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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: L. Neil Smith, 1946–2021, R.I.P.


L. Neil Smith, libertarian, prolific author of science fiction and political and cultural commentary, founder of the Libertarian Enterprise, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party of Arizona in 2000, died on August 27th, 2021.

L. Neil's work introduced generations of readers, including myself, to the promise of liberty, not as dry theory, but by following the science fiction maxim of “show, don't tell”, brilliantly illustrating genuinely free people and societies, and demonstrating how, by exercising their freedom and its inherent advantages in creativity, initiative, wealth generation, and adaptability, they can defeat the creeping grey poison of collectivism and have a tremendous amount of fun in the process.

Here is science fiction and fantasy author (and frequent contributor to the Libertarian Enterprise) Sarah Hoyt saying “Goodbye, My Friend”. Mike Glyer has posted a brief biography on File 770. The family has set up a memorial Web site where you can leave memories of Neil and his work and contribute to causes he supported.

I'm going to remember L. Neil by re-reading the two books that introduced me to his work and forever cured me of being what he dubbed a “nerf libertarian”, The Probability Broach (also available as a graphic novel) and The Venus Belt. If you've yet to discover his work, they're a fine place to start.

Here are reviews of works of L. Neil Smith that I've posted over the years.

Farewell, L. Neil, and thank you for the enjoyment, encouragement, intellectual stimulation and challenge, and all the laughs over these many years.

Posted at August 31, 2021 11:03