Before voting for this year’s Prometheus Awards, check out the full slate of blog reviews of the finalists

The Prometheus Blog has now succeeded in publishing reviews of all 2024 Prometheus Awards finalists – and all the reviews have convenient links posted below.


Although selective reviews have been posted of some finalists over the years, this is the first time in perhaps half a decade or so that reviews of all Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction finalists have been written and published.

Continue reading Before voting for this year’s Prometheus Awards, check out the full slate of blog reviews of the finalists

Best Novel finalist review: Karl K. Gallagher’s Swim Among the People dramatizes heroic planetary resistance to an insidious totalitarian interstellar empire

By William H. Stoddard

Swim among the People, a 2024 Prometheus Best Novel finalist, is the fifth of six (so far) volumes in Karl K. Gallagher’s science fiction series The Fall of the Censorate.

The series as a whole begins when a merchant starship from a long isolated cluster of solar systems discovers a new route through hyperspace that leads to a much larger interstellar human civilization.

Continue reading Best Novel finalist review: Karl K. Gallagher’s Swim Among the People dramatizes heroic planetary resistance to an insidious totalitarian interstellar empire

How do the 2024 Best Novel finalists fit the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards?

The Prometheus Awards are distinctive among literature-oriented awards, including within the sf/fantasy field, for having a dual focus – on both overall literary quality and on libertarian/anti-authoritarian ideas.

As LFS awards press releases summarize and define our award:

“The Prometheus Awards recognize outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power and champion cooperation over coercion as the root of civility and social harmony.

Such works may critique or satirize authoritarian trends, expose abuses of power by the institutionalized coercion of the State, imagine what forms a fully free society might take, and/or uphold individual rights and freedom for all as the only moral and practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress, justice, tolerance, civility and civilization itself.

Here are capsule descriptions of the Best Novel finalists, explaining how each fits our awards’ distinctive focus:

Continue reading How do the 2024 Best Novel finalists fit the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Awards?

2024 Best Novel finalists include both science fiction and fantasy – and honor two writers for the first time

By Michael Grossberg

Two writers have been recognized for the first time within the Prometheus Awards’ 45-year history as Best Novel finalists. Three other Best Novel finalist authors have been recognized more than once before in that annual category – and one is a previous Prometheus winner.

Moreover, in a relatively rare occurrence for the Prometheus Awards, not all Best Novel finalists this year fall within the genre of science fiction; one happens to fit the fantasy genre.

Devon Eriksen, Karl K. Gallagher, Gordon Hanka, Howard Andrew Jones and Daniel Suarez have each written a 2023 novel that’s been selected by Prometheus judges as a 2024 Best Novel finalist.

Continue reading 2024 Best Novel finalists include both science fiction and fantasy – and honor two writers for the first time

Ultimate Conclusions: Karl K. Gallagher’s first short-story collection on verge of publication

Karl K. Gallagher, a frequent Prometheus Best Novel finalist, is about to publish Ultimate Conclusions, his first collection of short stories.

 

Most stories in the anthology will be stories Gallagher has published in other collections or webzines, but several will be new.

“They range from the tale of an Amish boy on the Moon to visits with a Norse God and Death himself,” Gallagher said on Kickstarter, where he has been getting support for the project.

Continue reading Ultimate Conclusions: Karl K. Gallagher’s first short-story collection on verge of publication

17 works of science fiction, fantasy and dystopian literature are nominated for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel

Libertarian Futurist Society members have made 17 nominations for the Best Novel category of the next Prometheus Award.

Of the authors whose works are nominated, a majority are being recognized for the first time by the LFS and the Prometheus Awards.

Ten novelists are being recognized for the first time with Prometheus nominations. Listed in alphabetical order, those authors are Stephen Albrecht, Devon Eriksen, Howard Andrew Jones, Naomi Kritzer, Paul Lynch, Sandra Newman, Salman Rushdie, C. T. Rwizi, Fenton Wood and Alan Zimm.

Continue reading 17 works of science fiction, fantasy and dystopian literature are nominated for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel

The Best of the Blog: Three 2023 posts worth remembering (and rereading)

By Michael Grossberg

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.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

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.

Continue reading The Best of the Blog: Three 2023 posts worth remembering (and rereading)

A Prometheus blog milestone: A record number of posts in 2023

Numbers count.

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.

And this year, we succeeded.

Continue reading A Prometheus blog milestone: A record number of posts in 2023

How and Why to Fight For Freedom: An Appreciation of Heinlein’s “Free Men,” the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction


As part of the LFS’ ongoing Appreciation series of review-essays explaining how each Prometheus Award-winner fits the distinctive libertarian and anti-authoritarian focus of the sf/fantasy award and why it deserved to win, here is an Appreciation by author Karl K. Gallagher (a frequent Best Novel finalist himself) of Robert Heinlein’s story “Free Men,” the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction.

By Karl K. Gallagher

Many writers have “trunk stories”—pieces rejected so many times that the writer shoves them into a trunk and stops sending them out again. “Free Men” seems to have been one of Heinlein’s trunk stories.

The Expanded Universe foreword says he wrote it in 1947, just a year after Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech. The story wasn’t published until 1966, in the Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein single-author collection.

I can understand why editors didn’t want it.

It’s a grim story, with the protagonist left bleeding out as his followers flee to a new hiding place.

The premise is a USA occupied after losing WWIII, by an enemy willing to nuke towns as reprisals against guerillas. The kind of story that makes readers put the terms “unpatriotic,” “defeatist,” or “advocating ‘better red than dead’” in the letters cancelling their subscriptions.

So why did Heinlein write it? And why do some readers love it?

Continue reading How and Why to Fight For Freedom: An Appreciation of Heinlein’s “Free Men,” the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction

Fresh crop of Best Novel finalists spans genres, with most authors recognized for first time in Prometheus history

By Michael Grossberg

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!

Continue reading Fresh crop of Best Novel finalists spans genres, with most authors recognized for first time in Prometheus history