the Little Red Reviewer

Retro Hugos?

Posted on: October 26, 2013

Next year the WorldCon will be in London, at LonCon3.  I’m pretty excited already to get to nominate and vote in the Hugo awards again. . . and then I saw this:

The Retro Hugos

The Retro-Hugos will use the same rules and categories as the current awards. There will be parallel nominating and voting processes. The eligibility for nomination and voting is identical – if you can nominate or vote for the 2014 awards, you can nominate or vote for the 1939 awards.

How cool is that??   And everyone knows what I like to do in January, right? but seriously. do you guys think this is a brilliant idea, or are you like “meh, whatevs”? If you nominate or vote in the Hugo Awards, are you willing to to give speculative fiction written in 1938 the same attention as speculative fiction written in 2013? Can something that was written back then speak to fans today?

For your reading pleasure, the hardworking folks at LonCon3 have put together lists of novels of 1938, short fiction of 1938, dramatic presentations of 1938, Editors, and more.  I imagine (ok, I hope!) that much of the short fiction and novels are available on Project Gutenberg.

I’m pretty geeked about this. Not just because I like reading old stuff, but because I’m curious to see how the fans of today will react to what was considered speculative and cutting edge 75 years ago.

12 Responses to "Retro Hugos?"

Retro awards are a really good idea. They will show which books have withstood the test of time. Sadly, many of the authors won’t be around to collect. I’d like to see a retro for about 10 years ago – then the authors have more chance of seeing their success.


the first actual Hugo Awards weren’t given out until 1953, so all those excellent writers from before never even had a chance. I am very, very interested to see which books were applauded back then but don’t say anything to modern to readers, and vice versa. Retro awards for 10, 20, even 30 years ago would be incredible. Who knows, maybe this LonCon retro thing will be the start of something new and wonderful!


I think it’s a great idea. Classics like Asimov and Clarke go that far back and they’re wonderful stories compared to some of our contemporary rubbish. 75 years later and they manage to capture my young imagination. They’ve done the retro Hugos before, but it doesn’t happen every year for some reason. No annual Worldcon back then, maybe?

The 1938 best novel list is so long, I think I’ll wait for the shortlist, but I might sample some of the dramatic presentations over the holidays. The vintage stuff might be cool.


I STRONGLY dislike the whole “retro Hugo” concept. For God’s sake, people, leave well enough alone!


Awesome! Yay! I loved it when they did this for the Lost Booker Prize. (Not thrilled with the outcome, but I loved the idea.)


Sounds interesting! I look forward to finding out how this goes…..


I’m not a Hugo voter, but I may have to check out at least the short list. January is just around the corner, after all.


How frickin cool! And I am going to be going to that con, so I will get to vote! And the people rejoice! (The people being me.)


I have never voted in the retro Hugos, but I have friends who are very serious about it. They study the relevant works in depth and make their choices after careful thought. Their attitudes have impressed me about the importance of the program.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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