The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Editor: Ben Bova

Sunday, April 21st, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Analog Science Fiction March 1972-small Analog Science Fiction June 1972-small Analog Science Fiction December 1972-small

The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Editor went to Ben Bova. This was the first year of the Best Editor Hugo. It has been awarded every year since then, though in 2007 it was split in two, with a Best Editor Award given for Short Form and Long Form editors. This last reflected the fact that the Best Editor was a de facto award for Best Editor Short Form all along. (While I completely agree that “Long Form” editors are tremendously important to the field, and deserve recognition, I still think that the Hugo voters – even people, like me, who are pretty well connected – are not really competent to evaluate Long Form editing.) The original impetus, I believe, for the Best Editor Award was as a replacement for the Best Professional Magazine award, and the idea was that the increased importance of original anthologies to the short fiction market meant that just awarding a “Best Prozine” award would miss some really important editors. In the event, however, the only two Best Editor awards not linked to magazines were Terry Carr in 1985 and 1987, and Judy-Lynn Del Rey in 1986 (award refused by her widower, Lester Del Rey.) Indeed, the only winner of the Best Professional Editor Short Form Hugo who is not primarily associated with a magazine has been Ellen Datlow (whose win in 2005 of the Best Professional Editor Award can be partly attributed to her role editing Sci Fiction, but whose later Hugos presumably result from her original anthologies and her editing of the Best Fantasy and Horror (now just Best Horror) collections).

Bova’s fellow nominees in 1973 were two additional magazine editors, Edward Ferman at F&SF and Ted White at Amazing/Fantastic. (Bova, of course, was the editor of Analog.) Terry Carr was nominated, presumably for the original anthology series Universe and for his Best Science Fiction of the Year series. And Donald Wollheim was nominated, probably for his role as chief acquiring editor at DAW, and for editing The 1972 Annual World’s Best SF. Conspicuous by his absence is Ejler Jakobsson, editor of Galaxy and If.

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer: Terry Carr

Saturday, April 13th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Fandom Harvest

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer went to Terry Carr. Terry Carr (1937-1987) won four Hugos overall – in 1959 he won for Best Amateur Magazine for Fanac (along with his co-editor Ron Ellik), and in 1985 and 1987 he won for Best Professional Editor. (Alas, he died early in 1987, so did not get to receive that award. Famously, this was the second consecutive year that the award was given posthumously – though in 1986 Lester Del Rey bitterly refused the award to his wife Judy-Lynn. (There could be a third posthumous Best Editor award this year, as Gardner Dozois is one of the nominees for Best Editor, Short Form.) Like the great majority of Fan Writer winners, Terry Carr was also an accomplished professional writer, probably best known for his stories “Hop-Friend” and “The Dance of the Changer and the Three” and for his novel Cirque.

Carr wrote some fine fiction, as noted, and also spent some time as an agent, and he was a prolific and wonderful fan writer and fanzine editor. But his largest contribution to the field was as an editor. He worked at Ace through most of the 1960s. There he co-edited the World’s Best Science Fiction series with Donald A. Wollheim, and he spearheaded the classic first Ace Science Fiction Special series. After leaving Ace he became a freelance editor, most famous for his Best Science Fiction of the Year series for Ballantine/Del Rey, and for his Universe series of original anthologies. He also edited the third series of Ace Specials.

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Locus Award for Best Fanzine: Locus

Saturday, April 6th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Locus magazine lot 3-small

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

In discussing this award I must begin with the obvious disclaimer – I write a regular column for Locus, and have done so since 2002. As such I am, I freely acknowledge, prejudiced in favor of the magazine. And I remember the thrill it was, sitting in the audience at the Hugo ceremonies, to hear my name mentioned by Liza Groen Trombi, the current editor, when she accepted our final Hugo for Best Semiprozine in Chicago in 2012 (coincidentally the final Hugo that Locus would receive, as rules changes made us ineligible in that category.) (Side personal note – I was sitting with Alec Nevala-Lee at that award ceremony – and Alec this year is nominated for a Hugo for Best Related Book for his exceptional biography Astounding.)

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Locus Award for Best Original Anthology: Again, Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison (Also, a 1972 Special Award for Excellence in Anthologizing)

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Again Dangerous Visions-small

Again, Dangerous Visions (Doubleday, 1972)

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

1973 was the second year of the Locus “Original Anthology” award – in 1971, the first year of the Locus Awards, there was an award for Best Anthology/Collection (won by Robert Silverberg for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume I), and in 1972 original anthologies got a separate category (won that year by Terry Carr’s Universe 1.) By 1972 the original anthology boom of the 1970s, fueled by Roger Elwood, was beginning to spike, and there were a lot of candidates, including Carr’s Universe 2, Silverberg’s New Dimensions II, two issues (10 and 11) of Damon Knight’s Orbit, entries from Robert Hoskins’ Infinity series, Harry Harrison’s Nova, Ted Carnell’s New Writings in SF, Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Quarterly, and, indeed, Roger Elwood, with And Walk Now Gently Through the Fire. And many more. But I don’t think there was any doubt which anthology would win, for this was the year of Harlan Ellison’s Again, Dangerous Visions, the follow-on to the spectacularly successful 1967 book Dangerous Visions. (I should add that Ellison was also awarded a Worldcon Special Committee Award for “Excellence in Anthologizing” for this book, but that was, curiously, at the Worldcon the previous year, 1972, when A,DV had just appeared).)

