A MESSAGE FROM L. NEIL SMITH
Dear Friends and Readers,
I'm pleased to announce that our old friends Win Bear, Ed Bear,
Clarissa MacDougall Olson, Lucy Kropotkin, Captain Forsyth, Jenny
Smyth/Noble, Olongo Featherstone-Haugh, and the rest of the gang from
my first novel, The Probability Broach, have been brought to life
(Originally published by Del Rey Books in 1980, and later by Tor
Books, The Probability Broach won me the first of three Prometheus
Awards, and is considered by many to be the definitive libertarian
This time, they're characters in The Probability Broach: The
Graphic Novel, which has just been released by BigHead Press. The
brilliant artist Scott Bieser and I worked closely together in
designing the characters' appearance, their setting, and translating
the original prose story into a graphic script. Scott then spent the
better part of two years rendering it into 185 pages of absolutely
Please see [this link] for a sample.
Assisting Scott in this task was the enigmatic (and very silly)
Internet artist known only as "~3~", who added luxurious computer
It's been immensely satisfying to work with Scott on this book. He
seems almost to possess a direct connection to the creative lobe of my
brain, and his renderings are nearly exactly what I envisioned when I
wrote the original story.
Long-time fans of The Probability Broach will finally get to
see the characters, the high-speed hover-cars, the plain and fancy
weaponry, the underground shopping malls, and the giant ziggurat of
the LaPorte Paratronics Building as it towers high over downtown
They'll also get re-acquainted with the bad guys, like the kill-crazed
Federal Security cop, Oscar Burgess, the evil Hamiltonian
mastermind Manfred von Richtoven, his oversized henchman Kleingunther,
the politically correct Otis Bealls, and even the burglar, Tricky Dick
We also hope that presenting The Probability Broach in this
bright new format will enable us to reach new minds, and further
spread the ideals of liberty and independence that are the basis for
this story about a culture that truly is kinder and gentler than the
one we live in, because it is a society of people who own their own
For the holiday shopping season, this full-color volume has a
suggested retail price of $19.95 and is available online from
and from Renaissance Books,
as well as better comic-book retail stores
near you. BigHead Press plans a wider distribution of the book next
For questions about bulk purchases, please contact Scott at
More details about the book and its publisher may be found at
Thanks for "listening",
L. Neil Smith
Order The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel at:
What he said! This issue's "'toon" is from page 7 of Chapter 5
of TPB: TGN. "Holder's Gun Store", eh? I like it, I like it!
And you'll notice that this issue is coming up. The loud-pop and
smoke from my computer last weekend was caused by a power supply
that blew up. Yes, smoke. Scary. We got it fixed (no other damage
to mother board or peripherals, thank goodness!). A big Thank
You! goes out to T.K., S.C., C.B., B.P., D.B., and K.G. who
jumped in and donated to help pay for that unexpected expense and
That donate link again:
Letters to the Editor
from Derek Benner, James J Odle, Levi Russell, and Kent Van Cleave
The Libertarian Enterprise At Three Hundred
by L. Neil Smith
So here I am, snuggled deep in the warm, comfortable prairie dog
burrow that a novel often becomes after you've been writing it for a
while. I hear a noise. I look up for a moment. I stick my head into
the clear, cold air of the Colorado High Plains, and what should I
The Libertarian Enterprise, the modest little online broadsheet
I started back in 1995, is about to unleash its three-hundredth issue
on an innocent, unuspecting world. Three hundred! How could it have
Bill of Rights Day
by Kathryn A. Graham
On Wednesday, December 15th, we celebrate Bill of Rights Day.
This should be the happiest of patriotic holidays! When our founders wrote and ratified our Constitution, many of our leaders and several of our original thirteen states were concerned that our new Constitution offered no special provisions to protect individual rights. A compromise was reached: those states most concerned about the issue actually voted to ratify our Constitution only on the condition that a Bill of Rights be drafted and ratified at the earliest opportunity.
Toward a 'practical, real-world, hard-nosed, get-your-hands-dirty' political education: Part 2
by James J Odle
There's a rather amusing story that involves one of the ancient Pharaohs and taxation. It goes something like this:
Seems there was this Pharaoh who was unhappy with the level of tribute he was exacting from his victims and when he attempted to increase the level of said tribute, he encountered for once a little stiff resistance.
What Is a Syrannite?
by William Stone, III
I'm a lifelong Star Trek fan. It was much easier to be a Trekkie (a
politically correct term when I became oneI'm barely First
Fandom) when I was a communist actor.
