The Probability Broach

TitleThe Probability Broach
Year for Search1980
AuthorsSmith, L[ester] Neil [III](1946-2021)
Tertiary AuthorsSmith, L. Neil
Pagination275 pp.
Date Published1980
PublisherBallantine Books
Place PublishedNew York
ISBN Number9780345285935 Rev. ed. 9780812538755 Graphic Novel 9780974381411
KeywordsMale author, US author
Annotation

The novel begins in a U. S. where the government is systematically limiting individual rights, but it then moves into an alternative history eutopia set in a libertarian North American Confederacy and is the first volume of a loosely connected series set in the Confederacy. A story set in the same future is his “The Spirit of Exmas Sideways” (1989). In publication order, the volumes, not all of which are utopian, the series includes The Venus Belt (1980); Their Majesties' Bucketeers. Illus. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981. 182 pp.; The Nagasaki Vector. New York: Ballantine Books, 1983. 242 pp., neither of which have much to do with the main themes in the series; Tom Paine Maru. New York: Ballantine. 273 pp. Rpt. rev. Rockville, MD: Phoenix Pick, 2009. 222 pp. [An author’s note says that the first edition was badly cut by the publisher and that this version reflects his original intent]; The Gallatin Divergence. New York: Ballantine, 1985. 223 pp.; Brightsuit MacBear. New York: Avon, 1988. 212 pp.; Taflak Lysandra. New York: Avon, 1988. 230 pp., in all three of which there are clashes between the Confederacy and the authoritarian Federalists; and The American Zone (2001) which is a sequel to The Probability Broach. In the chronology of the series, the volumes are The Probability Broach, The Nagasaki Vector, The American Zone, The Venus Belt, The Gallatin Divergence, Tom Paine Maru, Brightsuit MacBear, Taflak Lysandra, and Their Majesties' Bucketeers. The novel won the 1982 Prometheus Prize of the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Additional Publishers

Rev. ed. [the author’s website calls it the “unexpurgated” edition]. New York: Tor, 1996. 305 pp. Rpt. New York: Orb, 2001. 317 pp. See also Smith and Scott Bieser, illustrator . The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel. Round Rock, TX: Big Head Press, 2004. 185 pp. 

Info Notes

Wikipedia gives 1979 as the date of publication; the author’s website gives January 1980. 

A story set in the same future is his “The Spirit of Exmas Sideways” (1989). 

The novel won the 1982 Prometheus Prize of the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Holding Institutions

Merrill

Author Note

(1946-2021)

Full Text

1980 Smith, L[ester] Neil, [III] (1946-2021). The Probability Broach. Illus. Barney Plotkin. New York: Ballantine Books. 275 pp. Rev. ed. [the author’s website calls it the “unexpurgated” edition]. New York: Tor, 1996. 305 pp. Rpt. New York: Orb, 2001. 317 pp. See also Smith and Scott Bieser, illustrator . The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel. Round Rock, TX: Big Head Press, 2004. 185 pp. Wikipedia gives 1979 as the date of publication; the author’s website gives January 1980. Merril

The novel begins in a U. S. where the government is systematically limiting individual rights, but it then moves into an alternative history eutopia set in a libertarian North American Confederacy and is the first volume of a loosely connected series set in the Confederacy. A story set in the same future is his “The Spirit of Exmas Sideways” (1989). In publication order, the volumes, not all of which are utopian, the series includes The Venus Belt (1980); Their Majesties' Bucketeers. Illus. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981. 182 pp.; The Nagasaki Vector. New York: Ballantine Books, 1983. 242 pp., neither of which have much to do with the main themes in the series; Tom Paine Maru. New York: Ballantine. 273 pp. Rpt. rev. Rockville, MD: Phoenix Pick, 2009. 222 pp. [An author’s note says that the first edition was badly cut by the publisher and that this version reflects his original intent]; The Gallatin Divergence. New York: Ballantine, 1985. 223 pp.; Brightsuit MacBear. New York: Avon, 1988. 212 pp.; Taflak Lysandra. New York: Avon, 1988. 230 pp., in all three of which there are clashes between the Confederacy and the authoritarian Federalists; and The American Zone (2001) which is a sequel to The Probability Broach. In the chronology of the series, the volumes are The Probability Broach, The Nagasaki Vector, The American Zone, The Venus Belt, The Gallatin Divergence, Tom Paine Maru, Brightsuit MacBear, Taflak Lysandra, and Their Majesties' Bucketeers. The novel won the 1982 Prometheus Prize of the Libertarian Futurist Society.