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  #251  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:25 AM
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Ordeal in Space - from The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1

This is another one of the 'Life in the Future' series, sort of. This story defines a man who steps away from space travel following a nearly fatal problem on his final space mission. He develops acute agoraphobia and can't bear to space....
I always had a soft spot for this story because Heinlein wrote a new stanza for "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" (the Navy hymn) for spacefarers in it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal...Strong_to_Save
http://wonderingminstrels.blogspot.c...-heinlein.html

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The Green Hills of Earth - from The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1

This is, first and foremost, a character study in its most literal sense. Hell, it's written as a magazine character piece following the death of Rhysling, the lead character....
I particularly liked the fact that the story was written as a debunking of all of the myths that had grown up around a raucous, ill-smelling singer who had been wrongly ennobled after his death... but who nevertheless died bravely.
  #252  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:43 AM
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OK, folks. That's the end of Volume 1 of the Future History. Do I go on to Volume 2 or hit something else for a spell?
You are the one with the books in front of you. Where do YOU want to go?

Personally, I'd skip to another focus-point for a volume or two, then return to the Future History.
  #253  
Old 01-14-2013, 11:55 AM
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Yeah, that's what I decided. I couldn't sleep last night so I chose one off the bookshelf in the dark. Rocket Ship Galileo, here I come.
  #254  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:27 AM
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Rocket Ship Galileo, Vol.10 of The Virginia Edition

The first of Heinlein's run of juveniles started, per the introduction to this edition, as an offer in 1945 from Heyliger to write a boy's novel about life 20 years from 1945. Heinlein liked the offer but didn't accept, as he thought he could write more adult fare and try to influence the post-war management of atomic weapons and power. The introduction says the he told his friend, Fritz Lang (!!!) that the offer of a juvenile was being kept as a back up plan. Heinlein considered it "writing trivial entertainment for children."

Well, look what made it to print. We know now that a huge part of Heinlein's reputation would come on the series of juvenile novels he was to write during the 40s and 50s. But apparently the man, himself, didn't. It was Lang who portrayed it as influencing the next generation (and, subsequently mine and I'd bet others). Heinlein determined to write children's books in a different style than they'd normally been written.

Thus we get what I considered the most flawed of the juveniles, Rocket Ship Galileo. I'd always thought it a lesser work. The writing style seemed to me as a kid flat and sort of uninteresting, without the sort of larger human picture that the other juveniles had.

Could be the presence of an adult as a driving force. The three boys at the center of it, Morrie, Art and Ross as all fun guys, but it's Dr Cargraves who drives the actions and makes the decisions. Also, there are laughable bits in the text that stand out. Several times a character needs an object and it's presented in the flow as 'So and so pulled out his X, which he's gotten ten pages ago but wasn't mentioned'. Very much a sort of 'Flash Gordon brings out his never-before mentioned ULTRA-ray, which he packed for just such an occasion.' Sure, Chekov's gun is a bit of a trope, but there should be some warning that such items are in play instead of just magically appearing.

There's also a bit of tech-manual to it. Frequently, paragraphs get taken up with how some things are being accomplished, which is fun. But it happens a lot in this one, as if Heinlein were trying to actually be an engineer on a shoestring moon project. It interrupts the flow of the story and, as I've argued before about his early writings, makes the story more about the gadget than the people using them.

Still, as the first of the juveniles it's a win. Heyliger turned it down because the editor didn't like the space flight angle. Still, after a bunch of rejections, Scribner's, reported as the 'most prestigious publishing house in America' expressed interest. The title got changed from The Conquest of the Moon (even that was changed from the earlier The Young Atomic Engineers and The Secret Behind the Moon) to Rocket Ship Galileo and it hit the market in September 1947.

Plus, hey: Nazis! Who doesn't like killing Nazis, right? Though they're hardly presented as an actual threat in the book. Only two have speaking lines. One is a coward and one surrenders after being textbook Nazi-menace for a few pages.

Still, Nazis. Hard to go wrong, even now, decades later.

