1980's, Best Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Award Winners, Science Fiction

The Most Award Winning Science Fiction & Fantasy Books Of 1980

May 5, 2017

“What are the most award-winning Science Fiction & Fantasy books of 1980?” 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 1980, let’s set the scene for those awards by taking a look at what else was happening that year:

1980

Rubik’s Cube makes international debut. Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York. Miracle On Ice. US boycotts 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Mount St. Helens erupts. CNN is launched becoming the first 24 hour news channel. US heat wave claims 1,700. China’s population hits one Billion. Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter to become 40th President of the United States. John Lennon is shot dead. Deaths – Jesse Owens, Jean-Paul Sarte, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry Miller, Peter Sellers, Tex Avery, Steve McQueen, Colonel Sanders, Mae West, etc. Additional entertainment released – The Shining, Airplane!, Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, The Elephant Man, The Blues Brothers, Caddyshack, Raging Bull, Friday the 13th, Cannibal Holocaust, Heaven’s Gate, Altered States, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Cosmos, etc. Other Non-SFF books released – The Bourne identity, Midnight’s Children, A Confederacy of Dunces, A Brief History of Time, Cosmos, etc.

And now, on to the list…

 



The Top Science Fiction & Fantasy Books Of 1980



28 .) The Last Call of Mourning by Charles L. Grant

The Last Call of Mourning (Oxrun Station) by Charles L. Grant

Award Points
The World Fantasy Awards 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Upon returning home to Oxrun Station from travelling Europe, Cynthia Yarrow notices that her family has changed. Her Mother cuts herself but does not bleed. Her Father lay dead before her eyes but is alright just hours later. Cynthia’s suspicions lie with her family’s new doctor, Dr. Kraylin. With her friend from years back, Ed, Cynthia must solve this mystery or die trying.

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27 .) The Palace by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

The Palace (Saint-Germain #2) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Award Points
The World Fantasy Awards 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

The anticipated paperback release of the second title in Yarbro’s long-running Saint-Germain series featuring immortal vampire Francesco Ragoczy da San Germano. Secluded in his Renaissance Florence palace, he falls for a beautiful courtesan and loses all desire for isolation.

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26 .) The Dancers of Arun by Elizabeth A. Lynn

The Dancers of Arun (Chronicles of Tornor #2) by Elizabeth A. Lynn

Award Points
The World Fantasy Awards 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

As the scholar and scribe of Tornor, Kerris has been in training for the past seventeen years. But it’s not until his brother Kel of the Cheari culture teaches him the psychic art of patterning that the city of Elath comes under attack and Kerris must draw on these new talents to fight the dangers of psychic warfare. It is in these battles that he learns what a warrior’s life is like and discovers what wasn’t taught to him in his studies, perhaps the most important element of all: love.

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25 .) Beyond on the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl

Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga #2) by Frederik Pohl

Award Points
BSFA 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

The story begins when the hero of Gateway finances an expedition to a distant alien spaceship that may end famine forever. On the ship, the explorers find a human boy, and evidence that reveals a powerful alien civilization is thriving on a transport ship headed right for Earth…

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24 .) The Unlimited Dream Company by J. G. Ballard

The Unlimited Dream Company by J.G. Ballard

Award Points
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is transformed. Vultures invade rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man’s urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations toward an apocalyptic climax. In this characteristically inventive novel Ballard displays to devastating effect the extraordinary imagination that has established him as one of the twentieth century’s most visionary writers.

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23 .) Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm

Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm

Award Points
Nebula 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

As drought devastates the western U.S., a single woman seeks the solitude and safety of the Pacific Northwest, where she learns to survive.

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22 .) Molly Zero by Keith Roberts

Molly Zero by Keith Roberts

Award Points
BSFA 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

In an England two hundred years hence all children are brought up in single sex creches: the Blocks. Molly Zero, young and intelligent, resilient and loving, is a product of the Blocks and is destined for the Elite – the governing body of a country now crippled by martial law. When Molly rebels and escapes, she finds a new way of life in a small town, then with an eccentric band of travelling gypsies, and finally as a middle-class terrorist.

