AOL Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group
March 2, 2000
Subject: Podkayne of Mars
Co-Hosted by Doc4Kidz
As with prior discussions, there were significant messages cross-posted from alt.fan.heinlein; the posts originating on AOL are listed first. Doc also asked for some help coming up with new topics for the next series of meetings, giving us two subjects. Rather than copy the entire discussion on this subject, I’ll put Doc’s summary of the discussion at the end of the message board posts. There was enough activity that this could have profited from an interim pass-along a week ago, but I was out of town at the time. Sorry.
AOL Message Board Posts:
1.Subject: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/20/00 1:09 PM Pacific Standard Time
“Official” Lead-Off Post: Podykayne of Mars (or “A New Slant on Poddy”)
The dilemma: How to once again discuss Poddy (Podkayne of Mars) from (somehow) a new angle. I don’t think it’s been too long since we had some discussion on this topic. Also, I might have been too eager to please the other night – I let circumstances blind me to the fact that this is not the ideal fortnight for me to lead. So I am asking for your help. I have found this group to be some of the most well-read folks I have ever encountered. If I got some help with the posts, I could forget the fact that I have less than two weeks to get all of my continuing education credits completed for 1999(!), and that I’m on-call twice this week, and I’m afraid to even look at next weeks schedule.
I was thinking I might try to tie-in other books or stories: for example Heinlein’s description of the advertising in the taxi when Poddy is sightseeing on Venus, has always made me think of The Space Merchants (Pohl, I think – it’s been a while). The “advertising to excess” in Pohl’s satire of the advertising industry was markedly similar to Heinlein’s descriptions of life on Venus. It ocurred to me that there may be several other (favorite) books/shorts that we could come up with, that describe similar situations to those depicted in Poddy. Perhaps we could tie them in together.
Some similarities between Heinlein’s books and others have of late already been discussed here and elsewhere. Among others, Farmer in the Sky and Twain’s Life on the Mississippi; Citizen of the Galaxy and Kiplings Kim. Zim has even suggested to me the possibility that Poddy is Stevenson’s Treasure Island, as he put it, “with a twist of ‘wry'”. Or, as he also suggested perhaps another child’s classic outside the genre of sci-fi.
What do you think? It may not work, but it IS a new approach. I think it’s worth the try.
“You can observe a lot by watching”
– Lawrence P. Berra
2.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/21/00 11:04 AM Pacific Standard Time >br>From: AGplusone
The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group Next Meeting
Our next chat will be Thursday, March 2, 2000, from 9 PM to midnight in The BC Salon III. Doc4Kidz will be the cohost and our topic will be the novel Podkayne of Mars.
Barry (Doc4kidz), our cohost for March 2’s chat, writes his desire for:
]”A New Slant on Poddy”
The novel Podkayne of Mars (1963) has always been an enigma to me. Some insist it’s a juvenile novel, simply following in the annual footsteps of the Scribners series that began in 1947 with Rocket Ship Galileo and came to a crashing end when Scribners turned down Starship Troopers in 1959 thus freeing the author to focus on his later adult novels and, incidentally, also missing out on the Hugo award readers voted Starship Troopers.
Troopers was an adult novel aimed at Heinlein’s following of former juvenile readers who’d read the annual juvenile since 1947 who were now young adults, not adolescents, and were about to launch their own generation of children and some about to launch the spaceflight Heinlein believed would free humanity from the bounds of earth (see, e.g., the recent movie “October Sky,” from an autobiographical novel by one of that generation).
But Podkayne of Mars was nevertheless marketed to readers as a juvenile. Even its tragic ending was rewritten to facilitate that editorial demand.
So, I suppose, it’s fair to consider Poddy as a juvenile story on one hand, even if it can still be considered an horatory novel directed as young adults and parents about to raise their own children. What is the message here aimed at juveniles, rather than their adult parents?
Barry’s also asked for some help with the posts, and it’s only fair to give him that. Perhaps one way is to see whether Podkayne continues using the techniques of juvenile education Robert Heinlein developed in writing the twelve juvenile novels that preceded Podkayne of Mars. What do you find similar to, and what is different from, the techniques used in earlier novels?
We can also discuss whether there are echoes of other works by other writers in Podkayne as Barry suggests. Do you see any? What about the ones Barry suggests? And is the suggestion that it bears a bit of similarity to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island too far-fetched? Or can you see some other similarity with another work?
We’ve got more than a week and a half. Let’s see if we can come up with some help for Doc.
Remember, the more thoughtful posts, the better the discussion.
“I expect your names to shine!”
3.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/21/00 8:07 PM Pacific Standard Time
]I was thinking I might try to tie-in other books or stories: [snip] … the possibility that Poddy is Stevenson’s Treasure Island, as he put it, with a twist of wry.
Take an Attractive Villain, Add a Dash of Youthful Audacity, Mix with an Unfamiliar Setting
We’ve all supposedly read the juvenile classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson–more likely we read an adulterated version judged suitable for children and seen a version or two of it through the eyes of Disney. This old novel is in the public domain and available on the internet for those interested.
The similarity between Treasure Island and Podkayne of Mars is the nature of each of their villains. John Silver and Mrs. Grew. Both amoral, unscrupulous, and utterly deceptive. Both utterly attractive to Jim Hawkins and Podkayne Fries.
I cannot think of any other villain written by Heinlein who was attractive. Certainly not in the juveniles. Mrs. Grew had a way of insinuating herself into friendships with her victim, just as Silver did with Jim Hawkins, the Squire, Doctor, and the rest. If you’ve watched the movie versions there’s always the semi-happy ending in which the ‘jolly old one-legged scoundrel,’ parrot on his shoulder, screeching, “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!” makes his escape.
Not so here. Clark took care of Mrs. Grew for good. Not so in Stevenson either. The pirate slips away offstage, having burrowed into the treasure hoard for a bag of guineas, and is presumed to have joined his wife at a place unknown, and good riddance, too! everything thinks.
More important is the ‘dash’ of youthful audacity. Young Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island chances all twice in (1) impulsively going ashore with the pirate crew (with vague ideas of reporting on whatever they’re about to plan) after alerting the Captain, Squire, and Doctor of Silver’s plans that he’s just overheard by accident while hiding in the apple barrel, and (2) after the attack on the stockade is beaten off again paddling off with vague plans to do some harm to the pirates, on his own, this time in Ben Gunn’s little homemade boat to the ship (their way home) that the pirates control.
In both cases he comes up smelling like roses. After the first, whilst other loyal crew members are being butchered by the pirates, he discovered the marooned pirate Ben Gunn, who, we find, has already discovered and removed Flint’s treasure to safety. A wholly unjustified end … a plot device to be true, but what Hawkins really deserved following that stupid stunt was to die on the beach along with the rest of the few unwilling to mutiny.
As to the second time, another brainless effort without much of an objective, into which he is induced to essay by the unjustified praise he receives for the first stunt, he manages to cut the schooner loose from its mooring, and then, climbing aboard, more to save himself from drowning than anything else, manages by sheer fortune to avoid being killed by pirate Israel Hand, who, absent the most unbearable bad fortune, would have killed Jim in a trice; and he also manages to run the vessel aground in a sheltered harbor on the island so it may be recovered later.
On the way back, however, he is captured by the pirates instead of rejoining the Captain, Squire and Doctor. It remains for Long John Silver to bail him out of this deserved development.
What exactly was the development of character here? I dunno. P’raps Jim Hawkins will hazard his luck again. He certainly learns little with Good Fortune always smiling down on dumb tricks. Mebbe we can get him into a poker game one night and skin and clean him of all that gold? [g]
Unlike the sunny developments in Treasure Island, Poddy’s audacity in unfamiliar circumstances (in fact, even Clark’s audacity) is what (taking your pick of endings) either kills or renders her so seriously injured that it’s questionable whether she’ll recover. Neither Poddy nor Jim Hawkins are particularly well-prepared for their trial. In Hawkins’ case, the Gods smile, and Silver lends a bit of a hand (watching for his own preservation in a situation clearly gone to the dogs). In Poddy’s case, Mrs. Grew hasn’t a thought of helping, and no motivation to do so … and doesn’t. Poor, poor Poddy. P’raps I’m wrong, but there’s a bit of Treasure Island here along with more than a twist of wry (or a bracing shot of rye, if you prefer).
“I expect your names to shine!”
4.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/21/00 10:36 PM Pacific Standard Time
Something has been nagging at me about Podkayne of Mars for several weeks now, but I cannot quite pin it down, so I throw myself on the tender mercies of my colleagues.
There is something quite romance-like about the political situation that is uncovered, I mean in the sense of the Dumas-fils-like Graustark romances that were so popular at the turn of the century. Something about the diplomat uncle traveling with niece and nephew into danger rings bells but faintly, and I cannot place it.
Anybody have ideas?
W (Bill Patterson)
5.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/22/00 3:39 PM Pacific Standard Time
Bill (BPRAL22169) …
….Something has been nagging at me about Podkayne of Mars for several weeks . . . There is something romance-like about [the book] – I mean the Dumas-fils-like Graustark romances that were so popular at the turn of the century. . .
I only wish I could find out more about Dumas, the son, than I have. Perhaps something in what follows will help someone. Stuck down in there is a bibliographical study someone may find.
Dumas, Alexandre, known as Dumas fils 1824 95, French dramatist and novelist, illegitimate son of Dumas PŠre, himself illegitimate (and author of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, etc.). He was the chief creator of the 19th-century comedy of manners. His first important play, La Dame aux cam‚lias (1852, tr. 1856), known in English as Camille, was a sensation. It was based on a partly autobiographical novel of the same title, which he had published in 1848. Portraying a love affair of a courtesan, the play became the vehicle of many famous actresses, and it was the basis of Verdi’s opera La Traviata (see below for a synopsis). Another successful play, Le Demi-Monde (1855, tr. 1858), aroused much discussion because of its portrayal of the disreputable world of French society. In later plays Dumas, considered a realist, preached a revolt against romantic morality the excesses of the wealthy, and bourgeois puritanism and propounded social and psychological questions. His stage works are notable for skillful construction, though the characterizations are somewhat lacking in vitality. His novels include Tristan le Roux (1850) and Diane de Lys (1853). Among his best plays are also The Money Question (1857, tr. 1915), Le Fils naturel [the natural son] (1858), Les Id‚es de Mme Aubray (1867), L’trangŠre [the strange woman] (1876), and Denise (1885). Another work noted was Francillon [?]. His early essays, Entr’actes (1878 79), are mostly on social subjects. In 1874 he was elected to the French Academy. Bibliography: See study by H. Stanley Schwarz (1927, repr. 1971).
Synopsis of La Traviata, The Fallen Woman or The Woman Gone Astray, An Opera in 3 acts by Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901). The first performance of La Traviata was at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice, on 6th March 1853. The libretto is adapted by Francesco Maria Piave from Alexandre Dumas fils’s play La Dame aux CamŠlias. This play was further an adaptation of a semi-autobio- graphical account of the love-life of its author Dumas. At the age of 19, he was the lover of the most sought-after and famous courtesan of her day, Alphonsine Plessis. It is perhaps a twist of fate that they had met at the theatre – where Mme Plessis’ eyes, roving and searching the crowds in the stalls through her opera glasses and receiving the half-hidden glances and greetings of young well-to-do gentlemen, had thus become aquainted with Dumas; a book (1845), a theatre scipt (1852) and an opera (1853) later, Mme Plessis had become immortalised in the character of Violetta Valery through the music of Verdi.
There are critical differences between the real life drama of Mme Plessis and that of heroine Violetta. It is recorded that Mme Plessis, refusing to give up her lavish lifestyle (as well as the other men in her life), caused the financial collapse of Alexandre Dumas. Further, it was the writer who had initiated a separation – as it were, having awakened from the stormy affair. Dumas chose to represent Marguerite as a much purer woman in his book – one who pawns her belongings so as not to become a burden to her lover – Armand Duval. Dumas further romanticizes and idealised the philantrophic courtesan and propels her into heroic proportions through not only her early death – that as it were punishes and purges the sins of her reprobate lifestyle – but also in her act of superhuman sacrifice in which she trades her last days of happiness in deference to the marriage of Duval’s sister.
Verdi had said in a letter to Piave, that he had “found the subject matter fit for their (our) age”. Dumas’ moralizing aim is thus preserved in Verdi’s La Traviata – “Though God should show His mercy, man will never forgive her.”
“Camille” was also made into a movie in 1937. Greta Garbo starred as a courtesan who relinquishes her love for a young man in order to keep him from learning of her impending death. It is said to be a faithful adaptation of the novel, and co-stars Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan. 108 min.
The results above of a “few minutes” websearch. Regrettably, there is not nearly enough on Dumas fils on the net today. Perhaps in a few years.
“I expect your names to shine!”
6.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/24/00 12:09 AM Pacific Standard Time
….”Graustark” romances that were so popular at the turn of the century. Something about the diplomat uncle traveling with niece and nephew into danger rings bells but faintly, and I cannot place it.
Webster’s New World Dictionary:
Graustarkian: [after Graustark, imaginary kingdom in novels by G. B. McCutcheon (1866-1928), U.S. novelist] of, like, or characteristic of colorful, implausible, highly melodramatic and romantic situations or characteristics.
