Volume 16, Number 4, Fall, 1998


Departing Words

And so, it ends. (If I may be permitted to alter the last word of phrase spoken often on a great sf TV show: Babylon 5). Almost five years ago, in April, 1994, I brought out my first issue of Prometheus. Nineteen issues later, the editorship moves to Bill Stoddard, who on the opposite page introduces himself. It’s time for me to move on, try new things. Strangely, I never thought my editorship would last this long.

L. Neil Smith once wrote, “You can’t fight a culture war without culture.” I hope that Prometheus has contributed in some degree to a libertarian culture, an alternative to the prevalent culture of state-worship. As editor my focus has been on finding books of interest to libertarian sf fans, as well as highlighting other forms of media. Culture is many things. A libertarian work of culture does not mean it spouts some sort of party line. This perhaps confuses many people, including libertarians. Thus, while libertarians tend to gravitate toward works by definite individualists and libertarians, and tend to favor these when handing out awards, they are just as quick to point out works that (while the author may be a non-libertarian or anti-libertarian) include what they see as libertarian trends or themes.

You cannot escape the theme of freedom in today’s American culture. While we live in a far from free state, and however misguided and base the motives at play, countless movies, books, and TV shows promote liberty in some form or fashion. The ringing cry at the end of Bravehart was “freedom.” The theme of liberty in sf will continue to remain strong. To paraphrase Benedetto Croce, the future is the future of liberty.

The LFS and Prometheus are not the products of one single individual. Also, it is particularly difficult on occasion to separate an organization’s journal from the organization itself. Each voice that speaks in this newsletter does so independently, with the exception of reported LFS decisions which the members decide. I therefore encourage all readers to continue to contribute their views in essays, articles, reviews, and letters (see page 11).

I could not have done a single issue without the help of others. I cannot begin to thank the numerous individuals who have made my tenure as editor of Prometheus one of the most rewarding adventures of my life. My thanks first go to Victoria Varga for letting me helm Prometheus, for acting as a sounding board, and for the many helpful comments to improve Prometheus. Next, Brad Linaweaver has been unflagging in his support, a source of stories and ideas, and a tireless champion of liberty in fiction as well as other forms of creative media. I owe him a debt of gratitude. L. Neil Smith is another friend and inspiration of whom I cannot say enough.

I cannot thank the contributors over the past five years enough, nor the many people I have met, but I will mention a few people without whom this newsletter would have been much poorer. Each in their own way contributed to the final product, but as always any errors and flaws are mine alone: F. Paul Wilson, Victor Koman, Fred Curtis Moulton, Bill Ritch, J. Neil Schulman, Victor Milán, Bill Howells, Bill Stoddard, James Hogan, Karen Monsen, Fran and Kent Van Cleave, and Tod Casasent.

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