By Michael Grossberg
If beauty is proverbially found in the eye of the beholder, then a sense of humor may be located in our funny bones.
Yet everyone’s sense of humor is a bit different. What you find hilarious may leave me cold (or at least lukewarm), while what fills some bellies with laughs may leave others with barely a smile on their faces.
Given how personal a sense of humor tends to be, it may be provocative but should be interesting to ask: Which Prometheus Award winners do you find most amusing?
Which are designed to make you smile, and laugh out loud – and achieve their goal?
Continue reading Making ‘em laugh for the sake of liberty: Which Best Novel winners best incorporate comedy?
Introduction: To highlight the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, which the Libertarian Futurist Society began celebrating in 2019, and make clear what makes past winners deserve recognition as pro-freedom sf/fantasy, we’re continuing in 2020 to present a series of weekly Appreciations of Prometheus Award-winners, starting with our first category for Best Novel.
Here’s the latest Appreciation for John Varley’s The Golden Globe:
A rare picaresque sf comedy among Best Novel winners, John Varley’s The Golden Globe follows the episodic adventures of a resilient itinerant actor living by his wits and thespian skills in the outer solar system.
Varley, clearly a fan of Shakespeare, updates the Bard in his 1998 novel to illustrate the theme that “if all the worlds (are) a stage – not world’s, but plural – then all the men and women in this are merely players… strutting, fretting and conniving through their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts….”
That everyman man is Kenneth “Sparky” Valentine, the fugitive central character and an interstellar con man, who’s been on the run for decades from planet to planet. successfully evading the State authorities. Resourceful and scrappy, Sparky survives through con jobs and his high-tech ability to transform his age, his body type/size and his gender by altering skin-deep magnetic implants.
Continue reading Picaresque comedy, anti-authoritarian spirit and roguish individualism in an interstellar future: An Appreciation of John Varley’s The Golden Globe, the 1999 Prometheus Best Novel winner