Monday, 12 April 2021

The Lies That Bind

The story of Stan Lee is a quintessential American tragedy. It is the story of a man whose reach would
Beloved comic book icon Stan Lee
is a figure worthy of serious critical
study. Abraham Riesman's new biography
grapples with his oversized myth. 
(Image via People)

always exceed his grasp, and of someone who would sacrifice the truth, his friends, and eventually himself in a vainglorious pursuit of goals that could never bring happiness.

True Believer: The Rise And Fall Of Stan Lee by Abraham Riesman grapples with Lee’s oversized cultural profile, and with the legacy of one of the most divisive figures in comic book fandom.

Many parts of Stan Lee’s story have been told over the years in interviews, feature articles, and autobiographies. However, these accounts are contradictory and informed by Lee’s incessant and self-serving dishonesty. They were also often written either by journalists who lacked the depth of comic book knowledge to ask the difficult questions, or by comic book fans who lacked the journalistic discipline to parse myth from fact. Mainstream media was — and still mostly is — incurious about how comics are made and who was responsible for what, so often settled for the story told with the most charisma. If anything, Lee was charismatic.

True Believer is therefore a much-needed attempt to provide as complete and accurate a picture as possible of this iconic figure. New Yorker Magazine and Vulture Magazine culture critic Riesman brings both journalistic credibility and a depth of knowledge about comic book history to this biography.

The caveat “as accurate a picture as possible” is key to understanding why this biography is so satisfying. Riesman recognizes that Lee’s incessant lies — and the myth-making empire he built around himself — present significant obstacles when writing about him. When necessary, Riesman relays multiple accounts of the same events, and offers the reader his reasoning as to which might be the most factual. As Riesman writes, any account of Lee’s life is “where objective truth goes to die.”

So what is certain? The son of Romanian Jewish immigrants, Stan Lee was born in Manhattan in 1922, as Stanley Martin Lieber. Hired by his uncle at the age of 17, he began working at a comic book company called Timely and rose through the ranks rapidly. It is certain that he receives credit for helping create numerous famous comic book characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, the Silver Surfer, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Black Panther, and many more.
Lee loved the limelight, a trait that often led him
to minimize the contributions of others. 
(Image via Times Of Israel) 


It is also clear that Lee was a gregarious and friendly person who managed to recruit and attract significant talent to the comic book industry. He wrote dialogue that was more engaging than most of his 1960s contemporaries, and had some hand in building a pop cultural phenomenon. It is also clear that Lee was capable of significant kindness.

But since the 1990s, there has been escalating controversy about how much of the creative process was Stan Lee’s, and how much belonged to the artists with whom he collaborated. Many of his most famous colleagues — and even his own brother Larry Lieber — suggest that Lee’s contributions were minimal. Riesman doesn’t offer a definitive verdict, but the documentary evidence he provides does not always paint a flattering picture of Lee.

The research put into True Believer cannot be overstated; Riesman interviewed almost every relevant figure, including Lee in his final years. He has combed source documents, old fanzines, lawsuit filings, and correspondence, and shows the ways in which Lee’s claims would change over time, contradicting himself. Lee lied about things even when there was no penalty for telling the truth, and he lied about things which could be fact-checked.

Our most significant quibbles with True Believer have more to do with what is omitted from the story,
Miscommunication over which
character was talking in a panel 
of Spider-Man #36 led Lee to
order artist Sol Brodsky to edit
Steve Ditko's artwork. Ditko
left Marvel comics two months
later, never to work with Lee again.
(Image via Marvel.Fandom.Wikia)

rather than what is included. The haphazard creation of the Avengers #1 (which Lee threw together to fill a publishing window after artist Bill Everett missed his deadlines on Daredevil) reveals aspects of Lee's talents and foibles. Steve Ditko's epic fight with Lee over Spider-Man #36 (where Lee had another artist edit Ditko's illustration of The Looter) illustrates the flaws with Lee's "Marvel Method" of comic book collaboration. The omission of these vignettes seems curious. But in any biographical work, the author must make difficult choices about what to include.  

