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Heinlein Reader's Discussion Group

Thursday Jan. 18, 2001 9:00 P.M.

The Claustrophobic Tragedies

"They". "All You Zombies" and "By His Bootstraps"

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings


Heinlein Readers Group Chat on January 18 (Thursday) and 20 (Saturday), 2001

Claustrophobic Tragedies

"They" and "All You Zombies" in 6xH (The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag) and Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein; "By His Bootstraps" in The Menace From Earth.

Discussing his unique, writerly "stock in trade" with John Campbell, Heinlein in 1941 said his forte was to "enlarge the field," introducing greater subtlety and use of the big literary themes -- particularly "the regular use of high tragedy" (Grumbles, letter of September 6, 1941). Certainly, his first story fits that description exactly: Pinero's "tragic flaw" is that he wants his invention known; he antagonizes the members of the Academy of Science to get this, and his tragic fate flows inevitably from this act. Ironically, this attempt is exactly what results in the suppression of his invention.

Heinlein was to use tragic themes, as he says, regularly, but three of his tragedies are written with a peculiar, almost "claustrophobic" feel to them: "They" (1941), "By His Bootstraps" (1941), and "All You Zombies" (1959). the mechanics of a tragedy work by isolating the tragic hero from the communion of his proper society and by expelling him, purging the society of some social malady. In these three stories, Heinlein has found and exploited a natural limit to tragic isolation.

*

"They" (published in Unknown, April 1941) sees the natural isolation of "the human condition" (we are, all of us, alone and isolated inside our skulls) as a tragic fate already in place. The unnamed tragic hero of the story is confined in an insane asylum because he has realized the truth -- that the tragic isolation is an illusion. In other stories Heinlein speaks of consensus reality as "a game we whipped up among ourselves." Here, he looks at the counter-proposition. In the game version, Other is illusion; in "They," Other is the reality -- but the reality is not real, either. Other (objectified as The Glaroon) imposes the illusion for incomprehensible and possibly unknowable reasons of its own. Perhaps there is a game being played among god-like creatures, as in the Biblical Book of Job. Perhaps it is he who plays with The Glaroon. There is The Treaty -- but with whom? -- and the entirety of the world around him is filled with machines, props, scenery to support the illusion. The tragic hero rebels against humanity's tragic fate and thus is judged insane by the standards of ordinary men -- a paranoiac. Recapitulating on another level the tragic isolation, he puts himself outside the social consensus. He accomplishes his own tragic isolation -- but it is also clear that if he is purged, he takes with him the health of human society, not its sickness. This contrast of public/consensus untruth versus private and personal truth is very important in Heinlein. He supports it with a simple but effective writer's device: the tragic hero is never named; other characters do have names -- but they are false names. The Glaroon masquerades as his Doctor; an operative masquerades as his wife Alice. The tragic hero does not need a name, for he is the only one inside his skull. In Stranger this contrast of public untruth versus private truth reaches its highest development: everything public is hypocritical. Defining the public as the untrue is an interesting literary technique for a commercial writer. The Glaroon reappears en passant in Heinlein's 1984 novel Job: A Comedy of Justice, but no light is shed on this story.

*

Although Heinlein considered "By His Bootstraps" (published in Astounding, October 1941) nothing more than a hackwork trick (Grumbles, letter to Campbell dated October 4, 1941) -- a change rung on an idea already long familiar -- Campbell immediately recognized it for one of the great technical tours de force of science fiction. The readers agreed with Campbell, and it remains almost the ultimate "loop in time" story (it took Heinlein himself to top himself 18 years later). Bob Wilson goes through loop after time loop, experiencing the same event from multiple perspectives and finally settling into an eerily drawn far future world redolent of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, where humanity has been domesticated and made bovine -- not by the technological/industrial Morlock side of the human race, but by long-vanished alien masters. There is a whisper, perhaps, of H.P. Lovecraft's Great Old Ones in the masters, a soupcon, too, of Olaf Stapledon. But they are mainly flavored by Charles Fort's "we are cattle" theme. Perhaps, as James Gifford suggests, they give a second view of the Gods of the Jockaira in Methuselah's Children (the story Heinlein wrote next).

