Archive for the ‘Science fiction’ Category
Science fiction author John C. Wright has noted that he failed to win the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for his novel, THE GOLDEN AGE. (J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” won instead.)
He writes, “Funny that a tale of mystical Norse-medieval sentiment would win out over an openly pro-Libertarian morality play about individual effort. Gee, I even had a scene where one character lectures another on Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage, and in the appendix I mention the drawbacks of allowing a central bank to interfere with the credit market. Whether it is good or bad storytelling to mention Ricardo in an SFF book, I would have thought this was the sort of thing pro-free-market readers would rejoice to read.
“Ah well, maybe artistic merit counts for more than partisan ideological purity after all. So I dare not complain.”
Despite THE GOLDEN AGE’s heavy libertarian content and good reviews, it did not get a Prometheus Award nomination when it was first published in 2002. Perhaps this has something to do with Mr. Wright’s sense of grievance.
Mr. Wright also seems to be making it clear that lately at least, he considers himself a conservative rather than a libertarian. A recent post on the war on drugs (he’s for it) is entitled, “Why I am not a Libertarian.”
Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” has been awarded the Prometheus Award for the best science fiction novel of 2008 by the Libertarian Futurist Society. J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy picked up the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. Full announcement here.
The other finalists also are good books and deserve to be listed here: “Matter” by Iain M. Banks, “The January Dancer” by MIchael Flynn, “Saturn’s Children” by Charles Stross, “Opening Atlantis” by Harry Turtledove and “Half a Crown” by Jo Walton.
Alongside Night by J. Neil Schulman, winner of the 1989 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, is now available as a free electronic book. This is apparently an authorized version and not some kind of pirate thing; information here. The Web site includes an endorsement of the book from Congressman Ron Paul.
The Libertarian Futurist Society, the folks who award the Prometheus Award and the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, has sent out ballots to its members listing the finalists for this year in each category. If you want something to read this summer, you could do a lot worse than to try some of these.
Prometheus Award finalists:
Matter, by Iain Banks (Orbit Books)*
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books)*
The January Dancer, by Michael Flynn (TOR Books)*
Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross (Ace Books)*
Opening Atlantis, by Harry Turtledove (Penguin/Roc Books)*
Half a Crown, by Jo Walton (TOR Books)*
All of these books are worth reading. Iain Banks is one of my favorite writers, but my favorite among the nominees is the Cory Doctorow. If you are interested in the Walton, you’ll want to know that it’s the third book in a trilogy and that you should read the first two books first.
Hall of Fame nominees:
Falling Free, a novel by Lois McMaster Bujold (1988);
Courtship Rite, a novel by Donald M. Kingsbury (1982);
“As Easy as A.B.C.,” a short story by Rudyard Kipling (1912);
The Lord of the Rings, a three-volume novel by J. R. R. Tolkien (1955);
The Once and Future King, including The Book of Merlyn, a novel by T. H. White (1977);
The Golden Age, a novel by John C. Wright (2002).
Here is my article on how Roger Zelazny’s lost novel, “The Dead Man’s Brother,” was rediscovered and finally published more than 35 years after it was written.
Science fiction writer L. Neil Smith has posted a list of 15 books he particularly likes. His Facebook posting is reproduced here. I sense influences.
The swine flu epidemic’s death toll in Mexico has hit 81 and is sparking fears of a worldwide pandemic, the BBC says.
President Obama remains popular, the Washington Post says, but as usual most people loathe Congress.
The New York Times runs a long, interesting story on the team chosen to revive the “Star Trek” franchise.
Trade yes, war no: China and Taiwan have signed an investment deal.
Pakistan has launched a military offensive against militants.