Have you ever reached the stage where you look around and think to yourself; what the hell am I going to read next? With all the books that are published each year, around 206,000 in the U.K., how can you possibly decide which ones to read?
We’re all a little nerdy here so let’s do the maths: If a person reads a book a week (this is probably above average) then that’s 52 a year. Say they live for 80 years and started reading that amount of books at the age of 10. That’s only 3640 books in their whole life. That’s less than two percent of the books published in one year. I started to worry that I’m reading the wrong books and completely wasting my time.
Fear not though fellow nerdlings there are solutions. For me the solution was to take someone else’s advice on which books to read. The advice of a panel of experts on Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I turned to the Hugo Awards. More specifically the Hugo Award for Best Novel.
I’m not going to write about the history of the Hugo here, that’s something I’d like to cover another day. Basically though The Hugo Awards are given every year since 1953 by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year and are named for Hugo Gernsback, the founder of science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.
I’ve been making my way through them for the last year or so in-between reviewing books and it’s been pretty good so far. There have been highs (Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilhelm) and luckily very few lows. All of the books have included something different, something unique that makes them well worth the read. There are some books that maybe I wouldn’t recommend to others but there are some that have placed themselves firmly in my favourite Sci-Fi reads ever.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be highlighting some of the best examples of Hugo Award winners and trying to persuade you that they are well worth a read.