Because most of Lee’s memorable accomplishments occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, his last three decades of life have mostly been glossed over by biographers. Riesman’s book both fills this gap and provides context to help better understand Lee’s commercial success. If the truth can set you free, then the life of Stan Lee is a parable about how lies can entrap us. Over his last three decades, his tenuous relationship with reality eroded his ability to maintain meaningful friendships. As the book progresses, it becomes clear that Lee ended up surrounded by deceivers like himself, and trapped in a cage of his own making.

Abraham Riesman’s book becomes a cautionary tale about the seductive, destructive power of lies. For those who have been gaslit, or who have lived with a pathological liar, the experience of reading this book might be triggering.

It's often been observed that at the time of his death, Lee was in litigation with most of his friends and family while estranged from the rest.

The negative reviews of True Believer posted to Amazon and GoodReads can be seen as a testament to Lee’s prowess at self-mythologizing. Some of the reviewers seem never to have read the book at all, while others take umbrage at the suggestion that Lee’s involvement in the creation of certain characters was anything other than absolute. Fandom has been overly deferential to Lee in life and death, finding it inconvenient to talk about what artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Wally Wood endured.

There is a long tradition of fandom idolizing a certain variety of PT Barnum-style self-promoter. This tradition has come under much-needed scrutiny in the past decade thanks to works such as Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee and The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein by Farrah Mendelsohn. Abraham Riesman’s True Believer is a welcome addition to this critical reckoning.  

In Riesman’s telling, Lee is not a figure worthy of contempt. He’s a figure worthy of pity. Somehow, that’s worse.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Open Discussion — What's worth considering for the ballot in 2022?

The following list will be updated over the next few months as we read, watch, and listen to Hugo-eligible works for 2022. These are not necessarily what we plan to nominate, but rather works that at least one member of the Edmonton Hugo Book Club has enjoyed and believes to be worth consideration. We appreciate any additional suggestions in the comments.

Updated on April 12, 2021 

Items marked with a “*” are ones for which there was significant disagreement within the book club. 

Novel
Machinehood — S.B. Divya
Chaos on Catnet — Naomi Kritzer
Bear Head — Adrian Tchaikovsky

Novella
Remote Control — Nnedi Okorafor

Short Story
Tyrannosaurus Hex — Sam J. Miller

Related Work
True Believer — Abraham Riesman

Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) 
For All Mankind S02E01 — Every Little Thing 
Expanse S05E10 — Nemesis Games

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Hugo Cinema Club: A Return To The Zone in '61

This blog post is the fourth in a series examining past winners of the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award. An introductory blog post is here.  

In 1960, the spectacle of director George Pal’s adaptation of The Time Machine wowed mainstream 
Season Guest of Honour 
Robert A. Heinlein at the 
convention (Image via Fanac)
audiences. At the time, it was one of the highest-budgeted science fiction movies ever made. The movie’s superb special effects had earned Gene Warren an Academy Award, and its prop design was echoed in films for decades.

It was widely expected to win the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award at Seacon, the 19th Worldcon held in Seattle, Washington on the Labour Day weekend of 1961.

Also on the shortlist for his second season of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling decided not to make the drive north to attend the awards ceremony, telling fans in Los Angeles that he expected The Time Machine to win the award.

There was a smattering of boos from the audience when they got to the Best Dramatic Presentation category of the Hugos, reflecting the continued disquiet about whether or not the Hugos should recognize film.

But there was some degree of surprise and laughter when presenter Harlan Ellison called up Bjo Trimble — “herself a resident of the Twilight Zone” — to accept a chrome rocketship trophy on behalf of Serling.

With the benefit of hindsight, we are very glad that The Time Machine did not win the award. On a simple storytelling level, this is arguably one of the least compelling works to have appeared on the Hugo 
Strong on style, weak on substance
The Time Machine is insufferably
narrated and glacially paced. 
(Image via Letterboxd)
shortlist.

Images from the movie are among the most recognizable images of classic science fiction cinema; the design work on the machine itself, the makeup of the morlocks, and numerous other details have stood the test of time. However, a movie is more than a series of well-made images, and The Time Machine is an uncompelling example of blockbuster cinema.

