Saturday, September 28, 2002

Hugo Awards

I under-packed books for my recent trip to Britain, so when I got there I headed to a bookstore to look for something to read. I was happy to find a series of books called "Science Fiction Masterpieces". I picked up a slim volume and noticed it was priced at 7 pounds, 99 pence (around 13 bucks). Ouch!

I noticed that all the SF Masterpieces were priced at the same level, so I decided to get value for my money by getting one with a high page count. I settled on Stand on Zanzibar.

When describing to Christina my purchase, she seemed unimpressed by the pound-for-pound measure of book value. She did, however, take notice when I mentioned that the book had won a Hugo Award. The Hugos are awarded annually by a vote of science fiction writers (as opposed to the Nebulas, which are fan-driven).

The following week, I found myself in Minnesota and looking for another book to read. Sadly, the SF Masterpieces series appears to be a UK-only thing. I had the inspiration, however, to look up the Hugo-winning novels available. I bought two -- To Say Nothing of the Dog and A Fire Upon the Deep. I read the former, and it was really quite enjoyable.

I realized that I shy away from SF novels with certain topics (in this case, time travel). But for books of this caliber, it is probably better to put away my own notions of what a subject has to offer, and see what the writer has to say.

So I'm going to take a look at what other Hugo-winning novels I can find. I won't necessarily make it a goal of reading all of them, but I'll probably read a bunch.

I've already gotten a good start. Looking at the list, I've read Foundation and Empire, Starship Troopers, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Man in the High Castle, Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stand on Zanzibar, Ringworld, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Foundation's Edge, Neuromancer, Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Green Mars, Blue Mars, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Wow. I am a nerd. I may have read a few others years ago, but the titles aren't ringing a bell now.

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