The claustrophobic feel of this story comes partly from setting (a single room, a palace of featureless corridors) and partly from the sense of aloneness built into the situation. There are a number of minor characters in "By His Bootstraps," but they are all spear carriers. There is really only one source of plot motion in the story, and that is Bob Wilson. He becomes the only remnant of human society, the ultimate in tragic isolation. This is not solipsism in the usual, philosophical sense -- there is no implication that the mind of Bob Wilson is the only thing that exists. But it is literary solipsism of a sort. The story ends with the oldest version of Bob Wilson beginning to experience from the last possible angle the events we have already experienced from the other perspectives.

Although Bob Wilson is repeatedly looped in time, he does, by implication, exit the tangle of time loops by the end of the story. There is, however, a true circle in time in the story, which is a kind of emblem of the time loops. Bob Wilson is given a notebook, which he recopies when it becomes tattered. Later he realizes that his copy of the notebook is what was given his younger self: who wrote the notebook? Answer: no body wrote it; it is a closed loop in time. This is probably the element that caused Heinlein to think of this story as a hack trick, because it recalls a story published in about 1930 about a blue knife which was in a similar closed circle in time. Heinlein's treatment, however, is anything but a simple ringing of changes on a well-worn theme.

*

"All You Zombies" (published in Fantasy & Science Fiction in March 1959) is the most nearly perfect time-loop story possible. It is also, with the exception of the gimmick story "Searchlight," the last short story Heinlein ever wrote.

Heinlein moves the time loop to the generative function and reduces the spear carriers to an absolute minimum, so that there is only the central character(s) in all his/her temporal iterations in the story. The story idea probably came to him in a flash of inspiration, as it was writing in a single day. It seems to combine the forties nonsense-song "I'm My Own Grandpa" (about the complex relationships in an Ozark family) with the international headline-making Christine Jorgenson story (the first publicly acknowledged sex-change), with perhaps a touch of the teen-exploitation film I Was a Teenage Zombie (Michael Landon's most unfortunate starring role) in the last paragraph and the title. Surgical sex changes always leave an infertile result, but there actually are natural hermaphrodites, so the medical facts of the story are not too far exaggerated.

In some sense, "All You Zombies" is thematically the same as "By His Bootstraps," though the storyline is quite different. The characters are more sensitive than Bob Wilson (who was, frankly, a quite unpleasant person), alone and lonely in their isolation. In both there is the implication that the tragic hero who exits the time loops may still be in tragic isolation -- but he has a fulfilling future ahead of him.

Heinlein seems to have adopted this story into his World As Myth books. in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, the mottoes Richard Campbell watches while waiting for a meeting of the Circle of Ouroboros (Ouroboros is also called "The World Snake" -- the original working title of "All You Zombies") are the same as those viewed by The Unwed Mother. Gifford notes that "All You Zombies" may be regarded as a side-story told in the Cat universe, but the implication here may be somewhat wider: Heinlein may have intended by this device to indicate that the overall structure of the main conflict of the World As Myth Books (which includes, by this time, Black Hats, Scene Changers (The Glaroon, bringing Job into the World as Myth?). authors, and The Beast) was to have the same kind of circle-in-time structure as "All You Zombies."

See you Thursday!

Bill

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bootstraps and Zombies always give me a giddy sort of feeling; I think I've got them figured out, then an 'oh, but' pops up and I'm floundering again....

I just read Bootstraps and compared the dialogue between the four versions of Bob. There is at least one discrepancy but I'm not sure if this is a typo or intentional, to show that it isn't all set in stone. It occurs when the third man appears. The first time, Bob says "Who are you"? The second time, when we see it from the POV of Joe, he says, "Who the hell are you?". The third time, when we see it from the POV of the third man, it's back to "Who are you?" May mean nothing.

In RAH:ARC, Jim Gifford says that the loop isn't closed in this story. I'm not sure. It ends with Bob 4 ( Diktor) telling Bob 1 that he has a great future. So, if the story didn't end there, what will happen next? Bob 1, 2 and 3, will set off on their travels again and Bob 4 will do ...something. But is that it? Or will it keep on repeating? Will there come a time when all four are submerged in one body and time can move forward? I like the notion too, that in effect we are all time travellers. It's true that the me that is now is not the me that was 30 years ago. That's what made Lazarus meeting Woodie so interesting. They were not the same person in any real sense, any more than an acorn is an oak tree.