The script adapted from H.G. Wells’ novel is ham-handed, relying on a narration that offers redundant description of the action, and sluggish exposition. The glacial pace of this movie cannot be overstated. It opens with 20 minutes of irrelevant chatter between four upper-class men musing about politics. Almost two minutes of screen time is spent on the main character closing a door.

Worse than the pacing, The Time Machine side-steps Wells’ social criticisms of class and labour. Gone from this movie are the musings about the troglodytic Morlocks as avatars for the working class, as are the depiction of the feckless Eloi as being the descendants of a rich overclass. Instead, we are presented with a less challenging rewriting of the story to cast the Eloi-Morlock conflict as a clash between Russian Communism and American Freedom. The result is toothless and hollow.

By contrast, many of the qualifying episodes from Twilight Zone’s first and second season (those that aired in 1960) are influential genre classics: “The Eye of The Beholder,” “The Hitch-hiker,” and “Mirror Image” are all great pieces of well-constructed storytelling. When contrasted with The Time Machine, their elegant use of pacing and respect for the audience becomes even more apparent. Most of all, in this stretch of broadcast, the allegorical nature of Twilight Zone came into sharper focus: “The Monsters Are Due On
Mr. Dingle The Strong” is a 
low point for Twilight Zone. It is 
sillier than even this image suggests.
(Image via TwilightZone.fandom.org)

Maple Street” may be the high water mark of the entire series as Serling ratchets up the tension slowly in a parable about xenophobia and paranoia. It is a master-class in television writing and acting that seems as relevant and timely today as it ever has “There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices...to be found only in the minds of men … And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”

But while the high points of Twilight Zone’s second year were exceptionally high, even as early as this second season, there were signs of inconsistency. There are enough duds like the repetitive “Mr. Bevis,” and the appallingly sexist “The Chaser,” to make us wonder whether the series as a whole deserved to be recognized as a whole. Certainly, it’s difficult to take the baseball-playing robot episode “The Mighty Casey” very seriously.

Had we been voting members of the 1961 Worldcon, we would have voted for Wolf Rilla’s Village Of The Damned. Faithfully adapted from John Wyndam’s The Midwich Cuckoos, the movie depicts a community’s reaction to an unusual group of 61 children who are all born simultaneously after an unexplained phenomenon. Over the course of nine years, it becomes clear that the Children are telepathic alien brood parasites who pose a threat to humanity. The child actors in the movie deserve special kudos for pulling off a relatively difficult set of roles. Martin Stephens, who was 10 at the time of filming, plays David Zellaby (the most prominent of the Children) with a malevolent calm.
American religious groups 
protested against Village of 
The Damned
, because
impregnation by alien parasites
was too similar to virgin birth.
Not a joke.
(Image via YouTube) 

The production had been a tumultuous one; after the death of the actor who had been contracted for the lead role, and bowing to pressure from religious groups, MGM handed the project off to their small British wing. The movie was shot on a budget of £82,000 (about £900,000 accounting for inflation) and completed in just six weeks. Slated for a small number of showings in London in June, it became an unexpected hit by word-of-mouth, and was rushed to the United States that August.

A large part of the movie’s success can be attributed to the careful way that director Wolf Rilla develops the sense of menace. Nothing is ever over-explained, but rather small pieces of information are offered and the viewer is allowed to build their own conclusions. The denouement and resolution of the story are left as ethically ambiguous as the novel. It is a movie made with integrity and cleverness.

The Twilight Zone was a worthy winner of the 1961 Hugo Award, although with the benefit of hindsight it might have been nice for the awards to recognize a wider range of artists and creators rather than awarding a Hugo to the same show that won in 1960.

But at the very least, although Village Of The Damned didn’t win in 1961, the movie had the unique distinction of making a return appearance on the Hugo ballot the subsequent year…

Friday, 19 March 2021

Strength in Ambiguity

A fast-paced fantasy set in a world inspired by Indigenous American cultures, Black Sun is Rebecca
(Image via Goodreads)

Roanhorse’s strongest work to date.

Weaving a story told through multiple points of view, Roanhorse imbues each of her protagonists with motivations informed by power imbalances that will likely resonate with readers. While each main character belongs to a differing faction, they all navigate factions that are in conflict and struggle with roles ascribed by their ethnicities.

