Transwarp Tuesday! The Hugo Awards 2014 continued…

The best laid plans…


Well, I promised last week that I’d follow up with the winners of the Best Short Story Hugo Awards for this week’s…


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hugo header


The winner of the Retro-Hugo for 1939 is…

How We Went to Mars by Arthur C Clarke


Sounds like fun! Unfortunately I can’t track it down anywhere on the internet, so haven’t been able to read it, making this perhaps the shortest ‘review’ you’ll ever find on my blog. (Did I hear someone cheering??)

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The winner of the Hugo Award for 2014 is…

The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu


This is available and you can read it here. Unfotunately I found this one both uninteresting and not sci-fi, so gave up halfway through, making this possibly the second-shortest review you’ll ever find on my blog! I don’t know how to classify it really – it appears to be the story of a young man ‘coming out’ as gay, and the fantasy quirk is that every time anyone tells a lie water falls on them from…er…nowhere. Not nearly as good as last week’s nominee, and yet another indication that the Hugos have very little to do with sci-fi these days as far as I can see.

So a rather stunted little Transwarp Tuesday! this week, I fear. Oh well, back to some of the greats soon…

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the gods of mars


…and, on that subject, the Professor and I have just started a readalong of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Gods of Mars, follow-up to A Princess of Mars (and John Carter). Up to Chapter 2 so far, and he’s given us a fantastic new alien – the Plant Men of Mars. Since Tuesday is also often known as Teaser day, here’s a little description…

By far the most remarkable feature of this most remarkable creature, however, were the two tiny replicas of it, each about six inches in length, which dangled, one on either side, from its armpits. They were suspended by a small stem which seemed to grow from the exact tops of their heads to where it connected them with the body of the adult.

Whether they were the young, or merely portions of a composite creature, I did not know.

That image may haunt my nightmares…

Not tempted to join in yet? Then here’s how Chapter 2 ends…

And then, from unseen lips, a cruel and mocking peal of laughter rang through the desolate place.

I might be too scared to read Chapter 3…

32 thoughts on “Transwarp Tuesday! The Hugo Awards 2014 continued…

  1. How we went to Mars was first published in Amateur Science Fiction Stories magazine in 1938. You can find it in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2002).


    • Oh, yes, sorry. I meant I couldn’t find it online – most of these old classic sci-fi stories are downloadable. I was tempted to get the book, and might one day, but…too much on the TBR just now!


  2. FictionFan – I’ve had those ‘best laid plans’ weeks too. So sorry to hear you were disappointed in this year’s Hugo Award winner. I do sometimes wonder what people think ‘counts’ as sci-fi and/or fantasy. Hmmm… At any rate, if you do track that Clarke story down, I hope you’ll let us know.


    • Yes, none of the modern shortlisted stories that I looked at seemed like what I’d think of as sci-fi – and even fantasy was stretching it a bit. It’s odd how such a popular genre seems to have faded…unless I’m just looking in the wrong places!


    • I got talked into ‘A Princess of Mars’ – thought I’d hate it, and ended up loving it! So much fun! And ‘The Gods of Mars’ is shaping up to be just as good. 🙂

      Yes, I saw your teaser – I’ll be interested to see what you think. I haven’t read any Jack London since I was a kid, and can’t even really remember whether I enjoyed him or not. But since I’m trying to get more familiar with American literature, he’s on my radar at the moment…


      • Thanks for your thoughts on A Princess of Mars. That means a lot because that’s probably why I’ve never read one–wasn’t sure I’d like it. I just looked and have five “Mars” books on my reader. Thinking about it, audios may be available from LibriVox.

        I read a lot of London’s dog books when younger. The Sea Wolf is totally different. It’s really more psychological than straight adventure. A nice bit of ‘book talk’ in it too which is always fun.


        • Those Edgar Rice Burroughs books are popular! Project Gutenberg and LibriVox both have Princess by three different readers. I’ve downloaded one and it will be ready to go as soon as I finish The Sea Wolf. Finally it gets to the top of the tbr stack, thanks to you.


          • Oh, I hope you enjoy it – do let me know! I’ve never tried the LibriVox recordings – I must look into them. I’d imagine that with a good narrator these books will be great fun to listen to!


            • A reading buddy of mine was always talking about LibriVox recordings and how she’d also have the etext in case she wanted to ‘go back’ and catch something again. Very handy because I often miss something and think ‘what?’ It will say who the reader is or in the case of multiple readers mention them all. The price is right too–free.


  3. You must be brave enough to continue! They’re cool new aliens, I’ll give you that, but they’re no match for John Carter’s sword! Man does that guy know how to fight! I think he’s a superhero.

    You know, I got the actor on my cover?


  4. Ok, that ending to Ch. 2 of The Gods of Mars — SCARY! I love the title: The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere. That is a great idea.


  5. Now come on be honest the reason for short reviews I’d the test driving of steam sticks and heavy duty cat hair suckers
    Not to mention the preparation and consumption of green Thai curry. ( I have my impeccable information sources on this)


      • Just don’t steam the Green Curry or Vax it up by mistake. And remember small children and smaller cats should be discouraged from playing around steam, or catching a ride on a hoover. PS Me too, I can promise no unpacking box videos are set to happen. Though I suppose it might be fun to do spoof ones.


        • Goodness! The last thing I want is a film of me trying to build a hoover! For a start I’m not skilled enough to edit out the swearing! I’m sure there’s a page of instructions missing… 😉


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