TGB Prometheus Award Nominee, Maybe

I see from the most recent edition of Ansible that The Ghost Brigades has made the short list for the Prometheus Award, which is the best novel award given by the Libertarian Futurist Society. However, the “short list” Ansible lists is the same as the preliminary list I saw floating around last month, so I’m not at all sure that TGB is on the final list of nominees. The LFS hasn’t contacted me about it, so I suspect this list may still be the preliminary list. Clearly, if anyone knows definitively, please let me know. Thanks.

In the meantime, here’s the nominee list as Ansible is reporting it:

Empire by Orson Scott Card

Harald by David D Friedman

Variable Star by Robert A Heinlein and Spider Robinson

Engaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross

Red Lightning by John Varley

Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge

It’s an interesting selection, to say the least.

25 Comments on “TGB Prometheus Award Nominee, Maybe”

  1. I guess premature congratulations are in order then! (not to be read really fast and confused with other premature things)

    My only question is in regards to Variable Star. How do you write a book with a dead guy? (Notably with one of the best sci-fi writer dead guys, but still dead.)

    Ghost writing (literally?) or unfinished works licensed out to a new author?

  2. What’s even more amazing is that I’ve read all but the first two. I normally don’t think of myself as a libertarian, either.

    Good luck with winning yet another major award.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Am I a bad person because I can’t bring myself to read Orson Scott Card? I just can’t man, I can’t. I feel like if I want to be a skiffy writer or reader I have to have read the whole Ender’s shebang but I hated it.

    I know, I’m bad and wrong. I’ll just go to the kitchen and sulk in my sarsaparilla.

  4. No, Chang, you don’t have to read OSC. I can’t read most of Heinlein’s work after 1960. I still think of myself as skiffy reader.

  5. If you ever do have an urge to read Card go ahead and skip Empire. I can usually devour a Card book but every now and then he will write a book that is just a stinker. File Empire in the stiner column.

  6. Audrey Eschright – I’m a software developer, community organizer, and activist based in Portland, OR. I founded Calagator, an open source community calendaring service, and co-founded Open Source Bridge, an annual conference for open source citizens. I’m the editor and publisher of The Recompiler, a magazine about technology and diverse participation.
    Audrey

    I liked Ender’s Game (aside from the sections where people give speeches instead of having conversations), but the next two books after that were pretty mixed. He doesn’t seem to know when he’s writing crap or when the story is working, which is frustrating.

  7. I actually like Speaker for the Dead as well or maybe even better than Ender’s Game. Not sure if that makes me skiffy of not :-)

  8. Congrats on the nomination! You are in some excellent company. I’ll definitely have to read some of the other books in the list since you and Mr. Vinge are two of my favorites.

  9. If you like Speaker better, you’re in good company. Card has said a couple of times he wrote Ender’s Game (the novel as opposed to the original short story) to set up the character for Speaker, which was the story he wanted to tell. And Empire (for all of its faults and its far too evident video game roots and cardboard characters) is nowhere near the right-wing screed some have depicted it as. Bad guys on both sides…and a lot of ambiguity, especially in the ending. Nowhere near his best work IMNVHO.

  10. raingeek – RainGeek lives in the greater Seattle area. He is the sole male in his household and often retreats to his man-cave in an attempt to maintain his sanity. Now squarely in his 30-somethings, RainGeek often ponders his evolution from hard-core geek to a semi-respectable member of society, mystified father and hardworking professional.
    RS

    I loved Red Lightning (and the first book in the series, Red Thunder). If you haven’t read them yet, I recommend both books. I know some people say there is a lot of current political stuff in Red Lightning, but I didn’t think it was too bad. He told a darned good story and his points were relevant no matter what your political leanings.

    I’m ashamed to say it but I haven’t read Ghost Brigades yet (I know, shame on me!). I’ll address that shortcoming this weekend.

    -RS

  11. Hm. Out of Stross’s works from this year, it’s Glasshouse I would have picked to win the Prometheus, but somehow it’s not the one they nominate. Odd.

  12. Ah, Ansible.
    “Outraged Letters. Garry Kilworth (in Australia for 6 months — see above) muses: `When you have a long list of names, egotistic authors (like myself) instantly scan it for their own, and are irritated to find they are not mentioned, until of course they realise they’re reading the obituary column.

    So, John, how many lists did *you* have to scan before finding your name in the Prometheus Award list?

  13. Steve Buchheit:

    The suggestion I scan is insulting; I let the Internet scan for me with a mighty array of personalized search engines, augmented by unsolicited notification from my legions of fanspies. There have been times I’ve known someone was writing about me less than two minutes after they hit the “send” button on their blog software.

    Fear me!

  14. Congrad’s Scalzi!
    Lets hope you can reel in the win!

    RS:
    “I know some people say there is a lot of current political stuff in Red Lightning, but I didn’t think it was too bad.”

    How do you figure? I did not find the book political. After all it is SF. And when politics start mingling with my SF then, then I shall turn to David Ludlum for my reading pleasures. But ya RL was a kick ass story also.

  15. RS:
    “I know some people say there is a lot of current political stuff in Red Lightning, but I didn’t think it was too bad.”

    SFRA:
    “How do you figure? I did not find the book political.”

    The post-Oops scenes might be seen by some as commentary on New Orleans after Katrina. As I recall, though, Varley wrote those bits _before_ Katrina.

  16. “As I understand it, Spider wrote to Heinlein’s outline and notes.”

    Isn’t that a bit like how POODLE SPRINGS (Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker) came to be written?

  17. James Nicoll:

    I think so, although in that case there may have been an odd chapter or two lying around. I’d have to check.

    All I know is that it’s very unlikely that anyone will be collaborating with me after I’m dead, as I neither outline nor take notes. If anyone pops up saying that they have either, kill them.

  18. “If anyone pops up saying that they have either (outline or notes), kill them.”

    But, but I make both when I read your books for the Club and they tend to stay around on my hard-drive…

    Aw, dang.

    (wanders off to find cheese grater — I assume you want the body unrecognizable?)

  19. Josh, I wouldn’t presume to speak for libertarians (since I’m not one myself), but I suspect that the awards and nominations are given based on the books supporting some subset of librertarian ideals, regardless of the creator. No one will ever confuse Alan Moore for a libertarian, but V for Vendetta explores many libertarian themes of unchecked government power leading to a corrupt state. Likewise, Joss Whedon is somewhat outspoken as a liberal, but Firefly’s themes of empowering the individual make a lot of my libertarian friends happy.

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