Slavery, family, and a fight for liberty in a “juvenile” for all readers: An appreciation of Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

By William H. Stoddard

From his first stories published in Astounding Science Fiction to such late novels as Friday and Job, Robert Heinlein was recognized as an outstanding science fiction writer.

For many of us, though, our introduction to his writing, and often to science fiction as a genre, came from the twelve novels he published through Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Categorized as “juvenile” and aimed at an audience ranging from boys in junior high school to young men in the armed forces, these books in fact speak to a far wider audience, and are more sophisticated both in literary technique and in the ideas they present, than almost any other boys’ books and indeed than many books for adults.

And those ideas are often relevant to libertarian concerns.

Continue reading Slavery, family, and a fight for liberty in a “juvenile” for all readers: An appreciation of Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

Liberty vs. equality: International magazine highlights timeless warnings of “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut’s Prometheus-winning fable

By Michael Grossberg

Some Prometheus-winning fiction imagines a better, freer future for humanity, one that libertarian futurists yearn to see come true in some form.

Other Prometheus-winning fiction is more dystopian, offering cautionary warnings about totalitarian tendencies that their authors portray with hopes of preventing them from materializing.

“Harrison Bergeron,” Kurt Vonnegut’s now-classic 1961 short story, which falls into the latter category, satirically but seriously extrapolates the coercive, absurd and even monstrously inhuman possibilities of radical egalitarianism taken to extremes.

Read the Prometheus Blog Appreciation to appreciate why Vonnegut’s story deserved to be recognized by the Libertarian Futurist Society as the 2019 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner.

Overall and at least in theory, it’s a good thing to see outstanding fiction continue to resonate within the broader American and world culture – especially when it’s pro-liberty or anti-authoritarian sf/fantasy and has been recognized through the Prometheus awards.

Unfortunately, “Harrison Bergeron” is becoming all too timely.

Continue reading Liberty vs. equality: International magazine highlights timeless warnings of “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut’s Prometheus-winning fable

R.I.P., Joseph Martino: Sf author, scholar, engineer, Prometheus judge and LFS board member made a difference in his 91 years

Libertarian Futurist Society members, science-fiction fans and Ohioans are remembering Joe Martino, a prolific writer-speaker and libertarian policy expert.

Joseph P. Martino (File photo)

Martino, who died recently at 91 after a lengthy illness, wrote several fiction and non-fiction books and science fiction stories, several of which are still worth reading.

A knowledgeable and literate libertarian, Joe frequently appeared as an sf-con panelist at Marcon and other major Midwestern sf/fantasy conventions – including at an LFScon at Marcon.

Continue reading R.I.P., Joseph Martino: Sf author, scholar, engineer, Prometheus judge and LFS board member made a difference in his 91 years

Remembering Tolkien – and his cautionary theme about the lure of power – as Rings of Power series debuts opposite House of Dragons

“Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Lord Acton    (1834-1902)

“One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all,
and in the darkness bind them.”
– The Ring inscription in The Lord of the Rings

Few Prometheus Award winners incorporate an anti-authoritarian theme with more haunting power than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the 2009 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction.

With Amazon Prime recently unveiling its mega-budgeted and long-awaited prequel to Lord of the Rings, this is an apt moment to recall that theme – summed up so well in Lord Acton’s famous dictum and symbolized so archetypically by Tolkien in his “One Ring to rule them all.”

That’s especially timely when Rings of Power offers such a vivid contrast to House of the Dragon, the other super-expensive prequel to another landmark television-adapted fantasy, but one with a much different and more cynical view of power.

Continue reading Remembering Tolkien – and his cautionary theme about the lure of power – as Rings of Power series debuts opposite House of Dragons

Author Sarah Hoyt announces new edition of her Prometheus-winning novel Darkship Thieves

Sarah Hoyt has announced a new edition of her Prometheus-Award winning novel Darkship Thieves.

Released through Goldport Press after Hoyt’s reclaiming the rights from Baen Books, Darkship Thieves has now been produced in both print and ebook formats.

Continue reading Author Sarah Hoyt announces new edition of her Prometheus-winning novel Darkship Thieves

SF under assault, but ripe for rebirth: Two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran’s 2022 awards-ceremony speech on the value of libertarian science fiction

The Libertarian Futurist Society invited two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran to discuss the importance of libertarian science fiction in his speech as presenter of the 2022 Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

Sf novelist Travis Corcoran (Photo courtesy of author)

Here Is the text of Corcoran’s speech, delivered on Aug. 13 as part of the Zoom awards ceremony, marking the 40th anniversary of the LFS.