The following site lists the ten most popular novel for each year from 1900 through 1909. http://www.caderbooks.com/best00.html/ included among which are at least four by McCrutcheon, specifically including: Graustark, number 9 in 1901, and Beverly of Graustark, number 6 in 1904. George Barr McCrutcheon had two other best-selling novels listed in that decade which may have been sequela, although they don’t include the word Graustark in their titles.
Project Gutenberg doesn’t list any e-texts of titles by McCrutcheon, but …
One collector’s site: http://www.booklook.com/cats/ficta.htm/ lists an availability for his lead off novel and one other:
3692. MCCUTCHEON, GEORGE BARR. GRAUSTARK. GROSSET & DUNLAP. 1901. HARDCOVER. SPINE SUNNED. PHOTO PLAY EDITION. GOOD. $30.00. (1- 816852).
3693. MCCUTCHEON, GEORGE BARR. NEDRA. NEW YORK. DODD MEAD. 1905. 1st. HARDCOVER. FIRST EDITION. ILLUS. BY HARRISON FISHE. $30.00. (1-802229).
The best-seller’s listing for the decade is interesting for the books it does list. Some have become classics, and some we’ve all likely never heard of.
Cabell’s novels, with which we’ve become familiar because of Heinlein, have been described as “Graustarkian.”
“I expect your names to shine!”
7.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 3/2/00 9:33 PM Pacific Standard Time
….Cabell’s novels, with which we’ve become familiar because of Heinlein, have been described as “Graustarkian.”]
Cabell started writing for Harpers magazine during the height of the popularity of the Graustark romances and similar books — PRISONER OF ZENDA by Anthony Hope, and so forth. His medieval romances were not quite pre-Raphaelite enough for the illustrator [Howard Pyle], who got him dropped from the Harpers stable in 1909. Although it was a blow at the time, Cabell later called it the greatest favor ever done him, because it released him from the pop strictures of the preRaphaelite movement and the Graustark romances.
W (Bill Patterson)
8.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 2/24/00 1:44 AM Pacific Standard Time
So long as we’re off on this tangent into mauve decade fiction … oooops … occasionally I said “McCrutcheon” in my last post. It is of course spelled without the “r” — McCutcheon.
The only e text available from this author may be found online at
which is a text of his 1902 novel Brewster’s Millions, which if memory dimly serves, was made into a movie sometime or the other. Perhaps Marion Davies or someone like that starred in it.
By the way, I found a very fascinating website which purports to list every work put on the internet. It’s at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/book/maketitlepage/ and contains the most remarkable set of titles … it’s called “Books On-Line Complete List By Title” and you may care to bookmark it. It also is nearly 2 Mb in size so it takes a bit of time to download.
I’ve downloaded Brewster’s Millions to read, if for no other reason that to amuse myself. Still no closer, however, to that novel Bill recalls which has an adult bringing two young children into hazard.
Ah … well. We can probably get closer to Poddy’s dilemmas but looking at the text. What do you think, incidentally, of the “Population, Ecology & Genetics Board” and how many kids do you think they’d peg you at? What if it was none?
“I expect your names to shine!”
9.Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 3/1/00 10:12 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: Major oz
Re: the website “which purports to list every work put on the internet … at
I tried it and got a “…you can’t get there from here” message. After diddling it around a bit, I got another of the same thing, but with a webmaster e-mail addrress on it. Wrote him, just got a reply that CMU no longer maintains the site and it is changed to: The On-Line Books Page at U Penn.
10. Subject: Re: Next Chat: Podykayne of Mars
Date: 3/2/00 9:46 PM Pacific Standard Time
Oz wrote, pertaining to the on-line index I found:
]I tried it and got a “…you can’t get there from here” message. After diddling it around a bit, I got another of the same thing, but with a webmaster e-mail addrress on it. Wrote him, just got a reply that CMU no longer maintains the site and it is changed to: The On-Line Books Page at U Penn.]
Thank you, Oz. That always seems to happen. No sooner do you find and bookmark a site than it moves.
The URL for the On-Line Page is
for those of you who prefer to bookmark it that way, in another browser.
“I expect your names to shine!”
Posts from alt.fan.heinlein
1.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/24/00 8:24 AM Pacific Standard Time
]The next meeting on AIM on Saturday, March 5, 2000, from 8 PM to 10 PM, will discuss, by popular request, the novel Podkayne of Mars, said to be by some Robert Heinlein’s last juvenile.]
Juvenile? No way! When I first read this book I identified with Poddy ( I was about 13 and I had a younger brother too). Her ambitions seemed exciting, her adventures were thrilling and despite all the problems, she lived to tell the tale. The deeper implications all went high, high over my head.
Poddy is written in a strange style; a journal, interspersed with sardonic asides courtesy of Clark. I don’t think it really works myself; it leads to one glaring plot hole when Poddy dictates all their escape plans into the recorder; supposing Mrs Grew had come in and confiscated it? Also there is no real attempt to make it seem like a journal, it’s too long and detailed for that. Why not just tell the story from Poddy’s POV? Another point is that the time covered by the book is quite short, possibly one of the shortest in any of the books. We get to meet Poddy for at most a couple of months with some detail about her earlier life but not much. Heinlein doesn’t do many books where we see a lead grow up (Thorby being an exception), mostly we meet them as teenagers or adults but he usually covers at least a year or two in his stories.
To me, the major theme in Poddy is responsibility. Reading it you notice how that word crops up over and over again, usually in connection with Poddy feeling responsible for Clark. Uncle Tom tells her that, “In sober truth no person can ever be truly responsible for another human being.”
This is true of course, ultimately we all make our own decisions; the job of a parent is to guide a child towards making the correct decisions. Easier said than done of course as correct is subjective and children are not blank slates.
One flaw in the book for me is that too often sixteen year old Poddy says things that don’t sound as if they come from her mouth but from Heinlein’s. She is bright too, just pales in comparison to Clark. Her use of capitals, her girlish exclamations, all of those are fairly standard stuff (although saying champagne bubbles go up her nose is a little too trite). Her attempts to use scientific phrases, trying to appear mature emphasises her youth; referring to her mother’s “atavistic daze” and, “I believe that one’s instincts should be allowed to develop as well as one’s overt cortical behaviour.” Yes, my diary was full of stuff like that [g] However, would she really think this; “The tragedy about Romeo and Juliet is not that they died so young but that the boy-meets-girl reflex should be so overpowering as to defeat all common sense.” This is remarkably similar to what Jubal tells Mike about R and J; it doesn’t fit romantic Poddy IMO.
OK, so what about the real problems I have with this book? I am looking at the date it was written; 1963. This was the year before I was born so I can at least compare my childhood with the ideas that would have been around at that time, although the US system may have been different. I’m not sure if Heinlein was ahead or behind the times when he blasted working mothers and advocated keeping babies in a home until they were 6 to 12 months old (triv query here; the nurse tells Poddy that 6 month withdrawals are best; this would be Mars months logically but I think Heinlein was meaning earth months as otherwise the 12 month withdrawals would be nearly 2 years old!)
Perhaps Heinlein was playing devil’s advocate; presenting us with a system and expecting us to be shocked and horrified and compare it to what we do/did then? Hard to say really. As Matt pointed out on another thread, Heinlein (and Uncle Tom) are childless; their opinions are therefore to be given less credence. Unfair? maybe….but I would never put much reliance in a child care book written by a non parent. Sometimes the onlooker doesn’t see most of the game.
If we assume that Heinlein approved of the many digs at Poddy’s parents, the crŠche system, freezing babies until the parents have retired, the overpowering chauvinism of Poddy’s society and her willingness to use her body and charms to get somewhere, then I can only say that this is one book that I find myself totally at odds with him.
We are told many things about Poddy’s mother; her father is more shadowy, a bookish, reclusive parent, somewhat similar to Kip’s father but not as accessible. Her mother is a fascinating character; at the top of her profession, skilled in unarmed combat, beautiful, “She looks like a Valkyrie about to gallop off into the sky. She holds a system-wide license as a master Engineer, Heavy Construction, Surface or Free Fall and is entitled to wear both the Hoover Medal with cluster and the Christian Order, Knight Commander, for bossing the rebuilding of Deimos and Phobos.” With this as a role model, Poddy is still able to say later on, “It is just possible that Mother is slightly naive on subjects that Girdie knows best. A woman who tackles engineering and undertakes to beat men at their own game might have a fairly limited social life, wouldn’t you think?”
Aargh!! Poddy, Poddy……The book is full of bits like this, Poddy using her kittenish charms on older men in a frankly disturbing way, trading them for information which Clark would have had for the asking.
This is getting a bit long now so I’ll stop and see how the discussion goes. I have a lot more to say though…
2.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/24/00 4:26 PM Pacific Standard Time
(just picking at a couple of Jane’s points, not having time to write a proper post of my own 🙂
….Also there is no real attempt to make it seem like a journal, it’s too long and detailed for that. Why not just tell the story from Poddy’s POV?….
I don’t think you can have Poddy without Clark – his interventions seem to point up the ambivalent attitude she has towards him. It’s a lot easier to understand why he both educates and infuriates her when his annoying superiority is repeatedly *there*, constantly infringing on what is supposed to be her private communication to the reader. Anyone else ever been driven to irrational fury by incontrovertible proof that someone’s been ferreting around in a supposedly secure file – at *their* convenience? And isn’t it so much worse when the ferret is a sibling for whom there’s a strong feeling of affection and protectiveness?
….Uncle Tom tells her that, “In sober truth no person can ever be truly responsible for another human being.”….
Is that Tom being honest with Pod, or Tom making excuses for his own sell-outs, though?
….However, would she really think this; “The tragedy about Romeo and Juliet is not that they died so young but that the boy-meets-girl reflex should be so overpowering as to defeat all common sense.”….
….This is remarkably similar to what Jubal tells Mike about R and J; it doesn’t fit romantic Poddy IMO…..
OTOH, is she really “romantic” in her interaction with men? She strikes me as the ideal daughter, in the conversation with Tom where she explains that she’d rather kiss boys she *didn’t* fancy, in order to practise without letting her hormones run away with her [G]. She seems well aware of circumventing male behaviour, in her “not-quite-letting…” with the officers on the ship. (Girdie seems to be the first woman she’s met who actually likes men, is open-hearted, and has been hurt and recovered.) Certainly she’s romantic in her attempts to play the secret agent, and her ambition to captain a starship (a la Capt. Janeway :), but that does square quite well with a degree of scorn for R&J.
[Jane’s bit about devil’s advocate]
I don’t think the background of frozen babies, customer-service error in thawing, or Mrs Fries becoming uncharacteristically maternal as a result is that important. There are holes in that sub-plot you could throw Cryo through [g]. Girdie is Pod’s “Mother-thing”: she opens aspects of Pod’s psyche which her intellectual and competitive family have denied her. No matter that to an outside observer she appears as a face-lifted old tart – at least she’s not a remote historian, a brilliant Valkyrie, or a child prodigy. Poor Pod, knowing everything and understanding nothing.
Jani (I *will* be back soon, honestly ….)
3.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/24/00 7:28 PM Pacific Standard Time
….I don’t think you can have Poddy without Clark – his interventions seem to point up the ambivalent attitude she has towards him….. I don’t think Poddy ever reads_the asides from Clark so this doesn’t apply. I agree they are very funny, as well as diabolically annoying. I still remember my brother finding my diary and reading it out to his friends……[blush, ouch] I returned to the, “maths today, pizza for lunch” type of journal after that, then abandoned it out of boredom.
Clark’s first entry is written in ink that only shows up under an ultra violet light, his second, it doesn’t say but we hear no squawks of outrage from Poddy so I assume that is invisible too. His third is the note to tell her what he’s done to rescue Girdie (as he thinks). He says it’s written in 24 hour ink; I assume this is an generic term as more time than that has passed since he wrote it but this is intended to be found. The last few pages could be on the tape too; we just know that he is finishing it off.
Clark’s additions serve to show us that he is intelligent, amused by Poddy and a brat. But we knew that already 🙂
4.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
From: “James Hilton”
Date: 2/27/00 2:08 PM Pacific Standard Time This is my first post to this NG, and I have only subscribed today. I have been reading Heinlein since about 1950. when I was a juvenile myself. By 1962 I was on to the more adult material, so I missed Podkayne. Wish I hadn’t, I think I’ll read it now. Since I haven’t read it I can’t comment, but I thought you might be interested in what the author had to say. These letters are from “Grumbles from the Grave”, edited by Virginia Heinlein.
The Last of the juveniles
May 10, 1962: Robert A. Heinlein to Lurton Blassingame
I know that the ending of Poddy comes as rather a shock. However, that is the ending that seemed to fit-to me. The story follows a definite progression: a girl child with no worries at all and a preposterous ambition . . . then, step by step, she grows up and discovers that the real world is more complex and not nearly as sweet as she had thought and that the only basic standard for an adult is the welfare of the young.
