Sunday, February 1, 1970

Hugo Award Winners for Best Novel

Categories in the Hugo awards come and go. One near constant has been the award for Best Novel, which Isaac Asimov described at one point (in reference to Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s 1961 win for A Canticle for Liebowitz) as the "big prize" of Hugo awards. In many ways, winning a Hugo for Best Novel is a defining moment of a science fiction author's career, and most of the men and women who have won the award have been firmly associated with the book they won with ever since. For purposes of the Hugo award, a novel is defined as a work of fiction of 40,000 or more words.

I say that the Best Novel is a "near" constant category for the Hugo awards because even this award has not been awarded every year. Leaving aside 1954, in which no Hugo awards were handed out at all, the award was not given in 1957 either, for reasons that are not entirely clear. In fact, in that year no fiction writing Hugos of any kind were handed out, with the only awards being given for Best American Professional Magazine, Best British Professional Magazine, and Best Fan Magazine. The Hugo award for Best Novel returned in 1958, and has been awarded every year since then.

Clicking on the year will take you to a page listing all of the finalists for the Hugo Award for that year. Three novels have been awarded "Retro Hugos", and are listed here in red, with the year the award was actually given the award noted in parenthesis.

1939: The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (awarded in 2014)
1941: Slan by A.E. van Vogt (awarded in 2016)
1946: The Mule by Isaac Asimov (awarded in 1996)
1951: Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein (awarded in 2001)
1953: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
1954: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (awarded in 2004)
1955: They'd Rather be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley
1956: Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
1958: The Big Time by Fritz Leiber1
1959: A Case of Conscience by James Blish
1960: Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
1961: A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1962: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
1963: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
1964: Here Gather the Stars by Clifford D. Simak
1965: The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
1966: (tie) Dune by Frank Herbert
          (tie) ...and Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny
1967: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
1968: Lord of Light by Rober Zelazny
1969: Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
1970: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
1971: Ringworld by Larry Niven
1972: To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer
1973: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1974: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
1975: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
1976: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1977: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
1978: Gateway by Frederik Pohl
1979: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
1980: The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
1981: The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge
1982: Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh
1983: Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
1984: Startide Rising by David Brin
1985: Neuromancer by William Gibson
1986: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1987: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
1988: The Uplift War by David Brin
1989: Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh
1990: Hyperion by Dan Simmons
1991: The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
1992: Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1993: (tie) A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
          (tie) Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1994: Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1995: Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
1996: The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
1997: Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1998: Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
1999: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
2000: A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
2001: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
2002: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2003: Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
2004: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
2005: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2006: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
2007: Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge
2008: The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2010: (tie) The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
          (tie) The City & the City by China Miéville
2011: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
2012: Among Others by Jo Walton
2013: Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
2014: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
2015: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
2016: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
2017: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

1 In 1958, the Best Novel and Best Novelette categories were merged together to form the "Best Novel or Novelette" category. Fritz Leiber's short novel The Big Time won that year, and as a result, the book is placed on both the "Best Novel" and "Best Novelette" winner lists. The amalgamation of the two categories was abandoned after 1958, and The Big Time remains the only Hugo winning work to hold this odd position of being on two different lists of honorees.

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