It’s Hugo Week! And I’m just not that into it! So you know what that means… it’s time to go… Back to the Hugos!
Hugo Year: 1966
Fifty years ago: Muhammad Ali defied the draft, Indira Gandhi headed India, and the Miranda Rights were born (remember those?).
Meanwhile, Isaac Asimov announced a tie at Tricon in Cleveland when Hugo voters couldn’t decide between an ecological sand opera and a jaded god. (Also notable: A little story called “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” won the Hugo for Best Short Fiction. As much as I complain about Harlan Ellison, I do adore this story.)
A tie! THE WINNERS: DUNE by Frank Herbert & THIS IMMORTAL by Roger Zelazny! Followed by THE SQUARES OF THE CITY by John Brunner, THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein, and SKYLARK DUQUESNE by EE Smith.
Arguably the most famous science fiction novel ever published, Dune captured the hearts and minds of the SF community and sowed the seeds for the future of SF, including the even more influential Star Wars films (1977 and on, and on, and on). With its vivid desert world, rich cultural patterns, and corrupt courtly intrigue, jaws dropped when the first of this novel was published in 1963, after years of one-plot pulp serials converted to 200-page novels, populated by one main character and a few supporting roles. Dune shook the SF world.