Monday, September 7, 1981

1981 Hugo Award Nominees

Location: Denvention Two in Denver, Colorado.

Comments: After a modest absence, Robert Silverberg returned to the ranks of Hugo nominees in 1981, with both a novel and a short story nominated, although neither won. The ranks of the nominees for Best Novel were also filled out by two sequels to novels that had both previously won Hugo Awards, which I'm sure had never happened before. Neither won, as the Best Novel trophy was taken by Joan D. Vinge for her novel Snow Queen.

In the Best Dramatic Presentation category I am sure no one was surprised by the fact that The Empire Strikes Back took home the rocket statue. But the interesting part of the ballot in 1981 was actually the losing nominees. Leaving aside the schlock-fest of the Dino de Laurentis Flash Gordon, the remaining nominees were all brilliant, but the most notable fact was that two of them - The Lathe of Heaven and Cosmos - were produced for and appeared on public television. This was a decidedly good year for Carl Sagan at the Hugo Awards: Not only did his miniseries Cosmos get nominated in the Best Dramatic Presentation category, the companion book he authored for the series, also named Cosmos, won the Best Nonfiction Book award.

Best Novel

The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Other Nominees:
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven
Wizard by John Varley

Best Novella

Lost Dorsai by Gordon R. Dickson

Other Nominees:
All the Lies That Are My Life by Harlan Ellison
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch (reviewed in Fantasy & Science Fiction: Volume 116, Nos. 4 & 5 (April/May 2009))
Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin
One-Wing by Lisa Tuttle and George R.R. Martin

Best Novelette

The Cloak and the Staff by Gordon R. Dickson

Other Nominees:
The Autopsy by Michael Shea
Beatnik Bayou by John Varley
The Lordly Ones by Keith Roberts
Savage Planet by Barry B. Longyear
The Ugly Chickens by Howard Waldrop

Best Short Story

Grotto of the Dancing Deer by Clifford D. Simak

Other Nominees:
Cold Hands by Jeff Duntemann
Guardian by Jeff Duntemann
Our Lady of the Sauropods by Robert Silverberg
Spidersong by Susan C. Petrey

Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Book

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Other Nominees:
Di Fate's Catalog of Science Fiction Hardware by Vincent Di Fate and Ian Summers
Dream Makers by Charles Platt
In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1954-1978 by Isaac Asimov
Warhoon 28 by Walter A. Willis, edited by Richard Bergeron

Best Dramatic Presentation

The Empire Strikes Back

Other Nominees:
Cosmos (television series)
Flash Gordon
The Lathe of Heaven (television movie)
The Martian Chronicles (television series)

Best Professional Editor

Edward L. Ferman

Other Nominees:
Jim Baen
Terry Carr
Stanley Schmidt
George H. Scithers

Best Professional Artist

Michael Whelan

Other Nominees:
Vincent Di Fate
Steve Fabian
Paul Lehr
Don Maitz

Best Fanzine

Locus edited by Charles N. Brown

Other Nominees:
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Science Fiction Chronicle edited by Andrew Porter
Science Fiction Review edited by Richard E. Geis
Starship edited by Andrew Porter

Best Fan Writer

Susan Wood

Other Nominees:
Richard E. Geis
Mike Glyer
Arthur D. Hlavaty
Dave Langford

Best Fan Artist

Victoria Poyser

Other Nominees:
Alexis Gilliland
Joan Hanke-Woods
Bill Rotsler
Stu Shiffman

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Somtow Sucharitkul

Other Nominees:
Kevin Christensen
Diane Duane
Robert L. Forward
Susan C. Petrey
Robert Stallman

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 1980
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1982

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