Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Hugo Winners Face Off: Narrowing it down

Okay, suppose you look at the following pairs of winners:

In this corner, from 1961: A Canticle for Leibowitz. And in this corner over here, from 1966, Dune! Who wins? Personally, I think that one is obvious.

How about this trio: From 1970, The Left Hand of Darkness goes up against The Dispossessed (1975) and The Forever War (1976).

And another trio: Startide Rising (1984) goes up against both Neuromancer (1985) and Cyteen (1989).

Then we have A Fire Upon the Deep (1993) against Mirror Dance (1995).

Getting close to the present day, lots of tight contests gives us a four-way face-off between A Deepness in the Sky (2000), Paladin of Souls(2004), Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell (2005), and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (2008).

And finally, it seems only fair to pit Ancillary Justice against last year’s winner, Three Body Problem. This is the first appearance of Three-Body Problem, which had no group to join since 2015 would have started a new group of five years. So bringing it in now, how do you think it matches up?

I can certainly pick my winners easily in most cases:

1. Dune

2. No vote because I only read Left Hand

3. Cyteen

4. Umm, okay, not easy in this case, but A Fire Upon The Deep.

5. Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell is the one I’d pick, even though I liked Paladin of Souls better.

6. Ancillary Justice walks away with it considering I didn’t actually like Three-Body Problem.

How about you all? Would you pick the same ones or not if you tighten up the contest like this?

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4 Comments Hugo Winners Face Off: Narrowing it down

  1. pete mack

    Canticle. (It is a hugely influential book.)
    Dispossessed. Just wonderfully done. Two not-utopias in orbit around each other. I can’t remember much about Dune.
    Fire on the Deep

    Haven’t read enough later ones to comment.

  2. Mike S.

    Dune

    The Left Hand of Darkness

    Neuromancer
    (I like Cyteen better, but Neuromancer’s had a massive and ongoing influence)

    A Fire Upon the Deep

    A Deepness in the Sky
    (Reluctant as I am to give it to two in a row like that)

    Ancillary Justice (but it’s close)

  3. Bret Grandrath

    1. Dune, not a fav but an easy choice against Canticle because I prefer my post-apocalyptic stories to be more like Road Warrior
    2. No vote
    3.Cyteen, because Cherryh
    4. Mirror Dance because Miles x 2
    5. No vote
    6. Ancillary Justice, time will tell but this may be my favorite Hugo winner

  4. Craig

    1. Dune. Canticle is an important book, but it’s not Dune.
    2. I’m going to vote for The Left Hand of Darkness even though I haven’t read the other two.
    3. Neuromancer, although I liked both the other choices better.
    4. A Fire Upon the Deep.
    5. a toughie, and I think not wanting to double up may be why I ultimately come down for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
    6. I think Ancillary Justice is a better book and liked it a lot more, though it’s really too soon to tell what sort of impact either is going to have on the field.

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