Introduction: This is the final review in a series that the Prometheus blog has been publishing this spring and summer to highlight the 2022 Best Novel finalists.
This review of Wil McCarthy’s Rich Man’s Sky follows previously posted reviews of the other four finalists: Lionel Shriver’s Should We Stay Or Should We Go, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun and Karl K. Gallagher’s Between Home and Ruin and Seize What’s Held Dear.
By Michael Grossberg
Venturing beyond the Earth to explore, colonize and industrialize our solar system has been a dream of humanity – and that dream is beginning to materialize.
Four billionaires play key roles in striving to bring such dreams to life in Rich Man’s Sky (Baen Books, 291 pages), a 2022 Best Novel finalist by Wil McCarthy.
Continue reading Rich Man’s Sky: Wil McCarthy’s Best Novel finalist imagines billionaire-led quest for private solar-system development
To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ history and make clear why each winner deserves recognition as notable pro-freedom or anti-authoritarian works, the Libertarian Futurist Society has been publishing an Appreciation series of all award-winners in chronological order by category. Here is an Appreciation of Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, the 1988 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction.
Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination explores themes of transformation and liberation.
Set in our solar system in a distant future on the verge of interstellar travel and colonization and written in beautifully stylized and lyrical language, this classic 1956 novel revolves around a lazy, gutter-talking spaceman described by LFS Director Victoria Varga in her 1994 review for the Prometheus quarterly as “a Randian hero run amok.”
Adrift with no ambition, Gully Foyle is abandoned in space with his pleas for help ignored. Consumed by a burning passion for revenge, Foyle embarks on a quest that propels a raging torrent of events.
“In the process of transformation he awakens the people of the worlds, and gives them back the right to think, dream, grow, and take command of their own lives,” Varga wrote.
Continue reading Transformation, interstellar liberation and “a Randian hero run amok”: Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, the 1988 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner
To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ history and track record while making clear what makes each winner deserve recognition as pro-freedom or anti-authoritarian sf/fantasy, the Libertarian Futurist Society is presenting weekly Appreciations of past award-winners.
Our anniversary series was launched in 2019 – 40 years after the first Prometheus Award was presented – starting in chronological order with appreciation/reviews of the earliest winners in the original Best Novel category.
Here’s the latest Appreciation for Sarah Hoyt’s Darkship Thieves, the 2011 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel:
By Anders Monsen and Michael Grossberg
Few sf/fantasy novels attempt to envision a fully free future, and only a fraction of those efforts prove fruitful and plausible, not to mention gripping in narrative and appealing in characters.
Darkship Thieves, with central characters to care about and a suspenseful, fast-paced plot, is especially intriguing to libertarians for its plausible portrait of a high-tech anarchist society among the asteroids.
With this 2010 novel, Sarah Hoyt launched a series of novels in the same future solar-system-wide scenario focusing on a heroic woman from an anarchist colony in the asteroid belt who must fight for her freedom and identity against a tyrannical Earth.
Hoyt, a deft master of many genres, blends science fiction with romance, adventure, political intrigue and individualist-feminist themes.
Continue reading Heinleinesque adventure, romance, bioengineered humans and anarchy in the asteroids: An Appreciation of Sarah Hoyt’s Darkship Thieves, the 2011 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel
To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ four-decade history and make clear what makes each winner deserve recognition as notable pro-freedom sf/fantasy, the Libertarian Futurist Society is presenting weekly Appreciations of past award-winners. Our anniversary series was launched in 2019 – 40 years after the first Prometheus Award was presented – starting with appreciation/reviews of the earliest winners in the original Best Novel category, and continuing in chronological order. Here’s the latest Appreciation for Dani and Eytan Kollin’s The Unincorporated Man, the 2010 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel:
By Michael Grossberg
The Unincorporated Man, an ingenious and imaginative debut novel by the Kollin brothers, was the first book in a planned trilogy that ultimately developed into an ambitious, complex and far-flung tetralogy.
The 2019 novel’s interesting and unusual premise is that education and personal development could be funded by allowing investors to take a share of one’s future income. The novel explores the ways this arrangement would affect those who do not own a majority of the stock in themselves.
For instance, often ones’ investors would have control of a person’s choices of where to live or work. The desire for power as an end unto itself and the negative consequences of the raw lust for power are shown in great detail.
Just as intriguing to many libertarians, who view self-ownership as a foundational principle in modern libertarian thought that by extension grounds human rights in property rights, is the thrilling and poignant struggle for self-ownership that emerges in this novel and its three sequels.
Continue reading Self-ownership and Liberty: An Appreciation of Dani and Eytan Kollin’s The Unincorporated Man, the 2010 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel