Reading a novel by an author you’ve never read before can be entertaining, stimulating and surprising.
Writers tend to develop their own distinctive style, even while taking pains to vary their approach to fit different types of subjects and genres – and most readers quickly come to identify the personality, spirit and style of authors from their stories.
That’s true even if such stories otherwise recognizably fall into broadly understood and familiar types of tales – from coming-of-age adventures and first-contact sci-fi dramas to satire and anti-authoritarian dystopian literature.
All of the above subcategories of science fiction are reflected in this year’s crop of just-announced finalists for the Prometheus Award for Best Novel.
Furthermore, of the five novels selected as finalists from 15 nominations by LFS members, four were written by authors who never before have been nominated for a Prometheus Award during its 43-year history.
Welcome to the Prometheus Awards competition, C.J. Carey, Dave Freer, Gordon Hanka and John Van Stry!
Author Karl K. Gallagher, a frequent Prometheus Awards nominee and Best Novel finalist, is keeping busy and catching up with an ambitious writing schedule – including a new novel just published: Captain Trader Helmsman Spy.
This is the fourth novel in the Fall of the Censor series for the Texas-based writer, currently a 2022 Best Novel finalist for two different novels (the second and third) in that series.
Captain Trader Helmsman Spy, published May 9, 2022 by Kelt Haven Press, focuses on an exploratory mission to gather more information about the authoritarian Censorate in the ongoing series about a complex interstellar conflict between two long-separated but newly connected sets of human-colonized solar systems – one relatively free and peaceful, blending diverse cultures through mutual trade, and the other near-totalitarian in its murderous control of many planets and Orwellian cancellation of history and culture.
A Nobel-Prize-winning author has written a novel chosen as a Best Novel finalist – a notable and interesting intersection of two literary awards with quite different focuses.
Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, writes mostly “mainstream” fiction that often conveys a wistful sense of loss and missed connections.
Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro’s latest novel about the ambiguous status of an intelligent and curious A.F. (Artificial Friend), was recently named by Libertarian Futurist Society judges as one of five 2022 Best Novel finalists.
Even after building up a relatively consistent track record over 43 years, the Prometheus Awards can surprise by venturing here and there into new territory and new authors.
This year’s interesting and varied slate of five Best Novel finalists, selected from 16 nominees by LFS members serving as judges on the Best Novel finalist-selection committee, happens to reflect several intriguing “firsts” or rarities in the history of the awards.
Here are the five finalists, all published in 2021 and contenders for the 2022 Prometheus Award, to be presented online in August at a time and place to be announced:
• Between Home and Ruin, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 227 pages) • Seize What’s Held Dear, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 244 pages)
• Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber and Faber, 321 pages) • Rich Man’s Sky, by Wil McCarthy (Baen Books, 291 pages)
• Should We Stay Or Should We Go, by Lionel Shriver (Harper Collins, 266 pages)
Just from looking over the finalists list, can you guess any of those “firsts?
As a sort of fun “pop quiz,” why not take a moment to ponder that – before clicking over to the jump page of this blog, which has the answers.
The 2021 Prometheus Awards slate of Best Novel finalists, just announced, reflects an interesting first in the four-decade-plus history of the award.
See if you can identify this first – hint: a reflection of a long-term trend in modern publishing – from scanning this list of the finalist novels, their authors and publishers:
* Who Can Own the Stars? by Mackey Chandler (Amazon Kindle) * Storm between the Stars, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press)
* The War Whisperer, Book 5: The Hook, by Barry B. Longyear (Enchanteds) * Braintrust: Requiem, by Marc Stiegler (LMBPN Publishing)
* Heaven’s River,by Dennis E. Taylor (An Audible Original, print and ebook editions The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency)
Whether set on Earth, on the Moon, or throughout interstellar space and whether taking place in the near-future or distant future, novels dramatizing fights for freedom and threats of tyranny can achieve a timeless and universal relevance.
Recognizing the perennial tensions between Liberty and Power, the Libertarian Futurist Society presents its annual Prometheus Awards for outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy.
The five 2019 novels that the LFS has just selected as its finalists in the Best Novel category of the 2020 Prometheus Awards certainly range widely in setting, era, plot, character and style. Yet, each sheds fascinating light on the enduring human themes and challenges that inspire each generation’s struggle for freedom amid recurring threats of dictatorship, war, plague, pandemic, powerlust and other ills.