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21 .) Transfigurations by Michael Bishop

Transfigurations by Michael Bishop

Award Points
BSFA 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

In a clearing of the great forest of the planet Bosk Veld, a strange, ape-like species of alien, the Asadi, act out their almost-incomprehensible rituals, rainbow eyes flashing, spinning like pinwheels. Egon Chaney, in his anthropological study, ‘Death and Designation Among the Asadi’ has shown how their life-style has apparently degenerated from a level of complex technological sophistication and devolved to a primal simplicity. Long after his disappearance in the forest, his daughter, Elegy Cather, comes to Bosk Veld to carry on his studies of the Asadi where he left off. With her is an intelligent ape, Kretzoi, physically adapted to resemble the aliens. Together with Thomas Benedict, Chaney’s old partner, Elegy begins to unravel the enigma of the Asadi. As Kretzoi insinuates himself into their rituals, so we are drawn into what is perhaps the most convincing portrayal of the alien yet.

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20 .) A World Between by Norman Spinrad

A World Between by Norman Spinrad

Award Points
BSFA 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Pacifica was a monument to freedom and equality—until the off-worlders came. The Femocrats, a party of female separatists, and the Transcendental Scientists, an institute of technofascists dedicated to male supremacy. Carlotta Madigan, Pacifica’s prime minister, and Royce Lindblad, her handsome young lover and media adviser, had to find a way to stop the Pink and Blue War—without becoming casualties themselves.

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19 .) The Dark Bright Water by Patricia Wrightson

The Dark Bright Water (Book of Wirrun #2) by Patricia Wrightson

Award Points
The World Fantasy Awards 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Tribal elders urge a young Australian Aborigine to investigate the strange events occurring in the interior of their vast continent.

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18 .) The Merman’s Children by Poul Anderson

The Merman's Children by Poul Anderson

Award Points
Locus Awards Fantasy 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

The underwater city of Liri has thrived off the coast of Denmark for generations. But now, as Europe’s medieval age comes to a close, the efforts of zealous priests and the destructive ringing of church bells are causing the city to crumble. An ageless people who thrived apart from the cruelty of human existence on land, the merfolk are poetic speakers, loving and loyal, nearly impervious to death but with one great deficiency: They lack souls.

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17 .) The Road to Corlay by Richard Cowper

The Road to Corlay (The White Bird of Kinship #1) by Richard Cowper

Award Points
Nebula 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

On the Eve of the Fourth Millennium a slowly-building civilization, struggling out of the rubble of the Drowning, was crushed beneath the sceptre of a powerful and repressive Church. But on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the sound of a magical pipe was heard, and the air was filled with songs of freedom and enlightenment. And on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the Boy appeared, bringing the gift of sacrilege, a harbinger of the future, heralding the arrival of the White Bird of Dawning. It is the coming of a New Age. A glorious future bearing the presents of the past!

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16 .) Tales of Nevèrÿon by Samuel R. Delany

Tales of Nevèrÿon (Return to Nevèrÿon #1) by Samuel R. Delany

Award Points
Locus Awards Fantasy 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon’s four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization’s brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or even on the Mediterranean. Taken slave in childhood, Gorgik gains his freedom, leads a slave revolt, and becomes a minister of state, finally abolishing slavery. Ironically, however, he is sexually aroused by the iron slave collars of servitude. Does this contaminate his mission — or intensify it? Presumably elaborated from an ancient text of unknown geographical origin, the stories are sunk in translators’ and commentators’ introductions and appendices, forming a richly comic frame.

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15 .) Stardance by Spider Robinson & Jeanne Robinson

Stardance (Stardance #1) by Spider Robinson,

Award Points
Locus Awards Sci-Fi 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Shara, a gifted choreographer and dancer, can’t find work. Together with Charlie, a camera man who wants to help Shara achieve her dream, they discover a new way for her to dance: in zero gravity . . . from space! When an alien force invades, it is up to Shara to find a way to communicate and save Earth.

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14 .) The Dead Zone by Stephen King

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

Award Points
Locus Awards Fantasy 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Johnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. Many consider his talent a gift; Johnny feels cursed. His fiancée married another man during his coma and people clamor for him to solve their problems.

