L. Neil Smith, whose series of Alternate-world adventures beginning with his Prometheus-award-winning The Probability Broach and continuing with The Venus Belt and The Nagasaki Vector has already sold 100,000 copies, has embarked on a new series that is proving to be even more popular. Hired by George Lucas to write a series of novel spin-offs about the black gambler/entrepreneur Lando Calrissian, Smith has written Lando Calrissian and the Mind Harp of Sharu, which, released in August, has climbed near the top of Lucas’ sf bestsellers list. It’s one of Ballantine/Del-Rey’s big fall bestsellers, and it’s only the beginning of a trilogy by Smith. The second of the series. Lando Calrissian and the Flame Winds of Oseon, was published in October. The third novel, L.C. and the Star Cave of Thonboka [missing snippet - editor] characterization in his first novel in the series, which reveals Lando to be a gut libertarian although not an ideological one—libertarian ideology apparently being verboten in the Star Wars spin offs. But there are still a lot of amusing jabs at corrupt bureaucrats and visible sympathy for Calrissian’s entrepreneurial risktaking. Fun reading.
NOTICE: The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is looking for innovative new plays. They are interested in scripts that break new ground only, and there is a cast limit of twelve. Send scripts. with SASE, to: Howard Shalwitz, Woolly M.T.C. 1317 G St., NW. Wash., DC 20005.
Two essay/reviews published in Prometheus have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, an annual award for articles appearing in non-commercial small literary presses. They are: Victoria Varga’s review of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. “The Permanent Revolution,” published in the Summer issue, and Greg Costikyan’s review of Heinlein’s Friday. “Friday as Synthesis,” published in the Spring issue. Winners may appear in the Pushcart Prize annual anthology of essays, poetry, short fiction and reviews.
Now is the time to begin reading novels for next year’s Prometheus Awards. Already several novels are being discussed among LFS members for possible nomination, although formal nominations won’t begin until December, 1983. The following books have been recommended by at least one LFS member. (All that means is that at least one LFS member believes there’s something in each novel worth bringing to the attention of other members. The best way to bring a book to others’ attention is to write a short—100 or so word—review and send it to this newsletter. Some LFS members have been discussing ways of improving the quality of Prometheus nominations, one idea is to require at least two LFS members to nominate a book. Another is to make sure we read books recommended by non-libertarian critics—i.e. “Why the hell didn’t they include...” Quotes from non-libertarian sources will be added to the Fiction Forum column from time to time. It is interesting to note how many sf fans know, or think they knows exactly what Libertarianism is.) Anyway, in no particular order, consider the following: Neveryona by Samuel Delany, Mindspell by Kay Nolte Smith, Triangle by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, Against Infinity by Gregory Benford, Double Crossing by Erika Holzer, The Nagasaki Vector by L. Neil Smith, Orion Shall Rise by Poul Anderson, The Rainbow Cadenza by J. Neil Schulman, not to mention Robert Anton Wilson’s latest novel, The Earth Will Shake, F. Paul Wilson’s new novel, and Jonuta Rising, co-written by Victor Koman and Andrew J. Offutt.
The third annual Conference on Space Development, sponsored by the L-5 Society and to take place Easter weekend. April 20-22, 1984, at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco is being partially organized and programmed by a libertarian: Charles Curley. Curley spoke at the second L-5 Society convention in Houston last spring, giving a passionate and stirring plea for private enterprise approaches to space industrialization. LFS members who would like to attend the convention and help repeat the LFS outreach success at the conference last year should contact the Third Annual conference on Space Development, 1275 Fourth St., #242, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, for admission information, and the LFS, Box 14181, Austin, TX 78761, to connect with other LFS members who will be attending.
Los Angeles is the site of the next Worldcon, scheduled for August 29, 1984 to September 4. 1984. Advance tickets can be purchased until December 31, 1983 for $40, for $50 until July l5. (And more at the door!) Send checks to LA Con II, Box 8442, Van Nuys, CA 91409.
Austin won the NASFiC bid at Baltimore. (NASFiC = North American Science Fiction Convention, which takes place whenever the Worldcon is held outside the US. Since Australia will be the site of the 1985 Worldcon, Austin bid and won against Detroit and Cleveland to host the NASFiC.) Coincidentally, LFS founder Michael Grossberg is on the Austin NASFiC programming committee. So it seems like a good idea to begin planning now for the Prometheus Award presentation and other LFS activities in Austin in 1985. Anyone with ideas about panels, and specifically any LFS member who would like to participate in a panel, should contact Michael Grossberg. c/o LFS, Box 141, Austin, TX 78761.
It’s time for all Libertarian Futurists to renew their memberships to the Society. As we agreed last year in a poll, each year’s Prometheus Award ceremony at the Worldcon is the automatic expiration date for all Advisory ($50/year) and Basic ($10/year) memberships.
The past year has been a productive one for the Society. We’ve had successful outreach activities at the conventions of the World Science Fiction Society, the World Futurist Society, the L-5 Society, and the Libertarian Party. Thousands of pieces of LFS literature were distributed at these events and the Society received a great deal of visibility from its cocktail parties, panels, speeches, and award ceremonies scheduled on these occasions.
The Prometheus Award and the new Hall of Fame have also generated a great deal of interest. Many novelists, agents, publishers, and fans have taken note of the award. Extensive publicity has been focused on our awards and other LFS activities in publications like Locus, Frontlines, Science Fiction Chronicle. Update, Science Fiction Review, and the Mensa bulletin. Prometheus, LFS’s own newsletter, has not only come out on schedule, but has also improved and gotten more interesting with each issue.
But the LFS can’t rest on its laurels. We must do more to spread libertarian futurist ideas in 1984—the year that Orwell’s most famous novel warned us about.
If we can raise the money, the LFS plans to have its own table at the upcoming Worldcon in Los Angeles in September, 1984. (This year, Steve Jackson kindly gave us some room on his Spacegamer magazine table.) And we also hope to sponsor a variety of outreach programs and activities at the upcoming L-5 Society convention in San Francisco in April, the World Futurist Society convention in Washington. D.C. in July, and other national and regional sf, futurist, publishers, and libertarian conventions.
Besides the continued publication of Prometheus in 1984—and its expansion to a bimonthly schedule —the LFS is developing a space industrialization tabloid, a LFS reading list brochure, and outreach flyers for free distribution at upcoming conventions.
Of course, the Prometheus Award and Hall of Fame must also continue to be sustained. Already several major libertarian novels have been published in 1983—see News Notes for some of the titles—and all of these will be in contention for next year’s awards.
To continue, and expand upon, our activity requires your continued support. We need your participation in upcoming conventions. We need reviews and articles’ for Prometheus. And we also need your membership renewals so we can have the funds to buy gold for future Prometheus Awards, produce LFS literature, and continue to publish Prometheus.
Besides all the other benefits you get by renewing your LFS membership. don’t forget that during the past year LFS members received more than $50 worth of hardback and paperback fiction from major publishers. If you renew, you’ll be able to participate in next year’s nominating and voting on the Prometheus Award and Hall of Fame—and get more good fiction to read in the bargain.
Please renew now, and get your friends to join us, too.
With your assistance, we can help influence the future and make sure that freedom is possible in reality as well as in fiction.
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