How is technology expanding book publishing and alternative fiction, a trend reflected more strongly than ever in this year’s slate of Best Novel finalists for the Prometheus Award?
What’s the historic relationship among science fiction, liberty and the libertarian movement-and is that changing?
What are the challenges and pitfalls of balancing artistic merit in fiction and awards with ideology and positive social values?
How do this year’s Prometheus winners – Longyear’s The Hook and F. Paul Wilson’s satirical story “Lipidleggin’” – explore the value of individual freedom and human rights, champion cooperation over coercion, dramatize the perennial tensions between liberty and power and/or expose the evils of tyranny, slavery and other abuses of unchecked government power?
All these questions will be discussed Saturday afternoon Aug. 21 during the 41st annual Prometheus Awards ceremony in a free post-ceremony Zoom panel discussion, with Reason magazine as media sponsor.
Reason editor-in-chief Katherine Mangu-Ward and Reason book editor Jesse Walker will join award-winning author Barry B. Longyear and Libertarian Futurist Society president William H. Stoddard in the post-ceremony panel discussion (for free access, see Zoom link below) on “SF, Liberty, Alternative Publishing Trends and the Prometheus Awards.”
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Here are the bios, in alphabetical order, of the four panelists who will speak and exchange views Saturday afternoon EDT Aug. 21 on the LFS-Reason panel discussion immediately following the 2021 Prometheus awards ceremony:
Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine series, which inspired a 1985 film starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr., his works include numerous short stories, the Circus World series, the Infinity Hold series, and novels ranging from Sea of Glass to The God Box, as well as his much praised Science-fiction Writer’s Workshop-I and his online writing seminar, The Write Stuff, now available in trade paperback and Kindle formats. His most recent publication is the seven-volume science-fiction series, The War Whisperer, the fifth book of which, The Hook, earned the 2021 Prometheus Award for Best Novel. Longyear’s first Prometheus nomination came in 1984 for his novel The Tomorrow Testament. Other Prometheus-recognized works include Infinity Hold (1990 Best Novel nominee), and Circus World (1991 and 1999 Hall of Fame nominee.) He lives in Maine.
Katherine Mangu-Ward is editor in chief of Reason, the magazine of “free minds and free markets.” A few of her more memorable cover stories include a defense of plastic bags, an argument for why you almost certainly shouldn’t vote, and a welcome to our new robot overlords.
She started as Reason intern in 2000, and has worked at The Weekly Standard and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, and numerous other publications.
She is a frequent commentator on radio/TV networks such as National Public Radio, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. A Future Tense Fellow at New America and graduate of Yale University, where she received a B.A. in philosophy and political science, she lives in Washington, D.C.
William H. Stoddard is the president of the Libertarian Futurist Society and the chair of its Hall of Fame Awards Committee. He works as a freelance copy editor specializing in scientific and scholarly publications.
He is also a role-playing gamer and has written more than two dozen books for Steve Jackson Games, starting with GURPS Steampunk, which won the Origins Award for best roleplaying supplement of 2000. GURPS Social Engineering won an ENnie award (given at GenCon) in 2012 for best electronically published book. His most recent published book is GURPS Furries.
A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, he escaped from California in 2020 and now lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, their cat, and 100 shelf feet of books
Jesse Walker, books editor of Reason magazine, is the author of Rebels on the Air; An Alternative History of Radio in America (2001) and The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (2013).
His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Politico, L.A. Times and many other publications.
His occasional forays into fiction have surfaced in Polyphony and The Blotter and he maintains a blog called The Perpetual Three-Dot Column.
A University of Michigan alumnus, he lives in Baltimore with his wife, their two daughters and a rabbit.
SCHEDULE OF THE AWARDS SHOW & PANEL
The Libertarian Futurist Society will present the 41st annual Prometheus Awards, with the two-part program beginning with the awards ceremony itself (3-3:30 p.m. Saturday Aug. 21 Eastern Daylight Time), presented by Michael Grossberg and William H. Stoddard, respective LFS chairs of the Best Novel and Hall of Fame finalist judging committees.
Longyear will accept the 2021 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for The Hook, while F. Paul Wilson will accept the 2021 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award for Best Classic Fiction for his satirical story “Lipidleggin’.”
Immediately following the awards ceremony on the same Zoom broadcast will be the panel discussion (3:30-4:45 p.m. Aug. 21 EDT), with LFS Board member Chris Hibbert as Zoom-event producer and panel introducer-moderator.
Admission to the awards ceremony and panel is free and open to the public. The 2021 Prometheus Awards ceremony and panel will air live, and will be recorded for later viewing on the LFS website at www.lfs.org
For live access, just before, at or after 3 p.m. Saturday Aug. 21 EDT, simply click on this Zoom-event link:
* Read “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction,” an essay in the June 2020 issue of the international magazine Quillette that favorably highlights the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society and the significant element of libertarian sf/fantasy in the modern genre.
* Read the introductory essay about the LFS’ 40th anniversary retrospective series of Appreciations of past Prometheus Awards winners, with an overview of the awards’ four-decade-plus history.
* Other Prometheus winners: For a full list of winners – for the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the recently updated and enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website.
* Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards, join the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), a non-profit all-volunteer association of freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans. Libertarian futurists believe culture is as vital as politics (and often more fulfilling, positive and productive in the longer run) in sparking positive social change and spreading positive visions of the future and achieving universal liberty and human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.