Volume 01, Number 02, Spring 1983

News Notes

New/Free Country Conference: April 23

Rampart Institute, FREELAND, and the Society for Libertarian Life are sponsoring a one day conference which will explore the search for lands free of coercion, including Floating Islands, Space Colonies, Freeports, Secession, Free Market Communities, Independent Islands and more. The Conference will be held at the Long Beach (California) Hyatt House. Speakers include Gary Hudson, author of Free Port of Earth: The Case for Floating Cities, Sally Foster, author of Why the New Hebrides Failed, and Anthony Hargis. The search for free lands is a matter of survival, say the organizers. With organization, capital, and technology, the dream can be found or created.

A Celebration of Individualism

Why does so much science fiction dramatize libertarian themes? Is there something peculiarly American and individual about SF literature? Could science fiction be so strongly individualistic and libertarian in its tendencies because it typifies the popular American romance with new frontiers of freedom and progress?

Some interesting clues to these questions come from Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who recently discussed in Republic Scene airline magazine the tremendous mail response she has received from American readers of her most recent novel A Man based on her life with the Greek freedom fighter, Alexandros Panagoulis. Americans, Fallaci said, did not always understand the political nuances of her book, but they did respond to the larger theme of the individual fighting for his liberty against the government.

“This country was born out of such individualism,” Fallaci noted. “And many readers have picked up the Lone Ranger theme, the solitude of the rebel who fights everybody without getting tired. They identify with his desperate struggle. With the disobedience of this man. The freedom of this man.”

In the land of Paine and Thoreau and Rand, the culture of individualism is alive and kicking.

Libertarian Novelists

L. Neil Smith, winner of last year’s Prometheus Award, says several new novels in his “Probability Broach” series will be published this year, including The Nagasaki Vector in May and Thomas Paine Maru scheduled for late fall.

F. Paul Wilson, the first Prometheus Award winner, says he expects libertarians will be quite interested in his new novel, Rakoshi, which should be published midyear. Wilson’s fourth novel, the bloodchilling horror story. The Keep, will be released by Paramount Pictures this summer as a major motion picture.

Bob Shea, the co-author of Illuminatus who presented last year’s Prometheus Award in a Worldcon ceremony, is finishing up another historical novel, taking place in France during the Middle Ages. It could be as b1g a best seller as his million-copies-in-print Japanese novel, Shike.

J. Neil Schulman, a 1982 Prometheus Award finalist, will have his second novel, The Rainbow Cadenza, published in May as a Simon and Schuster hardback.

Robert Anton Wilson, the other co-author of Illuminatus, has just finished a series of “prequels” to Masks of the Illuminati, an award nominee this year.

News Flash: LFS member Brad Linaweaver has just been chosen as one of five finalists for this year’s Nebula Awards for his novella, “Moon of Ice,” which appeared in the March 1982 Amazing. All the Science Fiction Writer’s Association members who are also in the LFS should consider voting for it. Everyone else should read it, if you haven’t already. The Nebula Awards are given each year to that science fiction considered the best by the writers themselves. Next to the Hugo Awards, they are the most well-known awards in the science fiction field.

SF on the Bestseller Lists

For the first time publishing history, science fiction and futurism are dominating the NYT Bestseller list. Eight out of the top ten fiction bestsellers are science fiction-related. Leading the list is Arthur Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two, which broke the record set by Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge a few months ago when it climbed to #3, by becoming the first SF novel to reach the top of the chart.

Other novels on the list include William Kotzwinkle’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Storybook, (which has been recommended for consideration in this year’s Prometheus Awards because of its strong antipathy to government/adult bureaucracy); Jean Auell’s The Valley of Horses, a sequel to the fascinating prehistoric saga, Clan of the Cave Bear; and novels by Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut (both nominated for the 1982 Prometheus Awards) and Douglas Adams.

Besides that, nonfiction bestsellers have included in recent months Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw’s individualistic, encyclopedic work: Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach and John Naisbitt’s popular futurist book, Megatrends. Some libertarians may argue that futurism and science fiction aren’t serious or relevant or popular—but the marketplace is buying this kind of literature in greater numbers than Ed Clark got votes.

Computer Networking

LSF member Joseph Martino wants to know how many libertarian futurists have either personal computers or terminals which could be used to establish a LFS computer network for more rapid communication. Send your reply, includes: what kind of computer you have, to: Joseph Martino Senior Research Scientist, University of Dayton. Research Institute, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio 45469.

LFS Activists Appreciated

Special thanks for help with LFS projects during the past year should go to Eric Geislinger and Jane Talisman, Rick White, Ben Olson, and Robert Tinney.

Jane and Eric, who live in Oregon, maintain the LFS’s Basic and Advisory membership mailing list. “What we use is a VIC20 to which I’ve added some memory and a VII line printer,” explained Geislinger, who publishes, with Jane, the life-expansion newsletter, Claustrophobia, which covers life extension and space industrialization news in depth. Eric and Jane have promised to send 25 free copies of Claustrophobia to any LFS member who will distribute them at futurist, science fiction, or space conventions across North America.

Rick White, who lives in Nevada, maintains the LFS outreach/media list, used for press releases and special meetings. Rick has devised a database and entered hundreds of addresses of publishers, novelists, agents, futurist groups, pro-space organizations, science-fiction and libertarian media—each separately coded—into his computer. “I’m the proud owner of a Commodore model 8032 computer and model 8050 dual disk drive with one megabyte on-line memory capacity,” Rick said. “these are coupled to a NEC Spinwriter 5530 letter-quality printer. The system can handle mailing lists and has many other capabilities. What this all means is free access to a fast and efficient tool for LFS projects.” And what Rick is doing does mean a lot to the LFS.

The LFS’s beautiful stationary and attractive newsletter logo have inspired many complimentary comments. The man responsible for designing our stationary and logo is Robert Tinney, who works as a commercial artist in Louisiana. Tinney is a prolific professional who draws many of the futuristic covers for Byte magazine while painting romantic, conceptual, and/or surrealistic paintings in his spare time. “For Byte, and her sister publication, Popular Computing I do about 16 paintings a year, most of which are covers, the rest interior illustration,” said Robert. “I also do all the covers for Interactive Computing, published in Boulder, and am also in the process of producing some interior illustration for Nibble, an Apple-oriented users magazine out of Boston.” Tinney also sells limited edition prints of selected Byte covers. “This has worked out quite well, especially now that I’ve gotten a larger selection of about 20 prints available” he said. For an illustrated ad of Tinney’s artwork, several of which feature science fiction themes write Robert Tinney Graphics, 1864 North Pamela Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70815.

Without the hard work and competence of these LFS advisory Board Members—as well as other active LFS members—the Libertarian Futurist Society would not have made as much progress to date as it has. Thanks.

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