Prometheus-winning author Neal Stephenson to discuss his latest sf novel

Prometheus-winning author Neal Stephenson will discuss his latest novel Nov. 19 in an American Purpose podcast.

Stephenson, a two-time Prometheus winner for Best Novel, will discuss his 2021 novel Termination Shock at 12 p.m. Friday Nov. 19 (Eastern Time) in an online discussion with Francis Fukuyama, chairman of the editorial board of American Purpose magazine.

Widely acclaimed both within the field of science fiction and outside it, Stephenson is known for writing speculative fiction, cyber punk, and other related genres. Termination Shock is his 13th book.

Set in the future on Earth when climate change has resulted in heat waves, superstorms, flooding and rising sea levels, Termination Shock (The Borough Press, published Nov. 11, 2021) revolves around a billionaire’s plan to address the climate threat by inviting a small group of representatives from around the world to a Houston meeting where he intends to propose a geo-engineering solution.

Registration is free for the online podcast. To register for the American Purpose event, visit

Neal Stephenson (Creative Commons license)

Stephenson — who coined the term “metaverse” in his 1992 novel Snow Crash —is a leading sf writer of great interest to Libertarian Futurist Society members, especially after winning the 2005 Prometheus award for best novel for The System of the World and the 2016 Best Novel award for Seveneves.

Stephenson’s 2000 novel Snow Crash became a cult classic in Silicon Valley thanks to its imaginings of the wired world we now inhabit. Stephenson has served as an advisor to a number of future-oriented companies, including Blue Origin.

His epic novel Cryptonomicon, a 2000 Prometheus Best Novel finalist, was inducted in 2013 into the Prometheus Hall of Fame – the first former Best Novel finalist (that didn’t win that year) to be inducted years later, once eligible for consideration for the Hall of Fame.

* Read Tom Jackson’s Prometheus blog review-essay Appreciation of Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

Including his three Prometheus-winning novels, Stephenson has been nominated 10 times for this award, presented annually by the Libertarian Futurist Society.

* Read William H. Stoddard’s Prometheus blog’s review-essay appreciation of Stephenson’s The System of the World.

* Read Michael Grossberg’s Prometheus blog review-essay Appreciation of Stephenson’s Seveneves.

Among Stephenson’s other Best Novel nominees: Fall or Dodge in Hell (in 2020), REAMDE (in 2012), Anathem (in 2009), The Confusion (in 2005), Quicksilver (in 2004) and The Diamond Age (in 1996).

Libertarian Futurist Society members serving on this year’s Best Novel finalist-judging committee are reading Termination Shock to determine if its plot, characters and themes make it eligible to consider as a potential 2021 nominee.

Of course, only a handful of well-written and imaginative works of science fiction and fantasy fit the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Award, which for more than four decades has recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power.

Such works critique or satirize authoritarian trends, expose abuses of power by the institutionalized coercion of the State, champion cooperation over coercion as the roots of civility and social harmony, and uphold individual rights and freedom for all as the only moral and practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress, justice, tolerance, universal human flourishing and civilization itself.

* For more information about American Purpose magazine, including how to get a free subscription to receive emails of essays, updates and upcoming events, visit the magazine’s subscription page.

Interestingly, free-market economist Tyler Cowen (In Praise of Commercial Culture) ,  who posts the insightful Marginal Revolution blog, is among the writers and thinkers on the editorial board of American Purpose magazine, which upholds such classical-liberal and libertarian ideals and principles as “respect for the rights of the individual,” civil liberties, equal protection under the rule of law, and respect for the autonomy of institutions of civil society. Such classical-liberal (and libertarian) principles “have recently come under attack on both the left and the right,” magazine editors wrote in a basic statement of the magazine’s mission.

* Read the introductory essay of the LFS’ 40th anniversary retrospective series of Appreciations of past Prometheus Awards winners, with an overview of the awards’ four-decade-plus history, that was launched in 2019 on the 40thanniversary of the awards and continues today.

* Other Prometheus winners: For a full list of winners – 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 all 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.

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.





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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