posted by Mark R. Kelly at Friday 10 September 2010 @ 2:05 pm BST
Is, arguably, now Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl.
I got an email query on this topic a few days ago, and today spent the time to update the Locus Index to SF Awards with the Hugo and Campbell results.
The key tally for this question is presented in FAQ #7: What novels have won the most awards overall?. Just scan down the rankings for first novels…
You’ll notice that Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell ranks very high, with 6 different awards — but it’s a fantasy novel. The question was about first SF novel.
Well but — William Gibson’s Neuromancer also won 6 awards. It won the Hugo, the Nebula, the Philip K. Dick… and a Ditmar, a Science Fiction Chronicle poll, and a Seiun. If you, ahem, consider only the first three to be ‘major’ awards, Neuromancer won three major SF awards.
Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl has now won 5 awards — Hugo, Nebula, Campbell Memorial, Locus (first novel), and Crook. Arguably, these five slightly outweigh the six that Neuromancer won…. Campbell trumping PKD in scope; Locus, if not necessarily as ‘major’ as a Hugo or Nebula, nevertheless trumping, I think we can agree, the long-discontinued Chronicle poll. Grant Locus the status of half-major, then, and Windup Girl has three and half majors. (With the potential for additional less-than-major honors to come… potentially even a chance for a Clarke, once it’s published in Britain.) However you count it, an impressive achievement.