In accepting the award from the Libertarian Futurist Society for my novel, Moon of Ice, I find myself answering a number of questions in the affirmative. Is it possible to serve both art and a deeply held conviction with the same passion? Let's hope so. I side with George Orwell against 0scar Wilde on this one. All art is propaganda but not all propaganda is art.
Another question is, should science fiction be taken seriously? Well, I guess there is no reason to go to extremes. But personally, I cannot help but take SF as seriously as the equally fantastic notion of freedom.
Finally, is it possible to be both a libertarian and a science fiction writer while not going stark raving insane? Uh, er, I thought that I could answer all these questions in the affirmative. At least my sanity is in no way compromised by receiving the best honor the market can bestow: hard money. You know how libertarians are about hard money. I think that Auric Goldfinger said it best when he told that statist agent James Bond, how much he was attracted to the luster and color and texture of gold. Ayn Rand couldn't have said it better.
But seriously folks … it may just be that the road to commercial success is not paved with works that boast a maximum of historical revisionism and libertarian dialectic, while including a minimum of sex and action scenes, not to mention hardly any gratuitous sensitivity at all.
Now, if you do write a book of this sort, and you're not willing to give up all hope for a TV miniseries, it doesn't hurt to include a few swastikas. Nazism, after all, is such a thoroughly repugnant idea that your reader is likely to look favorably upon almost any alternative … even freedom!!!
Of course it always helps to have an audience. The LFS has certainly learned by now that the World Science Fiction Convention is not always amenable to the idea of a prize dedicated to freedom having, as its reward, a captive audience.
Only two WorldCons have scheduled us with major events so that a lot of fans heard what we had to say. The first time was the LA convention in 1984 when we were put on with the Guest of Honor speeches; the second time was in New Orleans in 1988 when we were part of the intermission entertainment at the Masquerade.
To conclude, I have a modest proposal for how we may attract attention in the future. This, always assuming that we grow weary of our event being scheduled in the closet so to speak.
When I was watching the TV show Crossfire recently, I saw the usually bemused expression on Robert Novak's face become a study in human astonishment. He had just been complaining about the perfectly obvious left-wing bias in the film Casualties of War, when Joel Siegel, well known film critic. informed him that a.) there is no such entity as Hollywood; b.) if there happened to be a Hollywood, it still wouldn't be politically to the left and to suggest otherwise is rampant McCarthyism; and c.) movies are never about politics anyway—they are only about business.
Such a spectacular demonstration of The Big Lie, a method perfected by Dr. Goebbels, provides hope for the LFS in a form to which I will henceforth refer as the Joel Siegel ploy. What if Worldcon committees were told that the Prometheus Awards have no political significance whatsoever, that they have nothing to do with economics, and they are not threatening to anyone because they are never touched by the merest whiff of controversy? If a sufficient number of SF fans come to believe that this award is meaningless, perhaps they will treat it with the same respect that they afford the other awards in the field.
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