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  #51  
Old 02-03-2017, 06:48 PM
Baal Houtham Baal Houtham is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Agreed. Otherwise they never would have voted for Dune.
"And Call Me Conrad" isn't the hefty feast "Lord of Light" is, but I've reread it several times in the last decade, and it's just purely charming. "Dune", I've never felt the need to revisit -- especially after it was turned into a franchise.
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  #52  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:15 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Wednesday Evening View Post
But that aside, I pick Ender's Game as best ever, with Stranger in a Strange Land as runner-up.
I really, really enjoyed Ender's Game. And I weekly think about a central theme--"The enemy's gate is down"--as a key to living life right.

But the forward to the re-release of it, in which Card petulantly and stupidly claims that his portrayal of gifted kids is psychologically accurate, and Card's later descent into a racist parody of himself, makes it hard for me to appreciate the book.
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  #53  
Old 02-03-2017, 07:16 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Originally Posted by Catamount View Post
It's a tossup between A Canticle for Liebowitz and Dune, but looking at the long row of Herbert on my bookshelf I'll have to go with Dune.

How did Redshirts get on this list?
It certainly seems out of place compared to the rest of the winners, all general more serious in tone. It was a fun read and a great send-up of Star Trek tropes but I would have voted for 2312. Then again, I'm a KSR fan.
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  #54  
Old 02-04-2017, 08:01 AM
Catamount Catamount is online now
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Originally Posted by standingwave View Post
It certainly seems out of place compared to the rest of the winners, all general more serious in tone. It was a fun read and a great send-up of Star Trek tropes but I would have voted for 2312. Then again, I'm a KSR fan.
I would agree with you if I hadn't read the codas at the end that sucked all the joy out of the story and, ultimately, life itself. Which is disappointing because Scalzi's usually an upbeat writer. I haven't read 2312 but one day I will because I'm adding the entire list to Mt. ToBeRead which is growing by the minute.

Last edited by Catamount; 02-04-2017 at 08:01 AM..
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  #55  
Old 02-04-2017, 01:30 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Originally Posted by GargoyleWB View Post
"Dune" for me.

Surprised the Mars books won twice, I really didn't enjoy them and they were up against better books IMO.
I agree on both points. I read only 100 pages of Red Mars, and I would have quit much sooner if I hadn't heard how good it was. It just never caught, let alone held, my interest.

Another book I can't believe has so many fans and won so many awards is the Doomsday Book. I thought it was a mediocre tear-jerker wrapped in absolutely awful sci-fi, and I'm a sucker for time travel stories. I mean, seriously, you have a fucking time machine, and hardly anyone is even interested in using it, and the administrator considers it an annoying distraction from his more important work? But at least I read the whole thing.

Dune, far and away, for me. I read it once, over 40 years ago, and I still remember how it completely transported me as I read it. I've read almost everything Heinlein, Asimov, and the other golden age writers put out, and enjoyed almost all of it, but Dune got into my bones.
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  #56  
Old 02-04-2017, 01:40 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Too late to edit, but I would say that the first two books of AGOT were also in my top five of all time. If I'm reading the list right, they weren't even nominated for a Hugo, although ASOS, the third book, was. That does not speak well for the Hugo nominating process.
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  #57  
Old 02-04-2017, 04:33 PM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
I agree on both points. I read only 100 pages of Red Mars, and I would have quit much sooner if I hadn't heard how good it was. It just never caught, let alone held, my interest.

Another book I can't believe has so many fans and won so many awards is the Doomsday Book. I thought it was a mediocre tear-jerker wrapped in absolutely awful sci-fi, and I'm a sucker for time travel stories. I mean, seriously, you have a fucking time machine, and hardly anyone is even interested in using it, and the administrator considers it an annoying distraction from his more important work? But at least I read the whole thing.
.
Yeah the Doomsday book is very prominent in its mediocrity in that list, like you can see some books are very polarising, loved and hated. But that one is just so average, no one's going to hate it, but the idea that people might rate it as Hugo material is unfathomable really.
Maybe she wrote something previously that unfairly missed out, so the judges wanted to write a wrong. That sort of stuff is typical for all sorts of awards.
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  #58  
Old 02-04-2017, 08:59 PM
susan susan is offline
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I've read 47of them. My favorite book is The Left Hand of Darkness, but there are many on that list I really liked as well. I enjoyed the structure and plots of The Paladin of Souls and Among Others.
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  #59  
Old 02-06-2017, 08:49 AM
Algernon Algernon is offline
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I've read 43 on that list.

My favorite (note my username), is Keye's Flowers For Algernon.

Many great books on that list. And a few clunkers (in my opinion).

