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The What

This is a compilation/comparison of the Pulitzer and Hugo awards by year.

I first thought of creating this list when I was writing a review of a mediocre Pulitzer novel, and thought to myself, "I bet the Hugo winner was a better book that year."

Science Fiction books are excluded (shunned?) from the Pulitzer Novel category. So in many years, an average fiction book wins the Pulitzer when a great SF book wins the Hugo. So I guess the Pulitzers are "The best book that year, that isn't a mystery, SF, or romance novel". (I took EQMM for 10 years, so I know about the Edgars, too.)

The Lists

Here is the official list of winners from the Pulitzer website.

Here is the official list of winners from the Hugo website.

Note that the Hugos didn't begin until 1953, so that is where the list starts.

The Comparison

Year PulitzerHugoComments
1953Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea

Alfred Bester
The Demolished Man

1954no award
 

no award
 
Big year for SF: Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451,
Arthur C Clark - Childhoods End,
Isaac Asimov - Caves of Steel
These guys would have beaten almost any current American writer at this point.
1955William Faulkner
A Fable

Mark Clifton and Frank Riley
They'd Rather Be Right

1956MacKinlay Kantor
Andersonville

Robert Heinlein
Double Star

1957no award
 

no award
 
1958James Agee
A Death In The Family

Fritz Leiber
The Big Time

1959Robert Lewis Taylor
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters

James Blish
A Case of Conscience

1960Allen Drury
Advise and Consent

Robert Heinlein
Starship Troopers

Both of these books are about politics, fyi.
1961Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird

Walter M Miller Jr
A Canticle for Leibowitz

Interestingly, both of these are single book authors who write significant works, and then fade away.
1962Edwin O'Connor
The Edge of Sadness

Robert Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land

Heinlein is the better author (over O'Connor) by any measure.
1963William Faulkner
The Reivers

Philip K Dick
The Man in the High Castle

1964no award
 

Clifford Simak
Here Gather the Stars

1965Shirley Ann Grau
The Keepers Of The House

Fritz Leiber
The Wanderer

1966Katherine Anne Porter
Collected Stories

Frank Herbert
Dune

Herbert could have crushed the entire Pulitzer field this year.
1967Bernard Malamud
The Fixer

Robert Heinlein
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

1968William Styron
The Confessions of Nat Turner

Roger Zelazny
Lord of Light

1969N. Scott Momaday
House Made of Dawn

John Brunner
Stand on Zanzibar

1970Jean Stafford
Collected Stories

Ursula K Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness

I know I am biased, but Le Guin should be in the top 10 all-time American Novelists. This is her most significant work.
1971no award
 

Larry Niven
Ringworld

1972Wallace Stegner
Angle of Repose

Philip Jose Farmer
To Your Scattered Bodies Go

McCaffery (Dragonquest), loses to the more 'literary' Farmer. But McCaffery was just getting started. She should get more credit.
1973Eudora Welty
The Optimists Daughter

Isaac Asimov
The Gods Themselves

1974no award
 

Arthur C Clark
Rendezvous with Rama

1975Michael Shaara
The Killer Angels

Ursula K Le Guin
The Dispossessed

1976Saul Bellow
Humboldt's Gift

Joe Haldeman
The Forever War

1977no award
 

Kate Wilhelm
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

1978James Alan McPherson
Elbow Room

Frederik Pohl
Gateway

1979John Cheever
The Stories of John Cheever

Vonda N. McIntyre
Dreamsnake

McIntyre is massivly overlooked and underrated. I think she could go head to head with Cheever in both novel and short story.
1980Norman Mailer
The Executioner's Song

Arthur C Clark
The Fountains of Paradise

1981John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces

Joan D. Vinge
The Snow Queen

1982John Updike
Rabbit Is Rich

C. J. Cherryh
Downbelow Station

1983Alice Walker
The Color Purple

Isaac Asimov
Foundation's Edge

First year the big three (Asimov, Clark, Heinlein) are all short listed. Interesting.
1984William Kennedy
Ironweed

