1943 Retro-Hugo Winners

The winners of the 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards were announced on Thursday, August 16 at Worldcon 76.

Best Fan Writer

Forrest J Ackerman

Best Fanzine

Le Zombie, edited by Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker

Best Professional Artist

Virgil Finlay

Best Editor – Short Form

John W. Campbell

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

Bambi, written by Perce Pearce, Larry Morey, et al., directed by David D. Hand et al. (Walt Disney Productions)

Best Short Story

“The Twonky,” by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1942)

Best Novelette

“Foundation,” by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1942)

Best Novella

“Waldo,” by Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1942)

Best Novel

Beyond This Horizon, by Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science-Fiction, April & May 1942)

The administrators report 703 valid ballots (688 electronic and 15 paper) were received and counted from convention members.

The Hugo Awards, presented first in 1953 and annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award, and one of the World Science Fiction Convention’s unique and distinguished institutions.

Since 1993, Worldcon committees have had the option of awarding Retrospective Hugo Awards for past Worldcon years prior to 1953 where they had not been presented 25, 50, or 100 years prior to the contemporary convention, with the exception of the hiatus during World War II when no Worldcon was convened. A recent change in this policy has now allowed for Retro Hugos to be awarded for the years 1942-1945.

40 thoughts on “1943 Retro-Hugo Winners

  1. I had a very bad hit rate this year and I’m utterly baffled that Beyond This Horizon won, because it frankly isn’t very good. The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is also better than Waldo, which has been hit hard by the suck fairy.

  2. Cora – your comments are perfect as an illustration of how tastes differ. I happen to think Waldo is better than Jonathan Hoag, but my tastes have never run to horror.

    I enjoyed Beyond This Horizon, and I need to get an electronic copy of the book because I need to capture the rant that the guy who was in stasis went on.

    The rant about how the idea that there’s such a thing as a noble, simple life is good, rather than nasty and backbreaking.

    I need that to throw at John Galt types when they voice their rugged independence fantasies.

    Auto population still not working on Android Chrome.

  3. Pingback: 1943 Retro-Hugo Winners | ComicMix

  4. That should be “50, 75 or 100 years prior to the contemporary convention”. If it was 25, 50 or 100 then we wouldn’t have been doing retro Hugos this year, which is 75 years after 1943. And of course 50 years might as well be removed now, since it can no longer be applicable.

  5. I think name recognition and nostalgia were nearly everything, here. E.g., I ranked Austen Tappan Wright’s Islandia first, but figured it had zero chance relative to the Heinlein, just because not enough people in 2018 had even heard of it. Same story with C.L. Moore’s There Shall Be Darkness (my top pick for Best Novelette) because few will know it but everyone knows Asimov’s Foundation, at least in its novel form.

  6. @Mike Scott
    Yeah, the rule in the constitution is now:

    A Worldcon held in a year that is an exact multiple of
    25 years after a year in which no Hugos were awarded…

    Looks like somebody forgot 75 is a multiple of 25. (OGH quoted that from Worldcon’s press release.)

  7. I will agree that Bambi was a very good film, but it’s pretty far on the fringe of being a fantasy movie. Yes, the animals talk to each other. Otherwise, it seems an attempt at naturalism..

  8. Pretty much a total wipeout on this one for me.
    Just reading down it, nope, nope, nope…
    Interesting experience anyway.

  9. @Techgrrl72

    The rant about how the idea that there’s such a thing as a noble, simple life is good, rather than nasty and backbreaking.

    I need that to throw at John Galt types when they voice their rugged independence fantasies.

    Amazon has it for US$6.99…and now so do I. Thanks for that insight. I’ll have to read it to see how it relates to your point.

    From your description, I’m not seeing a huge difference from the John Galt types…a direction toward which I lean from time to time. But I’ll have to read it to find out more.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Regards,
    Dann
    – CLOSED FOR TAGLINE DEVELOPMENT —

  10. Has anything official been said by the Worldcon Committee about having combined Best Dramatic Long Forms into the Short Forms category? (The Jungle Book, at 1 hr 48 min, would have qualified for Long Form; I presume the committee used its discretion to move it into the Short Form category, since 108 mins is within 20% [barely] of 90 mins, and I’m not aware of any other potential nominees that would have qualified for Long Form.)

