Libertarian Sci-Fi

Columbus Alive | March 24, 2005
you want to teach and/or preach about a complex topic, there’s no more striking way to do so than in the easy-to-read medium of comics. Just pick one of the legendary “Chick Tracts” for evidence, if you can stop laughing long enough to take it seriously.

Is Libertarianism an easier sell than fire-and-brimstone Christianity, or are L. Neil Smith and Scott Bieser simply more talented than Jack Chick? Their collaboration, The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel (Big Head Press), a comic adaptation of Smith’s 1979 novel of the same name, is a Libertarian manifesto couched in a thrilling, suspenseful sci-fi noir mystery, with equal parts politics and action.

Win Bear is a police detective in the drab “future” Denver of 1987, where an energy crisis means most people ride bikes and a federal Homeland Security police force serves and protects. While investigating the murder of a physicist with connections to the Libertarian—I mean, Propertarian Party—Bear gets blasted sideways in time to an alternate world where “Propertaianism” flourished.

The results? Their world is a paradise, where the government just barely exists, everyone wears at least one weapon and hovercrafts drive on roads paved with grass. Bear allies himself with that universe’s version of himself to unravel a “Hamiltonian” conspiracy from our world trying to take over Libertarian-land. The story’s treatment of both history and science are fascinating, and it’s probably the most compelling argument for Libertarianism I’ve ever read. A hard-to-find small press book, you can click to bigheadpress.com for info.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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