Read so far:
Vol 3: Starship Troopers
Vol 9: How to Be a Politician
Vol 10: Rocket Ship Galileo
Vol 11: Space Cadet
Vol 14: Between Planets
Vol 18: Tunnel in the Sky
Vol 20: Citizen of the Galaxy
Vol. 22: The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1
Vol 26: Job: A Comedy of Justice
Vol 32: Creating a Genre (short stories)
Vol 36: The Puppet Masters

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 01-20-2013 at 10:30 AM.
  #255  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:01 PM
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The Green Hills of Earth - from The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1
http://wamu.org/programs/the_big_bro...st_jan_13_2013 is a link to the "Big Broadcast" which plays four hours of old radio dramas and comedies every Sunday night. Last Sunday, they played Dimension X's version of Heinlein's The Green Hills of Earth, with Rhysling's singing portrayed by folk singer Tom Glazer, who is also notable for writing the song "The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas" (which was covered by "They Might Be Giants") - he also wrote and sang "On Top of Spaghetti" - which I always thought was born fully formed from the minds of the nation's 9-year-olds.
  #256  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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I remember being impressed that one of the Moon Nazis was named Von Hartwick. It was like a story having some big event scheduled for my birthday, except cooler. Other than that it always seemed like the most "little kid" of RAH's juveniles, and one I only read once.
  #257  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:37 PM
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Just finished The Rolling Stones (1952) for the first time, having read it with my teenage son. We enjoyed it. It was fun and had some amusing passages, although the science is just a bit dated (the characters still use slide rules, prolonged zero-G is considered to be an unalloyed good thing for human health, and Mars has liquid water and a breathable atmosphere, although it gets a bit chilly at night). The Stones were an enjoyable family to hang out with.

Two in-jokes made me smile - one purposeful, I'm sure, and the other coincidental. In the trial on Mars in chapter 13, Hazel Stone tells the court, "I am a stranger here in a strange land," and in chapter 16, there's reference to the spaceship Firefly. Nice.
  #258  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:21 PM
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Hazel also appears in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, at different ages, of course.
The flatcats may have been the inspiration for TOS episode "The Trouble With Tribbles "
I'm sure you knew this already . Wanted to mention it for completeness .
Incidentally my (British ) edition was titled Space Family Stone.
Agreed , the Stones are a great family to hang out with.
  #259  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:26 PM
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Two in-jokes made me smile - one purposeful, I'm sure, and the other coincidental. In the trial on Mars in chapter 13, Hazel Stone tells the court, "I am a stranger here in a strange land," and in chapter 16, there's reference to the spaceship Firefly. Nice.
In 1952, Heinlein had started working on Stranger, but its working title was The Heretic. Unlikely that the reference was purposeful. Who knows, maybe his use of the Biblical phrase in Stones put it into his mind so that it was handy when he was looking for a better title for the later work.

I am, however, quite sure that the Firefly reference was absolutely deliberate on his part.

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  #260  
Old 01-31-2013, 03:50 PM
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Hrm.

Glory Road - Vol. 25 of The Virginia Edition

In which Robert Heinlein attempts to both write fantasy, and subvert it.

In Glory Road, we see Heinlein creating a character who is a soi-disant hero. Oscar Gordon serves in Vietnam (the book was published in 1963 so he was there early) and gets hurt and is recruited to defend the frontier against Xur...

OK, he's recruited to help a beautiful woman rescue a classic MacGuffin: the egg of the Phoenix. Along with his groom, Rufo and the woman, Star, he dimension hops and ends up fighting golems, minotaurs and even fire-breathing dragons. Heinlein really attempts to throw all the standard tropes in this one. He even has the lead character, Oscar (though he has other names) reference the Hobbit at one point. Very fannish, RAH. But it doesn't really work in context.

Anyway, the main point of the book isn't the adventure. In fact, the final payoff, where he confronts the dreaded 'Eater of Souls' lasts about 2 pages and is done. He doesn't defeat him with skill or strategy. The bad guy slips and he runs him through, taking complete, unsportsmanlike advantage where the bad guy had allowed him to take his time and behaved in a sporting manner.

No, the real payoff in the book comes in the final third. What does a hero do after he's done being a hero? It's a sad thing. And I think Heinlein is trying to point out a hole in most storytelling: that the story continues after the reader stops watching. He shows Oscar descending into uselessness and depression until he acknowledges that, even with all he said he wanted, it's not what he needs. Well and good.

Still, I've always thought this one was sort of flat. As a kid, and today, I get more out of Heinlein's digressions into sociology of the western world at the time (which are still largely applicable today). I also got a LOT out of the discussion as a teen about the relative merits of different societies. The contrast between Nevian and American customs is strong, pointed and relevant. The way they are presented, by a person an outsider to both, allows the reader (me, at age 13) to understand that the system under which you grow up isn't necessarily the only one, or even the best one, available if you look hard enough.