Zombies I have in two books and again there is a typo; a whole line missing from the version in 6 X H as opposed to the one in 'The Best Of Robert Heinlein.' This is when the Unmarried Mother says,

"I'm a bastard."

["No distinction around here, " I said.]

"I mean it" he snapped. 'My parents weren't married."

The part in [ ] is missing from the 6 X H version.

This is another story like a ball of yarn and you can't find an end to pull. How can you give birth to yourself for heaven's sake? I love the stories for their ingenuity but they niggle at me too because I can't figure them out.:-)

All three stories have in common the fact that the shock ending makes them very different to read a second or third time round. I recall finishing Zombies and Bootstraps with a gasp, then going back and reading them again trying to work it out.

"They' is different because it lacks that loop but it is similar in the shock ending. The reader is lulled into thinking that the unnamed man is insane. All his thoughts are delusions, all can be explained away. Then, like cold water in the face, we find, too late, that he is right. They are out to get him, in fact they've got him. But why? How? Who is he and what is the existence that he can only remember in dreams? What is the Treaty? Who is the Glaroon? How dare Heinlein not write a sequel and explain it all!!! Sorry <deep breath>. This story has another bit in it that I like,

" I may be a closed curve, but, closed or open, I neither have a beginning nor an end.' That speaks to me; I can't remember when I was not so how can I accept that there will come a time when I will finish if I can't remember when I began? Hey, I'm immortal too!

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>I just read Bootstraps and compared the dialogue between the four versions of Bob.

>Jane

>

>

Was this story originally published under Anson MacDonald?

--Steve Burwen

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

steveburwen@127.0.0.1 wrote:

>>I just read Bootstraps and compared the dialogue between the four versions of Bob.

>>Jane

>>

>>

>

>Was this story originally published under Anson MacDonald?

>

> --Steve Burwen

>

>

Yes, in the October 1941 edition of Astounding SF.

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ddavitt wrote in message

news:3A5D111A.637DCAE1@netcom.ca...

>steveburwen@127.0.0.1 wrote:

>

>>>I just read Bootstraps and compared the dialogue between the four versions of Bob.

>>>Jane

>>>

>>>

>>

>> Was this story originally published under Anson MacDonald?

>>

>> --Steve Burwen

>>

>>

>

>Yes, in the October 1941 edition of Astounding SF.

>

>Jane

>

>

Thanks. --Steve Burwen

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My ninth grade daughter recently was assigned to do a pedigree using "I Am My Own Grandpa".

On the comment that Bob Wilson in BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS is not a nice person. I can't think of another of RAH's main characters who purposely treated a woman shabbily. He saved that for his villains.

Jeanette

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>On the comment that Bob Wilson in BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS is not a nice

>person. I can't think of another of RAH's main characters who purposely

>treated a woman shabbily. He saved that for his villains.

About the closest I can come is Jake in Number Of the Beast, and that is not very close. Bill Lerner in Farmer in the Sky resents his stepmother and stepsister, but that changes as the book goes along. Overall, I would have to agree with the above.

LvPokerPlayer

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 11 Jan 2001 08:47:25 GMT, the estimable

LV Poker Player wrote:

>>On the comment that Bob Wilson in BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS is not a nice

>>person. I can't think of another of RAH's main characters who purposely

>>treated a woman shabbily. He saved that for his villains.

>

>About the closest I can come is Jake in Number Of the Beast, and that is not

>very close. Bill Lerner in Farmer in the Sky resents his stepmother and

>stepsister, but that changes as the book goes along. Overall, I would have to

>agree with the above.

>

>

Of course there's the "unwed mother" in "All You Zombies--", but perhaps that's a special case :-)

--

Nollaig MacKenzie

http://www.amhuinnsuidhe.cx/rahfan/

Oppose renaming Mt Logan!! http://www.savemtlogan.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"jeanette wolf" ha scritto:

>On the comment that Bob Wilson in BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS is not a nice

>person. I can't think of another of RAH's main characters who purposely

>treated a woman shabbily. He saved that for his villains.

