Science fiction writer L. Neil Smith is staying busy with a bunch of writing projects. Ares, the latest book of his Ngu Family Saga, will be out soon from Smith’s publisher, Arc Manor. Smith’s Only the Young Die Good, the sequel to his 2011 vampire novel, Sweeter Than Wine, also will be out before too long, and Smith has begun work on the next Ngu novel, Rosalie’s World.
Smith received our Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016 and also received Prometheus Awards for four individual works: The Probability Broach, Pallas, The Forge of the Elders and the graphic novel version of The Probability Broach. (Pallas is the first book of the Ngu Family Saga.)
James Davis Nicoll, a recent nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer, writes about “40 Years of the Prometheus Award,” for Tor.com. He concludes that “following this particular award can be rewarding for readers of all stripes. Probably not every work above will be to your taste, but certainly some will be.”
The comments, including back and forth between Nicoll and readers, also are interesting.
Continue reading Tor.com looks at the Prometheus Award on its 40th anniversary
As part of a “bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books,” Alan Brown writes an appreciation of The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith for Tor.com. (Smith won the Prometheus Award for the book in 1982.)
Brown writes, “Smith’s writing voice is witty, snarky, and entertaining, and there is always plenty of action to keep the story moving.”
Brown’s take on Smith’s libertarian philosophy: “In the early 1980s, I worked in a variety of jobs in Washington, D.C., and it was here that I encountered Smith’s work. During that time, spending an evening here and there reading a book set in worlds of free-wheeling anarchy was often a refreshing break from the sluggish bureaucracy I worked in during the days. While I am a political centrist myself, I always enjoy reading works that advocate different points of view, especially when they do so in an entertaining manner.”
By Eric S. Raymond
The history of modern SF is one of five attempted revolutions — one success and four enriching failures. I’m going to offer a look at them from an unusual angle, a political one.
This turns out to be a useful perspective because more of the history of SF than one might expect is intertwined with political questions, and SF had an important role in giving birth to at least one distinct political ideology that is alive and important today.
CAMPBELL AND HEINLEIN
The first and greatest of the revolutions came out of the minds of John Wood Campbell and Robert Heinlein, the editor and the author who invented modern science fiction. The pivotal year was 1937, when John Campbell took over the editorship of Astounding Science Fiction. He published Robert Heinlein’s first story a little over a year later.
Continue reading Freedom in the Future Tense: A Political History of SF