The Libertarian Futurist Society is publishing an Appreciation series of past award-winners that makes clear why each winner deserves recognition as notable pro-freedom and/or anti-authoritarian in theme. Here is an Appreciation of Poul Anderson’s Trader to the Stars, a 1985 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction.
By Michael Grossberg
Trader to the Stars, part of Anderson’s interstellar and libertarian-themed Future History series written over four decades, offers three loosely interconnected and longer stories about the free-trade-oriented Polesotechnic League operating during a Terran Empire.
Blending adventure, mystery and sf with some swashbuckling heroism and vivid descriptions often evoking Norse sagas, this 1964 book centers on Nicholas van Rijn, a resourceful and clever Danish merchant-hero (Anderson was Danish-American).
Anderson, always a realist about humanity with a sensibility of a melancholy romantic, portrays both humans and aliens as self-interested, striving to make a buck and satisfy their various needs amid an imperfect world of struggling and flawed peoples – in short, a future just like today.
Continue reading Free trade, entrepreneurship and a swashbuckling merchant-hero: Poul Anderson’s Trader to the Stars, a 1985 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner
To highlight the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society is publishing a series of review-essays explaining why past winners deserved recognition. Here’s our Appreciation for Poul Anderson’s The Stars Are Also Fire, the 1995 Prometheus Best Novel winner.
By Michael Grossberg and Victoria Varga
Poul Anderson’s 1994 novel offers a thought-provoking scenario in a distant future in which man-made artificial intelligences have come to dominate human beings, while many people still struggle for freedom and independence in a new era of space exploration.
The point of view of The Stars Are Also Fire alternates frequently over five centuries between an early 21st-century era of occupation of Earth’s moon and later Earth/moon conflicts as genetically-altered-human Lunarians seek independence from Earth’s World Federation and Peace Authority.
Continue reading Space exploration, artificial intelligence and freedom: An Appreciation of Poul Anderson’s The Stars Are Also Fire, the 1995 Prometheus Best Novel winner