I don’t know when I first heard about the Hugo Awards. I was probably in college, even though I’d been reading science fiction since my brother handed me Michael Crichton’s Sphere when I was 12. I went on a tear through every Crichton book I could get my hands on. Shortly after that I discovered Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I was hooked. I already had a deep love for Star Trek by that point, but I hadn’t realized books could be that way (other than my brother’s multiple shelves of Star Trek pocket books) until I discovered science fiction. I was hooked for life.
I spent so much time in the science fiction section of book stores and libraries, but honestly, it was so hit or miss. Some were great. Many weren’t. But it never occurred to me that there were people who had put together lists of good ones or that there were awards specifically for science fiction. I blame it on my dial-up internet.
Anyway, once I heard about the Hugo Awards, I dedicated summer reading to Hugo Award winning novels. I think that was my very first summer reading list – I didn’t get through very many. Unfortunately, a lot of the older winners from the 50’s and 60’s are hard to find.
All that the say, it’s been on my bucket list ever since that first summer to read every single Hugo Award for Best Novel winner. This is kind of hard to do given that a new book is added every year. But still. I want to do it. Not just to say I’ve done it (because many others probably have) but because I want to read good science fiction. I want to discover new authors, new worlds, new problems, new solutions. And that list seems like a great place to start.
Thankfully, my summer reading list for 2016 (books I own that I’ve never read) has 3 Hugo winning novels on it:
- Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
I can’t wait to finally read these! And many more, once summer reading is over! (Though I am craving some Narnia time, too…)
Do you have a genre you love? When did that start? What contributed to you loving that genre?