-- Robert A. Heinlein (on writing for the pulps)
First volume of Heinlein's "Future History" short stories
Second volume of Heinlein's "Future History" short stories
All you need to survive and prosper is courage, hard work, and a photographic memory.
Third-rate actor Lorenzo Smythe gets the part of his life.
An inventor is screwed by his wife, but discovers the perfect revenge.
Kip and Peewee are kidnapped by evil aliens. But their troubles don't really begin until they are rescued by good aliens. [Just read that early description of the space suit -- that's how seamless info-dumping should be done.]
Read the book. Don't see the film.
The moon is revolting
Robert Anson Heinlein died in 1988. Those of us who grew up profoundly influenced by his work were greatly saddened by the news. This memorial volume brings together some of his famous moonflight stories, some previously unpublished works, some speeches, and many glowing testimonials from other SF luminaries. Most of the best has already appeared elsewhere, but this volume stands as a fitting tribute to arguably the most influential SF writer of all time.
No-one infodumps quite like Heinlein. This was originally written in 1939, before any of Heinlein's published SF, but only discovered and published recently, after Heinlein's death. It is an utterly fascinating work for Heinlein fans and scholars, as it captures many of his ideas espoused in his later works -- free love, rolling roads, general semantics, economics, Nehemiah Scudder, and more -- in a classic "tour of Utopia" style. It's not a novel, it's an essentially plotless 300 page lecture, demonstrating that his later harangues weren't a degeneration, but a reversion to what he was really about. Since that lecture is in true Heinlein voice, it's a worthwhile read, to see the early form of some of his ideas, and to see his already masterly handling of the infodump. But don't bother if you want just a story.
After Robert Heinlein's death, several pages of notes that he wrote in 1955 outlining the idea for a novel were found, and Spider Robinson given the task of turning them into a novel.
It's 2286. Joel Johnstone is a poor but talented musician, who is desperately in love with Jinny Hamilton, and she with him, but they can't afford to marry. However, Joel discovers something that makes him run far far away, so far and so fast that Jinny can never catch up with him. The main story is then his "coming of age" over the next several years in a small community, finished off with a mind-blowing catastrophe, and a hastily wrapped-up ending.
Is this a Heinlein, or a Robinson? Well, it feels a lot like a Heinlein. In fact, it's a very strange experience, reading a novel that feels like an early Heinlein (early enough that it's a jolly good story, not just an interesting lecture), yet clearly, from events and technology, written in the 21st century. It's a world initially consistent with Heinlein's future history, so Neil Armstrong didn't happen, and Prophet Nehemiah Scudder and the Covenant did. But it's also a world in which 9/11 happened. And I don't remember the mind-blowing catastrophe towards the end (you'll know it when you get to it) from Future History, either.
There are clearly Robinson touches, such as the dancing, and, of course, the puns. But the number of people who die, and stay dead, definitely points to Heinlein rather than Robinson. As does the coming of age feel, and the competent-but-naive Heinlein-esque hero. The lack of major female characters is also typical of (early) Heinlein (the female characters are strong, but not major).
A good page-turner, and it's marvellous to have a new Heinlein novel to read. Well done Spider!
Alien mind controlling slugs invade the earth; humanity's main defence is nakedness. [And the film is surprisingly good.]
The book that ushered in the sixties, and added "grok" to the English language