Note: Here is the latest author’s update about Travis Corcoran, and a follow-up to a previous blog post. (Submissions of news and updates from other Prometheus-recognized authors – whether nominees, finalists or winners – are welcome and will be considered for publication.)
Prometheus-winning author Travis Corcoran recently shared some glimpses into the subjects and themes of two of his upcoming sf novels.
Right and Duty and Absolute Tyranny respectively will be the third and fourth novels in Corcoran’s four-part Aristillus series.
The novels will continue the story in the future-history series that Corcoran launched with The Powers of the Earth and its sequel Causes of Separation, set partly on the Earth but mostly in a functioning-with-challenges anarcho-capitalist colony on the Moon. Both novels won the Prometheus Award for Best Novel, with Powers winning in 2018 and Causes winning in 2019.
Corcoran reports that he is working simultaneously on both the third and fourth novels in the series, “which are still very libertarian in background,” he said.
With this combined Appreciation for the past two Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel, the Libertarian Futurist Society’s weekly Appreciation series of all our past winners in that category is complete – providing a handy reference guide that highlights the awards’ diverse history while making clear why each winner deserved recognition as pro-freedom or anti-authoritarian sf/fantasy.
Here is William H. Stoddard’s combined Appreciation of Travis Corcoran’s The Powers of the Earth and Causes of Separation, the 2018 and 2019 Prometheus Award winners for Best Novel:
By William H. Stoddard
In 2017, Travis Corcoran funded the publication of two books through Kickstarter, and released the first, Powers of the Earth, which won the Prometheus Award for Best Novel. In 2018, he released the second, Causes of Separation. The two volumes are described as the first half of a planned four-volume series, Aristillus (named for a lunar crater), but they actually make up an integrated and self-contained story: Had they both appeared the same year, they could have been nominated as a single work.
It’s long been the policy of the Libertarian Futurist Society to give awards to “the work, not the author”: A book can win Best Novel even if its author doesn’t self-identify as a libertarian, so long as its theme is pro-liberty. A corollary of this is that “pro-liberty” doesn’t mean adhering tightly to a specific interpretation of libertarianism.
If a novel illuminates the meaning of individual rights and a free society, or suggests a way to establish them, or explores the functioning of such a society, or warns against the evils of authoritarianism, or critiques or deconstructs an ideology opposed to liberty – then it can be considered for a Prometheus award. Nonetheless, books whose vision is wholeheartedly libertarian are welcome discoveries, and the Aristillus novels were such a discovery.