Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: April 2006 (page 1 of 2)

Another Vernor Vinge interview

This one’s in audio, conducted by Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit. Download to your iPod or play on your computer without an iPod.

The kid in you

Perhaps Big Head Press can cash in on this growing phenomenon, the massive growth in graphic novels in the publishing industry. Via Reason’s Hit & Run.

Preview art for Roswell, Texas

Big Head Press today released some preview art for their three online graphic novel projects, including L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser’s Roswell, Texas. Methinks that Wild Bill Bear shows a slight resemblance to a famous libertarian sf novelist…

Alida Valli dies

Though no obits mention her role in the Italian movie version of Ayn Rand’s We the Living, news of Alida Valli’s death broke today. I don’t believe We the Living exists on DVD, but I bought the VHS tapes almost a couple of decades ago after it’s rerelease (1986) and was impressed by her portrayal of Kira Argounova.

2006 Prometheus Award finalists, part 1

Each year around this time I participate in the voting for the Prometheus Award, which in my case entails reading the five finalists and submitting my vote (deadline: July 4). This year there are six finalists. I have less time than ever to read the books, so I find myself reading at lunch and while walking to and from my car at work. I began this week with Vin Suprynowicz’ The Black Arrow and Walter Mosley’s 47 in parallel. I just finished Mosley’s novel, and only am 50 pages into the Suprynowicz book. The former impressed me, at least the first half. After the critical tipping point of 47 the novel lost impact in some ways, and I’m still sorting out my thoughts. The prose flows well, and the emotional impact of the slave tale sat with me long after I put the book down each day. However, without spoiling the ending, I felt it left out a great deal of information, and perhaps it lost a little direction. The central element, that one is not a slave nor a master, unless one makes that choice, has deep libertarian roots, going back to Etienne de la Boetie. Regardless of Mosley’s ‘progressive’ politics, that alone earns it some points.

The Black Arrow created a stir last year when Laissez Faire Books refused to carry it in their catalog, due to what they termed excessive and gratuitous sex scenes. I have not come across any of these yet, but having read some Ray Garton stories, I doubt I’ll blanch when the moments arrive. This is a first novel, and that fact is inescapable when reading the book. The prose certainly isn’t unreadable, and Suprynowicz is an experienced writer of non-fiction, so he knows how to tell a story. However, there are moments when I’m jarred out of my reading state of mind and think more about the process of writing and characterization, rather than about the story. No doubt it’s unfair of me to say this at such an early stage; the book is fairly long and I’m but a few chapters deep. Still, the blend of Harlequin romance emotions of the characters when looking at members of the opposite sex, plus the clinical analysis of anatomy – “From the look of her breasts, it was unlikely she had yet fed children.” – tells me the author is still working to free his fictional voice from his journalistic past. Unlike Mosley, the author is explicitly libertarian, so it ill be interesting to see how the book turns out.

Prometheus in the mail

I finally have the Spring issue back from the printer and the issue will be in the mail to members and subscribers on Saturday the 15th. As always, if you’re interesting in finding out more about the newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society, send me an email at

H. Beam Piper online

Via Emerald City, a report that four of Piper’s works are available free online at Project Gutenberg. Scroll down to see texts of Genesis, Graveyard of Dreams, Little Fuzzy, and Murder in the Gunroom.


To everyone who commented on the arrival of our new baby, a big thank you. He tends to sleep a lot at the moment, and we’re not sure if this is because he was a little early, or if he just has settled on this sleep habit. However, he sleeps fitfully when not held, so much time is spent with one of us holding the little guy, and then running around like crazy to accomplish things when not holding him. His big sister (three years old) takes her role very seriously, and has been a charm. I’ve already gone a little nutty and bought some Star Wars spaceship toys that he can’t even touch for another three-four years, and of course I have to collect the entire set. My wife jokes that the toys really are for me, and who knows if he’ll even care about them when he gets to age he can play with them, but my insanity will pass. It may all be part of the adrenaline and uncertainty around a new baby. All this means little time for reading or surfing, but the Prometheus newsletter was delivered to the printer last week. I was not pleased with how they handled the transaction, and not having heard from them, may be looking for a new printer soon.

Big Head Press

Today Big Head Press announced three online comic book ventures due to launch on May 1st, including L. Neil Smith’s Roswell, Texas. Smith’s story has been in the planning and writing stage for many years, and it’s great to see one version finally coming to fruition. I hope that perhaps some day the text version will see print, not just the comic book, but also the original novel collaboration between Rex May and Smith.

Vernor Vinge interview

Shaun Farrell interviews Vernor Vinge. Via Locus magazine.

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