Author update: Wil McCarthy writing sequels to Best Novel finalist Rich Man’s Sky

Rich Man’s Sky, one of five 2022 Best Novel finalists currently competing for the Prometheus Award, will have a sequel.

Actually, two!


Wil McCarthy’s imaginative and kaleidoscopic story, set in the next generation or so, follows four billionaires who lead private space efforts to expand throughout our solar system as threatened governments strive secretly to stop them – violently, if necessary.

Many of the Best Novel finalist-selection judges, when reading Rich Man’s Sky, wondered if the story might be set up for a sequel – since quite a few different locales and characters were fascinatingly introduced in space, on the Moon, near the Sun and heading to Mars.

SF writer Wil McCarthy Photo courtesy of author

Yet, several subplots were set up but not resolved, while several central characters – including at least one of the four billionaires – were introduced but not at the center of the story.

The happy news is that the judges were right, and then some: Baen Books, publisher of McCarthy’s Best Novel finalist and many other McCarthy novels, reports that the author recently submitted the sequel, which is now being edited.

Titled Poor Man’s Sky, McCarthy’s sequel is tentatively scheduled for publication by Baen Books in January 2023.

In a recent email interview, McCarthy confirmed that the sequel will focus more on one of the billionaire future-tech entrepreneurs and another Moon-based religious character who were introduced but were not developed as much in Rich Man’s Sky:

“I can tell you that Sir Lawrence and Brother Michael do indeed play prominent roles in Poor Man’s Sky,” McCarthy said.

“What really inspired me with Rich Man’s Sky is that literally everyone had a different idea about how things should be, and in their own context, all of them were right,” he said.

McCarthy’s ambitious and solar-system-spanning plan, though, is for a complete trilogy, Baen Books’ assistant editor Sean C.W. Korsgaard says.

The final novel, titled Beggar’s Sky, is being written and has no firm publication date penciled in yet, but might be completed next year and scheduled for publication in 2024.

“At this point, Beggar’s Sky is only about 10 percent of a… (rough) first draft, so I’ll refrain from commenting on what may or may not end up in it,” McCarthy said.

See the press release describing all five Best Novel finalists.

For more about Wil McCarthy’s writings, high-tech business ventures, life and career, see the recent Prometheus “Meet the Authors” blog about him.

For a parallel author’s update, read this Prometheus blog post about fellow 2022 Best Novel finalist Karl Gallagher, who’s also writing sequels to his Best Novel finalists.

* Prometheus winners: For a full list of 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 the full set of published appreciation-reviews of past winners.

* 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.

Libertarian futurists believe that culture matters! We understand that the arts and literature can be vital, and in some ways even more powerful than politics in the long run, by sparking innovation, better ideas, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights and differences.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different but complementary visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity overcome tyranny, slavery and war and achieve universal liberty and human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.

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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