Oh, I could revise that last chapter to a “happy” ending in about two hours-let Poddy live through it, injured but promised a full recovery and with the implication that she will eventually marry this rich and handsome bloke who can take her with him to the stars . . . and still give her brat kid brother a comeuppance and his lumps (and it is possible that I will at least consider doing this if no editor will risk publishing it as it is). But I don’t want to do this; I think it would ruin the story-something like revising Romeo and Juliet to let the young lovers “live happily ever after.”
But it took the deaths of Romeo and Juliet to show the families Montague and Capulet what damned fools they were being. Poddy’s death (it seems to me) is similarly indispensable to this story. The true tragedy in this story lies in the character of the mother, the highly successful career woman who wouldn’t take time to raise her own kids-and thereby let her son grow up an infantile monster, no real part of the human race and indifferent to the wellbeing of others . . . until the death of his sister, under circumstances which lay on him a guilt he can never shake off, gives some prospect that he is now going to grow up. I could state that the theme of the story is that death is the only destination for all of us and that the only long-range hope for any adult lies in the young-and that this double realization constitutes growing up, ceasing to be a child and putting away childish things. But I can’t say it that baldly, not in fiction, and it seemed to me that I needed Poddy’s death to say it at all. If Poddy gets to have her cake and eat it too (both marriage and star-roving), if that little monster, her brother, gets off unscathed to continue his clever but asocial career, if their mother gets away with neglecting her children’s rearing without having it backfire on her-then the story is just a series of mildly adventurous incidents, strung together.
March 23, 1962: Robert A. Heinlein to Lurton Blassingame
I understand and appreciate, I think, your remarks about Cezanne and his black outlines-but this is an endless problem for me with no easy solution. If I preach overtly, I get complaints from Ginny, you, the editor, and in time the readers . . . and I’m all too prone to preach. In this book, Poddy, I’m limited by what Poddy herself would say-which is perhaps just as well.!!
Please tell Peter Israel of Putnam’s that I will tackle the revision he wants very shortly, say about the first of the week. I have one other job to finish first. I still have strong doubts about the artistic and dramatic necessity of a happy ending on this story-but I’ll do my damndest.
May 20, 1962: Robert A. Heinlein to Lurton Blassingame
Neither editor liked my title and I did not [like] either oftheir suggestions. I have suggested to Pohl [Frederik Pohi, editor of If] Podkayne of Mars, which suits him. If it does not suit Mr. Israel I hope that he will suggest one which all three of us can agree on, as I prefer to have magazine version and book carry the same title if possible. The new kittens are two weeks old and fat and healthy. A hawk or an owl got Ginny’s ducks.
May 25, 1962: Lurton Blassingame to Robert A. Heinlein
Beautiful job on the revision.
5.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/28/00 5:50 AM Pacific Standard Time
James Hilton wrote:
…. This is my first post to this NG . . . I
missed Podkayne. Wish I hadn’t….
Welcome to afh James. Are there any others you missed? I find most of the “juveniles” are really no such thing, in fact as most people here already know, they’re my favourites 🙂
I have always understood why Heinlein felt that Poddy dying was necessary without actually agreeing with it. Poddy seems to hover between juvenile and adult novel and having her die would have swung it away from the younger market I think. I don’t need her to die because I don’t agree that she needs to be a sacrificial lamb whose blood will wash away the sins of her family (which is what Heinlein implies). Her death will “save” her parents and make them better parents to Clark and the triplets (triplets, Trinity….maybe I’m reaching here….), it will redeem Clark who at 11 is heading for disaster….Nope, too much for me. Poddy lives, Clark grows up, the triplets will be fine, all without the need to lose their big sister. Those darker overtones can be avoided because IMO, Heinlein is over stating the seriousness of the problem.
I always like to think that Heinlein had second thoughts because he let Poddy come back at the end of Number of the Beast. She is a “therapy empathist”, the implication being that, as we saw hints of in POM, she has outgrown her ambition to be a pilot and eventual captain of a ship.
That’s fair enough; I wanted to be an astronaut at about the same age and that was “preposterous” as Heinlein phrases it. However, I’m not sure why a girl with an IQ of 145, very successful if not wealthy parents and a politically influential and indulgent uncle couldn’t get a job as pilot. Well, I do know why; Heinlein has placed her in a world which is weighted against women in certain careers. We are told over and over that her engineering mother is in a man’s job, that a woman would have to be 4 times as good as a man to be accepted for pilot training, that Dexter is ten times as likely to succeed as she is; ” But the clincher is that Dexter is twice as big as I am and male. Even if you leave his father’s wealth out of the equation, which of us gets picked?”
I am also surprised that Heinlein offers a possible happy ending with Poddy as married to Dexter and achieving her ambitions that way. I really don’t think she loves him enough for that; but Poddy has always been prepared to use her body to get her way, so maybe this wouldn’t bother her too much. That girl has no self esteem at all……poor Poddy!
One other point; in that scene from NOTB, we meet Holly (Menace From Earth) and _she_ has become a ship designer, as she wanted to be; why did she succeed and Poddy didn’t? What makes them different?
6.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/28/00 7:01 AM Pacific Standard Time
….One other point; in that scene from NOTB, we meet Holly (Menace From Earth) and she has become a ship designer, as she wanted to be; why did she succeed and Poddy didn’t? What makes them different?….
I guess their chosen (or hoped for) careers were different. Apart from that, the similarities between Podkayne and Holly are remarkable.
…. and now for something completely different: Delia sailed, Eva waved, Elias ailed.
7.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/28/00 9:17 AM Pacific Standard Time
….I guess their chosen (or hoped for) careers were different. Apart from that, the similarities between Podkayne and Holly are remarkable…..
I just read Menace again. The similarities with Podkayne when you read them side by side are very evident. Menace predates Poddy by 6 years and either Heinlein felt that a short story was too limiting for a complex theme or he was reacting to a change in society that made him feel like addressing the issue of career women when he wrote Poddy. Holly has a happy ending and Poddy doesn’t, yet the two girls are almost mirror twins.
Both are 15, intelligent and pretty in a blonde, angelic style. Both are colonials, both have ambitions to be tops in a “male” field; Holly building the ships, Poddy flying them. Holly is an only child from all we see but her parents are as talented as Poddy’s. Her father is, “Luna Chief Engineer for Space Lines and Fermi Lecturer at Goddard Institute […..] Mother is a mathematical chemist for General Synthetics of Luna and is nearly as smart as I am.”
Both use grandiose phrases to describe the world around them and the way that people react; when Jeff drools at the sight of Ariel, Holly reflects that, “it is conceded that men are robot slaves of their body chemistry in such matters.”
There are even tiny details that are similar; Poddy compares her mother to a Valkyrie, Holly compares Jeff to a Frost Giant from Das Rheingold. (They are from the same mythology aren’t they? If not ,ignore that sentence :-))
Holly could have been equally neglected; “Now Daddy can’t even see you unless you’re a spaceship” but that’s not the impression we get. Her parents, especially her mother, are sympathetic and supportive of her plans for the future and aware of her emotional turmoil when she thinks she has lost Jeff.
Holly has a similar POV to Poddy is some ways; she is sternly non romantic (she thinks) because romance doesn’t mix with ambition; “A career woman can’t afford such things – why look at all the professional time Mother had lost having me!” She also has her own Girdie; Ariel has little time to make an impact but in their few meetings she passes on some “knowledge” about men; “We can’t let them think they own us.” “I suppose not.” “they do own us of course. But we shouldn’t let them know it.”
She also reinforces the idea that beauty is an asset like any other (which it is I guess); “I can sing a bit and dance, but I would get few parts if I were not, because I’m no better than a third-rate actress. So I have to be beautiful.” Holly thinks that, “Changing the subject is a female trait but I’ll never learn to do it that fast”; this to me is an echo of Poddy saying things that sound like Heinlein not Poddy. Anyway, it seems fairly clear that Heinlein had two messages in Menace; you can be successful with a male partner but not alone, sacrifice gets rewarded with love and another entirely in Poddy as he wanted it to read; ambitions have to be realistic and dying is more likely than surviving when you do something heroic. What happened to Heinlein in those six years to make him so pessimistic and so down on career women?
8.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 3/3/00 9:54 AM Pacific Standard Time
….What happened to Heinlein in those six years between Holly Jones and Podkayne Fries] to make him so pessimistic and so down on career women?….
I’m sorry I missed this thread, being out of town when it took place. I took Poddy’s ambition to be “preposterous,” not because it was a masculine profession, but because it was so obviously unsuited to her personality. And, in fact, she wound up being in a very different profession. Part of the growing up she does is to shed inappropriate strictures, whether they come from family, or peer group — or her own romantic notions of what is appropriate for her. Poddy is given as 15 years old — smack in the middle of the self-in- peer-group developmental stage; her next life-task is to place self-in-self for her adult life, which she does by evaluating her life-experience in the book. In short, I don’t think anything happened to Heinlein in the 6 years between Poddy and Holly Jones; it is Poddy’s ambitions that are wrong for her — and the book constitutes a critique of the romantic notions one can pick up from the outside. I see one of the life-task messages in this book as: you MUST be yourself.
9.Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 1:24 AM Pacific Standard Time
….I have always understood why Heinlein felt that Poddy dying was necessary without actually agreeing with it. Poddy seems to hover between juvenile and adult novel and having her die would have swung it away from the younger market ….
No, her death will _not_ “wash away the sins of her family”. That only happens in fantasy. There is a chance that it will cause them to think, since they’re known to be intelligent people. And Clark is already beyond getting anything from the rest of the family, but he is also the major student of the lesson in the original ending. The sanitized ending I read as a youth, Clark hadn’t learned a bloody thing — in the proper ending he was actually thinking, of other things than cracking the controls of robot food dispensers or how to beat the house odds in a casino. Death is unpleasant, but neither the religious nor the skeptics will argue against the fact that it happens. To one side, it’s how the good get to heaven and the rest of us go to hell. To the other side, it’s the driving force behind evolution. It happens. Even if an immortality pill was invented, death would still happen, only the causation statistics would change, because the death rate will always be one birth equals one death however long the span between, because accidents happen and eventually entropy eats the universe.
“It is not merely that I dislike, distrust and disbelieve anyone who seeks political office. I would extend privacy rights even to politicians were it not for two counter- vailing circumstances. First, they themselves violate privacy rights wholesale. They regulate virtually everything that peaceful people can do behind closed doors, from taking drugs to having sex. It is elitist hypocrisy for them to demand the privacy rights that they routinely deny to ordinary people. If a politician wishes me to respect his personal life, then he needs to respect mine.”
10. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 6:06 AM Pacific Standard Time
….No, her death will _not_ “wash away the sins of her family”. That only happens in fantasy. There is a chance that it will cause them to think, since they’re known to be intelligent people….
I agree – but it’s still tragic when it happens to a child and that’s what Poddy was. Out of interest I got the Poddy with all the alternate endings and the essays from various readers out of the library. I was wondering if I’d recognise names but they don’t seem to be posters 🙂
The essays made some excellent points about why Poddy should die and I was pleased to see that the telephone call from Tom to Poddy’s parents with the self righteous homily about staying home to raise kids was tacked on after the editor insisted on a change to the end. That’s a bit I don’t like and I’m glad it was forced on the story rather than part of Heinlein’s original intent.
As we see Poddy change rapidly during her travels from being firmly committed to being a Captain, to considering working in the ship’s crŠche, to perhaps getting married and having babies ( not a downward progression!) I think we also see a corresponding change in Clark. Girdie affects him as much as she does Poddy. OK, he just has a crush on her but it’s a good emotion for him to be feeling. As one of the essays points out, we also see him helping out with the babies during the raid; I’ll bet he never once cuddled one of the triplets. Travel broadens the mind; we see it illustrated in this book. It would be too much to say that the journey and knowing Girdie had rehabilitated Clark but I see it as cracks in the ice.
I compared Holly to Poddy and of course, it’s tempting to do the same with Clark and Peewee. Both are 11 year old geniuses, both are kidnapped and defeat their captors, both are brave and resourceful. Both have the killer instinct; Clark dispatches the mother fairy, shoots Jojo and takes care of Mrs Grew, “I landed on Gruesome’s shoulders, knocking her to the floor and knocking her gun out of her hand. I twisted and snapped her neck before she could catch her breath.”
Peewee helps to set the bomb that kills most of the Wormfaces and attacks the one who survives, allowing Kip to kill it. Not so much blood on her hands maybe but I think she wouldn’t have hesitated.
As with Holly and Poddy, we get the happy version first ( Peewee) and the serious flip side a few years later ( Clark). I still wonder what was happening in those 5 years to make Heinlein want to re write his endings and show a grimmer side to life.
I still want Poddy to live too…sure she will die eventually but not so young and not like that; in fear and pain, her illusions about the essential goodness of humanity scarred by the coldly mercenary evil of Mrs Grew and the knowledge that political machinations rarely take individuals into account when the “greater good” is at stake. I don’t approve of her much but I don’t want her to die like that. Also, looking at it from another angle, the crushing load of guilt could well ruin the lives of all her family, not be the making of them.
11. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 2:50 PM Pacific Standard Time
ddavitt  wrote
….Anyway, it seems fairly clear that Heinlein had two messages in Menace; you can be successful with a male partner but not alone, sacrifice gets rewarded with love and another entirely in Poddy as he wanted it to read; ambitions have to be realistic and dying is more likely than surviving when you do something heroic….
What happened to Heinlein in those six years to make him so pessimistic and so down on career women?
Is it pessimism, or two alternative prognoses for the same individual? As you demonstrate, there are so many similarities between Holly and Pod, in appearance, personality, ambition and background, that it’s almost a “worst-and best-case” scenario for the same basic character. Holly’s parents are career-minded, certainly, but not the exclusion of their child’s welfare. Jeff is not Dexter. Ariel is a more wholesome tart-with-a-heart than Girdie. I don’t think Heinlein was taking career women to task per se, but demonstrating that there is more to background and environmental circumstance than is immediately apparent, when you look at why one woman ends up happily married and designing starships and another is in intensive care as a young teenager. I think a comparison of the two stories shows how many undercurrents there are in society which go far beyond the obvious themes of good home, good education, respectable boyfriend, older role-model.
It only takes a few little twists to turn Holly’s ending into Pod’s. Thank you for pointing that out, Jane! I really hadn’t thought why I like Pod, but not Holly, before.
12. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 2:50 PM Pacific Standard Time
ddavitt  wrote
….It would be too much to say that the journey
and knowing Girdie had rehabilitated Clark
but I see it as cracks in the ice…..
I see those incidents as the only occasions on which Clark had been allowed to give rein to his “human” side. The impression I get of his upbringing is that no-one has time to do anything with an intelligent boy-child except throw information and chemistry sets at him, and leave him to his own devices. Pod has classmates, and it’s obvious that she’s pretty and popular: I don’t see Clark as being anything more than a slightly scary nerd among his peers. Being clever and anti-social is sometimes a defence against ridicule, and once Clark was on the ship – well, it was out of his usual environment and there was no-one to laugh at him (except for Pod herself, and he knew which buttons to push to stop her gossipping). I compared Holly to Poddy and of course, it’s tempting to do the same with Clark and Peewee. Both are 11 year old geniuses, both are kidnapped and defeat their captors, both are brave and resourceful. Both have the killer instinct . . .
I agree they’re both killers, but Clark’s is immediate and directed at another human. Peewee works against aliens. In terms of adult/juvie narratives, Peewee is almost a fantasy hero, killing “acceptably” non-human beings, whereas Clark is, after all, murdering a human woman in very graphically described terms.
]I still want Poddy to live too…sure she will die eventually but not so young and not like that; in fear and pain, her illusions about the essential goodness of humanity scarred . . .
I don’t approve of her much but I don’t want her to die like that.]
I don’t think she was scarred, just shocked into realisation that her view of the world (Holly’s view? I’m sorry, I really like that angle on the two stories!:) was not the only option. She “died”, or at least the tape cut off, saying “I love – – “. I think it was Clark who added “everybody, maybe?”
….Also, looking at it from another angle, the crushing load of guilt could well ruin the lives of all her family, not be the making of them….
I don’t think there would be any guilt. A lot of buck-passing among the adults, certainly, but I suspect Clark is the only one who *might* have felt guilt, and he’s already transferring his affections to the baby alien…
Jani (sorry to keep dropping in on Jane’s posts. I’m a bit pushed for time at the moment)
12. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 3:13 PM Pacific Standard Time
It only takes a few little twists to turn Holly’s ending into Pod’s. Thank you for pointing that out, Jane! I really hadn’t thought why I like Pod, but not Holly, before.
How strange; I’m the other way round; like Holly, dislike Poddy! This probably means something deep and meaningful about us but let’s not go there 🙂 Basically, I think it’s Poddy’s constant “lap sitting but not quite” approach to men that has my lip curling involuntarily. Holly seems less inclined that way and has more pride than Poddy.
13. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 3:25 PM Pacific Standard Time
Setting aside the Poddy theme, what about the political bits of the book? The system on Venus which could be a corporate fascism or “the most perfect democracy in history”. Heinlein doesn’t seem to approve of it but it has it’s points.The recurring theme of the colonised planets fighting for independence from Earth is again a crucial plot point.
I am puzzled as to why Tom describes Mars as being the Switzerland of the Solar System; in what sense? Independent of all outside influence? A haven for dodgy bank accounts? Neutral in case of war? He says that, “A small man ( and a small country, like Mars or Switzerland) can stand up to bigger, powerful neighbours, only by being willing to fight. We’ve never had a war and I pray we never do, because we would probably lose it. But if we are willing enough, we may never have to fight.” How does this square with the fight described in Red Planet, which I assume is part of Poddy’s history as her father, “lost an arm one chilly night in the attack on the Company Offices during the Revolution.” Didn’t that count as a war? Maybe not as it was fought against a company rather than a nation. If this takes place only a few decades after RP why are the Martians almost extinct?
14. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 4:38 PM Pacific Standard Time
….If this takes place only a few decades after RP why are the Martians almost extinct?….
Ask the Mandan Indian tribes who helped Lewis and Clark, a few years later, after smallpox got loose among them … if you can find a Mandan, of course. Sadly, …
David M. Silver
“I expect your names to shine!”
15. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/29/00 7:22 PM Pacific Standard Time
….Ask the Mandan Indian tribes who helped Lewis and Clark, a few years later, after smallpox got loose among them … if you can find a Mandan, of course…..
Granted…but the attitude towards the Martians at the end of RP was one of respectful fear; they had the power to block the human colonisation. To go from that to near extinction in what must have been no more than 30 years, possibly less, is surprising. It’s probably just that Heinlein didn’t intend for there to be a connection between the two books – or forgot. How would Heinlein do on a triv quiz? Remember the Asimov story where Shakespeare appears in a modern English class? [g]
16. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 3/1/00 3:44 AM Pacific Standard Time
….It’s probably just that Heinlein didn’t intend for there to be a connection between the two books – or forgot…..
Similar histories, different universes — the Martians in PoM are _not_ the Martians in RP (and SiaSL). Similar pattern in human colonist reaction to absentee landlords, that’s all. But I can’t imagine the RP Martians huddling in closets near the ship’s core as the ones in PoM do. Unless the Old Ones told them to, of course, I guess. Heinlein used a lot of different kinds of Martians over the years. And several sorts of Venerians.
“It is not merely that I dislike, distrust and disbelieve anyone who seeks political office. I would extend privacy rights even to politicians were it not for two countervailing circumstances. First, they themselves violate privacy rights wholesale. They regulate virtually everything that peaceful people can do behind closed doors, from taking drugs to having sex. It is elitist hypocrisy for them to demand the privacy rights that they routinely deny to ordinary people. If a politician wishes me to respect his personal life, then he needs to respect mine.”
17. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 3/1/00 4:20 PM Pacific Standard Time
Re: Jane ddavitt and Jani’s comparison of Holly and Poddy
[G] It would be an interesting interchange [to ferrett out what the different likes mean], but admittedly not appropriate at this juncture…
]Basically, I think it’s Poddy’s constant “lap sitting but not quite” approach to men that has my lip curling involuntarily. Holly seems less inclined that way and has more pride than Poddy.]
I know exactly what you mean, and I think it supports my point about family environment – Holly has a mother who is capable of balancing her femininity and her academic interests without diminishing either. Pod’s mother sees babies as something to dispose of “while fiddling at a desk job”, until she has the triplets and the “atavistic daze” takes over. In the meantime, she virtually leaves Pod and Clark to their own devices – Pod’s knowledge about life, the universe and Men is presumably culled from classmates and teen magazines. She sees men almost as adversaries to be defeated, because she hasn’t any experience of men working alongside women, as equals, in her upbringing. Despite her talks with Tom, she’s still working very much on her own in her efforts to relate to men until she meets Girdie who, although reinforcing the stereotypes, at least has a genuine affection for her. (Unlike the highly dodgy Mrs Royer: I think it says a lot for Clark that *all* he did was booby-trap the washcloth.)
Holly, on the other hand, has a brief hiccup of sexual jealousy when Jeff meets Ariel, but since *her* mother has trained her to be a complete human being, that’s all it is – a hiccup in her life. If Jeff hadn’t come back, I can’t imagine her turning into Miss Havisham as a result 🙂 Pod hasn’t had that training – despite her lap-sitting, she’s amazingly innocent, but far too empathic to grow up into a brainless tart. I always felt that her brief re-appearance in NotB proved her worth [g]
18. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 12:37 AM Pacific Standard Time
….Poddy is written in a strange style; a journal, interspersed with sardonic asides courtesy of Clark. I don’t think it really works myself….
Just a note before I go back and digest that post, full of stuff, at leisure and respond …
One reason I feel that RAH at least looked at Stevenson’s Treasure Island is a slight similarity there. Jim Hawkins writes in a journal format … with the Doctor continuing in a few chapters when Jim is missing and presumed dead … that and the plot of carrying a juvenile into a very dangerous outing.
19. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 6:18 AM Pacific Standard Time
One other thing that puzzles me; the original trip to earth was for all the family plus Tom. When the triplets arrived, the trip got cancelled and at that point Tom would be travelling alone and therefore a little more obvious. Using a family as camouflage seems a little silly anyway; as we can see from the plot, the bad guys ( all of them, there seem to be different groups) are perfectly well aware of Tom’s upcoming role at the conference.
Now, did he tell Poddy’s parents about his plans? Did they know his intentions when they agreed to let their children go to Earth under his guardianship? If so, then they are culpable, if not, then his rant at them at the end of the book seems to be fuelled by his own feelings of guilt.
He says that between their parenting Poddy was almost killed. There is absolutely no justification for this that I can see. He was the one who deliberately put them in front of him as human shields and pinned a badge on them saying “potential hostage.” The only thing I can think of is that their neglect ( if neglect it was) gave Poddy, a maternal type, an exaggerated idea of her responsibility to keep Clark safe. With this mind set she ignored all common sense and went to rescue him on her own, totally unprepared. One could say that if Tom had done as he promised and kept himself available for any messages she would have been able to pass the information on to him but I’m not quite sure of when Tom fell into the trap. The book doesn’t make it clear.
20. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 6:54 PM Pacific Standard Time
….One other thing that puzzles me; the original trip to earth was for all the family plus Tom. When the triplets arrived, the trip got cancelled and at that point Tom would be travelling alone and therefore a little more obvious. Using a family as camouflage seems a little silly anyway; as we can see from the plot, the bad guys (all of them, there seem to be different groups) are perfectly well aware of Tom’s upcoming role at the conference…..
I don’t think that’s quite the implication I draw from the text. I think the family were originally planning a direct trip to Terra via a economy (bare-bones) ship. I think Tom’s trip was a different one, aboard a lush passenger liner as befits his status, with a planned stop at Venus for political purposes and discussion between him and his counterparts in the Venusian delegation.
Tom takes advantage of the situation, probably with mixed motives, once the parents’ opt out of the original trip.
Other than that, I agree with most of what follows in your post.
David M. Silver
“I expect your names to shine!”
21. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 7:10 PM Pacific Standard Time
….I don’t think that’s quite the implication I draw from the text. I think the family were originally planning a direct trip to Terra via a economy (bare-bones) ship. I think Tom’s trip was a different one, aboard a lush passenger liner as befits his status, with a planned stop at Venus for political purposes and discussion between him and his counterparts in the Venusian delegation. Tom takes advantage of the situation, probably with mixed motives, once the parents’ opt out of the original trip…..
No, Tom was going with them all, trying to blend in. All of the family were planning on going in an older, slower ship, the Wanderlust. When Poddy, Clark and Uncle Tom get to the crŠche Poddy is told, “Your uncle tells me that he had intended to travel with you and your family…..but that now he intends to go via the next Triangle Line departure.” As he had to be at the meeting I don’t know why Tom cancelled; unless the Tricorn’s extra speed meant that it would beat the Wanderlust, even though it set off about 11 days later. He would have been unable to make the Tricorn his original choice as Poddy’s family couldn’t have afforded the tickets.
22. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 7:32 PM Pacific Standard Time
]He would have been unable to make the Tricorn his original choice as Poddy’s family couldn’t have afforded the tickets.]
So it’s clear that Tom always intended to use his ‘family’ as cover. Nice relative to have. Wonder if he pays back money he borrows from family members?
David M. Silver
“I expect your names to shine!”
23. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 7:05 PM Pacific Standard Time
….The only thing I can think of is that their neglect ( if neglect it was) gave Poddy, a maternal type, an exaggerated idea of her responsibility to keep Clark safe…..
I’m not sure ‘maternal’ instincts or not plays a role in the decision. Podkayne is the eldest child, just as I am, and was brought up to be and considers herself responsible for her younger sibling(s), just as I was. A very young boy without much judgment and perhaps misplaced empathy for animals (But, cf. “Ordeal In Space”) named David would have tried to rescue his younger sister named, by my mother, not coincidence, Jane, in like circumstances IRL, and probably died just as stupidly (or been gravely injured, take your pick of endings) if, perhaps, that had been a puppy or kitten, not a protosimian’s cub.
David M. Silver
“I expect your names to shine!”