Based on the number of my personal re-reads, I have to give these a mention:
Lucifer's Hammer, (Niven, Pournelle)
Mote in God's Eye (Niven, Pournelle)
Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut)

Though I confess, it has been decades since I've re-read any of these so I'm not entirely confident that they'd hold up with yet another re-read.
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  #60  
Old 02-06-2017, 11:38 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Busy Scissors View Post
Yeah the Doomsday book is very prominent in its mediocrity in that list, like you can see some books are very polarising, loved and hated. But that one is just so average, no one's going to hate it, but the idea that people might rate it as Hugo material is unfathomable really.
Maybe she wrote something previously that unfairly missed out, so the judges wanted to write a wrong. That sort of stuff is typical for all sorts of awards.
The problem with that theory is that besides the Hugo, Doomsday Book also won the Nebula, the writers award, and the fan-based Locus Award, and the Ignotus Award, the Italia Award, and the Kurt Lasswell Award, for works published in Spain, Italy and Germany respectively, and the fantasy-based Mythopoeic Award and came in second in the Science Fiction Chronicle Readers Poll, as well as being shortlisted for the juried Arthur C. Clarke award, for books published in the U.K., and the fan British SF Association Awards.

According to the evidence, everybody loved the book for being the book. She also won six awards that year for the short story "Even the Queen," so if people just wanted her to win something they could have stopped there.
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  #61  
Old 02-06-2017, 11:56 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The problem with that theory is that besides the Hugo, Doomsday Book also won the Nebula, the writers award, and the fan-based Locus Award, and the Ignotus Award, the Italia Award, and the Kurt Lasswell Award, for works published in Spain, Italy and Germany respectively, and the fantasy-based Mythopoeic Award and came in second in the Science Fiction Chronicle Readers Poll, as well as being shortlisted for the juried Arthur C. Clarke award, for books published in the U.K., and the fan British SF Association Awards.
Never mind the fact that there are no "judges" for the Hugos (other than the voting members themselves.)
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  #62  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:07 PM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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1. Dune
2. Hyperion
3. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

There hasn't been much discussion about "Hyperion" in the thread. For those who studied Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, "Hyperion" was a bit of a thrill. A very motley crew on a pilgrimage, with hidden secrets between them, all telling their tales. There is a sense of hidden inevitability that they are all there.

I liked the Mars books. They struck me as eminently believable.
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  #63  
Old 02-06-2017, 11:51 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Lords of Light
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  #64  
Old 02-07-2017, 09:41 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
Lords of Light
[nitpick]Lord, singular.[/nitpick]

Yeah, Lord of Light knocked me over when I first read it. And Hyperion was a titanic achievement.

There really are a lot of good books on the list. Along with the clunkers.
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  #65  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:56 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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My gosh, that's a hard one to decide.

But the winner is, The Dispossessed. In particular for a passage from it that I will never forget.
Quote:
Originally Posted by From Memory
"But Shevek - you are denying brotherhood."

"No, I'm not. I am saying where it begins. It begins in shared pain."

"And where does it end?"

"I don't know. I don't know yet."
I will be a better person for the rest of my life, because I read that book.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #66  
Old 02-08-2017, 12:03 PM
Pixel_Dent Pixel_Dent is offline
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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is my favorite to read. The best written book on the list is probably The Yiddish Policeman's Union.
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  #67  
Old 02-08-2017, 05:33 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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The best written book on the list is probably The Yiddish Policeman's Union.
I will say, that when they got to the part about the cows, I sort of jumped and said "Whoa, are they really going there!?".
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  #68  
Old 02-08-2017, 06:16 PM
HookerChemical HookerChemical is offline
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I've read 25. My favorite is Dune. Runners up are Gateway, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Ancillary Justice.
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  #69  
Old 02-08-2017, 09:23 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
My gosh, that's a hard one to decide.

But the winner is, The Dispossessed. In particular for a passage from it that I will never forget. I will be a better person for the rest of my life, because I read that book.

Regards,
Shodan
I am both astonished and delighted that you chose this as well. The things that bridge us....
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  #70  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:31 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I am both astonished and delighted that you chose this as well. The things that bridge us....
I have to admit I've always preferred The Left Hand of Darkness, possibly because I wasn't politically or philosophically mature enough to appreciate The Dispossessed when I read it.

Ursula Le Guin is as wonderful in person as she is a writer, you'll be glad to know. She was one of the teachers at the Clarion workshop when I attended and everybody instantly fell in love with her. She so liked a surrealistic little story I wrote in response to an exercise she assigned that she gave it to her agent to place in a publication, my first professional sale. Believe me, that's rare behavior in the f&sf world.
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  #71  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:44 PM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel

Sheesh. How could I forget Neuromancer.
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  #72  
Old 02-09-2017, 05:58 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by TYphoonSignal8 View Post
Sheesh. How could I forget Neuromancer.
Maybe the chip in your head is full?

