Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: August 2007

Charles Stross wins Prometheus Award

Direct from Yokohama, Stross’s Glasshouse garners the 2007 Prometheus Award (a real gold coin). When I mulled over my vote a couple of months ago, this was the novel I placed first.

Dystopian books

The Guardian (UK) posts a list of it’s top 10 dystopian novels. I have read eight of the ten, the only exceptions being the Meg Rosoff novel, of which I’ve never heard, and the James Clavell book. I’ve read several of his novels, but never heard of this story.

This is all the constitution we need


I wanted to link to the image from BBC to give proper credit, but couldn’t figure out how. Here’s comrade Hugo talking about changes to Venezuela’s constitution.

Deep liberty

Over at Deep Genre, a long essay on libertarian sf by Lois Tilton. The essay is somewhat shallow, thinking that libertarian utopia can only be achieved by an army of Robinson Crusoes dropped on their own planets.

A single, naked libertarian dropped onto a virgin terrestrial planet with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife or stone hand axe would indeed enjoy the absolute liberty that he [it is usually he] can only dream of on today’s Earth. Happily unencumbered by bureaucrats or environmental regulations, he would be free to carve his way through forests, dig his way through mountains, plow his way across the plains, fish his way through the seas, and otherwise plunder his world to his heart’s content without let or hindrance.

Unfortunately, no works or authors are cited, so Tilton can make brazen statements without having to worry about any proof, or face any refutation. Consider her concept of freedom. Confusing it with the absence of cost, she can say something like this: “On the mythical frontier, everything is free, and here we can see the double meaning of the term. In this idealized setting, the air is free, and the water; meat is free for the hunting, wood is free for the hewing, minerals free for the mining.” I wonder if she has read Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or remembers Heinlein’s TANSTAAFL?

But the main thrust of the essay is that libertarian sf writers and fans believe they only can achieve freedom in space, that they have abandoned Earth to the collectivists. Bosh and piddle, I would say. Libertarians are as passionate about freedom right here, right now, as they are in space. But many libertarian sf fans and many writers firmly believe that humans should get into space to because we can’t put all our eggs in one fragile, blue basket.

I wish Tilton would provide us concrete examples to back up her thesis. Still, her essay has already generated some interesting comments.

New political label: techie/libertarian

I have not read the subject of this brief review, but the blog called The Stars my Destination speculates about the politics of Matthew Jarpe’s novel, Radio Freefall. The verdict of the reviewer is that’s somewhat libertarian, so it might be worth while for me to check out in the context of the Prometheus newsletter, as well the Prometheus Awards. Anyone who has read this rock ‘n roll inspired book is welcome to post comments in the affirmative or negative.

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