Still, not a bad book. Just not, in my opinion, his best.

Wish me luck, I'm currently on I Will Fear No Evil.

Read so far:
Vol 3: Starship Troopers
Vol 9: How to Be a Politician
Vol 10: Rocket Ship Galileo
Vol 11: Space Cadet
Vol 14: Between Planets
Vol 18: Tunnel in the Sky
Vol 20: Citizen of the Galaxy
Vol 22: The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1
Vol 26: Job: A Comedy of Justice
Vol 32: Creating a Genre (short stories)
Vol 35: Glory Road
Vol 36: The Puppet Masters

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 01-31-2013 at 03:51 PM.
  #261  
Old 01-31-2013, 04:55 PM
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I am, however, quite sure that the Firefly reference was absolutely deliberate on his part.
So? Do we know a spaceship named Firefly?

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Still, not a bad book. Just not, in my opinion, his best.
I rank it highly on a personal enjoyment level. It's a pretty weird book for Heinlein to have turned out, but he had fun writing it and got in some excellent digs at the strangeness of human customs. And an aborted joke about short beer. There are few passages in Heinlein's works that have stuck with me as long and deeply as Oscar's rather depressed "I had one chance" speech, too.

I am convinced, but never ran down absolute proof, that the model for Star was Ursula Andress, who would have been everywhere at the time he wrote this, after her appearance in James Bond. If you look at the Playboy photos of her in various states of andress, there's one shot of her (kneeling in the sand, IIRC, with her best attributes front, high and center) that is the detailed description of Star.

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  #262  
Old 01-31-2013, 05:00 PM
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You think that too? I've always pictured Ursula as Star.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:46 PM
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I rank it highly on a personal enjoyment level. It's a pretty weird book for Heinlein to have turned out, but he had fun writing it and got in some excellent digs at the strangeness of human customs. And an aborted joke about short beer. There are few passages in Heinlein's works that have stuck with me as long and deeply as Oscar's rather depressed "I had one chance" speech, too.
There's wisdom there, no doubt. No just in that speech but in general. More than in a generic sword-and-sorcery tale, I'd say. But I had trouble connecting with it then and still somewhat, even though I can understand where he was going as a storyteller.

Aside: My wife isn't a huge fan. She's more a swords and sword-wielding princesses sort of reader. Fine. She hated Glory Road when she read it back in college. She hated it FOR the ending where they didn't stay together and so forth. She utterly failed to get that he HAD to head out on the road again.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:59 PM
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I read Glory Road in high school, and I think twice since then, and I always enjoyed it. It's good fun while they're out adventuring, and then Heinlein has some interesting things to say about political power and governance as Star is ruling the universe. And I agree, Jonathan - Oscar just had to head out again. A hero needs to be heroeing. Good to imagine Rufo at his side once more - and maybe forever.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:17 AM
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No, not quite. One of the latter themes in the book is that, with long life, NOTHING can be forever. Friendships, loves, what-have-you. All shall pass and a hero needs to be ready to move on.
  #266  
Old 02-01-2013, 11:49 AM
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Glory Road has always been one of my favourites. Read it as a teenager and like Jonathan I got a lot out of the "discussion as a teen about the relative merits of different societies". Of course I also got a lot out of the New English Library cover art
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:09 PM
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Actually, I found the most boring part of Glory Road to be the beginning -- there's an absurdly long buildup before we get to the actual fantastic adventure, and it's not filled with defining our hero or his circumstances. If Heinlein had been a lesser writer, I think his editor would've cut a lot of it out.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:43 PM
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Hmm. I got a lot out of the discussion of American society and youth and such at the beginning. The stuff that allowed Heinlein to define Oscar's generation and why he not longer identified with it. Mind you, I'm not sure it was applicable to the generation as a whole, but I liked it.

And yes, like MarcusF, as a teen I was deeply appreciative of Heinlein's description of Star on the beach early on. And the presentation of the three women at House Dorali? Freaking awesome, says my teen self.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:51 PM
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Interstitial comment on I Will Fear No Evil.

In joke alert!

Page 78 of this edition. Joan Eunice decides, while still recovering, that she needs makeup before accepting visitors.

" 'And one of the nurses can help me. That pretty redhead - Minnie? Ginny? Miss Gersten, I mean. She must know quite a lot about cosmetics' (She does - that red hair came out of a bottle, Boss.)"

