Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group
Thursday 02-21-2002 9:00 P.M. EST
Is you is, or is you ain’t SF
Here Begin The A.F.H. postings
Reading: “No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying” in Expanded Universe
Supplemental: “SF: Its Nature, Faults and Virtues” in The Science Fiction Novel
“On the Writing of Speculative Fiction” from Of Worlds Beyond
In the middle 1960’s, when Harlan Ellison began putting together his Dangerous Visions anthology, Robert Heinlein was the first writer he thought of. Nearly every major sf writer had manuscripts they couldn’t sell because the stories either attacked sacred cows or were simply too far outside the bounds of “acceptable” sf in the magazines of the day. Ellison was looking for just these iconoclastic stories, and surely RAH must have such a story even he had not been able to sell?
This was actually something of a long shot, since Heinlein typically wrote only what he thought he could sell — but there was an unsold remnant dating from 1946, when he was trying a shotgun approach, writing many different kinds of freelance prose. And it had been rejected at the time for just the reasons Ellison had laid out: One of the magazines it was submitted to declined to buy it because it was policy not to imply that the medical care given to veterans was less than perfect. But it certainly did challenge the genre boundaries. Two years later, Ellison sent it back saying he felt like a crazy man for turning down a Heinlein story — but it just wasn’t science fiction.
Heinlein politely disagreed but put the story back in his files. Dangerous Visions was finally published in 1967, full of the “edgy” kind of stuff Ellison had wanted to find, and without a Heinlein story (though Philip Jose Farmer’s “Riders of the Purple Wage” and Fritz Leiber’s “Gonna Roll the Bones” both won Hugos, so there was some consolation). And in 1973, the story was finally published as “No Bands Playing–” in a new SF magazine, Vertex (unfortunately short-lived). The new magazine had printed Forrest J. Ackerman’s transcript of Heinlein’s 1941 Worldcon Guest of Honor speech without Heinlein’s permission, and to make things right they obtained copyright for the speech and assigned it to Heinlein. RAH offered them the ms. for “No Bands Playing–” as a thank you. We were glad to have a “new” Heinlein story — the first since the late 1950’s — but SF fans pretty unanimously agreed, it wasn’t an SF story. RAH collected it under its restored title into Expanded Universe in 1980.
Is it or is it not science fiction? Does the fact that he couldn’t sell it for twenty-seven years bear on this question, or does it have to do with other matters.
Go read the story before going on to the next post, because I want to talk about some *Spoiler* material.
Heinlein freely admitted that “No Bands Playing” has a major fault:
It’s a true story, and he knew some of the principles when he was hospitalized for tuberculosis in 1933.
But, he asked, why is this not science fiction? Following deCamp’s definition, it is an event that would not have taken place without the technical or scientific content — the technology in this case being medicine. Why is a story based on medical technology not science fiction?
When the subject came up recently in a group chat, Mrs. Heinlein reasonably pointed out that the story is not fiction at all and so cannot be science fiction by definition. It is, technically, history.
Nevertheless, we encounter “No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying” as a story told with attention to literary values. In this frame of reference, is it or is it not science fiction?
“No Bands Playing” sits on one of the boundaries between SF and contemporary-setting fiction — that is, it uses science or technology as its setting but lacks the imaginative or extrapolative values we associate with science fiction. True, the story is much like the other stories he wrote for the slicks in 1946 and 1947: it deals with a “perennial” situation translated into what is arguably a stfnal environment — but some of those stories, too, challenged the genre boundaries. “Ordeal in Space,” for example, is triggered by an SF situation — it deals an agoraphobic psychosis brought on by space travel — but it’s still pretty marginal: it’s about the rescue of a kitten from the ledge of a highrise building. If classifying a story is important, you could put it in contemporary-setting fiction with hardly an eyebrow raised. “There is always a market for a good story,” Heinlein often repeated what Will F. Jenkins (Murray Leinster) had told him when he started writing. But the market is not necessarily a genre magazine.
Here is how Heinlein talked about the process of “stfnalizing” a basic plot notion (in “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction,” written at just about the same time as “No Bands Playing–” — in fact, just before it on the Opus List)
“Here is a throw-away plot; you
can have it free: Elderly man meets
very young girl; they discover that
they are perfectly adapted to each
other, perfectly in love, “soul mates”.
(Don’t ask me how. It’s up to you to
make the thesis credible. If I’m going
to have to write this story, I want to
be paid for it.)
“Now to make it a science fiction
story. Time travel? Okay, what time
theory, or what? Rejuvenation? Is
this mating necessary to some
greater end? Or vice versa? Or will
you transcend the circumstances, as
C.L. Moore did in that tragic
masterpiece “Bright Illusion”?
“I’ve used it twice as tragedy and
shall probably use it again. Go
ahead and use it yourself. I did not
invent it; it is a great story which has
been kicking around for centuries.”
Some of the borderline cases we taken into the canon of SF and some we don’t. There are whole sub-genres of stories that are “automatically” sf — atomic war for instance, or the mutants (or aliens)-among-us stories that were so effective during the height of the Cold War (and which came back when an invisible virus-among-us became culturally significant). Other borderline cases just don’t “feel” like science fiction. Was Martin Caidin’s Marooned SF when it was published in 1964? A lot of SF readers said, no, it was an example of contemporary events overtaking SF tropes, and it was a contemporary-setting story. Moreover, it “felt” like a contemporary-setting suspense thriller, and it didn’t feel like SF. Sinclair Lewis’ 1925 Arrowsmith, on the other hand, with slightly more extrapolative content (A cure for Bubonic Plague validating Martin Arrowsmith’s pure research agenda), is usually given the benefit of the doubt by SF readers — Heinlein included, in his 1957 essay “Science Fiction: its Nature, Faults, and Virtues.”
Heinlein talked about this kind of story, too, in the Speculative Fiction essay:
“There is another type of
honest-to-goodness science fiction
story which is not usually regarded
as science fiction: the story of
people dealing with contemporary
science or technology. We do not
ordinarily mean this sort of story
when we say “science fiction”; what
we do mean is the speculative story,
the story embodying the notion “Just
suppose—”, or “What would happen
if—”. In the speculative science
fiction story accepted science and
established facts are extrapolated to
produce a new situation, a new
framework for human action. As a
result of this new situation, new
human problems are created—and
our story is about how human beings
cope with those new problems.
“The story is not about the new
situation; it is about coping with
problems arising out of the new
So we know where and why Heinlein stands on “No Bands Playing.”
Where do you stand?
An addendum, on Boundaries . . .
Science fiction has many boundaries. One important “internal” boundary we might discuss lies between science fiction and fantasy. The borderline is occupied — almost defined — by Ray Bradbury, whose Martian stories caused a new descriptive term to be coined — “Science Fantasy.”
