I picked up this thick-as-a-brick anthology at a Library Book Sale for pennies. My favorite stories are “The Dragon Masters” and “The Last Castle” by Jack Vance, but there are plenty of first-rate stories between these covers. Harlan Ellison is well-represented. So is Poul Anderson. I remember reading Clifford Simak’s “The Big Front Yard” in ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION way back in 1958 and loving it. Probably the most famous story included in The Hugo Winners is Daniel Keyes’s “Flowers for Algernon” which was later expanded into a novel and became a movie.

As an impressionable kid, I loved another story from 1958 (when I was a precocious 9-year-old): Robert Bloch’s “That Hell-Bound Train.” That triggered a search for other “Deal With the Devil” stories. I found dozens in various anthologies, but none were quite as good as Robert Bloch’s classic. I read most of the stories in VOLUME TWO in Real Time as I subscribed to GALAXY, IF, WORLDS OF TOMORROW, AMAZING, and FANTASTIC and would buy the occasional issue of Analog and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction if one of my favorite SF writers was included in an issue on the newsstands.

These stories in The Hugo Winners brought back a lot of fond memories. Do they bring back memories for you? How many of these Hugo Winners have you read? GRADE: A
The Hugo Winners, Volume 1 • [The Hugo Winners • 1] • (1962) • anthology by Isaac Asimov
x • Introduction (The Hugo Winners, Volume I) • (1962) • essay by Isaac Asimov
5 • The Darfsteller • (1955) • novella by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
64 • Allamagoosa • (1955) • short story by Eric Frank Russell
80 • Exploration Team • [Colonial Survey] • (1956) • novelette by Murray Leinster
123 • The Star • (1955) • short story by Arthur C. Clarke
132 • Or All the Seas with Oysters • (1958) • short story by Avram Davidson
145 • The Big Front Yard • (1958) • novella by Clifford D. Simak
193 • The Hell-Bound Train • (1958) • short story by Robert Bloch (variant of That Hell-Bound Train)
208 • Flowers for Algernon • (1959) • novelette by Daniel Keyes
236 • The Longest Voyage • (1960) • novelette by Poul Anderson
264 • Postscript (The Hugo Winners) • (1962) • essay by Isaac Asimov
266 • Appendix: The Hugo Awards (The Hugo Winners, Volume I) • (1962) • essay by uncredited
269 • The Hugo Winners, Volume Two • [The Hugo Winners • 2] • (1971) • anthology by Isaac Asimov
273 • Here I Am Again • (1971) • essay by Isaac Asimov
280 • The Dragon Masters • (1962) • novella by Jack Vance
363 • No Truce with Kings • (1963) • novella by Poul Anderson
421 • Soldier, Ask Not • [Childe Cycle] • (1964) • novella by Gordon R. Dickson
477 • “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman • (1965) • short story by Harlan Ellison
492 • The Last Castle • (1966) • novella by Jack Vance
546 • Neutron Star • [Known Space] • (1966) • novelette by Larry Niven
567 • Weyr Search • [Dragonriders of Pern short fiction] • (1967) • novella by Anne McCaffrey
618 • Riders of the Purple Wage • (1967) • novella by Philip José Farmer
681 • Gonna Roll the Bones • (1967) • novelette by Fritz Leiber
702 • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream • (1967) • short story by Harlan Ellison
721 • Nightwings • [Nightwings] • (1968) • novella by Robert Silverberg
769 • The Sharing of Flesh • [Technic History] • (1968) • novelette by Poul Anderson
800 • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World • (1968) • novelette by Harlan Ellison (variant of The Beast That Shouted Love)
813 • Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones • (1968) • novelette by Samuel R. Delany
847 • Appendix: Hugo Awards 1962-1970 (The Hugo Winners, Volume II) • (1972) • essay by uncredited

43 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #531: THE HUGO WINNERS, VOLUME 1 & 2 Edited by Isaac Asimov

  1. wolf

    I think I’ve read them all in German translations in the early 60s – however sometimes they were heavily abridged … And I was really fascinated by those stories and the ideas behind them!
    They often were published in the German pulps – limited to 64 pages, ok the pages were a bit larger, but still …
    The alternative were hardcovers, specially produced for commercial libraries – there was one on my way to university and the owner was an SF fan too.
    But then two German publishers (Goldmann and Heyne) got SF fans to translate and edit these classics and published them as paperbacks – and the price was affordable.
    Then I started reading the originals and I’m still thankful because that helped me with learning better English – which was a big advantage in my maths studies and later in my IT job!
    PS and a bit OT:
    SF written by German authors was very dated until the 60s when they probably got inspired by what they read from the USA and Britain, then it changed completely.

    1. Todd Mason

      Sadly, most of the German sf we saw in the US in the ’70s was still the translated series of Perry Rhodan stories and short novels, which was issued as a sort of magazine in paperback format by Ace Books…the one sf periodical in the ’70s I never bothered much with, despite a few decent non-Rhodan stories being published in the back pages.

      1. george Post author

        Todd, I read a few of those Perry Rhodan ACE paperbacks. At one time, they were plentiful and cheap (like STAR TREK and STAR WARS novelizations are now). But now Rhodan books are scarce.