(Corcoran presented the Best Novel award to Wil McCarthy for Rich Man’s Sky; the Hall of Fame award went to Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy,)

 

By Travis Corcoran

The state of written science fiction in 2022 is a bit like the state of western civilization: under assault from all sides, hollowed out, a pale shadow of what it once was.

The soldiers who once defended our grand city have been defeated.

There are invaders inside the gates, cavorting, aping their betters,and desecrating the ancient and sacred temples.

The great bazaars are empty and only a few small peddlers haunt the windy streets.

Most of the citizens who built the city, stone by stone, have been either felled by old age or have wandered away.  A few still act as if nothing has changed, but without the support of the great publishers and the cheers of the crowd, the performance rings hollow.

Continue reading SF under assault, but ripe for rebirth: Two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran’s 2022 awards-ceremony speech on the value of libertarian science fiction

Honoring merit, fostering art and justice: Stoddard’s awards-ceremony introductory speech about why the LFS has presented the Prometheus Awards for 40 years

With our recent 2022 awards ceremony, the Libertarian Futurist Society has now presented the Prometheus Awards for 40 years.

Why do we do that? What keeps us going? What basic ethical and cultural values are at the foundation of our awards program? And why are the Prometheus Awards so important?

LFS President William H. Stoddard succinctly answers such key questions in his eloquent and thoughtful introductory speech at the start of the Aug. 13 Zoom awards ceremony, which can be viewed on YouTube.

His concise comments seem worth publishing on the Prometheus Blog for posterity:

Continue reading Honoring merit, fostering art and justice: Stoddard’s awards-ceremony introductory speech about why the LFS has presented the Prometheus Awards for 40 years

Why the Hall of Fame is important, and why Citizen of the Galaxy deserves a place in it: Stoddard’s awards-ceremony presentation of the Best Classic Fiction category

In his apt introduction and presentation of the Prometheus Hall of Fame category at the recent 2022 Prometheus Awards ceremony, LFS President William H. Stoddard explains why this annual awards category is such an important part of the Libertarian Futurist Society’s awards program – and why this year’s inductee by Robert Heinlein is so deserving of recognition.

Continue reading Why the Hall of Fame is important, and why Citizen of the Galaxy deserves a place in it: Stoddard’s awards-ceremony presentation of the Best Classic Fiction category

Slavery, liberty, personal responsibility and legacy: The Heinlein Trust and Heinlein Society acceptance speeches for Prometheus Hall of Fame winner Citizen of the Galaxy

The late great Robert Heinlein has received his eighth Prometheus Awards recognition over more than four decades, with his 1957 novel Citizen of the Galaxy recently inducted into the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Hall of Fame.

Robert Heinlein, a drawing (Creative Commons license)

Although Heinlein passed in 1988, his fans are fortunate to have two organizations carrying on his legacy in related and cooperative ways: the Heinlein Trust, established by his wife Ginny after his death, and the Heinlein Society.

Art Dula, Trustee of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust, gave an eloquent and informative extemporaneous speech accepting the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame award in Heinlein’s name and memory. Like the entire 40-minute ceremony, broadcast and recorded Aug. 13 on Zoom, Dula’s speech is available to watch on YouTube.*

Meanwhile, John Tilden, president of the Heinlein Society, followed Dula in delivering an interesting and insightful second acceptance speech, for which we do have the text, which we share here for posterity:

Continue reading Slavery, liberty, personal responsibility and legacy: The Heinlein Trust and Heinlein Society acceptance speeches for Prometheus Hall of Fame winner Citizen of the Galaxy

Will McCarthy’s 2023 Prometheus Award acceptance speech: The nutritional value of literature

Here is the acceptance speech by sf writer Wil McCarthy, winner of the 2022 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for Rich Man’s Sky. McCarthy presented his speech Aug. 13, 2022, via Zoom as part of the LFS’ annual awards ceremony, which included two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran as presenter of the Best Novel category.

BY WIL MCCARTHY

Howdy.  I’m very happy to be here, and I’d like to thank all of you for inviting me.  Yours is a great organization with a noble purpose, and I can only imagine the energy that goes into it.  I think it’s ironic that I’m the one getting recognition today, when you all are the ones doing the work.  My only regret is that I’m not able to thank you in person.

Rich Man's Sky
Rich Man’s Sky

Continue reading Will McCarthy’s 2023 Prometheus Award acceptance speech: The nutritional value of literature