Libertarian Short Story Contest: Win $300!

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Yours truly (as a member of the Libertarian Fiction Authors Association) is teaming up with Students for Liberty (a massive libertarian student organization) to run the first ever (that I am aware of) Libertarian Short Story Contest.

That’s right!

We’re putting our money where our mouth is, and you can win it! (the money, not the mouth).

1st prize is $300, sponsored membership in the LFA (worth a $60 value) and publication in a special edition of SFL’s arts and culture mag, Ama-Gi.  2nd prize is $125 plus all that, and 3rd prize is $75 plus all that.  All prize money can be paid out in dollars, Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Shire Silver, according to your preferences.

The contest is open to all, entry is free, and the deadline is March 4th.

The contest website can be found here: http://studentsforliberty.org/fictioncontest/

And the prompt is:

Write a short story that illustrates the positive role of freedom in human life.

Whether it’s a galaxy-spanning space epic or an introspective contemporary character piece, we want to see stories that paint the benefits and possibilities of human freedom in sharply compelling brush-strokes.

So get writing!

Review of “Essential Liberty” by Rob Olive

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Rob Olive’s debut novel, Essential Liberty, will feel familiar to anyone who’s read other examples of “Tea Party fiction” like Matthew Bracken’s Enemies Foreign and Domestic trilogy or John Ross’s Unintended Consequences.

Like those works, Essential Liberty deals with the American government’s attempts to restrict firearms rights, in this case essentially outlawing semi-automatic weapons and using gun store purchase records to set up a confiscation scheme called “Collection.” The action focuses on the Pacific northwest, mostly around Portland, Oregon, and follows the paths of the ATF team enforcing the Collection orders, and various civilians and other law enforcement they come into contact with.essential liberty book

Don Williams, the protagonist of the story, is a bog-standard, white collar everyman. His vaguely liberal views continue unexamined until the process of Collection personally affects him through his close friend and “gun nut” Michael Niculescu. After a series of mishaps, overzealous enforcement of the law by the ATF’s “HOT” (Hazardous Operations Team), and a particularly vindictive ATF field division commander, Don soon finds himself running for his life from the very government he thought was meant to protect him.

The novel is a fun story overall, and certainly falls into the realm of guilty pleasure reading for any supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Though a little slow to get started, where the story really shines are the action scenes; well-described and full of tension that pulls the reader along at a good clip. There’s very much a sense of wanting to know, “what happens next?”

All that said, the novel does suffer from many of the issues endemic to first novels. While the action is great, the long spaces between action scenes are poorly paced and slow the story down considerably. A large part of these is given over to describing, in detail, the character’s thought processes, the political background, or mundane details that don’t advance the plot; very much a case of telling rather than showing that feels stilted. Point of view hopping mid-scene also occurs frequently and can be confusing when it’s unclear just who is thinking what.

The novel is a quick read, and I found the ending and climax satisfying, though the epilogue chapter dealing with legislative changes in Washington felt unrealistic. On the whole I’d recommend this story to any fans of 2A fiction or gun rights in general. It’s a good first effort and I look forward to future works from Mr. Olive.

You can get the novel at Amazon.

Review: High Desert Barbecue by J.D. Tuccille

Featured, Reviews

There is no shortage of novels devoted to the outdoors whose stories appeal to backpackers, campers and hikers (the granola sort, we call them in Colorado). It takes only a minute’s thought to conjure up such titles as Into the Wild, Hatchet, or Hemingway’s famous short story, Big Two-Hearted River. Many of these seriously and studiously explore nature as a vast healing power, a thunderous force not to be trifled with, or a dangerous coming of age challenge.

Rare are those stories that depict nature with a lighthearted chuckle, to be respected, sure, but also to be enjoyed by people who know what they’re doing in the Great Outdoors. Rarer still is such a story written from a free market, libertarian perspective. Luckily, author J.D. Tuccille has taken it upon himself to rectify that deficit with his new novel, High Desert Barbecue.

The 5 Best Free Libertarian Novels

Commentary, Featured

Let’s face it, novels celebrating the free market and individual rights are pretty hard to come by. Most everything in the fiction section of your local bookstore is some paean to collectivism, or diatribe against the evils of capitalism and the “soul killing” nature of consumerism.

But you don’t believe that stuff.

You know capitalism, mixed with a political system that protects individual rights, has been the single greatest force for good on the planet, lifting billions out of crushing poverty. You don’t want to read all that bilge about how you’re a bad, bad person for supporting it.

So what is a wayward libertarian to do? Especially when so much of your money is stolen by the government each year that you have very little left over to buy books?

Why, turn to the free stuff on the Internet of course!

Luckily I’ve taken the time to compile a list of the 5 best libertarian novels (in no particular order) that also happen to be free. Gratis. Sin dinero. The low, low cost of nothing. Just for you.

I’ve even included links to where you can download them.

I know, right?

A Review of “The Ungoverned” by Vernor Vinge

Featured, Reviews

Imagine you are Lieutenant Will Brierson of the Michigan State Police, a private security organization that provides protection to a wide swath of subscribers all throughout the anarchistic Ungoverned lands in what used to be the northern United States. Imagine you are faced with an unprecedented invasion into land owned by your subscribers from an army of “The Republic of New Mexico.”

On the one hand, the invading force has massed more men, tanks and aircraft than are available in all the ungoverned security companies combined. On the other hand, these are your subscribers being attacked and you’ve never defaulted on a contract before.

What do you do?