Sunday, August 26, 1979

1979 Hugo Award Nominees

Location: Seacon '79 in Brighton, England.

Comments: After the explosion that was Star Wars, it seems inevitable that big budget blockbusters would start to show up more often in the Hugo winner rolls, and with the high dollar splash of Superman, that prediction was confirmed. But 1979 was significant for a more substantial reason: not only did a woman win the Best Novel category, two of the other four nominees were also women. When one stops to realize that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually a pen name for Alice B. Sheldon, it turns out that all but one of the Best Novel nominees were women. Certainly this was a big step forward from the days when science fiction was an exclusively boys club.

One can make too much of this however, and this must be put into proper perspective. While four of the five Best Novel nominees were in fact women, one of them was writing under a male pen name and carefully guarded her actual identity because she thought that if science fiction fans knew her true gender it would hurt her commercial viability. A slightly lesser form of this can be found in one of the other nominees, as C.J. Cherryh went by her initial and added the "h" to the end of her name to obscure the fact that she was a woman, once again, out of the fear that if her gender was widely known, her book sales would suffer. While women had come a long way by 1979, there was clearly still a long way to go.

Best Novel

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Other Nominees:
Blind Voices by Tom Reamy
The Faded Sun: Kesrith by C.J. Cherryh
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Up the Walls of the World by James Tiptree, Jr.

Best Novella

The Persistence of Vision by John Varley

Other Nominees:
Enemies of the System by Brian W. Aldiss
Fireship by Joan D. Vinge
Seven American Nights by Gene Wolfe
The Watched by Christopher Priest

Best Novelette

Hunter's Moon by Poul Anderson

Other Nominees:
The Barbie Murders by John Varley
Devil You Don't Know by Dean Ing
The Man Who Had No Idea by Thomas M. Disch
Mikal's Songbird by Orson Scott Card

Best Short Story

Cassandra by C.J. Cherryh

Other Nominees:
Count the Clock that Tells the Time by Harlan Ellison
Stone by Edward Bryant
The Very Slow Time Machine by Ian Watson
View From a Height by Joan D. Vinge

Best Dramatic Presentation


Other Nominees:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio drama)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Lord of the Rings (Ralph Bakshi version)
Watership Down

Best Professional Editor

Ben Bova

Other Nominees:
Jim Baen
Terry Carr
Edward L. Ferman
George Scithers

Best Professional Artist

Vincent Di Fate

Other Nominees:
Steve Fabian
David Hardy
Boris Vallejo
Michael Whelan

Best Fanzine

Science Fiction Review edited by Richard E. Geis

Other Nominees:
Janus edited by Janice Bogstad and Jeanne Gomoll
Maya edited by Rob Jackson
Mota edited by Terry Hughes
Twll-Ddu edited by Dave Langford

Best Fan Writer

Bob Shaw

Other Nominees:
Richard E. Geis
Leroy Kettle
Dave Langford
D. West

Best Fan Artist

Bill Rotsler

Other Nominees:
Jim Barker
Harry Bell
Alexis Gilliland
Stu Shiffman

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Stephen R. Donaldson

Other Nominees:
Cynthia Felice
James P. Hogan
Barry B. Longyear
Elizabeth A. Lynn
Charles Sheffield

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 1978
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1980

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