1941 Retro Hugo Voter Packet Available

MidAmeriCon II has posted the voter packet containing works by some of the nominees for the 1941 Retro Hugos.

Heinlein’s greatest year as a short fiction writer is on display. Otherwise, the voters don’t seem to have picked a lot of work in the public domain, or that the rights holders wanted to release for use in the packet. Here’s what I received in the download:

Best Novel

Contains a one-page notice where you can buy Slan.

Lydia van Vogt and the Ashley Grayson Agency are thrilled that Slan is being considered for the 1940 Retro Hugo and are happy to provide this summary of where MidAmerican [sic] members can find the book to enjoy for the first time or again a voting gets underway.

Best Novella

  • Coventry by Robert A. Heinlein
  • If This Goes On by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Magic, Inc. by Robert A. Heinlein

Best Novelette

  • “The Roads Must Roll,” by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Blowups Happen,” by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Darker Than You Think,” by Jack Williamson

Best Short Story

  • “Martian Quest,” by Leigh Brackett – a link to the story on the Baen website
  • “Requiem,” by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Strange Playfellow” (A.K.A. Robbie) by Isaac Asimov
  • “The Stellar Legion,” by Leigh Brackett – a link to the story on the Baen website

Best Professional Artist

Hubert Rogers is represented by four pieces of cover art, three that appear to be the original art and one copy of a magazine cover.

Best Fanzine

  • Futuria Fantasia (Sept. 1940), edited by Ray Bradbury

A statement directs voters to examples of Futuria Fantasia, Le Zombie, Spaceways, and Voice of the Imagi-Nation at www.fanac.org/fanzines/Retro_Hugos.html

Best Fan Writer

Contains another copy of Futuria Fantasia (Sept. 1940)

A statement explains the Ray Bradbury sample for the Best Fan Writer category is “Gorgono and Slith,” found in that issue. Also, that samples by fan writer nominees Forrest J. Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Bob Tucker, and Harry Warner can be found at www.fanac.org/fanzines/Retro_Hugos.html

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman for the story.]

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18 thoughts on “1941 Retro Hugo Voter Packet Available

  1. Where’s the Lovecraft piece?

    Perhaps AskLovecraft will have something to say, once they get settled in to their new digs.

  2. NB that it is the 1948 novel version of Williamson’s “Darker than you Think” which is included, not the original 1940 short version. Since original publication, the 1940 version has been reprinted only twice, in two collections published by Haffner Press in 2008, neither available electronically and with paper copies going for rather heavy prices.

  3. Thanks for the Kallocain link. I was rather surprised to find that my university library has three copies, but when I went to check them found they were all in Swedish.

    Still looking for The Reign of Wizardry, and among the short fiction for ‘It’ and (the actual, short) ‘Darker than You Think’.

  4. The Internet Archive has scans of several of the original pulps in which these stories appeared.


    Reign of Wizardry Jack Williamson
    Part 1 https://archive.org/details/Unknown_v03n01_1940-03_unz.org
    Part 2 https://archive.org/details/Unknown_v03n02_1940-04_unz.org-sas
    Part 3 https://archive.org/details/Unknown_v03n03_1940-05.Street_and_Smith

    Grey Lensman E. E. Smith
    Part 3 https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v24n04_1939-12

    Slan A. E. Van Vogt
    Part 4 https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v26n04_1940-12


    Roaring Trumpet L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    Mathematics of Magic L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt


    Darker Than You Think Jack Williamson

    It! Theodore Sturgeon

    Short Story

    Stellar Legion Leigh Brackett

    Best Graphic Story

    Introducing Captain Marvel Whiz Comics #2 Bill Parker & C. C Beck

  5. @Bill, excellent!

    Perhaps you could send these links to the Hugo people for an update?

    Most everything I nominated was PD, thanks to von D’s excellent work in gathering it.

    (Should have been more Brackett and CL Moore IMO)

  6. I’m not a Worldcon member and don’t know who to send it to. If you do, please feel free to forward the info.

  7. Bill: I have emailed your link collection to the people working on the Hugo Voter Packet.

  8. Thanks, Mike. The Internet Archive is an above-board organization, and they respect copyrights, so I don’t see any major ethical issues linking to these.

    But obviously, there are other places that have more flexible ideas about such things. I won’t link to them, but I’ll suggest that perusing libgen might yield links to all of the other graphic stories (except the Spirit) in CBR format, and much of the remaining fiction (search by author; ISFDB.com will help locate the title of a longer collection that includes short pieces). And that Fantasia is widely available by torrents.

  9. @Mike Glyer: Thanks for the heads up!

    The Retro Hugo Packet page is very misleading; the first several categories say the download sizes are 0.0. I almost didn’t click on them, but I did, and the Novelette and Novella packets are quite large (as expected from Mike’s write-up, of course). Ugh, they should fix that; some folks may not bother downloading, thinking the Novelette and Novella downloads don’t have anything.

    BTW am I the only one who tries to misspell it as “Novellete” sometimes?

  10. @Kendall
    BTW am I the only one who tries to misspell it as “Novellete” sometimes?

    (sheepishly) No, check my list of links post above . . . .

  11. Many thanks, Bill.

    I see that Unknown considers ‘Darker Than You Think’ a novel – though in Hugo terms it doesn’t even qualify as a novella.

  12. Yeah, I saw that too. I suppose that a table of contents looks better with a novel in it.

    But I copied the story in to MS Word, and it counts about 38,000 words. I’m sure this isn’t 100% accurate, but it still seems as if the story was placed into the wrong category by administrators. The cutoff for a novella is 17,500 words, and this is clearly larger than that.

  13. Oh ho. I know the administrators don’t second-guess voters on questions like ‘is this SF?’ and ‘is this fanwork?’, but they are meant to check lengths of works. Though one wonders why people were nominating it in Novelette anyway. I suppose that with a small nominating pool like we get in the RetroHugos, one prominent person can mention it as a novelette, and that may lead to it getting shortlisted in that category.

    As for ‘novel’, I guess they are using that to mean ‘novella’, since novels in the usual sense would be serialised. While ‘-ette’ is clearly a diminutive, ‘-ella’, properly speaking, isn’t, though it sounds like one; it’s really just the Italian form of ‘novel’.

  14. Oh, I think they were using “novel” to mean “novel”. It was a marketing ploy. Who is to say that a 38000 word story isn’t a short novel? It’s not like a 1940 reader was going to count up the words and demand a refund.

    All of these recommendations put it into the correct category:

    OTOH, this Puppy recommendation called it a novelette:

    So go figure.

  15. Ho. May this be the first evidence we have had of the strength of the Sad Puppy recommendation process – since all their successes so far have been shared either with the RP list or with wider consensus? Though of course we don’t need to suppose that everyone who nominated it did so in Novelette. If some people nominated it in Novelette and others in Novella, it had enough votes to qualify in Novelette but not in Novella, and the administrators didn’t have a copy at hand to check, that might be enough to account for it.

    As for ‘novel’, the Hugo definitions didn’t exist in 1940, so I don’t think you could say it was wrong to call a story of 38000 words a novel. (Indeed, is it wrong now? Coraline was a novella in Hugo terms, but I think you could call it a novel without violence to the language.) But given that longer novels would be serialised, I suspect that ‘novels’ in SF magazines were often what we would call novellas. If I remember rightly, the novella about watery orbs that was shortlisted two years ago was described as a ‘complete novel’ by the magazine that published it.

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