Sunday, September 3, 1978

1978 Hugo Award Finalists

Location: IguanaCon II in Phoenix, Arizona.

Comments: 1978 is the year that Star Wars won a Hugo award. The world of science fiction film can be split into two parts: before Star Wars, and after Star Wars. Before Star Wars science fiction movies were usually low-budget, and almost always regarded as throwaway filler by movie studios made only to mollify the minority of movie goers who enjoyed that sort of movie. And then George Lucas came along and changed the game with an homage to the old Flash Gordon movie serials. From 1978 forward, science fiction films would be touted as summer blockbusters. Just compare the production values of Star Wars to the "best" of the 1977 nominees - Logan's Run - and the shift is apparent. And while Star Wars' $11 million budget was comparable to the $9 million budget for Logan's Run, the box office for the two movies was radically different. Logan's Run did well, with a box office run of $25 million, making back its production costs plus a modest profit. Star Wars, on the other hand, earned $410 million during its initial theatrical run (when one includes the box office from its international release). After Star Wars, nothing in filmed science fiction would be the same.

The rest of the Hugo's were fairly normal. Frederik Pohl won the Best Novel award for his brilliant novel Gateway. Spider and Jeane Robinson won for Stardance, and Harlan Ellison won yet another Hugo for Jeffty Is Five. Perhaps the most interesting development in the fiction awards was that Joan D. Vinge won a Hugo for her story Eyes of Amber, which when coupled with Jeanne Robinson's shared victory for Stardance, means that women won in two of the four written fiction categories in a single year. Another interesting bit of trivia is that Alice B. Sheldon was nominated for two different Hugo awards under two different names: Once in the Novelette category as Raccoona Sheldon for The Screwfly Solution, and another in the Short Story category as James Tiptree, Jr. for Time-Sharing Angel.

Best Novel

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Other Nominees:
Dying of the Light by George R.R. Martin
The Forbidden Tower by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Time Storm by Gordon R. Dickson

Best Novella

Stardance by Spider Robinson and Jeanne Robinson

Other Nominees:
Aztecs by Vonda N. McIntyre
In the Hall of the Martian Kings by John Varley
A Snark in the Night by Gregory Benford
The Wonderful Secret by Keith Laumer

Best Novelette

Eyes of Amber by Joan D. Vinge

Other Nominees:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven and Other Lost Songs by Carter Scholz
Prismatica by Samuel R. Delany
The Screwfly Solution by Raccoona Sheldon

Best Short Story

Jeffty Is Five by Harlan Ellison

Other Nominees:
Air Raid by Herb Boehm
Dog Day Evening by Spider Robinson
Lauralyn by Randall Garrett
Time-Sharing Angel by James Tiptree, Jr.

Best Dramatic Presentation

Star Wars

Other Nominees:
Blood! The Life and Future Times of Jack the Ripper (album)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Hobbit (television movie)

Best Professional Editor

George Scithers

Other Nominees:
Jim Baen
Ben Bova
Terry Carr
Edward L. Ferman

Best Professional Artist

Rick Sternbach

Other Nominees:
Vincent Di Fate
Steve Fabian
Frank Kelly Freas
Michael Whelan

Best Fanzine

Locus edited by Charles Brown and Dena Brown

Other Nominees:
Don-O-Saur edited by Don C. Thompson
Janus edited by Janice Bogstad and Jeanne Gomoll
Maya edited by Rob Jackson
Science Fiction Review edited by Richard E. Geis

Best Fan Writer

Richard E. Geis

Other Nominees:
Charles Brown
Don D'Ammassa
Don C. Thompson
Susan Wood

Best Fan Artist


Other Nominees:
Grant Canfield
Alexis Gilliland
Jeanne Gomoll
Jim Shull

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Orson Scott Card

Other Nominees:
Jack L. Chalker
Stephen R. Donaldson
Elizabeth A. Lynn
Bruce Sterling

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 1977
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1979

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