L. Neil Smith's
Number 250, December 7, 2003

Remember Pearl Harbor

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from Ken Valentine

Letter from Bruce Standlee

Letter from George Potter

Letter from Jim Moll

Re: Letter from James J Odle

As Mr. Odle informed us, Robert Heinlein's long lost novel, For Us, The Living will be released soon.

There is good reason that this novel was "long lost." Heinlein hated it and tried to have every copy destroyed.

One might consider it a slap-in-the-face to the memory of RAH that somebody held out on him, and is now having the book published -- when Heinlein is dead, and can do nothing about it.

Some people....

Ken Valentine

[Well, Ken, I am sure going to buy it and read it and no doubt enjoy the hell out of it. -- The Editor]

James, and other Heinlein fans:

In case you haven't noticed, Amazon (as of last Monday) was taking pre-release orders for For Us, the Living.

Bruce Standlee

[And you can order it via this link right here: BY ME!
—The Editor]

Re: Godspeed, Gunner, by Manuel Miles

I did not know Gunner well, or for long, and only through the screen of online communication. Nevertheless, he won my respect immediatly and without reservation. His ideas were solid, his humor always gentle and friendly, his style of argument polite and inquisitive. The few people who disliked him at the chatroom we frequented were the sort who's contempt one wears like a badge of honor.

Thanks, Manuel, for that moving tribute.

Goodbye, Gunner. We never got to meet up at a WorldCon like we hoped. My loss.

Enjoy the stars you longed for, sir.

George Potter

Re: What is Marriage?, by Ron Beatty

I couldn't agree more with this viewpoint of marriage. Government needs to get out of the marriage business just like they need to get out of every other facet of our daily lives. As a Market Anarchist such a statement is part and parcel to the basic philosophy but even a minarchistic transition society would need to leave marriage alone to those who would like to practice it their own way. Marriage need only be a voluntary private contract between two or more individuals spelling out obligations and expectations between consenting adults as they mix their Lives, Liberty, and Property and perhaps produce offspring who need to be equitably cared for.

Like any good contract it should spell out exactly how finances will be shared, property will be acquired and dispersed, and how any offspring will be included into the family wealth once they come of age and wish to leave the nest and form families of their own. A well-written contract would also include escape clauses for when a member decides (or is asked) to leave a marriage or dies, and how the property and parenting rights will be fairly distributed in any eventuality. Of course this will all be settled and spelled out in legally binding language when the marriage contract is written and agreed to by Unanimous Consent and then signed by all parties involved. When the time comes for a change, addition, or subtraction to the family everyone will be aware of what is going on and expectations and obligations are fully understood. I can't see how else a true Free Society could handle marriage.

Monogamy, Polyamory, Heterosexual, Homosexual and Bisexual issues are solely at the discretion of the Free Individuals who will Unanimously Consent to the private contract and are all options that could be embraced or rejected by those individuals who enter into such an agreement, and are none of anyone else's business. Or would you rather have the State involved? I didn't think so! This is a good article Ron! I can't wait for the follow-up pieces.

Jim Moll

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