Michael Swanwick will be the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society’s guest speaker on Friday, April 11. “He has received a Hugo Award for fiction five out of six years” adds the PSFS News, reminding us about Swanwick’s extraordinary run of award-winning stories between 1999 and 2004.
I was curious how many other Hugo winners came close to matching his record, remembering any number of sf writers who began their careers with a string of great stories that earned a lot of award nominations.
On a percentage basis, Swanwick’s wins in 5 out of 6 years equals 83%. Harlan Ellison comes nearest with 75%. He won 3 fiction Hugos in 4 years (1966-1969) for some of his greatest short stories: “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” and “Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World.” During the same 3-year stretch Ellison also won a Best Dramatic Hugo for his “City on the Edge of Forever” Star Trek script (1968). And he turned down a Best Fan Writer nomination (also 1968; hard to imagine him losing that Hugo if he’d accepted.)
Three writers have claimed 4 fiction Hugos in a 6-year period, 67%: Lois McMaster Bujold (1990-1995), Ursula K. LeGuin (1970-1975) and Larry Niven (1971-1976).
Connie Willis enjoyed a run of 5 fiction Hugos in 8 years, 63%, beginning in 1993 with Doomsday Book and ending in 2000 with “The Winds of Marble Arch.”
Harlan Ellison enjoyed another run of 3 out of 5 years (1974-1978), 60%. Poul Anderson did the same, 3 out of 5 (1969-1973), one of those Hugos awarded to his great novella “Queen of Air and Darkness” in 1972.