TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award

 

Publisher-editor Tom Doherty, who founded TOR Books, has won the 2024 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

The award, funded by the Heinlein Society and named after the Grand Master who has won more Prometheus Awards than anyone else, is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.

According to a Heinlein Society press release, the Heinlein award was given to Doherty in recognition of his work “in bringing the inspiring books of hundreds of authors writing about our future in Space to public awareness.”

One of the leading publishers of sf/fantasy, TOR Publishing Group has won every major award in the sf field – including Hugo, Nebula and Prometheus awards.

Continue reading TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award

Two-time Prometheus winner Michael F. Flynn has died


We are sorry to have to report that science fiction writer Michael F. Flynn has died. He was 75. Here is the obituary from  his local newspaper in Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Flynn won the Prometheus Award twice, in 1991 for In the Country of the Blind, and in 1992 for Fallen Angels (a collaboration with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle).

Continue reading Two-time Prometheus winner Michael F. Flynn has died

Interview: LFS President William H. Stoddard on fandom, freedom, favorite novels and the power of language

Few individuals have made more of a difference to the Libertarian Futurist Society and the Prometheus Awards in the 21st century than William H. Stoddard.

Bill, as he’s known to friends and fellow LFS members, has led the nonprofit, all-volunteer group of freedom-loving sf fans for more than a decade as president of the board of directors.

William H. Stoddard (File photo)

But Stoddard has done far more for many years, writing reviews of sf/fantasy for the Prometheus newsletter and more recently, this blog, and serving for decades as a key judge on both finalist-judging committees for the Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction categories of the Prometheus Award.

Here is LFS Secretary Michael Grossberg’s interview with Stoddard about how he became an sf fan, a libertarian and an active LFS member and what are some of his favorite writers and Prometheus-winning works.

Q: What Prometheus Award winners especially excited you or pleased you when they won for Best Novel?

A: For the Best Novel Award, I’d name two.

Michael Flynn’s In the Country of the Blind (1991 award) asked “what if Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine had come into use in the nineteenth century?” in the form, not of an alternate history, but of a hidden history where multiple secretive groups used predictive social science (made possible by Analytical Engines) to create the actual history of the twentieth century from behind the scenes; it was one of my main influences when I wrote GURPS Steampunk for Steve Jackson Games in 2000.

Continue reading Interview: LFS President William H. Stoddard on fandom, freedom, favorite novels and the power of language

Astronauts, environmentalists, sf fandom, global cooling and social regression: An Appreciation of Fallen Angels, the 1992 Prometheus Best Novel winner by Flynn, Niven and Pournelle

The Libertarian Futurist Society’s ongoing Appreciation series strives to make clear what libertarian futurists see in each of our past winners and how each fit the Prometheus award’s distinctive focus on freedom. Here’s our Appreciation for Fallen Angels, co-written by Michael Flynn, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle:

By Michael Grossberg

Fallen Angels, the 1992 Prometheus Best Novel winner, imagines a heroic struggle set against a dark future in which the United States and other countries are fighting a losing battle amidst the “global cooling” of a new Ice Age.

With the government turned anti-science and anti-technology in a coalition among Greens, feminists and religious fundamentalists, and federal officials focusing on persecuting science-fiction fans as subversives while ignoring the welfare of much of the population in some of the most affected parts of the weather-besieged country, this provocative 1992 novel might have been just a depressing cautionary tale.

But the novel’s co-authors Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn offer some genuine hope by focusing on a group of individualistic, science-loving and freedom-loving misfits. Continue reading Astronauts, environmentalists, sf fandom, global cooling and social regression: An Appreciation of Fallen Angels, the 1992 Prometheus Best Novel winner by Flynn, Niven and Pournelle

Steampunk, Victorian technology, secret history and freedom of choice: An Appreciation of Michael Flynn’s In the Country of the Blind, the 1991 Prometheus Best Novel winner

The Libertarian Futurist Society’s ongoing Appreciation series strives to make clear what libertarian futurists see in each of our past winners and how each fit the Prometheus award’s distinctive focus on Liberty vs. Power. Here’s our appreciation of Michael Flynn’s In the Country of the Blind, the 1992 Prometheus winner for Best Novel.

By William H. Stoddard

Michael Flynn’s In the Country of the Blind came out in 1990, the same year as William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine. While the word “steampunk” was somewhat older (coined in 1987 by K.W. Jeter for Victorian fantasies generally), these two novels gave the genre one of its central themes: the use of Victorian technology and social transformation as an analog of (then-) recent computer technology, making steampunk parallel to cyberpunk.

For both novels, a central technology was Charles Babbage’s “analytical engine,” a proposed machine that would have been fully programmable in the manner of an electronic computer.

Gibson and Sterling made the analytical engine the basis for an alternate history – a literal “difference engine.” Flynn did something subtler: He made the analytical engine the basis for an only minimally fictionalized version of real-world history.

Continue reading Steampunk, Victorian technology, secret history and freedom of choice: An Appreciation of Michael Flynn’s In the Country of the Blind, the 1991 Prometheus Best Novel winner