I have read an article in which the author wrote that RAH was a fascist (or something) because one of his character would bring "Mein Kampf" along with him in the future... I've always wondered if that author had actually read "By His Bootstraps" or what.

--

Francesco

http://heinlein.cjb.net - RAH in Italian

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Francesco Spreafico wrote:

>

>

>I have read an article in which the author wrote that RAH was a fascist

>(or something) because one of his character would bring "Mein Kampf" along

>with him in the future... I've always wondered if that author had actually

>read "By His Bootstraps" or what.

>

>

It's interesting that he does choose that book - but it gets sliced in half during the transition through the Gate. I wonder why he showed it as being by Adolf Schickelgruber instead of the name he's more commonly known by and made a point of it being the unexpurgated version?

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>I wonder why he showed it as being by Adolf Schickelgruber

>instead of the name he's more commonly known by and made

>a point of it being the unexpurgated version?

We know Adolph Hitler very differently after WWII than people knew him as a public figure in the 30's -- remember, he was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in, I think 1933 or 1935, something like that.

Hitler's public persona was so inflated that it was customary to deflate his pretentions by calling him by his Austrian adoptive father's name (Schickelgruber), rather than his German mother's name (Hiedler) and refer to him as "the Little Corporal" or "the house painter." Still, in 1940, this would have been a very topical reference. Heinlein followed the progress of World War II very attentively long before the US got into the war at the end of 1941.

Bill

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BPRAL22169 wrote:

>

>

> Hitler's public persona was so inflated that it was customary to deflate his

> pretentions by calling him by his Austrian adoptive father's name

> (Schickelgruber), rather than his German mother's name (Hiedler) and refer to

> him as "the Little Corporal" or "the house painter." Still, in 1940, this

> would have been a very topical reference. Heinlein followed the progress of

> World War II very attentively long before the US got into the war at the end o

f > 1941.

>

> Bill

Which makes one wonder...which bits of the book did Diktor want? It's odd to think that, at that time, if only barely, the book could have been read without automatically thinking of all the horrors associated with the author. When I skimmed/ read it as part of my research for an essay, years ago, I was predisposed to disagree with it; objectivity was almost impossible. I have no recollection of it at all.

Going back on topic though, wouldn't Diktor have known that it was pointless to ask for it as it would get destroyed? Or hadn't that happened when he wrote his shopping list? ( I can feel that headache again!).

This reminds me of the ducking and diving involved in grabbing Libby's corpse but that was simple by comparison.

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>Which makes one wonder...which bits of the book did Diktor want?

Oho, I didn't think of this before -- it's another closed loop in time. Diktor made out the list based on the list that had been given to him earlier; he never did reason out a rationale for wanting the book.

I suppose Heinlein's rationale was that it (Mein Kampf) describes the rise to power of a small cadre in a populace that wasn't paying attention.

Bill

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 10 Jan 2001 03:59:58 GMT, bpral22169@aol.com (BPRAL22169) wrote:

>Heinlein Readers Group

>Chat on January 18 (Thursday) and 20 (Saturday), 2001

>

>Claustrophobic Tragedies

> "They" and "All You Zombies" in 6xH (The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan

>Hoag) and Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein; "By His Bootstraps" in The Menace

>From Earth.

>

>

In one of my uni subjects last year (Science, Philosophy and History) there was a brief section on time travel. Most of the other students managed to get their heads around the idea of a changing past, demonstrated by Ray Bradbury's _A Sound of Thunder_, however the closed loops of _All You Zombies_ produced many confused stares. The most commonly asked question was, "But where did he come from?". Several students attempted to plot the story out on a time line but had no idea where to start and ran themselves around in circles (which means that they were probably on the right track!). "So the guy is the bartender, who is the girl, who is WHAT??!!" I did much chuckling to myself that class.

Macca, AFH lurker

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------Macca wrote:>

> Several students attempted to plot the story out on a time line but

> had no idea where to start and ran themselves around in circles (which

> means that they were probably on the right track!). "So the guy is

> the bartender, who is the girl, who is WHAT??!!" I did much

> chuckling to myself that class.