24. Subject: Re: RAH-RG-next mtng: Podkayne
Date: 2/25/00 7:22 PM Pacific Standard Time
….With this mind set she ignored all common sense and went to rescue him on her own, totally unprepared….
With another mindset, Jim Hawkins ignored all common sense and got into the boats with the mutinous crew on arrival at Treasure Island, without much of a plan beyond a vague hope of reporting back what might go on ashore, wholly on his own, totally unprepared. He thereupon runs into the bush from which witnesses the bloody slaughter of the remaining loyal members of the crew. But then, mostly mad but benign Ben Gunn discovers him …
He repeats the same mistake, without much of a plan for what his conduct may be, when he boards Ben Gunn’s little homemade hide boat (they still make those things in Wales and Breton, I understand) after the fight at the stockade and paddles out to the schooner now being held by Silver’s crony Israel Hand with the vague hope of causing the pirates some damage that might prevent them from using the vessel. He starts to realize how stupid he’s been after he cuts the anchor cable, and then finds himself unable to paddle back to shore. Hawkins thereupon climbs aboard. He then discovers the two man prize crew has virtually murdered each other in a drunken brawl. But Israel Hand comes to, and … unlikely further events ensue.
In both his forays into stupidity he comes out smelling like the proverbial rose … Podkayne sadly doesn’t. I think Heinlein may have intended this as critical comment on the romantic plot of Treasure Island, and juvenile novels of that ilk. There is no Ben Gunn, nor fortuitous fight between drunken pirates, nor fair wind usually in the affairs of children enmeshed with malign adults. Mrs. Grews rarely have cause to have second thoughts and preserve the kidnapped child as did Long John Silver.
David M. Silver
“I expect your names to shine!”
AOL Summary of discussion on Meeting Topics
Subject: Discussion Topics
Date: 3/2/00 12:30 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: Major oz
Three weeks or so ago, I solicited suggestions for topics to be discussed at the biweekly gatherings of the Robert A. Heinlein reading group (dubbed by some, variously, as the Heinleineers, the HiFi Fans, and others, including my favorite: The Heinies).
I posited three “starters”, included later, in the tabulations. Responses were anemic, to say the least, although those that did come in were quite thoughtful and interesting. I digest them here, intermixed with my initial suggestions and questions for clarification.
I sorely entreat you to review them in the hope that it will stimulate similar interest and, perhaps, suggestions of your ownwhich you can post to the usual place (drum roll…..): Heinlein, Robert A. Group
Without further ado (or begging)…(typos corrected for clarity):
TAWN said: I like the chronological order thing myself. How about we begin at the beginning, including shorts, exclude the juvies since we just read them, and read from earliest to latest.
BPRAL22169 responded: So do I — but how about a refinement — take only the future history stories; that way we can work our way through one book for awhile (Past Through Tomorrow) then to TEFL
He then went on to suggest: After that I would propose a sequence on the World As Myth books.
Then Lucylou98 jumped in with: I think this (the future history stories) is a great idea. Simple but efficient!
Then we got a response that said: remove
One of my original suggestions was: In honor of the political season, how would politics proceed in the RAH universe? Readings would be Double Star and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress plus any other that comes to mind. Discussion could also venture onto what would be the view of the characters of today’s political scene (e.g., what would the Prof think of Al Gore?). Will democratic republics continue or will technology make us all members of a pure democracy (assuming, of course, we don’t regress into some form of despotism).
GCEMS909 had a couple of things to add: The chronological sequence is [an] interesting approach, which would be fairly easy to follow; however, in view of the election year, I would like to support the idea of discussing the political situation from RAH viewpoint
Then Zim forwarded some suggestions from the non-AOL folks who form up on the Saturdays following the AOL discussion. They use the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to chat the same topics:
]From “down under”: Discussions can be organized by:
Influences on readers
….. Or maybe just stories with cats in them? Think
…….which Zim alleges is a volunteer statement to lead a discussion of stories with cats in them.
The other one Zim forwarded is from a Canadian voice that may be familiar to those who frequent the usenet sf boards:
, who suggests:
One problem I have with the politics angle is that I have a feeling it would veer swiftly to a discussion of the current US situation and I would be left standing :-)However, that’s just looking at it from a purely selfish POV and I do agree that it is a significant area of Heinlein’s work and one worth discussing. Maybe look at Take Back and see if the sentiments in that book found their way into his fiction. Would he have written TBYG the same way 20 years later or would it have been from a whole new angle?
Also Perhaps we could look at Heinlein’s work as a whole from this angle; what did he write? The automatic answer is “science fiction” but is this true? How much of his work falls into this category and how much belongs in another genre? Can we identify a shift away from straight SF like Moon towards more fantasy orientated works like Job? Or does the fantasy weave its way throughout his work from the start? What about the books/stories that are neither; the one detective story, the non fiction, the Puddin stories and the odd one or two in Expanded Universe? Were they dead ends or could Heinlein have been successful as a mainstream or non fiction author?
Then Zim, hisself, makes some suggestions (condensedfull text on request):
Availability of some of the short stories and novelette[s] may be an issue for some readers. Some collections are out-of-print, although recently that situations is being rectified by issuance of new collections or reissuance of older ones. (…discussion of recent reissues…)
My point being, since many do not have these old collections, or even a copy of The Past Through Tomorrow, an omnibus collection of most of Man Who and Green Hills and Revolt…we might focus on doing the currently available collections — perhaps spending more than one meeting on some, as there are quite a few novelettes or the longer short stories that might deserve separate attention.
The “Incorporation” of Magic
Today, there are whole bookshelves of what they call science fantasy in bookstores. The so-called “Sword and Sorcery” novels, and all that; AND people buy them like hotcakes.
One of my favorite Heinlein novella has always been Magic, Inc. written in 1940. Recently republished as the leadoff story in the newly combined collection The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein [ISBN 0-312-87245-3], the story yields nothing to newly written tales by other authors. (Short synopsis follows)
But that doesn’t end the story: following its publication, noted writer Poul Anderson published four more stories, which were collected later, in the same world of incorporated magic. Baen has recently reissued that collection: Operation Chaos [ISBN: 0-312-87242-9], containing “Operation Afreet,” Operation Salamander,” “Operation Incubus,” and “Operation Changeling,” which he dedicated to Robert and Virginia Heinlein. I’ll leave it up to you to find out what kinds of beings afreets, salamanders, incubi, and changelings are.
I’d like to cohost a meeting on these stories; and, since I’ve heard there’s a more recent addition by Anderson to this universe as well, I’d add it to the list as soon as I find out what it is and where it may be obtained.
Lastly, two of Malmud’s originals:
Recently, the banning of books has been discussed in a number of forumsparticularly Huck Finn. Does anyone know of situations in which any of The Master’s works have been banned / censored? (Campbell’s Ms. Grundy doesn’t count)Or, what aspects of His work would lead to the sensibility offences perceived by those who object to Twain’s works. Almost any Juvie would qualify, but I’m sure Tunnel would irritate some of the more narrow-minded.
Are Heinlein’s major female characters in step with what women want to be / should be / must be today or in the visible future. Friday and Poddy come first to mind, but (and here, please bear with meall my books are in boxes in the barn) the secretary in Fear No Evil and, of course, Hilda and Dede belong in the mix.
So, here we have the ideas to date. More are needed. Tabulations will probably begin in a couple weeks — categories and combinations solely up to the discretion of the tabulator.
See you Thursday, 2Mar00, 2100 EST
Malmud, Cpl, MI (aka, oz)
Lightly Edited Chat Log
Meeting of the AOL Heinlein Reader’s Group
March 2, 2000
Topic: Podkayne of Mars
BPRAL22169:Sorry – I was busy opening a log, so I missed Bonnheur
OHostZim:Enjoy the trip?
BPRAL22169:It was VERY illuminating and productive — among other things, I came back with 24 hours of tapes to be transcribed — went through the entire opus list.
OHostZim:She said you drained her of all memories … [g]
BPRAL22169:I certainly tried. We wound up the last 15 or 20 minutes trying to figure out what R might have said about his early upbringing — not a lot, it turns out.
Lenjazz: Hi guys
OHostZim:Perhaps what you transcribe will tier some more memories when she reads it.
BPRAL22169:I’m sure it will. But it’ll take several weeks to transcribe that much tape.
OHostZim:Bill had an interview trip last week. Spoke to the widow of a writer for several days.
BPRAL22169:And I’ll be going to the UC Santa Cruz library in that time, too. Major oz:evenin’ all
BPRAL22169:Busy time ahead
OHostZim:Hi, Oz, good letter.
OHostZim:Let me know if you need help transcribing … Bill.
Major oz:Just got another wanting the “political year” discussion
BPRAL22169:Thanks. It may come to tht.
OHostZim:Yeah, saw Denv’s post …
Astyanax12:Good evening, David. How are you tonight?
OHostZim:Don’t see Doc4kidz on line so we might as well chat a bit … I’m fine, a little spring cold
OHostZim:but not too bad.
Astyanax12:It’s early still. I’m glad the cold isn’t bad.
BPRAL22169:You seem to have had a season for upper respiratory infections.
OHostZim:I think so … next year it’s flu shots early and often.
Astyanax12:Would you like me to have me get in touch with Poul Anderson about a chat?
BPRAL22169:That would be very nice, wouldn’t it? We can talk about Operation Luna.
OHostZim:It would be fun, Ast. I’m enjoying Operation Chaos and we could talk about Luna.
Astyanax12:I will write him tomorrow–don’t know whether he’s online.
OHostZim:See how they all tie together with Magic, Incorporated.
OHostZim:Thank you ….
BPRAL22169:I know a few SFWAns online — if you wish, I could query for an e-mail address for Poul.
OHostZim:That would help …
Astyanax12:Thanks, then I could reach him that way.
OHostZim:I didn’t hear anything from Doc4kidz … whether he’s on-call or not tonight … but
BPRAL22169:If he participates in any of the GENIE discussions, his e-mail address will be handily available.
OHostZim:he [Doc] may be called. So, why don’t we start without him, and if he comes in, we’ll just turn it over to him when he arrives.
Astyanax12:I’ll ask a friend who’s a member of SFWA
Major oz:sounds good….
OHostZim:This time around … I looked at Podkayne from the standpoint of what the writer was doing in the way he wrote her journal. Did anyone see anything unusual about that journal?
OHostZim:Hi, David, nice to see you tonight. How’s the weather in Wales?
BPRAL22169:Other than that it covers more material than any reasonable journal could?
DTibbe2926:not for long unfortunately. however, I do keep promising to come here. wet ‘n’ windy
OHostZim:Hi, Tomboy …. yes, Bill, other than it covering more material than any could.
BPRAL22169:You Interest Me Strangely.
OHostZim:She … uses pretty big words … doesn’t she? What might that signify?
OHostZim:Hi, Lucy … we’re talking about the content of Podkayne’s journal. Why it’s written that way.
Tomboy1036:boy we have a revolving door
OHostZim:That’s AOL for us … sometimes it’s that way.
Major oz:sorry…..my corn-cob fed stove equivalent of an ISP dumped me
BPRAL22169:But like MacArthur with his corncob pipe, you Shall Return.
DTibbe2926:may I ask an off topic question?
OHostZim:The way she writes is a trial, in effect, I think. Ornate, elaborate, w/figures. Sure, David. GA
DTibbe2926:has Battlefield Earth come out yet over there?
Major oz:we ain’t on topic, yet……go
Major oz:the movie?
Lucylou98:you mean a movie?
BPRAL22169:I think it just premiered, didn’t it?
Lucylou98:Don’t think so…I’m so out of touch with stuff.
DTibbe2926:just wondering what’s been done to the book by Travolta
Major oz:heard vague rumors, didn’t know when it was due to premiere
Tomboy1036:dont remember seeing it out yet
OHostZim:I haven’t seen it yet … but understand it’s coming eventually.
BPRAL22169:Travolta has been a Scientologist for decades.
Lucylou98:I didn’t know that
OHostZim:So they’ll release it eventually ….
Major oz:It would seem that it would resemble a Reader’s Digest version, after all
OHostZim:but I don’t think it’s out yet.
Major oz:Wasn’t the original something like 30 thousand pages?
Lucylou98:That was a monster of a novel for sure.
Major oz:Ten very thick tomes
BPRAL22169:I’ve never read it. Life is too short.
DTibbe2926:that was Mission Earth
Tomboy1036:it was a lot of pages but 30,000?
Lucylou98:It was pretty good actually.
DTibbe2926:one of the sickest set of books you’ll ever read
Major oz:’scuse THREE thousand Tomboy1036:lol oz
Lucylou98:Battlefield wasn’t part of the series was it?
OHostZim:Question answered, David? Or was there a followup?
DTibbe2926:no, that’s it. thanks
Major oz:Vol 2 through (whichever one I gave out at) were Xerox copies of vol. 1
Tomboy1036:I never get to come here because I have a regular meeting every Thurs nite
BPRAL22169:I seem to recall the release was scheduled for 2-27
Major oz:Now you have a new regular meeting
Lucylou98:This is only sane place on the web.