The heritage of science fiction as a genre literature starts with Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories in 1926. Gernsback had very rigid notions of what could be science fiction — and by that he meant what we now call the “gadget story,” the remote ancestor of what has come to be known as “hard science fiction.” The paradigmatic writers of hard SF are Hal Clement (and now Robert Forward) and Larry Niven — but Robert Heinlein is so often mentioned as the master of hard sf that I do not think the “hard” can really refer to “hard science.” Expressing a very widespread view among SF writers, Brad Linaweaver often says “I don’t write hard science fiction — I write easy science fiction.” And that, of course, perfectly defines what Heinlein was doing, for Heinlein almost never wrote easy science fiction. And, indeed, the hardest of the hard science stories in the Hall of Fame canon is “The Cold Equations” (1954) by Tom Godwin deals with a human dilemma when put in conflict with the cold equations — not of space travel, but of a medical rescue mission: one life, two life, many lives. It is the same material that defines one of the movies in the soft and silly Star Trek mythopoeia: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.”
Finally, Heinlein gave us an idea of where he thought the boundaries of SF lay — once again, in “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction”:
“Let’s gather up the bits and define the Simon-pure science fiction story:
“1. The conditions must be, in some respect, different from here-and-now,
although the difference may lie only in an invention made in the course of the story.
“2. The new conditions must be an essential part of the story.
“3. The problem itself—the “plot”—must be a human problem.
“4. The human problem must be one which is created by, or indispensably
affected by, the new conditions.
“5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and, furthermore,
when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be
used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must
include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author
saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not
be at variance with observed facts, i.e., if you are going to assume that the
human race descended from Martians, then you’ve got to explain our apparent
close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well.”
But he also says, just a couple of paragraphs later:
“The Simon-pure science fiction story [consists] of human problems arising out
of extrapolations of present science. . .”
And it is that “extrapolations” word that is the horn of our particular dilemma.
>it under its restored title into Expanded Universe in 1980.
>Is it or is it not science fiction? Does the fact that he couldn’t sell it
>for twenty-seven years bear on this question, or does it have to do with other
I realize that there has been much discussion of “what is” (science fiction, a novel, literature…) and I have seen some worthwhile descriptions. However, I think science fiction is more about people and their interplay with the society, technology etc, of the story. The fact that the technology or society seems (or is) contemporary does not matter to me. Is Friday less a science fiction story after 9/11? Does the advant of the internet and ubiquitous home PCs dilute the story? If we see the balkanization of the North American continent will Friday be suddenly tossed from the halls of Science Fiction?
I think that, for me, this story is definitely science fiction. I am interested in hearing what you think.
Nuclear Waste wrote:
The fact that the
>technology or society seems (or is) contemporary does not matter to me. Is
>Friday less a science fiction story after 9/11? Does the advant of the
>internet and ubiquitous home PCs dilute the story? If we see the
>balkanization of the North American continent will Friday be suddenly tossed
>from the halls of Science Fiction?
>I think that, for me, this story is definitely science fiction. I am
>interested in hearing what you think.
I think it isn’t 🙂
Let me start by saying that I agree with you, Jim. Current and future events, no matter how they apply to a story do not alter its status as SF if that status is valid _at the time of writing_. They might date it or make future readers less likely to enjoy it (or more likely; Barsoom is a lot more fun than the Mars they show us on TV IMO) but they don’t mean we peel the sticky label off and slap a new one on.
‘No Bands Playing’ though doesn’t feel like SF, no matter what the author says in the introduction because _at the time it was written_ the medical technique was part of the culture. I have read Betty MacDonald’s autobiographical book about her TB experiences, “The Plague and I” and this treatment gets mentioned in there, even though that was set in the 1930’s.
Now it might have been a new treatment at the time the events in the story took place but by the time it was written, they weren’t.
So I say, no, not SF, just a reminiscence of a personal experience. It’s also a story that you wouldn’t want to read very often; once you know the end, the impact diminishes a little; not much. I just read it before I wrote this and I was quite gripped by the horror of it all but I don’t think I would have read it again for years if I hadn’t needed to for this topic.
Go To Postings
Here Begins The Discussion Log
You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”
DavidWrightSr: Hi Ginny, David (the younger)
AGplusone: Hi, Dave, hi, Ginny.
AGplusone: I’m fooling with my mail.
DavidWrightSr: I meant to get out a message yesterday about tonight, but I got snowed under and didn’t make it, Sorry.
SAcademy: Hello, how are you?
DavidWrightSr: Doing fine. Weather here is beautiful. How about Florida?
DavidWrightSr: And of course, California doesn’t have weather, just climate 🙂
AGplusone: We had a beautiful sunny day here, 86 degrees
SAcademy: I think the sun was out here, but I am not sure.
AGplusone: a little warmer than usual
SAcademy: Do you really like hot weaather?
DavidWrightSr: My wife said that she heard that this winter so far has been 4 degrees warmer than usual
AGplusone: Love it, because at the beach it never gets too warm. We always have that little offshore breeze
SAcademy: Wouldn’t surprise me, although we’ve had some pretty freezes down here.
AGplusone: Anyone who lives in southern California more than 3 miles from the beach, however, needs his head examined … really hot days are real air conditioning needed days
AGplusone: except for the old fashioned swamp cooler houses. That will work.
SAcademy: You mean like in the central valley?
AGplusone: Central Valley is crazy.
rjjutah has entered the room.
AGplusone: Great for growing crops …
AGplusone: Hi, Randy.
OtherP1ans has entered the room.
rjjutah: Good evening, all
Paradis402 has entered the room.
rjjutah: Is there a scheduled chat this evening?
AGplusone: Good evening OP
Paradis402 has left the room.
SAcademy: Good evening Randy.
Paradis402 has entered the room.
rjjutah: Evening, ma’am ….
SAcademy: What’s wrong with Denis?
DavidWrightSr: Hi Randy, Denis
Paradis402: Hi y’all!
AGplusone: standard spinning door
Paradis402: I’m here Ginny.
mkeith54 has entered the room.
rjjutah: Ahhh ….. just catching up on a few things after being gone the first part of the week. Took beta-daughter unit to the University of Colorado – Boulder to check out the school. She’s leaning towards going there.
SAcademy: It’s a good school.
pakgwei has entered the room.
AGplusone: Hi, everyone. A couple new faces tonight.
OtherP1ans is “Sheri” and why don’t we all introduce ourselves to her.
AGplusone: I’m David
mkeith54: Hi I’m Mike
Paradis402: I’m Denis
SAcademy: I took russian there. Well, they sent out teachers to do the educating.
OtherP1ans: Hi everyone
rjjutah: Yes, it is. Also, the ROTC unit there is interested in giving her a scholarship, which will help out the cost significantly.
pakgwei: I’m me
AGplusone: [hi, Denis, btw, nice to see you]
DavidWrightSr: I’m David (the elder), David AG is the younger 🙂
SAcademy: I am Ginny
Paradis402: Thanks David S
rjjutah: My daughter is planning on majoring in International Relations, and they apparently have a good program.
AGplusone: rjj is also referred to as Randy … or sometimes Sir
rjjutah: rjjutah => Randy
OtherP1ans: yes sir 🙂
SAcademy: Sorry, Randy I don’t know anything about that.
rjjutah: Don’t call me sir, I work for a living …. wait, I’m a professor. Scratch that. 🙂
AGplusone: We’re starting to build up … Bill has the chat when he arrives … so I’m going to lurk … a bit
AGplusone: and read my mail
rjjutah: Will be doing the same, myself, for a bit.
pakgwei: what is the topic for tonight?
