Author’s update: HarperCollins has published Mania, two-time Best Novel finalist Lionel Shriver’s alternate-history novel critiquing radical egalitarianism

By Michael Grossberg

Maverick bestselling novelist Lionel Shriver is at it again, skewering popular shibboleths of elite culture and critiquing false ideologies through her imaginative and insightful fiction.

Author Lionel Shriver in 2006 Photo: Walnut Whippet, Creative Commons license

Shriver, recognized twice over the past decade as a Prometheus Best Novel finalist, has written Mania, a new 286-page alternate-history novel published April 9 by HarperCollins Publishers.

The publisher’s description highlights a theme that seems promising from the perspective of the Prometheus Awards:

“With echoes of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, told in Lionel Shriver’s inimitable and iconoclastic voice, Mania is a sharp, acerbic, and ruthlessly funny book about the road to a delusional, self-destructive egalitarianism that our society is already on.”

Continue reading Author’s update: HarperCollins has published Mania, two-time Best Novel finalist Lionel Shriver’s alternate-history novel critiquing radical egalitarianism

Ultimate Conclusions: Karl K. Gallagher’s first short-story collection on verge of publication

Karl K. Gallagher, a frequent Prometheus Best Novel finalist, is about to publish Ultimate Conclusions, his first collection of short stories.

 

Most stories in the anthology will be stories Gallagher has published in other collections or webzines, but several will be new.

“They range from the tale of an Amish boy on the Moon to visits with a Norse God and Death himself,” Gallagher said on Kickstarter, where he has been getting support for the project.

Continue reading Ultimate Conclusions: Karl K. Gallagher’s first short-story collection on verge of publication

Review: Queen Wallis an inventive, suspenseful sequel to the dystopian alternate history of Carey’s Widowland

By Michael Grossberg

Sequels can be tricky and often disappointing, falling short of the originals in potentially all sorts of ways.

So it’s nice to report that C.J. Carey’s Queen Wallis (published by Sourcebooks in the U.S. and Quercus in the U.K.) is a worthy sequel that in several ways improves on Widowlandher 2023 Prometheus Best Novel finalist.

Overall, this feminist dystopian novel is one of the most enjoyable works of alternate history I’ve read in years.

Continue reading Review: Queen Wallis an inventive, suspenseful sequel to the dystopian alternate history of Carey’s Widowland

Review: Sandra Newman’s Julia a worthy companion to Orwell’s 1984

By Michael Grossberg

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four remains one of the seminal novels of the past century.

An early inductee (appropriately enough, in 1984) into the Prometheus Hall of Fame, Orwell’s cautionary tale was inspired by the totalitarian horrors of Soviet Communism, yet remains a far broader warning about the perils of tyranny, no matter its variants and extremes of Left or Right.

Given the acclaim and reputation that Orwell’s classic has attained and deserves, it would seem foolhardy for anyone to dare to write a sequel. After all, how could it possibly measure up?

Yet, Orwell’s estate authorized novelist Sandra Newman to do just that with Julia – or more precisely, offer “a retelling of George Orwell’s 1984” (as subtitled on its hardback-book cover.)

Continue reading Review: Sandra Newman’s Julia a worthy companion to Orwell’s 1984

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]

Libertarian Futurist Society unveils new logo

The Libertarian Futurist Society has a vivid new logo.

Actually, we now have an attractive suite of logos.

Let us know what you think of the new logo, which is available in four versions for official LFS usage.

Continue reading Libertarian Futurist Society unveils new logo

TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award

 

Publisher-editor Tom Doherty, who founded TOR Books, has won the 2024 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

The award, funded by the Heinlein Society and named after the Grand Master who has won more Prometheus Awards than anyone else, is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.

According to a Heinlein Society press release, the Heinlein award was given to Doherty in recognition of his work “in bringing the inspiring books of hundreds of authors writing about our future in Space to public awareness.”

One of the leading publishers of sf/fantasy, TOR Publishing Group has won every major award in the sf field – including Hugo, Nebula and Prometheus awards.

Continue reading TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award

A guide to Best Novel nominees, Part 5: Daniel Suarez’s Critical Mass, Steve Wire’s Black Hats, Fenton Wood’s Hacking Galileo and Alan Zimm’s Misperceived Threats

By Michael Grossberg

Here is the fifth and final part of the Prometheus Blog guide to the 2024 Prometheus nominees for Best Novel.

These capsule descriptions – alphabetized by author, and concluding with Daniel Suarez’s Critical Mass, Steve Wire’s Black Hats, Fenton Wood’s Hacking Galileo and Alan Zimm’s Misperceived Threats – aim to make clear why LFS members nominated them for the next Prometheus Award and how they fit the distinctive dual focus of our award, at once literary and thematic.

While the 12-member Prometheus Best Novel finalist-judging committee won’t vote to select a slate of finalists from the 17 nominees until April, other Libertarian Futurist Society members are invited to begin reading the nominees that spark their interest.

Continue reading A guide to Best Novel nominees, Part 5: Daniel Suarez’s Critical Mass, Steve Wire’s Black Hats, Fenton Wood’s Hacking Galileo and Alan Zimm’s Misperceived Threats

Salman Rushdie’s Victory City, C.T. Rwizi’s House of Gold and R.H. Snow’s Trail of Travail: Guide to the 2024 Best Novel nominees, Part 4

By Michael Grossberg

* A mythologized historical fable of the cyclic struggle for civilization by a world-renowned British-born Indian-American novelist.

* An Afrofuturist science-fiction story of oligarchy and resistance by an African-born and American-raised writer.

* And the latest sequel in a post-apocalyptic dystopian wild-west Texas saga of genetic manipulation and individualistic resilience by a Texas writer.

Those are just three of 17 wide-ranging sf/fantasy novels published in 2023 and nominated for the next Prometheus Award – a sample of the remarkable variety in subjects, themes, genres and styles possible in stories that explore in different ways pro-liberty, anti-tyranny, anti-slavery or other anti-authoritarian themes.

Here is Part 4 of the Prometheus Blog guide to the Best Novel nominees, with capsule descriptions to whet your appetite for Salman Rushdie’s Victory City, C.T. Rwizi’s House of Gold and R.H. Snow’s Trail of Travail.

Continue reading Salman Rushdie’s Victory City, C.T. Rwizi’s House of Gold and R.H. Snow’s Trail of Travail: Guide to the 2024 Best Novel nominees, Part 4

A guide to the Best Novel nominees, Part 3: Capsule descriptions of Liberty’s Daughter, Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song, and Sandra Newman’s Julia

By Michael Grossberg

Here is Part 3 of the Prometheus Blog guide to this year’s Best Novel nominees, an effort to illuminate why LFS members nominated 17 2023 sf/fantasy novels for the next Prometheus Award.

These capsule descriptions also aim to highlight the diverse range of novels nominated while outlining how each nominee fits the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards.

The nominees highlighted in Part 3, alphabetized by author, include Naomi Kritzer’s Liberty’s Daughter, Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song, and Sandra Newman’s Julia.

Continue reading A guide to the Best Novel nominees, Part 3: Capsule descriptions of Liberty’s Daughter, Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song, and Sandra Newman’s Julia