Enduring quotes from more classic Prometheus Award acceptance speeches (since 2000)


“When we started our writing career we never dreamt of winning the Prometheus Award. … Of all the awards in Science Fiction, … The Prometheus Award, above all others, became the one we truly wanted. [because] liberty must be championed and valued — of the myriad awards out there, only the Prometheus recognizes this essential fact. And the authors we respect the most have all won it.”

Eytan and Dani Kollin in 2010 (Creative Commons license)

– Eytan and Dani Kollin, co-authors of The Unincorporated Man, the 2010 Prometheus Awardwinner for Best Novel, from their Prometheus acceptance speech

By Chris Hibbert

Following up on a recent Prometheus blog post, here are more classic Prometheus Award acceptance speeches to savor.

These speeches, all since 2000, offer insightful quotes that still resonate today.

This blog post covers Prometheus Awards acceptance speeches since 2000:

2000 Prometheus Award, in Volume 18, #3

Vernor Vinge in 1989 (From LFS photo file)

Vernor Vinge won the award for A Deepness in the Sky. Vinge talked about how he came to be libertarian.

“libertarianism and anarchocapitalism have their best chance for success in a peaceful and highly successful economy.”

Terry Pratchett in 2012. Creative Commons license

2003 Prometheus Award, in Volume 21, #3

Terry Pratchett won for Night Watch. He said Night Watch is both funny and
serious at the same. The story was about police and the forces that push them to act in certain ways.

2003 Prometheus Award, in Volume 24, #1

Neal Stephenson won for The System of the World, and gave a short acceptance speech.

2006 Prometheus Award, in Volume 25, #1

Ken MacLeod (Creative Commons photo)

Ken MacLeod won for Learning the World. Patrick Nielsen Hayden accepted the award and read remarks that MacLeod sent.

“No remotely convincing argument has ever been advanced to show that the people alive today can’t do better than the generations before, and that generations to come can’t do better than we did. And, you

Hall of Fame winner David Lloyd speaks about winning for V for Vendetta

know, over enough time that does add up.”

Alan Moore & David Lloyd won the Hall of Fame for V for Vendetta. Lloyd’s speech concerned the nature of freedom.

2007 Prometheus Award, in Volume 26, #1

Charles Stross (Creative Commons license)

Charles Stross won for Glasshouse. Stross explained what he intended to
achieve with
the book.


2008 Prometheus Award, in Volume 27, #1

Jo Walton
Harry Turtledove


Jo Walton and Harry Turtledove tied for the Prometheus Award. Walton for Ha’Penny, and Turtledove for Gladiator.

Both were present in Denver to accept their awards.

Walton said “I’m not sure it’s a Libertarian novel. I’m not sure what a Libertarian novel is. But it’s certainly a novel about liberty and about civil liberties. Thank you for finding that important.”

2009 Prometheus Award, in Volume 28, #1

Cory Doctorow, winner of the 2009 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for Little Brother, and Pat Reynolds accepting on behalf of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, which won in the Hall of Fame category.

Cory Doctorow won the Prometheus for Little Brother. Doctorow talked about the narratives that drive politics.

“Technology can enslave us or liberate us, and it depends on what story we tell about it, as to which outcome we get. If we see the role of government to manage us rather than to represent us, then we can defend any number of measures that use technology to be more intrusive and to take away more of our liberty day to day. If we see the role of government to represent us then again technology can be used to expand the ability of individuals to collaborate together to take on some the roles that a manager might otherwise have to fulfill, and to have a truly anti-authoritarian regime in which personal liberty lives comfortably alongside the idea of solving some society’s greater ills through governance.”

Pat Reynolds of the Tolkein Society accepted for J. R. R. Tolkien, who won for The Lord of the Rings.

2010 Prometheus Award, in Volume 29, #1

Eytan (left) and Dani (right) Kollin

Eytan Kollin and Dani Kollin won for The Unincorporated Man. Patrick Nielsen Hayden read their speech.

Poul Anderson won the Hall of Fame for “No Truce with Kings”, and his widow, Karen Anderson accepted on his behalf.

Poul Anderson with his wife Karen at an sf con (Creative Commons license)

“When we started our writing career we never dreamt of winning the Prometheus Award. … Of all the awards in Science Fiction, … The Prometheus Award, above all others, became the one we truly wanted. [because] liberty must be championed and valued — of the myriad awards out there, only the Prometheus recognizes this essential fact. and the authors we respect the most have all won it.”

2011 Prometheus Award, in Volume 30, #1

Sarah Hoyt with the Prometheus Award for her novel, Darkship Thieves.

Sarah Hoyt won for Darkship Thieves. Hoyt explained what drove her to write her novel.

“Rather than prohibit (medical) technologies that can be misused, we’ll be better off keeping them in the open where social pressure can convince people of better ways to use the technology.”

2013 Prometheus Award, in Volume 32, #1

Cory Doctorow won the Prometheus in 2013. Doctorow won for Pirate Cinema.

Doctorow used his speech to talk about Copyright, creativity, sharing ideas, the impact of the Internet, surveillance and censorship.

2014 Prometheus Award, in Volume 33, #1

Ramez Naam, author of Nexus
Ramez Naam, author of Nexus

Cory Doctorow and Ramez Naam were co-winners of the Prometheus in 2014, while Lois McMaster Bujold won the Hall of Fame for Falling Free, Vernor Vinge received a Lifetime Achievement award, and Leslie Fish won a Special Award for a novel and filk song.

Doctorow won for Homeland, while Naan’s novel was Nexus. All five were present and gave gracious acceptance speeches.

Cory Doctorow, author of Homeland

Doctorow talked about what we can do to ensure that technology serves the cause of human progress, justice and dignity. Naam talked about the fact that technology has both helped and hurt the cause of freedom:

“in the long run we will find ways to use technology to enhance our freedom, … it is incumbent upon all of us to strive to make that so. To not treat it as a given, but to dedicate our work and our efforts … and our words to making that hope become a reality.”


* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – 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 the full set of 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.

Watch  videos of past Prometheus Awards ceremonies, Libertarian Futurist Society panel discussions with noted sf authors and leading libertarian writers, and other LFS programs on the Prometheus Blog’s Video page.

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.

Libertarian futurists believe that culture matters! We understand that the arts and literature can be vital, and in some ways even more powerful than politics in the long run, by sparking innovation, better ideas, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights and differences.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different but complementary visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity overcome tyranny, end slavery and war and achieve universal liberty, respect for human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.

Published by

Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been an arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio and Best Arts Reporting (seven times). He's written for Reason, Libertarian Review and Backstage weekly; helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades; and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword for J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among books he recommends from a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist & How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

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