RIP Vernor Vinge [UPDATED]

Vernor Vinge 

Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, a longtime star in the field, has died. He was 79, the science fiction news site File 770 reports.

Vince (1944-2024) won the Hugo Award multiple times: For the novels A Fire Upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky and Rainbows End, and for the novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High and The Cookie Monster.

He also won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Libertarian Futurist Society, won the Prometheus Award for A Deepness in the Sky and Marooned in Realtime, and won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award for “True Names” and “The Ungoverned.”

“True Names,” inducted in 2004 into the Hall of Fame, is often cited as the first work of science fiction to depict cyberspace.

Updates:

David Brin on Vernor Vinge.

Tribute from John Scalzi.  

 

Continue reading RIP Vernor Vinge [UPDATED]

Two-time Prometheus winner Michael F. Flynn has died


We are sorry to have to report that science fiction writer Michael F. Flynn has died. He was 75. Here is the obituary from  his local newspaper in Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Flynn won the Prometheus Award twice, in 1991 for In the Country of the Blind, and in 1992 for Fallen Angels (a collaboration with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle).

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Eris, the dwarf planet and goddess, and Illuminatus!

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.)


The role that the invented religion Discordianism plays in Illuminatus!, and the part that the Greek goddess of discord Eris plays in Discordianism, is explained in a new article, “Kerry Thornley: Dwarf Planet Eris, Discordianism and the John F. Kennedy Assassination,” by Alden Loveshade.

The article also explains the role Discordianism played in the naming of the dwarf planet, Eris. (Kerry Thornley, also mentioned in the article, was the co-founder of Discordianism).

Continue reading Eris, the dwarf planet and goddess, and Illuminatus!

Poul Anderson’s Hall of Fame winner ‘Star Fox’ on sale as ebook

The Star Fox by Poul Anderson, winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1995, currently is on sale as a Kindle for only $1.99.

1995 was a pretty good year for Anderson, at least as far as the Prometheus Award is concerned. Anderson also won the Prometheus Award that year for his novel The Stars Are Also Fire.

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A free (or very cheap) L. Neil Smith ebook from Arc Manor


L. Neil Smith’s SF mystery, Their Majesties’ Bucketeers, normally a $6 Kindle ebook, is being offered as a free or very cheap ebook by publisher Arc Manor.

It’s listed as 99 cents, and I paid it, but you have the option of changing the price to free. It was supposed to be the May book under the publisher’s monthly program, but the email wasn’t sent out until May 17, and I was still able to snag it on June 2.

The offer will expire when a new one is posted, so if you want the deal, I’d hurry. Smith of course was a libertarian SF author who founded the Prometheus Awards. 

Sign up for similar email offers at the publisher’s website.

(If you have trouble with any link, just visit the Arc Manor website directly at www.arcmanorbooks.com and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the free novel – your choice of a Mobi or ePub file – and signing up for the monthly free ebooks from this publisher.)

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Tor covers ‘Finnish Weird’

Johanna Sinisalo holds up her Prometheus Award (Photo by Ryan Lackey)

Tor.com, one of my favorite sites devoted to science fiction, ran a recent piece by Jonathan Thornton, “A Readers’ Guide to the Finnish Weird in Translation.”

If you check it out, you’ll notice that writer Johanna Sinisalo is a central figure in the genre and even named it: “Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo coined the term “suomikumma,” or Finnish Weird, to refer to a new strain of speculative fiction being produced by herself and her Finnish peers.”

Thornton then goes on to offer some recommendations, including an anthology edited by Sinisalo, and two of Sinisalo’s novels, Not Before Sundown and The Blood of Angels. 

Yet another Sinisalo novel, The Core of the Sun, won the Prometheus Award in 2017. As it happens, she won the same year the Worldcon was held in Helsinki, so we were able to present the award before Sinisalo’s local fans.

You can read an appreciation of The Core of the Sun by our own Chris Hibbert at this blog, and also read a piece about the book at Tor’s website, written by Natalie Zutter. 

L. Neil Smith memorial site set up

L. Neil Smith’s family has set up a memorial website; go there to see photos, memories, etc. Smith died on August 27; see our tribute. 

The above photo from the site shows Smith, left, with another person at the 2004 Freedom Summit in Phoenix. Cathy Smith asks, “Can anyone identify the gentleman that Neil is pictured with?”

Would anyone like to help?

 

* Read the introductory essay of the LFS’ 40th anniversary retrospective series of Appreciations of past Prometheus Awards winners, with an overview of the awards’ four-decade-plus history, that was launched in 2019 on the 40thanniversary of the awards and continues today.

* Other Prometheus winners: For a full list of winners – 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 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.

Big Heinlein sale at Arc Manor

 

There’s a big sale of Heinlein books going on from the folks at Arc Manor.

You can pay anything you want for The Number of the Beast (even free), and the new alternative version of the novel, The Pursuit of the Pankera (preferred by many Heinlein fans) is offered at a sale price of $5.99, instead of the  usual $9.99. (The paper versions of Pankera also are on sale for a big discount).

Continue reading Big Heinlein sale at Arc Manor

Sarah Hoyt pens new ‘Barbarella’

Sarah Hoyt, who won the Prometheus Award in 2011 for Darkship Thieves, has been hired to pen a new series of “Barbarella” comic books. Here is one of the articles (we were a little late in noticing):

“Barbarella is returning to comics with a new creative force.

“Dynamite Entertainment announced Friday that author Sarah Hoyt will write an upcoming Barbarella series with artist Madibek Musabekov, colorist Ivan Nunes and letterer Carlos Mangual. Hoyt is the writer of thirty-four novels ranging from science fiction, fantasy, mystery and more, including the fan-favorite Darkship Thieves.

More here. 

Issue No. 1 is out July 14; you can preorder the Kindle on Amazon. 

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London exhibit on Prometheus winner ‘V for Vendetta’

It isn’t every day that a work which has won one of our awards becomes the subject of a museum exhibition. But V for Vendetta, which won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 2006, is the subject of a new exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in London, in Britain. 

The V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask exhibit will be available until Oct. 31;

“Presenting 36 original comic artworks alongside storyboards and costume designs from the hit Warner Bros movie, V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask charts the rise from comic to graphic novel, Hollywood film to iconic symbol of protest,” the museum says.

Continue reading London exhibit on Prometheus winner ‘V for Vendetta’