DavidWrightSr: My wife’s cousin who lives in Colorado sent us a neat present, a CD with pictures of Colorado. Pairs of pictures taken in the 1800’s or and modern. Installs as a screen saver
AGplusone: Sheri, do you need
David Wright to add you to the mailing list?
AGplusone: Topic is: outer limits of what is sci-fi, Pak
DavidWrightSr: “Is it is, or is it Ain’t SF?”
SAcademy: I just put in a picture of Antarctica with Adelie penguins as my screen
AGplusone: We read that old story in Extended Universe, about the tuberculosis procedure, somebody help me with its name …
AGplusone: No Bugles, No Drums?
DavidWrightSr: This one has about 50 pictures and rotates one each day as background and the entire series as screen saver.
OtherP1ans: I’m already on it, from when this chat was still on AOL, actually
AGplusone: Oh, great … then a new name.
OtherP1ans: yes. sorry for the confusion
DavidWrightSr: Our normal situation, don’t sweat it
SAcademy: Does Bill know that he’s supposed to be here?
Paradis402: Sex =-O
mkeith54: Isn’t the title tonight “No bands playing, No flags flying “, or am I lost as usual?
SAcademy: I downloaded those smiles that are animated, but I can’t get them to workl
AGplusone: Yep, that one …
AGplusone: and you’re not lost, I am, as usual.
SAcademy: Can any one read those very light colored names?
[Editor’s Note: During the discussion AIM presents text in various fonts and colors. The logs present everthing just as you see it here]
Paradis402: No. Not very well.
SAcademy: Those colors are the pits.
mkeith54: I have problems with Paradis402, but then I’m getting Old, or so they tell me
AGplusone: We didn’t get too much comment …. but Bill’s posts on AFH were rather comprehensive. I wish AOL would simply stop that musical name colors … very hard to read. All flash and hard substance.
Paradis402: You are emerald green tonight, Ginny.
AGplusone: As usual on the Mac, everyone else is blue and I’m the standard red.
pakgwei: i feel so left out…
pakgwei: no colors
pakgwei: ditto AG
DavidWrightSr: That’s funny. I don’t see any problem with colors. Everyone’s name is blue and the text is black
Paradis402: Maybe I’m fading in MY old age?
SAcademy: Well, that’s one of my favorite colors.
AGplusone: On the Windows version they still have a random color system depending on when you sign in … what you get is outside your control
AGplusone: What version are you running, Dave?
SAcademy: And if you get bounced for any reason you get another color when yu return.
DavidWrightSr: Not on mine. 4.1.2010
Paradis402: What is that, David W?
pakgwei: is it just the names in color or the whole text?
DavidWrightSr: My version of AIM
AGplusone: I’ve got 4.5.495 for Mac.
Paradis402: Just the names.
AGplusone: It stopped using the weird colors.
SAcademy: Someone had a blue text a while back and it was very hard to read.
AGplusone: We had them back in the earlier versions too.
DavidWrightSr: Of course, I’m not on AOL, so that might make a difference
mkeith54: on mine it’s just the name though, some of the text is darker thatn others
AGplusone: We can do that like this
DavidWrightSr: Those are bolded. We all do that to help out Ginny
mkeith54: Ah So
AGplusone: Bow …
DavidWrightSr: Or pick a font that is darker to begin with which is what AG and I have
AGplusone: I use Comic Sans with is darker and clearer to read
AGplusone: even if I unbold it
mkeith54: Okay, how does this grab you?
SAcademy: I use it too.
AGplusone: Looks fine to me, Mike, but how you, Ginny?
DavidWrightSr: I’m using Comic Sans 12 point with 100% magnification
SAcademy: It’s okay–anything except that very light stuff.
SAcademy: I think I am using 14 point
mkeith54: Test 123
AGplusone: On a Mac, we have universal preferences, that allow us to set the font we see regardless what you are sending. No choice in point size. But I don’t know what’s available for Windows versions.
AGplusone: So I see everyone in Comic Sans
DavidWrightSr: You can also change the size of what you see. Click on MyIM in the log-in panel, then General, Font and select the magnification 75, 100, 133 or 200%
mkeith54: New Font test
DavidWrightSr: That doesn’t effect what the others see. I believe
AGplusone: I see the same Mike
mkeith54: Yeah, for some reason it’s not changing, I must not have the new fonts on the machine
DavidWrightSr: Its tricky. sometimes you have to set it and it doesn’t show until you go off and on.
mkeith54 has left the room.
AGplusone: Okay: to start in Bill’s absence, he noted that Heinlein felt that “No bands playing, No flags flying ” was science fiction … anyone wish to argue with that?
DavidWrightSr: Durn it, I just remembered that I promised to work all of this out and put it on my website. Oops. I forgot
Paradis402: I think it has a mind of its own on AOL.
mkeith54 has entered the room.
mkeith54: Ok That fixed it
SAcademy: Lovely font!
AGplusone: WB … just asked to start, Mike, if anyone wished to argue with RAH’s characterizing No Bands Play, No Flags Flying as sci-fi. Is it?
mkeith54 has left the room.
DavidWrightSr: I don’t know how to say why, but no, I don’t think so.
AGplusone: The magazines didn’t think so …
mkeith54 has entered the room.
Paradis402: Well Robert wrote it and Robert IS SF.
AGplusone: seems like simply an everyday anecdote …
AGplusone: a little mystery about how fear caused the man to die, however …
mkeith54: Yes, but he also wrote in other areas. This is to me closer to reporting
AGplusone: Is that mystery simply enough to take it into sci-fi realms?
AGplusone: It’s psychology-related, but …
DavidWrightSr: Of course, I know that the story was true, but even if not, still doesn’t seem sf to me.
BPRAL22169 has entered the room.
Paradis402: It’s a true story about Robert, isn’t it Ginny?
BPRAL22169: Hi, all — sorry to be late.
AGplusone: what makes it different from . . . ah, Bill . . . a story about psi-powers?
AGplusone: Please take over …..
mkeith54: I agree, it is not SF, but none the less a very gripping story
DavidWrightSr: To be SF, there has to be something at least which has to be a ‘what-if’ that doesn’t yet exist. At least that is the way I see it.
BPRAL22169: Can you vamp for a few minutes more? I literally just dashed in the door
AGplusone: yeah, oy
BPRAL22169: Back. I had to take off my jacket and take my blood sugar reading.
BPRAL22169: And now I put the 1929 Lucky Bag away *very carefully*
AGplusone: Lucky Bag is the Annapolis yearbook
BPRAL22169: OK — where are we?
rjjutah: If you’re doing that much scrambling around, you better take your the L.B. BP, too! 🙂
AGplusone: We were arguing how come or why isn’t “No Bands … ” is sci-fi
BPRAL22169: Right. No, my blood pressure is ok. I’ve been using the L.B. all day, and have to be careful because it flakes every time it’s handled.
