To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ four-decade history and make clear why each winner deserves recognition as notable pro-freedom sf/fantasy, the Libertarian Futurist Society is presenting weekly Appreciations of past award-winners. Here’s the latest Appreciation for Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, the 2016 Best Novel winner:
By Michael Grossberg
Seveneves, an epic hard-science-fiction novel, focuses on a cataclysmic event that threatens human civilization and the planet Earth, and its long aftermath.
Neal Stephenson’s sprawling 2015 novel avoids ideology while dramatizing how a lust for power almost wipes out our species.
More impressively and much less common in such fiction these days, Stephenson also shows how the courage to face reality and tackle overwhelming problems through reason, individual initiative and the voluntary cooperation of private enterprise help tip the balance towards survival.
Especially inspiring, for advocates of reason and liberty, are Stephenson’s portrayals of the heroic efforts against terrific odds by a small group — including some of Earth’s bravest and richest entrepreneurs — who spend their fortunes and risk their lives to save humanity from extinction.
Continue reading Reason, voluntary private cooperation and entrepreneurship versus politics, irrationality and power-lust in facing apocalypse and extinction: An Appreciation of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, the 2016 Prometheus for Best Novel
To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ four-decade history and make clear what makes each winner deserve recognition as notable pro-freedom sf/fantasy, the Libertarian Futurist Society is presenting a series of weekly Appreciations of past award-winners.
Here’s the latest Appreciation for Cory Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema, the 2013 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel, along with excerpts from Doctorow’s illuminating acceptance speech:
In Pirate Cinema, an optimistic young-adult novel, Cory Doctorow explores themes of artistic freedom, Internet freedom and peaceful social change – key issues for modern libertarians, especially the latter, since non-aggression is the fundamental axiom in libertarianism as a political and social philosophy affirming cooperation over coercion and voluntary private interactions over the force and enforcement entailed by the institutionalized violence of the unbridled State.
The story also sheds light on other libertarian issues of copyright and government surveillance in its focus on a young pirate filmmaker whose Internet activity threatens his family with government reprisals and who learns to fight back against outdated forms of control.
Continue reading Artistic liberty, Internet freedom, downloading, State surveillance, copyright and government control: An Appreciation of Cory Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema, the 2013 Prometheus Award winner for Best Novel
To highlight the four-decade history of the Prometheus Awards, which the Libertarian Futurist Society began celebrating in 2019, and to make clear why past winners deserve recognition as pro-freedom sf/fantasy, we’re continuing in 2020 to present a series of weekly Appreciations of Prometheus Award-winners, starting with our first category for Best Novel.
Here’s the latest Appreciation for Ken MacLeod’s Learning the World, the 2006 Prometheus Best Novel winner:
MacLeod’s inventive first-contact novel explores the politics and uncertainties involved from two perspectives: the natives of the planet and the “alien” (human) visitors.
In some ways modeled on classic Heinlein juveniles and a departure from his other future-Earth-solar-system novels exploring the implications of libertarian and Marxist ideas, Learning the World offers as a primary viewpoint character a teen girl living on an interstellar colony ship about to enter a new solar system.
Continue reading First contact, alien cultures, social contracts, private colonization, slavery and freedom: An Appreciation of Ken MacLeod’s Learning the World, the 2006 Best Novel winner