17 works of science fiction, fantasy and dystopian literature are nominated for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel

Libertarian Futurist Society members have made 17 nominations for the Best Novel category of the next Prometheus Award.

Of the authors whose works are nominated, a majority are being recognized for the first time by the LFS and the Prometheus Awards.

Ten novelists are being recognized for the first time with Prometheus nominations. Listed in alphabetical order, those authors are Stephen Albrecht, Devon Eriksen, Howard Andrew Jones, Naomi Kritzer, Paul Lynch, Sandra Newman, Salman Rushdie, C. T. Rwizi, Fenton Wood and Alan Zimm.

A NEW GENERATION? OR DARKER TIMES?

Perhaps that large number reflects a new generation of emerging writers whose varied works fit the award’s distinctive dual focus on both the literary and the thematic, with the Prometheus awards open to speculative fiction (broadly conceived, including science fiction and fantasy), that dramatizes pro-liberty and/or anti-authoritarian themes.

Given some of the darker trends of the current era, though, perhaps it’s also partly a sad and sobering reflection of the ways in which many writers have turned increasingly to dystopian literature.

By one subjective count, at least six of the 17 nominees could be classified as dystopian novels, or works containing significant dystopian aspects – perhaps most notably, C.J. Carey’s Queen Wallis, Newman’s Julia and Lynch’s Prophet Song – plus, in some ways, Kritzer’s Liberty’s Daughter.

RETURNING AUTHORS RECOGNIZED

Among the authors previously nominated for a Prometheus award: Carey, Mackey Chandler, Karl K. Gallagher, Gordon Hanka (who writes under the comical pseudonym Dr. Insensitive Jerk), R. H. Snow, Daniel Suarez and Steve Wire.

Author Karl K. Gallagher (Creative Commons license)

Of those authors, Carey, Chandler, Gallagher, Hanka and Suarez had novels honored previously as Best Novel finalists – and one author, Suarez, went on to become a Prometheus Best Novel winner in 2015 for Influx.

Moreover, this year’s nominated novels by Carey, Chandler, Gallagher, Hanka, Snow and Wire are sequels to previously nominated works or novels set within the same series and fictional future.

THE LIST OF BEST NOVEL NOMINEES

Here are the novels and authors nominated for the 2024 Prometheus Award for Best Novel, alphabetized by author and listed with the publisher, publication date, and page length.

In addition, previous works in the same series or the first novel in a projected series will be noted below:

* Futureproof, by Stephen Albrecht
(Hybrid Global Publishing, June 15, 2023, 387 pages)

• Queen Wallis,  by C.J. Carey (published as Queen High in the U.K.)
(Sourcebooks Landmark (U.S.), July 18, 2023, 411 pages)
Note: Queen Wallis is the direct sequel to Widowland, a 2023 Best Novel finalist.

The Long View, by Mackey Chandler
(Amazon, Sept. 26, 2023, 415 pages)

Note: The Long View is the 14th novel set within Chandler’s April series, and the sequel to Let Us Tell You Again, a 2023 Best Novel nominee, and Who Can Own the Stars?, a 2021 Best Novel finalist.

Theft of Fire, by Devon Eriksen

(Devon Eriksen LLC, Nov. 7, 2023, 495 pages)

Note: Theft of Fire is billed as Book 1 of Eriksen’s projected four-part Orbital Space series.

Swim Among the People, by Karl K. Gallagher
(Kelt Haven Press, March 19, 2023, 362 pages)

Note: Swim Among the People is Book 5 of Gallagher’s interstellar Fall of the Censor series.

Book One: Storm Between the Stars was a 2021 Best Novel finalist, with Book 2: Between Home and Ruin and Book 3: Seize What’s Held Dear both 2022 Best Novel finalists; and Book 4: Captain Trader Helmsman Spy, a 2023 Best Novel finalist.

God’s Girlfriend,  by Dr. Insensitive Jerk (AKA Gordon Hanka)
(Amazon, Nov. 8, 477 pages)

Note: God’s Girlfriend is a direct sequel to A Beast Cannot Feign, a 2023 Best Novel finalist, and the fifth and final volume in the Gaia’s Wasp series, which includes Sainthood in Sixty Seconds, a 2022 Best Novel nominee.

Lord of a Shattered Land, by Howard Andrew Jones
(Baen Books, Aug. 1, 2023)

Note: Jones’ sword-and-sorcery epic is the first of three novels in Jones’ Chronicles of Hanuvar series.

Liberty’s Daughter, by Naomi Kritzer
(Fairwood Press, Nov. 21, 2023, 264 pages)

Prophet Song, by Paul Lynch
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Dec. 5, 2023, 320 pages in print, 244 pages on Kindle)

Note: Prophet Song is the 2023 Booker Prize winner.