Boy, oh boy. "The Virginia Edition" indeed.

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  #270  
Old 02-01-2013, 01:31 PM
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I'll be interested in what people think about IWFNE. Personally I like it - but then I like The Number of the Beast
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:33 PM
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I, too, like Number, but I thought IWFNE was utter garbage.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:45 PM
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I've actually chosen to read IWFNE because of its rep. I want to look at it with adult eyes and it's probably been 25 years since I've read it. I look forward to having to organize my thoughts about it when I'm finished.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:07 PM
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Actually, I found the most boring part of Glory Road to be the beginning -- there's an absurdly long buildup before we get to the actual fantastic adventure, and it's not filled with defining our hero or his circumstances. If Heinlein had been a lesser writer, I think his editor would've cut a lot of it out.
I disagree respectfully, Cal. That long lead-in carefully depicts "Easy" as a romantic and idealist child of the 50s who has grown cynical when confronted with the reality of warfare in SE Asia (nowhere specified in texzt as Viet Nam, by the way; that's something we see with perfect hindsight). Sometimes Heinlein's nonpareil abilities to extrapolate social trends and people's attitudes towards them can grow uncannily precognitive in their impact. (A world-keader politician influenced by his wife who in turn is influenced by her astrologer? Absurd, right!? )

NitroPress: "If you look at the Playboy photos of her in various states of andress...."

Boo! Horrible pun! But like Silenus, I completely agree with you that Ursula was probably the visual image RAH had of Star at the time.
  #274  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:07 PM
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I'll be interested in what people think about IWFNE. Personally I like it - but then I like The Number of the Beast
I find both entertaining enough reads. A literary snob I am not.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:24 PM
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NitroPress: "If you look at the Playboy photos of her in various states of andress...."

Boo! Horrible pun! But like Silenus, I completely agree with you that Ursula was probably the visual image RAH had of Star at the time.
Oh, my 11-year-old friends and I all called her "Arse-you'll-uh-undress" in 1965, and thought we were the height of clever sophistication!
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:16 PM
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Glory Road has always been one of my favourites. Read it as a teenager and like Jonathan I got a lot out of the "discussion as a teen about the relative merits of different societies". Of course I also got a lot out of the New English Library cover art
I definitely had a deprived adolescence - no bare boobs on my edition, which was this one: http://www.raggedclaws.com/home/wp-c...rkley-1970.jpg
  #277  
Old 02-02-2013, 12:36 PM
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I, too, like Number, but I thought IWFNE was utter garbage.
Heinlein never actually completed the book - what was published was pretty much his first draft. After he got that part done, he had a severe health crisis, and it looked as though he wouldn't make it, so they just published what they had in a hurry. I have always wondered how it would have come out if he had completed it properly.
  #278  
Old 02-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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Heinlein never actually completed the book - what was published was pretty much his first draft. After he got that part done, he had a severe health crisis, and it looked as though he wouldn't make it, so they just published what they had in a hurry. I have always wondered how it would have come out if he had completed it properly.
All true as far as it goes, but there's more to it.

Heinlein wrote nearly all of his books in one pass, rarely editing what he wrote until he was complete. He'd sometimes throw out the last 5-10-100 pages and start fresh from that point, but rewriting section by section was not his style. Page one to page last was; he wrote Door Into Summer in 13 straight days, touched up the draft by hand, and mailed it in.

Once written, he would cut, often removing early developments, aborted side plots, etc. In early days he'd then retype the MS for submission; it later days he had a typist do it for him. I can think of only one book that he substantially rewrote from the first draft: MIAHM. The first draft evolves from a very different style into the final one, so he went back and rewrote it from the start.

That's it, for nearly all his works: a writing pass, and a cutting pass. No more. The only exceptions I can think of are (famously) Stranger; Starship Troopers (extended for adult publication); and MIAHM.

He completed the MS of IWFNE before his illness but never did the cutting, which is why it's so rambling, diffuse and unfinished feeling. I can dimly see characters, episodes and whole subplots that would have disappeared under his "brush pen" (fat marker) and made the book a much better one. If you read it with that in mind, you can pick out your own "better" book among the filler.

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Old 02-11-2013, 10:32 PM
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This is largely a bump, because I've been enjoying this thread immensely, adding comments when I could say anything of value, and would hate to see it die.