Star Trek portrays a small-c communist utopia in which
humans have evolved beyond the need for material wealth. A wise,
omnipotent central government sees to the needs of every
individual. We are led to infer that even in a galactic
government, the activities of every individual are closely
monitored. There is no Federation citizen about whom the various
crews of the franchise cannot obtain instantaneous, detailed
information. Firearm ownership is tightly controlled. In almost
every instance, only government operatives are allowed the right of
self-defense. In 24th-century-era Star Trek, individuals'
weapons are removed automatically by transporter before they can
even materialize. Capitalism is portrayed as either evil or
ridiculous, particularly as embodied by the Ferengi.
Hunting for Answers
by Lady Liberty
Every year, the residents of any number of states enjoy hunting seasons
on various wild game. One of the most popular prey in North America is
the white-tailed deer. Hunting is a sport enjoyed by hundreds of
thousands of men, women, and children, the vast majority of whom take
their hobby very seriously and who act with the responsibility
necessary for success and safe enjoyment of their hunts. Although there
are a few injuries and fatalities annually, the rates are quite low
given the vast numbers of those who go hunting every year. There were
just 93 fatalities in all of North America in 1998, a third of which
were self-inflicted, according to Hunting Accident Statistics for
Canada, the United States, and Mexico as compiled by the
International Hunting Education Association. (For contrast, consider
that an average of 37 skiers or snow boarders die annually in the United
States, or that an average of 207 people per year die in ATV mishaps
in America, neither sport of which involves "deadly weapons.")
300th Issue of TLE
by Ron Beatty
This week's edition of TLE is kind of special, for a couple of reasons. First, it it the 300th issue, which is a milestone any way you look at it. The other reason is more of a personal one. Just a year ago, I wrote my first article, not just for TLE, but my first article ever.
TSABullies at the Airport
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
If you traveled by air last week for the Thanksgiving
holiday, you undoubtedly witnessed Transportation Security Administration
agents conducting aggressive searches of some passengers. A new
TSA policy begun in September calls for invasive and humiliating
searches of random passengers; in some instances crude pat-downs
have taken place in full public view. Some female travelers quite
understandably have burst into tears upon being groped, and one
can only imagine the lawsuits if TSA were a private company. But
TSA is not private, TSA is a federal agency and therefore totally
unaccountable to the American people.
by Jonathan David Morris
When I was a kid, we would play a game called
"Telephone." Of course, I say "we" as if kids
spontaneously sat down and played this game, when, in
fact, that was never the case. It was pretty much
always imposed upon us by camp counselors. What they'd
do was, they'd line up a bunch of kids, side-by-side,
and whisper a word or phrase into the first kid's ear.
Then the first kid would whisper it to the second kid,
etc., until it reached the kid all the way down at the
other end. Then the last kid would say it out loud and
it would barely resemble what the counselor had
actually said. "What time is it?" became "What lime
exhibit?" And so on. Then everyone would giggle and
start the game over, repeating the process until one
of the kidsoften one with an older brotherturned
the message into a string of curse words, at
which point we'd get up, go to the field, and play
kickball, never to speak of what happened again.
Save the Republic: An Open Letter to the Electoral College
by Lex Concord
Serving as an Elector is quite an honor. Being selected signifies that you are a trusted and respected member of your political party, and your community. You get to be a part of history, something you can tell your children and grandchildren about. You have a lot of power, toothe equivalent of over 200,000 regular voters. With that power comes an equivalent responsibility. You may have been led to believe that your responsibility is to faithfully represent the voters of your state, and to affirm their choice for President when you meet with your fellow Electors on December 13th. You couldn't be more wrong.
by Scott R. Griess
In the 23 May 2004 issue of TLE, Ron Beatty decried the "progress" that our
nation is inexorably making toward authoritarianism, while the people reject
the ideals of liberty in a desperate search for a sense of "security", and
disregard the warnings of the Cassandras among us. He wrote of us being in
the worse period of time since the war of Northern aggression (agreeing as a
transplanted Yankee, who has made the South his home for 17 years...) and
ended with a paraphrase from the quote from George Santayana: "Those who
forget the past are doomed to repeat it"
An Incredible Movie Review
by (who else?) your kindly Kaptain
(a.k.a. Manuel Miles)
Yes, shipmates, this week's entry in The Kaptain's Log is an actual movie review. It's little wonder that you, my vast legions of devoted readers, nearly worship me. And that hint brings us to the film in question, "The Incredibles"...
NYC Must Come Clean on Foster Kids AIDS Scandal
by Wendy McElroy
Last week, the BBC aired a documentary entitled "Guinea Pig Kids."
It accused New York City's Administration for Child Services and drug companies, such as Glaxo SmithKline (GKS), of experimenting on HIV-positive foster children with untested and dangerous anti-AIDS drugs.
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