The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced its Prometheus Award winners for 2014—including a tie for Best Novel, our annual Hall of Fame entry for Best Classic Fiction and a rare Special Award, the first by the LFS to a filksinger-storyteller.
Awards for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) plus a Special Award were presented at 8 p.m. August 16 during the Special Awards ceremony at Loncon 3, the 72nd annual World Science Fiction Convention, which was held August 14-18, 2014 in London.
In a separate awards ceremony, four-time-Prometheus-winning author Vernor Vinge received a Lifetime Achievement Award presented during Conjecture/ConChord October 10-12, 2014 in San Diego, California.
There was a tie for Best Novel: The winners are Homeland (TOR Books) by Cory Doctorow and Nexus (Angry Robot Books) by Ramez Naam.
Homeland, the sequel to Doctorow’s Prometheus winner Little Brother, follows the continuing adventures of a government-brutalized young leader of a movement of tech-savvy hackers who must decide whether to release an incendiary Wikileaks-style exposé of massive government abuse and corruption as part of a struggle against the invasive national-security state.
Nexus offers a gripping exploration of politics and new extremes of both freedom and tyranny in a near future where emerging technology opens up unprecedented possibilities for mind control or personal liberation and interpersonal connection.
The other Prometheus finalists for best pro-freedom novel of 2013 were Sarah Hoyt’s A Few Good Men (Baen Books); Naam’s Crux—the sequel to Nexus (Angry Robot Books); and Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance (Thomas & Mercer).
The Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) winner was Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold’s 1988 novel that explores free will and self-ownership by considering the legal and ethical implications of human genetic engineering.
The other 2014 Hall of Fame finalists: “Sam Hall,” a 1953 short story by Poul Anderson; “As Easy as A.B.C.,” a 1912 short story by Rudyard Kipling; “ ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” a 1965 short story by Harlan Ellison; and Courtship Rite, a 1982 novel by Donald M. Kingsbury.
The Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction honors novels, novellas, stories, graphic novels, anthologies, films, TV shows/series, plays, poems, music recordings and other works of fiction first published or broadcast more than five years ago.
Author-filksinger Leslie Fish, perhaps the most popular filk song writer of the past three decades and one who often includes pro-freedom themes in her songs, received a Special Prometheus Award in 2014 for the combination of her 2013 novella, “Tower of Horses” and her filk song, The Horsetamer’s Daughter.
Fish’s novella (published in the anthology Music of Darkover edited by Elisabeth Waters) faithfully tells the same story as her Pegasus-winning filk song. The story’s characters (especially the 12-year-old title character of the song) resist control of a wizard-backed government that wants to regulate, tax, and conscript them.
This Darkover story thus sheds new light and fresh libertarian perspective on the world of Darkover by focusing on the peaceful voluntary cooperative lives of farmers and small-town traders struggling to preserve their freedom and independence—rather than the usual Darkover focus on the planet’s leaders or ruling elite, some well-intentioned but some abusing power.
The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established in 1979, making it 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 the winners.
For more than three decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.
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