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]

R.I.P., David Drake (1945-2013), a Baen Books favorite and pioneer of realistic military sci-fi

David Drake, a prolific sf/fantasy author and Prometheus nominee, has died.

Sf/fantasy author David Drake (Creative Commons license)

Drake, who died Dec. 10 at 78 from cognitive health problems, is being remembered as a leader and pioneer in military science fiction.

Drake, drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam and Cambodia in the early 1970s, later brought a new level of granular realism to the subgenre based on his own experiences as a soldier.

Perhaps because Drake’s more than 80 books were focused on military sf, an action-oriented subgenre that tends to focus more on battles and military sf than ideas, few of his novels fit the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards exploring libertarian and/or anti-authoritarian themes.

Continue reading R.I.P., David Drake (1945-2013), a Baen Books favorite and pioneer of realistic military sci-fi

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).

Continue reading Two-time Prometheus winner Michael F. Flynn has died

Greg Bear, RIP: Prolific awardwinning sf author ( and Poul Anderson’s son-in-law) wrote more than 50 novels

Prolific SF/fantasy author Greg Bear has died at 71.

Greg Bear Photo by Kyle Cassidy, Creative Commons license)

Bear, who died in November after suffering several strokes during heart surgery, was widely acclaimed for his wide-ranging and epic science fiction and fantasy.

An international bestseller and Heinlein Award-winner, Bear wrote more than 50 novels and almost as many works of short fiction, and edited an important Poul Anderson anthology.

Even though Bear never won a Prometheus Award, much of his life and work were “Prometheus-adjacent.”

Continue reading Greg Bear, RIP: Prolific awardwinning sf author ( and Poul Anderson’s son-in-law) wrote more than 50 novels

R.I.P., Joseph Martino: Sf author, scholar, engineer, Prometheus judge and LFS board member made a difference in his 91 years

Libertarian Futurist Society members, science-fiction fans and Ohioans are remembering Joe Martino, a prolific writer-speaker and libertarian policy expert.

Joseph P. Martino (File photo)

Martino, who died recently at 91 after a lengthy illness, wrote several fiction and non-fiction books and science fiction stories, several of which are still worth reading.

A knowledgeable and literate libertarian, Joe frequently appeared as an sf-con panelist at Marcon and other major Midwestern sf/fantasy conventions – including at an LFScon at Marcon.

Continue reading R.I.P., Joseph Martino: Sf author, scholar, engineer, Prometheus judge and LFS board member made a difference in his 91 years

Bruce Sommer, R.I.P. – Veteran Prometheus judge, board member helped sustain the LFS and its annual awards for decades

Libertarian Futurist Society leaders are remembering Bruce Sommer, a stalwart West Coast science-fiction fan and left-libertarian who helped sustain the Prometheus Awards for many years.

Bruce Sommer (File photo)

Bruce made a big difference as one of the earliest LFS members – and one of the few Life members – who remained active year after year, reading potential award candidates, weighing the pros and cons of nominees and serving for years as a board member.

Yet, even after disability and ongoing health issues began to limit Bruce’s energy and ability to work full-time, he expressed his love of science-fiction fandom and his libertarian ideals of a better and more just, peaceful and cooperative world by reading widely and diligently year after year to find science fiction and fantasy novels that might fit the distinctive pro-liberty and anti-authoritarian focus of the Prometheus Awards.

Continue reading Bruce Sommer, R.I.P. – Veteran Prometheus judge, board member helped sustain the LFS and its annual awards for decades

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.

R.I.P., L. Neil Smith: Sf writer, best known for libertarian classic The Probability Broach, leaves a lasting legacy of liberty-loving sf adventure

Libertarian science fiction writer L. Neil Smith has died, leaving a legacy of high-spirited libertarian sf adventure and of the Prometheus Award itself.

L. Neil Smith (Creative Commons photo)

Smith, who died at 75 on Aug. 27, 2021 in Fort Collins, Colo., is best known for his explicitly libertarian novel The Probability Broach and its rambunctious alternate-history sequels in his The North American Confederacy series.

During his writing career from the 1970s into the 2010s, Smith wrote 31 books, including 29 novels, and many essays and short stories.

Quite a few of his works were nominated for Prometheus Awards because of their freewheeling adventure, sense of humor, imaginative alternate-reality scenarios and strong libertarian/individualist themes.

Continue reading R.I.P., L. Neil Smith: Sf writer, best known for libertarian classic The Probability Broach, leaves a lasting legacy of liberty-loving sf adventure

Rush songwriter-drummer Neil Peart widely remembered for his libertarian idealism, individualism

The lifelong libertarian idealism of Neil Peart, the Rush songwriter-drummer who died Jan. 7 and whose passing the LFS noted in a previous blog, has been highlighted in several of the major media essays and obituaries that have followed his death at 67 after struggling privately for three years with cancer.

Neil Peart, Rush drummer and songwriter Credit: Creative Commons

In  a short note titled “Farewell to Rock’s Greatest Drummer (and Randian),” NR writer and New York Post columnist Kyle Smith offered high praise about the Canadian musician’s talent, positive ideas and legacy:

“Fan polls routinely agreed he was the greatest rock drummer of his time (or indeed of all time, I would argue, though some would go with Keith Moon). I’m not sure any rock track boasts drumming that can match Peart’s breathtaking work on the 1981 song “Tom Sawyer.”

Continue reading Rush songwriter-drummer Neil Peart widely remembered for his libertarian idealism, individualism

Brad Linaweaver has died

Brad Linaweaver (Creative Commons photo)

Libertarian science fiction writer Brad Linaweaver has died from cancer; he would have been 67 on Sunday. He was a two-time winner of the Prometheus Award and was known for Moon of Ice, his brilliant alternate-history novel expanded from a Nebula Award-nominated short story.
 Mike Glyer has an obituary posted at File 770.