Re: libertarian sf

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 23:12:13 MDT

>From: "Bryan Moss" <>
>Subject: libertarian sf
>Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 21:40:25 +0100
>altamira wrote:
> > Personally, I'd like to see prositution legalized and
> > elevated to the status of an honorable profession,
>That reminds me!
>I've been thinking about writing a novel (which is ironic
>because I can barely write email) that would be an
>"alternative history" set in an anarcho-capitalist US.
>What I'd like to know is - has it be done before?
>[One of the protagonists is to be a celebrity / prostitute
>about to make a great deal of money from a wealthy client.]
Actually, L. Neil Shulmann has written a couple of anarcho-capitalist
novels, "Alongside Night" being the first, a sort of Heinlein Juvie, but
without Heinlein's basic integrity. I forget the title of the other.
Neither of them were particularly memorable, so you won't have to work that
hard to top him.

Then there is L. Neil Smith, who has written a whole huge series of
anarcho-capitalist novels, most of them highly extropian as well, but
written from something of a strange viewpoint. Smith is a former cop, and
his novels tend to have a whole lot of violence and everyone goes around
loaded for cave bear. You aren't dressed without your peacemaker, even tho
Smith always reassures you about how relatively peaceful anarcho-capitalism
really is. Smith has a lot of good ideas and sometimes decent plots, but
his characters are generally cardboard and usually talk like escapees from a
bad Western.

Then there is Victor Koman, whose anarcho-capitalist novels, starting with
his XXX rated "Space Sluts," are really bad, but readable if you like
anything that vaguely matches your philosophical bent.

Next there is Vernor Vinge, whose "Realtime" trilogy - "The Peace War," a
novella whose title I forget, and then "Marooned in Realtime" - are not to
be missed. Vinge had not quite gotten up to speed with "The Peace War," but
it's still a really good read. However, I consider "Marooned in Realtime"
to be possibly the best SF novel ever written. It's also where Vinge
explicitly introduces the singularity as an extropian concept - altho he
also discusses it in his forward to "The Peace War."

I think that there are probably quite a few other novels that do explicitly
picture a post-state anarcho-capitalist society, but those come to mind
first. Unfortunately, none of the good ones, such as Vinge's, tell you how
we got there in enough detail to be useful, so that's certainly a possible
venue for you.
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