Tomboy1036:I am sneaking in some time here instead of getting to the other meeting early
OHostZim:Good to see you here … back to Podkayne, folks … wonder why the ornate writing
Tomboy1036:the other meeting is not online lol
OHostZim:is so obviously written that way?
Major oz:”that” way ??????
OHostZim:It’s so flowery, so figured, so show-offish.
BPRAL22169:I didn’t particularly note that — it’s not so rococo as the girl’s at the start of Foundation and Empire –or was it Second Foundation?
Major oz:you must have ‘splained it while I got dumped.
OHostZim:No, but that’s a different writer Bill …
Lucylou98:maybe to overstress ?
BPRAL22169:The self-consciousness, perhaps?
DTibbe2926:Asimov? how’d he get in on the act?
Major oz:It’s the literary equivalent of a young girl’s room — mostly frills, but some “womanly” things taking over.
OHostZim:Sure, look at some of the figures and words she uses … I think self-consciousness is a big thing he’s trying to show her as … but also how brilliant her mind is.
Major oz:And it is, after all, a diary………
BPRAL22169:Paradoxically, unself-consciously brilliant.
Lucylou98:good point there.
OHostZim:For “herself” perhaps she “flirting” with her own mind, like she does with the officers on the ship.
Major oz:Brilliant…..or clever ??
BPRAL22169:(I just meant Poddy’s wasn’t as ornate as whatsername’s essay with violet script…)
OHostZim:My take was brilliant, not just clever, this time around. There’s a lot about how smart Clarke is but … the words she uses are pretty extreme.
Major oz:I always pictured her as what Katherine Hepburn must have been at that age.
OHostZim:extreme for even a bright girl that age.
Tomboy1036:hey I can see that too Oz
OHostZim:Yes, I’d agree with that.
BPRAL22169:Not unlike Holly Jones, come to think of it.
OHostZim:It makes the loss more poignant later on … no, Holly isn’t showing off in her expression. This one is …
Major oz:yeah, Bill, someone said that recently (Zim?)
BPRAL22169:Sorry — I meant the impression of intelligence (I didn’t have a chance to review the message boards)
OHostZim:Both are bright, but Podkayne has the need to show off — to experiment, to “flash” her conceits.
BPRAL22169:Holly doesn’t have a Clarke — or the neglect of her parents.
OHostZim:Hi, SWhite, welcome
DTibbe2926:out of curiosity, what is the topic?
Lucylou98:she wants to be viewed as special
OHostZim:Podkayne of Mars, the novel, David
BPRAL22169:Perhaps not “neglect” — they are just preoccupied.
OHostZim:And since everyone really recognizes how bright her little brother is, Poddy has a need to show off even more… the rivalry.
Major oz:Perhaps I missed your take, Zim. Could you restate it ?
DTibbe2926:well, folks, time for bed. Thanks for letting me sit in, David
BPRAL22169:Hadn’t thought of that — but it shows how masterful Heinlein was in storytelling, to set it up so subtly and right from the start.
OHostZim:That motivates her into trouble later I think.
DTibbe2926:hope to see you all again someday
Major oz:up the English
Major oz:c ya
OHostZim:See ya, Dave.
OHostZim:It’s a little point, Oz, but just looking at how Poddy expresses herself in her journal is revealing of herself … because it’s very unusual to see how show-offish the writing is.
Major oz:Do you suppose the journal is as private as we are accustomed to viewing a diary?
OHostZim:I picked up on it comparing how she writes with how Stevenson has Jim Hawkins write in Treasure Island. Very prosaic, plodding matter of fact.
Major oz:And if she were narrating the story to us, it would be different?
BPRAL22169:I think so — Clarke says he found it in her effects.
OHostZim:I think so … I think she’s showing off for herself, practicing so to speak.
Major oz:Her use of UT for Uncle Tom, etc. Shorthand to HERSELF
OHostZim:Just like her flirting with the officers on the voyage. It shows more of the workings of her own mind, consciously and unconsciously.
OHostZim:And to me … those flashes of brilliance she shows unguarded are something that make
OHostZim:her loss more poignant.
BPRAL22169:too poignant, apparently.
OHostZim:Or course, … I could be wrong … and Heinlein might just be a poor craftsman in writing like a teenaged girl …
Lucylou98:nah, I think you are right.
OHostZim:Evenin’ Doc, welcome home!
BPRAL22169:That was Campbell’s position.
OHostZim:Didn’t know that, Bill. I knew he wrote a critical letter, but never what the criticisms were
BPRAL22169:Basic idea was Poddy was unrealistic re Campbell’s daughters.
Doc4Kidz:WOW, over 200 tries to get on. took 90 minutes!
Astyanax12:JWC had two daughters, and he said Robert did not know anything about how girls were at that age
OHostZim:We’ve been having a lot bumps tonight Doc … we’ll do what we can. Just now we’re into discussion of how Poddy wrote what she wrote in the diary and perhaps why.
OHostZim:I think Poddy’s not average, clearly, but I can believe a very bright girl writting that way
Lucylou98:Poddy was precocious, unlike most teen girls.
OHostZim:and thinking that way. I’ve seen a very few capable of it! Just as a very few boys are also
Tomboy1036:why do you say unlike most teen girls???
Lucylou98:Because it’s true, Tomboy — IMO anyway
BPRAL22169:There are a couple of things that feed into this: first, others said they recognized the type — I think Stover said that. Second, it doesn’t have to be a naturalistic portrayal — it just has to be recognizable. Even if you quibble on the first point, the second is not really contestable.
Major oz:Confession time: All respect I had for Pod died when she went back for the fairy. I have always disdained the intellect of any one who, say, goes into a fire to save a dog.
Tomboy1036:you dont think that is sterotypical Lucy???
Lucylou98:I’m sure it is, but I was once a teen girl myself.
Tomboy1036:so was I……
Lucylou98:And you found most of the girls to be precocious?
OHostZim:When we were teens, we occasionally recognized what we saw as ‘very capable’ or remarkable peer or peers among us … some times we admired them, sometimes not. I think Poddy was one of those.
Lucylou98:Most of my friends were silly girls…. including myself.
Tomboy1036:the ones I was hanging with were no slouches thats for sure
OHostZim:But with a large flaw …
Doc4Kidz:while “reviewing the bidding” here, I came across references to Holly Jones… Anyone else see a young Friday???
Major oz:Not me
Major oz:No cynicism
OHostZim:Yes, that’s what I think is appearing … she’s really alienated from her family
Lucylou98:Doc, I do a little
OHostZim:sort of hung out to dry by everyone.
BPRAL22169:Friday’s alienation is much stronger, but maybe, yes, it’s the same kind of thing.
Doc4Kidz:Just comparing Poddy’s narrative to Fridays
OHostZim:And living in a little never-never land of her own construction.
Doc4Kidz:that’s what I mean
OHostZim:In which Uncle Tom encourages her with tales of St. Podkayne, etc.
BPRAL22169:And it’s interestingly coincidental that racism pops up in Podkayne, too — it’s a big theme in Friday
OHostZim:Hi, Mystikal … welcome.
BPRAL22169:Someof the same racism, too — they have Maori heritage.
Major oz:Friday crawls up, gets stepped on — crawls up, gets stepped on, ad nauseum.
Major oz:Never happens to Pod
Mystikallady05:hello every one
Major oz:yo, Myst
Doc4Kidz:yeah, anyone else puzzled by that? Especially in light of the paperback cover that makes her look like a Swede
BPRAL22169:Let’s not forget the stepping on Friday that Friday does. Poddy isn’t that bad off.
Mystikallady05:what u guys chatting about.
OHostZim:No, she’s too protected in that social status she has …. she’s not grown up.
OHostZim:We’re discussing a novel by Robert Heinlein, Mys, “Podkayne of Mars”
OHostZim:about a young girl, a very bright young girl.
Mystikallady05:is this from one of oprah book club
Major oz:Friday is AWARE, Pod is niaeve.
OHostZim:Yes … a topical one.
OHostZim:Robert Heinlein wrote science fiction,
OHostZim:from 1939 to 1988, over forty novels
OHostZim:and collections. He was called the “Dean
OHostZim:of Science Fiction” and won the first
Lucylou98:Myst, are you a Heinlein reader?
Doc4Kidz:well, if Poddy DID grow up would she have been like Friday?
OHostZim:awarded Grand Master Nebula Award
OHostZim:for lifetime achievement.
Doc4Kidz:(sorry Zim, I didn’t see your macro until too late)
OHostZim:… and we talk about Heinlein novels and stories in this group.
Lucylou98:Something like her, but not as messed up.
Tomboy1036:yes I agree Lucy
Mystikallady05:only science fiction you guys discuss
OHostZim:Only Heinlein stories, and other works that relate to them, Mys
Major oz:OT:as we speak, Discovery channel is touring the moons of Saturn …back to the discussion….
Lucylou98:going to turn it on!
BPRAL22169:One of the things I particularly like about Heinlein is there is always the option of healing — gets left out of most modern discussions.
Major oz:Expand, Bill……..
Mystikallady05:nice talking wit you guys, god bless goodbye
OHostZim:Hi, Fldax, bye Mystikal
BPRAL22169:Friday’s story is about self-healing because she starts out damaged; so does Thorby, and he heals himself. The modern cult of the victim leaves out the possibility that you participate in your own healing.
Major oz:hear, hear
Lucylou98:BPR, wonderful statement:)
OHostZim:So in a way, IMHO, the diary is Poddy’s own healing device, I’d say …
Fldax:Hello Astyanax. Hello to everyone else, too.
Major oz:somehow, all The Master’s characters seem to have a sense of responsiblility… to themselves, others,
OHostZim:Glad you made it Laurie [g]
Tomboy1036:ahhhhh Zim you have hit on the function of all diaries IMHO
Major oz:A necessary predecessor to the healing ??
BPRAL22169:Time for the Stars, too. How about Double Star?
OHostZim:Yes, she’s writing out her own problems … thinking them out, and the way she writes …
Tomboy1036:I think so Oz
BPRAL22169:I think it’s a device for sorting out and evaluating one’s experiences. Gnothi seauton
OHostZim:reveals things about her, on the direct level and on the tone (?) level
Major oz:Agree, tomboy — diaries are terribly theraputic
Tomboy1036:in that process BPR one grows and heals
BPRAL22169:In Time for the Stars Tom is advised to keep the diary to sort out his feelings about his brother.
OHostZim:Consider how long that type of novel has been written. Defoe, Richardson, Fielding
Major oz:First you hug your teddy, then you tell your diary, then your spouse….
BPRAL22169:Then you hug your spouse.
Tomboy1036:but its true too
Major oz:the ages of man / woman
OHostZim:and they all seem to be aimed at telling how I survived youth and foolishness.
Fldax:Yes, it is!
OHostZim:Moll Flanders is a tale of a triumph, for example.
Tomboy1036:well I gotta leave for my F2F meeting…… cya
OHostZim:See ya, Tomboy, thanks for coming
Major oz:c ya tom
OHostZim:This is a good time to let Doc weave in with his questions, right?
Major oz:go doc
Doc4Kidz:Have we discussed yet, Bills idea about the novel in which an older guardian takes
younger… persons into danger?
Doc4Kidz:OK, then have we talked about Clark?
BPRAL22169:I think, actually, Dave remarked on that first.
Doc4Kidz:anything to add, Bill?
BPRAL22169:It’s not something that hit me the first few times I read it. But he is as least as “irresponsible” to them as the parents.
Major oz:Are we talking about Uncle Tom, here. ?
OHostZim:It did me, when we first encounter Girdy I expect a mentor, but she’s concerned w/herself
Major oz:Does he know the they are going into “danger”?
BPRAL22169:The fact Poddy doesn’t have a mentor might be part of her “problem”
Doc4Kidz:BTW, I know we have examined character names very closely in the past…
OHostZim:Mrs. Grew might have filled that role, but she becomes the evil opponent
Doc4Kidz:but this one can’t be for real, can it?
BPRAL22169:There are some “Graustark romance” elements here.
OHostZim:And Unca’ Tom just dangles her on his knee and tells her fairy tales.
Major oz:Campbell’s editor???????
BPRAL22169:Barry, what did you mean “can’t be for real”?
Major oz:I don’t buy the premise
Doc4Kidz:I mean the REAL meaning of Uncle Tom, not the meaning it has taken on
BPRAL22169:That struck me, too — you mean Harriet Beecher Stowe, don’t you?
OHostZim:I really don’t know what to do with that name … what do you see in it, Doc?
Doc4Kidz:Uncle Tom (in the cabin), was a very noble character, not what he has come down to mean. RAh could not have meant that
BPRAL22169:Too many pronouns — which “that” could he not have meant — the 60’s slang?
Doc4Kidz:did he call him Uncle Tom, instead of UNcle Thomas for a reason?
OHostZim:There’s no context to place the later, today, meaning … on the character.
Major oz:only in the stretch that Stowe’s UT arranged for two lovers to run away……
Doc4Kidz:yes, Bill…the thing most people think of when one says “an Uncle Tom”
BPRAL22169:Ok. Got it.
OHostZim:So Uncle Tom is a facilitator of romance … Poddy and Dexter … ???
