Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: March 2008

The Last Enemy

SF blogsite io9 has an interesting post about two forthcoming projects, including a TV miniseries called The Last Enemy coming to the US. The second project stars Hugh Jackman, and I expect now we’ll soon see a slew of films about the new crackdown on civil liberties.

Free book online

Read Prometheus Award finalist Tobias S. Buckell’s novel Crystal Rain over at TOR Books. Free only for a limited time. This is not the Prometheus Award finalist novel (that would be Ragamuffin), but might give readers a taste of Buckell’s fiction.

Backhanded compliment

Well, I’m not even sure the second word in the title comes close to accuracy. Locus Online posted the notice about the Prometheus Award finalists today. In the sentence about the Classic Novel category they editorialize with the following snarky comment – “finalists for classic fiction (which can be and are nominated year after year until they win).” Personally I have grumbled about some of the repetitiveness about the nominees, but I have rarely seen Locus Online editorialize about any other science fiction award, so this behavior is questionable at best, and simply bad form. Nor is it entirely accurate. The same nominees do not show up year after year (go check the past list of nominees at, though as of late this seems to have been the case. Some years ago I compiled a list of the most nominated books in the Classic category (or as it originally was called, the Hall of Fame). Several books dominated this list, while others appeared regularly but sporadically. But it just the fact such a comment was made that bothers me, not so much having to pull the facts to dispute it. I gave up pushing a couple of Jack Vance novels that I thought deserved the award, as he never got enough votes to make the second round, and I fear too few people read Vance, and his older books now are rarely reprinted and thus inaccessible.

2008 Prometheus Award Finalists

The press release went out today, and news should be posted at fairly soon. I have not yet read any of the finalists (I am not part of the selection committee), but I’ll need to read them all soon before the voting deadline in July. I’m a little disappointed that two of the books I nominated did not make the final cut, but so it goes. From the release:
* Ragamuffin, by Tobias S. Buckell (TOR Books), set in the same world as Crystal Rain, focuses on a struggle for power that leads to total war for humanity’s right to live free from alien rulers.
* The Execution Channel, by Ken MacLeod (TOR), imagines a post-9/11 era of terrorism, paranoia, espionage in an environment of media spin, disinformation and a rogue media outlet that broadcasts murders and executions.
* Fleet of Worlds, by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner (TOR), is a prequel to Niven’s classic Ringworld that dramatizes the deception and dominations of alien Puppeteers over enslaved descendants of a human colony ship.
* The Gladiator, by Harry Turtledove (TOR) , a Crosstime Traffic story about a future where the Soviet Union won the Cold War but curious teenagers rediscover capitalism.
* Ha’penny, by Jo Walton (TOR), an alternate-history sequel to Farthing, portrays a convincing surrender of freedom for illusory safety in a 1940s-fascist Great Britain.
This is the ninth nomination for MacLeod, who has won three times (The Star Fraction, The Stone Canal, and Learning the World); the third nomination (all as collaborations) for Niven, who won in 1992 for Fallen Angels (with Michael Flynn and Jerry Pournelle).
Turtledove has been nominated once before; this is the first nomination for Buckell and Walton. Special congratulations to TOR Books, for its grand slam of all five finalist slots for the second time in this category’s three-decade history.
The Best Novel finalist-judging committee read more than 15 novels this past year as awards possibilities, including nine official nominees. Here are the other nominees: The Guardener’s Tale, by Bruce Boston (Sam’s Dot Publishing); Echoes of an Alien Sky, by James Hogan (Baen Books); Gradisil, by Adam Roberts (Prometheus Books’ Pyr); and Off Armageddon Reef, by David Webber (TOR).

More kid lib lit

The new proprietors at Laissez Faire Books continue highlighting great fiction for kids in their last two posts. Here is an interesting take by Dr. Seuss.

Public schools defined

“A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare” says the judge who wrote an opinion on Californians’ lack of any right to homeschool their children. Chilling.

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