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Locus Award for Best Publisher: Ballantine Books

Sunday, March 24th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Ballantine Lary Niven-small

Larry Niven Ballantine Books (and Inconstant Moon from Sphere)

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

The Locus Awards, given by a poll of the readers of Locus Magazine (full disclosure: for which I write a regular column), and lately including an online component open to anyone (with non-subscriber votes counting half), have been given since 1971. One of the inspired categories is for Best Publisher (this category began in 1972.) In 1973, the award for Best Publisher went to Ballantine Books. In fact, Ballantine won every year but two between 1972 and 1987. Every year since then, the award has gone to Tor. (Note: the Ballantine awards were often to Ballantine/Del Rey, and the Tor awards were often to Tor/St. Martin’s.) In fact, only four entities have ever won the Locus Best Publisher award: Ballantine/Del Rey, Tor/St. Martin’s, the Science Fiction Book Club, and Pocket/Timescape. So – I still think the award is a good idea, but perhaps the winner doesn’t tell us much beyond the obvious.

Certainly when I was first buying books – beginning in 1974, I think – it was obvious that Ballantine (and, soon Del Rey) was the leading paperback imprint. (And, of course, at that age I bought only paperback and SFBC editions.) Sure, Ace published some good stuff. And so did DAW, and Signet, and Berkley, etc. But Ballantine was king – they published the most good stuff, and had the better packaging – they were the clear leaders. My main association, at that time, was with Larry Niven’s books – Niven was a favorite of mine, and in the mid-70s Ballantine issued a near-uniform edition of Niven’s works to that date. Ballantine also published, under Lin Carter’s editorship, the groundbreaking Ballantine Adult Fantasy series – paperback reprints of really wonderful early fantasy books. This was made possible from a marketing point of view by the popularity of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – and, of course, Ballantine published the first authorized U. S. paperback editions of those books.

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Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Short Story: “The Meeting,” by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, and “Eurema’s Dam,” by R. A. Lafferty

Saturday, March 16th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Fantasy and Science Fiction November 1972-small Fantasy and Science Fiction November 1972-back-small

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1972; cover by Ed Emshwiller

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

In 1973 there was a tie for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story. (There have been several ties in Hugo history, perhaps most famously for the 1966 Best Novel, shared by Roger Zelazny’s F&SF serial “… And Call Me Conrad” and Frank Herbert’s Dune.) The winners were Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth for “The Meeting,” and R. A. Lafferty for “Eurema’s Dam.” This was the first fiction Hugo for each of these writers, and the only one for Kornbluth (not surprising, as he died in 1958) and Lafferty. Kornbluth did win a Retro-Hugo in 2001 for his 1950 novelette “The Little Black Bag,” and another posthumous award, the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award for The Syndic. Lafferty won a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, as well as the Phoenix Award and two Seiuns for Best Story translated into Japanese (“Eurema’s Dam” and “Groaning Hinges of the World”). Pohl’s lists of awards is very long indeed: they include later Hugos for his novel Gateway and his short story “Fermi and Frost,” three Hugos as Editor of If, the Best Magazine winner in 1965-1967, Campbells for Gateway and The Years of the City, Nebulas for Man Plus and Gateway, Locus Awards for his memoir The Way the Future Was and his novella “The Gold at the Starbow’s End,” a late (2010) Hugo for Best Fan Writer, and of course he was named SFWA Grand Master in 1993.

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A Desperate Battle Against an Alien Enemy: Threshold of Eternity by John Brunner and Damien Broderick

Thursday, March 14th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Threshold of Eternity Threshold of Eternity-back-small

Phoenix Pick (236 pages, $14.99 trade paperback/$3.99 digital, November 2017)

A couple of years ago I read an early John Brunner novel called Threshold of Eternity, published as half an Ace Double. Here’s a bit of what I wrote about that:

Threshold of Eternity was first published in New Worlds, December 1957 through February 1958. The Ace Double version came out in 1959.

It opens in California in 1957 or so, as one-legged Red Hawkins encounters a French-speaking girl who couldn’t possibly be there — and, indeed, it turns out that Chantal Vareze was just in London. What’s stranger is the other person they soon encounter, a man named Burma who turns out to be from thousands of years in the future.

We jump, then, to the future, where one Magwareet is helping to coordinate humanity’s desperate war against mysterious aliens called The Enemy. One of the side effects of their battles, and also of a strange entity called The Being, is temporal surges, which can throw people into the far past. And Magwareet has just realized that his friend Burma has been flung into the past …

Cool stuff, eh? And things continue as Red and Chantal are carried into the far future, where the two eventually agree to help with the war against the Enemy, help which involves more trips to the past, a weird situation where multiple copies of the main characters coexist uneasily, and a wild and transcendent ending concerning the true nature of The Being, leading to an unexpected and not quite successful ending. Here’s how my review closed.

