SMITH, L. Neil


SMITH, L. Neil
(1946-)
   US writer, ex-police reserve officer, gunsmith and former state candidate for the US LIBERTARIAN Party who began publishing sf with "Grimm's Law" for Stellar 5 (anth 1980) ed Judy-Lynn DEL REY. The Win Bearsequence, set in a parallel universe (ALTERNATE WORLDS) in which a libertarian version of the USA has become progressively decentralized ever since its foundation, includes The Probability Broach (1980), The Venus Belt (1981) and The Nagasaki Vector (1983), with Their Majesties'Bucketeers (1981) set in the same universe. A second series, the North American Confederacy sequence - Tom Paine Maru (1984), The Gallatin Divergence (1985) and Brightsuit MacBear (1988)-shows the descendants of the original protagonists expanding out into the Galaxy, spreading the libertarian gospel to ALIENS and abandoned human colonies in both the parallel universe and our own. Taflak Lysandra (1988), although set in the same universe, is unconnected to the main series.The Crystal Empire (1986), a somewhat confused tale of libertarian technologicalinventiveness, is set in another alternate world, a Europe destroyed by a far more devastating Black Death. The Wardove (1986), set on a terraformed Moon long after a nuclear HOLOCAUST has made Earth uninhabitable, depictsa state of war between anarcho-capitalists of several different species (including humans) and a repressive government, and is unusual among LNS'swork for its general darkness of tone and comparative lack of humour. Contrastingly, Henry Martyn (1989) is a light-hearted SPACE OPERA writtenin a style strongly reminiscent of Raphael Sabatini's Captain Blood. A further sequence - Contact and Commune (1990),Converse and Conflict (1990) and Pallas (1993) - is set in yet another alternate world; in this instance Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-) has been deposed (as was soon, indeed, to happen in the real world), Soviet hardliners have (perhaps rather mysteriously) taken over the USA, and disturbingly alert anarcho-capitalists (once again) begin to upset the apple cart. One of the protagonists is (also mysteriously) descended from the inhabitants of ATLANTIS.LNS is a writer of generally competent, fast-moving and oftenamusing adventures which can be marred by preachiness and intolerance where matters of POLITICS and morality are concerned. Almost all are distinguished by their relentlessly upbeat mood; the more recent are often rather poorly constructed.
NT
   Other works: 3 STAR WARS ties, Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu * (1983), Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon * (1983) and Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka * (1983).
   See also: ECONOMICS; SHARED WORLDS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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