Thursday, August 6, 2020

1945 Retro Hugo Award Longlist (awarded in 2020)

The Retro Hugos are a failure from almost every perspective. I have written about this extensively over the last couple of years, and I'm not going to rehash all of those arguments again here. I've laid out the evidence, I've made the arguments, and I think I've made the case.

That said, there is one potential reason that could justify the Retro Hugos, and that is the list of works that are associated with the Retro Hugo longlist could be used as a guide to finding worthwhile works from an older era, highlighting overlooked or forgotten gems from a bygone era, and allowing modern readers to discover lesser-known older writers and their works.

The problem is, even in the longlist, the Retro Hugos are not particularly good at serving this purpose. Every year it seems like the same handful of authors dominate both the list of official finalists and the longlist as well. As an example, look at the longlist for the Best Short Story category: Two stories by Ray Bradbury and one story each from Isaac Asimov, Fredric Brown, Lester del Rey, Fritz Leiber, C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner, John R. Pierce,  Dorothy Quick, and Manly Wade Wellman. That's a list of eight authors that are already famous and well-regarded, and two who are somewhat obscure.

The question more or less boils down to: Is it worth keeping an award this flawed in order to provide a spotlight that will bring one or two authors in each category back into relevance? Is that enough to keep handing out awards to mediocre early work by authors like Asimov and Bradbury? Is that enough to justify handing another editing award to Jon W. Campbell? Is a list dominated by authors who one really needs no help finding worth creating on a regular basis? Seriously, all you have to do is mention that you are interested in science fiction and you will be offered a dozen suggestions penned by Asimov, Bradbury, Burroughs, and Heinlein, and only slightly fewer suggestions for works by authors like Brackett, Kuttner, Leiber, Sturgeon, and van Vogt. No one needs any "help" finding them or their work.

In the end, the Retro Hugos are nothing but a self-indulgent nostalgia fest for the tiny handful of Worldcon members who bother to participate. This is, for the most part, the reason why the retro Hugos have become the useless appendage on the actual Hugos that they are. Fortunately, they are limited by the rules that create them, so there are only seven more opportunities to go through this nigh- pointless exercise.

Best Novel

The Golden Fleece (Hercules, My Shipmate) by Robert Graves
Land of Terror by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Shadow Over Mars (The Nemesis from Terra) by Leigh Brackett [winner]
Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord by Olaf Stapledon
The Wind on the Moon by Eric Linklater
The Winged Man by A.E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull

Longlisted Nominees:
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Delicate Ape by Dorothy B. Hughes
Destiny Times Three by Fritz Leiber
The Golden Amazon by John Russell Fearn
Magic Moon by Brett Sterling
Miss Shumway Waves a Wand by James Hadley Chase
Renaissance by Raymond F.Jones
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
Time Must Have a Stop by Aldous Huxley
Le Voyageur Imprudent (Future Times Three) by René Barjavel
The World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt
Worlds Beginning by Robert Ardrey

Best Novella

The Changeling by A.E. van Vogt
A God Named Kroo by Henry Kuttner
Intruders from the Stars by Ross Rocklynne
The Jewel of Bas by Leigh Brackett
Killdozer! by Theodore Sturgeon [winner]
Old Man in New World by Olaf Stapledon [ineligible]
Trog by Murray Leinster

Longlisted Nominees:
The Dead Hand by Isaac Asimov
The Dweller in Darkness by August Derleth
Giant Killer by A. Bertram Chandler
The Giant Runt by Ross Rocklynne
Judgment Night by C.L. Moore
The Mad Robot by William P. McGivern
Minions of the Crystal Sphere by Albert dePina
The Mule by Isaac Asimov (reviewed as part of Foundation and Empire)
Murder In Space by David V. Reed
Plague by Murray Leinster
The Return of Jongor by Robert Moore Williams
Star Base X by Robert Moore Williams
Strangers on the Heights by Manly Wade Wellman
Sword of Tomorrow by Henry Kuttner
Wanderers of the Wolf Moon by Nelson S. Bond

Best Novelette

Arena by Fredric Brown
The Big and the Little (The Merchant Princes) by Isaac Asimov
The Children’s Hour by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner
City by Clifford D. Simak (reviewed as part of the fix up novel City) [winner]
No Woman Born by C.L. Moore
When the Bough Breaks by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner

