2018 Prometheus Award Best Novel Finalists

The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced six finalists for the Best Novel category of the 2018 Prometheus Awards, presented annually at the World Science Fiction Convention.

  • Drug Lord: High Ground by Doug Casey and John Hunt (High Ground Books) – The near-future adventure thriller offers an unconventional hero challenging the government’s War on Drugs by promoting a new rationality/lucidity drug that lets people see through deception, fake news and government propaganda – thereby posing a dire and unforgiveable threat to politicians, bureaucrats and the very foundations of corruption and unjust power. (Note: Drug Lord, Volume 2 in the co-authors’ projected seven-part High Ground series, is the sequel to Speculator, nominated the previous year for the Prometheus Award.)
  • The Powers of the Earth, by Travis Corcoran (Morlock Publishing) – A near-future ungoverned lunar settlement, developed while Earth leaders ignored and denied its existence, struggles to retain its independence from Earth’s meddling bureaucracy in this panoramic story about people carrying on their lives in liberty. (Note: This finalist is the first volume of The Aristillus Series; the sequel Causes of Separation will be published in May 2018.)
  • Torchship, Torchship Pilot and Torchship Captain, by Karl Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press) – The space-opera – tightly written and plotted enough to count as one three-part novel –follows the adventures and intrigues of a smart but secretive woman who signs on as pilot of a free-enterprising interstellar freighter and becomes a player in humanity’s survival in a dangerous region of space with conflicting planetary governments and solar-system-devouring artificial intelligences that threaten the divided human colony worlds.
  • Darkship Revenge, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books) – This rapid-paced adventure dramatizes the heroism of an angry mother who risks herself, her child and kidnapped husband to fight a bio-engineered plague, genetically modified tyrants, and a fearful slavery centuries from now on and around Earth. (Note: This book is the latest in the Darkship series, which began with the 2011 Prometheus winner Darkship Thieves and continued with Darkship Renegades, a 2013 Prometheus finalist, and A Few Good Men, a 2014 Prometheus finalist.)
  • The Corporation Wars: Emergence by Ken MacLeod (Orbit) – In the suspenseful but humor-laced conclusion to The Corporation Wars trilogy, MacLeod weaves a cyberpunk-style AI-versus-human space opera that explores the foundations of self-awareness, autonomy, rights and liberties as newly sentient “freebots” battle for colonial-planet survival in a multi-sided interstellar 32nd-century war against threats in the real and virtual worlds from different factions of uploaded humans and rogue robots. (Note: The Corporation Wars: Dissidence and The Corporation Wars: Insurgence were 2017 Best Novel finalists.)
  • Artemis, by Andy Weir (Crown Books) – In this second novel by the bestselling author of The Martian, Weir offers a noir adventure and near-future heist thriller set on humanity’s first and only lunar colony, a market-oriented city in which a poverty-stricken but resourceful young smuggler must use her guts and skills to survive and thrive while discovering a dark conspiracy that threatens the colony’s freedom and future.

Thirteen 2017 novels were nominated by LFS members for this year’s award. (Note: Under a recently adopted new LFS award-eligibility rule, similar to one recently added for the Worldcon’s Hugo Awards, two or more novels can be nominated together as basically one novel if the judges determine that the books are so tightly linked and plotted, with continuing characters and a unifying conflict and theme, that they can be best read as one work.)

The other 2017 nominees, alphabetized by author: Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow (Tor Books), The Alexander Inheritance by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett (Baen Books), Luna: Wolf Moon: A Novel by Ian McDonald (Tor), Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz (Tor), The Braintrust, by Marc Stiegler (LMBPN Publishing), Change Agent, by Daniel Suarez (Dutton, a Penguin Random House imprint) and The Genius Plague, by David Walton (Pyr Books)

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established and first presented 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 – with a one-ounce gold prize for Best Novel and smaller gold coins for the Prometheus Hall of Fame (for Best Classic Fiction in all written and broadcast/on-screen mediums) and the occasional Prometheus Special awards.

The Prometheus Award finalists for Best Novel are selected by a 10-person judging committee, and the winners are chosen by vote of “LFS upper-level members.”

The LFS says these are the kinds of work recognized by the Prometheus Award –

For close to four decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between Liberty and Power, favor cooperation over coercion, expose the abuses and excesses of coercive government, critique or satirize authoritarian ideas, or champion individual rights and freedoms as the mutually respectful foundation for peace, prosperity, progress, justice, tolerance, mutual respect and civilization itself.

For a full list of past Prometheus Award winners in all categories, visit www.lfs.org.

[Based on a press release.]

14 thoughts on “2018 Prometheus Award Best Novel Finalists

  1. I don’t remember a new Hugo rule like that. I thought we had just been doing that occasionally.

  2. James Davis Nicoll: High Ground Books, Morlock Publishing, and Kelt Haven Press are all new to me. Is anyone else familiar with them?

    They are all *cough*publisher*cough* names that the authors chose for their own self-published books.

  3. Lenore Jones / jonesnori: I don’t remember a new Hugo rule like that.

    There isn’t one. Blackout / All Clear and The Wheel of Time were individual judgment calls made by the Hugo Administrator in those years.

  4. I thought it was an old rule from the days of more frequently serialised publication.

  5. Oh, yeah, there is a serial rule, but, as you say, Meredith, that’s old. Applying it to novels was newish, but as JJ says, not an official rule change.

    That’s an error in the text above, then. Did it come from the LFS?

  6. JJ, I would, but one of my SJWs has me occupied (Maggie again).

  7. Congrats to Andy Weir and the other finalists. But especially Weir, ‘cuz I enjoyed Artemis a lot! 😀

  8. presented annually at the World Science Fiction Convention.

    Waitwaitwait —

    I have it on good authority — I read it on the Internet, so it must be true — that right wingers aren’t allowed to attend Worldcon.

    Does this mean that the nominees and winners are forced to watch the award/accept their award by video link, or something? And how can the Libertarian Futurist Society members themselves attend? Perhaps only the liberal-leaning Libertarian members are allowed to be there?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    (And please note, this is not in any way an attack on the Society or its members. After all, the first ever political campaign I ever volunteered for was for a Libertarian-leaning candidate. I am, however, quite happily attacking other folks who make ridiculous claims about what Worldcon does or does not allow.)

  9. Congrats to all. Morlock Publishing is really making strides, which is great, though I’m rooting for Karl Gallagher’s Torchship book — he’s done really well with this series. Gets a bit of that Firefly feel. I still need to read Artemis!

  10. I cited the Willis decision as a precedent during an LFS board meeting. I didn’t think the press release’s calling it a new rule sounded right, but I was getting ready for a trip when the release was prepared and didn’t have the time to review what I had actually been told (I checked with David Bratman, who I figured would know that sort of thing). In any case we took the handling of Willis’s two volumes as a precedent that could be followed in special cases.

    We’ve never had any problem cooperating with Worldcon. Perhaps it helps that we have our own award rather than trying to influence theirs.

  11. William H. Stoddard: We’ve never had any problem cooperating with Worldcon. Perhaps it helps that we have our own award rather than trying to influence theirs.

    Indeed. The Hugo Awards do what they do well, the Prometheus Award does what it does well, and there is plenty of room for both.

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