BPRAL22169: Has any consensus emerged yet?
DavidWrightSr: What year Bill?
AGplusone: just started
ddavitt has entered the room.
ddavitt: Hi all.
BPRAL22169: OK — why don’t we take a vote first off. Is it Science Fiction — by whatever definition any individual cares to use.
DavidWrightSr: Hi Jane
SAcademy: Good evening Jane.
DavidWrightSr: I vote no
ddavitt: Are you talking about No Bands?
Paradis402: No, it is a true story.
ddavitt: I say no.
BPRAL22169: Exactly, Jane
SAcademy: It is a true story.
BPRAL22169: That’s 6 votes of the ten people who are here.
DavidWrightSr: As I said above. To be SF, there has to be something at least which has to be a ‘what-if’ that doesn’t yet exist. At least that is the way I see it.
ddavitt: It doesn’t match my mental picture of SF
ddavitt: Which is too vague to pin down but I know if something matches
BPRAL22169: Ok — now a slightly different spin on the question: is it Speculative Fiction by the definition Heinlein advanced?
SAcademy: Robert only put two true stories into print–David Lamb and this one.
pakgwei: “what if” can cover any type of fiction
AGplusone: but only because it involves an unknown scientific effect . . . there’s no resolution, and I expect some kind of resolution, usually . . .
pakgwei: Glory Road was a pretty big What If
ddavitt: GR had science enough in the magic to be SF
AGplusone: what if people really die because of fear
DavidWrightSr: Spec Fic is the term I prefer even though I use science fiction commonly, but I don’t believe that is spec. fic. either.
ddavitt: How can it be if it happened?
ddavitt: Where is the speculation?
AGplusone: Would a story about Big Foot be sci-fi?
Paradis402: Our Chief says it happened and so did Robert.
BPRAL22169: I think that’s the gravamen of Ginny’s and Denis’ comment that it’s not sf because it’s a true happening.
rjjutah: Not if done by the National Enquirer….
ddavitt: Yes…it could be
pakgwei: what about Star?
ddavitt: He could be the last survivor of an alien race
AGplusone: Happened to notice in obituaries the man who insisted on treating the search as a science died today
AGplusone: He could be another branch of homo sap
DavidWrightSr: Yeah, I heard that yesterday. Worked on it for 40 years or so.
ddavitt: He could easily be SF
BPRAL22169: Revenants of extinct species have been a figure of SF for a very long time.
AGplusone: Or he might be Urus Sapiens?
DavidWrightSr: By Spec. Fic. I really mean speculative fiction, but I am lazy and that is too hard to spell often 🙂
BPRAL22169: Revenents, i mean.
ddavitt: Exactly…but those of you who says No Bands is SF..why?
BPRAL22169: Dinosaurs in blind valleys, that sort of thing.
ddavitt: What elements of SF does it contain?
BPRAL22169: We had two “yes” answers — David Silver and Pakgwei. Pakgwei, you want to take it first?
pakgwei: it could be…
pakgwei: the problem is fiction means untrue…. and we know it was true
BPRAL22169: But — think of it as “found art.” We encounter it as art — and it was done with artistry.
BPRAL22169: or perhaps “artfulness.” it was told as fiction, the way anecdotes are told.
ddavitt: Doesn’t make it SF tho Bill
ddavitt: But I agree, it could make it fiction
pakgwei: how about sci-non-fi
BPRAL22169: Didn’t say it did — just addressing the fiction versus anecdote matter.
ddavitt: At a stretch.
ddavitt: H probably didn’t reproduce the exact dialogue for instance
DavidWrightSr: Assume that RAH had made it up. What then?
ddavitt: He put something of himself into the story
ddavitt: That made it his creation
pakgwei: everything is writen from a point of view.,…
mkeith54: He also changed the names and dates, plus he was there
pakgwei: “History is written by the winners”
mkeith54: …. And then rewritten to suit PC
ddavitt: But he didn’t straight report it; he had comments, observations…
Paradis402: That man may have died of a medical complication, but fright may have shown on his face when he died.
BPRAL22169: Actually, I think he said it happened just before he got to Fitzsimmons — he knew all the principals except the guy who died.
ddavitt: Enough for it to squeak by as fiction IMO
BPRAL22169: It’s certainly the kind of thing that would be repeated and repeated on the ward.
ddavitt: Has anyone here read The Plague and I btw?
ddavitt: I’m trying to recall if there was a similar incident in that
ddavitt: Or a similar death
BPRAL22169: The Plague and I?
ddavitt: By Betty MacDonald
mkeith54: no he was there I quote “…the shortcoming of this story is that it a true story. I was there. I have changed the names, places and dates but not the essential facts.”
ddavitt: Author of The Egg and I…the Kettles?
ddavitt: 4 autobios, very wry and funny
ddavitt: In Plague she got TB and went to a san to be cured
ddavitt: Lot of medical descriptions of the treatments, circa 1935
AGplusone: Aren’t there other stories where characters die of fright?
AGplusone: Hawthorne, maybe
ddavitt: Which is when No Bands is about, for the most part
DavidWrightSr: Dorothy Sayers had one dying from being too close to Bells
ddavitt: Nine tailors…
ddavitt: Not one of her best IMO
AGplusone: maybe Lovecraft?
DavidWrightSr: Blasphemy 🙂
ddavitt: I like them with harriet in ’em:-)
mkeith54: I seem to remember a SF story about spaceship pilot dying of fright, but can’t recall the title
DavidWrightSr: True. me too
BPRAL22169: I have a vague memory of some 19th century Blackwoods story that had its character die of fright.
AGplusone: I think its speculative fiction.
BPRAL22169: Could be Hawthorne.
AGplusone: I think it involves an extrapolation of science in areas that we don’t know much about … psychology and fear and what keeps our bodies alive, the ‘soul’ for lack of else to call it. Remember Michael starts ‘withdrawing’ in SiaSL?
ddavitt: Is it the same as saying a heart attack brought on by stress?
AGplusone: Could be …
AGplusone: but maybe not.
ddavitt: Could it happen to an average healthy person?
BPRAL22169: I think,
David, you have hit on just the reasoning RAH must have used.
AGplusone: Doctors guess, don’t they.
mkeith54: That’s why they call it practice
BPRAL22169: He thought a lot about the scientific investigatin of the mind-body connection.
AGplusone: Musta been ‘heart failure’ brought on by stress.
ddavitt: The autopsy can’t have said he died of fright tho
ddavitt: That wouldn’t have been allowed
ddavitt: That is where H was speculating you mean?
mkeith54: You don’t understand the VA
DavidWrightSr: “In the end, all forms of death can be classified as ‘heart failure'”.
Paradis402: Simple diagnosis would be a lung embolism during the procedure. Dying must have been frightening.
ddavitt: It says that there was no embolism ( so the doctor didn’t do anyhting wrong)
AGplusone: fright—>stress—->heart failure if it makes you feel better.
ddavitt: And no bubble got into his blood…
AGplusone: Doesn’t Michael have the ability to shut his organs down in SiaSL?
