Although 2023 has ended, it’s interesting and illuminating to look back at the highlights of the past year – and perhaps read an article that you may have overlooked. For the Prometheus Blog, there were quite a few memorable posts.
Among my personal favorites:
* author Karl Gallagher’s tribute to Robert Heinlein and appreciation for his 2023 Hall of Fame winner, “Free Men.”
* William H. Stoddard’s illuminating essay on “Economics in Science Fiction” (along with a critique of the common “overproduction” myth), and
* a commentary on one of the most unheralded firsts of the year: basically, the first libertarian-individualist-themed sci-fi film to ever win the Oscar for best picture.
In 2023, the Prometheus Blog surpassed previous years in the number, frequency and regularity of posts.
By the time this year ends, the Prometheus blog will have posted a record 78 articles – from essays, reviews and commentaries to news, awards updates, tributes and progress reports.
Ever since 2017, when the Prometheus Blog replaced Prometheus, the Libertarian Futurist Society’s former printed quarterly review and newsletter, the goal has been to gradually increase the frequency of posts to equal and then surpass the amount of material previously published in the four quarterly printed issues.
This was an excellent year for interesting and informative interviews with a variety of authors, all worth reading (or rereading.)
The Prometheus Blog boasted more posted interviews in 2023 than ever before – most notably, with Australian sf writer Dave Freer, the first individual from the Southern Hemisphere to win a Prometheus award; and with the late great James Hogan, a two-time Prometheus winner for Best Novel.
David Drake, a prolific sf/fantasy author and Prometheus nominee, has died.
Drake, who died Dec. 10 at 78 from cognitive health problems, is being remembered as a leader and pioneer in military science fiction.
Drake, drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam and Cambodia in the early 1970s, later brought a new level of granular realism to the subgenre based on his own experiences as a soldier.
Perhaps because Drake’s more than 80 books were focused on military sf, an action-oriented subgenre that tends to focus more on battles and military sf than ideas, few of his novels fit the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards exploring libertarian and/or anti-authoritarian themes.
Every year, when the Libertarian Futurist Society announces its Prometheus finalists in press releases, the two leading science-fiction/fantasy trade publications and other influential media cover it well – and promptly.
Happily, such positive coverage has occurred again this year, all within 24 hours of the LFS press release going out to the media.
Almost four dozen classic works of science fiction and fantasy have been inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame, first presented four decades ago in 1983.
Libertarian Futurist Society members will select the next Best Classic Fiction inductee from four finalists, all first published or released more than 20 years ago.
The 2024 Hall of Fame finalists – just announced to the media in an LFS press release that’s already been reported on in full by File 770, a leading sf-industry trade publication – is varied in artistic form (including three novels and one song) and in its balance of the old and the new.
The current finalist slate, selected from 10 works of fiction (novels, stories and song) nominated by LFS members, recognizes both a first-time nominee and several stalwart candidates that have found favor with judges and voters in recent years.
Prometheus-winning author James P. Hogan was a maverick thinker who championed both liberty and technology while recognizing the reactionary and harmful impact of government, bureaucracy and irrationality on our lives.
Such themes are woven into his 26 novels, many short stories and essays – almost all of which remain available in print and mostly remain fresh and timeless today.
For posterity, the Prometheus blog is proud to be the first to post a lengthy and revealing interview that two-time Prometheus winner James P. Hogan gave just after the turn of the 21st century.
More than 90 percent of that interview was not included in a newspaper profile of Hogan, so it appears here uncut and complete for the first time.
Hogan (1941-2020) sadly is no longer with us, but almost all of his 26 novels remain in print – and many are worth reading or rereading for their ingenious premises, imaginative speculations (some of which have since come true) and their intelligent, insightful and realistic blend of science and politics.
After working for many years in England as an electrical engineer, computer salesman and digital-information executive, James P. Hogan wrote his first novel Inherit the Wind to win an office bet.
Against the odds, he won that bet. With his first novel an acclaimed bestseller that received quotable praise from Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, Hogan was on his way – and he ultimately would write 26 novels before his untimely death in 2010 – including the Prometheus winners Voyage From Yesteryear and The Multiplex Man.
Here is the third part of a previously unpublished 2001 interview with Hogan, which sheds light on his work, philosophy and many novels: