During the 50th World Science Fiction Convention, MagiCon, in Orlando, Florida in 1992 attendees were asked to vote for their favorite Hugo Award winning stories. Of the 4000 members, 1000 turned in their Best of the Hugos ballot. Joe Siclari and Edie Stern’s essay on the voting provides all the details of the voting. Isaac Asimov was to provide an introduction to this volume, but in 1991 Asimov was gravely ill. He died shortly before this volume was published. Charles Sheffield and others stepped in to complete the project.

I had never seen a copy of The Super Hugos (1992) until last week when I bought it at a Library Book Sale. Of course, all the stories in this anthology are familiar to me. I read many of them in their original publications. Do you have a favorite story among this group? GRADE: A
1 • Introduction (The Super Hugos) • essay by Charles Sheffield
7 • Sandkings • [Thousand Worlds] • (1979) • novelette by George R. R. Martin
55 • The Bicentennial Man • (1976) • novelette by Isaac Asimov
101 • Enemy Mine • [Dracon] • (1979) • novella by Barry B. Longyear
173 • The Star • (1955) • short story by Arthur C. Clarke
183 • The Big Front Yard • (1958) • novella by Clifford D. Simak
244 • “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman • (1965) • short story by Harlan Ellison
261 • Weyr Search • [Dragonriders of Pern short fiction] • (1967) • novella by Anne McCaffrey
327 • Neutron Star • [Known Space] • (1966) • novelette by Larry Niven
349 • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream • (1967) • short story by Harlan Ellison
369 • Flowers for Algernon • (1959) • novelette by Daniel Keyes
403 • About the Super Hugo Voting • essay by Joe Siclari and Edie Stern
413 • Appendix: The Hugo Awards • essay by uncredited

18 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #549: THE SUPER HUGOS Presented By Isaac Asimov

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    My favorites here are the Simak, Martin, Keyes and Clarke. Their are a lot of better Hugo winners than Bicentennial Man though. Like winners from Samuel Delany, Robert Silverberg and Ursula LeGuin.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, it was widely known at the time of MagiCon and the vote that Asimov was gravely ill. That may have influenced the inclusion of “The Bicentennial Man.”

  2. wolf

    For me it would be really difficult to name “The best stories” – there were so many of them!
    I was lucky because many of these stories were soon translated into German (often by fans) and published by moewig and pabel in the same cheap format as magazines, then as books by Goldmann and later Heyne.
    One of my top favourites is of course Flowers for Algernon which I read in German translation first of. course and which brought me to tears
    Btw did you know that the novel derived from the story is on the banned books list?
    A bit OT:
    Have you heard of Jesco von Puttkamer (he has his English wiki page) – but if I set the link here I’ll be called a troll by WP … 🙂
    He was one of the few Germans who wrote good SF stories, worked as a translator too afaik as a student, was regularly published – and in 1962 left Germany to work for NASA!

  3. Michael Padgett

    Pretty sure I’ve read all of these except McCaffrey and Longyear, but it was long, long ago and I couldn’t tell you a thing about them. But there’s one exception and that’s, of course, “Flowers For Algernon”. It’s probably not possible to read that story and forget it. And it doesn’t depend on the subsequent novel or “Charly” to stick in one’s memory. The original story will suffice.

  4. Rick Robinson

    There are several here that I like:

    The Big Front Yard • (1958) • novella by Clifford D. Simak
    “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman • (1965) • short story by Harlan Ellison
    Weyr Search • (1967) • novella by Anne McCaffrey
    Neutron Star • [Known Space] • (1966) • novelette by Larry Niven
    I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream • (1967) • short story by Harlan Ellison

    Algernon has never been a favorite, though I admit it’s widely popular.

    1. wolf

      Rick, your stories would also appear on my list of the best …
      It’s interesting to see how different even then the SF ideas were – from Niven on one side to H Ellison on the other.
      And Simak has also always been one of my favs – especially the City series.

  5. Piet Nel

    Yep, read ’em all. “Flowers for Algernon” is the ranking story in this bunch, based on the fact that it has won several polls as the best ever story in its length category, and it would be my favorite, too. But overall, a very good selection of stories. I’d also buy it if I saw it.

      1. Todd Mason

        I wondered why you hadn’t picked it up before. Any number of Baen or small press anthologies might get by me today, but in those years I was keeping pretty good tabs on the literature I liked. This has some of the same flaws as the Retro-Hugos, with readers trending toward only the most fan-stroking materials and the most fan-appealing writers…a flaw of Hugos and most awards at base, but these once-removed awards go that one worse. That said, this was the least-bad Longyear story (one of the few non-atrocious/”Momus” stories) I’m aware of, and a good set though not the best set, but among the most famous set of stories from these writers.

        Sadly, Sheffield died before his time, as well…

      2. george Post author

        Todd, I don’t know what I was doing during the early 1990s to miss THE SUPER HUGOS. You’re right about its imperfections, but this volume still collects some quality stories. You’re right about Sheffield. I need to read more of his work.

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