogger Worlds Edge July 18, 2014 12:24 PM  

The Dinosaur Nazi bit has actually been done.

Samurai Cat Goes To Hell

Must admit it did give me a few chuckles. I don't remember much in the way of porn, though, TBH.

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic July 18, 2014 12:35 PM  

The best dinosaur story is James Patrick Kelly's "Think Like A Dinosaur."

Yes, the decline has been terrible.

Anonymous Stilicho July 18, 2014 12:40 PM  

A fanzine! Why that's almost like self-publishing or e-publishing! Quelle Horreur! And who is that Bradbury chap? He clearly needs to check his cis-privilege!

Anonymous Mike M. July 18, 2014 12:45 PM  

The Best Novel nominees are a damning indictment of Pink SF. And I note Vox makes no recommendations, doubtless because this is like picking the Oscars in 1939.

Anonymous patrick kelly July 18, 2014 1:20 PM  

Samurai Cat is $18 used on Amazon...in paperback....it must be amazing.....

Anonymous hygate July 18, 2014 1:23 PM  

I, like Stickwick, also feel that the titles of the 1939 nominees are superior to today's. But then we are talking about old white guys like C.S. Lewis, DeCamp, Simak, and Howard, who never attended so much as one single "studies" class whatsoever.

Blogger ray July 18, 2014 1:36 PM  

I've been in modern writing workshops and university programs. They're full of pretentious wannabees in black clothes, who rely on PC thuggery to cover obvious lacks of talent and drive.


Yes they are told 'write what you know' the problem is, they don't know anything... except the fem/PC dogma they're fed since first grade. Most of them have led v sheltered lives, haven't been anywhere or done anything really dangerous or adventurous. They have, in short, no 'stories' to write, so they fake it with political nepotism.


The spirit over America in 1940 or 1950, and the spirit today, are v different critters indeed. And it shows, everywhere.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 18, 2014 1:48 PM  

I'd mentioned this one awhile back. A dynasty in terminal decline.

Anonymous Don July 18, 2014 1:50 PM  

"Who Goes There" has got to be number one.

Anonymous Stickwick July 18, 2014 2:07 PM  

ray: I've been in modern writing workshops and university programs. They're full of pretentious wannabees in black clothes, who rely on PC thuggery to cover obvious lacks of talent and drive.

I took a creative writing course in college, and also once attended a showcase of student "talent" from the short-film class. The one consistent theme was bleakness, darkness, and despair. Few students had talent or wanted to bother working at it, so instead they'd go for the extreme and try to be "edgy" and write the dreariest, most depressing, bleak crap imaginable. Creating beauty is difficult. So is creating humor, whimsy, or drama. It's so much easier to use fiction to make a paper-thin political statement, work out your depressing/boring personal issues, or just horrify your audience.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 18, 2014 2:15 PM  

Cataline's ballot found in a Metachronopolis taxi

Best Novel
Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis: In this case I am going with which one has best stood the test of time.

Best Novella
"Who Goes There?" by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell]: Not an easy choice at all. However this is a seminal work that has inspired writers and film makers for decades.


Best Novelette
“Pigeons From Hell" by Robert E. Howard: Hideous title but a good story, one that has supplied tropes for many years to follow.

Best Short Story
Hyperpilosity" by L. Sprague de Camp: The choice is clear and obvious. Shut up if you have no taste.

Best Editor
John W. Campbell: Hate him or hate him it doesn't matter, we would never have gotten anywhere without him.

Anonymous Harsh July 18, 2014 2:21 PM  

The best dinosaur story is James Patrick Kelly's "Think Like A Dinosaur."

Yes, the decline has been terrible.


That's a great story. It could never been nominated for a Hugo now because it contains plausible science and a real moral dilemma.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 18, 2014 3:10 PM  

@Harsh

Special treat for you my man.



Think Like a Dinosaur part I

Think Like a Dinosaur part II

It stars Michael O'Hare from Babylon 5.

Anonymous Harsh July 18, 2014 3:35 PM  

Think Like a Dinosaur part I

Think Like a Dinosaur part II

It stars Michael O'Hare from Babylon 5.


Cool stuff, thanks. Too bad about O'Hare though.

Anonymous Jeigh Di July 18, 2014 4:19 PM  

" we are talking about old white guys like C.S. Lewis, DeCamp, Simak, and Howard..."

But don't forget they were young white guys then.

Anonymous Anonymous July 18, 2014 4:35 PM  

No, they were young white guys during the _first_ World War.

Anonymous Tom July 18, 2014 6:28 PM  

@ Daniel: What story was Who Goes There? a derivative of?

Anonymous Beardsley McTurbanhead July 18, 2014 7:06 PM  

Anthem is pretty shit as well.

Anonymous Wyrd July 18, 2014 7:18 PM  

Are you kidding? Anthem spawned two songs by Rush: Anthem and 2112.

Blogger Bogey July 18, 2014 7:35 PM  

@Cataline Sergius
Those would be my personal choices as well.

@Daniel: What story was Who Goes There? a derivative of?
Yes, explain sir.

Anonymous Hound's Tooth Check July 18, 2014 7:44 PM  

"The best dinosaur story is James Patrick Kelly's "Think Like A Dinosaur.""

A Statue for Father, Isaac Asimov.

Spoiler: They use a time machine to retrieve dinosaur eggs and discover that the dinosaurs are damned tasty.

Could never be published today due to its exploitation of endangered species.

Blogger MidKnight July 18, 2014 10:42 PM  

@Patrick

I may be suffering a bit from nostalgia syndrome, but I still have three of the Samurai Cat books I picked up in HS, that have stayed with me through multiple military moves. The first one includes spoofs of the lord of the rings, Conan and Lovecraft. Stumbling into references like "Isaac Azathoth", and realizing that the horrifically spelled wizards name in the Conan spoof sounds like "spaghetti sauce" if said quickly, are still funny.

Anonymous Wyrd July 18, 2014 10:49 PM  

Any character akin to Elrod of Melvinbone from Cerebus the Aardvark in Samurai Cat?

Blogger James Dixon July 19, 2014 7:45 PM  

> but I still have three of the Samurai Cat books

Hmmm. https://archive.org/details/tucows_295364_Samurai_Cat

It seems to be in .prc format, and I don't seem to have anything that can handle it.

Anonymous Jubal the Ugly One July 21, 2014 8:56 PM  

> Moar dinoporn

Interesting. The only Lester del Rey I have ever read was Tunnel Through Time (which I had to google the title of), back in the 4th grade or so. I only read it because of the meatosaurus on the cover.
I recall a brief scene near the end of the book that lived up to my expectations, but I felt a bit cheated.

(Despite my chosen name to post with, ERB isn't one of my all-time favorite authors either.)

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts