Sf writers Cherryh, Hoyt, Fancher and Wilson and LFS leaders explore “Visions of SF, Liberty, Human Rights: The Prometheus Awards Over Four Decades, from F. Paul Wilson and Robert Heinlein to Today” in North American Science Fiction Convention panel & 2020 Prometheus Awards ceremony

Sample excerpt from LFS 2020 Worldcon panel discussion:
“Here is a novel (The Lord of the Rings) about a ring of power, ‘one ring to rule them all.’ What does Tolkien shows us about that ring?,” LFS president William Stoddard said.

“He shows us first that it is a danger to the world, that it enables its possessor to conquer and enslave free people, to go out and subjugate and rule them, according to his vision of how things should be, with no input from anyone else. 

Editor-writer William H. Stoddard in his library, with his GURPS book on Fantasy, published in 2004 (Photo courtesy of Stoddard)

But also he also shows us, through other characters, that the ring is dangerous to have. That it is corrupting. Gandalf and Galadriel both dread the thought of having the ring because it would tempt them to use their power in ways that would destroy them…

“We see it has a steadily corrupting influence on Frodo. In a sense, Frodo and and Gollum are spiritual twins. Gollum is what Frodo is in danger of becoming. Tolkien shows us that the drive to power is addictive,” Stoddard said.

“I’m baffled myself why some people read the trilogy and don’t get a libertarian theme out of it.”

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Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been a writer, arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio (for theater reviews) and Best Arts Reporting (which he’s won seven times). He's written for Reason and Libertarian Review magazines, was a regional columnist for years for Backstage weekly, helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword/essay for the first paperback edition of J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among the books he recommends to inform a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist and How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

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