Appreciating sf author Nancy Kress, her Beggars trilogy and other Prometheus-nominated novels

By Michael Grossberg

Prolific sf author Nancy Kress has won Hugos and Nebula awards but she’s never won a Prometheus Award. Not yet, anyway.

Nor was Kress nominated for The Eleventh Gate, an interesting 2020 novel (recently reviewed in the Prometheus blog) that pits libertarian planets against more authoritarian worlds.

Nevertheless, Kress has been frequently recognized within the history of the Prometheus awards.

In fact, she has been nominated four times for Best Novel – and one of her novels (Beggars in Spain) was voted a Best Novel finalist.

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A free (or very cheap) L. Neil Smith ebook from Arc Manor


L. Neil Smith’s SF mystery, Their Majesties’ Bucketeers, normally a $6 Kindle ebook, is being offered as a free or very cheap ebook by publisher Arc Manor.

It’s listed as 99 cents, and I paid it, but you have the option of changing the price to free. It was supposed to be the May book under the publisher’s monthly program, but the email wasn’t sent out until May 17, and I was still able to snag it on June 2.

The offer will expire when a new one is posted, so if you want the deal, I’d hurry. Smith of course was a libertarian SF author who founded the Prometheus Awards. 

Sign up for similar email offers at the publisher’s website.

(If you have trouble with any link, just visit the Arc Manor website directly at www.arcmanorbooks.com and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the free novel – your choice of a Mobi or ePub file – and signing up for the monthly free ebooks from this publisher.)

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R.I.P., L. Neil Smith: Sf writer, best known for libertarian classic The Probability Broach, leaves a lasting legacy of liberty-loving sf adventure

Libertarian science fiction writer L. Neil Smith has died, leaving a legacy of high-spirited libertarian sf adventure and of the Prometheus Award itself.

L. Neil Smith (Creative Commons photo)

Smith, who died at 75 on Aug. 27, 2021 in Fort Collins, Colo., is best known for his explicitly libertarian novel The Probability Broach and its rambunctious alternate-history sequels in his The North American Confederacy series.

During his writing career from the 1970s into the 2010s, Smith wrote 31 books, including 29 novels, and many essays and short stories.

Quite a few of his works were nominated for Prometheus Awards because of their freewheeling adventure, sense of humor, imaginative alternate-reality scenarios and strong libertarian/individualist themes.

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Freedom-lovers and power-mongers on a terraformed and colonized asteroid: An Appreciation of L. Neil Smith’s Pallas, the 1994 Prometheus Best Novel winner

As part of our ongoing Appreciation series of  past Prometheus Awardwinners, here’s the Appreciation for L. Neil Smith’s Pallas, the 1994 Best Book winner:

By Michael Grossberg

Set in the 22nd century on the terra-formed and colonized asteroid of Pallas, L. Neil Smith’s Heinlein-esque novel imagines a believable future based on plausible scientific developments but one beset by familiar political divisions between freedom-lovers and power-mongers.

Two groups of colonists sharing the habitat in a 20th of Earth’s gravity come into conflict. The larger culture is a fully free gun-toting group of rugged individualists who live as they choose – but at their own expense, with strict accountability in “moon-is-a-harsh-mistress” respect for the harsh realities of asteroid existence in the outer solar system.

These colonists represent something of a libertarian utopia based on explicit consent, since all have signed a founding document modeled on the ideas of an Ayn-Rand-style woman philosopher.

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Some love for L. Neil Smith at Tor.com

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.”

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