What is Liberty Fiction?

Someone asking about my writing: “So what do you write about?”
Me: “Liberty fiction”
Someone: [blank stare]
Me: [considers a facepalm, decides to go with a slap upside the head using a dictionary. Figuratively, of course.]

Liberty Fiction is a genre of fiction that deals with issues of personal liberty and the consequences, rewards, and implications of freely exercising it. For an example or two one could consider Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. A more recently published example could be Matthew Bracken’s Enemies Trilogy or Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold.

In stories of this genre, there is usually a protagonist who has some infringement made on his or her personal freedom when they are doing nothing to harm another. They are typically opposed by an antagonist (often a government official) who makes a habit of infringing the liberties of others, and there may or may not be a character that transitions from one state to the other. Often the protagonist experiences a mental difficulty when they try to wrap their heads around the issues and foundations of liberty and freedom, which produces a difficult transition out of restraint to a more free state. Usually they win in the end, but lose something in the process. Monologues and dialogues in the story frequently praise the lack of restraint on the individual and establish self-restraint as the preferred form of government (or condemn the opposite).