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

The Best of the Blog: Three 2023 posts worth remembering (and rereading)

By Michael Grossberg

Although 2023 has ended, it’s interesting and illuminating to look back at the highlights of the past year – and perhaps read an article that you may have overlooked. For the Prometheus Blog, there were quite a few memorable posts.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

Among my personal favorites:

* author Karl Gallagher’s tribute to Robert Heinlein and appreciation for his 2023 Hall of Fame winner, “Free Men.”

* William H. Stoddard’s illuminating essay on “Economics in Science Fiction” (along with a critique of the common “overproduction” myth), and

* a commentary on one of the most unheralded firsts of the year: basically, the first libertarian-individualist-themed sci-fi film to ever win the Oscar for best picture.

Continue reading The Best of the Blog: Three 2023 posts worth remembering (and rereading)

Who are the most nominated authors in Prometheus history? Here’s the top-ten list

 

Who are the most popular authors in Prometheus Awards history?

Prometheus, the light bringer (Creative Commons license)

One could answer that question in several different ways, such as looking at a bestselling writer’s number of books sold or in print – or more narrowly, in terms of our award, comparing the number of Prometheus Awards different writers have won over the decades in different categories. (The Prometheus Blog will explore the latter perspective in later postings.)

But let’s focus first on one parameter that roughly reflects the ongoing popularity and relevance of different sf/fantasy authors among LFS members over more than four decades: How many times an author has simply been nominated by LFS members for a Prometheus Award.

Without peeking at the next page or examining the track record of past winners on the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page, how many of the Top Ten most popular authors can you guess?

Continue reading Who are the most nominated authors in Prometheus history? Here’s the top-ten list

Economics in Science Fiction: The Specter of Overproduction (from Pohl and Huxley to Heinlein)

By William H. Stoddard

Science fiction has mainly been based on the natural sciences, from astronomy to biology; economics and the other social sciences come on stage less often.

Certainly, social science fiction was one of Isaac Asimov’s three categories of science fiction (along with gadget stories and adventure stories—as TV Tropes puts it, “Man invents car” can be followed by “lectures on how it works,” “gets into car chase,” or “gets stuck in traffic”).

But the premise for social science fiction was commonly a discovery or invention in the natural sciences, whose social and economic consequences are explored. It’s not so common for science fiction to be inspired by an economic theory.

Nonetheless, some theories have been the basis for science fiction stories. Economic issues are a major concern for libertarians; how science fiction deals with such issues is worth exploring.

Continue reading Economics in Science Fiction: The Specter of Overproduction (from Pohl and Huxley to Heinlein)

Heinlein Prize Trust working to sustain author’s legacy, spread liberty with digital archive, books, publishing contracts in Russia, China

By Michael Grossberg

With the late great Robert Heinlein having won more Prometheus Awards than any other author (including in 2023 for his story “Free Men,” inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame), LFS members and other Heinlein fans naturally should be interested in finding out more about organizations working to sustain his legacy.

Ginny and Robert Heinlein at their home in the 1980s (Photo from Heinlein Trust archives)

One of the most notable, visible and interesting groups is the Heinlein Prize Trust, established by Virginia (Ginny) Heinlein soon after her husband’s death in 1988.

Since then, the organization has published several books furthering commercial development in outer space, reprinted Heinlein’s entire body of writing in a deluxe leather-bound 46-volume edition, published graphic novels of two Heinlein classics and completed the preservation of Heinlein’s writings and memorabilia in a comprehensive digital archive.

Perhaps the most promising and newsworthy developments are the Trust’s recent efforts to make Heinlein’s stories and novels available around the world – including in countries under dictatorships.

“Only 15 to 20 percent of the world can be considered free, under even the most liberal interpretation of that world. That mans that about 80 percent of the world population today lives under an authoritarian government,” said Art Dula, primary trustee of the Heinlein Trust.

Continue reading Heinlein Prize Trust working to sustain author’s legacy, spread liberty with digital archive, books, publishing contracts in Russia, China

Anderson, Heinlein, Tolkien, Hoyt, Pratchett and other favorite authors: The Prometheus interview (part 4) with Dave Freer

The Prometheus Award for Best Novel has been won over the decades by writers from the United States, England, Scotland and Finland – with Best Novel finalists from China, Japan, Canada and many other countries.