To go towards justifying this post's existence, at the time he completed the draft of IWFNE and suffered the clot that was slowly starving his brain and leaving him a near-vegetable (his wording, from his write-up on the medical benefits of the space program; it was a spin-off of the NASA telemetric medical monitoring that was used to diagnose what the problem causing his condition was), Ginny was regularly functioning as his first reader and idea person, but aside from some obvious issues she did not feel herself competent to do the ruthless-cut editing needed, and so recommended to (his agent or his editor at Putnam, I forget which) that it be offered as is. It was accepted and published, with only minor copyediting done to the manuscript.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:02 AM
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<snip>

He completed the MS of IWFNE before his illness but never did the cutting, which is why it's so rambling, diffuse and unfinished feeling. I can dimly see characters, episodes and whole subplots that would have disappeared under his "brush pen" (fat marker) and made the book a much better one. If you read it with that in mind, you can pick out your own "better" book among the filler.
Many thanks for this, all interesting stuff. A while since I read it so I'd have to ponder a while but I can't really think of whole sub-plots that could be ditched without loss. The whole thing tightend up, yes, but what would you drop?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:02 PM
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I Will Fear No Evil Vol. 1 of The Virginia Edition

A more interesting read than anticipated, and not as bad as I remembered.

Let me get this part out of the way early, and I don't know if this is correct. Here's my thesis: I Will Fear No Evil is a deliberate attempt to recreate the success of Stranger in a Strange Land.

The books bear striking resemblances.

1. Titles pulled from the Bible.
2. Chapter lead-ins that refer to crazy, off-putting current events.
3. A story centered on a lead character (last name Smith!) attempting to navigate a world that is strange and yet familiar.

There is a strange sort of relationship between the two books in how they're written and presented. Semi-formulaic, in my opinion. It's possible that, had Heinlein been able to do the editing this book missed, the two might have been even more similar.

Which isn't to say it's a bad book. To an extent it suffers from not aging well. Heinlein's extrapolations about how bad crime and society would get are wildly off, but that's part of the hazard (as David Brin once said) of only setting a book 30-50 years in the future. You run the risk of living to see your predictions being wrong. Or the book will still be read and poked at for your predictions being wrong.

Summary: The story is of an elderly man who causes his brain to be transplanted into the body of a young woman. It turns out she was employed by him and, through no fault of either, ends up being the 'body donor'. He takes it poorly.

That's the jumping off point. After he survives the surgery he begins hearing her voice inside his head and the cohabit the body (with him doing the driving). Blah blah, sex. Blah Blah female points of view. Blah Blah love. It goes on and on.

Look, I don't mean to denigrate it there, but I did find it dragging a bit, especially in the middle. Then it wraps up hellishly fast in the last 40 pages or so. She gives birth, she dies, the end. Fade to black.

However, given that I read this for the first time before I was 20 (and I don't think since) at the time I simply accepted the otherworldly aspect that Eunice stayed resident inside the mind of Johann Sebastian Bach Smith at face value. Now, however, it seems more likely that she's dead and he's delusional.

This is borne out by the introduction on the book. In it, it's laid of that Heinlein wanted to write a book that would show the 'new wave' writers that an old guy could deliver the goods on their turf. It also indicates that Heinlein did about half of the first-pass editing that NitroPress mentioned upthread but that, before he fell ill, he felt it needed another 25,000 words cut (on his edits he'd cut about 20,000 words from the 132,000 word manuscript).

In any event, I find I lean more towards the interpretation that the lead character, male brain in female body, is mad from the get-go and is, over the course of the book, slowly going more and more insane as the body rejects the brain. Whether the apparent hallucination of Eunice Branca in his head is caused by the rejection or by his madness is unanswerable in context..

Look, it's not a bad book. But it's not his best work. Not his worst, either. There's always Farnham's Freehold and For Us, the Living out there, after all. But this was experimental, sort of, and not entirely successful for a number of reasons.

Now, I'm on to the second half of the Future History. I want to get Methuselah's Children under my belt so I can move through the World as Myth soon. Then I'll end up eating more veggies with some of the screenplays and such.