BPRAL22169:So showing Tom and Poddy picking their teeth is an ironic inversion of the original Uncle Tom’s gentle nobility?
BPRAL22169:(Oh, I don’t think there was really any romance there to begin with)
OHostZim:(Dexter is trying out his skills, too … Bill)
Doc4Kidz:It’s been a long time since I read Cabin, but Tom did more that just that
BPRAL22169:I think you’re right. Kind of Leda and Thorby, come to think of it. I do like the contrast of the superficial relationship with Poddy and Dexter versus the political string-pulling that is going on behind the scenes.
OHostZim:Or, closer, Elsie and Max … a could have been romance.
Major oz:I am reminded of Hemmingway’s quote:You want messages go to Western Union… I write stories”
Fldax:LOL, too Oz
Major oz:but…….there are some obvious strings.
OHostZim:But Dexter does act with a lot of restraint, treating her like a very special guest — as you’d like your best friend to treat your sister on a date.
BPRAL22169:He’s a well brought up young man, carefully coached in his social duties. Kind of a male Leda Rudbek, I’d say.
Major oz:Does he know he is a tool for his father?
OHostZim:And they are ‘duties’ clearly … just as clearly Dexter likes her and is very nice to her.
OHostZim:Sure he does.
Doc4Kidz:Or as you’d want your son to treat a very powerful ally’s daughter/neice
Major oz:then “guest” takes on the meaning of Americans in Ireland in 1944
OHostZim:Yes, and Dexter’s a class act in a way. He does it in a way to make you believe him.
OHostZim:If you’re Poddy.
BPRAL22169:Well, this is how you find out how the world wags. Dexter has “face,” and Poddy doesn’t — she has “a face” with the makeup, but she learns the
BPRAL22169:social face from this encounter. ARNICHOLASLITTLE: hello
OHostZim:Again, it’s a Graustalk element. How many Princes were told to be nice to Princesses?
ARNICHOLASLITTLE: what book are we talking about?
OHostZim:Hi, ARNI welcome to the Robert Heinlein reading group. We’re talking about
OHostZim:Podkayne of Mars, a novel about a young lady.
ARNICHOLASLITTLE: ok sorry I don’t have that one
OHostZim:Shame … Robert Heinlein wrote science fiction, from 1939 to 1988, over forty novels and collections. He was called the “Dean of Science Fiction” and won the first awarded Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement.
OHostZim:Can’t stop that once released … durn. FYI, everyone, we’ve been tied into the Oxygen Website
Doc4Kidz:Is that good?
OHostZim:and we can expect a lot of ‘lookie lous’ from now on. So, we’ll figure out whether it will work out better to have a greeter by IM the way it’s going next meeting.
OHostZim:WB, Ast and Len.
Major oz:A woman alt.rec.sf from Canada recalls that she was fifteen, with a younger brother, when she read Pod and took on the character.
OHostZim:What did she say happened, Oz?
Major oz:Just that she fell so in love with that character that she devoured all The Master’s works.
OHostZim:Poddy is not a bad role model, once you understand she’s sixteen and very over-protected.
Major oz:I would like to have seen a sequel about Clark.
Fldax:Now there’s an idea. I wonder if the Master ever contemplated one?
BPRAL22169:Heinlein said he liked Clark.
Major oz:Did he turn out to be Zargon — Evil Lord of………..
Doc4Kidz:I think he grew up and changed his name to Lazarus Long
BPRAL22169:No, I think he turned out to be Lazarus Long.
OHostZim:Or just Woody?
Major oz:Or did he become a Jesuit explorer
OHostZim:Who should have had the bung driven into the barrel at age eighteen.
Major oz:hear, hear
Major oz:…where did that originate…..Twain?
OHostZim:Clark would have been a match for the Laz-Lor twins, certainly. He’d have sold them as slave
Fldax:I believe so
BPRAL22169:It certainly has a Twain-like ring to it, but I don’t recall coming across it.
Doc4Kidz:how about Cas and Pol? Same stuff? I think it was Twain, BTW
Major oz:What a match that would have been:Laz-Lor vs. Clark
OHostZim:The bottom of a dark bag for girls is the counterpart … in Stones, I think?
BPRAL22169:Hey – Mybe Clark became The Galactic Overlord!
OHostZim:As Clark would say, “’twas a snap … first I found the Galaxy, then … overlordship was easy.”
BPRAL22169:So he teams up with Andy Libby and becomes Pinky and the Brain
OHostZim:What’s the point about the failure for there to be a mentor in this novel, Doc?
OHostZim:Oooow, Bill, that hurt.
BPRAL22169:(It hurt me, too)
Major oz:I guess I need to get out more.
Doc4Kidz:not a clue
OHostZim:(A very funny kiddies cartoon, Oz, about two laboratory mice.)
BPRAL22169:Well — Poddy is not a “survivor type” by the definition; maybe that’s the point
OHostZim:And there’s no help for the widow’s son here … ?
Major oz:I’m so far out in the bd’s that I don’t get a newspaper.
OHostZim:Because it’s not a juvenile?
BPRAL22169:Pinky & the Brain is a kiddie’s cartoon the way Roger Ramjet was a kiddie cartoon.
OHostZim:Long John Silver ordinarily just cuts your throat, Ben Gunn doesn’t exist.
OHostZim:It’s usually pretty stupid to go ashore with the pirates. And what are you doing on a voyage
Major oz:Disney never asked those questions — did Stevenson ?
BPRAL22169:Well, how dangerous is a raft trip down the Mississippi, anyway?
OHostZim:Not really … there’s a little inking in Jim Hawkins’ second stupid stunt that maybe he shouldn’t have done it, but it’s glossed over pretty fast.
Major oz:yeah, and if your worry is being “sold down the river” why go there by choice?
BPRAL22169:Oooh — good one. Jim Hawkins chose his danger — Poddy didn’t; she was involved in a forest fire, so playing with matches is kind of beside the point.
Major oz:Halftime ????
OHostZim:Hawkins really doesn’t develop a character, Poddy starts to … which makes this a RAH juvie
OHostZim:Yes, let’s go to halftime, Oz, 5 minutes and when we return talk about new topics.
BPRAL22169:No – from tnat point of view, it’s a juvenile about Clark, not about Poddy.
Major oz:Agree — Hawkins starts out a dumb kid and finishes a dumb kid.
OHostZim:Be back in five … from now 7:33:42 PM
OHostZim:Hi, Ron. In a five minute half time. We’ll be back in about two minutes
OHostZim:I noticed Andy Thorton announced a project on AFH, Bill … do you know how far along it is?
OHostZim:The one about comparing the two versions of SiaSL. Hi, Mary, welcome
OHostZim:This is the Robert A. Heinlein reading group. We’re discussing a novel called Podkayne of Mars, tonight, about a young girl … very bright one … who gets into a bit of a problem.
Maryhose:is it scifi?
Major oz:…no, Zim—–not THAT kind of problem…..
OHostZim:Yes, Robert Heinlein wrote science fiction,
OHostZim:from 1939 to 1988, over forty novels
OHostZim:and collections. He was called the “Dean
OHostZim:of Science Fiction” and won the first
OHostZim:awarded Grand Master Nebula Award
OHostZim:for lifetime achievement.
Maryhose:Hmmm, not my cup of tea, Bye
BPRAL22169:I didn’t see that post in afh. Was it today?
OHostZim:Yes, it was Bill.
BPRAL22169:He and I are putting together a teaching manual for Stranger.
OHostZim:Okay, Oz, it’s all yours for the next 20 minutes or so …
Major oz:…forgot what I was supposed to do.
Doc4Kidz:as long as it’s not UP yours for the next 20 min…
Major oz:The responses to topics has been LIGHT
Major oz:I sent out my second draft earlier today, summarizing what I have received…
Major oz:…so far
BPRAL22169:Excellent summary, btw. There is certainly enough to keep us occupied.
Doc4Kidz:has anyone suggested meeting monthly instead of biweekly?
Major oz:In response, I have gotten about four more responses in the last few hours.
Doc4Kidz:quality over quantity
OHostZim:Maybe the way to go is simply go to an alternating schedule … do a part of the Future History then a topic … then another part of the Future Hist … etc.
Major oz:The newer ones being deeper….generally.
BPRAL22169:I don’t favor the political situation topic — too many too diverse points of view. Have people foaming at the mouth?
Major oz:Of note was one that predicted that any discussion or the current political year would become one of zingers aimed at your candidate and propaganda for mine.
OHostZim:That wouldn’t work for only one reason, Doc. The management at Oprah actually want us to meet weekly. It makes their scheduling easier.
BPRAL22169:They just don’t get it, do they?
Major oz:The worst would be un attributed opinions of characters.
OHostZim:HI, Phil … we’re talking about scheduling upcoming meetings.
Major oz:What does the power structure say about us going to monthly
Dehede011:I got kicked off line
BPRAL22169:There’s been a lot of that going around tonight.
OHostZim:They’d kick and scream and probably tell me no. They’ve been putting pressure on the monthly ones to go to at least every two weeks, and I think it’s a matter of time before they want the every two weeks to meet every week.
Major oz:Of consideration is that spring and summer will pull fewer folks anyhow. Any idea why they are doing that?
OHostZim:A “one-size-fits-all” mentality there. They don’t understand reading groups … simply.
BPRAL22169:Maybe we could have an unstructured chat on alternate weeks? I can’t see shortening the message board accumulations. It doesn’t work that way.
OHostZim:If we don’t have another alternative, perhaps that …
Major oz:anyhow…….the World as Myth seems to generate a lot of interest.
Dehede011:Are they able to measure the amount of participation, Zim?
Doc4Kidz:I was just thinking that, Bill, but you put it better. Grab bag every other week
OHostZim:They have a room count, Ron.
Dehede011:You mean the number that show for the chat?
Major oz:A number of folks like the chronological order, but there is no theme of discussion there.
BPRAL22169:Well, we could talk about the shape of the Future History feeding into World As Myth.
OHostZim:Yes, it’s automatically registered at what ever interval they set it to register.
BPRAL22169:It does have a thematic arc, kind of.
Dehede011:Thank you, Zim
OHostZim:But we might have an alternative … I expect to hear this weekend what that will be.
Major oz:the AOL body count……….sheeesh…..
OHostZim:And I’ll let you all know. So the thing is: go on as usual, and assume no changes in schedule and plan as we ordinarily would for the future.
Dehede011:I wonder how our room count compares to the room count of other rooms
Major oz:As stated in the latest message, I will try to trim further and set up categories for voting, and subsequent scheduling.
OHostZim:We do quite well, as a matter of fact, Ron …
Dehede011:Good, I also understand other rooms have terrible reputations and that some people get upset at the followup attention they receive.
Major oz:If we do go to “open mike” once a month, then topics can be “deeper” ???? I confess to cheating — relying on memory rather than re-reading in prep for many meetings.
OHostZim:If we do … rather than having a topic every two weeks, we may run out of breath …
Major oz:Perhaps we would tend to get better prepared if the serious discussions were once a month.
OHostZim:I recall once when we tried a two meeting on TEFL … we’d run out of what to say by mid-point second meeting.
Dehede011:My prep is way down the last two months but for no reason you can even affect. In three or four months it will go back up again
Major oz:Well (he said, craving attention), being among well read folks here makes me want to prepare as best I can.
Dehede011:True, Major oz
Major oz:My problem is I am not well versed in the “classical” lit.
OHostZim:Perhaps that is why we might do a few stories at a time from the beginning of future history on the off-weeks, and do a theme the other weeks.
Major oz:So, I am touring that area (between bouts of brush-cutting and pond building).
OHostZim:Theme would give people time to get deep … and the short stories would give a breather. Although there’s a lot in the short stories … And the advantage of the Future History series is they’ve just been rereleased in paper.
Major oz:Do I hear a motion……..
Doc4Kidz:I think any way we can limit it to one big topic per month will be helpful
OHostZim:So everyone can obtain copies of Man Who and Green Hills and Meth’s Children … etc.
Doc4Kidz:I’d also agree with doing the FH in order.
OHostZim:Revolt in 2100 and Meth’s Children last year, and the two others just this month.
Major oz:One thing at a time. Do we have one specified topic meeting and one open meeting per month?
OHostZim:They we’d vote on the big topic to be done … between the Future History stories …
Major oz:Topics come after my tabulations, votings, etc.
Doc4Kidz:I so move Major oz:second?
OHostZim:An ‘open meeting’? for three hours?
Major oz:Or however long it goes……
Doc4Kidz:as long as it lasts. GM really DO TA
OHostZim:Can’t do that … committed to be here with something to talk about … supposedly I stay the entire time
Major oz:[scared him off]
Major oz:Oh….we MUST submit a topic to some topic commisar ??
Major oz:So……we talk of the Omphalogical tendencies of the literature of RAH and its social exigencies as per the psychosocial phem… etc, etc once each month
OHostZim:Otherwise give up the room … and since they don’t want one meeting a month groups, the group
BPRAL22169:I think The Past Through Tomorrow is available, whereas I doubt the three collections are.
OHostZim:No, they’re out Bill. I have them.
Dehede011:I looked for PTT last week and didn’t find it
OHostZim:Been released. Ginny actually sent me one. Autographed. MC & Revolt late last year.
