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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

2023 Prometheus Awards announced

[I am a bit late in posting this news, but as in past years, I want to post the announcement of the Prometheus Awards. Here are some of the connections between the award and this blog: (1) I am a member of the Libertarian Futurist Society, and in fact I nominated the Heinlein story that won; (2) Robert Shea was a member of the Libertarian Futurist Society; (3) As far as I know, the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award is the only literary award ever given to Illuminatus! and (4) The new Robert Anton Wilson book, Lion of Light, has a photograph of Victor Koman presenting an award to RAW. Koman has won the Prometheus Award three times. -- The Management]. 

Prometheus Award winners announced

2023 Prometheus Awards: 

* Australian Dave Freer wins for Best Novel for Cloud-Castles

* Robert Heinlein novelette “Free Men” inducted into Hall of Fame

The Libertarian Futurist Society, a nonprofit all-volunteer international organization of freedom-loving science fiction fans, has announced Prometheus Award Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction winners for 2023.

The 43rd annual Prometheus Awards will be presented online in mid-August (most likely on a Saturday evening TBA) in a Zoom awards ceremony.

The Prometheus Award for Best Novel

Cloud-Castles, by Dave Freer (Magic Isle Press), has won the 2023 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for novels published in 2022.

Set on diverse habitats floating above a gas-giant planet, this zestful and often funny coming-of-age adventure charts the progress of a mis-educated, socially awkward and well-meaning young man, brilliant but naïve, thrust into a succession of strange human and alien cultures and life- and liberty-threatening situations. 

With help from a street-smart sidekick, he escapes imprisonment and slavery and forges innovative, profitable businesses with decentralized, stateless people scattered through the planet’s clouds. 

Through such entrepreneurship, cooperative individualism and fish-out-of-water encounters with an "outback" frontier culture reflecting the Australian novelist’s own heritage, the story (formally a comedy in structure according to the classic Greek definition) reveals how markets work, why profits are moral and necessary in a free society and how societies flourish through reinvestment and market innovation. 

The other 2023 Best Novel finalists were Widowland, by C.J. Carey (Quercus); Captain Trader Helmsman Spy by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press); A Beast Cannot Feign, by “Dr. Insensitive Jerk” (AKA Gordon Hanka) (Amazon); and Summer’s End, by John Van Stry (Baen Books.)

The Prometheus Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction

“Free Men,” a Robert Heinlein novelette, won the 2023 Best Classic Fiction award and will be inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame.

Heinlein’s 1966 novelette, first published in his collection The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein and later collected in Expanded Universe, offers a strong defense of freedom and American ideals. 

The novelette focuses on the aftermath of an invasion and U.S. occupation after a nuclear "20 Minute War" and how a small band of heroic but practical guerrilla fighters survive, adapt and resist tyranny at great cost.

The other Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists were “Primary Education of the Camiroi,” a 1966 short story by R.A. Lafferty; That Hideous Strength, a 1945 novel by C.S. Lewis; Circus World, a 1981 collection of linked stories by Barry B. Longyear; and The Truth, Terry Pratchett’s 2000 novel and part of his Discworld series.

Prometheus Awards History

The Prometheus Awards, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was first presented in 1979, making them one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf.

The Prometheus Awards recognize outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power and champion cooperation over coercion as the root of civility and social harmony. 

Such works may critique or satirize authoritarian trends, expose abuses of power by the institutionalized coercion of the State, imagine what forms a fully free society might take or imagine paths to creating such societies, and/or uphold individual rights and freedom for all as the only moral and practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress and justice. 

While the Best Novel category is limited to novels published in English for the first time during the previous calendar year, Hall of Fame nominees — which must have been published at least 20 years ago — may be in any narrative or dramatic form, including novels, novellas, stories, films, television series or episodes, plays, musicals, graphic novels, song lyrics, or verse.

The Best Novel winner receives a plaque with a one-ounce gold coin, and the Hall of Fame winner a plaque with a smaller gold coin.


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