Julia, by Sandra Newman
(HarperCollins’ Mariner Books, Oct. 24, 2023; 394 pages)

Note: Julia is a sequel authorized by Orwell’s estate and billed on the cover as “A Retelling of George Orwell’s 1984”).

Orwell’s classic was one of the first works inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame, appropriately and timely enough in the year 1984.

Victory City,  by Salman Rushdie
(Random House, Feb. 7, 2023, 352 pages)

•  House of Gold, by C. T. Rwizi
(47North, April 1, 2023, 391 pages)

Trail of Travail, by R.H. Snow
(Rosa de Oro, a Texas Publishing Company, Oct. 5, 2023, 355 pages)

Note: Billed as the first book in the new series Watcher of the Damned: Wanderer, Trail of Travail is set in the same dystopian future as three Snow novels nominated for Best Novel in 2022: Hellraisers & Heartbreakers, Purgatory & Pair’O’Dice and Lone Star Libre!, all part of Snow’s previous series Watcher of the Damned: Watcher.

Critical Mass, by Daniel Suarez
(Dutton, Jan. 31, 2023, 464 pages)

Note: Critical Mass is the sequel to Delta-V, a 2020 Best Novel nominee, and billed as part of Suarez’s Delta-V series.

Black Hats, by Steve Wire
(Plaintext Publishing, Oct. 15, 2023, 298 pages)

Note: Black Hats is Book 3 of Wire’s projected five-volume interplanetary Space Hackers series.

Book 1 (Man in the Middle) and Book 2 (White Hat) were 2022 Best Novel nominees.

• Hacking Galileo, by Fenton Wood (Amazon, April 30, 2023, 257 pages)

Misplaced Threats, by Alan Zimm
(BookMarketeers, Oct. 18, 2023, 330 pages)

Note: Misplaced Threats is billed as Book 1 of Zimm’s Misplaced Humanity Chronicles.

 

THE BEST NOVEL AWARDS PROCESS

All Libertarian Futurist Society members have the right and privilege to nominate eligible works for all categories of the Prometheus Award.

The annual Best Novel nominating deadline was Feb. 15, for works published during the previous calendar year (or, for previously overlooked works, published in the last two months of the previous year).

Publishers, authors and other sf/fantasy fans also are welcome to submit works for consideration to LFS members and judges.

All nominees are subject to verification of eligibility by the finalist-selection judges during their months-long judging process.

The 12 veteran LFS members delegated to serve on the Prometheus Best Novel Finalist Judging committee began reading and discussing the 2023 nominees last summer and fall. The judges will continue to read and discuss the nominees through March before voting by early April to select the annual slate of finalists.

Once the Best Novel finalists are announced, Libertarian Futurist Society members at the Full membership level and above (including Sponsors and Benefactors, whose extra support helps to sustain the Prometheus Award and its gold prize) will have a chance to read and vote on the Best Novel finalists to select the 2024 winner – as they already are doing to weigh the current slate of four Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists for Best Classic Fiction.

The final stage of the Prometheus judging process extends over several months in the spring and summer before our annual and traditional July 4 voting deadline for LFS members to cast their ballots and choose the annual Prometheus winners.

LFS members can expect to receive their ballots via email by late May.

Congratulations, and good luck, to all the Best Novel nominees!

 

Coming up on the Prometheus Blog: Capsule descriptions of each Best Novel nominee.

Michael Grossberg (File photo)

AN INVITATION: LFS members, including nominators and judges, and other sf/fantasy fans and libertarians, are welcome to submit reviews of any nominees for consideration for publication on the blog.

For guidelines, contact Michael Grossberg, one of the Prometheus Blog editors and chair of the Prometheus Best Novel finalist-judging committee, at bestnovel@lfs.org

 

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE LFS:

* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – for the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website, which now includes convenient links to all published essay-reviews in our Appreciation series of more than 100 past winners since 1979.

* Read “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction,”an essay in the international magazine Quillette that favorably highlights the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society and the significant element of libertarian sf/fantasy in the evolution of the modern genre.

Watch videos of past Prometheus Awards ceremonies (including the recent 2023 ceremony with inspiring and amusing speeches by Prometheus-winning authors Dave Freer and Sarah Hoyt),Libertarian Futurist Society panel discussions with noted sf authors and leading libertarian writers, and other LFS programs on the Prometheus Blog’s Video page.

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards and support a cultural and literary strategy to appreciate and honor freedom-loving fiction, join the Libertarian Futurist Society, a non-profit all-volunteer association of freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans.

Published by

Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been an arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio and Best Arts Reporting (seven times). He's written for Reason, Libertarian Review and Backstage weekly; helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades; and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword for J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among books he recommends from a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist & How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

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