Read so far:
Vol 1: I Will Fear No Evil
Vol 3: Starship Troopers
Vol 9: How to Be a Politician
Vol 10: Rocket Ship Galileo
Vol 11: Space Cadet
Vol 14: Between Planets
Vol 18: Tunnel in the Sky
Vol 20: Citizen of the Galaxy
Vol 22: The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1
Vol 26: Job: A Comedy of Justice
Vol 32: Creating a Genre (short stories)
Vol 35: Glory Road
Vol 36: The Puppet Masters
  #282  
Old 02-17-2013, 02:43 PM
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"If This Goes On - " from The Future History of Robert Heinlein: Volume II

The first story in the second half of the Future History in The Virginia Edition, ITGO- covers the downfall of the American theocracy hinted as coming in the earlier Logic of Empire from the first book covering the Future History.

There's a long period, perhaps as much as 150-200 years between the end of LoE and the beginning of ITGO-. During that time the first prophet, Nehemiah Scudder, took control of the United States and cut it off from most of the rest of the world and solar system.

Hmm. Possibly less, even though it seems longer in the text the Future History chart puts it as occurring around 2075. Then again, Heinlein himself said the chart was advisory only as printing limitations placed a limit on how finely times and such could be assigned.

The story concerns the revolution to overthrow the American theocracy and is presented through the eyes of a young officer in the Prophet's army who, for love, changes allegiances and joins the revolution. Simple enough.

"If This Goes On-" is one of the earliest Future History stories, having been started in the first half of 1939 and published in 1940. It's plotting and such is coincident with his earliest stories such as Misfit and Life-Line and it shares some of the flaws that those earlier stories show. I'm particularly fond of the fact that the critical final part of the revolution - the fact that the rebels can interrupt a broadcast of a 'reincarnation of Nehemiah Scudder' - isn't mentioned at all before suddenly they need to do so to move their plans forward towards the end of the story. It's just sort of a 'hey, I know!' kind of event. A better plotted story would have worked the existence of this miracle-on-demand earlier, in a casual way.

Still, it's interesting how the story plays out. It's a worm's eye view of revolution as major enterprise that we see more of in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 20 years later. And God knows it's not the only time we hear about rebels and revolution from Heinlein.

There are only two woman in the story, effectively. The two present entirely different characters. The first, sister Judith, is in the service of the current Prophet when our hero meets and falls in love with her. After some early adventures she's offscreen and Dear John's him, never to be seen again. The second is another sister in service of the Prophet, Magdalene. She's a lot more developed a character and more worldly than either Judith of the hero. She ends up in a semi-secretarial role and marries John Lyle. Neither are what you'd call fully formed characters, but none of the others outside of John Lyle truly are. This is more a story about the process than the characters.

Which is likely why John W. Campbell liked it so much. While it started with the title, "The Captains and The Priests" and ended up "Vine and Fig Tree", Campbell retitled it "If This Goes On-". That's what it's been called ever since.

Interestingly, when first published it came in at 35,000 words A long story or a novella. But for the ill-fated collection Revolt in 2100 (ill-fated because the deal with Shasta Press irritated Heinlein) he reworked and expanded it to 55,000 words...more of a short novel.

Read so far:
Vol 1: I Will Fear No Evil
Vol 3: Starship Troopers
Vol 9: How to Be a Politician
Vol 10: Rocket Ship Galileo
Vol 11: Space Cadet
Vol 14: Between Planets
Vol 18: Tunnel in the Sky
Vol 20: Citizen of the Galaxy
Vol 22: The Future History of Robert Heinlein Vol. 1
Vol 26: Job: A Comedy of Justice
Vol 32: Creating a Genre (short stories)
Vol 35: Glory Road
Vol 36: The Puppet Masters

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 02-17-2013 at 02:43 PM.
  #283  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:02 PM
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There are only two woman in the story, effectively. The two present entirely different characters. The first, sister Judith, is in the service of the current Prophet when our hero meets and falls in love with her. After some early adventures she's offscreen and Dear John's him, never to be seen again. The second is another sister in service of the Prophet, Magdalene. She's a lot more developed a character and more worldly than either Judith of the hero. She ends up in a semi-secretarial role and marries John Lyle. Neither are what you'd call fully formed characters, but none of the others outside of John Lyle truly are. This is more a story about the process than the characters.
It's interesting that Judith is the classic early-sf heroine - a virginal figure who needs to be saved, while Magdalene is a woman with a past (she had been one of the Prophet's mistresses when younger, but had been been set aside, as I recall). It's been a while since I read this one, but I didn't think that she married John - he proposed, but she turned him down, didn't she? I'll have to find my copy of The Past through Tomorrow.
  #284  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:08 PM
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Wake me when you get to Farnham's Freehold.
  #285  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:13 PM
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We'll ignore colander for the moment.

