A banner year for Prometheus blog interviews: 2023 winner Dave Freer, frequent finalist Karl Gallagher, author/judge John Christmas and the late great James Hogan

By Michael Grossberg

This was an excellent year for interesting and informative interviews with a variety of authors, all worth reading (or rereading.)

Dave Freer with his 2023 Prometheus Awards Best Novel plaque for Cloud-Castles (Photo courtesy of Freer)
James P. Hogan (Creative Commons license)

The Prometheus Blog boasted more posted interviews in 2023 than ever before – most notably, with Australian sf writer Dave Freer, the first individual from the Southern Hemisphere to win a Prometheus award; and with the late great James Hogan, a two-time Prometheus winner for Best Novel.

Continue reading A banner year for Prometheus blog interviews: 2023 winner Dave Freer, frequent finalist Karl Gallagher, author/judge John Christmas and the late great James Hogan

The best of the blog: Six posts to savor from 2022 (about Bujold, Heinlein, Longyear, McCarthy and more)

By Michael Grossberg

Happy new year! If you didn’t have a chance to catch up in 2022 with every post published last year on The Prometheus Blog, you missed some fascinating and illuminating reading.

On average, the LFS posted a fresh article on the blog about every five days – a little more often than our initial weekly publication goal, when establishing the Prometheus blog years ago.

Among the 67 blog posts of 2022 were a wide range of reviews, essays, author interviews and Prometheus-Award-winner appreciations – not to mention a variety of timely news updates and links to interesting international articles referencing past Prometheus winners.

Second chances don’t always occur in life, but the start of 2023 offers an opportunity to look back and enjoy some of the best Prometheus blog reviews, essays, interviews and appreciations of the past year.

Continue reading The best of the blog: Six posts to savor from 2022 (about Bujold, Heinlein, Longyear, McCarthy and more)

The Prometheus Awards reach a notable milestone: 100 works recognized!

Before 2022 ends, it’s worth noting that the Prometheus Awards reached a pretty big milestone this year.

It involves a nice round number, too: 100 – the total number of works recognized by the Prometheus Awards in all three categories since the award was established more than four decades ago.

From 1979, when the very first Prometheus Award was presented to F. Paul Wilson’s novel Wheels Within Wheels, through 2022, 90 works of fiction have been recognized in the Libertarian Futurist Society’s two annual categories for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction.

That includes 44 novels that have won a Prometheus for Best Novel, including this year’s newest winner: Rich Man’s Sky by Wil McCarthy.

And it includes 46 works – novels, novellas, stories, a graphic novel, an anthology and a TV series – that have been inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.

Plus, 10 works have received Special Prometheus Awards – including three libertarian sf anthologies, two films, two graphic novels, a novella, a filk song and (most recently in 2017) a webcomic series.

Continue reading The Prometheus Awards reach a notable milestone: 100 works recognized!

The Prometheus interview, part 3, with Wil McCarthy: On his first novel Antediluvian and his cool sci-fi portrait pics

Here is the third and final part of the Prometheus interview with Wil McCarthy, the 2022 Prometheus Best Novel winner for Rich Man’s Sky.

Will McCarthy (Photo courtesy of Baen Books)


Q: Talk about the impetus for your first novel Antediluvian, once you returned from your recent writing hiatus. I recently read and enjoyed it as an ingenious twist on the standard time-travel novel, offering a genetic-memory approach to experiencing what really might have happened millennia ago to our “cave man” ancestors. Your novel plausibly reimagines key events – like the massive flooding 12,000 to 14,000 years ago that’s the reality behind the story of Noah’s Ark – that gave rise through generations of oral history to our inherited (and likely highly distorted) mythologies about ancient history.

Continue reading The Prometheus interview, part 3, with Wil McCarthy: On his first novel Antediluvian and his cool sci-fi portrait pics

The Prometheus interview with Wil McCarthy, part 2: On temptations of power, libertarianism, his favorite Prometheus authors and why he reads Reason every day

Here is the second part of the Prometheus Blog interview with Wil McCarthy, the 2022 Best Novel winner for Rich Man’s Sky.

SF author Will McCarthy in command of some sort of starship (Photo: Baen Books)

Q: Were you aware of the Prometheus Awards before receiving your first Best Novel nomination this past year?

A: I have been aware of the award, yes.  I used to think of it as a purely political award, which I think perhaps it was in the early days.  But when you see it going to people like Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) and Charles Stross (Glasshouse) — both excellent, thoughtful writers, and clearly not Libertarians in any traditional American sense — I think it’s easier to see it as a genuine literary prize that rewards great ideas and great storytelling.

Continue reading The Prometheus interview with Wil McCarthy, part 2: On temptations of power, libertarianism, his favorite Prometheus authors and why he reads Reason every day

The Prometheus Interview: 2022 winner Wil McCarthy on Rich Man’s Sky, Heinlein and his return from hiatus

SF author Wil McCarthy, the 2022 Prometheus Best Novel winner for Rich Man’s Sky, took a long hiatus from writing science fiction, but now he’s back – and happy to answer a few questions about his work.

