Meet the author: Wil McCarthy, a Best Novel finalist for Rich Man’s Sky

Wil McCarthy has developed a reputation as one of today’s most imaginative, zestful, pro-science and realistic science-fiction writers.

His 11 novels and additional stories blend a Heinlein-esque flair for action and adventure with hard-science extrapolations, plausible futuristic scenarios and interesting characters.

Novelist Wil McCarthy (Photo courtesy of Baen Books)

And yet, McCarthy has never been recognized or nominated for a Prometheus Award – until this year.

McCarthy was nominated for the first time for Rich Man’s Sky, recently named by Libertarian Futurist Society judges one of five Best Novel finalists. The fast-paced 2021 novel dramatizes a near-future space race led by a group of four quite different billionaires.

Continue reading Meet the author: Wil McCarthy, a Best Novel finalist for Rich Man’s Sky

Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun

A Nobel-Prize-winning author has written a novel chosen as a Best Novel finalist – a notable and interesting intersection of two literary awards with quite different focuses.

Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017 (Creative Commons license)

Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, writes mostly “mainstream” fiction that often conveys a wistful sense of loss and missed connections.

Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro’s latest novel about the ambiguous status of an intelligent and curious A.F. (Artificial Friend), was recently named by Libertarian Futurist Society judges as one of five 2022 Best Novel finalists.

Continue reading Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun

The 2022 Best Novel finalists reflect a few interesting “firsts”

Even after building up a relatively consistent track record over 43 years, the Prometheus Awards can surprise by venturing here and there into new territory and new authors.

This year’s interesting and varied slate of five Best Novel finalists, selected from 16 nominees by LFS members serving as judges on the Best Novel finalist-selection committee, happens to reflect several intriguing “firsts” or rarities in the history of the awards.

Here are the five finalists, all published in 2021 and contenders for the 2022 Prometheus Award, to be presented online in August at a time and place to be announced:
Between Home and Ruin, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 227 pages)
Seize What’s Held Dear, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 244 pages)
Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber and Faber, 321 pages)
• Rich Man’s Sky, by Wil McCarthy (Baen Books, 291 pages)
Should We Stay Or Should We Go, by Lionel Shriver (Harper Collins, 266 pages)

Just from looking over the finalists list, can you guess any of those “firsts?

As a sort of fun “pop quiz,” why not take a moment to ponder that – before clicking over to the jump page of this blog, which has the answers.

Continue reading The 2022 Best Novel finalists reflect a few interesting “firsts”

More new, emerging authors recognized in this year’s large slate of Best Novel nominees

If one of the salutary effects of the Prometheus Award for Best Novel over the decades has been to help raise the visibility of new, young or emerging talent, that goal might well be furthered by this year’s larger-than-usual slate of nominees.

These 16 novels, published in 2021 and listed below, reflect a wide range of styles, from the satirical to the sorrowful and from hard sf to mythic fantasy.

Continue reading More new, emerging authors recognized in this year’s large slate of Best Novel nominees

A preview of 2022 blogs, as our Appreciation Series approaches a milestone of 100 review-essays illuminating past Prometheus Award winners

As an eventful year ends, the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS) is approaching a milestone: 100 Appreciations of past Prometheus Award-winners, all posted on this LFS/Prometheus blog.

That’s a milestone to savor, especially given the ongoing efforts and commitments by LFS leaders and contributors over the past 30 months to write and post these informative and insightful review-essays.

Here’s an overview of our progress, an explanation of why the Appreciations are important (including tips on how you can use and refer to them), and a preview of some of the upcoming articles you can expect from the Prometheus Blog in 2022.

Continue reading A preview of 2022 blogs, as our Appreciation Series approaches a milestone of 100 review-essays illuminating past Prometheus Award winners

Change and variety marks the new slate of Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

A rock song, a linked collection of stories, a classic sf juvenile novel and the culmination of a trilogy of novels will be considered for induction into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.

Four works have been selected as finalists for the 2022 award, to be determined by Libertarian Futurist Society members over the next half year.

Moreover, this year’s slate of finalists reflects a good deal of change and variety, compared to last year slate of finalists, with only one of those five finalists reappearing on this year’s ballot. In addition, one of this year’s finalists was nominated for the first time, while two others had not been nominated in quite a few years.

Robert Heinlein, a drawing (Creative Commons license)

Here are this year’s finalists, in alphabetical order by author, along with their and their author’s history in the Prometheus Awards:

Continue reading Change and variety marks the new slate of Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

Latest crop of Hall of Fame nominees reflect broad range and many types of fiction

This year’s nominees for the Prometheus Hall of Fame encompass several genres and types of fiction.

