Identify this Heinlein(?) story

Someone posted this on another board I frequent:

Any ideas what story this is? If it is Heinlein, I’d suspect “I Will Fear No Evil”, although that’s not a short story.

Definitely not “I Will Fear No Evil”.

This doesn’t sound like a Heinlein story at all. Look, in the first place, Heinlein had mostly quit writing short stories by the 1960’s. Here’s everything short (except for some writings that were just excerpts from upcoming novels and some that were written long before but published only then) that he published between 1960 and his death in 1988:

No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying (1973) (but this isn’t it)
Cliff and the Calories (1980) (but this isn’t it either)

Heinlein didn’t write this story.

Not even remotely Heinlein.

Sounds like one of those Horrors of 60s Youth Culture movies.

For one thing, nobody knew about the Hippies in the “mid” 1960s. I’d think most adults were first introduced to them by *Life *magazine in the Summer of Love. Hippies and anarchy wouldn’t have been connected by anybody until maybe alter Altamont in late 1969. You’re probably looking at the wrong time period. Mass murderers simply weren’t a thing back then the way they are today, either. The Son of Sam case was in 1976-77 and he freaked out New York to an unprecedented degree. It’s true that fiction writers had treated the subject earlier - Ellery Queen’s Cat of Many Tails is from 1949 and it’s uncannily prescient in the way that a Sam would freak out New Yorkers - but they had yet to become the default drivers of mysteries. Yeah, I know this is SF but very few mystery/SF stories were printed then. Those didn’t start being common until the mid-1970s and an early outlier like this would have attracted attention, especially by me since I wrote a paper on them.

I was reading almost everything in the field in the 60s and 70s and nothing about this story rings a bell. I would probably remember it because just reading your description makes me all stabby and I would have hated it more then. Everybody would have talked about it. Another reason why I think it might have been later, if it exists at all. But I could have just missed it. SF is a big field.

Charles Whitman? Richard Speck? The Boston Strangler?

It’s hardly a short story but John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar includes periodic newsflashes reporting mass killings from around the world with almost the only point of interest being how many victims there were.
“The incidence of muckers continues to maintain it’s high: one in Outer Brooklyn yesterday accounted for 21 victims… and another is still at large in Evanstown, Ill. with a total of eleven and three injured…” (page 7 of the current Orion UK edition)
Nothing about the ‘muckers’ chasing records, though.

This is “Generation Gaps” by Clancy O’Brien Title: Generation Gaps (published in 1972)

See discussion in the comments, here: and a brief discussion here Grokking the Future: Science Fiction in the Classroom - Bernard C. Hollister, Deane C. Thompson - Google Books

Of course they existed. They were still considered rare and odd. Today virtually every other mystery novel, book, and television show is about serial killers. It wasn’t true then. They weren’t the default notion of killers, not a “thing”.

Which is exactly the context I gave in my earlier post.

Just wanted to add my weight to the “No way is that by Heinlein” side. I’ve read most of his stuff that’s been published, and not only is this not among them, it doesn’t read like Heinlein – even at his rantiest and most didactic To see how Heinlein handled something like this, read Starship Troopers.

As for who wrote it, I couldn’t tell you. There was quite a bit of bad science fiction about youths taking over in the late 1960s, some of it due to people extrapolating the “Baby Boom” and thinking it was a permanent trend. I recall stumbling across that sort of thing, but couldn’t give you titles or authors now.

Here’s a few links that have some actual excerpts from the story

It’s an awful story…

According to the isfdb link, “Clancy O’Brien” is a pseudonym for George H. Smith, not to be confused with George O. Smith, or other George Smiths. I haven’t read anything by him, but I see that he wrote a nonfiction work in 1968: “Who is Ronald Reagan?”

I can’t help but reflect on that title and a story about how awful hippies are being written by the same guy.

Thanks Andy L! That indeed is the story, and you can download it from It’s quite the flashback, to when people still actually said “groovy” and “rapping”.

Well, there was that wacky series of movies in the sixties about the house pets taking over the planet…

It doesn’t even sound like science fiction. IMHO, fiction isn’t* science fiction* simply because the storyline is set in a time period future to the one it was written in. My mom was heavily into Lawrence Sanders about 30 years ago; I read some of his books when she was done with them. He wrote mostly crime stories, but my favorite one was one that was set only slightly in the future, about a bunch of feminazis who form a domestic terrorist group. But it wasn’t science fiction, even though it was set a decade or so after it was written.

Did a disease wipe out dog and cats causing people to adopt monkeys? And did the monkeys evolve to the point of doing menial tasks as virtual slave labor? Was there a monkey from the future that grew up in the society that used monkeys for…

Ah… never mind.


We prefer the term ‘apes.’ And don’t offer us a banana. We loath them.

The story does take place on a moon rocket, which gives the story’s anti-hippie venting some SF cover…

Glad to help.

“Does the male talk, too?” “Only when she lets me”