CoNZealand To Host
1945 Retro Hugos

Co-chairs Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler have announced that CoNZealand, the 2020 Worldcon, will present Retro Hugo Awards for 1945, acknowledging notable works published in 1944.

The Hugos are the most prestigious award in the science fiction and fantasy genres. First presented in 1953, they honor literature, media and fan activities, and have become the key event held during the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

Since 1996, Worldcon committees also have had the option of presenting Retrospective (Retro) awards to honor works published in the earlier years of Worldcon when no Hugos were awarded. No Hugo Awards were given out in 1945, when Worldcon was on hiatus due to World War II, and CoNZealand will take place 75 years after the awards would have occurred.

The 2019 Irish Worldcon, held in Dublin last month, presented the 1944 Retro Hugos for the 1943 calendar year; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Ray Bradbury were amongst the winners.

“Some of the works created during the World War II years have become classics and it is a great opportunity to be able to formally celebrate them,” said Cates and Buehler.

Nominations for the 1945 Retro Hugos will open at the same time as the 2020 Hugo Award nominations.

In addition to the Hugos and Retro Hugos, CoNZealand will host the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents.

[Based on a CoNZealand Press Release.]

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44 thoughts on “CoNZealand To Host
1945 Retro Hugos

  1. It will be interesting to see what people find. The only novel listed in isfdb for 1944 that I recognize is Olaf Stapledon’s “Sirius”

  2. Comics in 1944:

    1) Tintin was interrupted when all editors on the newspapers were arrested as nazi collaborators.

    2) Spirou had no genre work as yet.

    3) I couldn’t stomach checking through all Marvel comics, because it seemed to be mostly racist war propaganda.

    4) Flash Gordon
    a) Battle for Tropica
    b) Triumph in Tropica

    Prince Valiant (I haven’t checked these for genre elements yet)
    a) The Jealous Cripple
    b) A Quick, Bloody Battle
    c) The Rewards of Treachery
    In one of these, there is a giant octopus attacking their ship, so it is genre, problem I can’t really see which one it is. My guess is that it is in A Quick Bloody Battle.
    Brick Bradford
    a) Beyond the Crystal Door
    DC Comics
    a) All-American Comics #61: Fighters Never Quit (Green Lantern vs Solomon Grundy)
    b) Superman #30: The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk!
    The Spirit was not drawn by Eisner during the war, AFAIK. I can’t really remember any strip that was interesting from this time.

  3. Genre movies from 1944 seem to be largely horror. Going from Wikipedia listings of all 1944 releases, I see

    Between Two Worlds,
    The Canterville Ghost,
    Cry of the Werewolf,
    The Curse of the Cat People,
    House of Frankenstein,
    It Happened Tomorrow,
    The Lady and the Monster,
    The Mummy’s Curse,
    The Mummy’s Ghost,

  4. To follow up the reference to City in Hampus’s link, it appears that the book as a whole is not eligible (as it was published in 1952) but the first four tales are as originally published in Astounding.


  5. Is it time for me to do my usual grump about Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) yet? Radio, people. Folks in the 1940s listened to the radio. There’s no need to go looking for short feature films or Looney Tunes cartoons.

    I looked up 1944 science fiction novels on Wikipedia and found six entries. “This’ll be easy, then,” I thought. Then I noticed that one of them appeared to be a 1952 fix-up of a novelette series that started in 1949, so it seems I’ll have to cast my net farther afield.

  6. I’m planning to set up a crowdsourced recommendation/eligibility list along the lines of Renay’s Hugo Spreadsheet of Doom or the Hugo Wikia for the 1944 Retro Hugos to make informed nominations as well as checking eligibility easier, so people won’t just nominate the most famous names out of habit, even if the actual story in question is a weaker effort such as this year’s Asimov short story Retro Hugo finalist.

    I haven’t even set up the list yet and won’t open the list/spreadsheet up for recommendations until closer to the start of the nomination period, but once it’s ready I’ll invite everybody to add recommendations. Wherever possible, I’d also like to include links to where you can check out the work in question for yourself. If a story is part of a series (e.g. two of Asimov’s 1944 stories are Foundation stories, which are probably not that well known under their original titles), I’d like to include that info as well. What other info beyond the basics (author, title, category, publisher) would you like to see included?

    BTW, which format do you prefer? A Google Docs spreadsheet a la Renay’s spreadsheet of doom or the Red Pandas’ Dragon Awards eligibility spreadsheet or a Wiki format like the Hugo Wikia?

