SF under assault, but ripe for rebirth: Two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran’s 2022 awards-ceremony speech on the value of libertarian science fiction

The Libertarian Futurist Society invited two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran to discuss the importance of libertarian science fiction in his speech as presenter of the 2022 Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

Sf novelist Travis Corcoran (Photo courtesy of author)

Here Is the text of Corcoran’s speech, delivered on Aug. 13 as part of the Zoom awards ceremony, marking the 40th anniversary of the LFS.

(Corcoran presented the Best Novel award to Wil McCarthy for Rich Man’s Sky; the Hall of Fame award went to Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy,)

 

By Travis Corcoran

The state of written science fiction in 2022 is a bit like the state of western civilization: under assault from all sides, hollowed out, a pale shadow of what it once was.

The soldiers who once defended our grand city have been defeated.

There are invaders inside the gates, cavorting, aping their betters,and desecrating the ancient and sacred temples.

The great bazaars are empty and only a few small peddlers haunt the windy streets.

Most of the citizens who built the city, stone by stone, have been either felled by old age or have wandered away.  A few still act as if nothing has changed, but without the support of the great publishers and the cheers of the crowd, the performance rings hollow.

Continue reading SF under assault, but ripe for rebirth: Two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran’s 2022 awards-ceremony speech on the value of libertarian science fiction

Libertarian sf authors Travis Corcoran, F. Paul Wilson to speak at the Aug. 13, 2022 online Prometheus Awards ceremony

Two well-known libertarian science fiction authors, each recent winners of Prometheus Awards, have been confirmed as VIP presenters at the next  Prometheus Awards ceremony in 2022.

Sf novelist Travis Corcoran (Photo courtesy of author)

Authors Travis Corcoran and F. Paul Wilson, both multiple Prometheus Award winners, have graciously agreed to each present one of the two annual awards categories at the online event, set for 2-3 p.m. Saturday (EDT) August 13, 2022.

F. Paul Wilson. Photo courtesy of author

LFS President William H. Stoddard, who chairs the Hall of Fame finalist judging committee, will emcee the hour-long Zoom-produced awards show and introduce Wilson.

Continue reading Libertarian sf authors Travis Corcoran, F. Paul Wilson to speak at the Aug. 13, 2022 online Prometheus Awards ceremony

Author update, part 2: A preview of Travis Corcoran’s next two novels in his Prometheus-winning Aristillus series (and a possible story anthology)

Note: Here is the latest author’s update about Travis Corcoran, and a follow-up to a previous blog post. (Submissions of news and updates from other Prometheus-recognized authors – whether nominees, finalists or winners – are welcome and will be considered for publication.)

By Michael Grossberg

Prometheus-winning author Travis Corcoran recently shared some glimpses into the subjects and themes of two of his upcoming sf novels.

Right and Duty and Absolute Tyranny respectively will be the third and fourth novels in Corcoran’s four-part Aristillus series.

Travis Corcoran wins his first Prometheus Award Photo: Courtesy of author

The novels will continue the story in the future-history series that Corcoran launched with The Powers of the Earth and its sequel Causes of Separation, set partly on the Earth but mostly in a functioning-with-challenges anarcho-capitalist colony on the Moon. Both novels won the Prometheus Award for Best Novel, with Powers winning in 2018 and Causes winning in 2019.

Corcoran reports that he is working simultaneously on both the third and fourth novels in the series, “which are still very libertarian in background,” he said.

Continue reading Author update, part 2: A preview of Travis Corcoran’s next two novels in his Prometheus-winning Aristillus series (and a possible story anthology)

Author update: Two new books by Prometheus-winning author Travis Corcoran (but they’re not what you’d expect)

Note: The Prometheus blog periodically posts updates about authors who have been recognized over the years through the Prometheus Awards, especially to report recently published or upcoming books. Submissions of news and updates from authors, publishers or fans are welcome, and will be considered for publication. Here’s the latest update on a relatively recent Prometheus winner:

By Michael Grossberg

Prometheus-winning author Travis J. I. Corcoran has been busy writing and publishing books, with more to come.

Sf novelist Travis Corcoran (Photo courtesy of author)

Corcoran is a two-time Prometheus winner for Best Novel in 2018 and 2019 for The Powers of the Earth and its sequel Causes of Separation. Both novels, part of Corcoran’s Aristillus series, explore government threats to a working anarchs-capitalist colony, established on the Moon by a libertarian dissident who became wealth after discovering anti-gravity in the mid-21st century.

Since Corcoran’s explicitly libertarian sf novels were published, his fans (including but far from limited to Libertarian Futurist Society members) have been eagerly awaiting publication of the next novel in that projected four-novel future history.

But as Corcoran explained in a recent email to the LFS, we’re going to have to wait a while longer to actually read more in the Aristillus series, because the two massive books that Corcoran published in 2021 were actually long-planned non-fiction works.

Continue reading Author update: Two new books by Prometheus-winning author Travis Corcoran (but they’re not what you’d expect)

Self-reliance and libertarian ideals on the frontier: Prometheus-winning novelist Travis Corcoran on Joss Whedon’s Serenity, the 2006 Prometheus Special Award winner.

To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ history and make clear why each winner deserves recognition as a notable pro-freedom work, the Libertarian Futurist Society has been publishing since 2019 an ongoing Appreciation series of all past award-winners.

Here is an Appreciation by Prometheus-winning novelist Travis Corcoran for writer-director Joss Whedon’s film Serenity, which received a Prometheus Special Award in 2006.

