📚 Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

39/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

High concept interstellar politics and space battles that just never really got me invested. Though I’ll admit, I may have been slightly put off by this particular edition having a lot of typos (usually punctuation, but at least once a misnamed character that made things quite confusing for a bit). Good space opera, but doesn’t rank highly for me among Hugo winners.

Michael holding Downbelow Station

📚 The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

35/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Science fiction that somehow reads like fantasy (that’s not a complaint, to be clear). At times almost feels like a alternative take on Asimov’s Foundation universe, with a galaxy-spanning empire crumbling, and a repository of knowledge meant to rebuild civilization, only going in a somewhat different direction.

Michael holding The Snow Queen

📚 The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

33/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1980 Hugo Best Novel

The story of the construction of humanity’s first space elevator, tied to the history of the (semi-fictional) island that serves as its base. An easy read, concerned primarily with exploring how such an engineering feat might happen, and without any real antagonist or great interpersonal dramas.

Michael holding The Fountains of Paradise

📚 Gateway by Frederik Pohl

15/2022 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1978 Hugo Best Novel

The main character’s something of an ass (admittedly, this is part of the story, so at least he’s not an ass for no reason), but the general conceit and worldbuilding is fascinating. Humanity has found the remnants of an alien race, including a fleet of FTL ships…but nobody really knows how to work them. Take one out and you might come back with treasures worth millions, you might come back with nothing, you might come back dead, you might not come back at all…and the odds aren’t in your favor.

Michael holding Gateway

📚 24/2021: Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1974 Hugo Best Novel

This one still holds up really well. Still fascinating, as much for the many questions left unanswered as for those which aren’t. A great picture of possible first contact.

📚 21/2021: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1973 Hugo Best Novel

One of my favorite classic SF authors, but not a favorite of his works. The ideas were interesting, but the dialogue felt particularly dated, and the final third’s sociological bits were a bit silly.

📚 17/2021: To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer ⭐️⭐️ 1972 Hugo Best Novel

What sounded like an interesting premise was actually an incredibly unpleasant journey with unpleasant people that killed any interest in the purported mystery of what’s actually going on.