Title: The Hugo Winners 1968-1970
Author: Isaac Asimov
Page Count/Review Word Count: 368
I’ve not been having much luck with these Hugo Winners books to be honest, which is a bit of a shame because I feel like I should have enjoyed them both more than I did. The first one was kind of fair enough, but this one had some cracking authors in it as well as some pretty famous pieces.
For example, I made my first visit to the land of Pern with Anne McCaffrey, and while I would go for another visit, it wasn’t quite as mindblowing as I’d hoped for. It also included I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, a super famous short story that was pretty good but which I think was mostly noteworthy because the concept was so good, rather than because the story itself was great. It was good, but that’s about it.
There was also a cracking piece called Riders of the Purple Wage by Philip Jose Farmer, and in fact I think that was probably my favourite of the lot. It played with language a lot and also featured the private ejaculations of an old granddad, which sounds a lot more perverted than it actually was. For the most part, it was a clever look at capitalist society and the future that we might end up with if we’re not careful.
I think that the stories in this collection were a lot more thought-provoking than they were in the first one of these collections, but there were still a few that left quite a lot to be desired. The first one just wasn’t really worth reading at all, whereas this one is probably better if you dip in and out of it.
And of course, then there’s the fact that Asimov’s introductions to the stories were arguably more interesting than the stories themselves. I mean, I guess it could be worse, but it was still only so-so and my lasting sensation upon completion was just a sensation of relief. That’s not the kind of thing I’m used to from Isaac Asimov, so yeah.