Bonus points if you’ve actually read “They’d Rather Be Right.”
My record is a little better for the Hugos than the Newberrys–I’ve read 27 of the winners. Out of those, the toughest choice is between A Fire Upon the Deep and Hyperion. Taken as a stand-alone, I’ll have to go with AFUtD. (But if taken overall, I’d go with the Hyperion Cantos.)
A tough choice, but I’ll go with A Canticle for Leibowitz.
I’ve read 25. Much as I love To Say Nothing Of The Dog, and my daughter would vote for American Gods my vote has to go for Frank Herbert’s Dune, and ignore all its sequels.
I just recently re-read Stand on Zanzibar, and to be honest it hasn’t aged well at all. But it’s one of my favorite books, so I have to go with it. Otherwise I would have chosen Canticle for Liebowitz.
I’ve read They’d Rather Be Right. I don’t know if the legend that it only won because there were only a few hundred people at the convention and the publisher ordered pizza (or burgers or whatever) to bribe them to vote for Clifton’s drek is true or not…but I’d rather believe it true. Lord, what a bad book. Although it’s not quite the worst. The worst is Leiber’s The Wanderer. I can only assume he was stoned when he wrote it. And that the voters were stoned when they voted for it. Leiber has written many, MANY brilliant works. This wasn’t one of them.
It’s hard to pick a single favorite as there’s so many good ones, but I’d probably pick Vinge’s A Fire Upon The Deep if I were forced to.
How about the other Hugo categories, not just best novel? Again with the disclaimers that I haven’t read them all and some choices may be tossups, for SS I’ll go with Kirinyaga, for novella I’ll go with Palimpsest (with All Seated on the Ground as close competition), and for novelette I’ll go with Sandkings. [URL=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest_(novella)”]
Boy, I must have missed something about The Graveyard Book. I didn’t think it was that good. (It got the Newberry Award also).
I haven’t read many of these, but I’d probably pick Flowers for Algernon regardless.
I’d go with The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. (I might have hummed and hawed over the decision if, as I thought, Jack Vance’s The Last Castle had been on the list but I see that won the Hugo for best novelette rather than novel. I think I still would have plumped for Bester though.)
It’s a toss-up between Downbelow Station, Ringworld and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Anybody who knows me in the least knows my vote goes to TMiaHM.
Starship Troopers. Several others tied for second.
I’m going to call it a tie between Doomsday Book and American Gods.
Despite the odd clunker or two, there is some real fine reading on that list.
Not read all that many, but 1982 seems to have been a fine vintage - Gene Wolfe’s ‘The Claw of the conciliator’ and John Crowley’s ‘Little Big’. Fucking hell.
You could probably make a decent argument for Little Big being hands down the best as it seems to be somewhat on its own - there don’t seem to be many Hugo-winning books of that blatant quality [although I could easily be missing some] so it doesn’t have a lot of competition.
Other standout titles are in more crowded sub-genres where there’ll be lots of disagreement on who is top dog.
I’m not sure what I’d pick for second place, but #1 is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Lots of great books there, but I have to go with Zelazny’s Lord of Light as my favorite.
Although I love those good ol Heinleins, including Stranger, which I submit is ridiculous on its face but which had an enormous effect on high school me, I vote for The Forever War. Really love that book, can read it over and over.
As for me, I’d think about Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, but I think I’d have to go with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Picking one is way too hard, but if forced to I’d say “Moon is a harsh mistress”.
Maybe picking one per decade…
I guess my sentimental favorite would be “Lord of Light”.
Best? The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Favorite? probably To Say Nothing of the Dog.
I’ve read about 25 of the winners.
EDIT: Ooooh I missed Double Star on first perusal. That may be my favorite, but TMiaHM is still the best IMO.