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The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced finalists for this year’s Prometheus Awards, which will be presented during the 70th World Science Fiction Convention over Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

The Prometheus finalists for Best Novel recognize pro-freedom novels published last year:

  • The Children of the Sky (TOR Books) – A sequel to Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep and in the same universe as Prometheus-winning A Deepness in the Sky, this novel focuses on advanced humans, stranded and struggling to survive on a low-tech planet populated by Tines, dog-like creatures who are only intelligent when organized in packs. The most libertarian of the three human factions and their local allies must cope with the world’s authoritarian factions to advance peaceful trade over war and coercion.
  • The Freedom Maze (Small Beer Press) – Delia Sherman’s young-adult fantasy novel focuses on an adolescent girl in 1960 who is magically sent back to 1860 when her family owned slaves on a Louisiana plantation. With her summer tan, she’s mistaken for a slave herself, learning the hard way about her ancestors’ attitudes and about courage, respect, individual rights and personal responsibility.
  • In the Shadow of Ares (Amazon Kindle edition) – This young-adult first novel by Thomas L. James and Carl C. Carlsson focuses on a Mars-born female teenager in a near-future, small civilization on Mars, where hardworking citizens are constantly and unjustly constrained by a growing, centralized authority whose excessive power has led to corruption and conflict.
  • Ready Player One (Random House) – Ernest Cline’s genre-busting blend of science fiction, romance, suspense, and adventure describes a virtual world that has managed to evolve an order without a state and where entrepreneurial gamers must solve virtual puzzles and battle real-life enemies to save their virtual world from domination and corruption. The novel also stresses the importance of allowing open access to the Internet for everyone.
  • The Restoration Game (Pyr Books) – Set in a world whose true nature is a deeper mystery, this philosophical and political thriller by Ken MacLeod (winner of Prometheus awards for Learning the World, The Star Fraction, and The Stone Canal) explores the dark legacy of communism and the primacy of information in shaping what is “reality” amid Eastern European intrigue, online gaming, romance and mystery.
  • Snuff (Harper Collins) – A Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett (winner of a Prometheus Award for Night Watch, also set in Discworld), Snuff blends comedy, drama, satire, suspense and mystery as a police chief investigates the murder of a goblin and finds himself battling discrimination. The mystery broadens into a powerful drama to extend the world’s recognition of rights to include these long-oppressed and disdained people with a sophisticated culture of their own.

Thirteen novels were nominated this past year and read and voted on by 10 judges, selected from LFS members. The other nominees: Cowboy Angels, by Paul McAuley (Pyr Books); The Hot Gate: Troy Rising III, by John Ringo (Baen Books); REAMDE, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow); Revolution World, by Katy Stauber (Night Shade Books); Sweeter Than Wine, by L. Neil Smith (Arc Manor/Phoenix Pick); Temporary Duty, by Ric Locke (Amazon; Kindle edition, Ric’s Rulez blog); and The Unincorporated Woman,, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books).

For more than three decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.

For more information, contact LFS Publicity Chair Chris Hibbert (

To submit 2012 novels for consideration and possible nomination by LFS members, contact Michael Grossberg, Best Novel finalist judging committee chair ( or 614-236-5040).

To propose works published more than five years ago for the Hall of Fame, contact William H. Stoddard, Hall of Fame finalist judging committee chair (

For more information, visit