Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

The Hugo Winners

Isaac Asimov (Ed)

1962

This was a nice collection of some pretty weighty short stories – and some pretty surprisingly light-weight ones as well (surprising considering they’re all Hugo winners). The stories take us roughly from 1953 to 1962, covering of course the first few Hugo awards ceremonies. As such, some have not aged too well in their attitudes (particularly in their politics – sometimes verging on McArthyism – and their sexual politics). Let’s just say that some of them read as a little old fashioned. But the best – the Simak, the Keys and the Anderson – are as valid and wonderful today as when they were written. Asimov provides his usual breezy – and egotistical! – commentaries profiling the authors and something about the Science Fiction Conventions where the awards were presented. I mean, god yes that guy had an ego!

Story and Author

Tags/Hub Areas

Therapeutic Tags

Personal Rating

The Darfstellar, by Walter M Miller Jr

Automation, theatre

Vocation

**

Allamagoosa, by Eric Frank Russell

Shaggy dog, starship inspection, beauracracy

Humour

**

Exploration Team, by Murray Leinster

Human-animal symbiosis, rescue mission, robots, Barsoomian

Self determination, freedom

****1/2

The Star, by Arthur C Clarke

Religion, astrophysicist priest, Phoenix nebula, Christ, supernova, dead civilisation

Discovery, faith

*****

Or All the Seas With Oysters, by Avram Davidson

Regeneration, mimickry, bike shop, sentient evolutionary objects, revenge

Paranoia confirmed, enjoying life

***

The Big Frontyard, by Clifford D Simak

Portals, inter-galactic trade, levitation, alien communication, international diplomacy, autism

Property rights, animal rights, disabled rights, authority defiance

*****

The Hell-Bound Train, by Robert Bloch

Deal with the devil, trains, horror, fooling the devil

Aspirations, fulfilment

***1/2

Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

Artificially increased intelligence, report form, subliminal learning, progression and regression, experiment

Empathy, Mentally disabled rights, imperfection

*****

The Longest Voyage, by Poul Anderson

First contact, pirates, piratepunk, galactic league of nations, stranded alien, advancement opportunity refused

Acceptance, philosophical outlook

*****