The Libertarian Futurist Society will present its Prometheus Awards ceremony Labor Day weekend at the World Science Fiction Convention. Winners for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) will be presented in San Antonio, Texas at LoneStarCon3, the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention to be held from August 29th through September 2, 2013. We are happy to announce the finalists for the Prometheus Best Novel award and for the Hall of Fame award.
The finalists in the Best Novel category of this year's Prometheus Award, for the best pro-freedom novel of 2013 are (in alphabetical order by author):
* Arctic Rising, by Tobias Buckell (TOR Books)
* The Unincorporated Future, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books)
* Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books)
* Darkship Renegades, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books)
* Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez (Dutton - Penguin)
The finalists for the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction are:
* "Sam Hall", by Poul Anderson (a short story, published 1953 in Astounding)
* Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold (a novel, published 1988)
* "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", by Harlan Ellison (a short story, published 1965 in Galaxy)
* Courtship Rite, by Donald M. Kingsbury (a novel, published 1982)
* "As Easy as A.B.C.", by Rudyard Kipling (a short story, published in London Magazine in 1912)
* Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson (a novel, published 1999)
Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell (TOR Books) is about a near future in which global warming has made the Arctic region livable and allowed an economic boom based on its nearly ice-free ocean. The treatment of the effects of global warming appears realistic, showing some of the benefits, and that even the negative effects are not the total disaster that supposed authorities are presently using to scare us into giving up freedom. While the protagonist works for the UN Polar Guard, which enforces what little law exists in this mostly ungoverned region, the novel depicts government organizations as either corrupt or completely ineffective. The story shows (a little too briefly) many ways to organize society on a voluntary basis. Buckell makes this potential pro-government authority setting into a very libertarian story.
The Unincorporated Future by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books) covers a fateful fight for liberty and the tragic consequences of tyranny and war, with casualties on a staggering scale, marks the sobering conclusion of this suspenseful and intricate four-novel series about a solar-system-wide war between statist Earth and the more libertarian human traders (and A.I. intelligences) in the asteroid belt and outer planets.
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books) educates the audience on current issues of copyright and government surveillance; advocates for a change in policies and attitudes toward transformative works; and explain ways in which the next generation can work around current obstacles and agitate for change. In a young adult novel that's unapologetically optimistic and political, Doctorow gives his characters, led by the young pirate filmmaker "Cecil B. DeVille," the opportunity to make a difference and fight back against entrenched interests and outdated forms of control. Audiences have been given a particular view of art and intellectual property day-in and day-out for many years from the government, and the media industry; in "Pirate Cinema", Doctorow spins an often charming and compelling story around a different perspective, and in doing so he offers a challenge to all lovers of personal expression and artistic freedom.
Darkship Renegades by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books) is an enjoyable sequel to the fascinating story begun with "Darkship Thieves", involving a virtually government-free society, Eden, hidden among the asteroids from tyrannical Earth. When an unexpected problem erupts in the small community on Eden, a heroic foursome flees coercive forces on Eden to seek data on Earth that can reduce the power wielded by the cabal running Eden. Well-drawn, interesting characters and lots of clever action plotting keep the reader turning pages.
Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez (Dutton - Penguin) delivers an international, multi-ethnic thriller that's remarkably relevant to current developments in technology and policy, and well grounded in compelling science - not just about unmanned, weaponized drones and what they might mean for future warfare, but also about key characteristics of ant behavior (and how they might be used as a basis for warrior drones). In so doing, Suarez acknowledges that contemporary governmental power ultimately rests on coercive force and discusses how modern technology undermines and skews the democratic dialogue and process. "Kill Decision" stands as an action-packed adventure of particular interest to those interested in potential threats to human liberty that are disguised as protection and defense.
Twelve novels published in 2013 were nominated for this year's Best Novel category. The other nominees were Hydrogen Sonata by Iain Banks (Orbit Books), In the Lion's Mouth by Michael Flynn (TOR Books), Rob Seablue and the Eye of Tantalus by Russell Hasan (Amazon Kindle), AI Apocalypse by William Hertling (Liquididea Press), Chimera by T.C.McCarthy (Orbit), Constellation Game by Leonard Richardson (Amazon Kindle), and Midst Toil and Tribulation by David Weber (Tor Books).
"Sam Hall," a short story by Poul Anderson. A regimented future American obsessed with security faces a revolution aided by cybernetic subversion.
Falling Free, a novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. An exploration of the legal and ethical implications of human genetic engineering.
"'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman," a short story by Harlan Ellison. A satirical dystopia set in an authoritarian society dedicated to punctuality, where a lone absurdist rebel attempts to disrupt everyone else's schedules.
Courtship Rite, a novel by Donald M. Kingsbury. A novel portraying an exotic human culture on a harsh desert planet, founded on applying optimization to biology, political organization, and ethics.
"As Easy as A.B.C.," a short story by Rudyard Kipling. An ambiguously utopian future that has reacted against the mass society that was beginning to emerge when it was written, in favor of privacy and freedom of movement.
Cryptonomicon, a novel by Neal Stephenson. Linked narratives set in World War II and the early 21st century trace the development of computation and cryptography and their implications for a free society.
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 Prometheus 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.
For a full list of past Prometheus Award winners in three categories, visit www.lfs.org. Membership in the Libertarian Futurist Society is open to any science fiction fan interested in how fiction can promote an appreciation of the value of liberty.