Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

15 views
Random Chatter > what is the first hugo/nebula book you read BECAUSE it was a hugo/nebula book

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 06, 2018 06:44AM) (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
In line with Art's poll-icy of us starting new threads to increase our good experiences in the group . . .

What is the first hugo/nebula winner/nominee that you remember reading just because it was a hugo or nebula winner or nominee?

Mine was, I think, Lord of Light I cannot tell you how long after it came out, but I think it said it won the Hugo right on the cover of the paperback.

I think I bought it in an airport or something. It was a spur of the moment purchase.

I realize that we may all know more about books than just that it won . . . so let me reword--what was the first book that the award was the clincher that made you choose it over another book?


message 2: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Dec 05, 2018 09:43PM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I must say, one hell of a question there Kate, thanks for asking it! Now that I think about it, I believe that my first novel I bought basing SOLELY on the fact that it had anything to do with Hugo and Nebula awards was The Windup Girl, I was in a rush flying out of Japan on my way to Sweden and having only 10 minutes to get myself something decent to read, I was rummaging frantically through new releases until I found that gem.

Though by that time I had been reading nominees and winners for years I never actually purchased a book without knowing who the author was or without it being recommended to me by a friend.


message 3: by Antti (new)

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 801 comments I had to go through Bryan's spreadsheet and try to remember, why I had read this or that Hugo or Nebula winner. That was actually pretty fun trip down memory road!

I think the first book I read solely because it had won a Hugo was Redshirts by John Scalzi. I had read couple of books from Old Man's War series and thought they were okay, but I wasn't really planning to read other Scalzi books. His writing is too cute and intentionally pulpy for my tastes: it is too optimized to appeal to a certain sort of SF fan, and I'm not that fan.

But when Redshirts won a Hugo, I decided to give it a go. Alas, I found the book quite trite, boring and predictable. Should've trusted my instincts.


message 4: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 06, 2018 06:53AM) (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
Antti, I really liked Redshirts, but then I'm a Star Trek fan. And we have already established that I have low tastes in literature. (Though, at least, I have stopped getting the free books that have a picture of a man with a bare chest on them.)

I agree that the Old Man's War series is just okay.

And Art, I still have not read The Windup Girl.

Boy, it sounds as if you have an exciting life, flying Sweden to Japan. I think I was flying Denver to Indianapolis or the reverse.


message 5: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Great question Kate! I'm having a difficult time remembering which one it was. I'm doing what Antti did.

I've, of course, have bought lots of books this year just because they are on the Hugo/Nebula List. But my first one...hmmm

I think the first book I bought and read solely because it was a Hugo/Nebula book was Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I remember seeing it a couple of times but it just didn't appeal to me, but when I saw it was on the list...I took the dive. And, I wasn't disappointed. It was a very good book!


message 6: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3712 comments Mod
ok, I've read quite a few books knowing that they won Hugo/Nebula (e.g. most of Robert A. Heinlein) but I got them because I like the author, not because they won. The first book I got specifically because it was nominated was in 2006, when I bought Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on ebay. It was the time when I abandoned SFF for non-fiction + work + MMO and I hoped to hook myself back, but I wanted to read in original English, not a (usually Russian) translation, but it was almost impossible to get such books here.

Then there was a hiatus, when I read about 2-3 SFF books per year until around 2010, when I got a Kindle and then I really started hunting for H/N books in 2012 or so, when before the vacations I looked up H/N nominees for that year and got like 4-6 of them


message 7: by Victor (new)

Victor I'm with Antti - I had to go back to Bryan's spreadsheet as a refresher. I seem to remember picking out something by Robert J. Sawyer, because he was a perennial nominee around the late 90's/early 00's. [Plus he happened to be a fellow Canadian, eh.] Maybe The Terminal Experiment, or Frameshift - they were both very good, though to be perfectly honest I haven't read anything by him for quite awhile.


message 8: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 07, 2018 12:45PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
Bryan, I'm ashamed to say I was scared by Vonnegut book as a teen and never went back. I can't even remember why now. And I should read them, he's from here! I grew up with a couple of Vonneguts living down the street from me. One of them taught me how to ride a bike. But Kurt was in a previous generation and had left for New York long before, so I didn't ever meet him or anything.

