12 Books That Won Both the Hugo and Nebula Awards

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In narrative science fiction, there is no higher honor than earning a Hugo Award or Nebula Award—unless, of course, you win both.

The Hugo, named after sci-fi editor Hugo Gernsback and first presented in 1953, is voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society; the Nebula has been handed out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to honor the work of their peers since 1965.

While each is highly prestigious, only a handful of titles have earned both in a single year. Here are 12 books that earned two of the biggest honors in science fiction.

'Dune' is pictured

‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert / Amazon

Frank Herbert’s classic tale of warring societies who seek the valuable spice of Arrakis inspired decades of sci-fi to come, including Star Wars. Some of the novel’s earliest readers had to have some patience: It was originally published in serial format, with eight parts printed in analog magazine between 1963 and 1965. dune was the winner of the first Nebula Award, and shared the Hugo with Roger Zelazny’s …And Call Me Conrad.

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'Ringworld' is pictured

‘Ringworld’ by Larry Niven / Amazon

Larry Niven’s ringworld envisioned a future in which an alien civilization constructs a ring with a 93-million mile radius that surrounds the sun and is 3 million times the area of ​​Earth. The book was a favorite among MIT students, who debated the scientific accuracy of the construct and led Niven to address some of their criticisms in the 1980 sequel, The Ringworld Engineers. The book hit a trifecta of sorts, winning the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards, which is named after the science-fiction magazine. Surprisingly, ringworld has never been adapted for film or television, but Amazon announced plans for a series back in 2018.

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'Rendezvous With Rama' is pictured

‘Rendezvous With Rama’ by Arthur C. Clarke / Amazon

Arthur C. Clarke penned this Hugo- and Nebula-Award-winning tale about a group of humans who are tasked with greeting an alien ship heading toward Earth. When they board, they discover the vessel isn’t occupied—but that’s only the beginning. Denis Villeneuve (dune) is slated to direct a feature adaptation. Clarke also scored a Hugo for his 1979 novel The Fountains of Paradise.

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'The Forever War' is pictured

‘The Forever War’ by Joe Haldeman / Amazon

Vietnam veteran Haldeman examined the human cost of warfare with this outer-space allegory about a soldier named William Mandella drafted into a galactic conflict with aliens known as Taurans. When he periodically returns home, he finds hundreds of years have passed, leading to a discombobulation that mirrored the experiences of real veterans. Early editions of the book were bridged; it wasn’t until 1997 that Haldeman’s full and preferred version appeared.

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'Dreamsnake' is pictured

‘Dreamsnake’ by Vonda McIntyre / Amazon

McIntyre essentially won the Nebula twice over for dreamsnake, which started as a short story titled “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” that took the honor for Best Novelette in 1973. To expand it into a novel, McIntyre dove deeper into the story of a healer named Snake, who uses snake venom to care for ailing patients. After Snake loses her dela most valuable (and psychotropic) snake, she seeks a replacement in a post-apocalyptic future. dreamsnake initially courted some controversy for its mentions of sex—not that common among sci-fi novels of the era—and stands as one of the few dual Nebula and Hugo winners to feature a woman protagonist.

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'Startide Rising' is pictured

‘Startide Rising’ by David Brin / Amazon

Brin’s novel readers drops in on a future in which species are “uplifted,” or given sentiment by patron species. Startide Rising is the second in a series that began with 1980’s sundiver; in Startide, humans and uplifted dolphins (and one chimpanzee) are on board a space vessel when it comes across a fleet of alien ships that seem to belong to the Progenitors. But the knowledge kept by the Progenitors can’t be obtained without a fight. Brin has a Ph.D. in physics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics; the third in the trilogy, The Uplift Warwas nominated for the Nebula and won the Hugo.

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'Neuromancer' is pictured

‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson / Amazon

William Gibson has said he didn’t know anything about computers at the time he wrote neuromancer, the pioneering novel that launched the “cyberpunk” genre and which seemed to anticipate the rise of an artificially-intelligent future and the hackers who exploit it. (He wrote it on a manual typewriter.) The book’s depiction of cyberspace and the blending and blurring of reality and virtual reality continues to exert its influence to this day.

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'American Gods' is pictured

‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman / Amazon

Neil Gaiman puts deities in conflict with one another as mythic gods clash with 21st century titans of commerce and technology, with protagonist Shadow Moon—an ambassador of old guard Mr. Wednesday—finding himself caught in the middle. A television adaptation aired on Starz for three seasons.

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'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' is pictured

‘The Yiddish Policemen’s Union’ by Michael Chabon / Amazon

in The Yiddish Policemens Union, Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon created a revisionist history mystery: Post-World War II, a Jewish refugee settlement in Alaska is the site of a murder, and it’s up to detective Meyer Landsman to solve the case. Gangster rabbis abound in this fantasy tale, which features alternate-reality atomic bomb drops and a new kind of noir. Chabon has said he wrote a 600-page first draft with a different plot that he wound up discarding; the published version, according to the author, is somewhat of a sequel to that unseen draft.

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'Among Others' is pictured

‘Among Others’ by Jo Walton / Amazon

Author Jo Walton has called Among Others “far and away my most successful novel,” and it’s not hard to understand why. Inspired by a Livejournal post Walton wrote, the story focuses on Morwenna, a young woman who has managed to flee from her mother, a wicked witch who might also be insane. Eager to disappear into sci-fi books and schoolwork—not to mention engage in conversations with fairies—she comes to learn that her mother dela may not be out of her life after all. Among Others also scored a British Fantasy award in 2012, beating the likes of George RR Martin’s A Dance With Dragons.

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'The Calculating Stars' is pictured

‘The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel’ by Mary Robinette Kowal / Amazon

in The Calculating Stars, set in the early 1950s, Mary Robinette Kowal imagines a version of the space race in which the impact of an asteroid off the coast of the United States near Washington, DC, has cataclysmic effects on the climate, not to mention bureaucracy: The federal government doesn’t survive the event. The collision forces both men and women into exploring space on an expedited schedule. Heroine Elma York is the book’s protagonist, battling both zero gravity and the sexism of the era.

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'Network Effect' is pictured

‘Network Effect’ by Martha Wells / Amazon

Wells took her Murderbot Diaries series from novellas to novel form in Network Effect, relating the struggles of a sentient but socially awkward killing machine that’s hacked itself to freedom. Newly independent, it’s become between watching television and helping out the humans it knows. Wells capped off a run of achievement for what was previously a boy’s club genre, with her win dela marking the sixth consecutive Hugo for a woman author.

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