The vision of a better future worth fighting for
Letter from Germany
by Harald Mischnick
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Dear L. Neil Smith,
Issue 1,124 of TLE tells me that you are dead. Reading this I was very shocked.
Are you really dead? Yes, I know, you are an atheist. But I as a christian believe in the immortuality of the soul. Your old, ill and, as you always wrote, crippled body is really gone.
Your body is gone as the bodies of my late parents. My father who was a well-known politican in Germany passed away 2002, age 81, and my mother 2013, age 89. They were 53 years married, and my mother missed her husband till her death. My father had at last a weak heart and passed away 47 days after a kidney stones operation despite his heart problems. Both were long time members (and I am) of the german party FDP, home of many libertarians in Germany (my father since August, 1945, and my mother since 1st of May 1946, both in Saxony, I since October, 1970, in Hessia. My parents were disliked by the communists and fleed in 1948). But LP and FDP of today have similar problems.
As you, I digress.
I know your NAC Win Bear Series in German language since the 1980es. After the lensmen cycle of E. E. Smith and the Pelbar cycle of Paul O. Williams it became my third favourite SF. I read those of your books maybe a dozen times. My favourite character became Mymysiir Offe Woom, and my favourite scene the saloon fight at Vyssu’s Etablissement (this is a french word, I am a francophone german).
One year after my mother passed away I began to look up in the Internet for more writings of you and found TLE. I read your essays, and they influenced me positively, and I found and bought as e-book ‚The American Zone‘, never translated in german language, and enjoyed the lecture—I read it three times and will read it furthermore. And I read and enjoyed your essays at TLE, and those of other authors. Later, I bought as e-book some other of your novels. I like your language, I like your fighting for libertarianism and freedom.
Even since you were, as you called yourself, a cripple, you worked hard, you wrote books and hundreds of essays. You fighted using the sword of words. Or, in other words, your verbal Webleys were filled with rounds of words. You had to give up playing music instruments, but you did not give up to sing.
My favourite kind of music begins with ragtime and ends with Boogie. Two songs I knew before I read your books and read at www ‚Roswell Texas‘ are ‚I’m An Old Cowhand From The Rio Grande‘ and ‚Crazy Words Crazy Tunes‘. Hearing these songs in future I will remember you. I have the songs in the playlist of my computer, the first recorded by the orchestra of John Abriani and the second (without lyrics) recorded by the orchestra of Marek Weber, both in Germany.
Your body is gone. But as you wrote as the agent of Win Bear on this earth, Will Sanders went to sleep at one earth and awoke at another earth. Do we really have only one Universe? Nobody knows! Maybe you woke uo in meantime with a new young healthy body in a parallel universe to fight side by side with Win Bear, Owen Rogers (and his war bride), Bretta Martyn and other fighters for P’NA and ZAP. But will your last books come to an end if you could not continue or will now Win Bear himself write them?
You left back your wife (as a genealogist, I looked at www with success for the birth record of Jacob Zeich at Niederdünzebach) and your daughter. I know what it means to loose the father. And I know how my mother feeled after the death of my father.
You stay a great man, and your works and essays will survive your body for a long time. Where Cathy and Rylla will be, there will be (a part of) your soul. They are not you, but especially your daughter is a part of you. You could be my cousin, but my parents had neither brothers nor sisters. You influence me politically, in the last years and furtheron.
My favourite authors are and stay in german language the long late Karl May who died 1912, and in english language L, Neil Smith.
Thank you very much!
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