      2. wolf

        Perry Rhodan was rather formulaic and the stories were simple – SF for beginners.
        But there were a few good authors outside the Perry Rhodan universe like Austrian scientist Herbert W Franke and engineer Jesco von Putkamer – who after finishing his studies went as an aerospace engineer to NASA and worked on the Apollo program! 🙂
        Later Jesco (I had met him at an SF con in Bavaria, a very nice, down to earth guy …) was “scientific advisor” for Star Trek Films and also President George W Bush.

      3. george Post author

        Wolf, plenty of young readers started there love of Science Fiction with Perry Rhodan books. They must have been good sellers because ACE published over a 100 volumes of Rhodan adventures!

  2. Steve Oerkfitz

    Love most of the stories here especially the two Jack Vance, Delany and Miller. The only ones I didn’t care much for were the Niven and the Leinster(too much bad dialogue).

  3. Todd Mason

    The major bone I have to pick with this anthology is that Doubleday and Asimov managed to leave Fritz Leiber’s “Ill Met in Lankhmar” out of the second volume of the book, inexcusably. Depriving him of that small but steady royalty check, given how long the SFBC edition was kept in print, if not also the D-day trade edition.

    Ran a quick review of this one years back.

  4. Todd Mason

    Middle-aged moment! Rather like Asimov’s…Doubleday editorial staff has less excuse (Larry Ashmead, I assume). “Ship of Shadows” was the omitted Leiber story.

    And, for goodness’s sake, Asimov managed to typo the title of Robert Bloch’s “That Hell-Bound Train” and Doubleday not only didn’t catch it but never bothered to correct it in subsequent editions. Loving care.

  5. Todd Mason

    Bloch’s story slightly controversial as the first inarguable fantasy story to win what was originally labeled the Science Fiction Achievement Awards…

      1. Todd Mason

        The International Fantasy Award actually predated the Hugos slightly, and was always meant to be as much a fantasy as sf award, considering sf a type of fantasy:

        Fiction: Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
        Non-fiction: The Conquest of Space by Willy Ley & Chesley Bonestell
        Fiction: Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier
        Non-fiction: The Exploration of Space by Arthur C. Clarke
        Fiction: City by Clifford D. Simak
        Non-fiction: Lands Beyond by L. Sprague de Camp & Willy Ley
        Fiction: More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
        Fiction: A Mirror for Observers by Edgar Pangborn
        Fiction: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

      2. Todd Mason

        And, alas, gave up the ghost in ’57. There was the Balrog and Gandalf for a brief period in the ’70s…but the British Fantasy Awards, started in ’76, have been a bit more durable, along with, as you mention, the initially horror-dominated World Fantasy Awards beginning in ’73.

  6. Michael Padgett

    I read a goodly number of these when they first appeared, and know I’ve read them all because I also read this anthology. The question is how many I actually remember, and the total there is much smaller. I certainly remember “Algernon” (who could forget that one?), one by Bloch, and the Ellison stories. During most of my SF reading years, which lasted about 25 years starting in the mid-fifties, my favorite writer was Jack Vance. But I find that his stories don’t stand out individually but just sort of merge together in that wonderful style of his.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, I’m with you on Jack Vance. He created worlds that are unique and wrote in a baroque style that I find captivating.

      1. wolf

        Me too!
        Vance was different from Asimov, Silverberg etc but really interesting with crazy ideas and fun to read.
        The first what I found from him (in German) was the Demon Princes series – I was really astonished that they translated this and published it as a Heyne paperback.

    2. wolf

      Michael, you took the words right out of my mouth!
      I read everything that was available in German and from 1962 when I became a student also English/American.

  7. Rick Robinson

    I have this on the shelf, and have read it more than once, but looking at the TOC, I can see it bears rereading yet again. There’s not a story in Volume 1 I don’t like and almost the same with Volume 2, I’m not wild about the Farmer or Ellison. A fine anthology that ought to be the basis for an Intro to SF class.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I paid for my subscriptions by mowing lawns in the summer and shoveling sidewalks/driveways in the winter. I could afford subscriptions to GALAXY, IF, WORLDS OF TOMORROW, FANTASTIC, and AMAZING but I had to draw the line at ANALOG and THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION. I was also buying ACE Doubles and other paperbacks in the 1960s, too.

      1. george Post author

        Todd, it was both the pricey subscriptions to F&SF and ANALOG and the fact I could find their monthly issues on newsstands everywhere.

  8. wolf

    Analog was also a luxury item for me – especially when it switched to large format, but I just had to buy it!

  9. Jeff Meyerson

    Good one. I have read a number of these – Bloch, Ellison, Silverberg, etc. And the Keyes, of course.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I agree on the LARGE PRINT factor in reading long (849 pages!) like this! An ebook version would be excellent.

  10. Todd Mason

    It does strike me as odd that anyone finds this volume unfamiliar…even given that some folks here have been reading crime fiction more readily over their literate lives…I might’ve been in the last gen where everyone was going to at least read this book once, and likely pick it up from SFBC.

    (“SFBC what?”)

  11. Cap'n Bob

    I’d love to read this! I’ve read some of the stories over the years but this seems to capture a seminal time in skiffy publishing and the choices/authors are top flight!


Leave a Reply to Rick Robinson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *