The 1980 Timewarp Project

1980 Hugo Award. Photo by Michael Benveniste, via The Hugo Awards website.

1980 Hugo Award. Photo by Michael Benveniste, via The Hugo Awards website.

By Nicholas Whyte and Colette Fozard, Worldcon 75 Hugo Administration: Next year’s Hugo nominations will be the most complex ever, with six finalists for each award, a new tallying system, and a special category for Best Series. We are developing new software solutions for the Hugos – and we need to test them.

We are therefore looking back as well as looking forward – and we are inviting Filers to think themselves back to 1979, and the SF and Fantasy of that year, for the purpose of giving us fresh data to test the software with.

In order to avoid any confusion about the purpose of the exercise — specifically, to avert any suggestion that this might be a re-do of the 1980 Hugos — we are not pushing the 1980 Timewarp Project more widely on social media. At the same time feel free to quietly invite others to participate.

Please direct any comments or queries to timewarp-coordinators@worldcon.fi.

Why 1980?

This was, frankly, a fairly arbitrary decision. We wanted to choose a year which was not too far back in the mists of time, but also not so recent as to reopen unnecessary controversy. By fortunate coincidence, the full counting details from 1980, including the long lists, have been preserved at smofinfo.com/wsfs/Hugos/1980%20–%20Hugo%20voting%20details.pdf so we can see what fans at the time nominated. (Of course there were different categories then — the soon-to-be-abandoned Gandalf Award, only one Dramatic Presentation category, only one Professional Editor category, “Non-Fiction” rather than “Related Work”, no Graphic Story, no Semiprozine, no Fancast, no Series.)

The 1980 Timewarp Project obviously doesn’t replace or in any way invalidate the real historic 1980 Hugo nominations, final ballot or winners, least of all our gracious host here at File 770 – it just helps the Worldcon 75 Hugo administrators test the systems in advance of the 2017 nominations and vote. The Hugo Awards for 1980 were presented at Noreascon Two in Boston; those rewards remain part of history and will never be changed.

So what are you doing?

From 17 to 31 October, you are invited to make nominations for the Hugo categories under the rules for 2017, but with respect to the state of the genre and fandom of 1979. Anyone can nominate, but only electronic nominations will be accepted.

We will publish the full dataset of submitted nominations (though without submitters’ names attached) and the final Timewarp Ballot that would have emerged from those nominations if the current rules had been in force in 1980. We will not then proceed to any further vote – the Timewarp Ballot, and the dataset of nominations, are the end of the process.

Please go ahead and get your participation login at https://1980.worldcon.fi/ – comments welcome here or via the email address above.

MEMORY-JOGGING RESOURCES

And more generally:

104 thoughts on “The 1980 Timewarp Project

  1. Hampus Eckerman: Fantasy Books from 1979: Neverending Story by Michael Ende was one easily missed.

    Neverending Story was published in German in 1979. It was not published in English until 1983 (and indeed, was #20 on Locus’ Reader’s Choice for Fantasy Novels in 1984).

    ISFDB is probably a more accurate source for publication info than RisingShadow.

  2. @JJ: The Hugo rules allows stories in any language on first publication, and another shot at first publication in English. So Neverending Story could be a valid finalist in either 1980 or 1984.

    (An earlier version of this rule had the strange side effect, if read very narrowly, that an English work that first was published in translation could not be eligible when it was published a later year in English. I know one work that fell under this clause, but everyone who knew of it kept silent about it.)

    ETA: Better clarity.

  3. “Neverending Story was published in German in 1979. It was not published in English until 1983 (and indeed, was #20 on Locus’ Reader’s Choice for Fantasy Novels in 1984).”

    It is still eligible. But to be hones, I have only read it in swedish translation. But that is true for a lot of older SF.

  4. Would need to check the exact dates, but 1980 feels the right point for Cerebus the Aardvark to get good. Before it got very bad indeed.

  5. Bill: There’s really only one choice for Dramatic Presentation.

    I remembered that series was hideous –now I see it was even worse than I remembered.