Of the eight works being considered by judges as potential finalists, one is a short story, one a song, one a TV episode, one a collection of linked stories and four are novels – plus, half are first-time nominees.

This year’s line-up of Best Classic Fiction nominees may be the freshest in years as well as the broadest, at least in terms of types of fiction, in the history of this Prometheus awards category, first presented in 1983.

Continue reading Latest crop of Hall of Fame nominees reflect broad range and many types of fiction

Liberty, power and sf: Highlights and video of 2021 Prometheus Awards and “SF & Liberty” panel with Reason editors, Barry Longyear, LFS president

“For me, there’s something that science fiction has always been the vehicle for thinking about: What would the world be like if different or fewer people had power? That’s an idea that’s increasingly appealing.”
— Katherine Mangu-Ward, Editor-in-Chief of Reason magazine

“Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe anyone who has received a Prometheus award has complained about the Prometheus awards. I know some leftwing authors who have received a Prometheus award who are proud of it. They seem to realize that there is something appropriate to it.”
— Jesse Walker, Reason books editor

“I have all sorts of immortality stories, and I’m afraid I’m not in one of them.”
— Novelist Barry B. Longyear, 2021 Prometheus winner for Best Novel

“I like to think the boundaries of what people see as libertarian ideas is blurring into the boundaries of what people perceive as just good mainstream ideas… and that may be a hopeful turn.”
– Mangu-Ward

Those are just a few of the interesting or amusing comments made during the related panel discussion on “SF, Liberty, Alternative Publishing Trends and the Prometheus Awards” that followed the 2021 Prometheus Awards ceremony.

Continue reading Liberty, power and sf: Highlights and video of 2021 Prometheus Awards and “SF & Liberty” panel with Reason editors, Barry Longyear, LFS president

“A beacon of libertarian freedom” – Barry Longyear’s acceptance speech for The Hook, the 2021 Prometheus winner for Best Novel

What is freedom?
How can we achieve it?
How can we defend it?

Veteran sf novelist Barry B. Longyear, winner of the 2021 Prometheus Award for Best Novel, discussed those questions in his acceptance speech, which he delivered Aug. 21 during the Libertarian Futurist Society’s online 2021 Prometheus Awards ceremony.

Here is the transcript of Longyear’s speech, which discusses his 2021 winner, The Hook, Book Five of The War Whisperer:

By Barry B. Longyear

On behalf of The Hook, Book 5 of The War Whisperer, I thank the members of the Libertarian Futurist Society for their Prometheus Award.

The seven volumes of The War Whisperer are, essentially, a fictionalized think-and-do on human freedom: What it is, how it works, how to achieve it, and how to defend it.

The first four volumes, through the eyes of Jerome Track, show what the problems are as well as presenting and absorbing the elements of the solution.

In Book 5: The Hook, is at last that beacon of libertarian freedom and one possible answer to the charge that has, up until now, always led the libertarian argument down paths of compromise or fantasy: How does a society that forbids the initiation of coercive force defend itself against military invasion?

That is the libertarian hook.

Continue reading “A beacon of libertarian freedom” – Barry Longyear’s acceptance speech for The Hook, the 2021 Prometheus winner for Best Novel

Banning trans fats and “food that tastes good” – F. Paul Wilson’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech for ‘Lipidleggin”

Here is F. Paul Wilson’s acceptance speech for winning the 2021 Prometheus Award for Best Classic Fiction (the Hall of Fame) for his short story “Lipidleggin'”, which he delivered Aug. 21, 2021, during the online ceremony for the 41st annual Prometheus Awards:

By F. Paul Wilson

Many thanks to the members of the Libertarian Futurist Society for this honor.

I’ll be brief.  (“Lipidleggin’” is a short story, after all.)

Back in the 1970s, a national health care system was a major political topic.  (Some things never change, do they?)  So I asked the next question: If the State is paying for your health care, won’t the State demand a say in behaviors that it considers hazardous to your health?  Like, oh, say, banning saturated fats?

So, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, I wrote this little cautionary tale about a day when foods with saturated fats – such as butter and eggs – would be banned by the government.  I mean, I saw how it could happen, but never for a moment did I believe it would happen.  Not in a free country like our good old U.S. of A.

Continue reading Banning trans fats and “food that tastes good” – F. Paul Wilson’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech for ‘Lipidleggin”