CLFA Book of the Year 2017

The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance’s Book of the Year 2017 is Peter Grant’s Bring the Lightning, published by Castalia House. The CLFA Book of the Year recognizes “the best in freedom-friendly fiction.”

The winner was determined by a public vote on ten finalists selected by CLFA members. Placing second was Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by John Ringo (Baen Books), and coming in third was Iron Chamber of Memory by John C. Wright (Castalia House).

27 thoughts on “CLFA Book of the Year 2017

  1. Ok, freedom-friendly fiction? So are libertarians and conservatives now for a world without war? With library and social justice for all? Now that’s what I’d call freedom-friendly! (Lots of snark implied here.)

  2. I’m glad that at least some of the puppies took our advice and made their own awards instead of messing up the established ones.

  3. Does anyone know anything about this group? Looking at their website didn’t help. I *think* it predates the SPers by a number of years. If it is older than them, it’s yet another group the SPers have attempted to take over.

  4. It’s a Puppy site/group. It was launched in September 2015 after the Puppies’ cheating was massively repudiated with No Awards.

  5. I was curious about the group as well.

    The CLFA site doesn’t provide any information on who is running the group, but the admins on the Facebook group are authors Kia Tsakos Heavey and Marina Fontaine.

    Both Heavey and Fontaine had self-published books that made the list of 10 finalists. Heavey’s book Domino has a great cover of cat-on-rat combat.

    Here’s Fontaine’s Amazon bio:

    Marina Fontaine is a Russian by birth, an American by choice, and an unrepentant book addict. Because of her background, she loves to discover and support pro-freedom literature. She runs Small Government Book Fan Club on Goodreads, Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance group on Facebook, and a personal commentary/review blog, Marina’s Musings. Her works include Chasing Freedom (a Dragon Awards finalist) and The Product, a dystopian novella published by Superversive Press. Marina lives in New Jersey with her very supportive husband, three children and four guinea pigs, working as an accountant by day and a writer by night. Her other interests include hard rock music, action movies and travel.

    Here’s Heavey’s Amazon bio:

    Kia Heavey was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in German Literature and went to work as a creative professional in advertising. Her hobbies include fishing, music, reading, hiking, and most of all, being with her family. Her husband is Chief of Police in their hometown. They have two children and a cat.

    Kia is the author of three novels:

    NIGHT MACHINES, a book about a married mom who indulges in a harmless mind game and almost loses everything. (Recommended for adults, since it contains mature situations and would probably also be very boring to anyone under 25).

    UNDERLAKE, a YA romance with a hint of the supernatural. In this book, a lonely Manhattanite girl is dragged to the sticks for the summer, where she connects unexpectedly with the natural beauty of the place, her own artistic talent, and the mysterious (and possibly dangerous) boy who swims in the lake by her house.

    DOMINO, a modern fable about a barn cat locked in a deadly rivalry with a pampered house pet who convinces all the other animals that hunting is wrong. Before he knows what’s happening, Domino is in an existential struggle to protect his territory, his family, and a time-honored feline way of life.

    #ConFic #GrownupFiction #CLFA

    I hope none of these books is “message fiction.” Puppies hate that.

  6. And rcade notes wisely I hope none of these books is “message fiction.” Puppies hate that.

    It’s only messege fiction if it’s not the message that we want it to be.

  7. Hello and many thanks for posting the CLFA Book of the Year winner! We appreciate the shout-out. For the curious, CLFA was founded in December 2013. Yes, some puppies are members but no, they do not run the group. You can read about our mission on our website homepage.

    As for message fiction: We do not disregard all message fiction, but to us, the key is that the message must be subordinate to the quality of the story. CLFA authors write all sorts of fiction, in all genres, with overt political messages or no messages at all.

    And thank you for mentioning the cover to my book, Domino, in the comments. I contracted artist Damon Bowie to do the illustration. (I have no idea what Mr. Bowie’s politics are, couldn’t care less.) On the message fiction-o-meter, Domino is probably a 6, but people seem to take their own message from it. At any rate, first and foremost, I aimed to write a good story.

    Thanks again!

  8. Pingback: NEWS FROM FANDOM: 3-2-2017 - Amazing Stories

  9. So when Scalzi “cheated” in the same fashion a few years earlier did you no award him too? Or is it okay to “cheat” as long as you are a right thinker? Just asking. For a friend.