Longlisted Nominees
The Beasts of Barsac by Robert Bloch
Census by Clifford Simak
The Day the World Stood Still by Allison Harding
Deadline by Cleve Cartmill
The Dweller in Darkness by August Derleth
Plague by Murray Leinster
Ride the El to Doom by Allison Harding
Technical Error by Hal Clement
Terror Out of Space by Leigh Brackett
The Veil of Astellar by Leigh Brackett

Best Short Story

And the Gods Laughed by Fredric Brown
Desertion by Clifford D. Simak
Far Centaurus by A. E. van Vogt
I, Rocket by Ray Bradbury [winner]
The Wedge (The Traders) by Isaac Asimov

Longlisted Nominees
And Then, the Silence by Ray Bradbury
Catch that Rabbit by Isaac Asimov (reviewed in I. Robot)
The Gothic Window by Dorothy Quick
Hoofs by Manly Wade Wellman
Housing Problem by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner
Invariant by John R. Pierce
Kindness by Lester del Rey
The Lake by Ray Bradbury
Sanity by Fritz Leiber
The Yehudi Principle by Fredric Brown

Best Series

Captain Future by Edmond Hamilton
The Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and others [winner]
Doc Savage by Kenneth Robeson (mostly Lester Dent)
Foundation by Isaac Asimov [ineligible] (starting with Foundation)
Jules de Grandin by Seabury Quinn
Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Shadow by Walter B. Gibson
Venus Equilateral by George O. Smith [ineligible]

Longlisted Nominees
Buck Rogers by Dick Calkins
City by Clifford Simak
Flash Gordon by Alex Raymond
G-8 and His Battle Aces by Robert J. Hogan
The Golden Amazon by John Russell Fearn
John Thunstone by Manly Wade Wellman
Joseph Jorkens by Lord Dunsany
Robots by Isaac Asimov (starting with I, Robot and The Caves of Steel)

Best Related Work

’42 To ’44: A Contemporary Memoir Upon Human Behavior During the Crisis of the World Revolution by H.G. Wells
The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley [ineligible]
Fancyclopedia by Jack Speer
Mr. Tompkins Explores the Atom by George Gamow
Rockets: The Future of Travel Beyond the Stratosphere by Willy Ley
The Science-Fiction Field by Leigh Brackett [winner]
The Works of H.P. Lovecraft: Suggestions for a Critical Appraisal by Fritz Leiber

Longlisted Nominees
Futurian War Digest edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
The Grey Mouser (poem) by Fritz Leiber
The Inner Ring by C.S. Lewis
Little Known Fantaisistes by Harold Wakefield
Marginalia: H.P. Lovecraft edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei
Panic: The Orson Welles Broadcast That Hoaxed America
Rockets: A Prelude to Space Travel by Willy Ley
The Story Behind the Story: Veil of Astellar by Leigh Brackett
A Treasury of American Folklore edited by Benjamin Botkin

Best Graphic Story

Buck Rogers: Hollow Planetoid by Dick Calkins
Donald Duck: The Mad Chemist by Carl Barks
Flash Gordon: Battle for Tropica by Don Moore and Alex Raymond
Flash Gordon: Triumph in Tropica by Don Moore and Alex Raymond
The Spirit: For the Love of Clara Defoe by Manly Wade Wellman, Lou Fine and Don Komisarow
Superman: The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Brick Bradford: Beyond the Crystal Door by William Ritt; art by Clarence Gray
Buck Rogers: Monkeymen of Planet by Dick Calkins
Buck Rogers: Planet of the Rising Sun by Dick Calkins
Buck Rogers: Plastic Percy by Dick Calkins
Captain Marvel Adventures: Monster Society of Evil by Otto Binder; art by C.C. Beck
Captain Marvel Adventures: Silvana's Twin by Otto Binder; art by C.C. Beck
Detective Comics #94 Batman by by Bill Finger and Jack Farr; art by Ed Kressy, Dick Sprang, Jack Farr, Howard Sherman, George Roussos and Louis Cazeneuve
Ibis the Invincible: Loki the Terrible by Otto Binder; art by C.C. Beck
Lady Satan: The Allied Assassination Plot art by George Tuska
Mandrake the Magician: The Dome by Lee Falk and Phil Davis
Mandrake: The Earthshaker by Lee Falk and Phil Davis
Mandrake: The Garden of Wuzzu by Lee Falk and Phil Davis
Mandrake: The Mirror People by Lee Falk and Phil Davis
The Phantom: High-Sea Hijacker by Lee Falk; art by Wilson McCoy
Plastic Man: The Gay Nineties Nightmare by Gary Wheeler
Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure by Hérge