  11. @Dann: I’m awful fond of Beyond This Horizon, but whitle Smith Darlington’s rant is a one-scoop cone, “Coventry” is a hot fudge sundae with all the fixings.

  12. Do you have a book out this week? I keep seeing people who think trolling is a terrific career move.

  13. @Laura: oh dear, that means that we won’t be shut of these awards until they’re all given out — which means we’ll have several more sessions of name recognition, some of it truly ignorant (e.g., Silverberg getting Fan Writer for 1950, when he (per his own comment at the time) did nothing; also Freas getting Pro Artist). Maybe there will be some worthwhile work exposed. (Proponents of this awards that I’ve heard rattle on about their educational value; looking at what’s gotten nominated suggests the ed value is approaching negative.)

    @Cora: I just looked at the Novel list; I won’t call Horizon the best of a bad lot, but between admittedly-mediocre genre works and outsiders’ works that may or may not relate to genre, I don’t see much to choose. (IIRC, I tried to start Islandia once and choked in a few pages.) I do think there were better choices than “Waldo” ‘s cod mysticism, although I don’t know that I would have picked “…Hoag” if I had voted.

  14. @Dann — the discussion is in chapter 6. Monroe-alpha has this highly romanticized view of how a man could be living as a farmer, his sturdy wife and child at his side.

    Smith Darlington disabuses him of the notion that rural living in 1926 was anything other than back-breaking drudgery, with interdependence thrown in.

    I find the Galt’s Gulch types tend to ignore the interdependency of modern life, where the civilized infrastructure makes life uh … livable. IOW, you get to be ruggedly independent because there are people who keep the sewers working, provide clean water, electricity, and pick up the garbage.

    When I was still gainfully employed, one of my jobs involved disaster planning. It was clear that during a pandemic, the key elements were electricity, clean water, and sewers. That was the bare minimum, and the people in those roles needed to be protected and provided for.

    Heinlein went into this in more detail in “Roads Must Roll”. I’ve read “Atlas Shrugged” more than once, and find Ayn Rand’s ‘philosophy’ to be ridiculous. However, I give her a small pass due to her escaping from the Soviet mess. Having said THAT, she died on Social Security, a taker and a mooch to the last.

  15. I have crunched the numbers from the Retro Hugo votes.

    Highlights: the closest result of the Retro Hugos was Best Fanzine, where Le Zombie won by only ten votes, and The Phantagraph won second place by only nine votes. The only closer races were Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker winning second place in Best Fan Writer by three votes, and Donovan’s Brain winning third place in Best Novel by a single vote.

    At nominations, Best Editor Short Form, Best Professional Artist and Best Fanzine all had several candidates in contention for the final places, and a single vote more or a single vote less would have made the difference between being on or off the final ballot.

    The Screwtape Letters was disqualified for Best Novel due to the original publication date. “The Twonky” got enough votes to qualify in Best Novelette as well as Best Short Story (it won the latter category).

    Lots more if you care to dig for it.

  16. And in preparation for next year, potential Best Dramatic nominees from 1943 include:

    Long Form
    Film:
    – Cabin in the Sky
    – Flesh and Fantasy
    – A Guy Named Joe
    – Happy Land
    – Heaven Can Wait
    – Münchhausen (German/Nazi)

    Short Form
    Live Action:
    – The Ape Man
    – Batman serial episodes
    – Captive Wild Woman
    – Carnival of Sinners
    – Dead Men Walk
    – Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
    – Heavenly Music
    – I Walked with a Zombie
    – The Mad Ghoul
    – Return of the Vampire
    – Revenge of the Zombie
    – Son of Dracula

    Animation:
    – The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (Oscar nominee)
    – Chicken Little (Disney)
    – Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs
    – A Corny Concerto (Merrie Melodies)
    – The Dizzy Acrobat (Woody Woodpecker; Oscar nominee)
    – Momotarô’s Sea Eagles (Japanese)
    – Red Hot Riding Hood (MGM, Tex Avery)
    – The Yankee Doodle Mouse (Tom & Jerry; Oscar winner)

