Richard A. Lupoff : What If?


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In 1980 and 1981 author, fan, reviewer, and comics expert Richard A. Lupoff published two anthologies for Pocket Books with the description "stories that should have won the Hugo." Beginning with 1952, Lupoff chose one story from each year that he felt had been unfairly overlooked or denied the prize for some political or editorial reason. Lupoff selected stories for four volumes, but the series was cancelled after the second, due to poor sales, as Lupoff explained years later when he finally published volume 3.

Meanwhile, Mike Ashley assembled The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists in 1982 (the 1983 US edition is shown in the photo) and asked Lupoff to extend his list backward and forward, resulting in selections running from 1926 to 1978 (pp 90-91 of the US edition). The entire list is included here (though of course the stories themselves are not in Ashley's book).

Lupoff's three books are notable not so much for highlighting stories that might well have been award-winners as for Lupoff's detailed introductions, reviewing the other nominees and providing a summation of the state of the SF field for each year, much as Gardner Dozois would do at much greater length in his annuals.

Lupoff never selected more than one story per author.

  • What If? Volume 1, (Pocket, 1980) [isfdb]
  • What If? Volume 2, (Pocket, 1981) [isfdb]
  • What If? #3, (Ramble House, 2013) [isfdb]
  • The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists, Mike Ashley (Cornerstone, 1983)



Combined Contents by Author and Title


Poul Anderson
  • The Man Who Came Early (F&SF Jun 1956) -- What If? Volume 1
  • Pauline Ashwell
  • The Lost Kafoozalum (Analog Oct 1960) -- What If? Volume 2
  • Harry Bates
  • Farewell to the Master (Astounding Oct 1940) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Barrington J. Bayley
  • All the King's Men (New Worlds Mar 1965) -- What If? Volume 2
  • Alfred Bester
  • The Pi Man (Star Light, Star Bright, 1959) -- What If? Volume 2
  • Eando Binder
  • Via Jupiter (Thrilling Wonder Stories Feb 1942) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • James Blish
  • Bindlestiff (Astounding Dec 1950) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Anthony Boucher
  • The Chronokinesis of Jonathan Hull (Astounding Jun 1946) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Ray Bradbury
  • The Third Expedition (Planet Stories Fll 1948) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Fredric Brown
  • And the Gods Laughed (Planet Stories Spr 1944) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw (Argosy Feb 20 1937) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Fires Within (Fantasy, The Magazine of Science Fiction Aug 1947) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Stanton A. Coblentz
  • Exiles from the Universe (Amazing Feb 1938) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Richard Cowper
  • Piper at the Gates of Dawn (F&SF Mar 1976) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Avram Davidson
  • The Sources of the Nile (F&SF Jan 1961) -- What If? Volume 2
  • Samuel R. Delany
  • The Star Pit (Worlds of Tomorrow Feb 1967) -- What If? #3
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Stand-By (Amazing Oct 1963) -- What If? Volume 2
  • Thomas M. Disch
  • Now Is Forever (Amazing Mar 1964) -- What If? Volume 2
  • H. L. Gold
  • none but lucifer -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Edmond Hamilton
  • Evolution Island (Weird Tales Mar 1927) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Clare Winger Harris
  • The Miracle of the Lily (Amazing Apr 1928) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • Gulf (Astounding Nov 1949 (+1)) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • A. R. Hilliard
  • The Space Coffin -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Shirley Jackson
  • One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts (F&SF Jan 1955) -- What If? Volume 1
  • David H. Keller
  • The Literary Corkscrew (Wonder Stories Mar 1934) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Frank K. Kelly
  • Star Ship Invincible (Astounding Jan 1935) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Donald E. Keyhoe
  • Through the Vortex (Weird Tales Jul 1926) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Damon Knight
  • Four in One (Galaxy Feb 1953) -- What If? Volume 1
  • C. M. Kornbluth
  • Two Dooms (Venture Jul 1958) -- What If? Volume 1
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Vaster Than Empires and More Slow (New Dimensions I, 1971) -- What If? #3
  • Murray Leinster
  • First Contact (Astounding May 1945) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Frank Belknap Long
  • A Visitor from Egypt (Weird Tales Sep 1930) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Dunwich Horror (Weird Tales Apr 1929) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • John D. MacDonald
  • Common Denominator (Galaxy Jul 1951) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Vonda N. McIntyre
  • Aztecs (2076: The American Tricentennial, 1977) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Michael Moorcock
  • Pale Roses (New Worlds 7, 1974) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • C. L. Moore
  • Shambleau (Weird Tales Nov 1933) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Edgar Pangborn
  • My Brother Leopold (An Exaltation of Stars, 1973) -- What If? #3
  • Seabury Quinn
  • A Rival from the Grave (Weird Tales Jan 1936) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Joanna Russ
  • The Barbarian (Orbit 3, 1968) -- What If? #3
  • Bob Shaw
  • Light of Other Days (Analog Aug 1966) -- What If? #3
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Sundance (F&SF Jun 1969) -- What If? #3
  • Edward E. Smith
  • The Vortex Blaster (Comet Jul 1941) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Theodore Sturgeon
  • The Golden Helix (Thrilling Wonder Stories Sum 1954) -- What If? Volume 1
  • Thomas Burnett Swann
  • Where Is the Bird of Fire? (Science-Fantasy #52 1962) -- What If? Volume 2
  • William Tenn
  • Firewater (Astounding Feb 1952) -- What If? Volume 1
  • James Tiptree, Jr.
  • Painwise (F&SF Feb 1972) -- What If? #3
  • John Varley
  • Retrograde Summer (F&SF Feb 1975) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Ian Watson
  • The Very Slow Time Machine (Anticipations, 1978) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Manly Wade Wellman
  • Frontier Planet (Thrilling Wonder Stories Feb 1943) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • The Mile-Long Spaceship (Astounding Apr 1957) -- What If? Volume 1
  • Jack Williamson
  • Through the Purple Cloud (Wonder Stories May 1931) -- The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists
  • Gene Wolfe
  • The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories (Orbit 7, 1970) -- What If? #3

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    This page last updated Thursday 3 Sep 2020 at 10:24 PT