David Brin
Startide Rising

Frankly any of the Brin books are better than Ironweed.
1985Alison Lurie
Foreign Affairs

William Gibson
Neuromancer

Gibson rocked the SF field with this book and introduced and entire sub-genre (cyber-punk). Lurie and her book fade away to obscurity.
1986Larry McMurtry
Lonesome Dove

Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game

Holy crap, another huge year. Brin's Postman, and Bear's Blood Music, and Niven/Pournelle's Footfall are also shortlisted.
1987Peter Taylor
A Summons to Memphis

Orson Scott Card
Speaker for the Dead

If you don't read Ender's epic (Enders Game, Speaker, Xenocide), shame on you!
1988Toni Morrison
Beloved

David Brin
The Uplift War

FYI, book 3 of a trilogy.
1989Anne Tyler
Breathing Lessons

C. J. Cherryh
Cyteen

1990Oscar Hijuelos
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

Dan Simmons
Hyperion

1991John Updike
Rabbit At Rest

Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vor Game

Bujold is every bit as good as Updike, maybe better. She wins in a competitive year, Updike wins with a 4th-in-series in a weak field.
1992Jane Smiley
A Thousand Acres

Lois McMaster Bujold
Barrayar

The scene at the end of the book where Cordelia ends the war, is one of the top ten passages I have ever read.
1993Robert Olen Butler
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Vernor Vinge/Connie Willis
A Fire Upon the Deep/Domesday Book

First place tie. Willis would have easily won if Vinge hadn't been shutout in previous years with 2 better books to Card and Gibson. Good company to be in, I suppose.
1994E. Annie Proulx
The Shipping News

Kim Stanley Robinson
Green Mars

I see this as compensation award since he didn't win for Red Mars.
1995Carol Shields
The Stone Diaries

Lois McMaster Bujold
Mirror Dance

1996Richard Ford
Independence Day

Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age

Sawyer should have won for Hobsons Choice. Both of these better that Independence Day
1997Steven Millhauser
Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer

Kim Stanley Robinson
Blue Mars

1998Philip Roth
American Pastoral

Joe Haldeman
Forever Peace

1999Michael Cunningham
The Hours

Connie Willis
To Say Nothing of the Dog

2000Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies

Vernor Vinge
A Deepness in the Sky

And Cryptonomicon loses, which is a better book than any of the Pulitzers for 5 years bebore or after.
2001Michael Chabon
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

2002Richard Russo
Empire Falls

Neil Gaiman
American Gods

2003Jeffrey Eugenides
Middlesex

Robert J. Sawyer
Hominids

2004Edward P. Jones
The Known World

Lois McMaster Bujold
Paladin of Souls

A weak year for books all around.
2005Marilynne Robinson
Gilead

Susanna Clarke
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

2006Geraldine Brooks
March

Robert Charles Wilson
Spin

A good book, but Scalzi (Old Man's War) is better.
2007Cormac McCarthy
The Road

Vernor Vinge
Rainbows End

2008Junot Diaz
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Oh ho! The only author who appears on both lists!
2009Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book

2010Paul Harding
Tinkers

Paolo Bacigalupi/China MiƩville
The Windup Girl/The City & the City

2011Jenifer Egan
A Visit from the Goon Squad

Connie Willis
Blackout/All Clear

2012no award
 

Jo Walton
Among Others

2013Adam Johnson
The Orphan Master's Son

John Scalzi
Redshirts

This wasn't his best book. I have all 6 Old Man's War books, and they are bettter.

After 2013, things start to go sideways at the Hugos. Andy Wier doesn't even get shortlisted for 'The Martian'. Multiple groups are created to game the voting. There are still good SF books being written, but they are not showing up at the Hugos.


Pulitzers
  The Pulitzers - Hugo Compilation
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