Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Josh Wimmer blogs the Hugos

Well, sometimes we are late to a party and sometimes we are REALLY late, but somehow I just stumbled across these blog entries from … ready for this? … 2009 and onward.

Seems that nine years ago Josh Wimmer started reading all the Hugo winners in order and writing a review of each in turn for io9.

Here on this page, the first eighteen:

The Demolished Man
They’d Rather Be Right
Double Star
Big Time
A Case of Conscience
Starship Troopers
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Man in the High Castle
Way Station
The Wanderer
This Immortal
Dune
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Lord of Light
Stand on Zanzibar
The Left Hand of Darkness
Ringworld

I’ve read the first couple of reviews and dipped into a couple of others, and I must say, I finding Wimmer pretty sympatico so far. Plus he includes catchy phrases like “Stranger in a Strange Land is the Catcher in the Rye of SF” and “Ringworld is a lot like “Lost,” but there’s a crucial difference.” Don’t those headers make you want to read the relevant review?

Then here’s the page that covers these:

To Your Scattered Bodies Go
The Gods Themselves
Rendevouz with Rama
The Dispossessed
The Forever War
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
Gateway
Dreamsnake
Fountains of Paradise
The Snow Queen
Downbelow Station (“Here’s how you write a novel”)
Foundation’s Edge, plus Wimmer dwells on the Foundation series a good deal, which is too bad imo since I never got into the series at all.
Startide Rising

That takes us up to 1984 and seems to mark the end of these reviews.

I have very little urge to start at the beginning and read all the Hugo winners in order, but on the other hand it’s quite interesting to be reminded about them; to read these reviews and think about how the genre has changed from 1953 on up through the 1980s and onward. I’ve actually read … let me see … 20 of these, but I must admit some left very little impression. I remember practically nothing about Canticle, for example. But quite a lot of them I read multiple times, liked a lot, and wouldn’t mind revisiting. Every time I’ve walked past Ringworld lately, I’ve thought of taking it off the shelf and re-reading it. (It’s turned face out on the shelf so I can admire the Michael Whelan cover, so you can see why it catches my eye.)

Anyway, interesting set of reviews, which you may also find worth checking out.

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