  6. Corrections to JJ’s Lyste

    The Stand was 1978, not 1979

    Additions to JJ’s Lyste

    Novels
    Conan the Liberator by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter
    Galactic Warlord by Douglas Hill
    Ghost Story by Peter Straub
    Perry Rhodan #125: Robots, Bombs and Mutants (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #126: The Guns of Everblack (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #127: Sentinels of Solitude (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #128: The Beasts Below (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #129: Blitzkrieg Galactica (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #130: Peril Unlimited (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #131: World Without Mercy (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #132: Deadmen Shouldn’t Die (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #133: Station of the Invisibles (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #134: Agents of Destruction (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #135: Humans Keep Out! (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #136: The Robot Invitation (1979) by uncredited
    Perry Rhodan #137: The Phantom Horde / Star Man 1-5 (1979) by uncredited
    Schrödinger’s Cat by Robert Anton Wilson

    Best Related
    The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith by Clark Ashton Smith
    The Blade of Conan ed. by L. Sprague de Camp
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
    The Studio (art book) by Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Michael Kaluta, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bernie Wrightson

    Best Graphic story
    Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil started with #158 (May 1979)

    ISFDB links for 1979 periodicals (includes links to cover art, and Tables of Contents)

    Amazing Stories http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?137322
    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?613517
    Analog http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?136730
    Asimov’s Science Fiction http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?137074
    Asimov’s SF Adventure Magazine http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?137412
    Destinies (paperback magazine) http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?9127
    Extrapolation http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1165377
    Fantastic http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?137311
    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?649993
    Fantasy Tales (UK) http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1554947
    Focus http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1392383
    Foundation Review of Science Fiction http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1392383
    Galaxy Science Fiction http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?620201
    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1037276
    Galileo http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?943458
    Ghosts & Scholars http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1175966
    Locus http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?136933
    Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?136806
    Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1112309
    Omni http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?993009
    Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1097217
    Shayol http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1601960
    Space and Time http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?137365
    Unearth http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1060473
    Urania (Italian) http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1400160
    Weirdbook http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1078129
    Whispers http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?879974

    From Grand Comics Database
    Heavy Metal V2#9 – V3#8 http://www.comics.org/series/7155/

    From Comic Book Database
    Heavy Metal V2#9 – V3#8 http://comicbookdb.com/title.php?ID=11971
    Savage Sword of Conan #37 – 47 http://comicbookdb.com/title.php?ID=842

  7. Here’s what I’ve been able to determine for eligible Series so far:

    Count of Saint-Germain by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
    Dominic Flandry by Poul Anderson
    The Faded Sun by C.J. Cherryh
    Merlin by Mary Stewart
    Morgaine by C.J. Cherryh
    PERN by Anne McCaffrey
    The Quest of the Riddle-Master by Patricia A. McKillip
    Union Alliance by C.J. Cherryh

  8. JJ: Wow, there’s three series there I’d definitely vote for — and three others that even more people would vote for…

  9. lurkertype: Oh no, Bill’s mentioned P*rry Rh*d*n — will Shoggoth return?

    What next, Bazooka Joe comics?

  10. Karl-Johan Norén: An earlier version of this rule had the strange side effect, if read very narrowly, that an English work that first was published in translation could not be eligible when it was published a later year in English.

    If it’s first published in another language, then isn’t the English version the translation?

    And sure, one could nominate Neverending Story because technically it was published in 1979… but that’s kind of double-dipping, isn’t it? After all, it received several Hugo nominations in 1984, just not enough to make the longlist.

    It’s not as if it matters. We’re only nominating, not voting, and we’re not re-doing the 1980 Hugos.

  11. snowcrash said:

    Star Blazers, which I think is a dub or adaptation of Yamato also came out that year

    It’s a dub of Space Battleship Yamato, yes. It ran into 1980, though, so the series as a whole isn’t eligible, just whatever episodes aired in 1979. (OTOH, the sequel finished airing in Japan in 1979.)