BPRAL22169: Yes. “Heart failure” is the diagnosis that means “he died; don’t know why.”
ddavitt: But it could have been lots of things that they didn’t know about in the 1930’s
mkeith54: I don’t think shutdown, just slow down a bunch
ddavitt: H _said_ it was fright because it fits the story so well…
ddavitt: It gives it the twist as to who is the bravest
ddavitt: It supplies the punch line…
ddavitt: but who trusts an author?
ddavitt: If it will improve a story, they will tweak the facts
ddavitt: And why not?
AGplusone: Shame we don’t have Charles Krin or Steve Burwen or Barry in this chat, or Barry’s sister the Psyhrink
DavidWrightSr: Yeah, they sometimes go around ‘erasing’ characters right out of the book 🙂
ddavitt: They do; oh no….I’m fading…
BPRAL22169: Biggest enemy of all — the authors!
AGplusone: recall how Ahab looks when his body is discovered?
BPRAL22169: Why aren’t those people at these chats, anyway?
ddavitt: Never read it
mkeith54: they’re afraid of us
AGplusone: Didn’t all his hair turn white?
ddavitt: Don’t know.
AGplusone: not just the streak
ddavitt: One story book I recall had people fleeing nazis in a tunnel; come out the other end and a woman’s hair has gone white literally in an hour
AGplusone: Melville’s implication is he died of fright, I thought
ddavitt: made a real impression as a child
AGplusone: before old Moby dived
ddavitt: Always wondered if that sort of reaction was possible that fast
BPRAL22169: It was a trope of 19th century gothic novels — hair turns white overnight.
ddavitt: But based on fact?
BPRAL22169: ISTR someone saying there is no medical basis for that, but I don’t know how reliable that statement was.
ddavitt: This book written in the 1940’s
mkeith54: I recall pilot who ejected from an FB-111 in the mid 70’s he went white in about a week if I remember right, ran into 15 years later and he was still snow white
ddavitt: But they were quite melodramatic
AGplusone: Well, how ’bout this? My uncle came off Guadalcanal with all white hair at age 18.
AGplusone: Is that melodrama?
Paradis402: I can believe that.
ddavitt: So it can happen. Interesting physical reaction to intense stress
mkeith54: no that’s reality
AGplusone: ‘course there’s a tendancy in that branch of family to start greying around 30
BPRAL22169: There’s lots of evidence forpeople going white very rapidly — it’s the overnight bit that might be melodrama rather than reality.
AGplusone: but Eighteen?
AGplusone: So there’s a lot of evidence in 1930 about people suddenly dying under extreme stress …. frightening circumstances.
DavidWrightSr: I can well believe that sufficient shock could cause the heart to malfunction.
ddavitt: Going back to the story…why does it matter what it is? Is it necessary to label in order to judge or is there a set of standards that can be applied to any book, fiction or non?
AGplusone: Just as there is today: a truckdriver trying to avoid some idiot cutting him off suffers a heart attack while taking the set of doubles off the road.
BPRAL22169: Is that a question Harlan Ellison should have asked?
ddavitt: When he rejected it?
ddavitt: No; he was wanting to maximise readers
BPRAL22169: Right. What Harlan said was he wanted stories that challenged the boundaries. That’s exactly what he got.
ddavitt: If they expected a certain sort of story he didn’t want to disappoint them
mkeith54: was he saying truth won’t sell?
AGplusone: Wasn’t BEM enough?
BPRAL22169: No, I don’t think so — I think Harlan found the boundaries of his own expectations.
ddavitt: If you buy a horror anthology and it’s full of sweetness and light, you’ll feel cheated
AGplusone: bug-eyed monstery
ddavitt: It didn’t challenge as much as side stepped
BPRAL22169: He was really looking for stories that would make people angry — and that’s one thing “No Bands Playing–” doesn’t do.
ddavitt: It wasn’t a Heinlein SF story
ddavitt: It was perfect for EU
BPRAL22169: So I think it was really just another case of an editor saying one thing but meaning another. Freelance writers run into that all the time.
AGplusone: Neither was Elephants, or the one about the oversized dust devil.
ddavitt: I guess.
AGplusone: Our Fair City
ddavitt: Sentient dust devils are SF:-)
ddavitt: Elephants is fantasy
ddavitt: No problem with them
AGplusone: what about anthromorphisized ones?
AGplusone: extra syllable in there somehow
ddavitt: It wasn’t am’d; it actually did stuff it was told
ddavitt: Unless you want to stretch coincidence till it twangs in anguish
AGplusone: Did it? How reliable are newspaper reporters? Drink a lot, don’t they?
BPRAL22169: Don’t follow that last 2 comments, jane.
ddavitt: Sorry, _she_ did what she was told
SAcademy: Good night all,
SAcademy has left the room.
AGplusone: Night ginny
ddavitt: Kitty brought the exact old paper she was asked to bring
DavidWrightSr: Night Ginny Hope you feel better
ddavitt: Nught Ginny
ddavitt: That shows sentience; not just anthromorped
DavidWrightSr: To me the only difference between fantasy and ‘science fiction’ is the level of suspension of disbelief.
Paradis402: Anyway, dying with fright on one’s face is not fiction. I’ve seen it many times.
BPRAL22169: I think both “Elephants” and “Our Fair City” could have appeared in the old Unknown with no changes at all.
AGplusone: Easily, Bill.
AGplusone: The pedestrian nature of the problem in No Flags/Bands is the problem.
ddavitt: But not No Bands?
BPRAL22169: So it may simply have been that he had some Unknown ideas and decided to sell them somewhere else.
pjscott100 has entered the room.
AGplusone: It’s so ‘common place’ almost trite
ddavitt: Well, as I said on afh, by the time it was written the medical bits were old news
pjscott100: Sorry I’m late.
ddavitt: Hi there.
AGplusone: Hi, Peter.
BPRAL22169: I don’t know — I think he would have had to slant “No Bands Playing” to sell it to Unknown. Play up the “weird” angle — just exactly as if writing a Twilight Zone episode.
Paradis402: Hi PJ
pjscott100: Had to take cat on emergency vet visit – everything turned out ok
ddavitt: If it had been printed in 1935, with omission of the first bit it _still_ wouldn’t have been SF IMO
ddavitt: Glad to hear that.
AGplusone: good, we’re talking about No Bands Playing and why it didn’t sell to Ellison’s Unknown as sci-fi
ddavitt: It was spooky in the middle of the story..
ddavitt: Or it could have been made that way
AGplusone: But not fantasy …
AGplusone: or horrow
ddavitt: No, not fantasy
ddavitt: It’s just…a story.
AGplusone: No Chtulu … or whatever that Lovely Lovecraft name is
BPRAL22169: Ia Yog Sothoth!
ddavitt: No, the doctor isn’t sucking their life force like an Overlord
ddavitt: Worsel would have been safe
BPRAL22169: Heinlein seems to have had relatively rigid ideas about the genres. There are several places where he talks about science fiction as if it were just the gadget story.
ddavitt: Was that a long time ago?
ddavitt: By the 1970’s would he have still thought so?
BPRAL22169: That’s the way things were when he started writing — there were even sf magazines that sf fans wouldn’t accept as sf; they were just adventure magazines with a stfnal tinge.