    – Fleischer Superman cartoons:
    The Mummy Strikes
    Jungle Drums
    The Underground World
    Secret Agent

    Other potential animated shorts

    Radio:
    – Adventures of Superman (episodes and story arcs listed here)
    – Lights Out (episodes listed here)
    – The Shadow (episodes listed here)

  17. @Techgrrl72: What you said. Not only did Ms. Rand lack the dignity to suffer her unfortunate terminal illness (lung cancer, after decades of heavy smoking) in even a tiny bit of accord with her principles, but also even used a deliberately deceptive name while mooching (as she would characterise it) off the public. Shameful.[1]

    Not just Social Security benefits, by the way. Also Medicare.

    In fairness, the name ‘Ann O’Connor’ cannot be called totally fake (which is why I said deceptive but not fake), as O’Connor was her married surname, and one might argue that Ann is a reasonable anglicisation of Alisa. But the point is, she made a point while receiving government health care benefits of concealing this being Ayn Rand doing so.

    Interesting recent television series that included, among other tropes examined, Galt’s Gulch prepper/survivalist types and everyone’s vital dependence on electricity, clean water, and sewers: Valkyrien. Recommended.

    [1] The hypocrisy, not the acceptance of government insurance benefits.

  18. I’ll offer a mild defense of Ayn Rand against hypocrisy: I believe she stated that while she did not support Social Security, she was taking back money that was taken from her. That’s not an unreasonable argument. One could even claim it’s foreshadowed by Unax Erneqba gnxvat gur one bs tbyq.

    (Here in 9554, I am literally the only living person who has ever read Ayn Rand, so I rot-13’d it to make sure I wouldn’t spoil it for my hivesibs. Especially that grouchy one.)

    It might even be that Ann O’Connor was her legal name, but here I creep into apologia.

  19. @John, that’s a reasonable answer, but one that totally contradicts what she’d been saying about Social Security (and other safety net government insurance schemes) for long ages.

  20. @Bill

    Long Form
    Film:
    – Cabin in the Sky
    – Flesh and Fantasy
    – A Guy Named Joe
    – Happy Land
    – Heaven Can Wait
    – Münchhausen (German/Nazi)

    Münchhausen is not a Nazi film, it’s a film that happened to be made during the Third Reich and involved surprisingly many people who critical of the Nazis and occasionally even persecuted by them. The UfA was a safe space for such Nazi critics, because the film industry was considered vital for the war effort and therefore actors and filmmakers could get away with things that would have landed ordinary citizens in prison. It’s okay if you have a problem with the movie because of the cringeworthy blackface scenes or because it’s simply not to your taste, but it’s not a propaganda film (unlike “The Invisible Agent”) and Erich Kästner, Hans Albers, Hubert von Meyerinck, Wilhelm Bendow, Brigitte Horney, Eduard von Winterstein and Marie Nejar were not Nazis.

  21. @Rick Moen: I don’t disagree with that because you are right. She never suggested any method of redress for the people she believed had been stolen from by Social Security, either, only abolishing the system. That would kind of leave the people who’d paid in high and dry.

    On the other hand, probably the most sympathetic form of hypocrisy is when you’ve said one thing in the past and you act differently later when the untenability of holding that position becomes apparent. And that, in turn, is less sympathetic when the untenability isn’t intellectual but financial. But I might well have done the same thing in her shoes.

  22. Ayn Rand’s argument about taking back what she’d paid into Social Security doesn’t hold water when it comes to Medicare, though. It was a relatively new entitlement when she enrolled into it, IIRC, so she couldn’t be said to have paid for everything she got out of it (including treatment for the lung cancer which enabled her to live much longer than she would have otherwise). In her age and state of health she probably couldn’t have enrolled in private insurance, as her principles would seem to have required her to do.

    I don’t fault her for hypocrisy in resorting to means she condemned in health because she wanted to go on living. I DO fault her for hypocrisy in concealing this from her followers (as well as the fact that she’d got cancer from cigarettes which she’d pushed on her followers as a life-affirming harmless habit) instead of admitting it and publically adjusting her theories.