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Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Nebula and Hugo Award for Best Novelette: “Goat Song,” by Poul Anderson

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction February 1972-small Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction February 1972-back-small

Cover by Bert Tanner

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was one of the leading SF and Fantasy writers of the last half of the 20th Century. He won the Hugo Award no fewer than seven times for his short fiction, twice taking the Nebula for the same story. He was named an SFWA Grand Master in 1998, he also won the Gandalf Award as Grand Master of Fantasy, and he received numerous other awards including the Mythopeic Award and the Prometheus Award. His best known novel might be Tau Zero (which finished second for the Hugo in 1971). His extended Future History sequence collectively called the Technic Universe probably represents his best-known and best-received set of stories, and his most famous characters, Nicholas Van Rijn and Dominic Flandry, appear in that series.

“Goat Song” is a pure standalone story, not part of any series. It appeared in F&SF for February 1972. As noted in the title of this essay, it won both the Hugo and Nebula for Best Novelette. I would have read it first in Nebula Award Stories 8. At the time I remember being tremendously impressed, but on this most recent rereading its force had diminished. (I reread it in my paperback edition of Anderson’s very fine 1975 collection Homeward and Beyond, which includes one very significant and lesser known story, the historical “The Peat Bog.”)

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Nebula Award for Best Short Story: “When it Changed,” by Joanna Russ

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Nebula Award Stories 8-small Nebula Award Stories 8-back-small

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here in Black Gate.

Joanna Russ (1937-2011) was a playwright, critic, and a very important writer of nonfiction and fiction, that latter primarily SF. She was one of the first prominently “out” Lesbians in the SF field, and perhaps the leading feminist voice in the field during much of her lifetime. She was a favorite writer of mine, especially for short fiction such as her Alyx stories (including “The Second Inquisition”), “Nobody’s Home,” “Souls,” “My Boat,” and many more. She also wrote several strong novels, most famously The Female Man. Her best known and most significant extended critical work might be How to Suppress Women’s Writing. Her writing career was hampered late in her life by a long illness. She won the Hugo Award in 1983 for “Souls,” and the Nebula Award in 1973 for “When It Changed.”

In 1972 I began reading SF from the adult section of the library – that’s why it’s my Golden Age, really! – and one thing I discovered there was the Nebula Award anthologies, published each year and featuring the previous years Nebula winners in short fiction, and a few more nominated stories. I read them all out of the library, and eagerly awaited the appearance, in 1973, of Nebula Award Stories 8, edited by Isaac Asimov. The Nebula winner for short story was “When it Changed,” by Joanna Russ. I read it, and I thought, “So, a planet inhabited by women, and the men show up. I’ve seen that before. What’s the big deal?”

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The Golden Age of Science Fiction: The 1973 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, and the 1973 Locus Awards for Best Magazine Artist and Best Paperback Cover Artist: Kelly Freas

Sunday, February 24th, 2019 | Posted by Rich Horton

Weird Tales November 1950-small Astounding Science Fiction October 1953-small Analog February 1975-small

Steven Silver has been doing a series covering the award winners from his age 12 year, and Steven has credited me for (indirectly) suggesting this, when I quoted Peter Graham’s statement “The Golden Age of Science Fiction” is 12, in the “comment section” to the entry on 1973 in Jo Walton’s wonderful book An Informal History of the Hugos. You see, I was 12 in 1972, so the awards for 1973 were the awards for my personal Golden Age. And Steven suggested that much as he is covering awards for 1980, I might cover awards for 1973 here at Black Gate.

As I began reading the SF magazines, and buying SF paperbacks, there was really no doubt who the most popular artist was: Kelly Freas. (This is not to deny the excellence of the likes of John Schoenherr, Jack Gaughan, and many more.) Kelly Freas was one of the most regular artists at Analog, and he did covers for many book publishers, at that time perhaps most often DAW. (Later he was the cover artist for every one of the Laser Books line.) His art was very colorful, very recognizable. His work was often humorous, but also could be dark and gritty. He was also an excellent interior illustrator.

Freas was born Frank Kelly in 1922. He took his stepfather’s last name after he was adopted. (His artwork was signed both Kelly Freas and Frank Kelly Freas.) He served in the second World War right out of High School, doing reconnaissance camera work and painting bomber noses. He spent some time in advertising. His first painting in the SF field was the cover for the November 1950 issue of Weird Tales (above left). One of his most famous paintings in the field was the 1953 cover of Astounding, illustrating Tom Godwin’s “The Gulf Between” (above middle). He later repainted it (with slight changes) for use as the cover of Queen’s album News of the World. Outside of SF he may have been best known for his work at Mad Magazine – he was the originator of the Alfred E. Neumann character.

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