>

> Macca, AFH lurker

They have all my sympathy! So...did _you_ work it out then? <sly grin>

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane wrote:

> Macca wrote:

>

>>Several students attempted to plot the story out on a time line but

>>had no idea where to start and ran themselves around in circles (which

>>means that they were probably on the right track!). "So the guy is

>>the bartender, who is the girl, who is WHAT??!!" I did much

>>chuckling to myself that class.

>>

>> Macca, AFH lurker

>

>They have all my sympathy! So...did _you_ work it out then?

I gotta read this one before the 20th, but basically these are all the same person:

a) the baby girl who was kidnapped by d)

b) the grown up girl who was a)

c) the "unwed mother" who was b) before the sex change

d) the bartender who was c) before he was enlisted in the Time Corps

Some interesting observations:

The conception of a) was the result of the union of b) and c), whom I assume would have identical DNA and may be partly the reason for a) and b)'s sexual ambiguity.

Sometime after c) was enlisted in the Time Corps, he must have worked out (or been told) the pattern of events which led to his current persona, and as d) he caused that pattern of events to occur.

A question. Why didn't c) recognise that he was the mongrel who knocked up b) at the time of the relationship, since he had b)'s memories of that same relationship? Or did he, but couldn't change what had occurred? This reminds me of Bootstraps.

At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am ... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come from?"

If matter is never destroyed or created (merely rearranged), where did the original material come from to "make" any of them?

All "Three Claustrophobic Tragedies" are among my favorites. Heinlein's mind was certainly agile.

Sean

gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Separatists: I tar apes.

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In article <3A605ED0.A213AD0D@fan.net.au>, Gaeltach <gaeltach@fan.net.au> wrote:

>Jane wrote:

>

>> Macca wrote:

>>

>>> Several students attempted to plot the story out on a time line but

>>> had no idea where to start and ran themselves around in circles (which

>>> means that they were probably on the right track!). "So the guy is

>>> the bartender, who is the girl, who is WHAT??!!" I did much

>>> chuckling to myself that class.

>>>

>>> Macca, AFH lurker

>>

>> They have all my sympathy! So...did _you_ work it out then?

>

>I gotta read this one before the 20th, but basically these are all the same

>person:

>

>a)the baby girl who was kidnapped by d)

>b)the grown up girl who was a)

>c)the "unwed mother" who was b) before the sex change

>d)the bartender who was c) before he was enlisted in the Time Corps

While no direct appearance, there was also (e) the very old man who gave the ring to (d) - that ring is in a causal loop as well.

--

rawoodward@aol.com

robertaw@halcyon.com http://www.halcyon.com/robertaw/

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Robert A. Woodward" wrote:

>

>

>While no direct appearance, there was also (e) the very old man who gave

>the ring to (d) - that ring is in a causal loop as well.

>

>

I don't think the ring is significant; d says, " That ring is an antique I bought in 1985 from a fellow operative - he had fetched it from pre-Christian Crete."

Why is it in the loop any more than say his clothes?

I think looting the past is a bit dodgy though. I'm also intrigued by the hints of the mission of the Corps;

"But not the Mistake of '72; that one is not our fault - and it can't be undone; there's no paradox to resolve. A thing either is, or it isn't, now and forever amen. But there won't be another like it; an order dated "1992" takes precedence any year."

Now that's almost as bad as the hints about Baslim's former adventures!

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In article <3A60D95C.8909A108@netcom.ca>, ddavitt wrote:

>"Robert A. Woodward" wrote:

>

>>

>>

>>While no direct appearance, there was also (e) the very old man who gave

>>the ring to (d) - that ring is in a causal loop as well.

>

>I don't think the ring is significant; d says,

>" That ring is an antique I bought in 1985 from a fellow operative - he had

>fetched it from pre-Christian Crete."

>Why is it in the loop any more than say his clothes?

>

Oops, it appears that my memory had edited the story (I checked the original appearance in 1959, that sentence was there as you have it).

