One fan's journey of thanksgiving and praise through the award-winning history of science fiction novels
Can the award-winning science fiction novels of the past actually still be worth reading several decades later? Do they have messages, technology, and characters that are pertinent in modern society? Have I just been reading rehashed versions of past award-winners? There's only one way to find out... read and review the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award-winning novels.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Bogged down in Books and Life
I'm behind (on many things, including this project). I've read two additional books from the list, but can't work up sufficient motivation to write interesting and coherent posts about them. Meh. I'll get around to it eventually. Probably. ;)
I've been reading for as long as I can remember. As a child, taking away a book was the only effective punishment my parents could dole out, and it still works. I read books like alcoholics drink--if I can't find a book, I'll read a cereal box or anything else that's in print. Unfortunately, I also proofread everything I read (to my husband's eternal dismay). By trade, I'm an editor, technical writer, and researcher. By choice, I'm a reader. I'm also a Mom, which is the most frustrating and satisfying job I've ever had.
5/5: a book that I loved, and wouldn't mind reading again
4/5: a book that I liked a lot, but probably won't read again
3/5: a book that had many things I liked, but that also had one or more major flaws; this is my default rating
2/5: a book that I was able to read, but which had only a few bright spots and little or nothing to recommend it
1/5: a book that I either couldn't bring myself to read, or regret reading
Here's a list of the books I hope to tackle, with the award abbreviated to a single letter (H: Hugo, N: Nebula, L: Locus):
1953 H: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester--Rating: 4/5 1954 (no awards) 1955 H: They'd Rather Be Right (aka: The Forever Machine) by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley--Rating: 3/5 1956 H: Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein--Rating: 5/5 1957 (no awards) 1958 H: The Big Time by Fritz Leiber--Rating: 2/5 1959 H: A Case of Conscience by James Blish--Rating: 3/5 1960 H: Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein--Rating: 4/5 1961 H: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.--Rating: 3/5 1962 H: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein--Rating: 4/5 1963 H: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick--Rating: 4/5 1964 H: Here Gather the Stars (aka: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak--Rating: 4/5 1965 H: The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber--Rating: 3/5 1966 H & N: Dune by Frank Herbert--Rating: 4/5 H (tie): …And Call Me Conrad (aka: This Immortal) by Roger Zelazny--Rating: 4/5 1967 H: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein--Rating: 4/5 N: Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany--Rating: 5/5 N (tie): Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes--Rating: 5/5 1968 H: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny N: The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany 1969 H: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner N: Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin 1970 H & N: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin 1971 H, N, & L: Ringworld by Larry Niven 1972 H: To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer N: A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg L: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin 1973 H, N, & L: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov 1974 H, N, & L: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke 1975 H, N. & L: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin 1976 H, N, & L: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman 1977 H & L: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm N: Man Plus by Frederik Pohl 1978 H, N, & L: Gateway by Frederik Pohl 1979 H, N, & L: Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre 1980 H & N: The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke L: Titan by John Varley 1981 H & L: The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge N: Timescape by Gregory Benford 1982 H: Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh N: The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe L: The Many Coloured Land by Julian May 1983 H & L: Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov N: No Enemy But Time by Michael Bishop 1984 H, N, & L: Startide Rising by David Brin 1985 H & N: Neuromancer by William Gibson L: The Integral Trees by Larry Niven 1986 H & N: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card L: The Postman by David Brin 1987 H, N, & L: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card 1988 H & L: The Uplift War by David Brin N: The Falling Woman by Pat Murphy 1989 H & L: Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh N: Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold 1990 H & L: Hyperion by Dan Simmons N: The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough 1991 H: The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold N: Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin L: The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons 1992 H & L: Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold N: Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick 1993 H, N, & L: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis H (tie): A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge 1994 H & L: Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson N: Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson 1995 H & L: Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold N: Moving Mars by Greg Bear 1996 H & L: The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson H: 1946 retroactive, The Mule by Isaac Asimov (republished as Part II of Foundation and Empire) N: The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer 1997 H & L: Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson N: Slow River by Nicola Griffith 1998 H & N (1999): Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman N: The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre L: The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons 1999 H & L: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis 2000 H: A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge N: Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler L: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson 2001 H: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling H: 1951 retroactive, Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein N: Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear L: The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin 2002 H & N (2003): American Gods by Neil Gaiman N: The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro L: Passage by Connie Willis 2003 H: Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer L: The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson 2004 H & N (2005): Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold H: 1954 retroactive, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury N: The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon L: Ilium by Dan Simmons 2005 H: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke L: The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver; The Confusion; The System of the World) by Neal Stephenson 2006 H: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson N: Camouflage by Joe Haldeman L: Accelerando by Charles Stross 2007 H & L: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge N: Seeker by Jack McDevitt 2008 H, N, & L: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon 2009 H: (not yet awarded) N: Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin L: Anathem by Neal Stephenson