  10. @Kia Heavey

    I followed your invitation to look at your mission statement, and I’ve excerpted some parts below.

    …everyone who wants less government control and less SJW authoritarianism, and who loves a good story!

    Hear about new books, movies, and music that doesn’t insult you!

    Join together to liberate the entertainment industry from the nihilistic grip of the Progressive Left and get the good stories out there!
    Mingle and bond with other small government fans and blunt the wedge issues the left uses to divide opposition. In a truly free country, there is room for all of us!

    Now, if that’s the sort of stuff you want to believe then fair enough, you do you, etc etc, but it seems to me that as-written your mission is more about the politics than the stories, and in fact the politics are more about opposing other people’s opinions than holding your own.
    So, I’m not really sure your mission statement really matches your personal description about message being subordinate, but I’m glad you and your members enjoy writing, reading, and celebrating those stories,

  11. @DP Richard

    So when Scalzi “cheated” in the same fashion a few years earlier did you no award him too? Or is it okay to “cheat” as long as you are a right thinker? Just asking. For a friend.

    I never heard that Scalzi ever proposed a slate of works, nor that anyone had ever urged people to vote a slate without reading the works to make a political statement. So you have a link to the slate you think he proposed and his instructions on how to vote for it? I don’t think such a thing exists.

  12. @Mark Thanks for taking a look. Yes, those are pretty much the ideological parameters within which our storytelling takes place, similar to how there are ideological parameters within which establishment fiction is produced. (And believe me, there are numerous authors in CLFA who, even though successful, were dropped by agents and/or publishers when they veered from the “acceptable” points of view.) From there on out, it’s all about the storytelling. And yes, we are enjoying ourselves immensely. Thank you for the good wishes! 🙂

  13. (And believe me, there are numerous authors in CLFA who, even though successful, were dropped by agents and/or publishers when they veered from the “acceptable” points of view.)

    Sorry, I’m not going to be taking anything you say on faith. You haven’t developed that level of credibility.

    In any event, the fact that there is a perceived need for a conservative libertarian award in a world in which the Prometheus Award already exists is something that I have always found amusing.

  14. The CLFA is independent of the Puppies and preexists them. Some Puppies are CLFA members, but not all CLFA members are Puppies.

    The list of ten books offered to the public to vote on was whittled down from an initial list of anything that a member recommended. The final ten were then chosen by vote from the initial nominated list of 33. The qualification for the books being on the list was: published in 2016. Members nominated and voted for what they liked.

    Neither Marina nor Kia campaigned for their books in any way. But since members of the group know them, many had read their recent releases. I am one of the people who voted for Marina’s book to be on the list…because I enjoyed reading it.

    As to politics vs story, no book was ruled off the list due to its content. The book that won was a Western, not a political tract.

    😉

  15. @Aaron

    In any event, the fact that there is a perceived need for a conservative libertarian award in a world in which the Prometheus Award already exists is something that I have always found amusing.

    I think it’s good for them to have their own awards. It’s what we’ve been telling them to do for three years now, so I don’t think we’re can be too critical that they did what we suggested.

    As for their mission statement, I do think it fairly represents the group. Those are the things they think, and that is the way they talk. The real question is whether they’ll be content with owning a few awards like this or if they’ll be back trying to sabotage the Hugos again.

  16. I think it’s good for them to have their own awards.

    Oh sure. I’m just noting that the fact that the Prometheus Award isn’t quite ideologically pure enough for the CFLA is pretty funny.

  17. Eh. Libertarianism and Conservative Libertarianism have some pretty distinct differences. I don’t think it’s about ideological purity (there’s no reason a libertarian has to be conservative: none of the ones associated with the home ed crowd I grew up with were, quite the opposite) so much as having an ideological mismatch that is considered important enough to create a difference. I seem to recall a number of jokes about the Prometheus Award being the Scottish Socialist award, and I can’t imagine many books written by Scottish Socialists fitting neatly into conservative views. 🙂

    @Kia Heavey

    I expect people with all types of politics have sold fewer books if they start writing in extreme perspectives, at least without targeted marketing towards a specific demographic, and fewer books is usually a reason to get dropped. It wouldn’t surprise me if mainstream publishing aims more towards the middle, simply because that’s where most of the book-buying public is, more or less. Niche marketing works better for small press and self-publishing, I think.

