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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists announced

The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced the four finalists for the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award -- the only literary award, so far as I know, that was ever given to ILLUMINATUS!

The four finalists are Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, " 'Repent Harlequin' said the Ticktockman" by Harlan Ellison, "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster and "As Easy As A.B.C." by Rudyard Kipling. (I sit on the judging committee that picked the four finalists. I nominated the Harlan Ellison story.)

Official press release follows. Robert Shea's acceptance speech when he received the award is here.

[official press release]

The Libertarian Futurist Society has chosen four finalists for this year's Hall of Fame Award. The Award will be presented at the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Chicago over Labor Day weekend.

The nominees are Falling Free, a novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, first published in 1988. An exploration of the legal and ethical implications of human genetic engineering.

"'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", by Harlan Ellison, first published in 1965. A satirical dystopia set in an authoritarian society dedicated to punctuality, where a lone absurdist rebel attempts to disrupt everyone else's schedules.

"The Machine Stops,” by E.M. Forster, first published in 1909. Described by the author as a reaction to H.G. Wells's fiction, it portrays a decaying future of human beings incapable of independent existence or first-hand contact.

"As Easy as A.B.C.," a short story by Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1912. An ambiguously utopian future that has reacted against the mass society that was beginning to emerge when it was written, in favor of privacy and freedom of movement.

The winner will be chosen by ranked choices voting by the members of the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Eleven other works were nominated: Sam Hall, by Poul Anderson; The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov; Courtship Rite, by Donald M. Kingsbury; That Hideous Strength, by C. S. Lewis; A Mirror for Observers, by Edgar Pangborn; 2112, by Rush; A Time of Changes, by Robert Silverberg; Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain; Emphyrio, by Jack Vance; and The Book of Merlyn, by T. H. White.

First awarded in 1983 to Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, the Hall of Fame Award honors classic works of science fiction and fantasy that celebrate freedom, show paths to its enhancement, or warn against abuses of political power.

Since 2000, it has been open to short stories, films, television episodes or series, graphic novels, musical works, and other narrative and dramatic forms.

LFS President William H. Stoddard chairs the Hall of Fame Committee. All members of the Libertarian Futurist Society are eligible to serve on it and to nominate classic works for its consideration.

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