L. Neil Smith

L. Neil Smith should not be confused with J. Neil Schulman
L. Neil Smith
Born Lester Neil Smith III
(1946-05-12) May 12, 1946
Denver, Colorado
Occupation Novelist, activist
Nationality American
Period 20th century, 21st century.
Genre Libertarian science fiction

Lester Neil Smith III (born May 12, 1946), better known as L. Neil Smith, is an American libertarian science fiction author and political activist. His works include the trilogy of Lando Calrissian novels: Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu (1983), Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon (1983), Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka (1983), and the Omnibus edition The Lando Calrissian Adventures. He also wrote the novels Pallas, The Forge of the Elders, and The Probability Broach, each of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society's annual Prometheus Award for best libertarian science fiction novel. In 2016, Smith received a Special Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Early life

Smith was born in Denver, Colorado on May 12, 1946. His father was an Air Force officer, and his childhood was spent in various places including Waco, McQueenie, and La Porte, Texas; Salina, Kansas; Sacramento, California; and Gifford, Illinois (all before he completed fifth grade) and then St. John's, Newfoundland and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, where he graduated from high school.[1]

Writing career

L. Neil Smith should not be confused with J. Neil Schulman, another Libertarian science fiction writer. Smith is aware of this occasional confusion, once humorously signing a letter to Samuel Edward Konkin III as "Neil (L., not J.)"

Several of his works constitute the North American Confederacy series:

Three novels constitute the Lando Calrissian (Star Wars) series:

These three novels were collected as The Lando Calrissian Adventures Omnibus Edition (1994).

Other works:


Smith joined the Libertarian Party in 1972 (just after its beginnings in 1971). He served on the Platform Committee in 1977 and 1979, and in 1978 ran for the state legislature in Colorado, losing to Ronald Strahle by 10,895 votes to 1,925.[3]

In 1999, Smith announced that he would run for president in 2000 as an independent if his supporters would gather 1,000,000 online petition signatures asking him to run.[4] After failing to achieve even 1,500 signatures, his independent campaign quietly died. He next tried an abortive run for the Libertarian Party nomination, which ended almost as quickly when, in the California primary, Harry Browne overwhelmingly defeated him, 71% to 9%.[5]

Although Browne was chosen by the party's 2000 national convention, Smith, because of a dispute between the Libertarian Party's national organization and its Arizona affiliate, appeared as the Libertarian Party candidate for president on the Arizona ballot. He and running mate Vin Suprynowicz received 5,775 votes in the national election, less than 0.01% of the vote.[6] Shortly thereafter, Smith's supporters announced a new 1,000,000-signature petition drive; however, in late 2003, with the new drive once again failing to achieve even a small fraction of that total, Smith announced that he would not pursue another political office.

Smith and the "Ad Hoc Conspiracy to Draft L. Neil Smith" helped influence the 2004 Libertarian Party selection of Michael Badnarik for president. Badnarik was influenced by Hope, a novel written by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman (founder and Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). Smith endorsed the Free State Project and Badnarik's campaign for president in 2004.

Smith is the founder of, and regularly contributes essays to The Libertarian Enterprise, an influential anarcho-capitalist and paleolibertarian journal, and he claims that his most influential essay is Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?.

Published works


Coordinated Arm series

Forge of the Elders Series

Lando Calrissian (Star Wars) series

Ngu Family Saga

North American Confederacy series

Stand-alone works



  1. "L. Neil Smith". bigheadpress.com. May 12, 2007.
  2. L. Neil Smith at Random » Welcome to Ceres and the Ngu Family Saga. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  3. http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/Results/Abstract/pdf/1900-1999/1978AbstractBook.pdf
  4. The Ad Hoc Conspiracy to Draft L. Neil Smith – 4th of July Announcement. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  5. ALTERNATIVE TICKET (with ballot status in Arizona). Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  6. L. Neil Smith (1993). Pallas. Tor Books. ISBN 9780312856762.
  7. L.Neil Smith (2009). Ceres Ceres Check |url= value (help) (Online ed.). (The final chapter and epilogue were posted in January 2010 and included in print versions beginning with the paperback, published in October 2011)
  8. Zelman, Aaron S. & Smith, L. Neil (2001). Hope.
  9. Zelman, Aaron S. & Smith, L. Neil (1999). The Mitzvah.
  10. Zelman, Aaron S. & Smith, L. Neil (2001). Hope.

External links

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