Volume 33, Number 01, Fall, 2014

2014 Prometheus Award Winner

Best Novel: Nexus

Ramez Naam's Acceptance Speech

Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to win this award and I want to thank the LFS.

As a matter of fact I have a great respect for the intellectual rigor and honesty of this award that you can see by the fact that more than half of the winners of the award in part are probably Marxists or socialists. At least as many Marxists or socialists have won this as libertarians in the past. I think this is a testament to the honesty of the award. By awarding it to whatever book and author has most advanced liberty from whatever end of the political spectrum it has come.

It’s also an honor to share this with Cory [Doctorow], an author who exemplifies the use of the word to advocate for and advance freedom.

I wrote Nexus because I was incredibly enthusiastic about the power of neuroscience to advance human kind, to advancing the human mind, and by connecting their minds together.

I also wrote it because I was concerned about the abrogation of freedom in my country and throughout developed countries in the name of the war upon drugs, and the war upon terror. And that abrogation continues.

Now, I want to be clear, I’m an optimist. I believe that, in the long run, humanity has become more free. That we have more freedom than we had generations ago, that we have more mobility than we had generations ago, and that technology has played an important part.

That increase in freedom has not been homogenous, it has not been continuous. There are places in the world where we are growing less free. There are certain sorts of freedom that are being rolled back, and technology is playing a role in that. Even as technology increases the ability of people to communicate, it also make certain sorts of abrogation of freedom, certain sorts of surveillance and certain sorts of totalitarianism more scalable and easier, too. I believe that in the long run we will find ways to use technology to enhance our freedom, but I believe that it is incumbent upon all of us to strive to make that so. To not treat it as a given, but to dedicate our work and our efforts, and those of us who are writers, our words, to making that hope become a reality, so thank you very much.

Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. As a computer scientist he spent 13 years with Microsoft. He has published four books, two non-fiction works and two novels.

The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet and More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement are futurist works that explore plantary change and the development of the human mind. Nexus, his fiction novel, won the Prometheus Award for best novel in 2014, while its sequel, Crux, was a finalist the same year. The third book in the series, entitled Apex, will be published by Angry Robot Books in 2015.

In 2014, he was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Naam lives in Seattle, Washington, and is a full-time writer

There are several photos from the awards ceremonies in the pdf version of the issue

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