1970's, Best Books, Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Award Winners, Science Fiction

The Most Award Winning Science Fiction & Fantasy Books Of 1972

March 3, 2017
1972 Most Award Winning Books Final

“What are the most award-winning Science Fiction & Fantasy books of 1972?” We looked at all the large SFF book awards given, aggregating and ranking the books that appeared so we could answer that very question!

A note on our grading system: We give 5 points for every nomination a book received and an additional 5 points for each win. These values are purely arbitrary, easy to add up, numbers. For more info on our super scientific grading system visit our Info page. For a full list of the awards and award winners can be found below our rankings at the bottom of the page.

Before we take a look at the top Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 1972, let’s set the scene for those awards by taking a look at what else was happening that year:

1972

Nixon defeats McGovern. Watergate scandal begins. Supreme Court rules Death penalty unconstitutional. Israeli athletes murdered at Munich Olympics. HBO becomes first pay cable network. Carole King wins most of the music awards. French Connection wins Best Picture. Pong is first introduced. CAT scanning is developed. Compact disk is developed. Prozac developed. E-mail is introduced. First MRI machine. GPS is launched. Popular entertainment released – The Godfather, MASH, Deliverance, Solaris, Sanford and Son, The Way of the Dragon, Slaughterhouse-Five. First Scientific handheld calculator introduced. Bloody Sunday & Bloody Monday in Northern Ireland. Mariner 9 sends pictures from Mars Orbit. Nixon and Mao Zedong meet. US airlines begin mandatory baggage inspection. Women allowed to compete in Boston Marathon. Hutu genocide from Burundi begins. Bobby Fischer becomes 1st American Chess Champion. First Female FBI agent hired. Last Guillotine execution in France. Last Manned mission to Moon. Christmas bombings in Vietnam. Burt Reynolds poses nude in Cosmo. Deaths – Maria Goeppert-Mayer, M.C. Escher, J. Edgar Hoover, Duke of Windsor, Max Fleischer, Harry Truman. Non SFF books – The Joy of Sex, Invisible Cities, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, A Day No Pig Would Die, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, etc.

And now, on to the list…

 



The Runners Up For Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Book of 1972



21) Continued on Next Rock By R. A. Lafferty

Award Points
Ditmar
(Best International Long Fiction)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5



 20) Dragonquest By Anne McCaffrey

Dragonquest (Pern (Publication Order) #2) by Anne McCaffrey

Award Points
Hugo
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

On Pern, men breed and train great fire-breathing dragons to help them fight the deadly silver Threads that fall from the sky, destroying all life-forms, whenever the Red Star passes near…

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 19) Grendel By John Gardner

Grendel by John Gardner

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic BEOWULF, tells his side of the story…

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 18) Half Past Human By T. J. Bass

Half Past Human (The Hive #1) by T.J. Bass

Award Points
Nebula
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

Tinker was a good citizen of the Hive – a model worker. But when he was allowed sexual activation he found Mu Ren who, like him, harboured forbidden genes. And so began the cataclysm.

But in a world where half-wild humans are hunted for sport – and food – can anyone overthrow the Hive? Greater by far than its stunted, pink-blooded citizens, the Hive is more than prepared to rise and crush anyone who challenges its supremacy…

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 17) Jack of Shadows By Roger Zelazny

Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny

Award Points
Hugo
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

In a world half of light, half of darkness, where science and magic strive for dominance, there dwells a magical being who is friendly with neither side. Jack, of the realm of shadows, is a thief who is unjustly punished. So he embarks on a vendetta. He wanders through strange realms, encountering witches, vampires, and, finally, his worst enemy: the Lord of Bats. He consults his friend Morningstar, a great dark angel. He is pursued by a monstrous creature called the Borshin. But to reveal any more would be to spoil some of the mindboggling surprises Jack of Shadows has in store…

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 16) Margaret and I By Kate Wilhelm

Margaret and I by Kate Wilhelm

Award Points
Nebula
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

Someone is thinking about Margaret. “I wondered about Margaret, and what she would do next. I didn’t care unless she went the route of drugs They make her try and get at me sometimes, and that can be bothersome. She is so terribly afraid of me.” Who so casually draws Margaret to the brink of hysteria – then, just as casually, tries to walk away? Her subconsciousness does, when it becomes a living, breathing personality with an ego all its own – setting the stage for a remarkable transformation scarcely envisioned by the science of man…

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 15) The Byworlder By Poul Anderson

The Byworlder by Poul Anderson

Award Points
Nebula
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

Skip Wayburn, an itinerant artist working his way through the byworld subculture, teams up with Dr. Yvonne Canter in order to communicate with the alien ship that has been orbiting the Earth for three years…

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 14) The Children of Llyr By Evangeline Walton

The Children of Llyr (Mabinogion Tetralogy #2) by Evangeline Walton

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

In stark, gaunt prose, it chronicles the years of Bran the Blessed – he who was so vast a man that no house could hold him nor ship bear his bulk – and of the tale of his beloved sister Branwen, his brother Manawyddan, and of his half-brothers Nissyen and the ghastly Evnissten. It is a tale of change and storm, of love beyond death, of high courage, of the end of an era – and the beginning of another. It is epic fantasy in its purest form – marvellous in its compass and power…

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 13) The Corum TrilogyBy Michael Moorcock

The Swords Trilogy (Corum #1-3 omnibus) by Michael Moorcock

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

The ancient races, the Vadhagh and the Nhadragh, are dying. By creating Mankind, the universe has condemned Earth to a pestilence of destruction and fear…

