By William H. Stoddard
From his first stories published in Astounding Science Fiction to such late novels as Friday and Job, Robert Heinlein was recognized as an outstanding science fiction writer.
For many of us, though, our introduction to his writing, and often to science fiction as a genre, came from the twelve novels he published through Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Categorized as “juvenile” and aimed at an audience ranging from boys in junior high school to young men in the armed forces, these books in fact speak to a far wider audience, and are more sophisticated both in literary technique and in the ideas they present, than almost any other boys’ books and indeed than many books for adults.
And those ideas are often relevant to libertarian concerns.
Continue reading Slavery, family, and a fight for liberty in a “juvenile” for all readers: An appreciation of Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy, the 2022 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner
To highlight the Prometheus Awards’ four-decade history, the Libertarian Futurist Society is publishing an Appreciation series of all past award-winners. Here’s an Appreciation for A. E. van Vogt’s The Weapon Shops of Isher, the 2005 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner for Best Classic Fiction.
By Michael Grossberg
A. E. van Vogt, celebrated as one of the masters of science fiction’s Golden Age, is perhaps best known for The Weapon Shops of Isher.
Imaginative and ingenious, van Vogt’s 1951 novel dramatizes the power of self-defense to sustain personal freedom.
Moreover, the novel introduced one of the most famous political slogans in science fiction: The Right to Buy Weapons is the Right to Be Free.
A classic and superior example of hard sf blended with sociopolitical SF during the early golden age of science fiction, the novel imagines a future dominated by a dictatorial Empire of Isher whose authority is challenged by some mysterious Weapon shops.
Continue reading The right of self-defense and the limits to tyranny: A.E. Van Vogt’s The Weapon Shops of Isher, the 2005 Prometheus Hall of Fame winner