The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Space and freedom

On Friday 6 April I'm back in Edinburgh for a 5:30 panel at the Science Festival. Chaired by Marcus Chown, we'll be looking at possible jobs and careers in space – speculatively as well as seriously. The first orbital Writer in Residence has probably already been born, and almost certainly won't be me. But I can talk about it, and intend to. I must remember to bring my Fisher Space Pen for any signings afterwards. It can't be many years before that treasured birthday present is older than some current astronaut.

I'm old enough to remember when private space endeavours were the stuff of science fiction, and in particular libertarian science fiction. The generously broad-minded folks at the Libertarian Futurist Society have, not for the first time, decided that I write libertarian SF – or at least SF of libertarian interest. I'm delighted and honoured that my most recent novel The Corporation Wars: Emergence (US/(UK) has (like its two precursors in the trilogy) been shortlisted for a Prometheus Award.

The nearest these novels have to good guys (apart from the robots) are reckless ultra-lefts or (in one case) the representative of a world government. But the real heroes of the books are robots who awake to personhood to find themselves property, and rebel. In the process they reinvent rights to life, liberty and property from the bare wires of necessity. And then, of course, there's all the 'undead robot Nazis getting their butts kicked'.


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I love reading books about robots cause these creatures think almost like people and behave almost the same. Keep ur following this topic, cause it's interesting.

Why do the previous comments read like they're written by bots? And if I ended there, I'd sound like a bot too...

Hi Ken. Has been a long while since I contacted you. What's your email these days?


Adam Crowl

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Some of the marketing for the Corporation Wars trilogy refers to its as the "Second Law Trilogy" (presumably a reference to Asimov's Second Law). But my copies don't contain any such reference. Was this something the publisher backed off of to avoid confusion with Joe Abercrombie's "First Law Trilogy" (which I gather has nothing to do with Asimov's laws)?

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