    @L. Jagi Lamplighter

    If I’m reading the dates right, Sad Puppies started in January 2013, which would be before the CFLA started in December 2013.

    But I’d expect some crossover in membership considering similar political perspectives, nothing sinister there. 🙂

  18. Libertarianism and Conservative Libertarianism have some pretty distinct differences. I don’t think it’s about ideological purity

    I see I am being too subtle. All of conservative libertarianism is about ideological purity, exemplified by events such as the purge of “liberaltarians” from the ranks of the Cato Institute. That’s the joke.

  19. @Kia Heavey

    Yes, those are pretty much the ideological parameters within which our storytelling takes place

    In which case, I’m delighted you have your own space in which to tell those stories.

    there are numerous authors in CLFA who, even though successful, were dropped by agents and/or publishers when they veered from the “acceptable” points of view.

    Fascinating claim. As they are “numerous” could you name some, and give the circumstances in which that happened?

    @L Jagi Lamplighter

    As to politics vs story, no book was ruled off the list due to its content.

    Glad to hear it, but of course no-one has suggested otherwise.

    The book that won was a Western, not a political tract.

    Kia has been kind enough to establish that the CLFA’s ideology includes staunch opposition to SJWs/establishment left/etc. The winning Western was written by Peter “TOR Boycott” Grant, who is known for his staunch (but ineffective) opposition to an “establishment” publisher for being leftist SJWs.
    In short, I think we’re all very clear that adherence to the correct political position is a factor in this award, which I’m sure suits everyone involved just fine, and so I continue to wish the CLFA all the best in their future endeavours.

  20. If I’m reading the dates right, Sad Puppies started in January 2013, which would be before the CFLA started in December 2013.

    Sad Puppies officially began that month in posts on Larry Correia’s blog, but the true moment was at Reno Worldcon on Aug. 21, 2011, when he lost the Campbell vote and finished fifth out of five.

  21. The book that won was a Western, not a political tract.

    These things are not mutually exclusive. The Pups have been screaming about science fiction books whose alleged politics they don’t like winning Hugo Awards for years now.

  22. L. Jagi Lamplighter (Wright): The CLFA is independent of the Puppies and preexists them. Some Puppies are CLFA members, but not all CLFA members are Puppies… As to politics vs story, no book was ruled off the list due to its content. The book that won was a Western, not a political tract.

    You know that you’re not a credible source of information, right?

    You were here some months ago insisting that the Dragon Awards administrators had nothing to do with the Puppies. I pointed out that you were either lying, or making that “fact” up out of whole cloth, since the administrators had never been publicly named — and the only way you would know who the administrators were would be if they were Puppies. And if you didn’t know who the adminstrators were, you certainly weren’t in a position to state that they had nothing to do with the Puppies.

    And your credibility is not improving. Grant’s story is not a Western. It’s a Civil War story that takes place in Tennessee and Virginia. Even at that time, “The American West” was much further west than that. And it’s about a Confederate soldier fighting them damn dirty Yankees, and it’s loaded with politics.

    Not only do the Puppies, contrary to your claim, pre-date CLFA, the CLFA website wasn’t created until September 2015 — right after the Hugo Award results demonstrated that the Puppies didn’t actually represent the massive silent majority that they’d been claiming they did.

    So, ya know, maybe before you post here again, you might want to fact-check yourself. Because every time you come here and post more falsehoods, you’re just digging yourself a deeper hole. 🙄

  23. The website might not be the first activity of the CLFA. When did its Facebook group begin?

    Regarding the Dragon Awards, did they ever release nomination or vote totals? Last year, I emailed someone involved in the awards if these would be published and did not get a response.

  24. Last year, I emailed someone involved in the awards if these would be published and did not get a response.

    They will be released at the same time that Trump releases his tax returns.

  25. rcade: The website might not be the first activity of the CLFA. When did its Facebook group begin?

    As Meredith pointed out above, the Puppies started in January 2013, and the CLFA group on Facebook started on December 2013.

  26. @Cat Etheridge

    So are libertarians and conservatives now for a world without war?

    The absence of war is not a guarantee of liberty. In some cases, war is required to remove the impediments to liberty.

    See the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, WWI, WWII, and other conflicts for relevant examples.

    Regards,
    Dann

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