Shortlist Announced for Libertarian Futurist Society’s 2016 Hall of Fame Award

The Libertarian Futurist Society has selected five finalists for the 2016 Hall of Fame Award, given in recognition of a classic work of science fiction or fantasy with libertarian themes.

The descriptions of the works and their themes come from the Society’s press release.

  • Manna, by Lee Correy (published 1984)

A novel about the economic development of space in the twenty-first century, and about competing economic philosophies that shape it. One of its most interesting aspects is the setting: the United Mitanni Commonwealth, an imaginary small East African country founded on a distinctive vision of personal freedom of choice. Correy’s hero, a former American aerospace officer, is drawn into the Mitanni struggle both for a vision of the future and for simple survival, while discovering the customs of his new homeland.

  • Courtship Rite, by Donald M. Kingsbury (published 1982)

A novel set on a planet in a remote solar system, where human colonists struggle with a harsh environment. The author, a mathematician, explores the mathematical concept of optimization in biological evolution, in political institutions, in culture, and in personal ethics—through linked dramatic struggles over political ambition and the creation of a family.

  • “As Easy as A.B.C.,” by Rudyard Kipling (published 1912)

One of Kipling’s two “airship utopia” stories, set in the year 2065—but the utopia is an ambiguous one. Striking for its vision of a future that looks back in horror at the lynchings and racism of Kipling’s own time. Compact and evocatively written.

  • The Island Worlds, by Eric Kotani and John Maddox Roberts (published 1987)

A novel of asteroidal rebellion against a corrupt and oligopolistic Earth. Unusual in its portrayal of an internally divided liberation movement with conflicting ethical and strategic beliefs.

  • A Mirror for Observers, by Edgar Pangborn (published 1954)

A novel of conflicting factions of Martian refugees working in secret to influence humanity toward enlightenment and self-destruction. Notable for its vision of a future United States with two entirely new leading political parties—a constitutionalist party and a fascistic Organic Unity Party—and of its reaction to an engineered plague. Pangborn offers no radical solutions; he focuses on personal ethics, and he shows reasons for despair and then turns back to hope.

Fourteen nominees were considered for the award. Those not making the shortlist were: Firesign Theater’s “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus,” James P. Hogan’s The Mirror Maze, Murray Leinster’s “Exploration Team,” C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength, O.T. Nelson’s The Girl Who Owned a City, Rush’s 2112, Robert Silverberg’s A Time of Changes, T.H. White’s The Book of Merlyn, and F. Paul Wilson’s Hosts.

Hall of Fame candidates are nominated by the members of the Libertarian Futurist Society. Any work first published more than five years ago is eligible. The finalists have been selected by a committee of judges. The winners will be determined by a vote of all members.

Last Year’s Hall of Fame Winner: Harlan Ellison recorded a short video accepting the 2015 LFS Hall of Fame award for “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.”

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

6 thoughts on “Shortlist Announced for Libertarian Futurist Society’s 2016 Hall of Fame Award

  1. I wonder whether it says more about me, or about the award, when two of these “classic works” are things that I’ve never heard of.
    I’ve read, and enjoyed, the Kipling and the Kingsbury. I know of, but don’t think I’ve ever gotten around to reading, the Pangborn; I should read it, because I’ve enjoyed his other work (and I’m sure I must have read something of his other than Davy).

  2. I’ve read A Mirror for Observers, but I have no idea what about it would be considered “libertarian”. On the other hand, I find myself wondering that about a lot of the LTA’s shortlisted nominees.

  3. I love A Mirror for Observers (though it’s been a while since I reread Pangborn) but don’t see what it’s doing on this list beyond “we have an award and admire this work.” Maybe “we distrust government, and there was an evil politician in this one”?

    I’m also puzzled by why the Kingsbury is on the list, and for that matter why the Firesign Theater album was on the longlist. (I don’t know whether some of the other works are equally anomalous, not having read/heard them.)

  4. @Morris Keeshan – I’ve never even heard of this work by Kipling and was surprised to read that the future humans aren’t racists. Wasn’t Kipling the author who coined the term “white man’s burden”? “East is east and West is west and never the two shall meet, shall meet” (or something like that – it’s been years since I’ve read anything by Kipling other than Just So Stories).

    I don’t know how long ago you read it, but do you remember anything about racism in it?

  5. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 1/24/16 - Amazing Stories

Comments are closed.