The Big Time, Fritz Leiber, Ace Books, 1958, 130 pp
As a reader I cannot see why this won the 1958 Hugo Award, but his fellow science fiction writers of the time thought it was a big deal. The basic premise of the story is time travel. The "Big Time" refers to a time continuum outside of time where soldiers of the Change War battle in attempts to change the future by going back in time and altering history.
So I get that this is a cool idea. I have also noticed that Heinlein, Asimov and others were writing time travel stories in the 1950s. But the storytelling is lame, without much going on. The characters are distinctly odd and the spare dialogue hard to follow.
Greta Forzane is a self-proclaimed party girl who narrates and attempts a bit of philosophizing. She "works" in The Place, where weary warriors come to chill out, drink, have sex and get medical attention as needed. It is presented as a sort of nightclub in space with a bar, comfort girls, a drunken doctor and couches for resting.
So I read it because it was a Hugo winner on my list. Took me a few days to get through the 130 pages because it was boring. The writing was like listening to some nerd talking to you non-stop about minor political activities. I could barely bring myself to pay attention. A definite miss in the history of the Hugo Awards.
If you are a sci fi specialist and think this book is a must-be-read classic, would you please leave a comment and explain why?
(The Big Time is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)