    Same situation with Mobile Suit Gundam.

    For the completists, ANN’s lists of anime movies in 1979, and series beginning in the mid-to-late ’70s (unfortunately, it searches series only by the year they started).

    Notable eligible works in those lists:

    Space Pirate Captain Harlock
    Yatterman
    Gatchaman II (later to become Eagle Riders in English)
    Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (Hayao Miyazaki’s directorial debut)
    Galaxy Express 999 movie
    Unico: Short Story

  12. Since excerpts from The Number of the Beast were published that year, one might argue that the Future History/World as Myth/Please, Won’t Someone Kill Lazarus Long, Please? series is eligible. I know it’s getting my vote, especially against the weak competition.

  13. I don’t know if this will be a problem with the 2017 Hugos, but I just added “Saphire and Steel: Rhymes and Clocks” to BDP-Long. The misspelling they can no doubt figure out. But S&S never named their episodes. The fans did that. Will they be able to figure out which episode I nominated? Stay tuned!

    I am also evilly altering series nomination names. But I’m very sure they’ll know what I mean.

  14. Further eligible series:

    Ringworld by Larry Niven (The Ringworld Engineers)
    Retief by Keith Laumer (Retief Unbound)
    Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson (The Spirit of Dorsai)
    Perry Rhodan (I’d have to look up titles and who the authors were in the 1970s)
    Geisterjäger John Sinclair (Ghost Hunter John Sinclair) by Jason Dark a.k.a. Hellmut Rellergerd

    The Captain Future anime ran in 1978/79, but in a four-part serial format, so it would probably have to go in longform.

    Megan Lindholm debuted in 1979 with a story in the anthology Amazons!, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, and is therefore eligible for the Campbell.

  15. Oh no, Bill’s mentioned P*rry Rh*d*n — will Shoggoth return?

    You mean it isn’t still in the tub in the closet in the back bedroom? Oh, @#$%^&*()!!!!

  16. I just realised that the wonderful Czechoslovakian fantasy series Arabela also known as The Fairytale Bride debuted in 1979. In Arabela, the fairytale world collides with the real world with hilarious, romantic and slyly subversive (considering this was made in a Communist country) results.

    I’m not sure if Arabela ever aired in the English speaking world, likely due to copyright issues (the depiction of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a bit too close to Disney’s and other copyrighted characters like Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Fantomas appear as well), but it’s a real gem and well worth watching, if you can find it. Early exposure to Arabela, Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella and other gems of Czech fantasy filmmaking laid my personal bar very high for fairytale adaptations.

    Wikipedia has a bit more about the series.

    BTW, Mike, I seem to have been knocked into moderation, because my cache autocleared yesterday.

    ETA: I seem to be out of moderation again. Thanks, Mike.

  17. This was only the second volume in the series:
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (The Ringworld Engineers)

    This is an omnibus of previously-published work:
    Retief by Keith Laumer (Retief Unbound)

  18. Is Ringworld eligible for Best Series? I thought Engineers was the second book, and there need to be at least three volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words for the series to qualify.

    (ETA: ninja’d by JJ!)

    Likewise, I’m not sure that the publication of extracts of The Number Of The Beast in Omni (which I remember boggling over at the time; I was twelve) should count as a qualifying volume.

    But I am open to persuasion!

  19. Nicholas Whyte: I’m not sure that the publication of extracts of The Number Of The Beast in Omni (which I remember boggling over at the time; I was twelve) should count as a qualifying volume.

    In the File770 discussion thread of Helsinki’s Best Series announcement, one of the sponsors of the amendment says that they very deliberately chose not to specify what constitutes a “volume”.

    Therefore, discussion in the Best Series Hugo: Eligible Works thread is based on the premise that a series which has met the 240,000 word cutoff, and has a (previously unpublished) work of any kind in that series published in the eligibility year, is eligible.

