The Star Fox by Poul Anderson, winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1995, currently is on sale as a Kindle for only $1.99.
1995 was a pretty good year for Anderson, at least as far as the Prometheus Award is concerned. Anderson also won the Prometheus Award that year for his novel The Stars Are Also Fire.
Here’s an excerpt from the Prometheus Blog appreciation for The Star Fox.
“The novel may be one of the earliest sf works that explicitly imagines a future with Libertarians elected to office in the Senate and world government on Earth. Ironically and very soberingly, in Anderson’s future history, the Libertarians largely assume the role of antagonists to the story’s hero, since they become de facto allies of the Earth’s appeasers who fail to see the central threat that Helm intuits.
Despite such an explicit reference to Libertarian possibilities, Anderson largely was not a novelist willing to undercut or weigh down his narrative for the sake of ideology. As one of the superior sf writers of his era, Anderson was more skillful and subtle than that.
For example, (ex-Navy space pilot Gunnar) Heim makes a revealing comment amid the tensions of diplomacy, trade, interstellar human politics and the threat of recurrent human-alien war: “Planet against planet – that would be the real Ragnarok. What we have to do is show them right now that we aren’t going to be pushed. Then we and they can talk business. Because space is truly big enough for everybody, as long as they respect each other’s right to exist.”
Such dialogue, reflecting the civilized ideals and universal-rights rhetoric of mid-20th-century America, unobtrusively makes clear the rough links between commerce and peace, reminding us that it’s much riskier to “do business” amid violence and the extreme institutionalized coercion of governments waging war.”
Note: Poul Anderson (1926-2001), the first sf author to be honored with a Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement, has been recognized with more Prometheus awards than almost any other author.
The lifetime-achievement award to the ailing author was accepted by his wife, Karen, at the 2001 LFScon (the first LFS mini-con) at Marcon, Ohio’s oldest and largest sf/fantasy convention.
Anderson won his first competitive Prometheus award for his novel Trader to the Stars, inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame in 1985.
He also wrote The Stars Are Also Fire (the 1995 Prometheus winner for Best Novel), “No Truce with Kings” (a story inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame in 2010) and “Sam Hall” (a story inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020).
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
One thought on “Poul Anderson’s Hall of Fame winner ‘Star Fox’ on sale as ebook”
Always good to find out about a bargain price for a good novel, especially one that won a Prometheus award.
And especially one by Poul Anderson, a melancholy romantic poet of a writer who ranks among the few true ‘grand masters’ from the golden age of science fiction!
Thanks, Tom, for bringing this good news to the attention of LFS members.