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13 .) Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey

Dragondrums (Harper Hall of Pern #3) by Anne McCaffrey

Award Points
Ditmar Award 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Mischievous Piemur is used to getting away with a lot. He has one of the most impressive voices at Harper Hall and, in the world of Pern, there are few things more important than the ability to sing and write songs. But when his voice begins to change, Piemur loses all confidence and questions everything he thought he knew about himself. No longer capable of singing, Piemur is sent on various errands by Masterharper Robinton, including the task of learning the complicated beats of the messenger drums. Piemur has no clue of the grand adventures that await him, and he’ll need to find the courage within himself to survive.

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12 .) The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson

The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson

Award Points
Ditmar Award 5 ( Nomination )

Total

5

Combining fact with fantasy and science with romance, the authors set out to prove that dragons really did exist. First published in 1979, The Flight of the Dragon presents a riveting thesis on how so great a creature as the dragon actually managed to fly.

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11 .) Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Rendezvous with Rama (Rama #1) by Arthur C. Clarke

Award Points
Japan Seiun Translated 10 ( Win )

Total

10

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredible, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind’s first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams… and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits — just behind a Raman airlock door.

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10 .) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams

Award Points
Ditmar Award 10 ( Win )

Total

10

“Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“”A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have””) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!”

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9 .) Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn

Watchtower (Chronicles of Tornor #1) by Elizabeth A. Lynn

Award Points
The World Fantasy Awards 10 ( Win )

Total

10

Elizabeth A. Lynn won the World Fantasy Award for Watchtower, volume one in a breathtaking trilogy that would establish her as one of speculative fiction’s most exciting voices. Now, Ace brings this classic back to fans and first-time readers alike–in a beautifully repackaged trade paperback edition.Tornor Keep is the legendary tower that guards the winter end of a summer land. But when Tornor is overrun by raiders, a young prince is the tower’s last hope in an enchanting story of a time far removed from ours and of a land alive with warriors, lovers, war, and honor

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8 .) Timescape by Gregory Benford

Timescape by Gregory Benford

Award Points
BSFA 10 ( Win )

Total

10

The author of Tides of Light offers his Nebula Award-winning SF classic–a combination of hard science, bold speculation, and human drama. In the year 1998, a group of scientists works desperatey to communicate with the scientists of 1962, warning of an ecological disaster that will destroy the oceans in the future–if it is not averted in the past.

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7 .) Engine Summer by John Crowley

Engine Summer by John Crowley

Award Points
BSFA 5 ( Nomination )
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 5 ( Nomination )

Total

10

Born into the community of Truthful Speakers one thousand years after the Storm, he was raised on stories of the old days – a world filled with saints, a world in which all things were possible, a world which finally destroyed itself. In love with a beautiful woman, Rush journeys far and learns much. Taken into the society of Dr. Boots’s List, attached to the old mysteries, Rush grows closer to a sainthood he could never have imagined.

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6 .) Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony

Castle Roogna (Xanth #3) by Piers Anthony

Award Points
Locus Awards Fantasy 5 ( Nomination )
Ditmar Award 5 ( Nomination )

Total

10

Millie, a ghost for 800 years wants only one man–Jonathan, and he’s a zombie. To prove himself, Magician Dor volunteers to get the potion that can restore Jonathan to full life. But he has to go back through time to do it, to a peril-haunted, ancient Xanth, where danger lurks at every turn.

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5 .) Jem by Frederik Pohl

Jem by Frederik Pohl

Award Points
Nebula 5 ( Nomination )
Hugo 5 ( Nomination )
Locus Awards Sci-Fi 5 ( Nomination )

Total

15

A cynical and compelling tale of politics, exploitation and colonisation on another planet The discovery of another habitable world might spell salvation to the three bitterly competing power blocs of the resource-starved 21st century; but when their representatives arrive on Jem, with its multiple intelligent species, they discover instead the perfect situation into which to export their rivalries. Subtitled, with savage irony, ‘The Making of a Utopia’, JEM is one of Frederik Pohl’s most powerful novels

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4 .) Harpist in the Wind by Patricia A. McKillip

Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master #3) by Patricia A. McKillip

Award Points
Hugo 5 ( Nomination )
Locus Awards Fantasy 10 ( Win )
The World Fantasy Awards 5 ( Nomination )

Total

20

In the midst of conflict and unrest the Prince of Hed solves the puzzle of his future when he learns to harp the wind, discovers who the shape changers are, and understands his own relationship to Deth, harpist of the wizard Ohm

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3 .) On Wings of Song by Thomas M. Disch

