Friday, July 25, 2014

My 1939 Retro Hugo Votes

As you may or may not know, one thing I enjoy doing every year is reading all of the Hugo nominated works, and of course, voting on my favorites.  The fun thing about the Hugo award is that anyone can join the World Science Fiction Society and be a part of choosing the winners.  (If you're not familiar with the Hugo Awards you can read last year's post about my votes where I explained what they are in a little more detail.)

This year is special because, in addition to awarding the 2014 works, they are also doing Retro Hugos for the year 1939.  I'm still working on seeing how many of the categories I can read for 2014, but I've officially decided my votes for 1939.  For the ones that are on Goodreads, I've included links to my reviews.  (A few of my reviews aren't written yet, but I still linked to where they will be.)

Edit: Now that the awards have been announced, I have highlighted the actual winners in red.  Of course, my votes still remain in their original order.

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Best Novel

This was a fun category.  Sword in the Stone was one of my favorite movies as a child, and despite the novel being totally different, I loved it just as much.

1 The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)
2 Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Argosy, February 1938)
3 Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
4 Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
5 The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)

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Best Novella

When I was fifteen years old, I bought Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrails.  When I see the above picture of The Thing, I really wanted to read the story where it came from.  For some reason, I never got around to it, until  I read these nominees.  Did my excitement to read it tip the odds in that story's favor?  Possibly.  But it's a really scary story, and a fun concept.

1 Who Goes There? by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)
2 A Matter of Form by H. L. Gold (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
3 Sleepers of Mars by John Beynon [John Wyndham] (Tales of Wonder, March 1938)
4 The Time Trap by Henry Kuttner (Marvel Science Stories, November 1938)
5 Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)

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Best Novelette

Dead Knowledge is a really fun story.  It's a mystery.  Why has this civilization died?  But when you find out the answer, it turns into a (mild) horry story as well.  Good stuff.

1 Dead Knowledge by Don A. Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Stories, January 1938)
2 Rule 18 by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
3 Hollywood on the Moon by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1938)
4 Pigeons From Hell by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, May 1938)
5 Werewoman C. L. Moore (Leaves #2, Winter 1938)

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Best Short Story

I love dogs.  Naturally, I was going to love a story about what  man's best friend does after mankind has ceased to exist.  Don't worry, our best friends remain faithful to us even in our absence.

1 The Faithful by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
2 Helen O'Loy by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
3 Hyperpilosity by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
4 How We Went to Mars by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
5 Hollerbochen's Dilemma by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)

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Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

This category normally refers to TV shows, at least in the modern age.  In 1939, it is dominated by radio plays.  I think I enjoyed War of the Worlds and A Christmas Carol equally, but the famous panic that War of the World caused when they thought it was real tipped the scale for me.  I had to vote for a panic inducing play.

I feel a little bit bad because I didn't actually watch R.U.R.  It turns out they didn't actually preserve a copy, so you can't find it anywhere.  It is famous for inventing the word "robot" but Isaac Asimov said, "Capek's play is, in my own opinion, a terribly bad one, but it is immortal for that one word. It contributed the word 'robot' not only to English but, through English, to all the languages in which science fiction is now written."  I figure I can trust the Grand Master of science fiction and vote it last on his word.

1 The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch &; Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
2 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Campbell Playhouse, CBS)
3 Dracula Bram Stoker Written by Orson Welles and John Houseman, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
4 Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
5 R. U. R. by Karel ńĆapek Produced by Jan Bussell ( BBC)

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Best Professional Artist

I wasn't familiar with any of these artists, so I voted based solely on the voter's packet.  I don't know what is going on in the picture below, I just know it's awesome and deserves my vote.

1 Alex Schomburg
2 Frank R. Paul
3 Virgil Finlay
4 H. W. Wesso
5 Margaret Brundage


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