--

rawoodward@aol.com

robertaw@halcyon.com http://www.halcyon.com/robertaw/

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gaeltach wrote:

>I gotta read this one before the 20th, but basically these are all the same

>person:

>

>a)the baby girl who was kidnapped by d)

>b)the grown up girl who was a)

>c)the "unwed mother" who was b) before the sex change

>d)the bartender who was c) before he was enlisted in the Time Corps

>

>Some interesting observations:

>

>The conception of a) was the result of the union of b) and c), whom I assume

>would have identical DNA and may be partly the reason for a) and b)'s sexual

>ambiguity.

>

>Sometime after c) was enlisted in the Time Corps, he must have worked out

>(or been told) the pattern of events which led to his current persona, and

>as d) he caused that pattern of events to occur.

>

>A question. Why didn't c) recognise that he was the mongrel who knocked up

>b) at the time of the relationship, since he had b)'s memories of that same

>relationship? Or did he, but couldn't change what had occurred? This reminds

>me of Bootstraps.

>

>If matter is never destroyed or created (merely rearranged), where did the

>original material come from to "make" any of them?

>

>

>

Sean, you were doing really well and I felt the mists begin to clear...then it all came crashing down again because of the essential chicken and the eggness of it all :-)

You know, I really am beginning to think that there is no solution, no way of reasoning it out. Heinlein just umm, cheated <g>. He invented a scenario that intrigues, amuses and bewilders....but the key word is "invented".

I feel much better now.

I think he didn't recognise the bartender because, as gets mentioned in Bootstraps, you don't expect to see your face on someone else. Heinlein drops some hints though, hints that only make sense after you've finished of course; " The Unmarried Mother was a man twenty -five years old, no taller than I am .."

Both are illegitimate, both grew up in orphanages. The bartender says, "You don't look any worse than I do."

Lots of little comments like this that in retrospect give it away.

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane wrote:

>>a) the baby girl who was kidnapped by d)

>>b) the grown up girl who was a)

>>c) the "unwed mother" who was b) before the sex change

>>d) the bartender who was c) before he was enlisted in the Time Corps

>

>I think he didn't recognise the bartender because, as gets mentioned in

>Bootstraps, you don't expect to see your face on someone else. Heinlein drops

>some hints though, hints that only make sense after you've finished of course;

>" The Unmarried Mother was a man twenty -five years old, no taller than I am .."

I agree with him not recognising the bartender (for the reasons you give), but I said:

"A question. Why didn't c) recognise that he was the mongrel who knocked up b) at the time of the relationship, since he had b)'s memories of that same relationship? Or did he, but couldn't change what had occurred? This reminds me of Bootstraps."

Or in other words, if the "unwed mother" (c) experienced the same relationship as the grown up Jane (b), but from the other POV, did he recognise it as such? If not, why not? And if he did, why did he still act in exactly the same way? This is what reminded me of Bootstraps, where the same thing happened. From Jane's (c)'s POV he knocked her up then disappeared, but as we know he was snatched back by the bartender (d). (b) may have considered him a mongrel for deserting her, which left a strong sense of bitterness, but this was not really the case. In fact, (c) may have acted quite gentlemanly and kindly, and his disappearance was not of his doing (so to speak).

Sean

gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Motto: Bootstrap parts too bottom

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gaeltach wrote:

>

>I agree with him not recognising the bartender (for the reasons you give), but I said:

>

>"A question. Why didn't c) recognise that he was the mongrel who knocked up b) at

>the time of the relationship, since he had b)'s memories of that same relationship?

>Or did he, but couldn't change what had occurred? This reminds me of Bootstraps."

>

>Or in other words, if the "unwed mother" (c) experienced the same relationship as

>the grown up Jane (b), but from the other POV, did he recognise it as such? If not,

>why not? And if he did, why did he still act in exactly the same way? This is what

>reminded me of Bootstraps, where the same thing happened. From Jane's (c)'s POV he

>knocked her up then disappeared, but as we know he was snatched back by the

>bartender (d). (b) may have considered him a mongrel for deserting her, which left a

>strong sense of bitterness, but this was not really the case. In fact, (c) may have

>acted quite gentlemanly and kindly, and his disappearance was not of his doing (so

>to speak).