On Wings of Song by Thomas M. Disch

Award Points
Nebula 5 ( Nomination )
Locus Awards Sci-Fi 5 ( Nomination )
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 10 ( Win )
Hugo 5 ( Nomination )

Total

25

Named one of science fiction’s 100 best books by noted genre editor David Pringle, Thomas M. Disch’s On Wings of Song is at once allegory, social satire, political fable, and brilliantly written science fiction of the ultimate out-of-body experience. In Disch’s dazzlingly imagined future America, Daniel Weinraub dreams of escaping the repressive midwest of the mid-twenty-first century through an electronic device with which the user takes flight into cyberspace when activated with a quasi-musical code called “The Symphonette.” Daniel’s adventures take him from Iowa’s God-fearing police state and its “correctional” labor camps for the sinful to Manhattan’s mean streets and “cyberspatial flight paths.

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2 .) Titan by John Varley

Titan (Gaea Trilogy #1) by John Varley

Award Points
Nebula 5 ( Nomination )
Hugo 5 ( Nomination )
Locus Awards Sci-Fi 10 ( Win )
Ditmar Award 5 ( Nomination )

Total

25

It begins with humankind’s exploration of a massive satellite orbiting Saturn. It culminates in a shocking discovery: the satellite is a giant alien being. Her name is Gaea. Her awesome interior is mind-boggling—because it is a mind. A mind that calls out to explorers, transforming all who enter

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1 .) The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

Award Points
Nebula 10 ( Win )
Hugo 10 ( Win )
Locus Awards Sci-Fi 5 ( Nomination )

Total

25

Renowned structural engineer Dr. Vannevar Morgan seeks to link Earth to the stars-through the construction of a space elevator connecting to an orbiting satellite 22,300 miles from the planet’s surface. The elevator would lift interstellar spaceships into orbit without the need of rockets to blast through the Earth’s atmosphere-making space travel easier and more cost-effective. Unfortunately, the only appropriate surface base for the elevator is located at the top of a mountain already occupied-by an ancient order of Buddhist monks who strongly oppose the project. Morgan must face down their opposition-as well as enormous technical, political, and economic challenges-in order to make the project successful

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The 1980 Award Nominations & Winners

(Winners Highlighted)


 

Nebula Award – Best Novel

Book Author
The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke
Jem Frederik Pohl
Juniper Time Kate Wilhelm
On Wings of Song Thomas M. Disch
The Road to Corlay Richard Cowper
Titan John Varley

 

Hugo Award – Best Novel

Book Author
The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke
Titan John Varley
Jem Frederik Pohl
Harpist in the Wind Patricia A. McKillip
On Wings of Song Thomas Disch

 

Locus Award – Best Science Fiction Novel

Book Author
Titan John Varley
Jem Frederik Pohl
The Fountains of Paradise Arthur C. Clarke
Stardance Spider Robinson & Jeanne Robinson
On Wings of Song Thomas M. Disch

 

Locus Award – Best Fantasy Novel

Book Author
Harpist in the Wind Patricia A. McKillip
The Dead Zone Stephen King
Tales of Nevèrÿon Samuel R. Delany
Castle Roogna Piers Anthony
The Merman’s Children Poul Anderson

 

BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) – Best Novel

Book Author
Timescape Gregory Benford
Transfigurations Michael Bishop
Engine Summer John Crowley
Beyond on the Blue Event Horizon Frederik Pohl
Molly Zero Keith Roberts
A World Between Norman Spinrad

 

The World Fantasy Award – Best Novel

Book Author
Watchtowe Elizabeth A. Lynn
The Dancers of Arun Elizabeth A. Lynn
The Dark Bright Water Patricia Wrightson
Harpist in the Wind Patricia A. McKillip
The Last Call of Mourning Charles L. Grant
The Palace Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

 

Seiun (Japanese) Award – Best Translated Novel

Book Author
Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke

 

John W. Campbell Memorial Award – Best Science Fiction Novel

Book Author
On Wings of Song Thomas M. Disch
Engine Summer John Crowley
The Unlimited Dream Company J. G. Ballard

 

The Ditmar (Australian) Award – Best International Long Fiction

Book Author
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
Castle Roogna Piers Anthony
Dragondrums Anne McCaffrey
The Flight of Dragons Peter Dickinson
Titan John Varley

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