Libertopia recently had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with George Donnelly, a talented libertarian science-fiction author who left a Chicago loop 67th floor bank job to drive a cab, fomented an international uproar over airport grope-downs, and spent time in a federal prison. More recently, he’s the author of Lando Cruz (an agorist novel), Pink Slip Prophet (a cyberpunk novella) and Death Shop (a cautionary tale of a voluntary republic gone wrong). He’s also the editor of Defiant, She Advanced, the first libertarian science fiction anthology in a decade!
Hello George! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. To start out with, could you tell us a little bit about your work as a writer?
George Donnelly: “The focus is science fiction, specifically dystopian, cyberpunk and space opera because I think the future is bleak and I want to do something about it. I tried the activism route. I tried blogging. Now I’m trying novels. All of my stories feature morally righteous protagonists in search of something they need to survive, but are frustrated by all kinds of SJWs, authoritarians, moochers and other unpleasant creeps. I want my readers to vicariously experience a struggle for freedom, as inspiration for the real struggle for freedom that I plan to organize in the future. When people have lost faith in a better future and are in passive couch-potato mode, the way to bounce them out of it is via the imagination. So that’s why I do that. I also hope to make a little money along the way to keep myself in lentils and tea.”
George Donnelly: “I wrangled an adult library card to the Philadelphia Free Library in 1980 and haven’t looked back since. There I discovered all the great science fiction names from Heinlein and Asimov to Dick and Bradbury, among others. Then in college in Chicago I discovered Rand, Kafka, Hemingway, Bukowski and my desire to be a novelist solidified. Since then I’ve been working on gathering the time, money and skills required to make a serious go at producing literature that thrills, chills and produces tears. My greatest motivation along the way was my dad, who told me I’d never amount to anything more than a ditch-digger or a gas-pumper. That time I almost got eaten by a shark off the Atlantic coast of Colombia sealed it for me. It’s bestseller or bust for me!”
As a creative-minded individual, do you have any favorite books, movies, artwork, games or music that you find particularly inspiring?
George Donnelly: “Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead moved me and gave me confidence. Kafka’s short stories reminded me of the delicious absurdity of 99% of the human population. Bukowski’s straight- talking dereliction told me I could do this, too. Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein and perhaps especially Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing also are among my favorites.”
George Donnelly: “Every day I sit down to write brings something new for me as I fight mostly my own emotional limits. It takes a lot of belief in yourself to accept the idea that 8 months writing a novel is anything but a self-indulgent waste of clean air, rice and toilet paper.”
What might some of your goal be for the future while working in this area?
George Donnelly: “I’m planning to publish 10 more books in 2016, include a space opera series about a space pirate named Rork Sollix, a technothriller about a pacifist made to fight the war on terror and maybe even an epic tale about the free city of Gran Pacifica, a massive Pacifica Ocean seastead under attack from the imperial powers of China and the US. I plan to keep writing, even if it’s on an obsolete 2005 iPod while distributing jury rights pamphlets from a prison cell in Hoboken. Whatever it takes.”
Do you have any recommendations on how liberty-minded people might get involved in their community as a positive influence?
George Donnelly: “I think it’s a horrible idea, frankly and no offense, for libertarians to get involved in their communities. Libertarians are widely misunderstood, unappreciated and even actively disliked. What we need to do is build our own libertarian communities and then commit hard-core to them. By hard-core, I don’t mean submitting a dozen dank memes per day to a Facebook group. I mean real communities of real people in real places you can find on a map. We will never convince the population of the value of liberty by words alone. We need action. We need to create working models. And then we can show off how awesome we are. Then we won’t need to say a blessed thing!
I wrote about that a bit here:
Where can readers find out more about your work?
George Donnelly: “Go to Amazon.com/author/georgedonnelly and there you will find an agorist novel (Lando Cruz), the first libertarian science fiction anthology in a decade (Defiant, She Advanced), a cyberpunk novella hated by SJWs (Pink Slip Prophet) and a cautionary tale of a voluntary republic gone wrong (Death Shop). I’m spreading a message of liberty and I need more readers, especially readers willing to step forward and leave an honest review of my work, be that a 1-star rant or a 5-star panegyric – either works for me. My website (GeorgeDonnelly.com) also has blurbs, covers and reviews of my work.”
Are you a libertarian / voluntaryist artist, author, or other creative minded individual who might like to be featured on Libertopia? If so, please let us know! Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our graphics page and share Libertopia with a friend. Until next time, have a great day!