I’m somewhat of a newcomer to John Ringo‘s writing, but I’ve really been taken by his novel Live Free or Die, which is the first in a trilogy called Troy Rising. The trilogy chronicles the events of mankind’s first contact with aliens and entry into the economic, military and political machinations of a universe filled with a wide variety of sentient races.
I’ve described Live Free or Die as being almost like a blending of Atlas Shrugged with the television series Firefly. I don’t like to give spoilers when talking about books and movies, but the story centers around Tyler Verdon, an entrepreneurial minded science fiction author who discovers a way to make huge profits from our new alien acquaintances while building strategic alliances to protect the Earth from the less than friendly alien races. In the process, Verdon basically leapfrogs the U.S. government in power and importance, making himself a target for bureaucrats and alien baddies alike.
It is a story of how one person with an idea and the freedom to determine his own path can accomplish amazing things.
It is first and foremost an engaging story, but it is a story that I believe would encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and love of liberty in those who experience it. If I were in the position to influence such things, Live Free or Die would be in production as a motion picture in order to bring it to a wider audience. Many of us are recognizing that conservatives or libertarians are not competing well in the storytelling department. Stories like Live Free or Die, in my opinion, are the kind of stories that could allow us to gain some ground in the war for the culture. I think few people could resist cheering on Tyler Verdon.
I discovered a video from 2010 where Instapundit Glenn Reynolds does an interview with Ringo. The interview happened about the time Live Free or Die was being published so they mention it but the focus is primarily on earlier works. I encourage you to watch it and to read Ringo’s work.