Thursday, September 29, 2016

SF BSer: The Wrong Hugo

During my last year of college I belonged to a science fiction fan club.  The group was small but the members knew the basics about SF.  There was no need to explain that the Hugo Awards were named after Hugo Gernsback who popularized science fiction through his Amazing Stories pulp magazine.

One time I was hanging around a bar and another student asked me if I was into science fiction.  I said yes.  He brought over a friend who was supposedly a SF authority.

This expert with his nose up in the air started bloviating, mentioning the Hugo Awards.  I asked him where the name Hugo came from.

The self-proclaimed authority cooly replied: "The awards are named after Victor Hugo who wrote the science fiction novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame."

Hugo Gernback wearing his TV glasses
Early VR

(From Ray X X-Rayer #125)


X. Dell said...

You know, I've always read/heard that the Hugo awards were named after French author Victor Hugo. It's only been recently (last couple of years) when I learned of the correct origins of that name.

I've never seen a Hugo award, come to think about it. Does it look like Gernback?

Ray Palm (Ray X) said...

The award is a sleek silver rocketship. Of course Freudians have fun with that. But sometimes a rocketship is just a rocketship even if it has a cigar shape.