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:

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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

Best Novel finalist review: Howard Andrew Jones’ Lord of a Shattered Land offers epic sword-and-sorcery saga with anti-slavery, anti-tyranny, pro-liberty themes

“Howard Andrew Jones is the leading Sword & Sorcery author of the 21st century… His Lord of a Shattered Land is his best work yet… It’s a magnificent achievement, destined to become a modern classic.”
— John O’Neill, World Fantasy Award-winning publisher of Black Gate

By Michael Grossberg

I admit I generally don’t enjoy fantasy as much as science fiction, but I loved Lord of a Shattered Land, one of the best sword-and-sorcery sagas I’ve read.

Howard Andrew Jones’s epic fantasy, published by Baen Books and one of 17 nominees for the next Prometheus Award for Best Novel, tells a gripping tale that powerfully and emotionally evokes the evils of slavery and tyranny and the passionate, unquenchable desire of people to be free.

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A guide to the Best Novel nominees, Part 2: How Theft of Fire, Swim Among the People, God’s Girlfriend and Lord of a Shattered Land fit the Prometheus Award

By Michael Grossberg

What makes an sf/fantasy novel eligible for nomination for a Prometheus Award?

How many different types of genres, styles and themes can fit the distinctive dual focus of the Prometheus Award – at once literary in quality and thematic in libertarian/anti-authoritarian substance?

To help illuminate such questions anew, the Prometheus Blog is presenting a series of posts offering capsule descriptions of the 17 2023 novels nominated for the 44th Prometheus Award for Best Novel.

We hope this guide will help the public better understand the specific focus and broad scope of our award, one of the oldest continually presented after the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

In addition, we hope these descriptions will stimulate interest in reading these diverse novels among Libertarian Futurist Society members, other freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans and the general public.

Part Two includes capsule descriptions, alphabetized by author, of four Best Novel nominees: Devon Eriksen’s Theft of Fire, Karl K. Gallagher’s Swim Among the People, Dr. Insensitive Jerk’s God’s Girlfriend, and Howard Andrew Jones’ Lord of a Shattered Land.

Continue reading A guide to the Best Novel nominees, Part 2: How Theft of Fire, Swim Among the People, God’s Girlfriend and Lord of a Shattered Land fit the Prometheus Award