Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 418, May 20, 2007

" least something useful is getting done around here"


A Brilliant Idea
by L. Neil Smith

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise
and L. Neil Smith at Random

That's what we need, a brilliant idea.

A while back, I made an offer concerning the 1500 remaining copies of Forge of the Elders that Baen Books has on hand. I said that if they were sold relatively quickly, I would reward my readers with a science fiction detective story based on the book, and probably featuring P'Nan arbitrator Eichra Oren, his companion and "separable tentacle", the sapient Samoyed Oasam, and their occasional employer Mr. Thoggosh, a sapient nautiloid or ammonite the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

Forge of the Elders cover thumbnail Forge of The Elders
Hardback, published by Baen Books, April, 2000
Winner of the Prometheus Award from the Libertarian Futurist Society (best Libertarian Science Fiction Novel of the Year) for 2000
Only 1,500 copies left!

Well slap my head and say "D'oh!" I have no idea how sales of Forge are going, but it suddenly occurred to me the other day that I might make the same kind of offer with regard to The Probability Broach: the Graphic Novel. I don't know how many copies Frank Bieser (Mr. BigHead, himself) still has, but I'll find out and attach a date to the offer I'm about to make now. I haven't spoken to Frank about this—he's finding out at the same time, and in the same way, you are.

As my regular readers know, Clarissa Macdougall Olson Bear, wife of TPB:TNG hero Win Bear, caught a cross-temporal virus—Koman's Mitochondriasis—that even the advanced medical technology of the North American Confederacy can't cure. Ever since then, the poor girl has been lying frozen in stasis until a cure can be found. I've long wanted to write the story of what happens to her. I have it outlined pretty thoroughly. But I've had other—more remunerative—fish to fry.

Well, here's the deal: buy up all the current copies of The Probability Broach: the Graphic Novel, in a reasonable amount of time (as I say, I'll have to check numbers with Frank) and I'll write that story, and present it as a gift—possibly on this website—to my readers.

The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel
by L. Neil Smith
Illustrated by Scott Bieser
Published by Press, 2004

Here's another idea that will work for TPB:TNG and Forge, as well: why not buy multiple copies, or even multiple dozens of copies, and sell them from a table at gun shows and conventions? That way we all prosper.

Naturally the story will involve Win, along with Lucy Kropotkin, Ed Bear, G. Howell Nahuatl, and other characters my readers and I are fond of. Maybe even Agot Edmoot Mav and his amanuensis Mymysiir Offe Woom. I can tell you now that the story involves some truly bizarre aliens, and a view of Earth that hardly anybody has ever thought of before.

So the ball, as they say, is in your park. There's nothing I'd love more than to write these stories for you, if you help to make it possible.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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