* The Libertarian Futurist Society will announce the annual
winners of the Prometheus Award in Boston on September 3 at
NorEascon 4, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention. The awards
are scheduled to be presented at 4:00 p.m. in room H301.
* F. Paul Wilson won this year's award for Best Novel for Sims.
* Vernor Vinge's short story, The Ungoverned won the Hall of Fame Award.
At its annual WorldCon award ceremony to be held on September 3 in Boston, the Libertarian Futurist Society will present its annual Prometheus Award for Best Novel to F. Paul Wilson for Sims (Forge Books) and the award for Best Classic Fiction (the "Hall of Fame" award) to Vernor Vinge's short story The Ungoverned
This will be Wilson's second Prometheus Award. He won the first Prometheus Award in 1979 for Wheels Within Wheels. Wilson has also won the Hall of Fame award twice, for An Enemy of the State in 1991 (the novel has no connection to the 1998 movie of the same name), and for The Healer in 1990.
This year's winner covers the struggle of the sims, a genetically engineered cross between humans and chimpanzees, for freedom and respect. The sims have been bred for docility and a small amount of intelligence in order to be rented out for domestic and manual labor. The company that owns the patent on the sims and claims them as its property has secrets that it will go to great lengths to preserve. When a lawyer agrees to take on the challenge of getting legal recognition for a labor union for the sims, he stumbles over some of them. In Wilson's signature style, there is plenty of action and suspense, and a serious exploration of what characteristics divide those for whom we would fight from mere creatures.
The other finalists in the voting for the 2004 Prometheus Award
* Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind (Tor Books)
* The Pixel Eye by Paul Levinson (Tor Books)
* Spin State by Chris Moriarty. (Bantam Books)
* Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic Press)
A write-in campaign made Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (Ace Books, 2003) a very strong contender. This is the first time the Prometheus awards have seen an organized write-in campaign.
Vinge has won the Prometheus award twice, but this is his first Hall of Fame award. He won for A Deepness in the Sky in 2000, and for Marooned in Realtime in 1987. The Ungoverned takes place after the events in Vinge's 1984 novel The Peace War, but before Marooned in Realtime. In this short story, Vinge explores the limits of individual self defense. In the period after the bobble war that took place in The Peace War, the people living in the midwest are clients of many private defense agencies with intertwined contractual obligations. When a neighboring government tries to invade the ungoverned territories (which they assume are ripe for the taking) they discover that some of the farmers have weapons of their own, and are willing to use them to protect their property.
The other finalists for the Hall of Fame award were:
* It Can't Happen Here, a novel by Sinclair Lewis
* Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
* The Weapon Shops of Isher, a novel by A. E. Van Vogt
* The Book of Merlyn, a novel by T.H. White
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.org), 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 novels published in 2004 for the 2005 Best Novel award 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.
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.
A list of past winners of LFS awards can be found on the LFS web site at www.lfs.org.
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