Who was Prometheus? Writer Virginia Postrel exposes modern misconceptions while highlighting the Greek myth’s pro-liberty, pro-technology themes

“The ancient myth of Prometheus is not a cautionary tale. It is a reminder that technē raises human beings above brutes. It is a myth founded in gratitude.” – Virginia Postrel

By Michael Grossberg

Who was Prometheus?

Despite modern misconceptions and fears, why does the titan of Greek mythology remain a positive and inspiring symbol of freedom, hope, revolution and progress today?

Virginia Postrel – the former Reason-magazine editor and Atlantic and New York Times columnist, and notable author of the seminal The Future and Its Enemies – brilliantly but concisely challenges common contemporary misunderstandings about the Greek legend in a fascinating and insightful essay on her Substack column.

Continue reading Who was Prometheus? Writer Virginia Postrel exposes modern misconceptions while highlighting the Greek myth’s pro-liberty, pro-technology themes

Calling all Murderbot fans: Apple TV+ to stream Martha Wells’ series

Talk about a killer show!

Murderbot, Martha Wells’ popular book series about the diaries of a self-aware robot struggling to overcome his programming to kill, will be adapted into a 10-episode science-fiction drama.

Actor Alexandr Skarsgard (Creative Commons license)

Apple TV+ recently announced plans stream the series, which will star Emmy-winning actor Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood, Battleship, Succession, The Legend of Tarzan, The Northman, The Stand), who also will serve as executive producer.

The news should spark wide interest from sf/fantasy fans, since Well’s bestselling Murderbot Diary books have won both Hugo and Nebula awards – and from LFS members and libertarian futurists, since several books in the series have been nominated for the Prometheus Award.

Continue reading Calling all Murderbot fans: Apple TV+ to stream Martha Wells’ series

A Prometheus blog milestone: A record number of posts in 2023

Numbers count.

In 2023, the Prometheus Blog surpassed previous years in the number, frequency and regularity of posts.

By the time this year ends, the Prometheus blog will have posted a record 78 articles – from essays, reviews and commentaries to news, awards updates, tributes and progress reports.

Ever since 2017, when the Prometheus Blog replaced Prometheus, the Libertarian Futurist Society’s former printed quarterly review and newsletter, the goal has been to gradually increase the frequency of posts to equal and then surpass the amount of material previously published in the four quarterly printed issues.

And this year, we succeeded.

Continue reading A Prometheus blog milestone: A record number of posts in 2023

A banner year for Prometheus blog interviews: 2023 winner Dave Freer, frequent finalist Karl Gallagher, author/judge John Christmas and the late great James Hogan

By Michael Grossberg

This was an excellent year for interesting and informative interviews with a variety of authors, all worth reading (or rereading.)

Dave Freer with his 2023 Prometheus Awards Best Novel plaque for Cloud-Castles (Photo courtesy of Freer)
James P. Hogan (Creative Commons license)

The Prometheus Blog boasted more posted interviews in 2023 than ever before – most notably, with Australian sf writer Dave Freer, the first individual from the Southern Hemisphere to win a Prometheus award; and with the late great James Hogan, a two-time Prometheus winner for Best Novel.

Continue reading A banner year for Prometheus blog interviews: 2023 winner Dave Freer, frequent finalist Karl Gallagher, author/judge John Christmas and the late great James Hogan

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

The Hogan Interview, part 6: On AI, favorite novels and advice to aspiring writers

By Michael Grossberg

Two-time Prometheus Award-winner James P. Hogan left a lasting legacy for sf fans and liberty lovers.

James P. Hogan (Creative Commons license)

Hogan had a lot to say, both in fiction and non-fiction, about humanity, technology, liberty, science and politics.

Here is the sixth and final part of a Hogan interview previously unpublished in its full, uncut form:

 

Continue reading The Hogan Interview, part 6: On AI, favorite novels and advice to aspiring writers

Leading sci-fi publications and other media highlight news of Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

By Michael Grossberg

Every year, when the Libertarian Futurist Society announces its Prometheus finalists in press releases, the two leading science-fiction/fantasy trade publications and other influential media cover it well – and promptly.

Happily, such positive coverage has occurred again this year, all within 24 hours of the LFS press release going out to the media.

The attractive new image used by one major blog to accompany its Prometheus awards news update

Continue reading Leading sci-fi publications and other media highlight news of Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

Short-listed for the next Prometheus Hall of Fame: Novels by Poul Anderson, Terry Pratchett and Harry Turtledove and a Rush song

By Michael Grossberg

Almost four dozen classic works of science fiction and fantasy have been inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame, first presented four decades ago in 1983.

Libertarian Futurist Society members will select the next Best Classic Fiction inductee from four finalists, all first published or released more than 20 years ago.

The 2024 Hall of Fame finalists – just announced to the media in an LFS press release that’s already been reported on in full by File 770, a leading sf-industry trade publication –  is varied in artistic form (including three novels and one song) and in its balance of the old and the new.

The current finalist slate, selected from 10 works of fiction (novels, stories and song) nominated by LFS members, recognizes both a first-time nominee and several stalwart candidates that have found favor with judges and voters in recent years.

Continue reading Short-listed for the next Prometheus Hall of Fame: Novels by Poul Anderson, Terry Pratchett and Harry Turtledove and a Rush song

The Hogan interview, part 5: His views on science, writing YA novels and how The Saint inspired him

By Michael Grossberg

Prometheus-winning author James P. Hogan was a maverick thinker who championed both liberty and technology while recognizing the reactionary and harmful impact of government, bureaucracy and irrationality on our lives.

Such themes are woven into his 26 novels, many short stories and essays – almost all of which remain available in print and mostly remain fresh and timeless today.

Continue reading The Hogan interview, part 5: His views on science, writing YA novels and how The Saint inspired him

The Hogan interview, part 4: What he loved about America, why he moved to the U.S. and how his childhood shaped his pro-technology, pro-liberty views

By Michael Grossberg

For posterity, the Prometheus blog is proud to be the first to post a lengthy and revealing interview that two-time Prometheus winner James P. Hogan gave just after the turn of the 21st century.

James P. Hogan (Creative Commons license)

More than 90 percent of that interview was not included in a newspaper profile of Hogan, so it appears here uncut and complete for the first time.

Hogan (1941-2020) sadly is no longer with us, but almost all of his 26 novels remain in print – and many are worth reading or rereading for their ingenious premises, imaginative speculations (some of which have since come true) and their intelligent, insightful and realistic blend of science and politics.

Continue reading The Hogan interview, part 4: What he loved about America, why he moved to the U.S. and how his childhood shaped his pro-technology, pro-liberty views