Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 452, January 20, 2008

"They promise us a world of fear"

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Review of Roswell, Texas
by A.X. Perez

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

I first got turned on to L. Neil Smith's work around 1989-1990.

I was telling an acquaintance at work about H. Beam Piper's A Planet for Texans (Republished by Ace in the late seventies as Lonestar Planet). My buddy returned the favor by saying that if I enjoyed that book I should read The Probability Broach. I happened to know a vendor who had a copy (used of course by that date) and went to his shop straight after work.

Over the next couple of years I tracked down and purchased all the PB series books and anything else Neil wrote that I could get my mitts on. Now Neil has completed Roswell,Texas and it seems in some ways that things have come full circle.

A couple of years ago L.Neil Smith published and then serialized The Probability Broach as a graphic novel.

I'm 54, too old for comic books. I bought the graphic novel version of PB (PBTGN). While he was serializing PBTGN through the Big Head Press website ( he began another graphic novel, Roswell, Texas.

The premise of this novel is that in alternate universe somewhere between ours and the one(s) created by Smith in the PB series Texas remained an independent Republic. In that universe a flying saucer did crash in Roswell, which remained part of Texas.

President Charles Lindbergh sends Wild Bill Bear (that universe's analog of Edward William "Winn" Bear, the hero of The Probability Broach) to investigate.

Along the way he has to deal with a murder attempt by Lyndon Johnson along with dealing with troops sent by mad Emperor Porfirio of Mexico, a combined German/Californian expedition commanded by Marine Colonel Marion Michael Morrison, espionage by Eliot Ness and T.E. Lawrence, Ghurkali, and Nazi Paratroopers. Not to worry, he's got Audie Murphy, Carolyi Wojtyla, ad Gene Roddenberry covering is back.

I'm leaving out a lot of detail just so that you can enjoy all the plot twists and characters Smith throws at you in this story. You will say "I didn't see that coming," more than once as you enjoy this novel.

As always Smith takes a look at how things could have been different with one little change and uses it to create a story of high adventure, great humor, and promises of what we could accomplish both scientifically and as a society if we took a chance on being truly free.

I'm looking forward to ordering copies of Roswell, Texas, both in the graphic format it was originally published in over the 'net by Bighead Press and in text format when a publishing house with common sense picks up the title.

L. Neil Smith comments:

Thank you Albert!!!!

One teeny correction: Wild Bill Bear is the counterpart, not of Win Bear, but of William Bear, Win's father who, in his universe. was an 8th Air Force bombardier wo died in World War II. How you were supposed to know that, I have no idea.


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