If beauty is proverbially found in the eye of the beholder, then a sense of humor may be located in our funny bones.
Yet everyone’s sense of humor is a bit different. What you find hilarious may leave me cold (or at least lukewarm), while what fills some bellies with laughs may leave others with barely a smile on their faces.
Given how personal a sense of humor tends to be, it may be provocative but should be interesting to ask: Which Prometheus Award winners do you find most amusing?
Which are designed to make you smile, and laugh out loud – and achieve their goal?
And does the world’s greatest playwright have important things to say to libertarians, other freedom lovers and those millions still wrestling in the 21st century with tyranny, war, slavery and other poisonous fruits of statism?
As a veteran theater critic, I’d argue yes on both counts!
So does a thoughtful essay by Michael Lucchese reviewing and comparing two recent books about Shakespeare and his views on liberty and authority in the Law and Liberty journal.
The Libertarian Futurist Society has created an attractive new introductory flyer.
The new flyer, available to download and print out from the LFS website, incorporates updated wording to explain our mission and the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards.
The flyer also adds the names of several recent Prometheus-winning authors and some of their winning fiction titles as examples of the award’s track record and focus.
Perhaps most notable: the replacement of older “endorsement” quotes with excerpts from more-recent articles in publications that have taken a positive look at the LFS and our four-decade-old awards program.
The flyer also boasts a new illustration: the LFS/Prometheus logo of a hand cradling fire.
Many sf and fantasy novels imagine different visions of free societies and how they might function in the future – including quite a few Prometheus Award finalists and winners.
In recent years, more authors seem to be incorporating future libertarian worlds into their novels, so many that it’s becoming harder to keep track of them all.
While few of these sf authors may be outright libertarians, they appear to be curious about exploring in fiction how future societies might be based on libertarian principles, in full or in part. They appreciate how that can provide fresh and interesting sf scenarios to explore dramatically – especially given inevitable human flaws and conflicts that tend to occur, no matter what kind of laws, customs and norms define different cultures.
One illustrative recent case in point: The Eleventh Gate, by Nancy Kress, an award-winning sf author known for space opera who previously has been nominated four times for a Prometheus Award for Best Novel.
Why didn’t the Eagles fly the ring to Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings?
Even if you haven’t heard fans argue over the alleged “eagle plot hole” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Prometheus-winning trilogy, you should find economist Bryan Caplan’s recent blog post illuminating – as well as Ilya Somin’s Reason posting about it.
An economics professor at George Mason University and a New York Times bestselling author, Caplan finds many parallels – and similar flaws – between such fan criticisms of Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy and socialist criticisms of free markets.
Who had the more prophetic and realistic vision of a dystopian future?
George Orwell? Or Aldous Huxley?
Orwell, most famous for Nineteen Eighty-Four (one of the earliest works inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame), was inspired by Stalinist communism in imagining his “hard tyranny” of brute dictatorship.
Huxley, best known for Brave New World, worried that a softer tyranny would ultimately prevail, one more insidious partly because it was more enveloping of both politics and culture and more seductive via a future of mindless pleasures.
Writing for the Institute for Art and Ideas, a British philosophical organization founded in 2008, British university instructor Emrah Atasoy compares Orwell and Huxley’s different dystopian visions in an informed and provocative essay: “Orwell, Huxley and the path to truth: How fiction can help us to understand reality.”
Robert Shea and his son, Michael. (Photo from Bobshea.net, maintained by Michael Shea.)
If you are reading this blog, there is a reasonable chance you have read Illuminatus!, the literary work originally published as an original paperback trilogy by Dell books and later collected into a one volume omnibus. It was written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, and it was awarded the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1986. (Robert Shea was actually a member of the Libertarian Futurist Society. Shea’s acceptance speech is available here.)