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

The Canterville Ghost screenplay by Edwin Harvey Blum from a story by Oscar Wilde [winner]
The Curse of the Cat People written by DeWitt Bodeen [winner]
Donovan’s Brain adapted by Robert L. Richards from a story by Curt Siodmak
House of Frankenstein screenplay by Edward T. Lowe, Jr. from a story by Curt Siodmak
The Invisible Man’s Revenge written by Bertram Millhauser
It Happened Tomorrow screenplay and adaptation by Dudley Nichols and René Clair

Longlisted Nominees:
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves written by Edmund L. Hartmann
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street written by Dr. Seuss
The Mysterious Traveler: Beware of Tomorrow written by Robert A. Arthur
The Mysterious Traveler: The Queen of the Cats by Maurice Tarplin
The Lady and the Monster screenplay by Dane Lussier and Frederick Kohner, based on the novel by Curt Siodmak
The Old Gray Hare written by Michael Sasanoff
The Shadow: The Man who Dreamed Too Much
They Came to a City by J.B. Priestley, Basil Dearden, and Sidney Cole
Time Flies written by Ted Kavanagh, J.O.C. Orton, and Howard Irving Young
The Uninvited screenplay by Dodie Smith and Frank Partos, based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

John W. Campbell [winner]
Oscar J. Friend
Mary Gnaedinger
Dorothy McIlwraith
Raymond A. Palmer
W. Scott Peacock

Longlisted Nominees:
Bernard G. Davis
William de Grouchy
Sam Moskowitz
Frederik Pohl
Babette Rosmond
Donald A. Wollheim

Best Professional Artist

Earle K. Bergey
Margaret Brundage [winner]
Boris Dolgov
Matt Fox
Paul Orban
William Timmins

Longlisted Nominees:
Rudolph Belarski
Hannes Bok
Chesley Bonestell
Virgil Finlay
Graham Ingels
Harry Lemon Parkhurst
Frank R. Paul
J. Allen St. John
Modest Stein
Lawrence Stevens
Vin Sullivan
A.R. Tilburne

Best Fanzine

The Acolyte edited by Francis T. Laney and Samuel D. Russell
Diablerie edited by Bill Watson
Futurian War Digest edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
Shangri L’Affaires edited by Charles Burbee
Voice of the Imagi-Nation edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas [winner]
Le Zombie edited by Bob Tucker and E.E. Evans

Longlisted Nominees:
British Fantasy Society Bulletin edited by D.R. Smith
Centauri edited by Andy Anderson
Chanticleer edited by Walt Liebscher
Fanewscard edited by Ed Connor and Frank Robinson
Fantasite edited by Phil Bronson and Walt Daugerty
Fantasticonglomeration edited by Forrest J. Ackerman
Fantasy Fiction Field edited by Julius Unger
Fantasy Times edited by Sam Moskowitz
Guteto edited by Morojo (aka Myrtle R. Douglas)
Horizons edited by Harry Warner, Jr.
The Phantagraph edited by Donald A. Wollheim
Sappho edited by Bill Watson and George Ebey
Toward Tomorrow edited by James Kepner
YHOS edited by Art Widner
Zizzle-Pop edited by Louis Russell Chauvenet

Best Fan Writer

Fritz Leiber [winner]
Morojo (aka Myrtle R. Douglas)
J. Michael Rosenblum
Jack Speer
Bob Tucker
Harry Warner, Jr.

Longlisted Nominees:
Forrest J. Ackerman
Robert Bloch
Charles Burbee
Ted Carnell
Russell Chauvenet
E. Everett Evans
F.T. Laney
David Langford
Sam Moskowitz
Elmer Purdue
Milton A. Rothman
Samuel D. Russell
Julius Unger
Harold Wakefield
Bill Watson
Art Widner
Donald A. Wollheim
Elsie Wollheim
T. Bruce Yerke

Go to previous year's longlist: 1944 (awarded in 2019)
Go to subsequent year's longlist: 1946 (awarded in 1996)

Go to 1945 Hugo Finalists and Winners

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