Oleksandr, I did try Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell but I didn't get all the way through it because it was a hardbound book due back at the library. I have pretty much forgotten it, though I note I was not inspired to get it again. Did you like it? And what is an MMO? Sorry, if I should know

Victor, I've read maybe 5 of Sawyer's and I like him, but I haven't gone out of my way to keep up with him. I like Canadian Tanya Huff, though they are mostly female protagonists. Do you like fantasy? She has written both epic and urban kinds. They are maybe not great literature or anything, but I know I'm going to have a really good time. My favorites were the Smoke Trilogy books (not a female protagonist, gay male character from a previous series that you don't have to read first) and some military SF she wrote, the Confederation books. I think her latest three might be a spin off of those, but I have not read them. Yet.

And Kelley Armstrong is Canadian. I'm reading one of hers right now.


message 9: by Victor (new)

Victor Kate - I think I got my fill of urban fantasy a few years ago watching True Blood. I haven't actually read any Charlaine Harris, but I'm not sure urban fantasy is something I want to get into.

Epic Fantasy, on the other hand.... Anything from Brandon Sanderson to Guy Gavriel Kay (Go Canada!) to Tolkien, plus others I haven't gotten around to yet, like Patrick Rothfuss and Philip Pullman. One book at a time I guess :-)


message 10: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3712 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "Oleksandr, I did try Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ... Did you like it? And what is an MMO? "

I liked the book very much, it has some kind of Oscar Wilde feel for me.

MMO or more precisely MMO RPG is massive multiplayer online role playing game. Maybe the most famous example is World of Warcraft. I played EVE Online, which stands apart other MMOs - it is SF (usually they are fantasy), not an arcade (so you don't need to outclick others), has only one constant universe (most MMOs are shards with 1,000-10,000 players, EVE was up to 100'000 at some peak moments) and is mainly player driven (so you mostly have player vs player cooperation/competition, not boss killing)


message 11: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2080 comments Mod
I have no idea on this one, as I read many by reputation or status or author, not so much by the fact that they'd won a Hugo. I'd wager a guess at sometime in the last 20 years, but lots of possibilities: maybe Neuromancer, or Hyperion, or Ender's Game, or The Forever War or The Left Hand of Darkness.


message 12: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 09, 2018 09:22PM) (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
I read Neuromancer based solely on the fact that it was an award winner, but it wasn't the first one I read for that reason. I will try it again when we select it and see if I like it better than I did the first time. My recollection is that, though I got all the way through it, I thought it was depressing. All I remember about it (I think) is that some guy was living on a rooftop in Japan? Am I even thinking of the right book?

Oleksandr, thanks for telling me about that game. I might even be able to play that one. I'm not good at the ones where you have to have fast reflexes. I'm good with word games and puzzle-type games.

Victor . . . Re Charlaine Harris and Urban Fantasy in general, watching the True Blood show is (sorry) not a good example. I could never manage to finish the TV series even though it's free on Amazon Prime. I got bogged down in the 6th season. And as to the True Blood books, IMO, that series of books is not even close to being her best, though rankings here on GR disagree. I think she wrote more of them than she otherwise would have (or should have!) because they were so popular. But the books are MUCH superior to the TV show. Her writing is solid, but the series kind of wavers in its direction. I think her Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden mystery series were both better. Ditto Harper Connelly, also an Urban Fantasy. Midnight, Texas is a TV show now, but I prefer the books, though I am watching the show, too.

Part of the problem is that there is Urban Fantasy and then there is Paranormal Romance, and the line between them is muddy. A dead giveaway? Don't buy anything with a barechested handsome man on the cover. :-) But some are kind of cross-overs and I think True Blood is one. A lot of it is Sookie and her boyfriends. So Victor, that might be why you didn't like it so much.

It's strange, but I am not as much an Epic Fantasy fan. I just find it more interesting when the elves show up in Cincinnati.


message 13: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3712 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "Neuromancer ... All I remember about it (I think) is that some guy was living on a rooftop in Japan? Am I even thinking of the right book?."

