Many sci-fi authors are libertarians, seeing space as a "New Frontier" where they can get back to liberty and proper cowboy values, flying forever away from the need for governments. I don't think this ever worked on the ground, and that it will be even less applicable to the closed quarters and hazardous environments we will occupy in space. For me, an active democracy that respects the rights of all citizens is the only way to peace, and that it what I represent in my books. Some adjustment to Earth-based rights are needed, though...

Download my notional Human Rights Charter for Earthspace , the space-based sovereign state in my books. It is based on a combination of the UN, Europe and Canada charters, with some additional clauses to account for the special conditions of space. There are limitations on immigration and pregnancy due to the severe limits on life support capacity in small ships and stations. I've also included more emphasis on direct democracy, and limits on foreign ownership of ship-board assets.

The application of this charter to the sign-up process is discussed in Asteroid Expedition Guide and forms the background to the police action in Freedom at Feronia. One of my core contentions is that the Libertarian / Wild West version of society so commonly promoted in science fiction is neither desirable nor viable. These fragile colonies will need a robust political framework to work together.