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Robert A Heinlein WOW just WOW

Old 09-08-05, 11:03 PM
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Robert A Heinlein WOW just WOW

I just started reading a book of Heinlein's short stories, so far I have read Lifeline, The Roads Must Roll, and Blowups Happen. And all I gotta say is wow. I am so glad I finally decided to start reading some real sci-fi and went with Heinlein on a whim. I am so excited about the thousands of pages I have yet to read, I'm going to finish this book of short stories I got for like 50 cents at a book trader, then read Stranger in a Strange Land!

Any Heinlein fans here?
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Old 09-09-05, 03:15 AM
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some short stories of his are online:
http://www.freesfonline.de/authors/heinlein.html

and here's blow up heaven:
http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200310/0743471598___4.htm
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Old 09-09-05, 09:08 AM
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Stranger in a Strange Land is one of my favorite books.
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Old 09-09-05, 09:20 AM
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The Past Through Tomorrow?
Excellent book, one of my favorite single-author story collections. Many of the concepts, timeline, and some of the characters he creates in that book, he uses throughout his later writing career in novel form.
RAH is one of my favorite authors. You've got lots of great reading ahead of you
I don't know how old you are, but also don't pass up his 'young adult' novels. Obviously they're not quite as advanced as most of his work, but they're still good reads.
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Old 09-09-05, 06:23 PM
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Fan here. I think his best novel is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Two great time travel short stories: By His Bootstraps and All You Zombies.
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Old 09-09-05, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
... I think his best novel is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
i agree with you. this is a fantastic read. stranger in a strange land (the unedited version) is one of my all time favorites. the lazarus long books are good reads as well.
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Old 09-10-05, 12:02 AM
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Robert A Heinlein is one of the greats.

Although he did get a little bit weird in his writing toward the end of his life.
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Old 09-10-05, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Robert A Heinlein is one of the greats.

Although he did get a little bit weird in his writing toward the end of his life.
I have to agree with you. The Number of the Beast is a horrible mess and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is quite awful. I didn't even finish it. I think the only good book from late in his career is Job: A Comedy of Justice.

Last edited by movielib; 09-10-05 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 09-10-05, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
I have to agree with you. The Number of the Beast is a horrible mess...
Now you tell me.

I wouldn't mind hearing some more opinions on this one. I just bought it at the local used shop because a couple of people recommended it.

Last edited by Scarecrow; 09-10-05 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 09-10-05, 10:53 PM
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Well, I can't believe it's been about 20 years since I read "To Sail Beyond The Sunset", probably the final novel Heinlein wrote (I'm sure there have been other "unpublished" stuff that's found the light of day, but that's the last big novel by Heinlein). I did like he tied up a lot of storylines with that novel. Working backwards, Heinlein had a fun time introducing characters from past novels as early as "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" and having them pop up and cross paths with his other characters in novel all the way through until his final novel.

I had a good time reading of most of those Future History novels, but I will have to agree that "The Number of the Beast" is a head-scratcher. "I Will Fear No Evil" was kinda strange for its time (rich old man gets brain implanted into young female body). I did like "Time Enough For Love" and subsequent Lazarus Long novels with the exception of a few here and there. "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a classic, I think I will re-visit the un-abridged version soon. I thought "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" was okay, not horrible, but not great.

Standalone novels, like "Friday" are a pleasant diversion, even though Hollywood has probably made some of the ideas in these types of novel seem common place now. I think the first Heinlein I read was "The Door Into Summer" and it got my imagination kick-started towards sci-fi from an early age. The stories in "The Expanded Universe" collection are good to decent reads. I remember liking "Job" when I read it, but can't quite even recall the plot of that book, but it was probably filled with humorous observations of the human condition and human suffering.

If you seek out "Starship Troopers," don't expect to be quite like the movie.
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Old 09-11-05, 12:12 AM
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It's been a while since I read Number of the Beast, but for the last decade or so of his career, Heinlein thought that the recipe for success was to include a thinly-veiled version of Heinlein himself as the protaganist and to have said protaganist screw lots of really hot women. If I'm remebering right, Number of the Beast was one of the books written under that formula.
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Old 09-11-05, 09:43 AM
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I haven't read Stranger... since high school (late 80's-early 90's), when was this unedited version released?
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Old 09-11-05, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by milo bloom
I haven't read Stranger... since high school (late 80's-early 90's), when was this unedited version released?
I think around 1990. Contains 60,000 words cut from the original manuscript
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Old 09-13-05, 04:25 AM
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I think Moon is a Harsh Mistress is probably my favorite Heinlein novel too. I also love The Puppet Masters and Time Enough for Love. Heck, I love about all the Heinlein stories I've read.

