Back to the Hugos: 1965!

The Hugo Awards are this weekend, but time-travel Hugos are much more fun! …And there’s less drama when you’re several generations removed.

So let’s go back to the Hugos: 1965!

The member vote for Best Novel:

TheWanderer1Davy1ThePlanetBuyerTheWholeMan
Leiber wins, and Brunner gets the shaft. (It’s okay, Brunner kid. Maybe you can recycle some of those ideas for something really cool later on.)

 

MY pretend, retro vote for Best Novel:

ThePlanetBuyerTheWanderer1TheWholeManDavy1
Smith, then Leiber, Brunner, and Bangporn, er, Pangborn, I mean.

A colorful Hugo shortlist full of imaginative, vibrant, yet structurally flawed stories. The Planet Buyer‘s lack of story requires a reread to be fully appreciated, but it’s more impressive than the fun, but schticky disaster novel, The Wanderer. Brunner’s The Whole Man might have been a tad more interesting if I hadn’t already read Brunner’s brilliant Stand on Zanzibar (1968). As for Bangporn, as he is now called in my house, well, I can see how Davy‘s themes of sexual liberation in a post-apocalyptic setting might have been tantalizing at the time, but I have a hard time reconciling the “women are people, too,” message with the “stallionizing” that begins a few pages later. You mean, “women are people, too, as long as they are my playthings,” right?

Oh, oh, oh! AND, all four of these novels involve highly experimental literary elements, liberal philosophizing, non-white characters, and ZERO pew-pew-space-cadet heroics. They are all VERY WEIRD BOOKS THAT STODGY WHITE DUDES WHO STARCH THEIR SOCKS PROBABLY WON’T LIKE AND IT MAKES ME WONDER IF PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN THAT NEW SF IS TOO LIBERAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ACTUALLY BOTHERED TO READ VINTAGE SF, OR DID THEY JUST SEE A PICTURE OF A 1930’s-ERA COMIC BOOK AND ASSUME ALL VINTAGE SF IS LIKE THAT. AHEM, I’M SAYING THAT I THINK THE PAD SUPPIES DON’T ACTUALLY READ MUCH SF OUTSIDE OF THEIR OWN CIRCLE JERK.

I’m sorry, that’s probably incorrect. I meant to say “WHOSE WIVES STARCH THEIR SOCKS.”

Tune in tomorrow for 1975… when some real masterpieces show up!

 

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14 thoughts on “Back to the Hugos: 1965!

  1. John Stephen Walsh says:

    You mean these liberal, non-space-cadet SF books, all written by white dudes, will shake up…white dudes? And it’s amazing how these books from fifty years ago were so startling and liberal, seeing how they were written by…white dudes.

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    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      … a particular subset of white dudes who seem intent on rewriting the history of the Hugos by arguing that the popularity of experimental, progressive fiction that includes nonwhite characters is a new phenomenon. A particular subset of white dudes who don’t know what they are talking about and change the argument every time they are challenged, which is why this series of posts will seem equally contradictory in nature.

      And yes, the whitewashing (and malewashing) of science fiction publishing, historically and presently, is a longstanding problem. De facto discrimination, like even the most liberal of country clubs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

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  3. PS These posts are the best. Especially the ranty parts of them.

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    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      And here I thought I was being perfectly blunt and succinct.

      But now Joachim is calling me “The Rant Master,” abbreviated at “TRM.” I think that calls for a cape.

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      • Cape! I often think that it is really a shame that capes went out of fashion.

        Are you going to do this every year? Because I really hope so. It’s great.

        Also: holy shit the Hugos are this weekend and THEIR ANNOUNCEMENT WILL OPEN A NEW DOOR TO HELL! I admit to being more than a little excited to see what the fuck happens, whatever that turns out to be.

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        • fromcouchtomoon says:

          Capes are rather functional, aren’t they? My mother tried to give me a capelet for xmas last year because “it looked like something I would wear.” Still not sure where she got that.

          The plan is to do this every year. I did it last year, too, but I played it bit more straight: https://couchtomoon.wordpress.com/category/lets-go-to-the-hugos/ I was purposely staying ignorant about the Schmuppy controversy, to be balanced *eyeroll* because I was voting *eyeroll*

          We will see what happens. It’s on the west coast this year and I don’t know if I can stay up late enough to see it.

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  4. thebookgator says:

    Whew, thank goodness you straightened that bit about the white dudes and their socks up. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, that seems about right… the Hugos were not meant to be divided by digit, as the ‘5s are just so much meh. This ballot just reminds me that I need to read The Wanderer, especially since then I can check off my Fritz Leiber for this year. Smith I find compelling because of his weirdness and sharp prose, but I don’t consider him someone who writes a great read. Davy probably won’t stand up to a re-read since I’m no longer 12, and the “wanton & lusty adventures of a post-apocalyptic Pan-boy” doesn’t seem like something that would age well.

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    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I’d really like to hear what you think about The Wanderer. Part of me prefers it to The Planet Buyer, just because it’s so fun, and Cordwainer Smith is almost too wacky to be accessible. But I think, in the end, I would pick Planet Buyer as my top choice.

      Fake, retro voting is so hard!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] of a liberal and literary hijacking of the Hugo Awards. (Although we already know that, one, you cannot hijack your own plane, and two, conservative, non-literary books have always appeared on Hugo shortlists, and three, […]

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  7. […] their argument, otherwise they’d have me pretty well defeated right now. But even so, as we have learned, this uber-progressive list is a throwback to the old days of Hugo shortlists. This liberal […]

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  8. […] 1965           1975          1985             1995               2005 […]

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