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Newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society

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Volume 24, Number 1, Fall, 2005

Libertarian Futurists Announce 2005 Prometheus Awards

By Michael Grossberg

The Libertarian Futurist Society announced the annual winners of the Prometheus Award August 5 in Glasgow, Scotland at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention.

This is Stephenson’s first Prometheus Award after four nominations. The development in the 1700s of the modern world’s classical liberal institutions, which paved the way for modern libertarianism, is explored in the climax of the author’s ambitious Baroque Cycle trilogy, which includes Prometheus nominees Quicksilver and The Confusion. The trilogy is a prequel to Cryptonomicon, a 2000 Prometheus finalist for Best Novel.

A. E. van Vogt, the late author celebrated as one of the masters of science fiction’s Golden Age, won for Best Classic Fiction (the Hall of Fame) for The Weapon Shops of Isher, an imaginative and clever 1951 novel dramatizing the power of self-defense to sustain personal freedom. This is van Vogt’s first Prometheus Award.

Author L. Neil Smith and artist Scott Bieser shared a Special Award for “reaching new audiences by presenting a libertarian classic in graphic form” with The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel, an imaginative and vivid condensed adaptation of Smith’s Prometheus Award-winning 1982 novel.

Give Me Liberty and Visions of Liberty, pro-freedomĀ  anthologies edited by Mark Tier and Martin H. Greenberg and published as companion paperbacks by Baen Books, also received a Special Award “for having a positive effect on the dissemination of libertarian ideas.”

The LFS, founded in 1982, presents occasional Special Awards for outstanding achievement. The first Special Award was presented in 1998 to Free Space, the first libertarian sf anthology. The second Special Award, and the first for lifetime achievement, was presented to Grand Master Poul Anderson in 2000.

The other finalists for Best Novel were: State of Fear, by Michael Crichton (Harper Collins); Anarquia, by Brad Linaweaver and Kent J. Hastings (Sense of Wonder Press); Newton’s Wake, by Ken MacLeod (TOR Books); and Marque and Reprisal, by Elizabeth Moon (Ballantine Books/Del Rey). Fourteen 2004 novels were nominated for the 2005 award.

The other finalists for the Hall of Fame award were: It Can’t Happen Here, a 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis; V for Vendetta, a graphic novel (1988-89) by Alan Moore and David Lloyd; A Time of Changes, a 1971 novel by Robert Silverberg; and The Lord of the Rings, the 1954 trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.

The Prometheus awards for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) and (occasional) Special awards honor outstanding science fiction/fantasy that explores the possibilities of a free future, champions human rights (including personal and economic liberty), dramatizes the perennial conflict between individuals and coercive governments, or critiques the tragic consequences of abuse of power—especially by the State.

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