1939 Retro-Hugo Award Nominees

The finalists for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards were announced by Loncon 3 representatives at the British Eastercon on April 19.

There were 233 valid nominating ballots cast for Retro Hugo nominees (226 electronic and 7 paper.)

BEST NOVEL (208 ballots)
Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Argosy, February 1938)
Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)

BEST NOVELLA (125 ballots)
Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)
“A Matter of Form” by H. L. Gold (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
“Sleepers of Mars” by John Beynon [John Wyndham] (Tales of Wonder, March 1938)
“The Time Trap” by Henry Kuttner (Marvel Science Stories, November 1938)
“Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)

BEST NOVELETTE (80 ballots)
“Dead Knowledge” by Don A. Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Stories, January 1938)
“Hollywood on the Moon” by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1938)
“Pigeons From Hell” by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, May 1938)
“Rule 18” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
“Werewoman” by C. L. Moore (Leaves #2, Winter 1938)

BEST SHORT STORY (108 ballots)
“The Faithful” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
“Helen O’Loy” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
“Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)
“How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
“Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Campbell Playhouse, CBS)
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Written by Orson Welles and John Houseman, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
R. U. R. by Karel ?apek. Produced by Jan Bussell (BBC)
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)

John W. Campbell
Walter H. Gillings
Raymond A. Palmer
Mort Weisinger
Farnsworth Wright

Margaret Brundage
Virgil Finlay
Frank R. Paul
Alex Schomburg
H. W. Wesso

BEST FANZINE (42 ballots)
Fantascience Digest edited by Robert A. Madle
Fantasy News edited by James V. Taurasi
Imagination! edited by Forrest J Ackerman, Morojo, and T. Bruce Yerke
Novae Terrae edited by Maurice K. Hanson
Tomorrow edited by Douglas W. F. Mayer

BEST FAN WRITER (50 ballots)
Forrest J Ackerman
Ray Bradbury
Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
Harry Warner, Jr.
Donald A. Wollheim

12 thoughts on “1939 Retro-Hugo Award Nominees

  1. I find it hard to believe that enough people saw the single BBC airing of the lost Karel Capek RUR from 1938 for it to make it onto the ballot.

  2. Excellent point. I see from the Wikipedia article about R.U.R. that no recordings have survived of any of the BBC’s TV or radio performances of 1938 (tv), 1941 (radio) or 1948 (tv).

    The same article reports Patrick Troughton played a role in the 1948 production. So when the 1948 Retro Hugos roll around, I predict the Doctor Who lobby will make the BBC’s 1948 version a lock for the Hugo.

  3. The Short Story category does seem particularly strong (although I’ll note that del Rey’s name should have lower case “d”s.

    “The Faithful” is del Rey’s first published short story and both the Bradbury and the Clarke were originally published in fanzines.

  4. The Retro Novelette category is going to be problematic if the stories are not in the Hugo Packet, because three of them have either not been reprinted or have been reprinted only once in something as unobtainable as their initial publication.

    (And getting the rights for stories for the Retro for the Hugo packet is probably going to be a task-and-a-half.)

  5. If “Treasure Island” had made the ballot instead of “R.U.R.” it would have been a clean sweep for Welles.

    Assuming one wants to say that the person nominated in all these cases was Welles, does this set a record for most nominations for a single person in a single category in a single year?

  6. I’d claim that Treasure Island is neither fantasy nor science fiction, nor does it concern related subjects, and so does not belong on the ballot.

    Were it to get enough votes, however, a Retro-Hugo Administrator would be obligated to include it, for it is not the job of the Administrator to rule on the fantasticness of fiction. The people would have spoken.

  7. I would claim that “Treasure Island” is at least to some extent horror.

    Come to that, is “Around the World in Eighty Days” really science fiction?

  8. Around the World is Science Fiction based on two criteria:

    a) It was written by Jules Verne and therefore must be science fiction.

    and, less facetiously,

    b) It is a story which looks at how society and culture are influenced by scientific and technological advances. True, Verne wasn’t postulating any new technology (which was his point), but he was writing a story which had the point that without technological advances it wouldn’t have been possible.

  9. If we’re confining ourselves to literary analysis, I would not classify “Around The World In 80 Days” as sf because it was an adventure based on the availability of existing transportation facilities. Indeed, news reports and advertisements about that kind of thing was the origin of Verne’s idea for the story.

    On the other hand, you know how fans love to appropriate to the sf/fantasy genre things they admire in order to give them Hugos. Consider the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo for the Moon landing coverage.

  10. Someone recently described Jules Verne as the Michael Crichton of the 19th Century. I thought that this was an interesting way of thinking about much of his work, and ATWI80D is the kind of thing Crichton might have done had he lived then. How much of Crichton’s work might be legitimately called SF?
    ,Nevertheless, Verne was a much better writer, and a lot more fun……

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