    The Bad News: You are the one who gets to determine what a volume is, and which series are actually eligible, once the nomination deadline has passed and all the Best Series nominations have been tallied.
    <hears the sound of pitchforks and torches in the distance> 😉

  20. John A Arkansawyer said:

    A ’77 debut would not be Campell-eligible, true?

    True. They could only have been nominated for the Campbell given in 1978 or 1979.

  21. @JJ: Yes, I was thinking of just that definition of volume. Possibly the least precise one I’ve seen, after a lifetime of mathematics and sound ordinances.

    It’s a wonderful chance to let people see just how hellish this process might be, through a dry run instead of an initial implementation.

  22. @JJ: Alliance/Union would be popular, but a huge stretch; the only parts of it that are in time (per ISFDB) are the Faded Sun trilogy and the Hanan Rebellion, which are very remote. OTOH, since ISFDB classifies them as part, ruling against them would be difficult.

  23. Chip Hitchcock: Alliance/Union would be popular, but a huge stretch; the only parts of it that are in time (per ISFDB) are the Faded Sun trilogy and the Hanan Rebellion, which are very remote.

    Remote from what? I don’t really understand what you’re saying.

    Although I do see that Faded Sun is a subset of Union-Alliance, and I should have listed them as one item.

  24. @JJ: Thanks for the Lyste. And OMG, what?! The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire The Door Into Fire!!!

    @Petréa Mitchell: OMG OUR STAR BLAZERS!!! 😀 And actually, Captain Harlock. Not that I know if I’ve seen that particular one from that year (likely not), but still.

    @John A Arkansawyer: You just had to remind me of “Supertrain,” didn’t you. ::eek::

    @Cora & @JJ: Perhaps better said as the “Known Space” series? Ringworld + sequel is only two books, sure, but they’re part of the larger “Known Space” series. But, much as I don’t trust Wikipedia, FYI it lists The Ringworld Engineers as 1980, and nothing in 1979 from “Known Space.” 🙁

    @Hampus Eckerman: Thanks for that link; I need to go explore what that site shows for F, SF, and Alternate History.

    @Various: Should I not admit that I’m tempted to “nominate” Castle Roogna? Nope? Okay then, consider it not admitted.

    P.S. THE DOOR INTO MUTHERF’ING FIRE, Y’ALL! (Ahem. I may have a totally rational but mega love for this book and this series.)

  25. @Nicholas Whyte: I e-mailed as requested, thanks. Not a big deal (the errors are in the console, I forgot to mention, sorry!) – just surprised to see them on a browser that rendered the page fine.

  26. There were also published comic book versions of both LOTR and Alien in 1979. Both of them were very well done.

  27. @JJ: If it’s first published in another language, then isn’t the English version the translation?

    Not necessarily. I know at least one novel that was first published in another language that it was originally written in. For short stories, it used to be reasonably common. Think programme books at cons with overseas GoHs.

    In this case, it was “Moon Dogs” by Michael Swanwick, that he submitted as his contribution to the 1999 Swecon, and was published in Swedish translation there. The original English was then published in 2000 in, I think, Asimov’s. Then it was nominated for a 2001 Hugo.

  28. Karl-Johan Norén: Not necessarily. I know at least one novel that was first published in another language that it was originally written in. For short stories, it used to be reasonably common. Think programme books at cons with overseas GoHs. In this case, it was “Moon Dogs” by Michael Swanwick, that he submitted as his contribution to the 1999 Swecon, and was published in Swedish translation there. The original English was then published in 2000 in, I think, Asimov’s. Then it was nominated for a 2001 Hugo.

    Interesting! Thanks for the history lesson!

  29. John A. Arkansawyer:

    Since excerpts from The Number of the Beast were published that year, one might argue that the Future History/World as Myth/Please, Won’t Someone Kill Lazarus Long, Please? series is eligible.

    I’m inclined to say this isn’t really a series: Future History is one series with one setting and premise, and World as Myth is another series with another setting and premise, which is, among other things, fanfic of the first series. (But NOTB is the first book of that series.)

