2023 Prometheus Best Novel and Hall of Fame Winners

The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced the Best Novel and Hall of Fame for Best Classic Fiction Prometheus Award winners for 2023.


Cloud-Castles by Dave Freer (Magic Isle Press) has won the 2023 Prometheus Award for Best Novel for novels published in 2022.

The citation says:

Set on diverse habitats floating above a gas-giant planet, this zestful and often funny coming-of-age adventure charts the progress of a mis-educated, socially awkward and well-meaning young man, brilliant but naïve, thrust into a succession of strange human and alien cultures and life- and liberty-threatening situations. 

With help from a street-smart sidekick, he escapes imprisonment and slavery and forges innovative, profitable businesses with decentralized, stateless people scattered through the planet’s clouds. 

Through such entrepreneurship, cooperative individualism and fish-out-of-water encounters with an “outback” frontier culture reflecting the Australian novelist’s own heritage, the story (formally a comedy in structure according to the classic Greek definition) reveals how markets work, why profits are moral and necessary in a free society and how societies flourish through reinvestment and market innovation. 

The other 2023 Best Novel finalists were Widowland by C.J. Carey (Quercus); Captain Trader Helmsman Spy by Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven Press); A Beast Cannot Feign by “Dr. Insensitive Jerk” (AKA Gordon Hanka) (Amazon); and Summer’s End by John Van Stry (Baen Books.)


“Free Men,” a Robert Heinlein novelette, won the 2023 Best Classic Fiction award and will be inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame.

Robert A. Heinlein

The citation says:

Heinlein’s 1966 novelette, first published in his collection The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein and later collected in Expanded Universe, offers a strong defense of freedom and American ideals. 

The novelette focuses on the aftermath of an invasion and U.S. occupation after a nuclear “20 Minute War” and how a small band of heroic but practical guerrilla fighters survive, adapt and resist tyranny at great cost.

The other Prometheus Hall of Fame finalists were “Primary Education of the Camiroi,” a 1966 short story by R.A. Lafferty; That Hideous Strength, a 1945 novel by C.S. Lewis; Circus World, a 1981 collection of linked stories by Barry B. Longyear; and The Truth, Terry Pratchett’s 2000 novel and part of his Discworld series.

AWARDS CEREMONY. The 43rd annual Prometheus Awards will be presented online in mid-August in a Zoom awards ceremony.

PROMETHEUS AWARDS HISTORY. The Prometheus Awards, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was 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.

In the words of the LFS:

The Prometheus Awards recognize outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that dramatize the perennial conflict between liberty and power and champion cooperation over coercion as the root of civility and social harmony. 

Such works may critique or satirize authoritarian trends, expose abuses of power by the institutionalized coercion of the State, imagine what forms a fully free society might take or imagine paths to creating such societies, and/or uphold individual rights and freedom for all as the only moral and practical foundation for peace, prosperity, progress and justice. 

The Best Novel winner receives a plaque with a one-ounce gold coin, and the Hall of Fame winner a plaque with a smaller gold coin.

One thought on “2023 Prometheus Best Novel and Hall of Fame Winners

  1. Congrats to the winners.

    I tried out John Van Stry’s “Summer’s End”. It was a solid 3.5-star read for me. Some of the characters (especially the women) were a bit underdeveloped. There were too many coincidences for my taste. And the basic spelling/grammar issues were frequent enough to get in my way. I’m a bit obsessive with regard to spelling and grammar. Diminish those nits and this would be a solid 4.5 to 5-star book.

    The larger subtext of the book was about social structures and the importance of honor/trust in a functioning society. It does that quite well.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men. John Stuart Mill

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