The 2022 Best Novel finalists reflect a few interesting “firsts”

Even after building up a relatively consistent track record over 43 years, the Prometheus Awards can surprise by venturing here and there into new territory and new authors.

This year’s interesting and varied slate of five Best Novel finalists, selected from 16 nominees by LFS members serving as judges on the Best Novel finalist-selection committee, happens to reflect several intriguing “firsts” or rarities in the history of the awards.

Here are the five finalists, all published in 2021 and contenders for the 2022 Prometheus Award, to be presented online in August at a time and place to be announced:
Between Home and Ruin, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 227 pages)
Seize What’s Held Dear, by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press, 244 pages)
Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber and Faber, 321 pages)
• Rich Man’s Sky, by Wil McCarthy (Baen Books, 291 pages)
Should We Stay Or Should We Go, by Lionel Shriver (Harper Collins, 266 pages)

Just from looking over the finalists list, can you guess any of those “firsts?

As a sort of fun “pop quiz,” why not take a moment to ponder that – before clicking over to the jump page of this blog, which has the answers.

Here are the answers – plus a few follow-up questions, for more fun.

1. This is the first time in the history of the Prometheus awards that recognizes a Nobel Prize-winning author among the Best Novel finalists.

Bonus question: Can you guess which one?

2. This year was the first time the Prometheus Awards recognized one up-and-coming sf writer with his/her first Best Novel nomination and finalist position.

Bonus question: Can you guess who that is?

Hint: This science- and industry-oriented sf writer is especially prolific, with quite a few novels and other books published.

3. This is only the third time in Prometheus Award history where one author has had two novels published within the same year that were both nominated and selected as Best Novel finalists.

Of course, just looking at the list of Best Novel finalists above will reveal who that is. (Congratulations, Mr. Gallagher. Or, should we say: Double congrats!)

So here are two related bonus questions:

* What was the first and second years in which this rare double recognition occurred?

* And which authors were the first to be recognized twice in this way within the same year?

Hint: Both authors were previous Prometheus Award winners.

P.S. This impromptu pop quiz is designed to not only be fun, but to whet your appetite to learn more about each of the authors behind this year’s five Best Novel finalists.

(It should be especially enjoyable to anyone who shares the same  focus on the Prometheus Awards’ history and statistics as one co-founding LFS member – an obsession comparable to the way some guys pore over sports-history statistics in baseball or football.)

So consider this a somewhat whimsical introduction to something Prometheus Blog readers can look forward, over the next month or two: a new “Meet the author” series, which hopefully will introduce more about these authors, their other works and bios.

We hope such awards-related blogs will provide additional helpful context as LFS members read and rank this year’s finalists over the next three months before voting by July 4 to select the annual Prometheus Award winners.

Note: For more about this year’s Best Novel finalists, read the LFS press release.

* Prometheus winners: For a full list of winners – for the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website, which now includes convenient links to the full set of published appreciation-reviews of past winners.

* Read “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction,” an essay in the international magazine Quillette that favorably highlights the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society and the significant element of libertarian sf/fantasy in the evolution of the modern genre.

* Read the introductory essay of the LFS’ 40th anniversary retrospective series of Appreciations of past Prometheus Awards winners, with an overview of the awards’ four-decade-plus history, that was launched in 2019 on the 40thanniversary of the awards and continues today.

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards, join the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), a non-profit all-volunteer association of freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans.

Libertarian futurists believe that culture matters! We understand that the arts and literature can be vital, and in some ways even more powerful than politics in the long run, by sparking innovation, better ideas, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights and differences.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity achieve universal liberty and human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.

Published by

Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been an arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio and Best Arts Reporting (seven times). He's written for Reason, Libertarian Review and Backstage weekly; helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades; and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword for J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among books he recommends from a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist & How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

2 thoughts on “The 2022 Best Novel finalists reflect a few interesting “firsts””

    1. I’m excited about all of them, but I am starting first with Fall of the Censor: Storm Between the Stars; I want to make sure I read the whole series! But they are all amazing. Rich Man’s Sky will be a hoot, I’m sure, and of course Lionel Shrivers’ and Ishiguro’s books will be very engaging. So many wonderful reads!

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