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It's interesting that Judith is the classic early-sf heroine - a virginal figure who needs to be saved, while Magdalene is a woman with a past (she had been one of the Prophet's mistresses when younger, but had been been set aside, as I recall). It's been a while since I read this one, but I didn't think that she married John - he proposed, but she turned him down, didn't she? I'll have to find my copy of The Past through Tomorrow.
In the one I read, he asks and she tries to persuade him not to marry her because of her history. But she eventually relents and does marry him. He describes their honeymoon as twenty minutes on a balcony talking before open rebellion breaks out. She's still defined by her relationship to men, but hey, that's an issue we still have ongoing today.
  #286  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:17 PM
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We'll ignore colander for the moment.



In the one I read, he asks and she tries to persuade him not to marry her because of her history. But she eventually relents and does marry him. He describes their honeymoon as twenty minutes on a balcony talking before open rebellion breaks out. She's still defined by her relationship to men, but hey, that's an issue we still have ongoing today.
I'm probably misremembering then. Thanks.
  #287  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:23 PM
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That's the way it is in my copy too. First sentence of Chapter 15, in fact.

This story is one of the ones I use to get students hooked on SF. In fact, Revolt In 2100 is on my booklist for my American Government classes.
  #288  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:24 PM
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I'm probably misremembering then. Thanks.
(P.S. The Internet tells me that in the magazine version of the story, John ended up with Judith after all...
  #289  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:24 PM
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Is it, Silenus? Why?
  #290  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:28 PM
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Because 1) it explores some of the underlying ideas about rebellion and responsibility behind the USA, 2) it examines a USA under the control of a religious dictatorship, something I find all too probable, and 3) I like it and want my students to read it.

I have all sorts of fun stuff on the list, but the thing I've gotten the most comments from parent groups on is The Communist Manifesto.

I have it listed under "Fiction."
  #291  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:29 PM
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It's interesting that Judith is the classic early-sf heroine - a virginal figure who needs to be saved, while Magdalene is a woman with a past (she had been one of the Prophet's mistresses when younger, but had been been set aside, as I recall). It's been a while since I read this one, but I didn't think that she married John - he proposed, but she turned him down, didn't she? I'll have to find my copy of The Past through Tomorrow.
There are two very different versions of ITGO. It's one of the few stories Heinlein substantially rewrote in between magazine and book appearances, and there are some startling changes of direction.

Besides making the female characters much more involved (and, IIRC, doubling their number - I think Maggie is a whole-cloth addition), the magazine version assumes that conditioning will be used on the population to bring them back to "right thinking"... and in the book version, Heinlein denounces such conditioning in the most dramatic way possible.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-17-2013 at 03:30 PM.
  #292  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:34 PM
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Concerning Stories Never Written - from The Future History of Robert Heinlein, Volume 2

This is a brief essay by Heinlein about several stories that are on the Future History Chart that never actually made it to print. Hell, he never even wrote them.

The four stories would have been placed in the space between the optimistic world of The Green Hills of Earth and the initial exploration of the solar system and the events of the second American revolution of "If This Goes On-".

The stories were thus:

The Sound of His Wings - The rise to power of the first prophet, Nehemiah Scudder. This is, as mentioned before, set up by a short conversation in Logic of Empire. Scudder was to have used a substantial bequest, some savvy public relations and his own charisma to get himself elected president of the United States and end free elections.

Eclipse - This story was to detail the growing independence of the independence of both the Mars and Venus colonies as they throw off their colonial status.

The Stone Pillow - This concerns the development of the theocracy in the United States under the prophets and the development of counter-revolutionary forces in an underground.

The Fire Down Below - This would again have been a revolutionary tale, this time about the miners in Antarctica fighting for independence.

I detect a theme. Mainly in this essay, Heinlein makes a point that he hadn't written the stories, particularly about Scudder and the Prophets because he didn't like the character much. Of course, we also have further background that he was unhappy with the publishing deal with Shasta about collecting The Future History and simply decided to largely abandon the timeline to do other projects.
  #293  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:35 PM
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Because 1) it explores some of the underlying ideas about rebellion and responsibility behind the USA, 2) it examines a USA under the control of a religious dictatorship, something I find all too probable, and 3) I like it and want my students to read it.

I have all sorts of fun stuff on the list, but the thing I've gotten the most comments from parent groups on is The Communist Manifesto.

