Alternate history, progress, markets, satire and how fantasy can illuminate reality: An Appreciation of Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch, the 2003 Prometheus Best Novel winner

The Libertarian Futurist Society’s ongoing Appreciation series of review-essays strives to make  clear what libertarian futurists see in each of our past winners and how they fit the libertarian focus of the Prometheus Awards. Here’s an Appreciation for Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch, the 2003 Prometheus winner for Best Novel:

By William H. Stoddard and Michael Grossberg

Night Watch, the 29th book in Terry Pratchett’s bestselling Discworld series and widely hailed as one of the best, focuses in his usual tongue-in-cheek style on what it takes to build a more-modern police force that eventually will be able to keep the peace and fight violent crime in one of the most unruly cities in fiction.

Filled with individualistic, anti-authoritarian and pragmatically libertarian themes that resonate with the actual history of our own planet and how market economies and modern civilization developed, this ingenious 2002 satirical fantasy blends political intrigue and police drama in a plot that also involves time travel back to the start of a legendary street rebellion.

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