To make clear why past winners deserve recognition as pro-freedom sf/fantasy and how they fit the Prometheus Award, Appreciations of past winners have been written and posted. Here’s the Appreciation for Ken MacLeod’s Learning the World, the 2006 Prometheus Best Novel winner:
MacLeod’s inventive first-contact novel explores the politics and uncertainties involved from two perspectives: the natives of the planet and the “alien” (human) visitors.
In some ways modeled on classic Heinlein juveniles and a departure from his other future-Earth-solar-system novels exploring the implications of libertarian and Marxist ideas, Learning the World offers as a primary viewpoint character a teen girl living on an interstellar colony ship about to enter a new solar system.
To make clear what libertarian futurists see in each of our past winners and how they fit the distinctive focus of our award, we’ve published review-essays about all past winners. Here’s the Appreciation for The Star Fraction, by Ken MacLeod:
By Michael Grossberg
The Star Fraction, a 1995 novel by Ken MacLeod, established the Scottish sf novelist’s international reputation for blending sf with a dizzying array of balkanized politics and ideological factions (including highly self-aware libertarians and socialists).
Set in a fragmented and conflicted mid-21st-century Britain beset by political factions and high-tech surveillance after a brief third world war and leftist Labour Party policies have led to economic and social decay, this is the first novel in MacLeod’s Fall Revolution series, which continued with The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and The Sky Road.
Among the interesting and unusual characters and forces affecting this future are a Christian-turned-atheist teenaged programmer eager to escape his fundamentalist subculture, a rogue computer program manipulating events, a woman scientist researching memory-enhancement drugs, and a communist security mercenary with a smart gun and information that might spark change.