>

>

Ah, get you now. Umm...dunno. However I get the distinct impression from reading it that _whilst he was doing the seducing_ it didn't occur to him that he was recreating his own history. Some of us are slower on the uptake than others I guess <g>. The text to back me up is this,

"Then she went in and he came down the walk, turned away. I slid into step and hooked an arm in his. "That's all son," I announced quietly. 'I'm back to pick you up." "_You!_" He gasped and caught his breath.

" Me. Now you know who _he_ is - and after you think it over you'll know who _you_ are...and if you think hard enough, you'll figure out who the baby is...and who _I _ am." He didn't answer, he was badly shaken. It's a shock to have it proved to you that you can't resist seducing yourself."

This says conclusively that it's not until afterwards that it all clicks. Makes sense; it's only a little while since he time travelled for the first time and in the throes of passion he's unlikely to be thinking, "Hmm, this girl looks familiar...and don't I remember this bit of grass?" The change of perspective must be very confusing I suppose.

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane wrote:

>Ah, get you now. Umm...dunno. However I get the distinct impression from reading it that

>_whilst he was doing the seducing_ it didn't occur to him that he was recreating his own

>history. Some of us are slower on the uptake than others I guess <g>.

>The text to back me up is this,

>"Then she went in and he came down the walk, turned away. I slid into step and hooked an

>arm in his. "That's all son," I announced quietly. 'I'm back to pick you up."

>"_You!_" He gasped and caught his breath.

>" Me. Now you know who _he_ is - and after you think it over you'll know who _you_

>are...and if you think hard enough, you'll figure out who the baby is...and who _I _

>am." He didn't answer, he was badly shaken. It's a shock to have it proved to you that

>you can't resist seducing yourself."

>

>This says conclusively that it's not until afterwards that it all clicks. Makes sense;

>it's only a little while since he time travelled for the first time and in the throes of

>passion he's unlikely to be thinking, "Hmm, this girl looks familiar...and don't I

>remember this bit of grass?" The change of perspective must be very confusing I suppose.

This doesn't sit very well with me. The text shows that he didn't realise who the girl was until later, but how can this be? Here are my reasons -

1. He would have been looking at the same face he had previously had himself as a female.... a face presumably looked at in a mirror every day and very familiar.

2. The words spoken to each other would have been identical. This would not have been quick dialogue (like in Bootstraps), but longer conversations over a period of time. Surely he would have remembered these conversations, since he was only 25, and as a girl about 17(?).

3. He knew where the girl lived, and would have recognised that this was where he had lived as a girl.

The general pattern of events and places they visited together would have made him realise who he was with well before being picked up by the bartender IMO. Heinlein may have seen this as a weak point in the story, and did not draw much attention to it.

Sean

gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Girl rig.

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It just occurred to me that in some ways The Truman Show owes a little to "They". The motivations of the people behind it all are different of course but what seems familiar is the way that the world around the lead character is torn down and rebuilt as necessary and the fact that he is surrounded by people who _aren't_ like him and who do have a hidden agenda. The two wives being in on the deception is of course the cruellest trick of all in both stories IMO.

Jane

And Jim Carrey would make a good Lorenzo.....read this after my other post for it to make sense <g>.

Jane

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David Wright wrote, concerning the continuation of bi-monthly reader chats:

>My one attempt at

>co-hosting was disastrous, but would have been better, I believe,

Actually, it was far from disastrous, David. Quite good, in fact. And I'd encourage you to try another. *Everyone* who hosts always feels the chat was disastrous, but, funny thing, almost always, the host is wrong and will find everyone enjoyed it. The first few times I hosted I felt exactly the same way and wasted a great deal of time apologizing to everyone for my lack of organization, etc., but no one agreed with me.

There are about twenty or so regular contributors to this newgroup who could lead a chat, IMNVHO, and I'd encourage volunteers to make their willingness known to Oz and others concerned.

>If I could

>have spent a tenth of the time on it that David[Silver] did (and had as much insight).

If ten people spent a twentieth of the time I spent, it would be sufficient; and the only 'insight' I ever exercised was patience and biting my tongue, remembering that good chats are created by letting everyone, no matter what the viewpoint they have may be, fully express themselves. But thanks, everyone, for whatever views you've expressed about my tenure leading the chats. I'm glad to see efforts to continue the chats by several of you, and look forward to participation by many more.

