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Behind The Fiction, Past
A Fiction Column
By Michael G'Francisco


What is it? It's simply the principles or doctrines of a "libertarian".

Ah, now what is a Libertarian? A person who advocates liberty, especially in thought and conduct. In other words a free will thinker.

This literary genre is widely used in science and fantasy fiction because it's believed that self-described libertarian readers seemed to be drawn to science and fantasy fiction more than any other genre of fiction. This genre has the tendency to attract an above average educated reader. And, in most cases they are likely to be influential and politically strong-minded.

Libertarianism and science fiction are often disputed and open the door to controversy in their subject matters. For years many have attempted to defined science fiction. In most cases its definition is a story set in a time or place extremely different from one's present day world of reality or from historical times.

To fully understand why there is the presence of libertarianism in these genres, one should read the works of Robert Anson Heinlein. He began as a science fiction writer for magazines.

Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke are the three most noted science fiction writers.

Heinlein first novel For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs (1939). His novel Starship Troopers (1959) was made into a movie in 1997.

Asimov most famous works are the Foundation Trilogy Series: Foundation, (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953).

Clarke a British science fiction novelist is renowned for his 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Over the last decade, J.R.R. Tolkien's classic Lord of the Rings and J. K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter books present very strong libertarian elements.

Why science fiction is considered libertarian? Answer, it allows authors to explore ideologies that differ radically from the real world. Another connection between science fiction and libertarianism is its technological optimism. Most people believe that modern technologes (gadgets) tend to improve their every life. Science fiction is full of genetic engineering, cloning and robotics. This creates a natural attraction to libertarianism.

Does libertarianism, or will it play a more critical role in other fiction genres? Not so far. There are very few genres that have replicated it success. Even though the most popular genre is mystery and crime it raises the question why is there so little of libertarian present?

Is it possible that libertarianism is full of radical ideas and future technologies that support its popularity in science fiction? There is a chance that someday a novelist will break the prevalence of libertarianism in science fiction.

Now, go softly into the night. mgf

Comments always welcome
Email: Michael, Behind the Fiction

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