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LIBERTARIAN FUTURISTS ANNOUNCE 2005 PROMETHEUS AWARDS


* The Libertarian Futurist Society announced the annual winners of the Prometheus Award Aug. 5 in Glasgow, Scotland at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention.
* Neal Stephenson won this year's award for Best Novel for "The System of the World".
* A. E. van Vogt's novel, "The Weapon Shops of Isher," won the Hall of Fame Award
* "The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel," written by L. Neil Smith and illustrated by Scott Bieser, has won a Special Award.
* "Give Me Liberty" and "Visions of Liberty," anthologies edited by Mark Tier and Martin H. Greenberg for Baen Books, have won a Special Award.

At its annual WorldCon award ceremony Aug. 5 in Glasgow, the Libertarian Futurist Society presented its annual Prometheus Award for Best Novel to Neal Stephenson for "The System of the World" (William Morrow) and the award for Best Classic Fiction (the "Hall of Fame" award) to A. E. van Vogt's 1951 novel, "The Weapon Shops of Isher." Two Special Awards were given, too.

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-winning 1982 novel.

"Give Me Liberty" and "Visions of Liberty," libertarian 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.

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 each of 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.

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.

For more information, contact LFS President Chris Hibbert (Publicity@lfs.org).

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January 2014