Robert A. Heinlein, 1956
Premise: Actor Lorenzo Smythe is tapped by spacer Dak Broadbent for a job: impersonation, no details. Lorenzo has no idea that he's about to be swept up in the intrigue of interstellar politics. Because if he had an idea about that, he'd have run in the opposite direction.
I really enjoyed it, and this is the first of the Hugo winners (chronologically) that I can say that about without reservation.
All of the characters are complicated and interesting, and despite plenty of tension, there's very little action, since most of the plot hangs on character growth. It's a great example of one of my favorite kinds of sci-fi: human characters, with human problems, complicated by future scale.
The Martians here are intriging, if never described too closely. I mostly get the sense of how alien they are, but they're still completely sentient, completely people.
The ending isn't that surprising, although the epilogue is beautiful. As a work of entertaining sci-fi, as a character study of actors and politicians, and as a meditation on identity and progress, I give Double Star high marks.
4 Stars - A Very Good Book
List of Hugo Award Winners