At its annual Worldcon award ceremony Sept. 2 in Philadelphia, the Libertarian Futurist Society presented its annual Prometheus Award for Best Novel to L. Neil Smith's "Forge of the Elders" (Baen Books).
The Prometheus Awards ceremony preceded a panel discussion on "Beyond Any Rand and Robert Heinlein: Libertarian SF." The panel was held from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday Sept. 2 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia Marriott in Philadelphia.
L. Neil Smith has won the Prometheus Award twice before: in 1984 for The Probability Broach, and in 1994 for Pallas.
Forge of the Elders combines two previously published novels with the story's finale, finally published a decade later. The story concerns the culture clash between the human members of an expedition to asteroid 5023 Eris, and the multitude of aliens they find when they arrive. The twist is that the aliens are anarchist individualists with a sophisticated culture, while the humans were sent by a monolithic socialist/communist world government. The culture clash results in a few mysterious deaths, and the investigation of the possible murders reveals much about the motivations of the perpetrators and suspects.
The other finalists in the voting for the 2001 Prometheus Award were:
Lodestar, by Michael Flynn (TOR Books)
The Sky Road, by Ken MacLeod (TOR Books)
The Truth, by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins)
Eagle Against the Stars, by Steve White (Baen Books)
Twelve novels were nominated by LFS members for this year's awards. The other nominees were Candle, by John Barnes (TOR Books); The Legend That Was Earth, by James Hogan (Baen Books); Outlaw School, by Rebecca Ore (HarperCollins/EOS); Chimera, by Will Shetterly (TOR Books); Vampire Nation, by Thomas Sipos (www.communistvampires.com); Conspiracies, by F. Paul Wilson (Forge Books); and All the Rage, by F. Paul Wilson (FORGE Books)
The 2001 winner of the Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction was "The Survival of Freedom", an sf anthology edited by Jerry Pournelle and John Carr. Pournelle shared the prometheus award in 1992 with Larry Niven for Fallen Angels. The LFS' first Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Poul Anderson. Both of these awards were presented at LFScon, the Libertarian Futurist Society's first national conference and 20th anniversary celebration, held May 25-27 in conjunction with Marcon 36 in Columbus, Ohio. The audience of more than 1,000 people were treated to the Awards ceremony as part of the Masquerade festivities.
Karen Anderson, Poul's wife and a guest of honor, accepted for Anderson, whose illness had prevented him from attending LFScon as Marcon's Grand Master guest of honor. Anderson, widely respected as a Grand Master of S.F., already had been recognized by the LFS three times over the past two decades, having won the Prometheus Hall of Fame twice for "The Star Fox" and "Trader to the Stars" and the Best Novel award for "The Stars Are Also Fire" (1995). Poul Anderson passed away July 31, 2001 at the age of 74.
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.
The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for the winners.
The Hall of Fame, established in 1983, focuses on older classic fiction, including novels, novellas, short stories, poems and plays. Past Hall of Fame award winners range from Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand to Ray Bradbury and Ursula LeGuin.
Publishers who wish to submit 2002 novels for consideration should contact Michael Grossberg (614-236-5040, BestNovelChair@lfs.org, 3164 Plymouth Place, Columbus OH 43213), Chair of the LFS Prometheus Awards Best Novel Finalist judging committee.
Prometheus Award and Hall of Fame winners
Founded in 1982, the Libertarian Futurist Society sponsors the annual Prometheus Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame; publishes reviews, news and columns in the quarterly "Prometheus"; arranges annual awards ceremonies at the Worldcon, debates libertarian futurist issues (such as private space exploration); and provides fun and fellowship for libertarian-SF fans.
Here are the past winners of LFS Awards
Prometheus Award winners*
2001 -- L. Neil Smith, The Forge of the Elders
2000 -- Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky
1999 -- John Varley, The Golden Globe
1998 -- Ken MacLeod, The Stone Canal
1997 -- Victor Koman, Kings of the High Frontier
1996 -- Ken MacLeod, The Star Fraction
1995 -- Poul Anderson, The Stars are also Fire
1994 -- L. Neil Smith, Pallas
1993 -- James P. Hogan, The Multiplex Man
1992 -- Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn, Fallen Angels
1991 -- Michael Flynn, In the Country of the Blind
1990 -- Victor Koman, Solomon's Knife
1989 -- Brad Linaweaver, Moon of Ice
1988 -- Victor Koman, The Jehovah Contract
1987 -- Vernor Vinge, Marooned in Realtime
1986 -- Victor Milan, Cybernetic Samurai
1985 -- No Winner ("None of the Above")
1984 -- J. Neil Schulman, The Rainbow Cadenza
1983 -- James P. Hogan, Voyage from Yesteryear
1982 -- L. Neil Smith, The Probability Broach
1979 -- F. Paul Wilson, Wheels Within Wheels
* None of the Above won in 1985, and no awards were given in 1980 and 1981.
Prometheus Hall of Fame winners
2001 -- Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr editors, The Survival of Freedom
2000 -- Hans Christian Anderson, The Emperor's New Clothes
1999 -- H. Beam Piper and John McGuire, A Planet for Texans aka Lone Star Planet
1998 -- Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
1997 -- Robert Heinlein, Methuselah's Children
1996 -- Robert Heinlein, Red Planet
1995 -- Poul Anderson, The Star Fox
1994 -- Yevnegi Zamiatin, We
1993 -- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
1992 -- Ira Levin, This Perfect Day
1991 -- F. Paul Wilson, An Enemy of the State
1990 -- F. Paul Wilson, The Healer
1989 -- J. Neil Schulman, Alongside Night
1988 -- Alfred Bester, The Stars my Destination
1987 -- Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land; Ayn Rand, Anthem
1986 -- Cyril Kornbluth, The Syndic; Robert Anton Wilson/Robert Shea, Illuminatus!
1985 -- Poul Anderson Trader to the Stars; Eric Frank Russell, The Great Explosion
1984 -- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four; Ray Bradbury Farenheit 451
1983 -- Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress;Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
2001 -- Poul Anderson, Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement
1998 -- Editors Brad Linaweaver and Edward E Kramer, Free Space (Anthology)
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