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The Probability Broach Paperback – December 12, 2001
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“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
About the Author
L. Neil Smith is the two time winner of the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian Fiction for his novels Pallas (1993) and The Probability Broach (1980). As founder and National Coordinator of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, publisher of the on-line magazine The Libertarian Enterprise, and a Life member of the National Rifle Association, Smith is renowned for his prominence in the Libertarian movement, of which he has been a part of for more than thirty-five years. Author of more than twenty books, Smith has been hailed for his ability to combine adventure, humor, and rivetingly original political concepts to create more compellingly than any other writer, novels that embody Libertarian concepts. He currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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
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!
I belive the better term would be instead of Anarchy, would be Total Self Responsibility..
This book is so awesome. It hits all the right spots, it tells us what liberty is really about, and how easy it is taken away. How Free and American are we really these days?
Viva American Revolution!
Long Live American Freedom!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely a very good and appealing what-if, as many science fiction stories are. Has aged like fine wine, given one of the two worlds is supposed to be hyperbole but tragically... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric Horn
This is like gun porn. There is more about love of guns than anything else. There is a libertarian bent if that interests you. Read morePublished 6 months ago by LukeW
This story is a based on an alternate time line from the US history. A detective from regular earth is, through some accident, sent to the alternative time. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Superb story, excellent drawing and inking, well bound, A joy to pick up off the shelf.Published 10 months ago by K7AAY
The Probability Broach is one of the classic of alternate timeline science fiction and libertarian literature. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Albert Perez
Everyone should read this graphic novel. The story is great and so is the art. It is also a very valuable vision of what could be. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rohvannyn Shaw
I'm sure that someone out there has already titled a review like this "Ron Paul's favorite SF novel! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael Battaglia