Good must surely triumph over evil
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
I am only a few days away from wrapping up my latest literary undertaking, Rosalie’s World. It’s the fourth installment of the six-volume “Ngu Family Saga”, a massive chronicle of humanity’s progress from asteroid colonization into interstellar space.
The first volume, Pallas, bears the publication date 2010, which means I probably began it in 2008 or so. I have been working on this project for thirteen years! It begins with the story of Emerson Ngu, a bright young Vietnamese-Cambodian boy whom we follow from his childhood in a repressive United Nations agricultural commune (its Director thinks he’s property) on the second-largest asteroid, until his old age as an inventor, industrial leader, and the patriarch of a large pioneer family. Yes, I said patriarch. Above all, the story is about Emerson’s lifelong struggle for freedom against those who would take it away from him.
(I might add, parenthetically, that all my books are about freedom, one way or another, and that pioneering the Solar System will be as much about social, political, and economic survival as about technology. I was amused, when I was looking for the publication date of Pallas, to discover a nasty little review on Amazon [ordinarily, I never read reviews], written by an obvious historical illiterate, identifying Pallas as an ideological tract disguised as a novel, and me of being a disciple of [gasp!] Robert A. Heinlein. This is the same bigotry that led a husband and wife team of left-wing editors at a publisher I once worked with to lament, upon their retirement, that they could no longer act as “gatekeepers”, presumably protecting America’s fragile little brains against arch-nemeseseses like me, and the grim threat of a dangerous surplusage of liberty.)
But enough of all that. The remaining volumes of the Ngu Family Saga include Ares—my personal tribute to Robert A. Heinlein—which concerns the conquest of Mars. It’s also about the unusual romance between Marine Corps Lieutenant Julie Segovia and Billy, Emerson’s second-oldest son. That book is complete and at my current publisher, although not yet edited (entirely my bad).
Ceres (2019), which you may have read, is all about a lovely and determined teenage figure-skater, Llyra Ngu, Emerson’s great-granddaughter, fighting the “tyranny” of gravity. Born on Pallas at one twentieth of Earth’s gravity, she must train for years on a succession of worlds before she can skate on Earth and become the Olympic champion she aspires to be. Llyra’s companions in this endeavor are her beautiful tutor and coach, Jasmeen Khalidov, the daughter of Chechan refugees who became Martian colonists, and her own brother, unlucky in love, Wilson.
The fourth volume, Rosalie’s World, begins some twelve years later. Grown-up Llyra and her husband, Newfoundland revolutionary Morgan Trask, another Olympic skating champion, depart the Earth to homestead Earth’s first extra-solar colony, a planet Emerson discovered and named after his wife Rosalie (née Frazier).
The children of Llyra and Morgan are eight-year-old Emerson, named after his great great-grandfather, and whose precocious and adventurous spirit he seems to have inherited; six-year-old Julia, named after Llyra’s grandmother, Julie Segovia Ngu, who, after the Corps became a notorious author of subversive children’s books, banned east of the Mississippi; Ardith, named after Wilson and Llyra’s scientist-mother; and—born on the way to the stars—little Jasmeen (“Jazzie”), named after Llyra’s best friend.
Wilson and his wife, Jasmeen (yes, that Jasmeen), have no children of their own (she’s suffered four miscarriages, attributed to “genetic drift”, to Jasmeen’s immense and tearful regret) but they are raising a beautiful and brilliant redheaded teenage daughter, Tieve (two syllables) from a past relationship of Wilson’s. Her mother was brutally murdered right in front of him by a gang of eco-terrorists in an attempted hijacking at the Lunar spaceport.
Together, the two little pioneer families build cabins for themselves (albeit fusion-powered) in the trackless woods, and proceed to wrest a living from the planet, despite its many dinosauroid mammals and its unspeakably toothy and vicious sea-monsters. Morgan and Wilson are both experienced asteroid hunters. Since Rosalie’s World is a metals-poor planet, and all planets are vulnerable to impact, the two families survive comfortably and prosper.
This essay is about the characters of Rosalie’s World, rather than the story. As I grow older, my novels seem to be more and more about character, and character is what carries that nasty “ideological” part of them along. I write, mostly, about decent, competent, self-reliant human beings, good people. I am informed by the stories of (yes) Robert A. Heinlein, of Poul Anderson, and of H. Beam Piper, among others.
My immediate forebears on both sides were pioneers. Heinlein himself, Jeff Cooper, John Wayne and the estimable fictional character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, have all helped make me whatever I am today. I believe, too, that Thomas Jefferson was the best American who ever lived, so you bed-wetting snowflakes out there (I doubt any of them have been able to read this far) have been duly warned.
Along the way, there are a few bad-guys, of course, in the usual ratio to good-guys. Their noxious ilk only seems to operate in gaggles or packs or herds or congresses. In the entire Ngu Saga, it’s been the U.N., most of the media, the “Mass Movement” and its violent wing “Null Delta Em”—pushing an enormous lie about gravity, similar to Global Warming—“All Worlds Are Earth”, and “Gaia’s Guardians”. Most lately it’s the so-called “Committee for Responsibility”, whose members will be all too familiar to you. You can see an example of them at https://ncc-1776.org/tle2019/tle1018-20190428-02.html. Also, I want to take credit for predicting BLM/Anti-fa, whose barbaric and murderous predations figure in the story. Wish I’d gotten my outline notarized.
But in the end (if not so much in real life, these days) good must surely triumph over evil. So I take great pleasure in introducing you to Lieutenant Colonel James Douglas “Big Jim” Willis, Ph.D., owner of the only bar in Trufflewood (and so far on the planet), a former East Coast academic, whose dissertation on the vital role of bars in history’s revolutionary movements was prissily rejected by his corrupt North-eastern university as being “too astute”. Big Jim immigrated to Texas, where he was granted his doctorate in days. A lifelong flyer, Big Jim joined the Texas Air Militia and the West American Space Force, and accidentally migrated to Rosalie’s World. And that’s just his back-story!
I have a thousand other stories in my head about all these people, who are very like my own family to me, and if you purchase Rosalie’s World when it comes out, I’ll be happy to tell you some of them. After this—in the Ngu Family Saga—I have a first-contact account about Tieve Ngu and her alien friend Kleevie, and another novel that I’ve been working on for years about lost love and redemption among the stars, I call Beautiful Dreamer.
Where We Go 1, We Go All.
Award-winning writer L. Neil Smith is Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com. He is available at professional rates, to write for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-60s. His writings (and e-mail address) may be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at Patreon. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
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