1939 Retro Hugo results in detail

Summary of results here, PDF of full results here.

BEST NOVEL (1196 ballots)

1) The Sword in the Stone had a convincing lead on the first count, 473 to 273 for Out Of The Silent Planet and 267 for Galactic Patrol, finally winning by 690 to 419 for Galactic Patrol.
2) Out of the Silent Planet, 3) Galactic Patrol, 4) The Legion of Time, 5) Carson of Venus all by clear margins.

The Silver Princess of Oz missed nomination by 7 votes. The Hobbit received enough nominations to be a finalist, but was ineligible due to 1937 publication.

BEST NOVELLA (1042 ballots)

1) “Who Goes There?” far ahead of a split field, 508 to 168 for "the Time Trap" and 162 for Anthem, and wins after elimination of No Award and "A Matter of Form".
2) “The Time Trap”, 3) “Sleepers of Mars”, 4) "A Matter of Form", 5) Anthem – this last by 394 to 302 for No Award, which was No Award's best performance of the evening.

"Tarzan and the Elephant Men" missed being a finalist by 2 votes.

BEST NOVELETTE (839 ballots)

1) “Rule 18” ahead on first count by 388 to 197 for "Pigeons from Hell" and 183 for "Werewoman", and beats Pigeons from Hell" by 435 to 297.
2) “Pigeons From Hell” narrowly ahead of “Werewoman”, finally taking the spot by 353 to 338,
3) “Werewoman”, 4) “Hollywood on the Moon”, 5) “Dead Knowledge”

"Secret of the Observatory" and "Seeds of the Dusk" missed being a finalist by 1 vote. "Reunion on Ganymede" and "The Men and the Mirror" missed by 2.

BEST SHORT STORY (963 ballots)

1) “How We Went to Mars” with 306 first prefs to 237 for "Helen O'Loy", finally winning by 503 to 368.
2) “Helen O’Loy” narrowly but convincongly head of  “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, 3) “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, 4) "Hyperpilousity", 5) "The Faithful)

Two H.P. Lovecraft stories, "Azathoth" and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep",  received enough nominations to place but were ruled ineligible due to prior publication.

"An Experiment of the Dead" and "The Merman" both missed being a finalist by 1 vote, and a lot more missed by 2.


1) The War of the Worlds by a massive 813 first preferences, numerically the most convincing win of the evening. R.U.R. was second with 126.
2) R.U.R., 3) Around the World in 80 Days, 4) A Christmas Carol, 5) Dracula.

The Brave Little Tailor missed being a finalist by 1 vote; Porky in Wackyland by 2.

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (786 ballots)

1) John W. Campbell with 636 first preferences, in percentage terms even better than The War of the Worlds.
2) Farnsworth Wright, 3) Ray Palmer, 4) Mort Weisinger, 5) Walter H. Gillings

No Award placed second on first preferences in every single count here.

Forrest J. Ackerman was ruled ineligible due to insufficient publcations in he qualifying year.
T. O'Conor Sloane missed being a finalist by one vote.


1) Virgil Finlay, with 242 first prefs to 176 for Margaret Brundage, winning by 337 to 250
2) Margaret Brundage, 3) Frank R. Paul, 4) Alex Schomburg, 5) H. W. Wesso

Howard V. Brown missed being a finalist by 3 votes.

BEST FANZINE (471 ballots)

1) Imagination! got 206 first prefs to 86 for No Award, winning with 271 to 91 for Novae Terrae.
2) Novae Terrae, though No Award got the most first prefs and Novae Terrae only beat Fantascience Digest by 133 to 125 on the last count.
3) Tomorrow beat Fantascience Digest by 126 to 116 on the last count.
4) Fantascience Digest, 5) Fantasy News

Another good category for No Award, which got the second highest number of first prefs  in every run except second place, where it got the most.

Le Zombie, Spaceways and FAPA ruled ineligible for various reasons.
Science Fiction Newsletter missed being a finalist by 1 vote.

(I was sorry to see Fantascience Digest not doing better; its editor, Bob Madle, is the only living nominee in any category.)

BEST FAN WRITER (812 ballots)

1) Ray Bradbury with 397 first prefs to 142 for Forrest J. Ackerman, easily winning on the second count;
2) Forrest J Ackerman, 3) Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker, 4) Donald A. Wollheim, 5) Harry Warner Jr.

Sam Moskowitz missed being a finalist by 2 votes.

Special Committee Award

Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster for Superman.