    If we all work together, we can make it easier to make informed nominations for the Retro Hugos.

  7. Gah. When will we be free of the Retro Hugos forever? 😉

    That said, I applaud those of you doing research now, which will benefit all nominators and voters.

  8. @Cora

    I think Google docs works best – editing a wikia entry is faffier, even though you can produce a nicer looking product.

  9. I did a more complete search for Prince Valiant to match the english names with my swedish albums. Sorry to say, the part with the giant octopus was from the year before. You can find a summary of the above mentioned story lines here.

    I’m a bit skeptic towards if these can be called genre, but I guess that if Tintin could in the last retro, then this could too.

  10. @ Kendall:

    As far as I can tell, there’s still 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, and 1952 to give out retros for[1]. WorldCons that are a multiple of 25 years since a year where no Hugo was awarded (and no prior worldcon has done the retro-hugos for that year) have the option of doing them[2].

    This means that we’re looking at 2022 as the earliest “last retro-hugo” (until there’s another year without a worldcon), but there’s technically no upper bound for when we will no longer see them, until such a time that 1952 has been declared, or we miss another year.

    [2], §3.14.1, p. 18

  11. Buck Rogers comics:

    D039 – “Hollow Planetoid” (1/31/44 to 7/22/44) (Series VIII, Strips 1 to 150)
    D040 – “Plastic Percy” (7/24/44 to 12/2/44) (Series VIII, Strips 151 to 264)
    D041 – “Planets, Incorporated” (12/4/44 to 2/24/45) (Series VIII, Strips 265 to 336) (J)
    S30 – “Parchment of the Golden Crescent” (2/6/44 to 3/11/45) (Series II, Strips 123 to 180) (4)

  12. 1944 was certainly a banner year: several “City” stories by Simak, Arena by Fredric Brown, Killdozer by Sturgeon, No Wiman Born by C.L. Moore, to name a few.

  13. There should be a few Lil’Abner comic strips that would match too. Can’t really find any info of them. Will look and see if I have more info at home.

  14. @Bob Roehm
    I already have “No Woman Born” and the “City” stories on my personal list, but I missed “Arena” and “Killdozer”. We also have a lot of classic Bradbury stories, two Asimov Foundation stories and one Powell and Donovan story as well as a bunch of fine Kuttner/Moore stories, a Leigh Brackett novella and a novelette, twoi Cthulhu Mythos stories by August Derleth and a whole bunch of John Thunstone stories by Manly Wade Wellman.

    From my cursory first look, short storiy and novelette seem to be an embarassment of riches with novella and novel less populated. Though I haven’t even looked for left field finalists such as “The Glass Bead Game” or “The Little Prince” yet.

    Regarding comics, there also are the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician strips, which I keep nominating, though no one else does.

  15. @Kendall, I’m right there with you on both points.

    Cora, I second Google Docs if you want to do that. It’s easier to navigate IMO than a wiki.

    “No Woman Born” by C. L. Moore first appeared in the December 1944 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction. It can be found in The Best of C. L. Moore edited by Lester Del Ray. I think it’s a short story, though I can’t find a word count.

    ETA: I see you said you had No Woman Born already.

  16. And here comes the left field finalist….

    The Wind on the Moon by Eric Linklater

    Oh god, how I love this book. It is bestest, bestest ever. It shall has to win.

    Otherwise, we also have:

    Edgar Rice Burroughs – Land of Terror
    Lisbeth Zwerger – The Bremen Town Musicians
    Aldous Huxley – Time Must Have a Stop
    Virginia Woolf – A Haunted House and Other Short Stories
    Aleister Crowley – The Book of Thoth

    Best Editor: Phyllis Fraser för denna:

    I’ll have to check out the Mandrake comics to see what is eligible. I don’t really see Phantom as genre, as there aren’t really any SFF elements.

  17. @Ingvar: Thanks! I guess I’ll hope Worldcons (which show no signs of skipping years they’re allowed to present Retro Hugos for) keep doing these, so they’re done with as soon as possible. 😉

    Hmm, it looks like “Ibis the Invincible” was published in 1944.

  18. “Hmm, it looks like “Ibis the Invincible” was published in 1944.”