Most members of our book club appreciated the ambiguity of character archetypes and motivations. Without a clear hero or villain, readers were given space for interpretation that provided a compelling realism. In particular, it was interesting to see Serapio — a murderous cultist bent on revenge — cast in a heroic role. However, this portrayal also left some members of our book club uneasy.

Black Sun is a novel in conversation with history — both real and imagined. The constructed history within the narrative is complex and multifaceted, depicting the legacy of colonialism through the eyes of both the vulnerable and the victors. The intergenerational trauma of colonialism is an important theme that serves as a central point of motivation. Through carefully constructed plot arcs, the reader learns about the emotional commitment to both uphold and tear down the legacy of colonialism. For example, the people historically wronged by colonialism are rightfully aggrieved and we understand their anger. However, the fact that their quest for revenge pushes them to reproduce cycles of hate and commit acts as heinous as those committed against them is not ignored or downplayed.

This realism is carried through in the political intrigue of the story. There are great houses struggling to gain power over their peers and a church that is both mediating this conflict and also working to gain power for itself. Often the power of religious institutions is left unexamined in fantasy, as the nobility fight amongst themselves and heroic characters cut through it all to find a resolution. Early on, it seems like Narampa, the head priestess born of a lower order, is that chosen, golden hero. Her much more complicated story arc is thoughtfully written to good effect, as she must trust in a system of power and people who are deeply threatened by her attempts for reform.
One of Roanhorse's great strengths
as a writer is her nuanced depiction
of hierarchical relationships in a society.
(Photo by Olav Rokne) 


It is also very interesting how uncomfortable most of the characters are with how their ethnicity/culture is perceived. For the most part, they don't fit with the assumptions people have about them.

Like many modern fantasy novels, trying to understand some of the labels and terminology can be a struggle, and the first chapters take a bit of work to get through (with the exception of the prologue, which was exceptionally strong). But after this initial hurdle, the worldbuilding fell away as it should, serving to ground an engaging and well-told story.

There was some disagreement about the way the story ended. At least one book club member felt that the finale was one of the strongest she had read in this genre, with the protagonist’s problem clearly resolved and relatively minor loose ends left to the readers’ imagination. Others felt that the ending was perhaps too vague and relied too heavily on the need for a sequel. Of course, if the strength of the first installment in this series is any indication, reading the sequel will be no chore.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Witches Of The World Unite!

Themes of women’s liberty, worker solidarity and resistance to capitalism are all addressed in The
(Image via Goodreads)

Factory Witches of Lowell, a lovely novella by C.S. Malerich about a 19th-Century cotton workers union.

The story follows union organizer Judith and her witch coworker Hannah as they organize the women factory workers into a labour union to oppose Mr. Boott, the agent of the capitalists back in Boston.

Hannah casts a spell with the cooperation of the other factory girls that will enforce solidarity among the workers. None of them can break the strike without the cooperation of all the workers. Solidarity being perhaps the most useful tool among the working class, this is very powerful magic indeed.

Of particular note is how magic in The Factory Witches is inherently tied to a capitalist worldview, as it is impossible to cast a spell without ownership of the spell components. This draws into question the very nature of ownership over intellectual property and its theft.

Mr. Boott, as an agent of wealthier men back in the city, is doing all he can to ensure the highest profits for his principals. He raises the cost of rent, threatens lower wages and longer hours. He squeezes the workers to ensure profit stays where it belongs, with the wealthy owners. He is the clear villain as he attempts to break the strike by the factory girls. He plays this role well and is a thoroughly unlikeable character.

Overall, the story is one with a good message and a strong narrative. At a scant 80 pages, it moves along quickly and provides a hurried resolution. While many SFF stories can feel long, this novella’s weakness is that it might be too short. This results in underemphasizing the factory workers’ struggle, and failing to depict the efforts that capitalists were, and still are, willing to make to break a strike and the power of unions.

It’s easy to enthusiastically recommend this story when wanting more is our biggest quibble. We look forward to reading more work by C.S. Malerich.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Divergent Evolution of Television

From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, cable television systems moved to digital delivery and expanded
(Image via Pintrest

beyond their original constraints of 35 channels. Technological optimists began to dream of a 500-channel universe.