If you want to read a modern day, Heinlein-inspired novel, you should check out Old Man's War by John Scalzi. It's a really enjoyable space opera that will remind you of Starship Troopers. It's the best damn book I've read in a couple years. It's not a Heinlein ripoff, it's just obvious that the author is a big Heinlein fan since he has that same sense of wonder and invisible writing style.

Orphanage and Orphan's Destiny by Robert Buettner are a couple more new novels written in the Heinlein style that are really enjoyable, and they're especially good after you've read Old Man's War and are craving more of the military sci-fi stuff.
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Old 07-27-06, 05:20 PM
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I finished Stranger in a Strange Land awhile back, and just finished Time Enough for Love this week.

Still a big fan! I wish Heinlein had written more Lazaras Long stories.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:02 AM
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"All You Zombies" is the reason I got his book of short stories.

What got me into Heinlein in the first place was the mini-series on Fox Saturday morning cartoons, "Red Planet", based on the book. Did anyone remember that? It was shown a few times from 94-95.

Last edited by exharrison; 07-28-06 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 07-30-06, 04:35 AM
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never saw that
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Old 07-31-06, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
It's been a while since I read Number of the Beast, but for the last decade or so of his career, Heinlein thought that the recipe for success was to include a thinly-veiled version of Heinlein himself as the protaganist and to have said protaganist screw lots of really hot women. If I'm remebering right, Number of the Beast was one of the books written under that formula.
Can't figure out where anyone would get an idea like this, but my first guess would be from reading some of the psuedo-intellectual "critics" of Heinlein's work, who seem to crawl out of the woodwork with every RAH revival.

At any rate, it's highly unlikely RAH was writing about a "thinly-veiled version" of himself in NotB, seeing as how Robert and Virginia Heinlein both appear as themselves in the book's final chapter (along with a number of SF writers and fans).

INHO, Heinlein put himself in his stories only in as much as any writer does in writing about the things he knows. If RAH is "thinly veiled" in any of his stories, it's as the wiser and know-it-all "old man" character who mentors a story's protagonist.

I would suggest to anyone that they start (regardless of their age) with RAH's so-called juvenile stories. They aren't written down to kids, are as entertaining as any of the "adult" stuff, and many recurring characters in his "future history" stories first show up in them.

For those who may have "head scratching" issues with Heinlein's later works, I would suggest reading Heinlein's "Grumbles from the Grave." Edited by his wife and published posthumusely, it has a lot of insight into the man and his writing.
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Old 08-02-06, 08:36 PM
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If you like RAH's juvenile novels, check out the most recent works of John Varley. Red Thunder, Red Lightning, and Mammoth are definitely influenced by these works. RAH was a big influence on Varley in general, and these books are a great deal more "down to earth" than Varley's eight worlds stories.

Personally, I didn't get much out of Mammoth, but the Red books are good, if somewhat predictable.
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Old 08-02-06, 09:12 PM
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My favorite Heinlein book is The Door into Summer. I read it again once every few years.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:42 AM
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I grok that.
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Old 12-28-06, 09:15 PM
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I just read The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. WOW, that was BAD. Man it seems as if the older RAH got, the worse his writing got.
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Old 12-28-06, 09:23 PM
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Yeah, TCWWTW didn't impress me much at all. I think the main thing I liked about it was where it 'crossed over' or referred to events/characters from his other novels, but as a standalone, I was disappointed.
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Old 12-29-06, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
It's been a while since I read Number of the Beast, but for the last decade or so of his career, Heinlein thought that the recipe for success was to include a thinly-veiled version of Heinlein himself as the protaganist and to have said protaganist screw lots of really hot women. If I'm remebering right, Number of the Beast was one of the books written under that formula.
Heinlein wasn't alone in that regard. It's the "dirty old man syndrome."

The sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s sort of brought out a creepy sexuality into a number of the golden age sci-fi authors later works. I can remember a couple of squirm-inducing sex scenes creeping into Asimov's later novels. One in particular -- in either Foundation's Age or Foundation and Earth -- came from out of nowhere like something from a porno movie where the main character starts fucking a woman on a desk. (It's been twenty years since I read these books so the details may be wrong.)

And, while I've only read the first Rama book, I've heard that the later books have a conspicuous amount of gratuitous fucking in them.
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Old 12-30-06, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by exharrison
What got me into Heinlein in the first place was the mini-series on Fox Saturday morning cartoons, "Red Planet", based on the book. Did anyone remember that? It was shown a few times from 94-95.
Yes! I wish that Fox would put it on DVD or release it electronically. I loved it as a kid.
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