TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award


Publisher-editor Tom Doherty, who founded TOR Books, has won the 2024 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

Robert Heinlein (Photo courtesy of the Heinlein Trust)

The award, funded by the Heinlein Society and named after the Grand Master who has won more Prometheus Awards than anyone else, is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.

According to a Heinlein Society press release, the Heinlein award was given to Doherty in recognition of his work “in bringing the inspiring books of hundreds of authors writing about our future in Space to public awareness.”

One of the leading publishers of sf/fantasy, TOR Publishing Group has won every major award in the sf field – including Hugo, Nebula and Prometheus awards.


In fact, TOR has published more books that have gone on to win the Prometheus Award for Best Novel than any other publisher.

Of the 45 novels that have won this annual category of the Prometheus Awards, first presented in 1979, 17 were published by TOR – or about 37.8 percent of all Best Novel winners.

Among the most recent TOR-published Best Novel winners: Harry Turtledove’s The Gladiator (2008), Jo Walton’s Ha’Penny (2008), Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (2009), Dani and Eytan Kollin’s The Unincorporated Man (2010), Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema (2013) and Doctorow’s Homeland (2014)

Other TOR winners in this century: Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky (2000), Donald Kingsbury’s Psychohistorical Crisis (2002), F. Paul Wilson’s Sims (2004) and MacLeod’s Learning the World (2006).

TOR Books has made a truly big difference in our awards, even going back to the first two decades of the Prometheus Awards – so this Heinlein Award to Doherty seems especially well-deserved and worth noting on the Prometheus Blog.

Among the earlier TOR winners: Vernor Vinge’s Marooned in Real Time (1987); Brad Linaweaver’s Moon of Ice (1989); and Michael Flynn, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Fallen Angels (1992).

Also: L. Neil Smith’s Pallas (1994); Poul Anderson’s The Stars Are Also Fire (1995); and MacLeod’s The Star Fraction (1996) and The Stone Cana(1998).



TOR Books founder Tom Doherty (Photo credit: Tor Books)

Doherty, who chairs Tom Doherty Associates, publishes under the Tor, Forge, Tordotcom, Starscape, Tor Teen, and Nightfire imprints.

For more information about Doherty and his impressive track record in publishing, check out his biography, provided by Tor Books.

The award will be presented to Doherty May 24 at Balticon 58, the 58th Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention.

According to File 770, Doherty is expected to participate in the program across the Memorial Day weekend, starting with accepting the award during opening ceremonies at 8 p.m. May 24.

For more information, visit the Balticon 58 website at


John Tilden, standing with Heinlein memorabilia at the Heinlein Society office in Houston Photo courtesy of Tilden

For reference, John Tilden, president of The Heinlein Society, spoke about Heinlein’s legacy during last year’s Prometheus Awards ceremony, accepting the 2023 Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction for Robert Heinlein’s short story “Free Men.”

The Heinlein Society, a nonprofit charitable organization created with the initial support and guidance of Virginia Heinlein, Robert’s widow, supports the literary legacy of Robert A. Heinlein and the causes he supported during his lifetime.

Why has Heinlein won more Prometheus Award recognition than any other author? To appreciate his remarkable vision and storytelling power, check out this Prometheus Blog column.


* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – including 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 all published essay-reviews in our Appreciation series explaining why each of more than 100 past winners since 1979 fits the awards’ distinctive dual focus.

* 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.

Watch videos of past Prometheus Awards ceremonies (including the recent 2023 ceremony with inspiring and amusing speeches by Prometheus-winning authors Dave Freer and Sarah Hoyt),Libertarian Futurist Society panel discussions with noted sf authors and leading libertarian writers, and other LFS programs on the Prometheus Blog’s Video page.

* Check out the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Facebook page for periodic updates and timely links to Prometheus Blog posts.

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards and support a cultural and literary strategy to appreciate and honor freedom-loving fiction,join  the Libertarian Futurist Society, 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 in envisioning a freer and better future – and in some ways can be even more powerful than politics in the long run, by better visions of the future, innovation, peace, prosperity, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights, individuality and human dignity.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different but complementary visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity overcome tyranny, end slavery, reduce the threat of war, repeal or constrain other abuses of coercive power and achieve universal liberty, respect for human rights and a better world (perhaps ultimately, 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.

One thought on “TOR Books founder Tom Doherty wins Heinlein Award”

  1. I was unaware of your organization until tonight. And am glad to have found you via an unrelated Google search.

    The Prometheus Awards look like a fun competition to be involved in. And a great way to spread awareness about the Libertarian Futurist Society. Looking forward to seeing more from this blog.

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