With less than a week to go until the 2014 Worldcon and this year’s Hugo Award ceremony, we thought we’d celebrate the rich heritage of the Hugo Awards by price-promoting the eBook editions of past Hugo winners from both Gollancz and the SF Gateway imprints. Between the two lists, we have a very creditable 30 of 62 titles, including the very first and (until August 17th, at least) the most recent winners. Today we’re looking at our four winners from the 1950s:
1953 The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester (SF Masterworks paperback edition only)
In the 24th century, the head of a solar system-spanning business empire is determined to murder a rival, but how do you get away with murder in a world where the police have telepathic powers? Alfred Bester’s work was an inspiration to both the New Wave and cyberpunk movements and The Demolished Man, along with Bester’s second novel The Stars My Destination, set the science fiction field alight.
1956 Double Star, Robert A. Heinlein (SF Masterworks paperback | SF Gateway eBook)
A down-and-out actor finds himself impersonating a kidnapped politician, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. Known as ‘the Dean of science fiction’, Robert A. Heinlein was an SFWA Grand Master and won many an award during his career. This was the first of four Hugo Awards for best novel.
1958 The Big Time, Fritz Leiber (SF Gateway eBook)
Although best known as a fantasy writer, one of Fritz Leiber’s major SF creations is the Change War, a series of stories about rival time-travelling forces locked in a bitter, ages-long struggle for control of the human universe, where battles alter history repeatedly until there is no certainty about what might once have happened. The Big Time is the most notable work of the series, in which doctors, entertainers and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time.
1959 A Case of Conscience, James Blish (SF Masterworks paperback | SF Gateway eBook)
A Case of Conscience is James Blish’s seminal treatment of religion in SF. A Jesuit priest faces an agonising spiritual and intellectual problem during a scientific commission to an alien planet. The inhabitants follow a moral code identical to that of Christianity and seem as innocent of sin as Adam and Eve were before the fall, yet they have no notion of God, and suffer no pangs of conscience. For the priest, that means they’re too good to be true.
A fine selection of titles (even if we do say so ourselves) from the decade when, arguably, modern SF really started to hit its straps as a vibrant and important strand of literature. Next up: the 1960s . . .
[Please note that it is only the eBook editions of the above that we are able to discount for this promotion; print editions will remain at their regular price. This is a UK-only promotion.]