AGplusone: What are the ‘psi’ stories other than simply gadget stories, home ground, G.I. ones …
BPRAL22169: Perhaps that’s why he insisted on “spec fic” instead of SF.
ddavitt: But it never caught on..
BPRAL22169: By the time I started reading it, the definitions had changed quite a lot.
BPRAL22169: No, it’s used fairly frequently.
BPRAL22169: People like Ursula LeGuin don’t like to be left out, so they call their stuff spec fic.
AGplusone: What’s BlowUps Happen?
ddavitt: Really? Not a term I’m familiar with outside H using it…
AGplusone: Very pedestrian ….
AGplusone: pysch story
BPRAL22169: He called it a fictionalized tract.
AGplusone: remember all those stories about guys in the missle bunkers with the keys to start WWIII
ddavitt: That elememt of it was unusual wasn’t it?
ddavitt: They don’t normally do that (or they didn’t)
BPRAL22169: Pronouns, Jane — “that” what?
pjscott100: I just wonder how an autopsy shows that someone died of fright…
ddavitt: Test people under stress to see if they’re cracking up?
BPRAL22169: I don’t think they did that in “Blowups Happen.”
AGplusone: They do in most officer commissioning programs Jane
ddavitt: It can’t Peter, IMO; just didn’t show anything obvious so they or Heinlein assumed it
AGplusone: What do you think all that shouting in your face is all about?
ddavitt: OK, then, that’s not SF either 🙂
rjjutah: Just to show how sweet and refreshing the breath of a drill sgt is….
ddavitt: I wouldn’t know; anyone tried it to me and I’d get very unhappy and be marked unfit in moments
ddavitt: It seems most impolite.
BPRAL22169: I dont know — the bit about Karst coming up with radioactive dust is pretty stfnal. And the way Korzbyski planned his psychological attack seems to me to fall in with the science of psychology stuff he was doing then.
rjjutah: You probably wouldn’t have liked West Point then, Jane, before the women arrived ….
ddavitt: I was teasing Bill; it’s SF to me.
ddavitt: I would hate the armed forces in any form I think
BPRAL22169: Fell right into that.
Paradis402: Embolisms are not always bubbles, Jane. Blood clots too. As in stress.
mkeith54: Jane, you’d be suprise what you can deal with, when you are part of a group.
ddavitt: I’m getting thrown off AG’s lifeboat as a troublemaker, right?:-P
AGplusone: Or when you think the end is sufficient
DavidWrightSr: G.I. Jane O:-)
AGplusone: oy, as Pakwei said earlier
mkeith54: I want pictures of the haircut
ddavitt: Would the autopsy have been extra stringent in his case, after the first death?
BPRAL22169: I think they probably went looking for the “obvious” embolism and when they didn’t find it concluded it was fright.
ddavitt: WHO concluded? That’s the bit we don’t know
ddavitt: Was it scuttlebutt, Heinlein as author?
ddavitt: Or an actual medical opinion?
BPRAL22169: Fitzsimmons is a VA hospital — they have a department for autopsies, don’t they?
pjscott100: Why did RAH consider it a shortcoming that he was relating a true event?
AGplusone: Doctors looked for evidence that the needle penetrated the wall. Found none.
BPRAL22169: Wouldn’t have had to penetrate — just get it into the ciruclatory system.
ddavitt: Don’t know…why would it spoil the story to be true?
ddavitt: Good question.
pjscott100: That’s what he said about it though
ddavitt: Yes he did.
DavidWrightSr: I don’t know. you expect a story, you know fiction, and the kicker is that it’s true.
BPRAL22169: I wonder if he ever tried to sell that to the Readers Digest. They use anecdotes like that all the time.
AGplusone: But they did know to look for embolisms then …
mkeith54: H does’t say the autopsy indicated death by fright, just that there was no sign of embolisim
ddavitt: Yes they must have known it was a risk attached
ddavitt: He says he knows for certain
AGplusone: RD probably didn’t pay enough. And it’s a real downer. I don’t recall RD publishing a lot of those. They’re more chicken soup for the soul type stories.
pjscott100: Granted many beginning authors don’t understand that they haven’t conveyed the importance of an event that had a pivotal impact on them; but RAH must have known that he had done a better job than that.
ddavitt: H even says at the time he thought the bravest was the third man
AGplusone: They’d have the same objection as the American Legion Mag
ddavitt: Then changed his mind after the autopsy
AGplusone: The Colonel was brave.
ddavitt: ‘The autopsy didn’t show an air embolism in Josephs, or anything else. Josephs died of fright.”
AGplusone: But the Colonel didn’t know that …
ddavitt: That sounds definite but I think it’s an artistic flourish
mkeith54: Thanks Jane, can’t type that fast
ddavitt: H glossed over it by saying the Colonel was already battle tested
ddavitt: Which I think is a bit mean personally
AGplusone: But these guys in that Ward are officers. They’d find a way to get their hands on the autopsy if they had any doubt about the surgeon. Believe me.
ddavitt: Can you practice being brave till it’s a habit and stops being brave?
pjscott100: Well I don’t think it’s science fiction either, but so what… I enjoyed Tramp Royale and I don’t think anyone’s about to suggest that New Zealand doesn’t exist 🙂
ddavitt: I’ve never been there so it might not
mkeith54: It’s one thing to be brave when everyone around you is being brave, it’s another when it is a normal situation
AGplusone: Dunno anyone ever told me the truth about doing it, Jane.
ddavitt: Yes; Colonel wasn’t under fire, he didn’t know J died of fright..I think he was very brave
AGplusone: regardless of what they may have ‘stiff upper lip’ said
BPRAL22169: That’s the third question — is it a story worth reading, even if only once?
ddavitt: Now we’re discussing it tho I am getting very suspicious
ddavitt: Oh yes, I’d say so
pjscott100: Sure you can practice being brave until you’re not… that’s the purpose of combat training
BPRAL22169: I think we’re pretty much agreed it was worth reading, at least once.
ddavitt: Not often but a couple of times
mkeith54: I’ve read it many times and it remains important to me and touches me each time
AGplusone: the shot about Josephs being a commissioned clerk :”field clerk” I think was the term … maybe that was an indicia of bravery
ddavitt: It’s too slight to stand up to repeated readings
mkeith54: pls ignore my poor spelling
ddavitt: Why is that AG?
AGplusone: e.g., staff officer, armchair hussar
ddavitt: Oh, I just hit the keys and press send; proofing takes too long in a chat:-)
pjscott100: One of H’s anecdotes that I remember the most is neither science nor fiction; it’s the story of the hobo who died trying to save a woman on a RR track
AGplusone: but they get killed too … they claimexotic forms of veneral disease I understand.
ddavitt: Kills me the way they’re all smoking in that story
ddavitt: And they did in the Betty MacDonald book too; sold them on the ward
AGplusone: They did in the ward my dad died of leukemia too, Jane.