  23. I inferred “Nazi” from the Wikipedia article on the film, which indicates that Goebbels was behind the production and that it was part of a coordinated propaganda effort.

  24. @Bill
    Sorry, but it just gets my hackles up, when people who’ve likely never seen the film treat Münchhausen as if it were Jud Süß (which is just as horrible as everybody says). The vast majority of the film output of the Third Reich were harmless entertainment like musicals, comedies, melodramas, adventure films, etc…, with the occasional unpleasant undertone. A handful, all of them banned and rarely seen outside university classes (which is how I managed to watch a few of the more notorious ones), were nasty propaganda and usually terribly inept propaganda at that. Another handful are true classics which somehow manage to transcend the era they were produced in. Münchhausen is one of these, as are Die Feuerzangenbowle (The punch bowl), Der Mann der Sherlock Holmes war (The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes) and Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (Great Freedom No. 7 a.k.a. Port of Freedom).

  25. @Bill
    Goebbels was in charge of German filmmaking during the Third Reich and of course an expensive prestige film like Münchhausen would have required his approval. But the film itself is apolitical (comparatively few Nazi era films were explicitly political) and was supposed to support the war effort by making the population forget for two hours that there were bombs falling on their heads. And because Münchhausen was a prestige project, various non-conformist attitudes of the cast and crew were overlooked and Erich Kästner, a writer whose works were banned, was brought in to write the script under a pen name.

  26. Rick Moen:

    Not only did Ms. Rand lack the dignity to suffer her unfortunate terminal illness (lung cancer, after decades of heavy smoking) in even a tiny bit of accord with her principles, but also even used a deliberately deceptive name while mooching (as she would characterise it) off the public. Shameful.

    Etc.

    Not really, no.

  27. It would have been nice if Eric “in the Elevator” Zuckerman had been able to check pronunciations of the nominees’ names. He bobbled the names of Morojo, Leiber, and van Vogt (twice!) — all LASFS members, as it happens, and two of whom I knew personally.

  28. BAMBI? BAMBI?!

    If BAMBI could beat CAT PEOPLE, there is no justice in the world.

  29. Pretty much everybody has seen Bambi at some point in their lives and generations of children have been traumatised by it. Cat People and I Married a Witch for that matter are both good and a lot more SFnal than Bambi, but they’re also much lesser known.

  30. @Ferret: really, yes. Citing that source counts against your argument, not for it.

  31. Chip Hitchcock:

    really, yes. Citing that source counts against your argument, not for it.

    Not really, no. The claim was that she intentionally took Social Security in blatant, hypocritical violation of her stated principles and deliberately concealed it. The source makes clear from the same sources used by the original claim that the enrollment in Social Security was probably made over her opposition by a person who had power of attorney from her (and who bragged about doing so), it was made under her legal name as opposed to her pen name (which only counts as deceptive, I guess, when it’s Ayn Rand or anyone else you dislike doing it), and she herself stated decades before that people who had paid into government services shouldn’t harm themselves by refusing to receive the services their money was taken for, so it wasn’t even hypocritical.

  32. Me:

    people who had paid into government services shouldn’t harm themselves by refusing to receive the services their money was taken for…

    More precisely (editing window closed on me early), “who had paid into government services they opposed…”

  33. @Cora
    Sorry, but it just gets my hackles up, when people who’ve likely never seen the film treat Münchhausen as if it were Jud Süß (which is just as horrible as everybody says)

    True, I haven’t seen the film, but neither did it treat it as if it were Jud Süß.

    But at least we agree that it was made in support of the Nazi war effort. That is sufficient, for some folks, to discount it in consideration of any awards it may be eligible for, and is the reason I noted “Nazi” when listing it.

  34. I’m still quite disappointed about “Beyond This Horizon” winning novel, as I think it may the the worst Heinlein book of all. That said, the novel choices were pretty bad. “Waldo” was a pretty good novella; I had it ranked 2nd, behind “The Compleat Werewolf”. Of the fiction, “The Twonky” for short story was the one that us voters got right. I also agree about “Bambi”. Not bad, but not really SFnal. I had not seen “Cat People”, but happily voted for “I Married a Witch”. However, all in all, a fun exercise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.