Slavery, family, and a fight for liberty in a “juvenile” for all readers: An appreciation of Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

By William H. Stoddard

From his first stories published in Astounding Science Fiction to such late novels as Friday and Job, Robert Heinlein was recognized as an outstanding science fiction writer.

For many of us, though, our introduction to his writing, and often to science fiction as a genre, came from the twelve novels he published through Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Categorized as “juvenile” and aimed at an audience ranging from boys in junior high school to young men in the armed forces, these books in fact speak to a far wider audience, and are more sophisticated both in literary technique and in the ideas they present, than almost any other boys’ books and indeed than many books for adults.

And those ideas are often relevant to libertarian concerns.

Continue reading Slavery, family, and a fight for liberty in a “juvenile” for all readers: An appreciation of Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

Attending cons and thinking outside the box: Part 2 of the Prometheus interview with writer Leslie Fish

Here is the second half of the Prometheus Blog interview with author-songwriter Leslie Fish.

Fish, interviewed by journalist and blog editor Michael Grossberg, won the 2014 Special Prometheus Award for her novella “Tower of Horses” (published in the Music of Darkover anthology) and related filk-song “The Horseman’s Daughter.”

LFS: Did science fiction and fantasy have a major influence on how you developed your views of the world?

Fish: Yes, if only by leading me to think outside the box, and to always ask “What if?”

LFS: How did your anarchist and anti-statist views evolve?

Fish: I learned early on to throw out the muddy ideas of “socialism”… from my observation of the real world.  I saw for myself that in a free society people will voluntarily gather into interest groups to achieve what they want, and no “force-propped authority” is necessary to make them do it.

Continue reading Attending cons and thinking outside the box: Part 2 of the Prometheus interview with writer Leslie Fish

Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun

A Nobel-Prize-winning author has written a novel chosen as a Best Novel finalist – a notable and interesting intersection of two literary awards with quite different focuses.

Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017 (Creative Commons license)

Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, writes mostly “mainstream” fiction that often conveys a wistful sense of loss and missed connections.

Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro’s latest novel about the ambiguous status of an intelligent and curious A.F. (Artificial Friend), was recently named by Libertarian Futurist Society judges as one of five 2022 Best Novel finalists.

Continue reading Meet the author: Nobel-Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a Best Novel finalist for Klara and the Sun

A pioneering anthology about the promise of liberty and perils of tyranny: The Survival of Freedom, the 2001 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

To celebrate the Prometheus Awards’ four-decade history and make clear why winners deserve recognition as pro-freedom and/or anti-authoritarian works, the Libertarian Futurist Society is publishing an Appreciation series of all  award-winners. Here’s an appreciation for The Survival of Freedom, edited by Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr, the 2001 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner:

By Michael Grossberg

The Survival of Freedom was one of the first sf anthologies to explore the future of liberty.

It also has the distinction of being the first (and so far, only) anthology to be inducted (in 2001) into the Prometheus Hall of Fame. This broad awards category for classic fiction is open to any works first published, broadcast or staged more than 20 years ago and encompasses many types of fiction – including but not limited to novels, novellas, stories, plays, poems, songs, musicals, films, TV episodes, series, trilogies and anthologies.

Edited by Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr, the 1981 anthology of stories and essays is notable for its wide-ranging and sometimes surprising collection of material.

Continue reading A pioneering anthology about the promise of liberty and perils of tyranny: The Survival of Freedom, the 2001 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner

Where to find the 2021 Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists for Best Classic Fiction

A 1912 story, 1969 novel, 1975 novel, 1978 rock song and 1978 story have been selected by LFS judges as finalists for the 2021 Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.

But where can you find them?

Two finalists – the song and a story – are easy to access, being online and free. But one novel is out of print and thus harder to find.

So here is an overview of each 2021 finalist – Poul Anderson’s The Winter of the World, Rudyard Kipling’s story “As Easy as A.B.C.,” Rush’s song “The Trees”, Jack Vance’s novel Emphyrio and F. Paul Wilson’s story “Lipidleggin’” – and the different places and editions and formats where they are available. Continue reading Where to find the 2021 Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists for Best Classic Fiction

Where you can find the 2019 Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

Now that the Libertarian Futurist Society has announced its 2019 finalists for the Prometheus Hall of Fame (Best Classic Fiction) and posted the news on our lfs.org website and on this Prometheus blog, LFS members (and all interested sf fans) might be curious about where you can find and read them.

That’s especially a question that might arise this year, when for the first time within memory, almost all of the Hall of Fame finalists are short stories or novellas (with only one novel as a finalist.)
Continue reading Where you can find the 2019 Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists

Freedom in the Future Tense: A Political History of SF

 

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