Paradis402: Smoking is a sensitive issue here! Careful!
ddavitt: Makes me wonder what we do now that will seem equally weird in fifty years…
mkeith54: that is when the military still encouraged it, right up until I retired they didn’t get serious about stopping smoking
DavidWrightSr: typing in chat rooms 🙂
ddavitt: Why is that Denis?
pjscott100: Prediction/hope: Making a distinction between “pets” and “family” (at least insofar as cats are concerned)
ddavitt: But for lung patients to still smoke is boggling…
Paradis402: Some people smoke. Some people drink. Be careful. Choices.
DavidWrightSr: some people eat !
DavidWrightSr: too much that is
BPRAL22169: Some people type in chat rooms!
mkeith54: Jane, at that time it was glamorus and even touted as being good for you
ddavitt: You can’t tell me it didn’t adversely affect them
pjscott100: This was still around the time that tobacco companies claimed medicinal benefits
ddavitt: Even more than it does anyway.
ddavitt: Like I say…boggling
mkeith54: Hey now David, I resemble that remark
Paradis402: Missed my point? I smoke Jane. 🙂
ddavitt: Ah well.
DavidWrightSr: I was speaking only for myself 🙂
pjscott100: Missed out a ‘Mary’ there? 🙂
ddavitt: I never started; my parents did and said they’d skin me if I fell into the trap they were in
ddavitt: They stopped at the beginning of last year
ddavitt: Ciggies are nearly $10 a packet in UK
Paradis402: Robert was still smoking at 78.
ddavitt: They saved enough to come visit us
mkeith54: I did too for 15 years, woke up coughing up blood and quit cold turkey, hardest thing I ever did. I still crave them everyday
ddavitt: See, I have zero will power.
pjscott100: Ah well.. skating is on, and this is a family event in our house… have fun saving the universe, guys
ddavitt: If I were addicted to them I would not stop. So I’m glad I never started
ddavitt: Oh, I wanna watch that too!!
BPRAL22169: Ginny is still smoking at 85.
Paradis402: Thanks, Jane.
AGplusone: we’re taking a break … ?
ddavitt: Hockey is tedious but I love the figure skating
DavidWrightSr: I am watching it. Nice to have tv on my laptop
BPRAL22169: I thought RAH stopped in abut 1980?
mkeith54: I have been, TV in the computer room
ddavitt: I will go watch and stay online; might pop back.
AGplusone: Before you go …
BPRAL22169: Good idea. Let’s take a short break — I have 7:15; shall we say 7:25? /ga
AGplusone: I’d suggest we schedule Crais reading chat next week …. in anticipation of his visit in four
BPRAL22169: Surprisingly lively conversation this time.
BPRAL22169: One of the Elvis Cole books?
ddavitt: Sure; anytime suits me
pjscott100: I won’t be back then; may make it Saturday. Night!
ddavitt: Night peter
pjscott100 has left the room.
ddavitt: OK, I’ll disappear.
AGplusone: back at 25 past
BPRAL22169: David, are you there still?
AGplusone: si, which one?
DavidWrightSr: AG or moi?
AGplusone: having secured a fresh pack of ciggies
BPRAL22169: Silver, I meant.
BPRAL22169: I was in Kinko’s today and saw they are making vinyl banners for about $150 — 3’x5′ That is exactly what we need for the Society table.
AGplusone: Going to suggest two Coles and either Hostage or the other recent ones. Okay. I’ll go look tomorrow.
pakgwei: how many colors?
BPRAL22169: They said “full color” so I’m assuming they’re using one of the vertical printing processes and it can be anything.
AGplusone: Logo and portrait?
BPRAL22169: Exactly what I had in mind.
BPRAL22169: Maybe get a second one made up for blood drives of just him giving blood and giving the Vulcan sign.
AGplusone: I’ll see what I can find ….
AGplusone: could be done.
AGplusone: Let me ask Mike what he’d like to see further on it. Imagine we can add any brief statement we need.
ddavitt: OK, David says he wants the computer so I will swap rooms with him; night all. I;ll try and make Sat if I can.
DavidWrightSr: Night Jane.
AGplusone: Okay …. best to David.
ddavitt has left the room.
mkeith54: bye Jane
AGplusone: Vinyl will roll into a three foot cylinder nicely.
BPRAL22169: Maybe just a headline: “Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Blood Drive” and “Pay it Forward” on the side.
BPRAL22169: My thoughts exactly — very easy to ship.
AGplusone: Have to get a three foot toilet paper roll.
BPRAL22169: Let’s make up one of each and see how many we need to have available to ship around to various conventions.
AGplusone: Wonder if they’ll allow a carry on.
AGplusone: Three foot cylinder
BPRAL22169: Mail Boxes Etc. has mailing tubes.
AGplusone: Stewardesses will probably think it’s a dangerous weapon.
BPRAL22169: ISTR that Priority Mail has a triangular cross-section box made for shipping blueprints that might do.
AGplusone: I’ll take a look.
mkeith54: How about a fishing rod case, there about 3′ lon and 4″ dia and fiberglass or plastic
AGplusone: Mike: where are you located? Pacific NW? or near there?
AGplusone: that might work
mkeith54: If me, no central Missouri
mkeith54: have family up there tho
AGplusone: Ah, God’s country!
AGplusone: Bill and I will be going to Seattle end of March
AGplusone: for a Con
rjjutah: Mike, where in Central MO?
AGplusone: [Butler! actually not too central]
BPRAL22169: I can’t think what’s in the center. Butler is on the Kansas side and far north.
rjjutah: Columbia / Jeff City is in the center.
mkeith54: 1/2 way between Columbia and ST Louis out in the sticks (New Florence)
Paradis402: Bill, you may be right about Robert having quit in 1980. I’m not sure when he quit. He wasn’t smoking in 1984. Smoking is something I do in private. Never in public.
rjjutah: New Florence? That would be just north of I-70, and High Hill, wouldn’t it?
rjjutah: South of Montgomery City on Highway 19?
mkeith54: I live 1/2 way between highhill and new florence and south about 4 miles
rjjutah: Okay, got you pegged….
AGplusone: Is that in the Ozarks?
BPRAL22169: A bit north of the Ozarks.
mkeith54: nope but we got some small hills
AGplusone: never having been in Missouri
BPRAL22169: The Ozarks are kind of centered on the Missouri-Arkansas border.
rjjutah: Nope, pretty much in the center of the state.
AGplusone: I’ve been rereading my Stephen Hunter novels for fun lately.
rjjutah: I grew up just east of Jeff City, in a small town called Linn, MO.
AGplusone: Don’t imagine they’re typical of anything but they are fun to read.
mkeith54: I live on what the family calls the Hill farm, the rest live up on the pararie (4miles north)
BPRAL22169: Ginny told me once that he was told by a doctor he had to give up smoking, and he put his cigarette back in the pack and never looked back. That would have been around 1978, I guess, not 1980 — the time of the TIA and the carotid
BPRAL22169: bypass operation.
mkeith54: The gentleman that install my DirecPC this week was from Linn
Paradis402: I believe you are correct. Bill.
BPRAL22169: Let’s see — so he would have been 71 at the time.
AGplusone: A lot of will power, particularly if Ginny kept smoking.