I guess you're right. There are also comparison of grey sky with snowy TV screen and a women enforcer with implanted mirror shades... and there is AI on orbit, that's what I recall :)


message 14: by Victor (new)

Victor Kate - you're exactly right: I've just always equated urban fantasy with paranormal romance, and avoided the whole scene rather than try to figure out the good from the barechested, haha. I like reading a variety of genres and styles, so thanks for this; I'll refer back to this thread in future, as a reminder of what I should check out vs what I should avoid.

Also I think you're right about Neuromancer. I read it recently, and it's definitely pretty stark. I liked it, and I'll probably be looking to read the sequels at some point in the future.


message 15: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2080 comments Mod
It's been a long time since I read Neuromancer and I don't remember much. Also read Virtual Light and don't remember that one either, and I usually remember what I read. A future series read would be good.


message 16: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
To: All posting above
From: Kateblue
Re: Neuromancer

I find it interesting that we have all read this book and yet remember little to nothing about it. My conclusion? None of us liked it much . . .


message 17: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3712 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I find it interesting that we have all read this book and yet remember little to nothing about it. My conclusion? None of us liked it much . . ."

I guess I had high hopes for it, so was disappointed - w/o high expectations I think it'd be ok


message 18: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
Yes, I have movies like that, too. I remember how good You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally were supposed to be. Meh, meh, and meh


message 19: by Antti (new)

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 801 comments I liked Neuromancer quite a lot and read it two times, but still have a hard time remembering the details of the story. It had a complicated plot that bounced from place to place like it was trying to outdo a Bond movie.


message 20: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2080 comments Mod
Those are the only types I re-read. I see no point to re-reading a book I read and remember well.


message 21: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Seems like we all suffer from collective amnesia when it comes to Neuromancer. I remember liking it, especially all the tech side of it, however I remember absolutely nothing of the plot and I used to have pretty decent memory when it comes to books.

At the time of my reading it I never knew about the sequels so I am pretty curious how that series pans out.


message 22: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 689 comments Victor wrote: "Kate - you're exactly right: I've just always equated urban fantasy with paranormal romance, and avoided the whole scene rather than try to figure out the good from the barechested, haha...."

Those really are two different things (though they can be mixed into the same book). Paranormal romance has become so popular that it seems to be taking over the shelf space in stores. Anyway, one of the classic authors of urban fantasy, Charles de Lint, writes stories that are in a safe space, 99% free of icky romance.


message 23: by Victor (new)

Victor Ed wrote: "one of the classic authors of urban fantasy, Charles de Lint, writes stories that are in a safe space, 99% free of icky romance ..."

Thanks, I keep forgetting about Charles de Lint. I read Angel of Darkness a couple years ago, and wasn't super-impressed. I looked at the GR reviews today, though, and it seems Angel of Darkness wasn't a high point in his career - maybe I should put him back on my authors-to-read list. Forests of the Heart was a Nebula nominee - anyone have any other recommendations?


message 24: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (last edited Dec 29, 2018 10:53AM) (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3712 comments Mod
Another UF I liked is Borderline (Nebula nominee) and Rivers of London. While they are some love line, it is on the background. Both books are 1st volumes of the series


message 25: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3778 comments Mod
Z, I just got Borderline from the library, but I probably have no hope of reading it before it is due back. Thanks for the rec. And. Ed, Victor, I will definitely read de Lint, I have never read any.

Some with minimal romance written by women (because women ofter put in way to much romance) are the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong and anything by Ilona
Andrews. though there is some in hers.

Wen Spencer's 4 book Ukiak Oregan has practically no romance.
Though real fast reads, I thought the books were great because I found them were unpredictable. Of course, I read them years ago, so they might be predictable to me now

Gotta go do end of year social stuff now! Have fun until tomorrow, boys


message 26: by Victor (new)

Victor Thanks all. I've been sort of feeling stuck with Neil Gaiman in this genre, so it's good to know there are some other quality offerings to be had. Now I just need to find a few more hours every day to read them, lol.


back to top