THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 360, March 26, 2006
A Paper Manuscript
Okay, Here's the Deal
Exclusive to TLE
For months, now, our Mighty Editor and Webmaster, Ken "Moose" Holder has been promising the readers of The Libertarian Enterprise a special surprise, and for months, the individual he was relying on to deliver that surprisenamely yours trulyhas been letting him down.
I could plead illness (there's been some of thatI'm on some nasty antibiotics at the moment and have horrible bronchitis) or busy-ness (there's been some of that, too, as I try to juggle two very different book projects and a myriad of other literary obligations at the some time. But I won't plead anything. Instead, I'll just offer, at last, the surprise that Kenny's been telling you all about for so long.
It's five or six inches thick (no, not that, get your mind out of the gutter!) and it probably weighs ... well, what do a couple reams of inkjet paper covered on one side with jet ink weigh, anyway? For that matter, what does a henweigh? How much does a Grecian urn? What did Crusoe do with Friday on a Saturday night? What's the number of 911? Hey, Zootie, zoot, zoot! And who the hell is buried in Grant's Tomb?
[Hint: it isn't the Unknown Soldier.]
Okay, I feel better now (it's the damned antibiotics, I'm certain) and have taken keyboard in lap to offer the one and only working manuscript of my new novel, Ceres, to the highest bidder. It's the first time in many, many years that professional circumstances have compelled me to produce a paper manuscript (the last few efforts were e-mailed or sent on floppies to my editors) and it's filled with hand corrections.
Ceres is a sequel to my award-winning 1991 novel Pallas. It involves the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the pioneer inventor and industrialist Emerson Ngu as they struggle to terraform the largest of the belt asteroids, Ceres, and make a place for themselves in the Solar System, while fending off the unwanted attentions of various "rock pirates", enviroterrorists, and governments.
It's also my longest book, and, I believe, the best so far. The main viewpoint characters are 13-year-old Llyra Ngu, a figure skater born on Pallas who yearns to skate on Earth where gravity is twenty times higher, and her 17-year-old brother Wilson, who dreams of getting his own asteroid-hunting ship so he can finally meet and marry the beautiful young hunter he met on the SolarNet and fell in love with.
Along the way, amidst exciting space battles, asteroid chases, and gunfights, as we watch Llyra and Wilson grow up all over the System, tempered by tragedy and triumph, we meet the rest of the Ngu family, their many friends, some of their bitterest enemies, and a few characters who will also be in Ares, the book about Mars I'm writing now.
And Beautiful Dreamer, the book I'll write after that.
The intellectual property represented by the manuscript remains entirely with me. The happy winner has to promise me, in writing, that they won't reproduce or share the novel's contents with anybody for any reason, possibly excepting brief snippets to be used in reviews. In return, I'll sign the manuscript and write them a presentation letter.
Proceeds will benefit The Libertarian Enterprise, which can use every bit of monetary help it can get. I won't see a dime of it: I've already been handsomely paid (and expect to be again) for writing the book. Now I have a chance to help the individuals who have helped me for the last ten years by producing one of the crispest, most interesting publications on the World Wide Web.
So dig deep, if you will. Bidding starts at $100.00 and should proceed in increments of $5.00. Contact Ken at email@example.com. Bidding will be closed off exactly 23 days from the publication of this notice. [April 18, midnight, Mountain Standard Time]
Thank you very much,
L. Neil Smith