Back to the Hugos: 1955!

The Hugo Awards are this weekend, but time-travel Hugo Awards are much more fun! So let’s go… Back to the Hugos: 1955!


They’d Rather Be Right won the Hugo for Best Novel sixty years ago.


Also known as The Forever Machine by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley, which I reviewed last year. Tl;dr: it’s generally known as the worst Hugo winner ever, although I would argue it’s this one. They’d Rather Be Right isn’t THAT bad, but there is no nominee shortlist to make comparisons, so let’s just shrug this off as a clumsy Hugo pick. It happens.

Yes, Hugos, you can survive this year. Crappy books on the Hugo shortlist are part of the tradition, which I will demonstrate over the next five days with some quick and dirty retro analysis. See you then!


10 thoughts on “Back to the Hugos: 1955!

  1. Here here! Will look forward to the quick and dirty retro.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thebookgator says:

    Ha! Brilliant subversive post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haven’t read this one. I have to say, I wasn’t sure what else from 1954 got snubbed, but a quick Google tells me the shortlist could have included The Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Flies, I Am Legend, A Mirror for Observers, Brain Wave, The Caves of Steel, and at least one Sheckley… not the greatest year for SF, but for sure they could have picked better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I would go for The Caves of Steel because I love me some Daneel Olivaw, but it was a 1954 Retro Hugo in 2004, first serialized in ’53, so I don’t think it would have been eligible for the ’55s. Definitely I Am Legend belongs there. The Lord of the Rings seems like an obvious choice, but the early Hugo voters seem overtly sci-fi biased. Lord of the Flies would be really cool, but maybe not genre enough. The others I’m not familiar with, but yeah, this was a strange winner.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. marzaat says:

    As I recall, in Episode 89 of the Coode Street Podcast, Barry Malzberg defends this book.


  5. […] 1955 was just no. 1965 and 1995 Hugo voters disagreed with me, awarding the Hugo to Leiber’s The Wanderer and Bujold’s Mirror Dance. 1995 was a seriously backwards year. […]


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