    From Fawcett also:

    Captain Marvel Adventures
    Captain Marvel Jr.
    Captain Midnight
    Wow Comics (with Mary Marvel)
    Whiz Comics (with Spy Smasher and Ibis)

  19. Hampus: Wikipedia lists Lisbeth Zwerger as born in 1954, so I don’t see how anything she has done can be eligible.

  20. “Hampus: Wikipedia lists Lisbeth Zwerger as born in 1954, so I don’t see how anything she has done can be eligible.”

    Ok, I get it now. There was an edition of the Grimm version published in 1944 and someone must have confused that one with Zwerger’s version. And I copied that without checking.

  21. @Cora:

    Thank you, that is very helpful!

    I was never brave enough to figure out wikis, so I vote for a Google Doc.

  22. Cora, the stories I listed are nearly the entire contents of Asimov and Greenberg’s Greaf SF Stories: 1944. It also includes “When the Bough Breaks” by Lewis Padgett (Kuttner & Moore) and “Kindness “ by Lester del Rey. I read the Padgett last night; it’s a cute store but not Hugo quality. These Greaf SF volumes seem to be scarcer than they out to be (at least in good condition). I have the hardcover Bonanza reprints which included two years in each book. The six volumes are an invaluable resource for me.

  23. @Hampus Eckerman

    The Spirit was not drawn by Eisner during the war, AFAIK. I can’t really remember any strip that was interesting from this time.

    The first issue of The Spirit comic book from Quality Comics came out in 1944. It was drawn by Lou Fine, an excellent artist in his own right, and scripted by Manley Wade Wellman. The Sunday Supplement issues of The Spirit in 1944 were drawn primarily by Jack Cole, also a fine artist.

    Carl Barks did a number of Donald Duck stories in that year, including “The Mad Chemist” (in WDC&S v4#8, 5/44), which introduced the fantasy element “carbene”, which was later referenced in real scientific journals.

  24. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    Sirius indeed. See here.

    At shorter length, immediately coming to mind is the superb C.L. Moore novelette “No Woman Born”.


    R. Ardey, Worlds Beginning
    R. Barjavel, Future Times Three (Scouten tr. 1958)
    E. Burroughs, Land of Terror
    A. Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop
    R. Jones, Renaissance

    Short Ones (apologies to R. Banks):

    Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories vol. 6 is a baker’s dozen from 1944. In his order,

    Van Vogt, “Far Centaurus”
    Cartmill, “Deadline”
    Brackett, “The Veil of Astalar”
    Leiber, “Sanity”
    Pierce, “Invariant”
    Simak, “City”
    Brown, “Arena”
    Simak, “Huddling Place”
    Del Rey, “Kindness”
    Simak, “Desertion”
    Padgett, “When the Bough Breaks” (this is a Kuttner & Moore pseudonym)
    Sturgeon, “Killdozer”
    Moore, “No Woman Born”

    Adventures in Time and Space (Healy & McComas, 1946) has “As Never Was” (Schuyer Miller).

    A Treasury of Science Fiction (Conklin, 1948) has “The Great Fog” (Heard).

    Thanks to Brother Eckerman for pointing to three Asimov and ten Bradbury stories (none of which is in Great SF Stories vol. 6).

    Brother Shallcross, I tried at a Web-access machine to look for 1944 in the Internet SF Data Base; it reported 2,697 entries; I could only see the first 300, which included 10 anthologies and 26 collections I haven’t begun to look through, plus covers and interiors. Can you explain how to get at the rest?

    I second the recommendation of In particular, past Retro-Hugo ballots suggest strongly that nominators haven’t looked carefully there – or elsewhere! – for Best Fanartist candidates (to me, fanartist is one word, as is fanwriter; a loudspeaker is not the same as a loud speaker).

  25. Brother Hertz, you can get more out of the Internet SF Database by selecting “Advanced Search”, and then “Titles” under “Custom Searches of Individual Record Types”. This brings up a page for choosing selection criteria. If you just set Title Year to 1944, you will get a sequence of pages with 100 records per page that will go on beyond 300 records.. You can also add Title Type as a criterion, selecting just Novels, or just Poems, or just Short Fiction, or excluding Interior Illustrations.

  26. It might be that Tintin – Red Rackham’s Treasure, was published in english for the first time in 1944. I’d say it is genre with the shark submarine.

  27. Bill: Yes, just like that. And if you include setting Series to “Doc Savage novels”, you will find that there were 12 of those published in 1944.

  28. Pingback: Thanks, Hampus | File 770

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