In the first part of this two-part interview, McCarthy explains why he went on hiatus, admires Robert Heinlein and reads the leading libertarian magazine Reason every day.

SF writer Wil McCarthy Photo courtesy of author

Q: You’ve written quite a few sf novels and stories. Why did you go on hiatus and what have you written since you returned?

A: I took a long hiatus from writing to run a tech start-up, among other things. When I came back, the first thing I did was write two novellas, the second of which ended up winning the AnLab award.

Then I wrote two novels, the second of which is Rich Man’s Sky, so it’s nice to see people actually taking notice.  It’s a nice way to ease back in.

Continue reading The Prometheus Interview: 2022 winner Wil McCarthy on Rich Man’s Sky, Heinlein and his return from hiatus

Real-world entrepreneurship advancing humanity across our solar system: An Appreciation of Wil McCarthy’s Rich Man’s Sky, the 2022 Prometheus Best Novel winner

By Michael Grossberg

Rich Man’s Sky, the 2022 Prometheus winner for Best Novel, brims with the excitement, adventure, uncertainties and anxieties of real-world entrepreneurship.

Wil McCarthy’s kaleidoscopic novel, which thrillingly ventures beyond our Earth to chart the exploration, colonization and industrialization of our solar system, realistically and insightfully portrays the inevitably messy and risky progress of free men and women pursuing various goals through the cooperation of free markets.

Yet, the 291-page Baen Books novel – which launches a projected trilogy – also perceptively contrasts markets, warts and all, with the grimier and darker realities of politics – which unlike the voluntary transactions of the marketplace, unavoidably involves various forms and degrees of coercion, outright violence or the threat of violence and thus leads to some benefiting unjustly at the expense of others.

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Will McCarthy’s 2022 Prometheus Award acceptance speech: The nutritional value of literature

Here is the acceptance speech by sf writer Wil McCarthy, winner of the 2022 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for Rich Man’s Sky. McCarthy presented his speech Aug. 13, 2022, via Zoom as part of the LFS’ annual awards ceremony, which included two-time Prometheus winner Travis Corcoran as presenter of the Best Novel category.

BY WIL MCCARTHY

Howdy.  I’m very happy to be here, and I’d like to thank all of you for inviting me.  Yours is a great organization with a noble purpose, and I can only imagine the energy that goes into it.  I think it’s ironic that I’m the one getting recognition today, when you all are the ones doing the work.  My only regret is that I’m not able to thank you in person.

Rich Man's Sky
Rich Man’s Sky

Continue reading Will McCarthy’s 2022 Prometheus Award acceptance speech: The nutritional value of literature

A celebration of old and new: The 2022 Prometheus Awards recognize Heinlein, McCarthy novels

The 2022 Prometheus Awards, to be presented Aug. 13 in an online ceremony, will honor “something old” and “something new.”

In a wedding of circumstance and happy coincidence, a first-time Prometheus-nominated author (the “something new” according to wedding custom) has been declared the winner in the Best Novel category, while the golden-age sf author most honored in the four-decade-plus history of this award is recognized anew.

Novelist Wil McCarthy (Photo courtesy of Baen Books)

Wil McCarthy, a prolific sf writer nominated for the first time for this award, has been selected by Libertarian Futurist Society members as winner of the Best Novel category for Rich Man’s Sky.

Meanwhile, the late great Robert Heinlein – a Prometheus favorite – will be recognized for his novel Citizen of the Galaxy, which will be inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction.

Robert Heinlein (Creative Commons license)

Heinlein (1907-1988), now an eight-time Prometheus Award winner, has won more Prometheus awards than any other writer, living or deceased.

Fittingly, Heinlein’s zestful spirit of adventure – championing scientific and social progress against tyranny and oppression and exploring libertarian possibilities of the future – is reflected in both of this year’s winners.

Continue reading A celebration of old and new: The 2022 Prometheus Awards recognize Heinlein, McCarthy novels

Rich Man’s Sky: Wil McCarthy’s Best Novel finalist imagines billionaire-led quest for private solar-system development

Introduction: This is the final review in a series that the Prometheus blog has been publishing this spring and summer to highlight the 2022 Best Novel finalists.

This review of Wil McCarthy’s Rich Man’s Sky follows previously posted reviews of the other four finalists: Lionel Shriver’s Should We Stay Or Should We GoKazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun and Karl K. Gallagher’s Between Home and Ruin and Seize What’s Held Dear.

By Michael Grossberg

Venturing beyond the Earth to explore, colonize and industrialize our solar system has been a dream of humanity – and that dream is beginning to materialize.

Four billionaires play key roles in striving to bring such dreams to life in Rich Man’s Sky (Baen Books, 291 pages), a 2022 Best Novel finalist by Wil McCarthy.

Continue reading Rich Man’s Sky: Wil McCarthy’s Best Novel finalist imagines billionaire-led quest for private solar-system development