Sunday, February 26, 2017

1939 Retro Hugo Award Longlist (awarded in 2014)

The Retro Hugo Awards seems like they were motivated by the best of intentions. Because the Hugo awards were not started until 1953, and then skipped a year, there are several Worldcons - mostly from the 1940s - for which no Hugo Awards were ever selected. The idea behind the Retro Hugo Awards seems to have been to allow fans to reach back and honor works from those years that were "missed" by the Hugo Awards by giving them "Retro" Hugos. This way, the gaps in the Award's history could be filled, and people could recognize the creative works of the greats of the past. The only problem is that it hasn't really worked out that way.

I have always been somewhat skeptical of the Retro Hugo Awards, and looking at the associated Longlists has done nothing to change my opinion. Looking back seventy-five years, as the voters did when nominating works for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards, results in quite sparse results. There weren't even sufficient numbers of nominations in the categories Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation, Best Long Form Editor, or Best Semiprozine for the categories to even be represented. Of the categories that did make the cut, only one was able to garner fifteen total nominees, while most categories fell far short of that mark. The evidence seems to show that either the Hugo voting populace isn't armed with enough information to be able to come up with a wide array of nominees, or the depth of the field decades ago was simply insufficient to reasonably support a comprehensive set of nominees. In either case, the dearth of longlisted nominees serves as yet more evidence that the Retro Hugos, although an interesting idea in theory, are just not up to snuff in practice.

Best Novel

Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Galactic Patrol by E.E. "Doc" Smith
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien [ineligible]
The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
At Midnight on the 31st of March by Josephine Young Case
The Doomsday Men by J.B. Priestly
The Drums of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
The Red Star of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Silver Princess in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Synthetic Men of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan and the Forbidden City by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

Best Novella

Anthem by Ayn Rand
A Matter of Form by H.L. Gold
Sleepers of Mars by John Wyndham (writing as John Beynon)
The Time Trap by Henry Kuttner
Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. (writing as Don A. Stuart) [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
The Black Drama by Manly Wade Wellman
Black Vulmea's Vengeance by Robert E. Howard
Dreadful Sleep by Jack Williamson
The Hairy Ones Shall Dance by Manly Wade Wellman
Tarzan and the Elephant Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Best Novelette

Dead Knowledge by John W. Campbell, Jr. (writing as Don A. Stuart)
Hollywood on the Moon by Henry Kuttner
Pigeons From Hell by Robert E. Howard
Rule 18 by Clifford D. Simak [winner]
Werewoman by C.L. Moore

Longlisted Nominees
Beyond the Screen by John Benyon
The Dead Spot by Jack Williamson
The Men and the Mirror by Ross Rocklynne
Reunion on Ganymede by Clifford D. Simak
Secret of the Observatory by Robert Bloch
Seeds of the Dusk by Raymond Z. Gallun
The World's Eighth Wonder by Eric Frank Russell

Best Short Story

Azethoth by H.P. Lovecraft [ineligible]
Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H.P. Lovecraft [ineligible]
The Faithful by Lester del Rey
Hollerbochen’s Dilemma by Ray Bradbury
How We Went to Mars by Arthur C. Clarke [winner]
Hyperpilosity by L. Sprague de Camp

Longlisted Nominees
Between Two Worlds by Mary Lutyens
The Book by H.P. Lovecraft
The Brain Pirates by John W. Campbell, Jr.
An Experiment of the Dead by Helen Simpson
Janice by Shirley Jackson
The Merman by L. Sprague de Camp
Robots Return by Robert Moore Williams
With and Without Buttons by Mary Butts

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Around the World in Eighty Days
A Christmas Carol
The War of the Worlds [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
The Brave Little Tailor
The Man Who Was Thursday
Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood
Porky in Wackyland

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

Forrest J Ackerman [ineligible]
John W. Campbell, Jr. [winner]
Walter H. Gillings
Raymond A. Palmer
Mort Wesinger
Farnsworth Wright

Longlisted Nominees:
T. O'Connor Sloane

Best Professional Artist

Margaret Brundage
Virgil Finlay [winner]
Frank R. Paul
Alex Schomburg
H.W. Wesso

Longlisted Nominees:
Howard V. Brown
Lee Morey
Norman Saunders
Charles Schneeman

Best Fanzine

Fantascience Digest
Fantasy News
F(antasy) A(mateur) P(ress) A(ssociation) [ineligible]
Imagination! [winner]
Novae Terrae
Spaceways [ineligible]
Le Zombie [ineligible]

Longlisted Nominees:
Science Fiction Newsletter

Best Fan Writer

Forrest J Ackerman
Ray Bradbury [winner]
Arthur Wilson "Bob" Tucker
Harry Warner, Jr.
Donald A. Wollheim

Longlisted Nominees:
Robert A. Madle
Sam Moskowitz
William F. Temple

Go to subsequent year's longlist: 1941 (awarded in 2016)

Go to 1939 Hugo Finalists and Winners

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