British Science Fiction Association Awards’ 2023 long list includes several Prometheus-nominated authors

Prometheus-winning author Charles Stross and Prometheus-finalists Martha Wells and John Scalzi are on the BSFA list.

So is Sandra Newman, author of Julia, the acclaimed sequel to Orwell’s 1984 that’s recently been nominated along with a dozen other 2023 novels for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

What list are they on? It’s the fascinating and far-flung long list of nominees for the BSFA Awards, recently announced for works published in 2023.

Sponsored by the British Science Fiction Association, the BSFA awards have been presented annually since 1970 – and can be a harbinger of the Hugos, the Nebulas and other major sf/fantasy awards.

The BSFA awards also overlap to some extent with the Prometheus Awards over the decades, recognizing several of our favorite writers.

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Of the writers who’ve won the most Prometheus Awards, which of their works should you read first?

By Michael Grossberg

The Prometheus Award has been presented more than 100 times, but which authors have won the most? And which of their winning works should you read first, if you aren’t familiar with them?

In the original Best Novel annual category, which I’ll focus on here, only 10 authors have won more than one – and only four writers have won as many as three.

(Try to guess their names, just for fun, without taking a peek at the LFS website’s Prometheus Awards page, which lists all past winners.)

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Enduring quotes from more classic Prometheus Award acceptance speeches (since 2000)

 

“When we started our writing career we never dreamt of winning the Prometheus Award. … Of all the awards in Science Fiction, … The Prometheus Award, above all others, became the one we truly wanted. [because] liberty must be championed and valued — of the myriad awards out there, only the Prometheus recognizes this essential fact. And the authors we respect the most have all won it.”

Eytan and Dani Kollin in 2010 (Creative Commons license)

– Eytan and Dani Kollin, co-authors of The Unincorporated Man, the 2010 Prometheus Awardwinner for Best Novel, from their Prometheus acceptance speech

By Chris Hibbert

Following up on a recent Prometheus blog post, here are more classic Prometheus Award acceptance speeches to savor.

These speeches, all since 2000, offer insightful quotes that still resonate today.

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A treasure trove of wisdom, wit and gratitude: Memorable Prometheus Award winners’ speeches

By Chris Hibbert

One of the things I do in my spare time is bring old issues of Prometheus onto the web. Prometheus, the LFS’ former print quarterly, was published from 1982 to 2015, and there are lots of articles of lasting value in this collection.  Well more than half the issues are now available on the web.

One thing I noticed a little while ago is that we have transcripts of many of the Prometheus Award acceptance speeches that have been given over the years, and they are worth reading again. We also have recordings of several of the ceremonies, but uploading those will be a separate project.

Here’s a quick guide to all the speeches that appeared in Prometheus:

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Prometheus Awards honors first Australian sf writer; Dave Freer wins Best Novel for Cloud-Castles

Science fiction and fantasy is written all over the world – and LFS members have nominated fiction from several continents and many countries over the decades.

More than ever, the Prometheus Awards have become truly international.

For the first time, the Libertarian Futurist Society has recognized an Australian writer as winner of the Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

Dave Freer (Photo courtesy of author)

Dave Freer, an Australian who lives in Tasmania, has won the 2023 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for novels published in 2022.

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Magic, superhuman tyranny and creating a society without slavery in Graydon Saunders’s fantasy Commonweal Series

Work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation.”
—Alasdair Gray.

“If these are the early days of a better nation, there must be hope, and a hope of peace is as good as any, and far better than a hollow hoarding greed or the dry lies of an aweless god.”
—Graydon Saunders

By William H. Stoddard

Ken MacLeod’s blog, “The Early Days of a Better Nation,” takes its title from a quotation from Alasdair Gray. Obligingly, he provides that quotation, followed immediately by another quotation from Graydon Saunders that comments on the idea.

Who is Graydon Saunders? Eventually, I became curious, and found that he was, among other things, the author of a series of strikingly original fantasy novels, the Commonweal series.

