Rabbit Test: Samantha Mill’s story, which swept this past year’s sf awards, has been hailed as libertarian (But that depends on your view of its central issue.)

By Michael Grossberg

One short story swept the major sf awards this past year – including the Hugos, the Nebulas and the Locus awards.

That story is “Rabbit Test,” by Samantha Mills.

According to at least one veteran libertarian sf fan, Mill’s story fits the distinctive focus of the Prometheus Award.

“The well-written story has a strong individual-liberty theme,” said Fred Moulton, a now-retired former LFS leader and Prometheus judge. (And the vast majority of libertarians likely would agree.)

But does it?

Continue reading Rabbit Test: Samantha Mill’s story, which swept this past year’s sf awards, has been hailed as libertarian (But that depends on your view of its central issue.)

Free enterprise in outer space: Appreciating Victor Koman’s Kings of the High Frontier, the 1997 Prometheus Best Novel winner

To make clear what libertarian futurists see in each of our past winners and how each fit our award’s distinctive focus on freedom, we’ve published review-essays of all past Prometheus winners. Here’s the  Appreciation for Victor Koman’s Kings of the High Frontier:

By Michael Grossberg

Victor Koman’s 1997 novel dramatizes the dream of getting into space with an libertarian twist: The massive effort is achieved through the voluntary social cooperation of mutual trade and mutual aid through private enterprise.

Set in a subtly alternate reality, the story imagines a profit-enhanced competition to reach the stars, which anticipated the X Prize that saw Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne reach space in 2004.

Kings of the High Frontier highlights the shortsighted bureaucratic and political efforts of a government-run program like NASA, with its consequences in corruption, wasteful mismanagement and stagnation.

Continue reading Free enterprise in outer space: Appreciating Victor Koman’s Kings of the High Frontier, the 1997 Prometheus Best Novel winner

Ethics, liberty, scientific innovation and abortion: An Appreciation of Victor Koman’s Solomon’s Knife, the 1990 Prometheus Best Novel winner

Introduction: To highlight the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, which the Libertarian Futurist Society began celebrating in 2019, we are posting weekly Appreciations of past Prometheus Award-winners, starting with our earliest Best Novel awards.

Here’s the next Appreciation for Victor Koman’s Solomon’s Knife, the 1990 Prometheus winner for Best Novel:

Victor Koman’s Solomon’s Knife imaginatively extends the typically partisan and predictable debate over abortion into new territory.

His provocative 1989 novel imagines a plausible future in which a controversial new surgical procedure is devised that could help women with unwanted pregnancies and women who want children but can’t become pregnant.

At the heroic center of the libertarian-themed medical thriller, which takes its title from the biblical story of King Solomon that tests two women over a baby, is a surgeon who risks her career to do the clandestine new type of surgery to help a beautiful woman seeking a routine abortion.

The new “transoption” procedure to transplant a fetus from one woman’s body to a willing new female host sparks media coverage, public outrage and a courtroom trial over an unprecedented custody battle. Koman uses his clever futuristic plot to explore issues within a moral drama that also has legal, political and scientific dimensions.
Continue reading Ethics, liberty, scientific innovation and abortion: An Appreciation of Victor Koman’s Solomon’s Knife, the 1990 Prometheus Best Novel winner