Interview with Sandy Sandfort

Published 2014-03-15.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Well, I was conceived in Liberty... Liberty, Missouri, that is. So maybe that started me on the whole freedom thing. By the way, Liberty is the home of the historic Liberty Jail. Ponder that oxymoron for a moment... It's where Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders were imprisoned after the "Mormon War," by a kangaroo court where they were tried in absentia. When local hero, General Alexander Doniphan, was ordered by the governor and a superior general to illegally execute Smith, he refused. That's my kind of general! But I digress.

A big influence in my life and writing were my parents. They were strong individualists and always said their mind. My brother and I were encouraged to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusion. In my writing, you will see shadows of them in many of my characters.

Of course, I read a lot of science fiction in high school. Most of it was intensely individualistic. Especially the works of Robert A. Heinlein, another Missouri boy from a few miles away from Liberty. In a way, he was my second father. Without him, I would not have survived the evils of public school.

At university, I read Atlas Shrugged and it was philosophically off to the races for me. I moved on from Rand to various libertarian writers of fiction and nonfiction. At first I thought I was a "minarchist," but couldn't reconcile the internal inconsistencies. Today, I variously describe myself (and thus my writing) as an anarcho-libertarian, market anarchist, literal anarchist (from anarchy, literally, "no ruler"), etc. What is most important, though, is my commitment to the overarching principle of non-aggression. You will see that theme throughout my writings.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are very important to me for at least a couple of reasons. For one, they keep me honest. Chaos help me if I have a typo, get the the science wrong or otherwise drop the ball. they will let me know in no uncertain terms. Another reason is that it feels good to be liked; to get applause and complements when I succeed in entertaining, amusing, inspire or informing my readers.
Yes, but what about negative comments?
Like the song says, "You see you can't please ev'ryone so you got to please yourself." The magic of mankind is that we are all different. I CAN'T please everyone; no one can. So I write for me and hope that what I write resonates with some others. Of course, I have had my share of trolls. They cannot create so they try to mask their impotence by being destruction. They used to make me angry, but since I figured out their game, I have just felt pity. Clearly, it suck to be them. I should also admit that negative comments are sometimes correct. So I pay attention to see where I might improve. In that sense, they are my coal mine canaries.
Who are your favorite authors?
That's an easy one, first and foremost, Robert A. Heinlein. He was my second "father." I am happy to say that I once met him in person and briefly spoke with him. What a thrill and honor!

Today, my favorite authors include, L. Neil Smith, Claire Wolfe, Paul Rosenberg, Wendy McElroy. I might add that my daughter, Christine Shuck, is showing great promise as a writer. Check her out at:
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
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Books by This Author

Adventures in Human Space: Across Time and Beyond, Vol. 3
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 49,190. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Adventure » General
In the pages of Vol. 3 you will join us in adventures on six asteroids. You will learn about the cloning of a Neanderthal and a famous writer, again and again and again. You will meet space pirates and you will see penguins fly.
Adventures In Human Space: The Grand Tour and Beyond, Vol. 2
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 48,820. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Adventure » General
In Adventures in Human Space: The Grand Tour and Beyond, catch up with old friends and villains, and meet new characters and their adversaries. You are in for a treat when Reggie and Babbette get rejuved and take the grand tour of Mars, Venus and Mercury (the garden spot of the solar system). Along the way, you will discover new life, intrigue and adventure.
Adventures In Human Space: The Belt and Beyond
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 48,720. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
By the turn of the 22nd Century, intrepid emigres have escaped from Earth. They have create homes and societies in the next frontier, the Asteroid Belt. Their societies arose without government and its rulers. Instead, the Zero Aggression Principle led them to live in peaceful and free anarchy. Unfortunately, that was about to change...