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Literary Criticism Science Fiction & Fantasy

An Informal History of the Hugos

A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000

by (author) Jo Walton

Initial publish date
Aug 2018
Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price

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Out of print

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Engaged, passionate, and consistently entertaining,An Informal History of the Hugos is a book about the renowned science fiction award for the many who enjoyed Jo Walton's previous collection of writing, the Locus Award-winningWhat Makes This Book So Great.
The Hugo Awards, named after pioneer science-fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback, and voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society, have been presented since 1953. They are widely considered the most prestigious awards in science fiction.
Between 2010 and 2013, Jo Walton wrote a series of posts, surveying the Hugo finalists and winners from the award's inception up to the year 2000. Her contention was that each year's full set of finalists generally tells a meaningful story about the state of science fiction at that time.
Walton's cheerfully opinionated and vastly well-informed posts provoked valuable conversation among the field's historians. Now these posts, lightly revised, have been gathered into this book, along with a small selection of the comments posted by SF luminaries such as Rich Horton, Gardner Dozois, and David G. Hartwell.
"A remarkable guided tour through the field—a kind of nonfiction companion toAmong Others. It's very good. It's great."—New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, Boing BoingonWhat Makes This Book So Great

About the author

Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, most recently Necessity. She has also published three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012,  and in 2014 both the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better. She gets bored easily so she tends to write books that are different from each other. She also reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.

Jo Walton's profile page


  • Short-listed, Locus Awards - Nominee
  • Short-listed, Hugo Award - Nominee

Editorial Reviews

"A remarkable guided tour through the field—a kind of nonfiction companion to Among Others. It's very good. It's great." —Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing,forAmong Others
"This is certainly going to be a book that I'll go back to again and again." —Andrew Liptak, Kirkus Reviews,forWhat Makes This Book So Great
"There are the books you want to give all your friends, and there are the books you wish you could go back and give your younger self. And then there's the rare book, like Jo Walton's Among Others, that's both."—Charlie Jane Anders,io9,forAmong Others
"Akin to a genre version of Nancy Pearl'sBook Lust. Walton's affection for many of these titles is contagious, and fans will find their own reading lists growing." —Library Journal,starred review, forWhat Makes This Book So Great
"A well-informed and thoroughly engaging companion, especially for fans of contemporary SF." —Toronto Row,forWhat Makes This Book So Great

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