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A badge of honor: LFS logo/brand image added to Novel finalist book cover, raising visibility for the Prometheus Award

The LFS Prometheus Awards badge, created last year as an option for finalists and winners to use to further publicize their awards recognition, is starting to be used – and in a highly visible way.

When the awards badge was designed and approved last year, LFS leaders expected that it would be used occasionally but most often as art visually enhancing an author’s blog or publisher’s website on the same page announcing the good news that a particular author or work of fiction has been recognized as a finalist or winner.

Even better, though, was the way the badge has been used this year for the first time by a Best Novel finalist: Author Gordon Hanka has just added the LFS badge to the front cover of his novel A Beast Cannot Feign.

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Meet the author: Karl K. Gallagher, a double Best Novel finalist for Between Home and Ruin and Seize What’s Held Dear

For only the third time in the 43-year history of the Prometheus Awards, one author has been recognized twice within one year as a Best Novel finalist.

Author Karl K. Gallagher (Creative Commons license)

That’s Karl K. Gallagher, whose 2022 finalists include Between Home and Ruin and Seize What’s Held Dear, respectively the second and third novels in his Fall of the Censor series.

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Libertarian Futurist Society raises visibility at CoNZealand, the first all-online World Science Fiction Convention, with Prometheus-winning novelist F. Paul Wilson leading timely panel (watch it here!) on “Freedom in SF: Forty Years of the Prometheus Awards”

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention and the first Worldcon in history to be presented entirely online, pulled off the unprecedented feat with impressive organization and the dedication of countless volunteers and organizers.

In the process, the July 29 to Aug. 1 event offered the annual Hugo Awards ceremony and a dizzying variety of interesting panel discussions – including one suggested by the Libertarian Futurist Society to honor the Prometheus Awards’ recent 40thanniversary.

With a vast and potentially larger worldwide online audience watching from many countries on Zoom and Discord platforms but avoiding direct physical contact for safety during the pandemic, the New Zealand Worldcon seized the potential to be seen more widely. One happy consequence was raising the visibility worldwide of the Libertarian Futurist Society and the Prometheus Awards.

 

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The Libertarian Futurist Society, Prometheus Awards, LFS writers hailed in Quillette article about the persistence of libertarian sf as a key strand in mainstream science fiction

By Michael Grossberg

Libertarian science fiction has always been a seminal strand in the ever-evolving genre of science fiction and fantasy – and in significant and honorable ways, that socially conscious and liberty-loving subgenre continues as a force today, even amid regressive and reactionary forces flirting with the perennial temptations of statism, authoritarianism and centralized, institutionalized coercion on the Left and Right.

Libertarian futurists – within and outside the Libertarian Futurist Society (not to mention other organizations within the far broader libertarian movement, from Reason and Liberty magazines to the Cato Institute)  – have understood that for a long time.

Yet, it’s salutary and newsworthy when our understanding of the broader intellectual and artistic currents that have helped shape the four-decade-plus history and diversity of the Prometheus Awards is shared and appreciated by an international, cosmopolitan publication outside the libertarian movement.

The cover illustration of the Quillette article on Libertarian Science Fiction Photo: a Quillette illustration, copied here to help people find the article on their website

Such a relatively rare occasion has materialized this month (June 2020) with a fair-minded, open-minded, rich and rewarding essay on “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction” published in Quillette, an influential web-magazine that embraces what modern libertarians might generally recognize as classically liberal principles.

According to its mission statement, Quillette offers “a platform for free thought. We respect ideas, even dangerous ones. We also believe that free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress.”

Indeed, LFS members might say as much, using virtually the same words, to uphold important Bill of Rights aspects of our libertarian vision of a fully free future in which people strive to respect other people’s rights and live together through the voluntary cooperation and enterprise of a free society and a free market while steadfastly abjuring violence, the initiation of force or fraud and the institutionalized coercion of the unchecked State.

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