Volume 22, Number 2 (Spring-Summer 2004)


Plus, some ways to improve the Prometheus Award

By Michael Grossberg

In addition to the official Best Novel finalists, for the first time within memory there is an unofficial write-in campaign for Best Novel, led by Fred Moulton.

In Singularity Sky (Berkley Books, Aug. 2003), one of this year's Hugo Award finalists, Charles Stross "paints a stark-but occasionally humorous-view of a totalitarian society in a solar system far from Earth which has restricted technology as well as personal liberty," Moulton said recently in an email to some LFS members. The novel revolves around the efforts of two people to save the lives of millions while caught up in the tangle of a corrupt and maddening totalitarian regime.

"Singularity Sky" did not come to the attention of the Prometheus nominating committee until after the nomination deadline had passed, but it is still eligible to win the Prometheus as a write-in candidate.

As a reminder to members, LFS leaders strongly encourage awards nominations throughout the year for the following year's awards. The final nominating deadline for the Hall of Fame award is Dec. 1 of each calendar year, and the final nominating deadline is Feb. 15 for the previous calendar year of novels published and eligible for the Best Novel category. However, please keep in mind that if too many people wait until the last minute to nominate works, there will be too many to obtain and read before the committee's voting deadlines.

Because it can be difficult for our comparatively small group of Libertarian Futurist Society members to become aware of and find time to read all the potential awards nominees published each year, the LFS has developed several procedures to reduce the possibility that a worthy potential nominee might be overlooked:

If LFS members have suggestions for any other ways we can improve our awards nominating and voting process--especially ways to reduce the possibility of overlooking worthy contenders--we'd like to hear them. Send suggestions to Board President Chris Hibbert (President@lfs.org).

Meanwhile, here's a new idea that might help: LFS board members are discussing setting up a new LFS Pre-nominated Reading Committee. We're looking for volunteers--members who are not already busy reading official awards nominees as finalist judges--who would be willing to read one or two other novels throughout each year and submit a brief capsule review and report as to whether the book is worth nominating.

In most cases, we would ask members of this new committee to read books submitted by publishers or authors, but which had not yet been nominated by a member. In a few cases, we might assign a few books that look promising from published reviews but which no LFS member has nominated yet or found time to read. In the case of books submitted by publishers or authors, on a rotating basis, two or three members of the reading committee would receive review copies of the books, provided by publishers or authors. Each reader would have to read and write a short description of the work, and its pluses and minuses as a potential nominee, in order to stay on the rotation review-copy list. Based on readers' reports, some works would become official awards nominees.

If you like this idea, let us know. And if you have time to become a reader, please volunteer. Who knows? Serving as a reader for a year or two not only could be fun, allowing you to read a few free books and help screen/nominate stuff for Best Book, but also could be a good first step toward eventually joining the select Best Novel judging committee.

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