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68


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 68, March 31, 2000
March Madness

A Word from the Author

by L. Neil Smith
lneil@lneilsmith.org

Special to TLE

           Almost daily, nice people ask what they can do to help the Bill of Rights enforcement effort I've started. Whenever they offer me money, I tell them no thanks, that's for after I get 1,000,000 signatures endorsing my candidacy.
           They're always welcome to help, I add, by buying my books. Not only does it spread my ideas (which is the reason I wrote them), it pays the mortgage and the bills, feeds the kitties, and buys ice-time for the figure skaters in my family. In short, because of what I do, with your help, I have a chance to change the world -- for a living.
           Now I'm taking advantage of whatever influence I have to make a special request to my readers and friends. In April, Baen Books will send my long-awaited novel, Forge of the Elders into the world. For me, this is the bright culmination of more than a decade of cherished hopes and maddening frustrations.

http://www.baen.com/chapters/w200001/0671578596.htm
http://images.amazon.com/images/p/0671578596.01.lzzzzzzz.jpg

           In part, Forge of the Elders was inspired by Robert Anton Wilson's idea that if you pretend to be a visiting alien, and then explain the world around you to yourself, the insight you get that way will often surprise you.
           Forge of the Elders was also inspired by Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, which suggested that a high civilization -- the equivalent of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars -- may have flourished and been wiped out by a global climatic catastrophe 15,000 years ago. Every year new evidence appears that makes this scenario more likely.
           The work I had in mind was an epic with dozens of characters, space battles, detectives, mysteries, romance, sex and violence, lost civilizations, some of the wierdest "aliens" I ever thought up, and the most explicitly political and philosophical plot I'd written since The Probability Broach. My "mouthpiece", the wise "alien" I created for the purpose of teaching foolish humans a thing or two, was a giant beer-drinking mollusc named Mr. Thoggosh.
           My agent at the time had a stupid idea that publishers weren't interested in big books. He refused to sell Forge of the Elders until I cut it into three little books. It wasn't the first stupid idea he had, nor the last; he and I eventually parted company somewhat acrimoniously. But in the meantime, I was stuck (and so were you) with the consequences of his stupididity.
           As you may know, I've made a number of succesful predictions that were laughed at or ignored when I made them: the Soviet collapse, the development of the internet as we know it, the laptop computer, the digital watch, the fact that the Y2K "crisis" would come to nothing.
           Forge of the Elders made more predictions, among them that once everyone else had dumped Marxism, America would embrace it, dragging the whole world back into the collectivist pit. Sure enough, thanks to Waco Willie, his nightmare wife, and their bizarre gang of mental and moral cripples, since the first two volumes of Forge of the Elders were published, my prediction is well on its way to coming true.
           The third volume was killed by the first publisher for political incorrectness, and people ever since have wondered (I get letters, calls, and e-mail) what ever happened to General Horatio Gutierriz, his valiant band of relucant interplanetary explorers, to Mr. Thoggosh, and to Eichra Oren and his shaggy, wise-cracking dog Sam.
           One of the interesting things about SF predictions is that once they're made, they often keep themselves from coming true. We've stayed freer longer than we might have, thanks to warnings in 1984 and Brave New World. I hope predictions in Forge of the Elders, once it's published in its entirely, will have a similar effect.
           As I say, Forge of the Elders will be published in April. Between now and then, if you're interested in buying the book and helping the cause, I'd appreciate it if you'd go ahead now and try to pre-order it wherever you ordinarily buy books.

Forge of the Elders
By L. Neil Smith
Baen Books, April, 2000
ISBN #0-671-57859-6
$25.00 ($17.50 at http://www.Amazon.com)

http://www.baen.com/chapters/w200001/0671578596.htm
http://images.amazon.com/images/p/0671578596.01.lzzzzzzz.jpg

           If this happens often enough, it will encourage bookstores and other retailers to order more copies of Forge of the Elders than they would otherwise, and that will encourage distributors to order more copies from the publisher.
           That will be good for me and mine in general. In particular (and here's the reason I'm writing now) this a new publisher for me after more than a decade with another. Your advance order will help me sell new projects to them in the future. I know exactly what I want to sell them next; I guarantee you'll like the result.
           Thank you very much,

L. Neil Smith


Author: The Probability Broach, The Venus Belt, Their Majesties' Bucketeers, Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon, Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of Thonboka, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, The Nagasaki Vector, Tom Paine Maru, The Gallatin Divergence, The WarDove, The Crystal Empire, Brightsuit MacBear, Taflak Lysandra, Contact and Commune, Converse and Conflict, Concert and Cosmos, Henry Martyn, Pallas, Bretta Martyn, The Mitzvah (with Aaron Zelman), Forge of the Elders, Lever Action, The American Zone Order these books at: http://www.lneilsmith.org//lnsbooks.html


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