My tour of dual Hugo and Nebula award winners, part II

So, after writing the last post, I went to find my copy of the The Left Hand of Darkness. Unfortunately, I found it in my brother’s hands. He’s been reading it for two days, and he has the better claim to the book than my week stale one. (Curse you Dance with Dragons, and your 800,000 words.) So, I have to pick a new one of these books to read while I wait for him to finish LHoD. In case you missed yesterday’s post, I am going to read all the books that won both the Hugo and Nebula award for best novel. But how to go about choosing my next novel? I don’t have any on hand, and my library is spamming me with reminders about my fines. (Yes, Erie County Library, I know I haven’t returned Forever War. I can’t find it. I will though, as long as I don’t have to answer 5 e-mails a day about it.) With the library out of the picture, my only options are to buy and borrow. And, given my obsession with my shiny new kindle, I think I’m going to buy. But which one? The deciding factor, I’ve decided, is this: Whichever one is cheapest on Kindle. If there is a tie, I’ll buy the older one. That’s the rule. (Yes, I know this is stupid, and that I may be committing myself to an $11 purchase of a book it took literally $1 to produce, if that. And that I can get some of the older books used in paperback for a third of the price. But whatever. Kindle!)

Of course, the books I’ve already read won’t count, so that eliminates Dune, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Forever War, both Orson Scott Cards, and American Gods. Here is the list, again, copied from the last post:

1965/66: Dune by Frank Herbert
1969/70: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
1970/71: Ringworld by Larry Niven
1972/73: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1973/74: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
1974/75: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
1975/76: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1977/78: Gateway by Frederik Pohl
1978/79: Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre
1979/80: The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
1983/84: Startide Rising by David Brin
1984/85: Neuromancer by William Gibson
1985/86: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
1986/87: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

1992/93: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1998: Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
2002: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2004: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
2007/08: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
2009/10: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

And here are the prices, in reverse chronological order (all via Amazon):

The Windup Girl: A decent $7.39 on Kindle (better than I expected for such a new book), though still more expensive than the $6.10 paperback and $4.43 used paperback as long as you don’t have to pay shipping. I find that price reasonable.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: …not on kindle… boo. Bad Michael Chabon! Bad! It is offered for the robustly cheap $.01 in used paperback. Which almost makes up for the lack of a kindle edition.

Paladin of Souls:$7.99 on kindle. Respectable, but a loser by $.60 so far. It is also offered in mass market paperback for $.01.

Forever Peace: Also not offered on Kindle. Which isn’t surprising because “The Forever War” wasn’t either a while back. Wonder what is going on there. Also, the $.01 mass market paperback. Good thing I didn’t do that as my decider.

Doomsday Book: Offered for $7.99. Don’t know much about this book (I’m avoiding most of the descriptions, reviews, etc. online for all the books I’m unfamiliar with) and kind of wished it had won.

Nueromancer: Another of the $7.99 on Kindle and a penny for the paperback variety. Though I just found out my brother owns this, so I would have just borrowed it anyways.

Startide Rising: $7.99 for Kindle and $.01 on paperback. This is becoming a theme.

The Fountains of Paradise: $9.99 for Kindle, $.26 used. Maybe the author’s name makes it a little more prestigious. I don’t know. I had the vague hypothesis that these would get cheaper as I went back farther in time. Looks like not.

Dreamsnake: Umm…. No Kindle edition, which isn’t really a big deal. But look at those prices. $75 for a new paperback? $90 for a new hardcover? Wtf? Anybody have an explanation? At least the used prices are still decently under $3. Wikipedia has no insight into this price fiasco, so comment if you know the backstory.

Gateway: Ugh. Not on Kindle, but used mass market for $.01.

The Dispossessed: $7.99 on Kindle and $.01 paperback. I’m glad it didn’t win… would’ve felt out of place reading this before tLHoD.

Rendezvous with Rama: Not on Kindle. :(. Can get it for the mass market paperback for a penny though. Also, they offer a “school & library binding” for just under $15, whatever the hell that is. Get over yourself, RwR.

The Gods Themselves: $7.99 on Kindle and $.15 in used paperback.

Ringworld: It all comes down to this. If Ringworld is not cheaper than $7.40, then I’ll be getting The Windup Girl. And… [drumroll please] it’s not on kindle.How anticlimactic. Mass market paperback for a penny though.

So I’ll be buying The Windup Girl for $7.39 and beginning it tonight. I’ll get the review up as soon as possible and then figure out another random way to choose a different one.

FWIW, here are the books I had already read on Amazon:

Dune: $13.99 on Kindle. Daaaaaammmn. Penny for the mass market paperback, used.
The Left Hand of Darkness: Not on Kindle. Penny paperback.
The Forever War: Wow. $4.95 on Kindle. Wasn’t there two or three months ago when I was looking for it. Would’ve been the winner in all likelihood. Penny paperback.
Ender’s Game: $5.99 on Kindle. Nicely done, OSC. $1.28 paperback.
Speaker for the Dead: $7.99 on Kindle. Drawing us in with Ender, upping the price for this one, I see. Well played, Mauer. Someone’s taken Economics classes.
American Gods: $9.99 on Kindle. $.86 for paperback.

In review, these were a lot better priced than I had expected– all reasonably under the $10 range that Kindle books often seem to forget. I’ll get back to you with this after I finish The Windup Girl.


Posted on July 22, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


    Possibly relevant to your interests. I don’t know if you have some kind of moral quandry about this kind of thing.

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