LFS members make 15 nominations for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel

Libertarian Futurist Society members have made 15 nominations for the Best Novel category of the Prometheus Award.

Of the authors nominated, two thirds are being recognized for the first time by LFS members, perhaps reflecting in part a new generation of emerging writers whose varied works fit the award’s distinctive focus on science fiction and fantasy, broadly conceived, that dramatizes libertarian and anti-authoritarian themes.

Although not a record number of nominees in this category, this year’s slate is almost as large as the previous year’s 16 nominations – which was as many as any year of the 21st century and larger than in all but two of the past 37 years of Prometheus nominations.

The 12 LFS members delegated to serve on the Prometheus Best Novel Finalist Judging committee began reading and discussing the 2022 nominees last fall and will continue to read, discuss and compare the nominees through March before voting to select the annual slate of finalists.

Meanwhile, here is the current crop of nominees, alphabetized by author:

* Widowland,
 by C.J. Carey (Quercus, 432 pages) Carey, a British writer, is a first-time Prometheus nominee.

* The School for Good Mothers, by Jessamine Chan (Simon & Schuster, 335 pages) This is Chan’s first Prometheus nomination and first novel.

* Let Us Tell You Again, by Mackey Chandler (Amazon, 441 pages)
Mackey was first nominated for Best Novel in 2021 for Who Can Own the Stars?, a novel in the same future-history series.

* Cloud-Castles, by Dave Freer (Magic Isle Press, 358 pages) This is the first Prometheus nomination for Freer, an Australian sf writer.

* Captain Trader Helmsman Spy, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 234 pages)

Gallagher has been nominated five times before for a Prometheus award, starting in 2018 with the three novels in his Torchship trilogy (which were combined into one nomination, as a complete story).

His current nominee is the fourth book in Gallagher’s ongoing  Fall of the Censor series, the first three novels of which became Best Novel finalists: Storm Between the Stars (in 2021) and both Between Home and Ruin and Seize What’s Held Dear (in 2022).



* A Beast Cannot Feign, by Gordon Hanka (AKA “Dr. Insensitive Jerk”) (Amazon, 545 pages) Hanka was previously nominated last year for Sainthood in Sixty Seconds, part of his five-volume Gaia’s Wasp series.






Entropy, by Dana Hayward (Amazon, 414 pages)  This is Hayward’s first Prometheus nomination.


The Master Code,  by T.A. Hunter (Amazon, 382 pages) This is Hunter’s first Prometheus nomination.

* Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng  (Penguin Press, 352 pages) This is Ng’s first Prometheus nomination.

* Openings: A Hayek Chronicles Novel, by James S. Peet (Amazon, James Peet, 382 pages) This is Peet’s first Prometheus nomination.

* Sisters of the Vast Black  and Sisters of the Forsaken Stars, by Lina Rather (Our Lady of Endless Worlds Book 1 and 2*) TOR BOOKS, Tordotcom) This is Rather’s first Prometheus nomination.

Note: This is a potential combined nomination, subject to the judging committee’s verification under our rules permitting combination of books that fundamentally tell one complete story, of both Sisters of the Vast Black (a 162-page novella published in 2019) and Sisters of the Forsaken Stars (her 2022 sequel, a 194-page novel.)

* The Warrior Worlds, by Stephen Renneberg (Amazon, 476 pages) This is the first first Prometheus nomination for Renneberg, an Australian author.

* Ex Supra, by Tony Stark  (Amazon.com, 531 pages). This is Stark’s first Prometheus nomination and first novel.







* Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow, HarperCollins, 708 pages) Stephenson, nominated many times for a Prometheus, has won three Prometheus Awards for The System of the World (the 2005 Best Novel winner), Seveneves (the 2017 Best Novel winner) and Cryptonomicon, inducted in 2013 into the Prometheus Hall of Fame.

* Summers End, by John Van Stry (Baen Books, 453 pages) Van Stry is a first-time Prometheus nominee.

Overall, this year’s nominees span a wide range of sub-genres within speculative fiction.

Among the many types of novels written in many different styles: alternate-history (Widowland), near-future dystopias (Our Missing Hearts, The School for Good Mothers), space opera (The Warrior Worlds), a coming-of-age comic adventure (Cloud-Castles), near-future Earth environmental crisis (Termination Shock), satirical ‘alien’-first-contact (A Beast Cannot Feign), military sf (Ex Supra), alternate-world exploration (Openings) and near-future sf-political-mystery-thriller (The Master Code) – not to mention futuristic geopolitical sci-fi suspense dramas set on and beyond Earth within our solar system (Let Us Tell You Again, Entropy) and spanning many different planets (Captain Trader Helmsman Spy, Summers End, Sisters of the Vast Black and Sisters of the Forsaken Stars.)

Of course, such catch-all genre categories tend to be reductionist, and many of the above nominees offer much more than can be described in such simplified terms – one reason why it takes LFS judges months of reading and discussion each year to whittle down the nominees to a slate of finalists.


The Best Novel Finalist Judging Committee will select a slate of (typically five) finalists by early April, with the finalists announced that month.

As always, the full LFS membership at the Full membership level and above (including Sponsors and Benefactors, whose extra support helps to sustain the Prometheus Award and its gold prize), will have a chance to read and vote on the Best Novel finalists – as they already are doing to weigh the current slate of Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists for Best Classic Fiction.

That judging process extends over several months in the spring and summer before our annual and traditional July 4 voting deadline for LFS members to choose the Prometheus winners. (LFS members can expect to receive their ballots via email by late May.)

Congratulations, and good luck, to all the Best Novel nominees!


* 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 the 2022 Prometheus ceremony with Wil McCarthy, and 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.


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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