What Shall I Write Next?


L. Neil Smith

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Over the past three and a fraction decades, I have managed to write about one book per year, some of them nonfiction, a couple of them political “thrillers”, and the great bulk science fiction adventures.

A few days after you read this, I shall have turned 70 years of age, and while I am by no means ready to kick the bucket, I am compelled to recognize that there is a limit to all things, even to my own precious existence. I was told, when I underwent cardiac bypass surgery earlier this year, that I might expect it to add 20 years to my life (can you imagine me at 90?), so the question before me now is this: how shall I spend them?

What are the next 20 books I should write?

As I have conducted my career so far, I have always had a handful of projects planned for the future. Sometimes it took me a few weeks to write them, sometimes (as with Ares, which I’m currently still working on) it has required several years. On the occasion of my upcoming birthday, it’s kind of piled up unexpectedly, so I’m going to make a list of the books I’m thinking about, and give my readers a chance to render their preferences among them.

Here they all are, in no particular order. You can “vote” for your favorites in the time-honored free-market manner, by clicking on the PayPal button associated with each prospective book, and contributing whatever amount you feel is appropriate. Don’t forget to note what book you’re voting for. Naturally, there is no limit to how many choices you can make. As they say, “Vote Early and Often!” I will announce the result in about six months, and I promise to be guided by your suggestions.

The Aggressor’s Eyesword: Mav and Mymy, lamviin detectives from the desert planet Sodde Lydfe, follow the tracks of the legendary discoverer and founder of their homeland, the island empire of Great Foddu.
In Beautiful Dreamer, popular science writer Brody Ngu, Emerson Ngu’s youngest son, whom we last will have seen in Ares, is prematurely old, dying an abject failure at life and love, when he signs onto a scientific survey vessel and finds not only a uniquely fascinating world, created entirely by the minds of those who inhabit it, but the greatest romance that he could ever imagine.
Brain Death: a Denver police detective, already stretched to the limit over personal and professional matters, must confront a terrifying extraterrestrial threat.
In Ares and Ceres, Julie Segovia Ngu, Llyra Ngu’s grandmother. is, among other things, a 17-year-old escapee from the teeming slums of East America who became a famous (or notorious, depending on your point of view) writer of anti-authoritarian, freedom-oriented childrens’ books, banned by governments everywhere. Five or six in number, they are all about a preteen girl, Conchita, and her little cousin Alonzo, for whom she babysits, falling into a heavily government-burdened dimension and trying to find their way back to their stateless civilization. Typical titles include: Conchita y Alonzo in the Land of Wimpersnits and Oogies, and Conchita y Alonzo and the Brain-Devouring Psychovultures.
A new Win Bear adventure, The Frozen Stars, involves a pair of strange, crystalline aliens who arrive in the Venus Belt and wake Win and Clarissa up from stasis offering to cure her of the dreaded Koman’s Mitochondriasis some 50,000,000 years in the apparent future.
EarthScan finds former U.S. President Alexander Hope in retirement with his pretty young wife and their six children, when they receive data that could overthrow all human institutions and change the course of history. What would we find if we could X-ray the Earth?
The MacBear/Lysandra “Heptalogy”, the remaining five volumes. These books follow Brighsuit MacBear and Taflak Lysandra and would be considered “YR” or Young Readers’ novels, except that they follow Robert Heinlein’s precepts about such books, and adults seem to enjoy them perfectly well.In addition to Mac Bear, Win Bear’s great grandson, and Elsie “Lysandra” Nahuatl, G. Howell Nahuatl’s daughter, they feature Howell, himself, Pemot a lamviin scientist, and Anton Mesmer, a unique virtual personality.

III. FLINTKNAPPER MACBEAR
IV. LAMVIIN LYSANDRA
V. ALMIGHTY NAHUATL
VI. KRAKENSLAYER MACBEAR
VII. SEVENHUNTER LYSANDRA

In the Days of the Moratorium is a police procedural set in the midwest, in an era when no new laws may be passed (except for repeals) and the Bill of Rights is absolute. Features “Let’s Be Neiss”, about “the man who murdered Denver”.
Take Me Out At The Ball Game, is a Win Bear murder mystery set at the LaPorte ballpark and explores my ideas for improving the Confederate Pasttime.Alternative title The Umpire Strikes Back. (I did not say this; I am not here.)
Named for the entrepreneur’s wife, Rosalie’s World, accidentally discovered by Emerson Ngu’s long-lost Fifth Force expedition, is the name of the first extra-solar planet ever settled by humanity. (It’s also the name of the novel.) Watch Llyra Ngu, her husband, and their young family battle alien animals, the elements, and political adversaries to make a place for themselves light years from Earth and everything they know.
In Nine of Flames, Mav and Mymy, the lamviin investigators are charged by the Royal Triune of Great Foddu to prevent a clever and possibly dangerous occult figure from exercizing too much influence over the royal offspring.
In Smartbait, an adventurer, a mad scientist, and his lovely daughter—all of whom happen to be sapient crickets—set out via HO-gauge railroad and on tarantula-back where the tracks end to discover the terrible truth about what happened to their gods.
Splinters and Slabs: all I’ve learned i
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