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.

The Libertarian Futurist Society, which launched the ambitious series in 2019 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Prometheus Awards, plans to continue writing and publishing new appreciations each year of the latest winners of the two annual award categories for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction.

Appreciations for the Best Novel category are also now virtually up to date, with the recent posting of an appreciation for the 2020 winner: Alliance Rising, by C.J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher.

Meanwhile, the Best Novel appreciation series was mostly written, published and brought up to date in 2019 and 2020. As part of the first annual updates, we are planning to add an appreciation for the 2021 winner.

If you’ve ever wondered why a particular work of fiction has been recognized with a Prometheus Award and what libertarian sf fans see in these award-winning works, then our published series of Appreciations should be illuminating.

If you have friends and acquaintances who don’t fully understand libertarianism or how the Prometheus Awards celebrate science fiction and fantasy that dramatizes libertarian and anti-authoritarian themes, they can now easily click on an Appreciation link next to a winning work from our Prometheus Awards page to find out why it was recognized.

Plus, we hope that these review-essays will remind readers of works that otherwise might be overlooked in the 2020s – and that you’re likely to find rewarding if you’re simply looking for something enjoyable and stimulating to read within the realm of science fiction and fantasy – fiction that also happens to explore abiding questions about the perennial tensions between Liberty and Power.

From both the Prometheus blog index and the Libertarian Futurist Society website, you can now easily access the published review-essay appreciations”of every Hall of Fame inductee from 1982 through 2021.

That includes 46 appreciations of 45 Hall of Fame winners, from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (which merited two appreciations from different perspectives) and Anthem to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.

Counting appreciations for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction winners,  we have now published seven for Robert Heinlein works (starting with The Moon is a Marsh Mistress) – a Prometheus Awards record for the most award-winning author.

So far, other Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction appreciations have been published for five Poul Anderson works, five F. Paul Wilson works and three works each by Cory Doctorow, Ken MacLeod and L. Neil Smith.

Plus, among our most notable appreciations are review-essays explaining why libertarians cherish J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” (Just a hint: It has something to do with the tragic tendency for power to corrupt and absolute power to corrupt absolutely.)

There’s something here for readers of all kinds and all ages – and with the now-published appreciations, LFS members, other libertarians and science fiction fans have an immediately accessible way to read why each Hall of Fame winner was inducted and how it dramatizes or illuminates the value of liberty and the dangers of tyranny.

The third and final phase of the Appreciation series is scheduled to begin this fall with periodic postings (not necessarily every week) of each of the works of fiction that have received occasional Special Prometheus Awards over the years.

That series of eight Special Award appreciations will begin soon with a review-essay of Free Space, the first explicitly libertarian sf anthology and the first Prometheus Special awardwinner in 1998. (And stay tuned, because this Special Award series will include one appreciation by a guest contributor, Prometheus-winning novelist Travis Corcoran.)

For your convenience, there are two easy ways to access past Appreciations:

* Visit the “Appreciation” links added by Chris Hibbert to the past awards lists on the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page. Just click on “Appreciation” to the right of each Prometheus winning title on the list and it will take you to the blog essay, no matter when it was published.

* Or visit the Prometheus Blog page, scroll down the left side past the “Recent Posts,” “Top Posts,” “Recent Comments” and “Archives” links until you come to “Categories.”

“Appreciations” is the first subcategory on the list, with subcategories just below for “Best Novels,” with 46 blog appreciations published so far; and “Hall of Fame (Classic Fiction),” with 46 appreciations published so far.

We’ve also recently added a new category for “Young Adult Fiction,” cross-referenced with 10 review-essays of winners selected from the Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction categories that we think are most suitable for young readers.

Check It out – for yourself and your children or grandchildren – and let us know if you agree that these works of fiction work well to introduce new generations to the science-fiction and fantasy literature of liberty.

Once the Special Awards series begins, an additional subcategory for “Special Awards” will appear on this list.

Don’t forget to scroll down further, on the left column of this blog, to see what links we’ve added to reviews, essays and interviews under “Best of the Blog” – and at the bottom, under “Selected Reviews” (which includes both novels and films.)

Why did the LFS launch the series? And just how diverse are the past four decades and more of Prometheus winners?

For more thoughts on that, read our introductory essay: “A 40th Anniversary Retrospective: Introducing a Reader’s Guide to the Prometheus Award Winners.”

A 40th Anniversary Retrospective: Introducing a Reader’s Guide to the Prometheus Award Winners

Finally, thanks to all those who have written or co-written appreciations, or who have had their past Prometheus-newsletter reviews quoted within appreciations. That includes Michael Grossberg, Chris Hibbert, Tom Jackson, Jesse Markowitz, Anders Monsen, Eric S. Raymond, Robert Shea, William H. Stoddard and Victoria Varga.

* 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.

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards, join the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), 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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