Back to the Hugos: 1966

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.)

The list:

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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.

My own time traveling ballot: Continue reading

…And Call Me Conrad (This Immortal) (1965) by Roger Zelazny

ThisImmortal1I feel like this book should really be called …And call me …And Call Me Conrad. Sort of like that Gene Wolfe collection, The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories.

To be honest, I much prefer the publisher’s title. This Immortal just feels more ripe. It certainly makes for a more interesting lens. But Zelazny wants us to call it [pause]…And Call Me Conrad. So we must. And with that, the lens becomes less focused on this immortal, (as in, not those immortals, which would make for some fun comparisons) and more focused on this dude with ‘tude. Whose name isn’t really Conrad, but by golly we better call him that.

 …my left cheek was then a map of Africa done up in varying purples, because of that mutant fungus I’d picked up from a moldy canvas… my eyes are mismatched. (I glare at people through the cold blue one on the right side when I want to to intimidate them; the brown one is for Glances Sincere and Honest.) (loc. 69)

My right eye is the one over which I furrow my brow. People say it’s intimidating.
Continue reading