Dave Freer with his 2023 Prometheus Awards Best Novel plaque for Cloud-Castles (Photo courtesy of Freer)

But Dave Freer is the first writer from the Southern Hemisphere to win a Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

Here is the fourth and final part of the Prometheus Interview with the Australian/Tasmanian author, the 2023 winner of the Prometheus for Best Novel for Cloud-Castles.

 Q: Do you have any favorites among Prometheus Award winners?

A: It’s a good reading list, isn’t it?  I think I have just about everything in the Hall of Fame.

 

Continue reading Anderson, Heinlein, Tolkien, Hoyt, Pratchett and other favorite authors: The Prometheus interview (part 4) with Dave Freer

From the Heinlein Prize Trust archive: Robert Heinlein’s optimistic vision of the future and expansion through the solar system

Robert Heinlein was a lifelong optimist.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

“Columbus sailed west for spices – and came back with Boulder Dam, Detroit and the Empire State Building. Every great new adventure of the human race has produced totally unexpected new profits,” he wrote in a 1947 letter, which the Heinlein Prize Trust’s primary trustee Art Dula shared recently with the LFS.

“The same inquisitive, questing, practical spirit that crossed the plains and conquered the air will turn up new wrinkles to make space and space flight pay,” Heinlein wrote in the letter, which Dula read from and commented on recently during the 43rd annual Prometheus awards ceremony.

“But what of that. You and I would go if there were never any dollar-and-cents reward in it. There is the greatest reason of all – the itch to go take a look.”

Continue reading From the Heinlein Prize Trust archive: Robert Heinlein’s optimistic vision of the future and expansion through the solar system

From the Heinlein Prize Trust archive: Robert Heinlein’s “remarkable” 1947 letter about his life, career

Robert Heinlein at his writing desk in the 1940s Photo courtesy of Heinlein Trust archives

Art Dula, primary trustee of the Heinlein Prize Trust, spoke eloquently about the life and legacy of Robert Heinlein during the 43rd  annual Prometheus Awards ceremony.

During his acceptance speech for the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Heinlein’s story “Free Men,” Dula read excerpts from – and commented on – one of the Grand Master’s most interesting but little-known letters, written over several months but completed Feb. 27, 1947.

“You can’t enslave a free man” – Heinlein Society acceptance speech for “Free Men,” the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

John Tilden, president of The Heinlein Society, spoke Aug. 19 during the 2023 Prometheus Awards ceremony to accept the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction for Robert Heinlein’s short story “Free Men.”

Tilden spoke eloquently about Heinlein’s legacy in general and about the setting and themes of his winning story in particular, while shedding some fascinating light on its provenance and place in Heinlein’s Future History series.

For the record, here is a transcript of Tilden’s speech:

BY JOHN TILDEN

It is my pleasure to provide a few remarks on this occasion of Robert Heinlein’s short story “Free Men” being inducted into the Prometheus Award’s Hall of Fame. I add my thanks to the Libertarian Futurist Society for this honor.

 

Continue reading “You can’t enslave a free man” – Heinlein Society acceptance speech for “Free Men,” the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

See the video of the 2023 Prometheus Awards ceremony: Speeches by Sarah Hoyt, Dave Freer, Heinlein Trust and Society leaders and LFS judges

What’s the value of liberty?

How does culture and politics affect science fiction?

Why do the Prometheus Awards matter – perhaps more today than ever?

All those intriguing questions were explored by a variety of authors, leaders and sf fans in the recent 43rd annual Prometheus Awards ceremony.

Airing live Aug. 19, 2023, to an international audience, the hourlong ceremony honored Dave Freer, winner of the 2023 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for Cloud-Castles, and the late great Robert Heinlein, whose 1966 story “Free Men” was inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.

Here is the video of the 43rd Prometheus Awards ceremony:

Continue reading See the video of the 2023 Prometheus Awards ceremony: Speeches by Sarah Hoyt, Dave Freer, Heinlein Trust and Society leaders and LFS judges