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 12) The Devil is Dead By R. A. Lafferty

The Devil Is Dead by R.A. Lafferty

Award Points
Nebula
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

In The Devil is Dead, Lafferty tells of an astonishing band of adventurers seeking the Devil himself. It is a tale of demons and changelings, monsters and mermaids – and of how it is not always serious to die, the first time it happens…

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 11) The Forest of Forever By Thomas Burnett Swann

The Forest of Forever (The Minotaur Trilogy #2) by Thomas Burnett Swann

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

Here in THE FOREST OF FOREVER dwells the last Minotaur, and here too are the other lingering dwellers in that folk-whispered country where dwell the beasts that are human and the humans that are beasts…

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10) The Light Maze By Joan North

The Light Maze by Joan North

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

A twenty-year-old English girl finds herself drawn into another dimension while trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of her godfather…

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 9) The Tombs of Atuan By Ursula K. Le Guin

The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

WHEN YOUNG TENAR is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away — home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain…

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 8) The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders By Isidore Haliblum

The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders by Isidore Haiblum

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
5
(Nomination)

Total

5

The first Yiddish science fiction novel ever…

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 7) Nightwings By Robert Silverberg

Nightwings by Robert Silverberg

Award Points
 Seiun
(Best Translated Novel)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

10

For a thousand years, mankind has lived under the threat of invasion from an alien race. After the oceans rose and the continents were reshaped, people divided into guilds—Musicians, Scribes, Merchants, Clowns, and more. The Watchers wander the earth, scouring the skies for signs of enemies from the stars. But during one Watcher’s journey to the ancient city of Roum with his companion, a Flier named Avluela, a moment of distraction allows the invaders to advance. When the Watcher finally sounds the alarm, it’s too late; the star people are poised to conquer all. And so, with the world in turmoil, the Watcher sets out alone for the Hall of the Rememberers, keepers of the past, where humanity’s last hope for survival might be hidden …

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 6) No Award By No Award

Award Points
 BSFA
(Best Novel)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

10



 5) Red Moon and Black Mountain By Joy Chant

Red Moon and Black Mountain- The End of the House of Kendreth by Joy Chant

Award Points
Mythopoeic Fantasy
(Best Adult Literature)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

10

Three children are drawn into another world where a fierce conflict for power is waging…

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 4) Ringworld By Larry Niven

Ringworld (Ringworld #1) by Larry Niven

Award Points
 Ditmar
(Best International Long Fiction)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

10

A new place is being built, a world of huge dimensions, encompassing millions of miles, stronger than any planet before it. There is gravity, and with high walls and its proximity to the sun, a livable new planet that is three million times the area of the Earth can be formed. We can start again!…

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 3) To Your Scattered Bodies Go By Philip José Farmer

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld #1) by Philip José Farmer

Award Points
 Ditmar
(Best International Long Fiction)
5
(Nomination)
 Hugo
(Best Novel)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

15

All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected–healthy, young, and naked as newborns–on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth’s history–and prehistory–must start again…

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 2) A Time of Changes By Robert Silverberg

A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg

Award Points
Ditmar
(Best International Long Fiction)
5
(Nomination)
Hugo
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)
Nebula
(Best Novel)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

20

In the far future, Earth is a worn-out backwater and humanity is spread across the galaxy on worlds that began as colonies, but now feel like home, each with its own long history of a thousand years or more, and each with its own unique culture. One of the strangest is on Borthan, where the founding settlers established the Covenant, which teaches that the self is to be despised, and forbids anyone to reveal his innermost thoughts or feelings to another. On Borthan, the filthiest obscenities imaginable are the words “I” and “me.” For the heinous crime of “self-baring,” apostates have always paid with exile or death, but after his eyes are opened by a visitor from Earth, Kinnall Darival, prince of Salla, risks everything to teach his people the real meaning of being human…

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And

The Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Book of 1972

Is….



 1) The Lathe of Heaven By Ursula K. Le Guin

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

Award Points
Ditmar
(Best International Long Fiction)
5
(Nomination)
Hugo
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)
Nebula
(Best Novel)
5
(Nomination)
Locus (Pre Split)
(Best Novel)
10
(Nomination+Win)

Total

25

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes…

Learn More About This Book

 



The 1972 Award Nominations & Winners

(Winners Highlighted)



 

BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) – Best Novel

Book Author
No Award No Award

The Ditmar (Australian) Award – Best International Long Fiction

Book Author
Ringworld Larry Niven
A Time of Changes Robert Silverberg
Continued on Next Rock R. A. Lafferty
The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip José Farmer

Hugo Award – Best Novel

Book Author
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip José Farmer
The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin
Dragonquest Anne McCaffrey
Jack of Shadows Roger Zelazny
A Time of Changes A Time of Changes

Locus Award – Best Novel (Pre Category Split)

Book Author
The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award – Adult Literature

Book Author
Red Moon and Black Mountain Joy Chant
Grendel John Gardner
The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders Isidore Haliblum
The Tombs of Atuan Ursula K. Le Guin
The Corum Trilogy Michael Moorcock
The Light Maze Joan North
The Forest of Forever Thomas Burnett Swann
The Children of Llyr Evangeline Walton

Nebula Award – Best Novel

Book Author
A Time of Changes Robert Silverberg
The Byworlder Poul Anderson
The Devil is Dead R. A. Lafferty
Half Past Human T. J. Bass
The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. Le Guin
Margaret and I Kate Wilhelm

Seiun (Japanese) Award – Best Translated Novel

Book Author
Nightwings Robert Silverberg

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