Before 2022 ends, it’s worth noting that the Prometheus Awards reached a pretty big milestone this year.
It involves a nice round number, too: 100 – the total number of works recognized by the Prometheus Awards in all three categories since the award was established more than four decades ago.
From 1979, when the very first Prometheus Award was presented to F. Paul Wilson’s novel Wheels Within Wheels, through 2022, 90 works of fiction have been recognized in the Libertarian Futurist Society’s two annual categories for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction.
That includes 44 novels that have won a Prometheus for Best Novel, including this year’s newest winner: Rich Man’s Sky by Wil McCarthy.
And it includes 46 works – novels, novellas, stories, a graphic novel, an anthology and a TV series – that have been inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.
Plus, 10 works have received Special Prometheus Awards – including three libertarian sf anthologies, two films, two graphic novels, a novella, a filk song and (most recently in 2017) a webcomic series.
If sci-fi fans or anyone else ever wants to know why the Libertarian Futurist Society presented a Prometheus Award to any work of fiction, and how that work reflects libertarian, classical liberal and anti-authoritarian themes, they now have an easy, quick and enjoyable way to find out.
Just visit the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page, scroll down to any particular past winner of interest – for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction or Special Awards – and click on the “Appreciation” link added next to its title.
To highlight and honor the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, which the Libertarian Futurist Society celebrated in 2019, LFS members began writing review-essays about each past winner that summer.
LFS members have nominated eight works for the next Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.
Among them are one song, a novelette, a collection of linked short stories, two short stories and three novels – reflecting the many forms of fiction that are eligible for consideration in this Prometheus category.
With the nominations deadline having passed in September, here is the final list of this year’s nominees:
* The End of Eternity, a 1955 novel by Isaac Asimov
* “Free Men,” a 1966 novelette by Robert Heinlein
* “Primary Education of the Camiroi,” a 1966 short story by R.A. Lafferty * That Hideous Strength, a 1945 novel by C.S. Lewis
* Circus World, a 1981 collection of linked stories by Barry B. Longyear
* “The Trees,” a 1978 song by Neal Peart and Rush * The Truth, a 2000 novel by Terry Pratchett
* “Or Give Me Death,” a 1955 short story by Donald Westlake
Two graphic novels.
A related novella and filk song.
Plus, a webcomic about a sentient robot and his pals.
If you’ve ever wondered why the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Special Prometheus Awards have recognized all of the above, then wonder no longer.
You can check it out on the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page, which now has convenient links to Appreciation review-essays about all 10 works that have won recognition since the occasional Special Awards category of was established in 1998.
The 2022 Prometheus Awards, to be presented Aug. 13 in an online ceremony, will honor “something old” and “something new.”
In a wedding of circumstance and happy coincidence, a first-time Prometheus-nominated author (the “something new” according to wedding custom) has been declared the winner in the Best Novel category, while the golden-age sf author most honored in the four-decade-plus history of this award is recognized anew.
Wil McCarthy, a prolific sf writer nominated for the first time for this award, has been selected by Libertarian Futurist Society members as winner of the Best Novel category for Rich Man’s Sky.
Meanwhile, the late great Robert Heinlein – a Prometheus favorite – will be recognized for his novel Citizen of the Galaxy, which will be inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.
Heinlein (1907-1988), now an eight-time Prometheus Award winner, has won more Prometheus awards than any other writer, living or deceased.
Fittingly, Heinlein’s zestful spirit of adventure – championing scientific and social progress against tyranny and oppression and exploring libertarian possibilities of the future – is reflected in both of this year’s winners.
Two well-known libertarian science fiction authors, each recent winners of Prometheus Awards, have been confirmed as VIP presenters at the next Prometheus Awards ceremony in 2022.
Authors Travis Corcoran and F. Paul Wilson, both multiple Prometheus Award winners, have graciously agreed to each present one of the two annual awards categories at the online event, set for 2-3 p.m. Saturday (EDT) August 13, 2022.
LFS President William H. Stoddard, who chairs the Hall of Fame finalist judging committee, will emcee the hour-long Zoom-produced awards show and introduce Wilson.
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.
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 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.
The Libertarian Futurist Society is on the verge of launching in 2022 an exciting new ad and outreach campaign.
The purpose of the campaign will be two-fold: To raise the visibility of the LFS and the Prometheus Awards and to reach out to potential new members to join the LFS and help sustain the awards and our other programs.
The focus of the ad/outreach effort will be in two areas: print and online.