Before voting for this year’s Prometheus Awards, check out the full slate of blog reviews of the finalists

The Prometheus Blog has now succeeded in publishing reviews of all 2024 Prometheus Awards finalists – and all the reviews have convenient links posted below.


Although selective reviews have been posted of some finalists over the years, this is the first time in perhaps half a decade or so that reviews of all Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction finalists have been written and published.

Thanks to a concerted effort since March by Prometheus finalist-selection judges, these insightful and in-depth reviews have appeared over the past several months in a timely fashion, kicking off our annual spring awards cycle of members reading and judging the finalists to select the winners.

Although the Prometheus Blog is open to the general public and welcomes a wide readership, this particular set of 2024 finalist reviews was published first of all for the benefit and convenience of Libertarian Futurist Society members. as they continue to read finalists and prepare to vote for their ranked favorites in each category by the traditional ballot-submission deadline of July 4.

The four 2024 Hall of Fame finalists were announced in January, while the five 2024 Best Novel finalists were announced in mid-April.

A TIME FOR REFLECTION AND EVALUATION

With the annual Prometheus Awards voting deadline coming up soon (July 4), there’s still time for LFS members to finish reading and ranking the finalists in both annual categories  before submitting their ballots.

These published reviews are designed to supplement members’ readings by offering a thoughtful overall perspective on the substance, style and themes of each finalist.

Both before and after reading each finalist (or hearing a finalist, in the case of the Rush song that’s a Hall of Fame finalist), LFS members may find it helpful to read these reviews to spark and deepen their own reflections.

THE FOCUS OF THE PROMETHEUS AWARDS

In addition, these reviews were written so that the general public – including some who may not be familiar with the Prometheus Awards or the award’s pro-freedom themes and the subtle but far-reaching implications of what Adam Smith called “the simple system of natural liberty” – can better understand why specific works of speculative fiction fit the parameters of our award and are selected as finalists.

Prometheus brought the gifts of fire and liberty to humanity

We hope that each Prometheus Blog review highlights each work’s strengths (and in a few cases, where relevant, points out weaknesses) while also illuminating how each work of science fiction or fantasy explores or dramatizes libertarian and anti-authoritarian themes – especially those relating to tyranny, slavery and war (all sadly persistent evils committed overwhelmingly by governments) or other abuses of coercive power.

A caveat: While each review was carefully written to avoid revealing major plot twists or major revelations – and certainly our reviewers strive to avoid giving away the endings – some members may prefer to wait until after finishing each finalist before reading its review.

THE LINKS TO EACH FINALIST REVIEW

Here, for your convenience, are links to all the published reviews of 2024 Prometheus Award finalists, listed by category and alphabetized by author within each category:

2024 BEST NOVEL FINALISTS

* Devon Eriksen’s Theft of Fire

* Karl K. Gallagher’s Swim Among the People

* Gordon Hanka’s God’s Girlfriend

* Howard Andrew Jones’ Lord of a Shattered Land

* Daniel Suarez’ Critical Mass

2024 HALL OF FAME FINALISTS FOR BEST CLASSIC FICTION

* Poul Anderson’s Orion Shall Rise

* The Rush song “The Trees”

* Terry Pratchett’s The Truth

* Harry Turtledove’s Between the Rivers

Thanks in particular to Prometheus finalist-selection judges Michael Grossberg, Charlie Morrison, Eric S. Raymond and William H. Stoddard, for their yeoman efforts in writing or co-writing various reviews of this year’s nine finalists.

As always, the Prometheus Blog welcomes reader’s comments on reviews or any other posts.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROMETHEUS AWARDS:

* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – including 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 explaining why each of more than 100 past winners since 1979 fits the awards’ distinctive dual focus on both quality and liberty.

* 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.

* Check out the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Facebook page for comments, updates and links to Prometheus Blog posts.

* 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.

Libertarian futurists believe that culture matters! We understand that the arts and literature can be vital in envisioning a freer and better future – and in some ways can be even more powerful than politics in the long run, by imagining better visions of the future incorporating peace, prosperity, progress, tolerance, justice, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights, individuality and human dignity.

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 ideas and ethical principles that help humanity overcome tyranny, end slavery, reduce the threat of war, repeal or constrain other abuses of coercive power and achieve universal liberty, respect for human rights and a better world (perhaps ultimately, 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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