In 1979 alone, ESPN, C-SPAN, Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel, and the USA Network all hit the airwaves. There was to be a channel for every audience, and an audience for every channel. In 1992, American science fiction fans received their own dedicated channel, while the Canuck equivalent began operations in 1996.

Many imagined that this fabled 500-channel universe would provide a practically unlimited number of high-quality television shows. We would be able to flip channels almost endlessly until we found the content we desired. In reality, and at its peak at the turn of the millennium, there were in excess of 68 million cable subscribers in the United States, and in most parts of the country consumers could access a roughly similar platform of 60 or more channels.

There is good reason why this stretch of time saw an equivalent diversification of genre fiction; almost three times as many prime time science fiction dramas premiered on television in the 1990s as had in the 1970s. Throughout this flourishing of genre fiction, the majority of it was broadly available to middle-income American viewers who had a basic cable package that included the Sci-Fi Channel.

Even a show on the Prime Time Entertainment Network (one of the most marginal networks of the day) reached enough viewers to garner a few Hugo Award nominations for J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5.

There were, however, inequities within this distribution model. People living in some remote areas might not have had access to Star Trek: Voyager when UPN started broadcasting in 1995. People living in Canada were largely unable to access the TV show based on the Jean Claude Van Damme movie TimeCop. Among English-language entertainment, British television series remained significantly less
Only nine episodes of TimeCop
aired before Universal decided
to #DefundTheTimePolice.
(Image via YouTube.)

accessible due to differing frame rates and lack of distribution outlets across the pond. Channels were usually bundled rather than being offered à la carte. If you were interested in The Secret World of Alex Mack, you might find that it was on a channel that wasn’t in the same bundle as the channel airing Weird Science: The TV Series.

But despite these relatively small gaps, for the most part there was a common technological platform, media provider, and billing system that handled all media.

The proliferation of streaming services that media consumers are now experiencing is fundamentally different from the growth of niche-content channels in the mid-1990s. It’s worth discussing these differences, as they could be seen to encourage compartalization, and perhaps even a sort of tribalism, across science fiction fandom.

These streaming services should not be compared to individual television channels, but rather to cable packages. Thus, we have not reached the fabled 500-channel universe, but rather a balkanized media landscape made up of a variety of 30-channel universes.

These 30-channel universes are not segmenting the market in the same ways that niche cable channels did; rather they are organized around broad-based appeal, each aiming to build momentum off the strength of three items: a tentpole science fiction series, a relaunch of a 1990s sitcom, and a buzzy prestige drama.

Disney+ was launched on the strength of a new live-action Star Wars show. Apple+ was launched by
How many goodly channels are there here!
How beauteous streaming is! O what a Brave
New World
that has such content in it.
(Image via PeacockTV.com)

hiring an acclaimed Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica creative force to craft a much-hyped science fiction project. Peacock was launched with a high-budget star-laden adaptation of Brave New World. Every platform has a band of content for situation comedies, high-brow dramas, reality shows, superhero shows, and cop shows. It is not segmented by interest, but rather segmented by brands that are all trying to compete for all viewers.

It is not reasonable (or for most of us economically feasible) to subscribe to every streaming service that’s offering something we might want to watch. In an average American city, the combined price of Netflix, Hulu, Apple+, Disney+, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, basic cable, HBO Max, Showtime, FX, Peacock, and STARZ will exceed $1,300 per year. It is therefore likely that most fans will pick and choose their streaming services based on which tent-pole productions they are most interested in. If The Mandalorian and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds are must-haves, then Tales From The Loop and For All Mankind will likely fall by the wayside. It is a sad truth that many technologically adept fans may end up illegally downloading other shows when more moderate, collective pricing might increase both audience and corporate profits overall.

This fragmentation is compounded by the unrelenting deluge of content that is being generated every year.

Ignoring all reruns, in 2009 there were 210 scripted English-language prime-time television series on the air in the United States (a total that fails to include reality shows, daytime dramas, or childrens’ series). This is an enormous amount of content; it would take you 4,380 hours to watch it all. By 2019, the amount had more than doubled. (It’s worth noting that up until the Pandemic, this growth in high-budget content creation had been mirrored at the movie theatres, with the number of theatrically released movies increasing from 520 in 2009, to 792 in 2019.)

