L. Neil Smith (b.1946) died on August 27. Smith began publishing in 1980 with the story “Grimm’s Law” that appeared in Stellar 5. That same year, he published his first novel, The Probability Broach, which launched his North American Confederacy series. In 1983, he published the Lando Calrissian series, among the earliest Star Wars tie-in novels. Other series included the Forge of the Elders novels, the Henry Martyn books and the Ngu Family Saga. Smith also published several stand-alone novels.
Smith was a staunch advocate of Libertarianism, and he inaugurated the Prometheus Award for Libertarian science fiction in 1979. When it was relaunched under the auspices of the Libertarian Futurist Society in 1982, Smith won the award for his novel The Probability Broach. He subsequently won the award for his novels Pallas, The Forge of the Elders, and for a graphic novel adaptation of The Probability Broach. In 2016, he was honored by the society with a lifetime achievement award.