    I wouldn’t actually rule on that basis if I were a Hugo administrator, though; it’s clearly a ‘voters decide’ thing.

  30. @Kendall: Place credit (such as is due) where it is due (such as it may be) for reminding us of that munificent technological marvel the Supertrain where it is due: Bill. My suggestion was impish at worst; his was inspired. My hat’s off to the duke. (Does anyone have a joke for that punchline? I don’t.)

  31. If it turns out that all future references to Supertrain are associated with Arkansawyer rather than myself, I would be okay with that.

  32. BTW, while scanning the 1980 Hugo voting details PDF, I came across the following tidbit on page 2:

    “one ballot was also rejected as being from a non-sentient being (a pet rock)”

    Forget the puppies, back in 1980, even rocks attempted to vote for the Hugos.

  33. @Cora: the rock was a joke. Dumb, but a joke. Now you know why there’s a natural-persons clause (4.3) in the rules.

    @JJ: I would expect most readers to consider the Alliance/Union series to be those stories that actually, like, \mentioned/ one or the other — more connectedly than “there were these two sides a long time ago in a galaxy far far away”. OTGH, ISTM that (ISFDB notwithstanding) it’s not clear the Foreigner series is separate from Alliance/Union, just off in another direction (as is Chanur, which I see they correctly include). Or has Cherryh explicitly said Foreigner is another universe? (Her website is no help; it lists Chanur as separate, but I’ve heard her say Tully happened when Earth had to explore in a different direction because the little easy-to-hop-through Alliance/Union slice was blocked.)

  34. Chip Hitchcock: @Cora: the rock was a joke. Dumb, but a joke. Now you know why there’s a natural-persons clause (4.3) in the rules.

    And don’t forget the people who were buying memberships for their stuffed animals….

  35. @JJ and Chip, The Morgaine stories are part of Alliance/Union. The graphic novel by Jane Fancher shows the connection. Faded Sun and the Hanan Rebellion are part of the A/U but way down the timeline.
    On her website Cherryh announced a new A/U short story and novel coming soon.

  36. Mike Glyer on October 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm said:

    AFAIK, Altair Niven never tried to vote. Which would have been interesting, before the “natural person” rule.

  37. @Tom Becker: Thanks for the ISFDB link!

    @Bill & @John A Arkansawyer: Whoops, apologies, Bill! “Supertrain” is too important and/or scary to misattribute the initial reference. 😉

  38. @BGrandrath: The Morgaine stories are part of Alliance/Union. The graphic novel by Jane Fancher shows the connection. Is this a plausible connection, or the sort of late-era retconning that Asimov used to try to connect Earth/colonies/robots to backwater/Empire/nobots? I know Fancher is close enough to have heard connecting thoughts that wouldn’t have been known generally, but I wonder whether she offered an idea and was allowed to run with it. Cherryh’s own shorter work shows the massive chaos caused by gates, including IIRC a reach into the past; I’d like to hear more about how that chaos, which IIRC reached as far as Earth, is compatible with Alliance/Union (i.e., not just a Brunner-style “this is what was left after the possibility of gating was eliminated).

  39. I realize that fen enjoy debating such technicalities, but regardless of whether they can be considered Union-Alliance, the following series are still eligible for 1980, by virtue of the volumes which were published in that year:

    The Faded Sun by C.J. Cherryh
    Morgaine by C.J. Cherryh

  40. @Chip, the connection works for me. But in my head most of Cherryh’s works are related to the Alliance/Union universe. The graphic novel was first published in 1985 so maybe an early-era retconning. The gate chaos in the short stories (again in my head) I credit to alternate timelines.
    I do enjoy talking about the Cherryhverse, I had fun at the Cherryh panel you moderated at Sasquan.

  41. For the people who try to nominate video games under Best Related Work or Best Dramatic Presentation, here are some notable ones from 1979:

    Asteroids
    Adventure (the Atari one)
    Lunar Lander
    Akalabeth
    Galaxian

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