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:
Prometheus-winning author Travis J. I. Corcoran has been busy writing and publishing books, with more to come.
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.
Corcoran, who works for tech companies remotely while living with his wife and dogs on a 56-acre farm in New Hampshire, has strived for a long time to create what he calls “the perfect guide” for people who live in the city or suburbs and want to move to the country – as he did.
“My two volume homesteading how-to encyclopedia… draws from my eight yearsof experience living on a farm, raising and butchering livestock, felling trees and heating with firewood, making maple syrup, storing hay, and planting gardens, orchards, and vineyards,” Corcoran wrote in a recent email to the LFS.
Published in two volumes (Part I and 2), the “missing manual” is described on Amazon as offering “absolutely everything you need to know on thousands of topics that you never even realized existed.”
Among them: starting garden seeds in a grow tent, planting a berry patch, arranging for firewood delivery, shopping for a used tractor, breeding sheep, installing solar electric power, making 10 gallons of hearty soup from a pig skeleton and fighting invasive species.
His books even include, as a bonus near the end, dozens of recipes for farm-to-table dishes, such as Maple Crème Brulee, Pork and Pumpkin Soup, Duck Leg Confit and even a Whole Pig Roast. (Sounds yummy.)
Corcoran explains that he wrote his Homesteading Guide books – despite the availability of many other books on farming, gardening and homesteading which he’s read and owns – because he felt that all the other books lack sufficient breadth, have blind spots and don’t include the itemized lists, step-by-step instructions or alternative choices for different budgets and enthusiasm levels that he made a point to include in his books.
“They forget that thousands of things aren’t obvious to everyone,” Corcoran writes.
Among them: The differences between straw and hay, sweet corn and feed corn, pastures versus fields, discing versus plowing versus rototilling, plus how to haul logs safely, how utilities differ from the suburbs to the countryside, etc.
All of that information, and more from Corcoran’s eight years of experience as a farmer-homesteader, is packed into his two-volume set, which has sold more than 10,000 copies. (Apparently, there was a real need for his books – a gap in the marketplace that Corcoran’s books have fulfilled.)
To pack all that information in, the first volume runs 653 pages and the second volume, 652 pages. Both books are available in hardback, paperback and Kindle e-books.
Corcoran, who posts occasional updates on his own Morlock Publishing blog, also recently shared with the LFS some exciting glimpses into some of the elements and plot threads that he is incorporating into the next two work-in-progress novels in his Aristillus series.
More about that in the next Prometheus blog, so stay tuned!
(Hey, don’t most sf fans appreciate reading suspenseful cliff-hangers? Moreover, doesn’t it seem these days that most novels and publications are part of a series?)
Meanwhile, to whet your appetite and refresh your memory about all the intriguing and imaginative elements that Corcoran sets up and juggles in his first two Aristillus novels – such as dogs with enhanced intelligence – read William H. Stoddard’s combined Appreciation review-essay of Corcoran’s Prometheus-winning novels The Powers of the Earth and Causes of Separation.
* 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, and help nominate, judge and vote for the annual Prometheus Award winners. Libertarian futurists believe upholding and advancing culture is even more important, in the long run, than politics in spreading positive visions of the future, achieving a flourishing society based on cooperation instead of coercion and a better, free-er world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.
* Other Prometheus winners: For a full list of past winners – for the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the recently updated and enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website. (This page contains convenient direct clickable links to each Appreciation for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction, as they are published on the Prometheus blog.)