Volume 2, Number 3, July, 1984


Praise at last

The April issue 0f Prometheus was great—very appealing visually, and packed with great reading. The review of Double Crossing was right on, and I also really enjoyed the comments of Gerry Keith and Michael Grossberg.

Jeff Riggenbach's review of Delany's Neveryona was a delight; if you can possibly convince him to do more reviews I (and most of the other subscribers) would be very pleased.

A suggestion for future issues: a year-by-year list of the books that have won both the Prometheus Award and the Hall of Fame spots. I sometimes forget, and I'm sure newer LFS'ers would be interested. It seems to me that we made a rule that no book nominated for the Prometheus Award could be nominated for the Hall of Fame for five years. If that is true, then we will need to have a list of ineligible books as well.

Sylvia Sanders
Pocohontas, Iowa

Thank you for the suggestions. Please see the front-page article which discusses, among other matters, these and other members' ideas. The editor

Is Pournelle all bad?

I read Gerry Keith's diatribe (generally deserved) against Pournelle and Niven's Oath of Fealty with great interest. I didn't react as strongly to Oath—though Niven and Pournelle's closed condo/shopping mall society seemed so boring that I couldn't help thinking, "If this is utopia, give me Los Angeles" Still, there are a few things to be said about labeling Pournelle a fascist.

First, if fascist means a monster who eats non-Aryan babies for breakfast or a belligerent nationalist who believes in property rights for the powerful but not the masses then the definition doesn't quite fit.

Though those who have read more Pournelle than I might disagree or offer me cases in point that I don't know about, Pournelle at least seems to question his own belief-systems. In his 1975 book, High Justice, the reader must decided at the book's ending whether the government-sponsored asteroid-belt corporations are monsters or good companies In that same novel several of the characters to which the author shows obvious sympathy turn absolutely green at the idea of anyone eating whale meat. Can Pournelle be all bad?

I think Pournelle is a conservative who, like most conservatives, is overly concerned with personal security. If we could convince such types that there are ways to insure safety without violating rights, they might loosen up.

Louise Garratt
Bolinas, California

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