(It is funny how "hundreds of megabytes" used to sound like a lot.)
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  #73  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:43 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Wow - quite a list! I see I've read 48 of the nominees (not counting 7 from the Retro list), and 22 of the winners. Some lifetime favorites of mine - I could reread any of these just about any time:

Starship Troopers
Glory Road
Dune
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
The Mote In God's Eye
The Forever War
Mindbridge
2010: Odyssey Two
The Robots of Dawn
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Old Man's War
Zoe's Tale
Redshirts
Childhood's End


If I absolutely, positively had to pick just one of the Hugo winners, though, it would be... Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Never understood all the love for A Canticle for Leibowitz. Total meh for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul Brother Number Two View Post
...I vote for The Forever War. Really love that book, can read it over and over.
Yes! Be sure to check out "A Separate War," a short story Haldeman wrote in which he tells us what Marygay was doing during William's last mission. An excellent addendum to the novel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamount View Post
...How did Redshirts get on this list?
It's a funny, well-written, meta take on Star Trek. No reason it shouldn't be there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
...The ballots are counted in what's called (for no reason anyone can articulate) an "Australian Ballot."....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret...nd_New_Zealand
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  #74  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:21 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Never understood all the love for A Canticle for Leibowitz. Total meh for me.
I always preferred the original short story, "A Canticle for Leibowitz" that he wrote for F&SF in 1955 (IIRC). It eventually became the first part of the novel. To me, writers who excel at short stories should stick with that medium; turning them into novels simply ruins something exquisite. (I have much the same opinion about the relative merits of the short story version of "Flowers For Algernon" compared to the novel.)
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  #75  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:04 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Ender's Game was also a short story before it was stretched into a novel. I've read both and prefer the novel.
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  #76  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:56 PM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Maybe the chip in your head is full?

(It is funny how "hundreds of megabytes" used to sound like a lot.)
Faulty modem connection, perhaps.

Good to see Heinlein getting so much love in this thread.
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  #77  
Old 02-10-2017, 10:15 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Some excellent books which didn't make it to the Hugo finals, but IMHO should have:

Icerigger by Alan Dean Foster (1974) - Humans struggle to survive on a frozen world and befriend the aggressive race which lives there
All My Sins Remembered by Joe Haldeman (1977) - A spy for an interstellar republic, reindoctrinated for each mission, begins to lose his sense of identity
Elleander Morning by Jerry Yulsman (1984) - A minor starving artist named Hitler is killed in 1913 Vienna, and the world is changed forever
Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin (1986) - Brilliant sf/environmentalism satire
Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins (1987) - Ambitious, engrossing, multigenerational superhero graphic novel
Fatherland by Robert Harris (1992) - Alt-hist murder myster set in 1964 Nazi Berlin
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003) - Tragic romance about... well, you know....
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  #78  
Old 02-11-2017, 11:14 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Ender's Game was also a short story before it was stretched into a novel. I've read both and prefer the novel.
One of the few times I agree that the novel was better. But, then, that author is well-known for writing excellent novels to begin with.
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  #79  
Old 02-11-2017, 11:43 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I'd go so far as to say that the short story is the natural format for science fiction in general. Not that there aren't good SF novels, of course, but in general, the genre is best-suited to the short story.
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  #80  
Old 02-11-2017, 12:34 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I think I've read 27 of them, but I'm not sure about several. I read through the list to see if I could pick out a single one, or even just a small set of them. I gave up. I've read too much. I can no longer pick just a few best ones. A lot of them are very good, and I don't want to distinguish between them anymore.
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  #81  
Old 02-11-2017, 01:05 PM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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I've read over 50 of these, if I've counted correctly. Like several others, I'm very fond of Canticle, The Dispossessed, Moon is A Harsh Mistress, and The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I'd also like to put in a good word for Stand on Zanzibar, which uses a lot of unusual techniques to convey an impression of a believable, horribly crowded and stressed, world.

Sometime, I'll get around to the few of these that I haven't read yet.

Last edited by Andy L; 02-11-2017 at 01:06 PM..
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  #82  
Old 02-11-2017, 01:58 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Wait, there's science fiction that Andy L hasn't read?
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  #83  
Old 02-11-2017, 02:26 PM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Wait, there's science fiction that Andy L hasn't read?
Sorry for the shock! For example, I haven't read Dreamsnake or They'd Rather be Right.
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  #84  
Old 02-12-2017, 12:32 AM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is online now
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The Moon s a Harsh Mistress
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