Thursday, January 1, 1970

1956 Hugo Award Finalists

Location: NewYorCon aka NyCon II in New York, New York.

Comments: 1956 was both an average year for the Hugo Awards, and an unusual one. The year was average in that the winners in the three fiction categories - Heinlein's Double Star, Leinster's Exploration Team, and Clarke's The Star - were solid, albeit unspectacular choices. John W. Campbell, Jr. racked up another award for Best Magazine for Astounding, and Frank Kelly Freas added another Best Artist Hugo to his collection.

The year was unusual in that three new categories - Most Promising New Author, Best Feature Writer, and Best Book Reviewer - were introduced in this award cycle, and were only handed out in this particular set of Hugos. All three of these award categories were discontinued the next year and were never reintroduced, although variations of the "Best New Author" award did crop up a couple times after this year.

Although there are no finalists other than the eventual winners listed in the "official" Hugo records, a dedicated fan turned up what appears to be a ballot for the 1956 Hugos. The categories are mostly correct, and the listed finalists all include the eventual winner, so it does look like the real thing. The only oddity is that there are no finalists listed for the "Best Magazine" category (and in fact, the Best Magazine category isn't listed at all). That little bit of strangeness aside, this serves to fill in a bit of missing Hugo award history. I can only hope that the official Hugo records are updated to include this information.

Update: On September 19, 2017, the official Hugo records were amended to include the information concerning the 1956 finalists for the award.

Best Novel

Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

Other Finalists:
Call Him Dead by Eric Frank Russell
The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
Not This August by Cyril M. Kornbluth
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett

Best Novelette

Exploration Team by Murray Leinster (reviewed in The Hugo Winners, Volume 1)

Other Finalists:
The Assistant Self by F.L. Wallace
Brightside Crossing by Alan E. Nourse
The End of Summer by Algis Budrys
A Gun for a Dinosaur by L. Sprague de Camp
Home There's No Returning by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore
Legwork by Eric Frank Russell
Who? by Theodore Sturgeon

Best Short Story


Other Finalists:
The Dragon by Ray Bradbury
End as a World by F.L. Wallace
The Game of Cat and Dragon by Cordwainer Smith
King of the Hill by James Blish
Nobody Bothers Gus by Algis Budrys (writing as Paul Janvier)
Spy Story by Robert Sheckley
Twink by Theodore Sturgeon

Best Magazine

Astounding edited by John W. Campbell, Jr.

Other Finalists:

Best Artist

Frank Kelly Freas

Other Finalists:
Chesley Bonestell
Ed Emsh
Virgil Finlay
Mel Hunter
Edward Valigursky

Best Fanzine

Inside and Science Fiction Advertiser edited by Ron Smith

Other Finalists:
A Bas edited by Boyd Raeburn
Fantasy Times edited by James V. Taurasi
Grue edited by Dean Grennell
Hyphen edited by Walt Williams and Chuck Harris
Oblique edited by Clifford Gould
Psychotic - SF Review edited by Richard E. Geis
Skyhook edited by Redd Boggs

Most Promising New Author

Robert Silverberg

Other Finalists:
Harlan Ellison
Frank Herbert
Henry Still

Best Feature Writer

Willy Ley

Other Finalists:
L. Sprague de Camp
Robert A. Madle
Rog Phillips
R.S. Richardson

Best Book Reviewer

Damon Knight

Other Finalists:
Henry Bott
Anthony Boucher
Groff Conklin
Floyd Gale
Villiers Garson
P. Schuyler Miller
Hans Stefan Santesson

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's finalists: 1955
Go to subsequent year's finalists: 1957

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