Crowdfunding a major new critical study of Robert A Heinlein

Not being captive to a state at birth does not “lead” to any specific form of social organization, it facilitates people being to implement the kind of organization/government they need. The real dangerous naivete is that of imposing one involuntary system upon everybody. Despite knowing that however good that system might appear, it is still subjective to the values and goals of a given citizen. Sure, some people prefer feudalism, and would pursue that. But other people prefer socialism, and would pursue that. Monopoly of government is only as good as your government, and not a goal in itself.


Almost everything I read from Heinlein I read when I was fairly young, so I’m reluctant to comment now on his works’ quality. You know, I liked it then, but would I still like it now. On the other hand, even way back when, I appreciated IWFNE because it was just utterly mad, so I suspect I’d probably still like it.

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Same here and thinking back on it a lot of the later stuff is really cringeworthy upon refection but while there are problematic things with IWFNE the total crazy of the plot still makes me laugh today.
I would probably enjoy reading Job again just for the digs at religion.

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Thank you, but I’m aware that there is considerable slop in these definitions in the US (and likely elsewhere). I wrote “not a leftist or liberal” deliberately, given that definitions have changed since Heinlein died nearly 30 years.

Well, that I can agree with. Realistically my statement wasn’t strong enough. I was trying to avoid conflict, but I failed to look for it behind me, I guess.


Perhaps we could make a country like Disney World, where there’s a Fascismland, a Communismland, a Socialismland, and so on. Choose where you want to spend your life. You could even dress up government employees as cartoon versions of Marx, Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, and so on.


I wish that one was written when his carotid arteries had started constricting so he’d have an excuse. I found it utterly unreadable, like most of his later work. I just couldn’t believe what a bore Number of the Beast was when it came out, mostly people in a car arguing.


I’m still puzzled that you seem to be placing left and liberal in the same country, let alone the same ballpark. Perhaps it’s simply phrasing that is confusing me. Liberal in the classic political sense in pretty far right. And let’s be honest- in the US (mis)usage, ‘liberal’ as a code for Democrat is still pretty far out on the batshit insane right spectrum. So you see, I hope, why I’m perplexed.

Not that either of our opinions matter so very much. Those that have stolen the power don’t care.

Being neither of two categories need not imply that those categories are similar.

Again, no. It wasn’t front-and-center as much, but it certainly was there. It was part of the basis of how the Howard Families came to be, in fact.

I can’t agree; he banged THAT drum his entire career. In fact, I think you’re making exactly the mistake you accuse others of making -.-’.

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There’s a big difference between the discussion of something and depicting something.

Methusalah’s children talks about how the Families came to be, which involved a lot of selective breeding of relatives with a resulting increase in genetic diseases. Squick level: low. Perv level: nonexistent.

Time enough for love goes all in for “gawd my genderswapped clones/my mom are hawt, I’ve got to get some of that.” Squick level: high. Perv level: tilt!


SF that pushed people’s buttons? Who’d a thunk it?


That only works for people who think their own politics is a joke or a game.

I absolutely want to inflict my values on everyone else. I want racism and oppression to be eradicated - not just for lefties like me, but for all. I want business owners to be forced to pay a decent wage - even if they identify as Republicans or Objectivists or whatever.

They also want to impose their values on me, and force me to live in a world without perverts and rabble-rousers. If they didn’t want this, they would be fake. But many people genuinely believe their way would be best for all.

So you can fantasize about political Disneyland, but there would still be laws and people who hate those laws. And there would be somebody making those decisions on your behalf.

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I’m just commenting on what the man himself said in different words. And as for your utterly wrong assertion - “his entire career” - ? So you are saying that all of his juvenile novels and all of his short stories were larded up with references to incest? You think the major theme of The Man Who Traveled in Elephants was incest? Are you sure you know how to read English? There is very, very good reason to doubt.

drags conversation by the shirt collar back to topic
I wouldn’t mind throwing some money at this writer’s venture, but the venue she has chosen doesn’t allow for small donations under $20 (I don’t need a copy of her book just yet). I asked her about it, but she has yet to let me know if there are alternatives.


No, silly, “over his entire career”. I’m also aware he did other stuff, like respirate, blink, and otherwise exist -.-’ .

@MadLibrarian You’d think she’d at least set up a GoFundMe or Patreon account, right? Oh well. If you can before the thread closes, please get back to us with any info, I’m also curious.

Honestly, “Stranger in a strange land” made quite an impression on teenage me.

Flawed, yes. But also imaginative & with many important points.

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Disagree. Sorry, Bozobub: the man was complex and a believer in the power of reason to improve the world. Most libertarians are not.

But I doubt any of the would-be critical studies will succeed in their aim, because they will ignore one of the most important contributors to his thinking - his wife, Virginia.

You can not understand Heinlein without reference to this person, his life-long partner; an unusually strong-minded person with serious technical qualifications of her own (she was a scientist and engineer at a time when this was practically unheard-of, and a serving officer in the WAVES during WWII).

She also contributed in no small measure to his inspiration, either directly (e.g. the title of “The door into summer”) or indirectly through her long curatorship of his works and interaction with Heinlein fans.

And yet I doubt she will receive more than a passing mention in any study.

Yes! And another difference where I think people’s critical faculties get regularly flustered is that also:
There’s a big difference between the depiction of something and endorsing something.

A good critique will speculate as to what the motives behind the message might be, but remains aware that this is speculation, and avoids reacting to it despite knowing that the latter feels far more cathartic than poised ambivalence.


Not that there’s anything wrong with that.