Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hugo Winners: 1950s

Over the next few days I'm highlighting some of the finest SF novels published in the last sixty or so years: the  Hugo Award winning novels. I'll be taking them a decade at a time and, as is usual for us here at Bear Alley, I'll be concentrating on British paperback editions of the novels. However, I will be breaking that rule a couple of times in the following galleries as (a) there were no UK paperback editions for some of the winners; or (b) I have the hardcover to hand but no paperback. There are one or two gaps in later years as I'm almost inevitably a few years behind when it comes to my collection — the eternal plight of the cash-strapped — or I have the books but they've been lost from sight since we moved house.

For a more extensive overview of the winners and nominees, Wikipedia has a good entry. And the lack of any entry from 1954 and 1957 is simply due to the fact that no award was made. A Retro Hugo for 1954, voted for in 2004, was awarded to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, but I'll cover Retro Hugos in another column one day. In 1957, the voters chose "no award" in the novel category. It would be interesting to learn what No Award beat for pole position!


The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Panther 933, 1959, 189pp.
Penguin 2536, 1966, 191pp, 3/6. Cover: photo by Lester Waldman
----, [xth imp.], 1974, 191pp. Cover by David Pelham
----, [xth imp.], 1979, 191pp.
Millennium 1857-98822-1 (SF Masterworks 14), 1999, 250pp. Cover by Jim Burns


They'd Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley (Astounding SF, Aug-Nov 1954)
(no UK paperback; the version shown is Galaxy Novel 35, 1958, cover by Wally Wood)


Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
Panther Books 1120, 1960, 158pp.
Panther Books 2502, 1968, 142pp.
----, 1969, 143pp.
Panther Books 0586-02502-2-3, 1974, 143pp. Cover by Tony Roberts


The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Four Square 1267, 1965, 127pp, 3/6.
New English Library 2345, Jan 1969, 127pp, 4/-. Cover by Bruce Pennington


A Case of Conscience by James Blish
Penguin 1809, 1963, 192pp.
Arrow 0099-06370-0, 1972.
----, 1975. Cover by Chris Foss
----, 1979, 208pp.
Millennium 1857-98924-4 (SF Masterworks), 1999, 192pp.

1 comment:

  1. There's an interesting piece here about the enigmatic 1957 Hugos ...

    Turns out it's all we Brits' fault!

    Anyway, this lists a whole load of books that *could* have won. Personally, I'd've given it to Bester.



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