Environmentalist lawsuit against publisher that may have happened in 90s - anyone know detals?

Lew Rockwell Fan

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In Niven, Pournelle, & Flynn's "Fallen Angels" (great book, BTW) there is an allusion to a lawsuit having occured in the past, that may be purely a part of the fictional timeline, but I suspect is real world history. Can anyone point me toward any details on this?

Here is the quotation:
"Back in the '90s one of the Green organizations sued the publisher of a science fiction book and won. Didn't cost the publisher much, but the author was held liable as well."
 

-K2-

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That's rather vague, what does it discuss before or after?

K2
 

Lew Rockwell Fan

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Nothing else directly relevant. The setting is a technophobic authoritarian dystopia. Here is a larger quotation for context:

. . . isn't the Constitution still in effect?” “For most things,” Mike said dryly. “There's freedom of speech for politics and so forth. But no one has the right to deceive people. Back in the '90s one of the Green organizations sued the publisher of a science fiction book and won. Didn't cost the publisher much, but the author was held liable as well. So after Reynolds wrote The Sun Guns-

“I read this,” Gordon said. “About satellite power plants to stop the Ice?”

“Yep, that's it,” Mike said. “Well, Friends of Man and the Earth sued him.

Thanks. The suit against "Reynolds" is clearly fictional, but I think the one "back in the 90s" probably alludes to a real event. There are 2 other odd legal cases in the backstory of the book that are definitely real, so that fits the pattern.
 
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Matteo

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Not sure this helps but I think the Reynolds suit and the 90s suit are the same suit (i.e. the Sun Gods is the book he just mentioned).

Of course, it could still be a reference to a real-life case...
 

Lew Rockwell Fan

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Thanks, but I don't think so. Perhaps I should have given more data. Fallen Angels was published in 2000 with an implied setting of maybe c. 2020, so following the most common convention of SF not billed as "alternative history" a publically newsworthy event "back in the '90s" would more likely be real history.

That's pretty much the standard practice for these authors when writing "straight" SF not involving time travel or alternative universes. My suspicion is that this allusion came from Flynn or Pournelle because Niven has never been as intensely politically engaged as they are & were. If I find a way to email Flynn, I'll ask him if I haven't already found the answer.
 
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