Thursday, July 24, 2014

1939 Best Short Story - My Ballot

1939 Retro-Hugo Awards - Best Short Story

I definitely had a favorite in this group, as well. But several were fun to read.

Spoilery comments and my ballot behind the link...
1. “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
This little story is really funny! Quite, quite silly. And so very British. It pokes loving fun at so many of the sci-fi tales of the day. Rocket societies have sprung up in many of the nations of the world, all setting off rockets and trying to outdo each other, with lots of disastrous results, and the narrator isn't bothered in the slightest. The narrator's rocket society eventually accidentally rockets themselves to Mars, and back, and it's quite the fun little ride. I loved this story a lot.

2. “The Faithful” by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)

DOG PEOPLE!!! And anxiety over the building war and the development of war technologies that could end Man forever. Dogs mourning the loss of Man, with whom they've lived and whom they've served for 50,000 years. They find a new friend in the somewhat-less-uplifted apes, and hope to rebuild them into a new, better Man. But what does it mean at the end - "For no man knoweth--"? The Rapture? The return of Christ? This left me with a big "What??"

But then, here, the author himself is talking about how it was his first written story, written in just a few hours, and he wrote it as a nice, simple, direct story, so perhaps I'm overthinking it. :) Next!


3. “Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)

Humanity Gets Its Hair Back. This was a fun little read. 

4. “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)
That's a short story, all right! Simple little mind game of a story. Fun but not much to it. A man who can see the future and can briefly stop time tries to figure out how to avoid his impending demise. I guess it's historic since it's Ray Bradbury's first published story.

5. “Helen O’Loy” by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
Meh. Men create ultra-beautiful robot and give her the capability of human emotions. She's beyond beautiful, equipped like a real human woman, and her only drive is to be the perfect wife. Both men fall in love with her, and no other women can compare. Blech. 

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