Prometheus Blog progress: The LFS Appreciation series about past winners is now complete and accessible

If sci-fi fans or anyone else ever wants to know why the Libertarian Futurist Society presented a Prometheus Award to any work of fiction, and how that work reflects libertarian, classical liberal and anti-authoritarian themes, they now have an easy, quick and enjoyable way to find out.

Just visit the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page, scroll down to any particular past winner of interest – for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction or Special Awards – and click on the “Appreciation” link added next to its title.

To highlight and honor the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, which the Libertarian Futurist Society celebrated in 2019, LFS members began writing review-essays about each past winner that summer.

Today, more than three years later, that series of informative essays is now complete:

* In the Best Novel category, 46 review-essay appreciations have been posted on the blog about the 44 Best Novel winners selected since 1979.

* In the Hall of fame category, 47 review-essay appreciations have been posted about the 46 Hall of Fame winners for Best Classic Fiction selected since 1983.

* And in the occasional Special Awards category, nine appreciations have been posted about the eight Special award fiction winners selected since 1998.

In total, that’s an impressive 102 review-essays written and posted since mid-2019 about each Prometheus Award-winning work of fiction.

If you’ve ever wondered what libertarian sf/fantasy fans see in these Prometheus award-winning works, then our series of Appreciations should be must reading – and in some cases, might well be revealing or even surprising.

Furthermore, the next time someone skeptical or critical of libertarianism asks you at an sf/fantasy convention or a social gathering about any Prometheus Award winner, simply refer them to the LFS website at and mention that every single past winner now has an appreciative review-essay explaining how that work of fiction reflects libertarian ideals and/or exposes the evils of tyranny, slavery, war and other abuses by unchecked government power.

Over the decades, some sf fans unfamiliar with the subtleties, complexities, breadth and depth of libertarian philosophy, policy, free-market economic theory and history and social-science analysis have wondered or even seriously questioned why various works have been recognized with a Prometheus Award.

Such questions can be very good, to the extent they reflect honest inquiry and a desire to understand others better, rather than merely a way to reject or disdain a body of fiction and a body of thought that many people even today don’t understand or seriously misinterpret.

For instance, why did Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy deserve its 2009 induction into the Prometheus Hall of Fame? Check it out! (Hint: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power, personified by Sauron’s Ring, corrupts absolutely.)

Why does the Prometheus Award recognize such acclaimed and bestselling authors as Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Ursula Le Guin (The Dispossessed), George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty Four, Animal Farm), Ken MacLeod (The Star Fraction), Cory Doctorow (Little Brother), Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison,     E.M. Forster and other writers not known as libertarians?

Because their award-winning works often illuminate and dramatize libertarian themes of individual rights, civil liberties, voluntary consent and resistance to tyranny…. (and by the way, the Prometheus award goes to the work, no matter the author’s avowed politics.)

Since 1979, a wide array of novels, novellas, stories, films, TV series and other works of fiction have won Prometheus awards.

Each work highlights in fascinatingly different ways the value of voluntary social cooperation over institutionalized State coercion, the importance of respecting human rights (even for that smallest minority, the individual), and the evils of tyranny (whether on the Left or the Right).

In so doing, the list of past Prometheus winners reflects the dazzling range, subtlety and diversity of libertarian thought and values – in many ways, transcending cliched and outmoded partisan categories of Left or Right while upholding a universalist view of basic human rights as the proper foundation and sustenance of civility and civilization itself.

Check out our track record of Prometheus Award winners – and see if you agree with our analysis of why each work deserved our recognition.

Note: Each year, as a new annual Prometheus Award is presented for Best Novel and for the Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction, LFS members plan to write appreciations of each, to be posted on the Prometheus Blog and linked to their titles on our Prometheus Awards 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.

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.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different but complementary visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity overcome tyranny, slavery and war and achieve universal liberty, human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.



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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