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March 02, 2007

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.

Posted by john at March 2, 2007 02:07 PM

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Kate | March 2, 2007 02:16 PM

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?

John Scalzi | March 2, 2007 02:18 PM

As I understand it, Spider wrote to Heinlein's outline and notes.

Cathy | March 2, 2007 02:40 PM

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.

Chang, father of pangolins | March 2, 2007 02:44 PM

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.

Cassie | March 2, 2007 03:26 PM

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.

Ed | March 2, 2007 03:35 PM

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.

Audrey | March 2, 2007 04:06 PM

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.

Jeffery | March 2, 2007 04:22 PM

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 :-)

John Scalzi | March 2, 2007 04:24 PM

I like Speaker better myself.

Todd Stull | March 2, 2007 04:45 PM

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.

Watchman | March 2, 2007 05:15 PM

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.

RS | March 2, 2007 06:26 PM

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.


Jeff R. | March 2, 2007 08:57 PM

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.

Steve Buchheit | March 2, 2007 09:29 PM

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?

John Scalzi | March 2, 2007 09:36 PM

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!

Steve Buchheit | March 2, 2007 09:55 PM

Ah, so you've already seen my post with you in it.

(Note to self, check copies of Word for the Scalzi macro virus.)

SF Ray Area | March 3, 2007 09:21 AM

Congrad's Scalzi!
Lets hope you can reel in the win!

"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.

James Nicoll | March 3, 2007 03:10 PM

"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."

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.

James Nicoll | March 3, 2007 03:12 PM

The inclusion of Empire by Orson Scott Card on that list baffles me.

James Nicoll | March 3, 2007 03:59 PM

"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?

John Scalzi | March 3, 2007 04:06 PM

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.

James Nicoll | March 3, 2007 04:29 PM

"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?)

John Scalzi | March 3, 2007 04:41 PM

No, no. Outlines for books I've not actually written, from me. Live ungrated, Mr. Nicoll.

Josh Jasper | March 3, 2007 06:18 PM

Libertarian futurists sure like some unlibertarian novels.

Adam Lipkin | March 5, 2007 02:09 PM

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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