LFS President: Prometheus Hall of Fame honors reflect passages of time, recognition of merit

With the annual Sept. 30 deadline coming up soon for LFS members to nominate works for the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction, this is a good time to remind ourselves what makes this annual category special.

LFS President William H. Stoddard did just that when he presented the Prometheus Hall of Fame category for Best Classic Fiction at the recent 43rd annual Prometheus awards ceremony. Here are Stoddard’s remarks:

By William H. Stoddard

Unlike the Best Novel Award, the Prometheus Hall of Fame can be given to works in any narrative or dramatic form — short fiction, narrative verse, plays, movies, television and video episodes or series, graphic novels, songs, and so on.

It’s restricted to works that first appeared at least twenty years ago.

A great many of our award winners are older than that, often dating to before the LFS was founded.

For example, our first two awards went to Atlas Shrugged, one of the major inspirations for the emergence of libertarianism, and to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, the foundational work of libertarian science fiction — what TV Tropes would call the “trope codifier,” perhaps.

Twenty years after publication, we’re past any initial wave of enthusiasm for a new work; the award goes to works that we are still reading, viewing, or listening to despite the passage of time — in some cases, at least, to works whose merit has become more visible with time.

This year, once again, we come back to Robert Heinlein for the Hall of Fame Award, for his novelette “Free Men”—a very American story, but also a timeless story of resistance to tyranny imposed from without, by enemy armies.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

Here to accept the award is Art Dula, primary trustee for the Heinlein Prize Trust, followed by John Tilden, chairman of the Heinlein Society.

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Read a report on Dula’s comments here.

Note: Read more about the 43rd annual Prometheus Awards ceremony in recent Prometheus Blog posts, which include reports and transcripts of the acceptance speech of Best Novel winner Dave Freer (for Cloud-Castles), and the inspirational and amusing introductory speech about the significance of the award, the meaning of freedom and a commentary on Best Novel finalists by past Prometheus winner and Best Novel presenter Sarah Hoyt.



All LFS members have the right to nominate works for the Prometheus Awards.

Others are welcome to bring eligible works to the attention of the LFS via unofficial submissions, which are helpful in ensuring that worthy fiction is not overlooked in the annual Best Classic Fiction category.

LFS members, and others, should send a short statement describing the eligible work – including its full title, author, original publication year, anthology title (if the work is short fiction that first appeared in print in an anthology), and why you believe it fits the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards – to William H. Stoddard, chair of the Prometheus Hall of Fame finalist judging committee, at


* 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, individuality and human dignity.

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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