Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 Prometheus Award Nominees

Location: Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon in Dublin, Ireland..

Comments: One of the notable things about the 2019 Prometheus Nominees is the complete lack of any Sad Puppies on the list. To be fair, the Pups never really got any significant traction with the Prometheus Awards - the only significant member of the Pups who has been nominated recently was Sarah Hoyt. This seems odd, since given the political proclivities of the Sad Pups, this award seems like it would be the natural home for them. In more than a few cases Pups have engaged in some rather obvious pandering in their works in an effort to get nominations for this award, but they never made a concerted effort to get their selections on the ballot in the same way they did for the Hugo Awards. There is probably an entire dissertation one could write about why the Pups almost completely ignored the Prometheus Award and instead battered their heads against the Hugo Awards, but since the Pups have mostly faded into well-deserved cultural irrelevance, there just doesn't seem to be much point in writing about it further now.

The larger issue with the Prometheus Awards is the repetitive nature of the Hall of Fame nominees. Of the five nominees, five of them had been nominated previously for the Hall of Fame. Harrison Bergeron has been nominated once before, while Conquest by Default has previously been nominated twice. Sam Hall has been nominated three times, while As Easy as A.B.C. has been nominated a total of thirteen times. The only Hall of Fame nominee that has not been previously nominated is Schrödinger's Cat: The Universe Next Door. Having nominees show up year after year until they get inducted is not a new phenomenon for the Prometheus Awards, and that seems to me to be something of a problem. If the range of potential nominees is so limited that one needs to renominate the same things over and over again until they win, the Hall of Fame seems less than impressive.

Best Novel

Causes of Separation by Travis Corcoran

The Fractal Man by J. Neil Schulman
Kingdom of the Wicked by Helen Dale
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
State Tectonics by Malka Older

Hall of Fame

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut

Conquest by Default by Vernor Vinge
As Easy as A.B.C. by Rudyard Kipling
Sam Hall by Poul Anderson
Schrödinger's Cat: The Universe Next Door by Robert Anton Wilson

Other Works Considered for the Hall of Fame

Demon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez (considered as a combined nomination)
Even the Queen by Connie Willis
ILU-486 by Amanda Ching
The Man Who Sold the Stars by Gregory Benford
A Mirror for Observers by Edgar Pangborn
The Mirror Maze by James P. Hogan
The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White (considered as a combined nomination)
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg

Previous year's nominees: 2018
Subsequent year's nominees: 2020

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