Still not quite a novelist

The 12 print-on-demand books of which I currently claim authorship include only two novels, The Imaginary Bomb and The Imaginary Revolution. Friday, Dec. 15, Bill of Rights Day 2022, will be the 10th anniversary of the latter’s publication.

The Imaginary Revolution (Here’s the ebook)(Here’s the paperback) is told in the first person by Raymond Douglas Kaliber, who shares his memoir of the events that led to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Sirius IV based on the concept of anarkhia, that is to say, a society without a formal government. I have started more than a half-dozen novels, and The Imaginary Revolution is distinctive among them mainly because I finished it.

I like L. Neil Smith’s comment that he wishes they had called it the Bill of Limitations, rather than the Bill of Rights, because the latter implies that the document defines or grants certain rights when, in fact, it places limits on government’s ability to abridge rights that already existed long before. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not create the right to free speech, or bear arms, or trial by jury, or peaceful assembly — they declare that those rights may not be restricted by authoritarian busybodies posing as friends of the greater good.

One of my favorite chapters in The Imaginary Revolution, if I may, is Chapter 58, which I quote here in its entirety:

With the toppling of the reigning council, the question — seemingly inevitably — became: What sort of government shall we have now?

I hoped my grin did not seem too mischievous as I answered the question with my own question:

“Why do we need a government at all?”

A decade later, as I watch authoritarian governments — from the other side of the globe to down the highway from here — press harder and harder on people’s throats, I really must say, I still think that’s a good question.

Happy anniversary, Mr. Kaliber.

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