BPRAL22169: I couldn’t make the dates work out for him to be still smoking at age 78. But 78 the year is about right.
Paradis402: Sensitive issue for Ginny. Which is why I mentioned it.
mkeith54: Like I said nothing I’ve ever done was harder
rjjutah: It’s a small, small world ….. (add notes, small puppets and exploding noises to indicate demise of demonic puppets)
AGplusone: You might consider editing out the smoking Dave
BPRAL22169: We seem to be overdue to reconvene.
BPRAL22169: I don’t think it will hurt. Ginny doesn’t require us to be PC.
Paradis402: Right Bill.
AGplusone: what kind of small puppets exactly, Randy?
AGplusone: Ever been on Small World ride in Dizzyland?
BPRAL22169: We got onto smoking through thread drift when someone wondered what people would think we did weird fifty years from now.
AGplusone: I’d like to see it explode one day. Provided all the little kiddies are safely out.
BPRAL22169: Kill them all: God will know his own!” Simon de Montfort.
AGplusone: Expecially if there were demonic puppets flying around.
BPRAL22169: 1220something, I think.
Paradis402: Poor Simon.
BPRAL22169: Poorer Cathars!
AGplusone: My idea of a great sci-fi story is the Small World puppets unite and take over the world
BPRAL22169: How is that Sci-Fi? It happened 20 years agoi. The SF part is — nobody noticed!
mkeith54: more like a horror story
rjjutah: Yes, the dizzyland version. Small puppets = animatronic nightmares with the psyop singing that never leaves your mind….
AGplusone: Speaking of which, remember the story about the audioanimatronic puppets, Mick, Goof, and Donald who travel around the world from Disneyland in Paris after the atomic attack looking for children? Was in Playboy.
mkeith54: psywar on adults
mkeith54: no Inever read the articles
rjjutah: Must have missed that one, David. Funny, haven’t seen many of those magazines around here…… Shame. 🙂
BPRAL22169: Now it begins to sound a lot like A.I. (the movie)
AGplusone: Very sad story, cute, Goof and Mic don’t make it, but Donald carries on and finally finds some.
DavidWrightSr: But they couldn’t understand him 🙂
rjjutah: So the real question is, Did Donald ever get any pants, or a reason to wear them?
AGplusone: why should he? Daisy, as everyone knows, was sorta loose
AGplusone: “nephews” HA
DavidWrightSr: Yeah. Right
mkeith54: isn’t that what got her goose cooked?
rjjutah: Guess that was why he was half crazy – all for the love of her ….. Yep, three matched pool boys, taking care of the cabana.
pakgwei: there goes my chldhood
AGplusone: I think she really was Scrooge’s Mistress
Paradis402: Mine too :'(
BPRAL22169: You guys have succeeded in weirding me out.
rjjutah: Sorry, Pak. But did you ever wonder how she kept up the house, with no visible means of support?
AGplusone: Pretty soon someone’s going to ask, “if Goofy was a dog, what was Pluto?”
BPRAL22169: Let’s hear it for genre boundaries!
pakgwei: she was gettin some from scrooge on the side
Paradis402: Oooh! Eeeeeee.
AGplusone: Well, I just thought I’d mention the Mic, ‘n Goof, and Donald quest. I think that’s science fiction!!!
DavidWrightSr: Ladies free skat starting
AGplusone: Anyone feel like adjourning?
rjjutah: Well, I need to get back to getting this research proposal done, so I can turn it in, tomorrow.
mkeith54: I vote yes
BPRAL22169: It’s quarter to eight, and if we continue any longer All Fandom Will Be Plunged Into War.
DavidWrightSr: Yeah. If Mike/Minerva/Dora can become sentient, why not aninimatronics
rjjutah: Yes, but they had “brains”
mkeith54: How do you know if I’m sentient?
AGplusone: Sheri? Want to continue?
BPRAL22169: (We;ve been debating that with ourselves all night –HHOK)
AGplusone: Questions, general, etc. …
DavidWrightSr: Turing. call for Turing !
rjjutah: Yes, touring in MO shows great intelligence….
AGplusone: okay M/Adjourn ….
Paradis402: Bye all. See you Saturday.
BPRAL22169: Was Dr. Turing ever in MO? I know he was in NJ.
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rjjutah: I don’t think so.
BPRAL22169: Come to think of it — he was in NJ at about the same time Heinlein was…
AGplusone: I’ll post a leadoff, and copy you David. sunday
BPRAL22169: I just made that connection. 1930 RAH went to gunnery school at a GE facility in New Jersey.
AGplusone: Okay … that gets him to Turing?
BPRAL22169: While Turing was in the U.S. prepping for his doctoral dissertation on general computing machines.
BPRAL22169: At Princeton, I think.
rjjutah: I believe so.
AGplusone: Have you read the bit in the letter to Cmdr Bowers about the nav and gunnery computers, Bill?
AGplusone: whatever his name was
mkeith54: isn’t the GE research facility right next to princton?
BPRAL22169: Did you mean Buell?
BPRAL22169: Yes, I saw those.
BPRAL22169: GE had designed the new fire control computers Heinlein was conning on the Lexington, so they put him through the school while he made whoopee in Greenwich Village.
AGplusone: has James any luck in following up on other items that may be in that file?
BPRAL22169: He hasn’t said anything about that recently — he’s had other things on his mind.
AGplusone: He seems to think there were followup letters between them. Yeah, I know about the other things.
BPRAL22169: I’ll be looking at 1973 correspondence when I go back down to Santa Cruz next.
BPRAL22169: Incidentally, I am in the middle of the Plebe Year chapter and don’t want to have to break off, so I’m going to SC next week instead of tomorrow. I will be here Saturday.
AGplusone: We’re running an hour behind the rest of the world. Skating isn’t up yet. NBC!
BPRAL22169: Oh, well!
AGplusone: Santa Cruz
mkeith54: final 6 starting here
AGplusone: we got downhill going
BPRAL22169: I had that feeling since we came back from the break.
DavidWrightSr: Does it talk about the Plebe year of the 29 graduates?
BPRAL22169: No — it talks about E.J. King.I turn into a pumpkin now. Have fun. night all.
DavidWrightSr: Night Bill.
BPRAL22169: ciao all.
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AGplusone: Got log, David?
rjjutah: I have a copy from when I joined.
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DavidWrightSr: Got it. But I might not get here Saturday, so you had better make arrangements for log
AGplusone: It’s a great letter. We need someone to get into the files in Navy Archives that Buell deposited to check for followup correspondence
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AGplusone: G’nite, Dave, Randy
rjjutah: See ya.
rjjutah: David, I’ll try to be here Sat and get a copy of the log.
DavidWrightSr: Night youngster
DavidWrightSr: Thanks Randy
AGplusone: Thanks Randy
rjjutah: De nada.
mkeith54: bye all
AGplusone: Night Mike
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rjjutah: Will see whomever shows up Sat. Have a good evening, all.
AGplusone: yep …. now off to watch end of slalom
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DavidWrightSr: Ok. Log officially closed at 10:57 P.M. EST
Final End Of Discussion Log