Perhaps it is only the simple, lazy, joys of my warm summer beard. Perhaps it is the lower back pain, and badly digesting Cheetos. But 1966's Hugo winners can both go to hell right now as far as I'm concerned.
Frank Herbert also had a warm summer beard. He knew stuff about politics, religion, and ecology.
Roger Zelazny was less bearded, but more smokey. And he knew stuff about gods, myths, and martial arts.
'Dune' was a staggering work of genius which I gave 5 stars out of 5!
'...And Call Me Conrad' also got a Hugo in 1966.
Why? I imagine that back in 1966, every possible voter was as high on "the spice melange" as a satyr with radiation poisoning.
What I'm saying is: I liked 'Dune' the way a Fremen likes Shai'hulud. I worshipped that damn behemoth of a book, moaning and writhing its weary, giant path across the sands of history and into my local library. It had immense scope, wild imagination, and bizarre creatures, cultures, and settings.
I think '...And Call Me Conrad' had an alien in it. He might have been touring the dismal grey crapyard that is future Earth with some tedious, long-winded, fuckwad called Conrad.
'Dune's been made into a kick-ass (if not girl-friendly) movie, a 'spensive effects 'stravagana for TV, and Herbert's kid is STILL writing fine sequels by the Space Guild Carrier-Full.
'...And Call Me Conrad' has an ellipsis RIGHT IN THE TITLE!!!
But, Mike, I hear you saying, I LIKE Roger Zelazny. I LIKE his soul-numbing, airy-fairy flights of fantasy. I LIKE how he talks down to me and has nothing uplifting to offer about humanity! Good on you, dear reader. Perhaps you can recommend something RZ wrote that did NOT win a Hugo for best novel that I might like. (PS: not 'Lords of Light')
Actually, I gave '...A.C.M. Conrad' 2 stars out of five, so I apparently thought it was actually O.K., but I'm in a spiteful mood right now, like the Baron Harkonnen spitting in the face of my Vegan betters. After all, I don't have a Hugo award. I don't even have a disfigured mutant face, a drug addiction, or immortality, which might have helped me out in 1966. I'm just trying to say I'd rather ride the Giant Party Worm to holy war with Paul than smoke fags on a yacht with that jaded douche-bag Conrad.
I'm not sure where sci-fi gives the impression that it's not girl-friendly.
Also on the downside for 'Dune', it gave sci-fi and fantasy writers EVER AFTER the erroneous idea that MORE is always BETTER. "Tolkien and Herbert did it! I can too! I'll witter on aimlessly for 800 pages, throw in a dragon and I'll sell a billion! Wheeeee!"
So, there you have it. Cranky, ill-considered, jibber-jabber from a guy who thinks this freaky cat-as-burrito picture is worth more than the time I lost reading '...And Call Me Conrad'.