By John Hertz: We’re doing Retrospective Hugos this year.
I say “this year” because we don’t always do them. The current Hugo Awards will be done as always, the 2019 Hugos for what appeared in 2018.
Dublin2019, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, will administer both. You can look it all up here.
There was no Worldcon in 1944. These will be the 1944 Hugo Awards, for what appeared in 1943.
Great things happened in our field then. This is our moment to applaud them.
Science fiction and fantasy are both eligible. Theoretically they’re distinct; practically the distinction isn’t always so plain; some authors blur it, sometimes on purpose. Heinlein may have started us saying speculative fiction.
It could be argued there’s a sense in which science fiction includes fantasy (science fiction is knowledge fiction), another in which fantasy includes science fiction. But we digress.
If, as of 31 Dec 18, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, you had an Attending or Supporting Membership in the 76th or 77th Worldcon (or both), you may nominate.
In any category you may propose up to five nominees. Those with enough nominations will be finalists when we vote later.
You’re nominating for what will be voted the best. What best is you decide for yourself.
For 1943 novels there’s already talk of Ravaged (Barjavel; English tr. Ashes, Ashes), Conjure Wife (Leiber), Perelandra (Lewis), The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Lovecraft), Earth’s Last Citadel (Moore & Kuttner), Mary Poppins Opens the Door (Travers), The Book of Ptath (Van Vogt).
You’ll expect me to call your attention to The Glass Bead Game (Hesse; also tr. as Magister Ludi – Latin, “master of the game”, a title the protagonist receives). And I do.
It was one of the Classics of S-F we discussed at Conagerie (Westercon LV; West Coast Science Fantasy Conference); also at Lonestarcon III (71st Worldcon), where I said
The first and for fifty years the only Nobel Prize s-f novel, the author’s last and crowning work, one of the rare s-f masterpieces from outside our field, a satire, a story, a character study, poetic even in translation, we hope not prophetic, searchingly profound.
An 800-word note by me appeared in YHOS (Your Humble and Obedient Servant) 59, reprinted in The Drink Tank 352, and here. It ends with a Jane Austen and Jack Benny joke no one’s ever asked me about, maybe because everyone’s gotten it or because no one’s read that far. My address is public, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A.
The Glass Bead Game only to some extent reflects my own opinions of life, the universe, and everything. But I don’t read books to be agreed with. It’s a towering achievement in world literature.