The Hugo Awards Discussion Group discussion

31 views
Past Hugo Winners > Hugo snubs?

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

What do you think are the best science fiction novels that DIDN'T win the Hugo? Were they even nominated?

For me, there are two big ones. The first is 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick, which is still my favorite sci-fi novel. It wasn't even nominated.

The other is Ursula K. Le Guin's 'The Lathe of Heaven,' which was nominated in 1972, but lost to one of the worst Hugo winning novels ever, 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' by Philip Jose Farmer. It was a novel of great ideas but written absolutely terribly. Can't feel too bad for Le Guin, though, being that she has two best novel Hugos.


message 2: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 67 comments Anathem by Neal Stephenson (2009).

Gaiman won purely because he was either GOH or MC at Worldcon (I forget which) in Montreal. The Graveyard Book, while a delightful YA selection, was in no way comprable to Anathem.

And, anything else in 2003. Hominids by Sawyer won because he was GOH in Toronto, his hometown/Country. Any one of these would have been a better selection than a time traveling romance in my opinon. But since I didn't get to vote that year, oh well!

•Kiln People by David Brin
•Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
•The Scar by China Miéville
•The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmm. I was flabbergastedly in love with Hominids; I would rank it my #3 sci-fi novel of all time. I haven't read "Anathem" but I generally have a problem with writers who spend more time on unnecessary details than on the plot; I'm about 50 pgs into 'The Diamond Age' and feel like what I've read so far could easily been half that if he cut the fluff. I find editing to be a very good thing.


message 4: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 67 comments I've tried liking Sawyer, I really have. I dutifully read Hominids (2003), I reluctantly read Humans (2004), and I attempted to finish Rollback (2008). I just totally bounce off his writing.

However, on a panel, R.Sawyer is witty, articulate, and makes great conversation. He makes a panel worth listening to.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I think it helps that Sawyer's political ideals align with mine almost exactly. He is definitely preaching to the choir when it comes to me reading him. I hardly think he's a master at prose (Ursula K. Le Guin is the finest sci-fi prose writer ever) but his stories strike the perfect chord for me.


message 6: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 67 comments I can't say that Sawyers political views bother me in his writing - it's his plots that bother me. To use the the Hominids Trilogy as an example, for myself, it read like an interspecies romance and I couldn't get beyond that. I don't deal well with romance in my scifi, and in my very humble opinon, most sf writers who attempt a romance subplot fail miserably.

Rollback could have been interesting, but fell flat. Replay by Ken Grimwood did a much better job. Rather than retype my comments on Rollback, here's the link to my blog review: http://scifiwithpaprika.blogspot.com/...

But like I said, if you have a chance to catch Sawyer on a panel at a SciFi convention, it's great listening to him.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn't think the romance was important to Hominids, it was just a subplot. I think it was much more about the interactions of the cultures, and the comparing/contrasting of them as a whole, more than it was about Ponter and Mary as individuals. That being said, I haven't read the rest of the trilogy yet, and the only other Sawyer I've read is Flashforward


message 8: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) | 6 comments Matt wrote: "What do you think are the best science fiction novels that DIDN'T win the Hugo? Were they even nominated?

For me, there are two big ones. The first is 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by P..."


Ursula LeGuin came into SF when SF was making the transition from Asimov, Campbell etc and women writers were coming into their own. I preferred the old school of SF and hated her books. To this day, I can't make myself read her. It's a pity, some folks say she's quite good.


message 9: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) | 6 comments Kristin wrote: "Anathem by Neal Stephenson (2009).

Gaiman won purely because he was either GOH or MC at Worldcon (I forget which) in Montreal. The Graveyard Book, while a delightful YA selection, was in no w..."


I was stunned to learn Gaiman's book won the Hugo. I liked it but never thought of it as Hugo material. I thought it was awesome that it won the Newbery though, and his acceptance tweet was absolutely awesome.


message 10: by Gail (new)

Gail | 16 comments Matt wrote: "The other is Ursula K. Le Guin's 'The Lathe of Heaven,' which was nominated in 1972, but lost to one of the worst Hugo winning novels ever, 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' by Philip Jose Farmer."

Huh. I liked To Your Scattered Bodies Go, and find LeGuin darn near unreadable. The Farmer series got worse with each successive volume, but the first one was very entertaining and had a great sense of wonder.

From what I've heard Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman was relatively weak, whereas City on Fire by Walter Jon Williams is really good. I'm not sure it's egregious enough to call a snub, though.


message 11: by Gail (new)

Gail | 16 comments Leigh wrote: "I was stunned to learn Gaiman's book won the Hugo. I liked it but never thought of it as Hugo material. "

Me, too, and I was there. I liked Graveyard Book well enough, but it was awfully slight.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Farmer's prose is absolutely awful. Ursula K. Le Guin writes like a classical novelist; I could see why she wouldn't appeal to dead set sci-fi fans, but as someone who reads Dostoevsky and loves it, Le Guin appeals. Her prose is perfectly, flawless, amazing. I would read her write anything. Even her lesser books like Roccanon's World are worth reading to me just to see her writing.


back to top