Looking just at science fiction and fantasy, the number of English-language genre shows premiering in a given decade has quadrupled since the 1980s, from 50 to more than 200. When we consider the increasing globalization of science fiction, and the need to include multicultural voices in the awards system, the numbers would be staggering.

The era of “Peak Media” presents a significant obstacle to those who wish to use the democratic forum of the Hugo Awards to celebrate the truly extraordinary storytelling achievements of this era of small-screen entertainment.

One of the great things about the Hugo Awards is the democratic nature of the institution. But access to information is a requirement of a functioning democracy … and in some Hugo categories, access is in decline.

There was a time when it was reasonable to assume that most Hugo voters would have access to a representative sampling of dramatic presentations, either by passive choice or osmosis. Today, it requires more effort, more attention, and more willingness to step outside of our comfort zones.

The increasing segmentation of the television marketplace into streaming fiefdoms is making it more difficult for a worthy series on a less-popular streaming service to break through to broader audiences. No matter how great a science fiction show might be, it has next to no chance of connecting with enough Hugo Award voters to get on the shortlist if it is a Peacock Original.

There is already a significant overrepresentation of well-established franchises on the shortlist for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). By our count in the past decade, more than 70 per cent of finalists in the category have come from long-running multimedia franchises.

It appears that Hugo voters will sign up to Disney+ to ensure they keep up to date on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars Galaxy. There is reason to worry that the award could devolve into “the best show in the walled garden that most Worldcon people subscribe to.”

The evolution of television is diverging. Our collective imagination is the habitat of cultural myths, and as this habitat becomes fragmented, these myths might speciate.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Screen adaptations of Hugo-shortlisted works

Movie and television adaptations of Hugo-winning and Hugo-shortlisted novels, novellas, novelettes & short stories

(Compiled by Olav Rokne - Corrections and additions welcomed.)


Thank you to David Shallcross, Stuart Hall, Bonnie McDaniel, Mark Wink, Greg Hullander, Scott Ellery, Bill, JJ, Cassy B, Rich Horton and Kevin Xu for pointing out omissions that have now been corrected. 


Year

Work

Author

Film Adaptation

1956 (Short story winner)

The Star

Arthur C. Clarke

The Star
(Episode of TV series The Twilight Zone 1985)


1959
(Shortlisted novel)

Who?

Algis Budrys

Who? (1974)

1959 (Shortlisted novel)

Immortality, Inc.

Robert Sheckley

Two: 

Immortality, Inc. (1969 episode of TV series "Out Of The Unknown") 


Freejack (1992)


1959 (Shortlisted Short Story)

Captivity

Zenna Henderson

The People (1972)
Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo

 

1960 (Short Story winner)

Flowers For Algernon

Daniel Keyes

Five: The Two Worlds Of Charlie Gordon (1961 — shortlisted for the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo), Charly (1967 — shortlisted for the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo), Flowers For Algernon (2000), Les Fleur Pour Algernon (2006), Algernon ni Hanataba (2015)


1960 (Novel winner)

Starship Troopers

Robert A. Heinlein

Three: 

Starship Troopers (OVA) (1988)

Starship Troopers (1997) 

Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles (TV Series 1999-2000)


1961 (Shortlisted novel)

The High Crusade

Poul Anderson

The High Crusade (1994) 


1963 (Novel winner)

The Man In The High Castle

Philip K. Dick

The Man In The High Castle

(TV Series 2015- present)


1964 (Shortlisted novel)

Cat’s Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut

Between Time and Timbuktu (1972) 


1966 (Novel winner)

Dune

Frank Herbert

Two: Dune (1984) 

Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000)

Both shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


1968 (Shortlisted novella)

Damnation Alley

Roger Zelazny

Damnation Alley (1977)


1970 (Shortlisted novella)

A Boy And His Dog

Harlan Ellison

A Boy And His Dog (1976) Hugo-Winner Dramatic Presentation


1970 (Shortlisted novel)

Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five (1972) Hugo-Winner Dramatic Presentation


1972 (Shortlisted novella)

Inconstant Moon

Larry Niven

Inconstant Moon (1996 episode of The Outer Limits)

1972 (Shortlisted novel)

The Lathe Of Heaven

Ursula K. Le Guin

Two: 

The Lathe Of Heaven (1980)

Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


The Lathe of Heaven (2002)


1972 (Novel winner)

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Philip Jose Farmer

Riverworld (TV series 2003)

Riverworld (TV series 2010)


1974 (Shortlisted novella)

The Girl Who Was Plugged In

James Tiptree Jr.