I have it listed under "Fiction."
Hell, I have my journalism students read 'Transmetropolitan' as an example of how go-to-hell a real journalist should be. I can't really argue with you, there.
  #294  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:38 PM
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There are two very different versions of ITGO. It's one of the few stories Heinlein substantially rewrote in between magazine and book appearances, and there are some startling changes of direction.

Besides making the female characters much more involved (and, IIRC, doubling their number - I think Maggie is a whole-cloth addition), the magazine version assumes that conditioning will be used on the population to bring them back to "right thinking"... and in the book version, Heinlein denounces such conditioning in the most dramatic way possible.
Interesting, NitroPress. I'll have to go looking for the original someplace.

Question: The tale of the rise of Nehemiah Scudder is, to me, a lost opportunity. I wonder if there might be room for such a story that portrays him as less than a ravenous ideologue and more of a sympathetic figure. It's entirely possible to present a person like that as both A) a committed man who believes he's doing right and B) a complete totalitarian dickhead.

It would, of course, take permission of the estate to get such a thing published. But it would be worth it, just for the exercise.
  #295  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:42 PM
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The other Heinlein on the list are of course TMiaHM and Starship Troopers. Other SF on the list include Niven and Purnelle's Oath of Fealty and L. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night.

I agree that "The Stone Pillow" is a story that really should have been written. The problem with having it commisioned now is that we have lived through 50 years of history that would color any author's approach. It really needed to be written back in the 40's, before the rise of the Religious Right. That time had its own religious extremists, and I would have liked to have read Heinlein's take on the whole matter.

Last edited by silenus; 02-17-2013 at 03:45 PM.
  #296  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:48 PM
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The other Heinlein on the list are of course TMiaHM and Starship Troopers. Other SF on the list include Niven and Purnelle's Oath of Fealty and L. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night.

I agree that "The Stone Pillow" is a story that really should have been written. The problem with having it commisioned now is that we have lived through 50 years of history that would color any author's approach. It really needed to be written back in the 40's, before the rise of the Religious Right. That time had its own religious extremists, and I would have liked to have read Heinlein's take on the whole matter.
Me too. In 1996, F&SF had a story that purported to be a "long lost" draft of "The Stone Pillow" but it was (intentionally) clear that this was a modern pastiche, with Scudder described as looking much like Newt Gingrich.
  #297  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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...I have all sorts of fun stuff on the list, but the thing I've gotten the most comments from parent groups on is The Communist Manifesto.

I have it listed under "Fiction."
"New Bruce will be teaching political science - Machiavelli, Bentham, Locke, Hobbes, Sutcliffe, Bradman, Lindwall, Miller, Hassett, and Benet.... In addition, as he's going to be teaching politics, I've told him he's welcome to teach any of the great socialist thinkers, provided he makes it clear that they were wrong." - Monty Python, Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo
  #298  
Old 02-18-2013, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
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I agree that "The Stone Pillow" is a story that really should have been written. The problem with having it commisioned now is that we have lived through 50 years of history that would color any author's approach. It really needed to be written back in the 40's, before the rise of the Religious Right. That time had its own religious extremists, and I would have liked to have read Heinlein's take on the whole matter.
That's the problem with a lot of the older SF stories, pace of change in some ways way so much outstripped what was predicted that they're almost quaint.

But, heck, in 'Concerning Stories Never Written' specifically warns about the religious influence in America.

Quote:
As for the second notion, the idea that we could lose our freedom by succumbing to a wave of religious hysteria, I am sorry to say that I consider it possible. I hope that it is not probable. But there is a latent deep strain of religious fanaticism in this out culture; it is rooted in our history and it has broken out many times in the past. It is with us now; there has been a sharp rise in strongly evangelical sects in this country in recent years, some of which hold beliefs theocratic in the extreme, anti-intellectual, ant-scientific, and anti-libertarian.
Boom, baby.
  #299  
Old 02-18-2013, 07:31 AM
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I think that Heinlein was scarily accurate with the Secretary General and his wife in SIASL. TELL me that this couple was not modeled on Ron and Nancy Reagan!
  #300  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:20 AM
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I think that Heinlein was scarily accurate with the Secretary General and his wife in SIASL. TELL me that this couple was not modeled on Ron and Nancy Reagan!
A number of newspapers had top or above-the-fold headlines about the White House astrologer, with a notice of Heinlein's death below the fold.

Ya just can't buy that kinda publicity.
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