By Travis Corcoran

Like almost every science fiction fan, and like almost every libertarian, I was a fan of the TV series Firefly from the first episode of it I saw.

Firefly, and later Serenity, are about several things that are near and dear to the hearts of liberty-lovers: the frontier, voluntary – not coercive – exchange, an uneasy relationship with authority, self-reliance, and the trade-offs that inevitably come from uncompromising moral codes, nonconformism, and a healthy skepticism for the default paths through life.

Continue reading Self-reliance and libertarian ideals on the frontier: Prometheus-winning novelist Travis Corcoran on Joss Whedon’s Serenity, the 2006 Prometheus Special Award winner.

A preview of 2022 blogs, as our Appreciation Series approaches a milestone of 100 review-essays illuminating past Prometheus Award winners

As an eventful year ends, the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS) is approaching a milestone: 100 Appreciations of past Prometheus Award-winners, all posted on this LFS/Prometheus blog.

That’s a milestone to savor, especially given the ongoing efforts and commitments by LFS leaders and contributors over the past 30 months to write and post these informative and insightful review-essays.

Here’s an overview of our progress, an explanation of why the Appreciations are important (including tips on how you can use and refer to them), and a preview of some of the upcoming articles you can expect from the Prometheus Blog in 2022.

Continue reading A preview of 2022 blogs, as our Appreciation Series approaches a milestone of 100 review-essays illuminating past Prometheus Award winners

A Prometheus milestone: a progress report on completion of the blog’s Hall of Fame appreciation series, and how to access it

The Prometheus Blog’s ongoing Appreciation series has reached a milestone -after two productive years of regularly published review-essays exploring and explaining the libertarian and anti-authoritarian themes of past Prometheus winners.

With the recent publication of an appreciative review-essay about the 2021 winner (F. Paul Wilson’s short story “Lipidleggin’), the appreciation series for the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction is now complete – and conveniently accessible via links from our Prometheus Awards page.

Or at least it’s now as up-to-date as possible – until next year’s winner is announced.

Continue reading A Prometheus milestone: a progress report on completion of the blog’s Hall of Fame appreciation series, and how to access it

R.I.P., L. Neil Smith: Sf writer, best known for libertarian classic The Probability Broach, leaves a lasting legacy of liberty-loving sf adventure

Libertarian science fiction writer L. Neil Smith has died, leaving a legacy of high-spirited libertarian sf adventure and of the Prometheus Award itself.

L. Neil Smith (Creative Commons photo)

Smith, who died at 75 on Aug. 27, 2021 in Fort Collins, Colo., is best known for his explicitly libertarian novel The Probability Broach and its rambunctious alternate-history sequels in his The North American Confederacy series.

During his writing career from the 1970s into the 2010s, Smith wrote 31 books, including 29 novels, and many essays and short stories.

Quite a few of his works were nominated for Prometheus Awards because of their freewheeling adventure, sense of humor, imaginative alternate-reality scenarios and strong libertarian/individualist themes.

Continue reading R.I.P., L. Neil Smith: Sf writer, best known for libertarian classic The Probability Broach, leaves a lasting legacy of liberty-loving sf adventure

Anarcho-capitalism on the Moon, intelligent nonhumans and libertarian sf: Travis Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth & Causes of Separation, the 2018 and 2019 Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel

With this combined Appreciation for the past two Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel, the Libertarian Futurist Society’s weekly Appreciation series of all our past winners in that category is complete – providing a handy reference guide that highlights the awards’ diverse history while making clear why each winner deserved recognition as pro-freedom or anti-authoritarian sf/fantasy.

Here is William H. Stoddard’s combined Appreciation of Travis Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth and Causes of Separation, the 2018 and 2019 Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel:

By William H. Stoddard
In 2017, Travis Corcoran funded the publication of two books through Kickstarter, and released the first, Powers of the Earth, which won the Prometheus Award for Best Novel. In 2018, he released the second, Causes of Separation. The two volumes are described as the first half of a planned four-volume series, Aristillus (named for a lunar crater), but they actually make up an integrated and self-contained story: Had they both appeared the same year, they could have been nominated as a single work.

It’s long been the policy of the Libertarian Futurist Society to give awards to “the work, not the author”: A book can win Best Novel even if its author doesn’t self-identify as a libertarian, so long as its theme is pro-liberty. A corollary of this is that “pro-liberty” doesn’t mean adhering tightly to a specific interpretation of libertarianism.

If a novel illuminates the meaning of individual rights and a free society, or suggests a way to establish them, or explores the functioning of such a society, or warns against the evils of authoritarianism, or critiques or deconstructs an ideology opposed to liberty – then it can be considered for a Prometheus award. Nonetheless, books whose vision is wholeheartedly libertarian are welcome discoveries, and the Aristillus novels were such a discovery.

Continue reading Anarcho-capitalism on the Moon, intelligent nonhumans and libertarian sf: Travis Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth & Causes of Separation, the 2018 and 2019 Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel

Videos: The 2019 Prometheus Award ceremony at the Worldcon in Dublin

The Prometheus Award this year went to Causes of Separation by Travis Corcoran, while the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award was won by “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The awards were presented at the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Dublin, Ireland, August 15-19 2019, by two members of the Libertarian Futurist Society, Fred Moulton and John Christmas.
If you didn’t make it to the Worldcon, you can watch our (three) videos to witness the event.
Continue reading Videos: The 2019 Prometheus Award ceremony at the Worldcon in Dublin