The Girl Who Was Plugged In
(Episode of TV series Welcome To Paradox 1998) 


1977 (Novelette winner)

The Bicentennial Man

Isaac Asimov

The Bicentennial Man (1999)


1978 (Shortlisted novelette)

The Screwfly Solution

James Tiptree Jr.

The Screwfly Solution (2006)


1978 (Shortlisted short story)

Air Raid

John Varley

Millennium (1989)

1980 (Novella winner)

Enemy Mine

Barry B. Longyear

Enemy Mine (1985)

Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


1980 (Novelette winner)

The Sandkings

George R. R. Martin

The Sandkings
(Pilot episode of TV series The Outer Limits 1995)


1980
(Shortlisted novelette)

Options

John Varley

Options
(Episode of TV series Welcome To Paradox 1998)


1981 (Shortlisted novella)

The Brave Little Toaster

Thomas M. Disch

The Brave Little Toaster (1987)


1981 (Shortlisted novella) 

Nightflyers

George R. R. Martin

Nightflyers (1987)

Nightflyers (2018 TV Series) 


1982 (Shortlisted novel)

2010: Odyssey Two

Arthur C. Clarke

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Hugo-Winner Dramatic Presentation


1982 (Shortlisted novella)

Blue Champagne

John Varley

Blue Champagne

(Episode of TV series Welcome To Paradox 1998)


1986 (Novelette winner)

Paladin of the Lost Hour

Harlan Ellison

Paladin Of The Lost Hour
(Episode of the Twilight Zone 1985) 


1986 (Novel winner)

Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game (2013)


1986 (Shortlisted novel)

The Postman

David Brin

The Postman (1997)

1991 (Shortlisted novella)

Over The Long Haul

Martha Soukup

Override (TV episode 1994) 


1995 (Novelette winner)

The Martian Child

David Gerrold

The Martian Child (2007)


1996 (Novelette winner)

Think Like A Dinosaur

James Patrick Kelly

Think Like A Dinosaur
(Episode of TV series The Outer Limits 1995)


1999 (Shortlisted novella)

The Story Of Your Life

Ted Chiang

Arrival (2016)

Hugo-Winner Dramatic Presentation


2000 (Shortlisted novel)

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


2001 (Novel winner)

Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire (2005)

Shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo


2002 (Novel winner)

American Gods

Neil Gaiman

American Gods (TV series 2017 – present)


2003 (Novella winner)

 

Coraline

Neil Gaiman

Coraline (2009)

2004 (Shortlisted novella) 


Just Like The Ones We Used To Know

Connie Willis

Snow Wonder (2005) 

2005 (Novel winner)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (TV series 2015)


2001, 2006 & 2012 (Shortlisted Novels)

A Storm Of Swords


A Feast For Crows


& A Dance With Dragons

George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones (TV series 2011-present)


Episodes of the series were shortlisted for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugos in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017


2007 (Shortlisted short story)

How To Talk To Girls At Parties

Neil Gaiman

How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2017)


2010 (Novel winner)

The City & The City

China Mieville

The City & The City (TV series 2018)


2012 (Shortlisted novel)

2020 (Best Series Winner)

Leviathan Wakes / The Expanse    

James S.A. Corey

The Expanse (TV series 2015 – present)

Episode of the series won a Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2017


2015 (Novel winner)

The Three-Body Problem

Liu Cixin

The Three-Body Problem (2016)


2015 (Shortlisted novel)

Skin Game

Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files (TV series 2007)


*Not a direct adaptation as TV series was based on novel series of which shortlisted work was the 15th in publication order.


Note: This list excludes Retro Hugo awards, as often those were awarded *after* the film adaptation was made, as well as all Graphic Novels and comic book adaptations.