MWSTM and TGHOE this last month.
BPRAL22169:Come to think of it, I knew that — picked up a hardback of GHOE this past month.
OHostZim:All by Baen …
Major oz:You keep gettin dumped, Loooos
OHostZim:So we have all the ‘future history’ including Martin-Douglas available now.
BPRAL22169:PTT is offered quite frequently on EBay in both book club and paperback versions, if anyone wants me to pick up a copy, let me know privately.
OHostZim:In print … shiny new covers.
OHostZim:We’re talking about new schedule, Luc. Hi, TAG … [g]
Dehede011:Is the new PTT in PB or HB?
OHostZim:the three collections are in PB, Ron.
Lucylou98:What has been decided?
Dehede011:Good, I have a particular reasons for wanting new copies of those.
OHostZim:Evenin’ LoveBug, Chatty … we’re discussing new scheduling for our Reading Group on Robert
Major oz:Benedicat[e] vos, etc. TAG
ThouArtGod:I’m out of my depth. good eve to you
Lucylou98:Hi there Dehede.
Doc4Kidz:well, he wasn’t really God, then
Major oz:[seemed a good prospect]
Doc4Kidz:natural name, though
OHostZim:We have to have a topic, a bona fide topic, each meeting we schedule … since we have 3 hour blocks.
Major oz:Can’t find any support for my topic of “the women”
Lucylou98:Past Through Tomorrow stories will be read next?
Major oz:Didn’t we do something similar?
Major oz:Do we have a topic for next time, Zim ?
Doc4Kidz:(there’s still a motion on the table? should I withdraw it for now?)
Lucylou98:Oz, no way am I getting into that topic. Won’t touch it
Major oz:It seems that it is moot, by law (or AOL policy)
OHostZim:If we did FH stories we could keep them small enough to make it easy … 2 or 3 a meeting.
Lucylou98:you better believe it, BPR
OHostZim:About 3 meetings per book …
BPRAL22169:Say ITGO as a single meeting, then “Coventry” and “Misfit” together? That kind of thing?
Doc4Kidz:The motion is withdrawn, then
Major oz:Loose, why do you say that ?
OHostZim:If we have “If This Goes On … ” for example, we’d use one entire meeting on it.
Lucylou98:That I won’t touch the topic?
Lucylou98:Because, I know I’ll go shooting my mouth off or something. Get myself in trouble.
BPRAL22169:I think Lucy is saying she has a sense of self-preservation, Oz
OHostZim:But we’d start with the first:”Life-Line” … and one or two others.
Major oz:…which is the purpose of this little get-together
Lucylou98:That’s it, Bill
OHostZim:And take them as they were published … to make it easy on us.
Major oz:Maybe I presented the idea in the wrong light.
Lucylou98:Oz, it is a wonderful topic.
Fldax:I’m back. Sorry I took so long!
OHostZim:But the question is:do we want to be tied into just the FH for all that time, or do we want to schedule one ‘deeper’ theme once a month?
Major oz:In 1860, Scarlet O’Hara was a great role model. Not so today.
Major oz:I related earlier that a fan saw herself as Poddy — would that be appropriate today.
BPRAL22169:I guess “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'” go together.
Lucylou98:Hester Prinn is my hero.
Major oz:Does Friday fit any particular niche today — tomorrow…?
OHostZim:… or do it some other way … if we had a theme once a month we could fit Friday, or anything else in.
Major oz:So many people/magazines/TV shows say what women are “supposed” to be. What did RAH think — was he right or wrong and why ?
BPRAL22169:How about discussing the question of whether Friday is or is not a World As Myth book? Same question applies to JOB.
Dehede011:And they have been saying the same things since the nineteenth century
Major oz:And it means different things each day.
Lucylou98:Women have to decide what they want to be for themselves.
Dehede011:I noticed many years ago that every few years we come up with a new woman and that she is always essentially the same.
Lucylou98:Ignore the magazines, papers, Tv. I’m not like any other woman. lol
Dehede011:Then I found a collection of nineteenth century SF stories and they also presented the same new women.
Major oz:No argument, Lucy — agreed, in fact, but non sequitor.
Lucylou98:Which collection, Dehede?
Dehede011:But as Lucy suggests/says women have to define themselves.
Major oz:I’m just looking for views. Each woman decides for herself…but based on what?
Lucylou98:We have to step back, take a deep breath and decide what we really want to do…
Dehede011:Based on being herself and expressing her unique talents and gifts
Major oz:I ask only:”Are RAH’s female leads appropriate to be used in that decision making”?
Lucylou98:I imagine men do the same?
Dehede011:Can you explain that Oz
Major oz:sure men do. You mean what I said about using it as a basis for decision making?
Major oz:We all, each of us, decide what we want to be / do based on what we see around us.
Dehede011:I am trying to understand not to challenge
Major oz:One of mine was Richard Feynman. Another was Thomas Jefferson.
Lucylou98:I read Heinlein as a youngster and I looked to the boy characters as much as the female characters
Major oz:And assorted fictional characters. My question is:”Are His appropriate for women to so use?”
Major oz:…for right or wrong…
OHostZim:G’evenin’ Tick … welcome
Dehede011:Are his women appropriate for women to use as role models
BPRAL22169:One of the complaints feminists make about sf writing (and others) was that men were people but women were women
Tickister:what are you guys talking about in here
Lucylou98:I’m not so sure I look on his female characters for role models.
OHostZim:This the Robert A. Heinlein group. We discuss his stories.
Major oz:…and a cigar was just a cigar…..
Lucylou98:you had to say that
BPRAL22169:This is me Not Going There . . .
Fldax:Nor am I
OHostZim:Sounds like we oughta schedule a topic discussion on this Oz ….
Dehede011:I always thought one of the delights of RAH was that his females, girls and women, were all interesting.
Lucylou98:I’ll never look at a cigar the same way
Major oz:Not role models (and that is, I think, where I made my mistake) but just another datum with which to make a decision.
Lucylou98:I have identified with his female characters before but that does not prompt me to make decisions by them…probably the opposite.
Major oz:ah…..so it had “some” effect……..
Major oz:…my point…..
Major oz:Does it?
Lucylou98:it had a great effect
Major oz:Like some say re:art. If it evokes an emotion (even barfing), it is good art.
Fldax:As an Art Historian I take exception to that remark
Lucylou98:well……it may not be GOOD art
Major oz:exception acknowledged…..Note the word “some”……
Lucylou98:See, I’m going to get myself in trouble again.
Major oz:Are we approaching consensus, Lucy?
Major oz:I didn’t discover The Master ’till my mid-20’s. Had I read Tunnel as a teen I would have identified STRONGLY with Rod. To the degree that he could qualify as a “role model”.
Lucylou98:I did like the female….what was her name….disguised as a boy at first? From Tunnel
BPRAL22169:Jackie. I liked Caroline best.
Major oz:I liked the Zulu girl — thought she was GREAT
Lucylou98:I liked her as a girl.
OHostZim:Are we getting anywhere close to a consensus on future scheduling?
Lucylou98:Caroline was a good one
Major oz:Probably not, Zim
Major oz:Make a suggestion, someone
OHostZim:Hi, Bklyn …
Lenjazz: Weren’t all Rod’s knives named for women?
Lucylou98:I am flexible…..PTT is a good idea.
Doc4Kidz:Are you from Canarsie?
Lucylou98:With Zim’s suggestion of other novels in between.
Major oz:I think so Len
Major oz:Don’t know if ALL were.
OHostZim:welcome to the Heinlein Group … let’s try this: do one or two of the short stories at a time
Dehede011:I still like the idea of his stories in chronological order
Major oz:Didn’t his sis name one of them.
Doc4Kidz:one was his sisters…also with a female name
OHostZim:… with topics we vote on in between for a while.
Doc4Kidz:NO HIS was Col. Bowie, wasn;t it?
Major oz:So…..start with Lifeline ?
Lenjazz: Lady Macbeth was his sister’s knife, that’s right.
BPRAL22169:If you take all the stories in chronological order, you won’t get thematic coherence.
Lucylou98:I’m listening Zim.
Major oz:That is my objection, Bill — just couldn’t put it in words.
OHostZim:We’ll have a tally on a vote for the big topics … starting with “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light” next meeting.
[Editor’s Note: In case it’s not clear from the discussion, I believe the pattern here is to take the stories in the order they fit into the chronological Future History chart published in the three collections plus Past Through Tomorrow; we start with Life-Line and “Let There Be Light” because they happen earliest in the Future History stories]
OHostZim:You want to host that one, Bill?
Major oz:Dehede volunteers
BPRAL22169:That’s the 16th? Urk — I’m scheduled to be in SF at that time. And on the 30th at
Dehede011:For what, I volunteer when we get to GULF
BPRAL22169:Maybe I could clear the 16th. OK, I’ll co-host that one.
Lucylou98:Speaking of Gulf, that’s one I’ve never read.
OHostZim:Okay that’s good. We’ll perhaps have Gulf in Ron’s superman theme.
Doc4Kidz:[—-jealous, no new RAH for me!
OHostZim:When we vote on the order …
BPRAL22169:There are some unpublished stories yet.
Doc4Kidz:by all means, Lucy, read and enjoy!!!
OHostZim:Oh …. ?
Dehede011:May I agree to cohost one earlier than Gulf to get my feet wet
BPRAL22169:If you want to get your feet wet on the superman theme, how about doing “Lost Legacy.”
OHostZim:Sure, I’ll e mail you Ron and we’ll decide on one you can do … I’ll put up a list.
Dehede011:With who or do I need anyone
BPRAL22169:Hmmm Just thought – how about alternating the future history stories with the non-future history ones written at the same time?
PhillipOwe:Lost Legacy is a good Superman story.
OHostZim:We’ll work out a list … that can be some of the themes.
BPRAL22169:Not stinkeroos — though the 1977 novel will never be published; but there are 2 television stories written in 1953 that might yet see light. I’m working on it.
Dehede011:Guys I really want to do Gulf so bad I don’t want to chance fouling it up
OHostZim:You could have more than one Superman theme meeting … there’s lots of stories on it. Friday, too.
BPRAL22169:”Gulf” and Friday really go together.
Major oz:Can we look forward to Zim checking with the AOL commisars re: open discussion or a “disguised” open discussion?
OHostZim:I talk to you about that Oz via IM after meeting ends tonight
OHostZim:Okay, then, next meeting is March 16, regular time and place. Bill’s cohost on Life-line and Let There Be Light.
Lucylou98:When will this Supermen meeting be? Any idea?
BPRAL22169:David, are both the studies of those two up on the website?
Major oz:Should have the tabulations and (maybe) the votes up by then.
OHostZim:You can get Let There Be Light in a copy of “The Man Who Sold The Moon” on your bookstore shelves now.
OHostZim:When we vote we’ll know, Lucy. You vote affects the order.
Dehede011:Is LOST LEGACY the first superman we are doing?
Doc4Kidz:is it the “racy” version?
OHostZim:Your vote …
BPRAL22169:If you are absolutely unable to find them, let me know privately; I have an e-text of those stories.
OHostZim:It’s the Marilyn Monroe version, Doc
Doc4Kidz:there are 3 versions, right?
BPRAL22169:Yes – very minor differences.
Lucylou98:Man Who sold the Moon I have in PTT….
Doc4Kidz:Sally Rand was one
Lucylou98:it won’t be in that will it?
Major oz:…..your holyness……
OHostZim:ISBN 0-671-37863-4, Baen printing, March 2000
Lucylou98:It is in there
OHostZim:G’venin’ Bishop … welcome.
Major oz:When reading The Man Who sold the Moon, try NOT to think of Ross Perot
OHostZim:Thank you, Doc for cohosting …
Doc4Kidz:it’s like they ring the bell, say trick or treat, and leave!
OHostZim:and thank you, everyone, for coming. See you all on the message board.
OHostZim:Free chat for what time we have left.
Major oz:G’night all
OHostZim:stick around, Oz … we’ll talk IM
OHostZim:Bill, if you have some time …
OHostZim:Incidently, what I’d like to do is schedule readings in all the new books coming out so we can sell a few, maybe …
BPRAL22169:Shall I close the log?
OHostZim:and because many really haven’t read those stories, like Lost Legacy, for example.
Major oz:…hey……you getting a percentage?
OHostZim:Sure, Bill, doesn’t matter …
BPRAL22169:Well, I’d say the issue in April is a good time to do Lost Legacy at least. Then talk to Ron about whether he’s ready to prep Gulf and Friday.
OHostZim:”Jerry” will be out in the same AiE volume. looking forward to it.
OHostZim:He’s still here.
BPRAL22169:You disappeared from my “people here” screen.
Major oz:he’s everywhere–he’s everywhere
BPRAL22169:You’re back. AOL moves in mysterious ways.
OHostZim:AOL glitches …
Major oz:often someone’s name will disappear from the little box but still be on
BPRAL22169:Is he in heaven? Is he AOL, than damned elusive –doesn’t rhyme!
Closing Chat Log.
Have fun one and all at the AIM meeting Saturday evening!
Final End of Discussion Log