Last night’s gathering saw an excellent talk delivered by Richard Carey and much judging for the writing competition! Attendees had a final chance to read the stories before voting by way of adding coins – and even notes – to numbered pint glasses. Although it was unclear who the authors were – they were all submitted under fake names – there was a clear winner.
4th: Station Theta: Gamma
Jeremy Wells’ 9 page “epic” future-history described how ideas such as environmentalism, imposed cultural conservatism, and the ever present temptation to authoritarianism produced a grinding unending World War III that was resolved by a united – and heavily armed – new libertarian culture. Jeremy threw the kitchen sink at this story: mech, plasma power/rifles, world wars, asteroid-belt mining, beer, and ballerinas; but at 9 pages it was a sure loser. Shame, because the author had clearly listened to several of our talks and used them prominently in the plot.
Top quote “Now we’re mainstream”.
3rd: An isolated building
A short piece by pseudonymous (even to me) Rocco of Bogpaper fame, one of the stable of new writers contributing to Libertarian Home. Short and sweet could have done the job, but I think this one lost out on it’s negative tone. Rocco, we know who will build the roads – stop giving critics ammunition!
Top quote: “the strange, other-worldly tales they told one another had – whether by incantations and sorcery, or merely the peculiar twists and turns taken by the mundane – somehow become our reality”.
A call to arms to arms for the various groups of London Libertarians to unite under a charismatic leader called Steve. This was the winner behind the bar as the idea of couples meeting and marrying in their pub really appealed to them. Another future-history, the story uses takes the opportunity to shamelessly name-check an excessively long list of Rose and Crown regulars in a cynical attempt to win votes. I guess it didn’t do too badly. The author has obviously been to the Rose and Crown before, but our “who-dunnit” effort proved futile.
Top quote: “Then there was the final discreditation of socialism – when France went bankrupt for the third time.” – if only it would.
1st place, our winner:
Dr Zach Cope’s future-fantasy imagines the tragedy of a soggy common solved by wizardly blockchain technology reminiscent of Etherium. If your name is Paul Marks this will make a controversial winner touching as it does on communally managed land and components of Bitcoin’s system architecture. However, the cute, light-hearted style of the story charmed readers. This hopeful piece hinted at a world in which the population are largely fed up with politics and reach for technological innovation to replace it.
Top quote: “I wasn’t surprised when they threw him and his abacus in the well.” – okay yes that is rather violent, but then so are Dirty Harry movies.
You can congratulate Zach on Twitter at @DrZachCope
A last thank you.
The bad news is that all this fun was inspired but a bit of bad news for our land-lady Anna Quick who has to abandon her pub for financial reasons. Anna has looked after us really very well for very many years. She’s a popular land-lady who will be sadly missed. Voting resulted in a brilliant £95 being available to donate to Anna’s chosen charity the Chelsea Pensioners. The cash was handed over at the bar to Lisa.
Anna will be missed, but life for our meetups goes on unchanged.