Volume 26, Number 1, Fall 2007

Charles Stross wins 2007 Prometheus Award for Glasshouse

The Libertarian Futurist Society announced the winners of the Prometheus Awards in Yokohama, Japan at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. Charles Stross won this year’s award for Best Novel for Glasshouse. There was a tie for the Hall of Fame Award, with It Can’t Happen Here, a 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis, and “True Names,” a 1981 novella by Vernor Vinge sharing the award. The motion picture, V For Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue and with screenplay by the Wachowski brothers has won a Special Award.

This is Stross’s first Prometheus Best Novel Award. His The Hidden Family was a finalist last year, and its sequel, The Clan Corporate was nominated this year. Glasshouse takes place in the same universe as Accelerando, though at a much later point in its history. The themes of ubiquitous surveillance and the struggle to survive as an individual in the face of severe pressure to conform come through very clearly in this story of a distant future in which unrehabilitated war criminals use every tool at their disposal to build a society that they can control absolutely.

Sinclair Lewis shared the Best Classic Fiction Award for his warning about the rise of totalitarianism, It Can’t Happen Here, with Vernor Vinge’s classic short story, “True Names,” which gave the public their first glimpse of cyberspace and showed how the struggle for control might penetrate the new medium. The motion picture "V For Vendetta" won a Special Award for effectively dramatizing the ongoing erosion of freedom in the West and the virtue of resisting tyranny with determination and hope.

The other finalists for Best Novel were: Empire, by Orson Scott Card; The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi; Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge; and Harbingers, by F. Paul Wilson. The other finalists for the Hall of Fame award were: A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess; “As Easy as A.B.C.,” by Rudyard Kipling; Animal Farm, by George Orwell; and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Prometheus awards honor outstanding sf/fantasy that explores the possibilities of a free future, champions human rights (including personal and economic liberty), dramatizes the perennial conflict between individuals and coercive governments, or critiques the tragic consequences of abuse of power.

The Prometheus Best Novel Award was founded in 1979 and the LFS took over sponsorship in 1982. The award is one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for each of the winners.

The Hall of Fame, established in 1983, focuses on classic fiction, including novels, novellas, short stories, poems and plays. Past Hall of Fame award winners range from Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand to Ray Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin.

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