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The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel Paperback – November 1, 2004


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The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel + Roswell, Texas + Lever Action: Essays on Liberty
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: BigHead Press (November 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974381411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974381411
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Contained ideas I wish could be shouted to the world, ideas that come from the American heritage of freedom and which could bring still greater individual liberty, greater technical progress."--Vernor Vinge, author of A Deepness in the Sky

"Pick up a new copy of the book and rediscover this exciting world, and reserve me a table at Meep's Texas Barbecue."--Prometheus
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Three-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith is the author of 23 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, Tom Paine Maru, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collection of articles and speeches, Lever Action.

Scott Bieser is a cartoonist and illustrator who spent more than a decade creating computer game graphics for Interplay Entertainment, then turned his efforts towards graphic novels in 2002. His first book, _A Drug War Carol_ (with Susan W. Wells) is also available from Amazon.Com.


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Customer Reviews

I highly recomend this book to fill out any science fiction library.
fjcurran3rd@hotmail.com
The author is promoting a Libertarian worldview, which will grate with socialists and conservatives alike; be warned.
Trelligan
It has been a long time since I read a book that was both fun to read as well as made me think.
John Gracy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Probability Broach is Smith's first novel. It is the story of a Denver Police Lieutenant Edward William Bear, called Win, who somehow find himself in a different continuum. This novel is followed by a direct sequel, The American Zone, which has some of the flavor but less of the excitement of this novel.

Win is on lunch break when he is called to the scene of a homicide. The victim, Vaughn L. Meiss, has been shot multiple times by a machine pistol, yet got off four shots with his own weapon, apparently to good effect. Meiss is a professor of Physics at Colorado State University and is also a card-carrying Propertarian. Since Meiss was killed in the vicinity of the Propertarian state headquarters, Win checks with the staff there and learns that Meiss was expected for an executive committee meeting. After interviewing the State Director, Jenny Noble, and other directors at the meeting, he finds that Meiss had been very excited by something and that the weapon that Meiss was carrying had been provided by the government to protect state secrets.

Win also interviews Dr. Otis Bealle, chairman of the CSU Physics department, and gets to see Meiss' office and laboratory. While he is in the lab, several men try to kill him with a machine pistol and other weapons. He accidentally hits the power switch on the gadget in the lab and then dives through an emergency exit, which happens to be an intercontinual portal. Shot, dazed and not very coherent, he stumbles out of the hole on the other side and is then blown through the air by an explosion. Looking for help, he finds a telecom booth containing a screen and a keyboard, where he enters "O" for operator, but the animated drawing that appears cannot find a listing for the Denver Police anywhere in the known solar system.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Gracy on January 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
It has been a long time since I read a book that was both fun to read as well as made me think. I haven't figured out all of Mr. Smith's underlying philosophy since I have only read one book by him (The Probability Broach). His idea of stopping air piracy (everyone carries a gun on the aircraft: the airline just checks to make sure that the bullet will not disable the plane) is great. The notion of personal responsibility is great in these days when most people think that the government is supposed to take care of them (womb to the tomb). I liked his book enough that I am going to buy some more novels by him.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1997
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...and ends up liking them. L. Neil Smith's authoritative book, now unexpurgated, points out that not all Science Fiction has to revolve around militaristic governments where the rights of the individual exist only when they serve the state.

Detective Win Bear is pulled from a pre-apocolyptic society to a strange new place where the virtue of selfishness is readily apparent. It is so different that Det. Bear resists the idea. However, his philosophical journey is complicated by his investigation, and subsequent hijinks, so the story is less of a lecture and more of an adventure with political undertones.

The point of the book, however, is that there is always another way, especially in science fiction. When you suspend your disbelief that such a society could never form because of a subtle difference in history, then you can objectively examine the system and see if it could work. L. Neil Smith's scenarios make it work.

While I cut my teeth on Smith's The Nagasaki Vector and Tom Paine Maru, the Probability Broach remains one of my favorites
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. RAULERSON on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This graphic novel did not reflect the visions I had in my head for these characters, it more than exceeded them! In fact, the whole graphic novel was a wonderful experience, and I sincerely hope they do more in the series.

The book presents a wild vision of a world where, for example, trying to collect income tax can get you shot - by the little old lady who lives next door. Subtle little things, like happy people who do not live in poverty, self repairing windows, and oh yeah - a realiable cure for cancer make the setting in this novel rather unique. I may not totally agree with all the thoughts in this novel, but you come away from it wishing you could make *our* world more like *theirs*. If the political philosophy does not get you thinking, I do not know what will!

Highly recommended!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 1997
Format: Paperback
As a 20+ year collector of SF, I feel that this is a refreshing original. Having read it for the first time in 1983, I found that it is still as unique now as it was then. Mr. Smith creates a setting in which his detective gumshoe hero CAN be a hero and get the girl without the emotional baggage of a 'blade-runner'. The context of the story is that a run-of-the-mill cap in the process of solving a political murder stumbles into an alternate probability (similar to H. Beam Piper's Paratime series) that was created when a different word was used in the declaration of independence. What follows is a delightful action packed adventure that is full of understated witticisms and an occasional jab at the status quo. If you are a political partisan of a liberal or socialist bent, you will absolutely despise this book and throw it down in disgust; if you are an adult or are apolitical and don't take it as a gospel view of libertarianism but rather as what it is -- a good fiction tale that is meant to be entertaining -- you'll love it. On a scale from 1-10 I give it an 8.5
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