You go?

That “How many Hugo winners have you read” meme, but with added snark!

YearBookAuthor Read it?Commentary
2005Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellSusanna Clarke No
2004Paladin of SoulsLois McMaster BujoldNo
2003HominidsRobert J. SawyerNo
2002American GodsNeil GaimanYes
2001Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJ. K. RowlingYes The “oh, right, Harry Potter!” Hugo.
2000A Deepness in the SkyVernor VingeYes
1999To Say Nothing of the DogConnie WillisYes
1998Forever PeaceJoe HaldemanNo
1997Blue MarsKim Stanley RobinsonYes See “Green Mars” — a pair of sympathy Hugos was probably not unwarranted in this case, even if this one in specific dragged on a lot.
1996The Diamond AgeNeal StephensonYes It’s a good thing that endings are apparently not a requirement for a Hugo.
1995Mirror DanceLois McMaster BujoldNo
1994Green MarsKim Stanley RobinsonYes Kind of a sympathy Hugo for “Red Mars” losing out to Bujold in 92, really.
1993Doomsday BookConnie WillisYes How embarrassed am I that I never read any Connie Willis until a few years ago? Very.
1993A Fire Upon the DeepVernor VingeYes
1992BarrayarLois McMaster BujoldNo
1991The Vor GameLois McMaster BujoldNo
1990HyperionDan SimmonsYes See “The Diamond Age” (of course, Hyperion got an ending in a later book — on the other hand, it was crap)
1989CyteenC. J. CherryhYes Worst title for a brilliant book ever. I avoided it for years because I assumed it was about cybernetic and/or psychic teenagers. How embarrassing.
1988The Uplift WarDavid BrinYes See “Startide Rising”
1987Speaker for the DeadOrson Scott CardYes …actually Ender’s Game isn’t so much my “favorite” Card book as “the only one I didn’t actively loathe.” “Ender” was a lean and mean stab of brilliance. “Speaker” was three times as long and ten times more ponderous and boring. I gave up halfway through Xenocide, and I never do that. You have to give Card props for managing to make quite a bit of money off of a group of people he’d just as soon see thrown in jail, but his contempt for his audience shines through the cracks here.
1986Ender’s GameOrson Scott CardYes My favorite book by my favorite petit-fascist fundamentalist Mormon nutjob.
1985NeuromancerWilliam GibsonYes
1984Startide RisingDavid BrinYes I really, really liked this when I read it in high school. I’ve been completely underwhelmed by everything of Brin’s I’ve read as an adult. This suggests strongly that I should never, ever re-read this.
1983Foundation’s EdgeIsaac AsimovNo I suppose it’s possible that a late-period Asimov novel (and a Foundation book at that) might have been that good. Monkeys might also fly out my ass at ANY MOMENT.
1982Downbelow StationC. J. CherryhNo
1981The Snow QueenJoan D. VingeNo
1980The Fountains of ParadiseArthur C. ClarkeNo Must… not… make… pedophilia… jokes… resolve… failing…
1979DreamsnakeVonda N. McIntyreNo Who?
1978GatewayFrederik PohlNo
1977Where Late the Sweet Birds SangKate WilhelmNo
1976The Forever WarJoe HaldemanYes Really, there should be a constitutional amendment requiring anyone under the age of 25 to read this within 3 months of finishing “Starship Troopers”.
1975The DispossessedUrsula K. Le GuinYes
1974Rendezvous with RamaArthur C. ClarkeYes
1973The Gods ThemselvesIsaac AsimovNo
1972To Your Scattered Bodies GoPhilip Jos FarmerYes A Riverworld novel? Seriously? 1972 can’t have been that slow a year.
1971RingworldLarry NivenYes
1970The Left Hand of DarknessUrsula K. Le GuinYes If I had to pick one book out of this list to make required reading for the next generation, this would be it. (Canticle would be a close second.)
1969Stand on ZanzibarJohn BrunnerNo
1968Lord of LightRoger ZelaznyNo
1967The Moon Is a Harsh MistressRobert A. HeinleinYes
1966DuneFrank HerbertYes If only Frank had taught his son a useful trade.
1966…And Call Me Conrad (This Immortal)Roger ZelaznyNo
1965The WandererFritz LeiberNo
1964Here Gather the Stars (Way Station)Clifford D. SimakNo
1963The Man in the High CastlePhilip K. DickYes As yet not adapted into a big-budget action movie vehicle for an aging Hollywood action star, but give them time: I’m sure Vin Diesel would like to take a crack at it.
1962Stranger in a Strange LandRobert A. HeinleinYes
1961A Canticle for LeibowitzWalter M. Miller, JrYes There’s something to be said for writing one truly brilliant novel and then ceasing and desisting. (cf Orson Scott Card as counterexample)
1960Starship TroopersRobert A. HeinleinYes
1959A Case of ConscienceJames BlishNo
1958The Big TimeFritz LeiberNo
1956Double StarRobert A. HeinleinNo
1955They’d Rather Be Right (The Forever Machine)Mark Clifton & Frank RileyNo
1953The Demolished ManAlfred BesterYesReally, “The Stars My Destination” is much better, but at least he’s here.

Number that I’ve read: 29 out of 52

Number that I’ve read that I’d risk re-reading: 18 or so. (A couple borderline cases: Cyteen is probably worth re-reading, but I’d have to be in the right mood.)

Number that I’m sort of embarrassed I haven’t read: 5 (Jonathan Strange, Downbelow Station, The Snow Queen, Stand on Zanzibar, A Case of Conscience)

Number by authors who I full-stop have never heard of: 6 (Robert Sawyer, Vonda McIntyre, Kate Wilhelm, Clifford Simak, Mark Clifon, Frank Riley)

Number of actually decent books that I am unfairly trashing because their multitudinous awful sequels retroactively ruined for me: 4 (Dune, Ender’s Game, To Your Scattered Bodies Go and Hyperion)

Metacomment: boy oh boy does the Hugo committee love it some Lois McMaster Bujold. Four Hugos: that’s as many as Heinlein, twice as many as LeGuin or Asimov, and as much as Herbert, Bester, Dick and Brunner put together. Also exactly four more than Samuel Delaney, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Johnathan Lethem, Douglas Adams, Gene Wolfe, Thomas Disch or China Mieville, to name a few at random. What gives?

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