--

David M. Silver

AGplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 23:57:36 +1000, Gaeltach wrote:

>Jane wrote:

>>They have all my sympathy! So...did _you_ work it out then?

>

Yeah, I'd read it before and had a sort of understanding of what happened. However, this really didn't help much when the guy sitting next to me said that he hadn't done the reading and asked me to quickly explain what it was about.

>

>At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am

>... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has

>the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same

>person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come

>from?"

>

Should this question be any more interesting to him than to us? Where did we come from? Our parents. Where did they come from? Their parents? Where did they come from? etc..... The Unmarried Mother knows where he came from. In neither scenario can we pinpoint a definite beginning to the cycle, but is our chicken-and-egg question any more understandable that his?

>If matter is never destroyed or created (merely rearranged), where did the

>original material come from to "make" any of them?

>

Dunno. Where did the original material come from to make the rest of the universe? Is this any less plausible than that?

>All "Three Claustrophobic Tragedies" are among my favorites.

Same here.

Macca

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEWS FLASH FOR ROBERT A. HEINLEIN DISCUSSION GROUP

Fleet Sgt Zim (David Silver, Agplusone@aol.com) is on sabbatical leave, having gone over three years (relative) without a break. In his absence, the bi-weekly chats will be run by committee — no jokes, please — with Bill (BPRAL22169) as "first among equals".

The next meetings will be on 18JAN01 at 2100EST and 20JAN01 at 1700EST. Hosts are not yet secured, although it looks as if it will be Bill on Thursday and Jane on Saturday.

The topic at each discussion will be: Three Claustrophobic Tragedies: "They," "By His Bootstraps," and "All You Zombies." There is already an active discussion on the alt fan Heinlein usenet board about these three selections.

Discussion will take place using AOL Instant Messanger (AIM), a free download that does NOT require that you be an AOL subscriber nor will it put you on some nefarious conspiracy list. Information for downloading and using AIM can be found at:

http://readinggroupsonline.com/faq.html on downloading and using AIM.

The AIM logo will become a permanent part of your desktop and can be used to "instant message" anyone, anywhere on the web.

To attend that chats, go to:

http://readinggroupsonline.com/group/robertaheinlein.html

and click on chat. You will be magically transported into the company of the nicest folks on the net (and one grouchy old SOB).

See you there

Mahmud, Cpl., MI

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 23:57:36 +1000, Gaeltach <gaeltach@fan.net.au>

wrote:

>Jane wrote:

>>They have all my sympathy! So...did _you_ work it out then?

>

Yeah, I'd read it before and had a sort of understanding of what happened. However, this really didn't help much when the guy sitting next to me said that he hadn't done the reading and asked me to quickly explain what it was about.

>

>At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am

>... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has

>the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same

>person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come

>from?"

>

Should this question be any more interesting to him than to us? Where did we come from? Our parents. Where did they come from? Their parents? Where did they come from? etc..... The Unmarried Mother knows where he came from. In neither scenario can we pinpoint a definite beginning to the cycle, but is our chicken-and-egg question any more understandable that his?

>If matter is never destroyed or created (merely rearranged), where did the

>original material come from to "make" any of them?

>

Dunno. Where did the original material come from to make the rest of the universe? Is this any less plausible than that?

>All "Three Claustrophobic Tragedies" are among my favorites.

Same here.

Macca

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Macca wrote:

> On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 23:57:36 +1000, Gaeltach

> wrote:

>>At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am

>>... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has

>>the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same

>>person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come

>>from?"

>>

>Should this question be any more interesting to him than to us? Where

>did we come from? Our parents. Where did they come from? Their

>parents? Where did they come from? etc..... The Unmarried Mother

>knows where he came from. In neither scenario can we pinpoint a

>definite beginning to the cycle, but is our chicken-and-egg question

>any more understandable that his?

People all over the world study genealogy. The lucky ones trace their family history back for hundreds of years, then inevitably hit a brick wall through lack of information (read "records"). In a more cosmic sense we "ordinary" people might ponder our path to existence and how we got here. Science or religion (take your pick), will generally answer these questions for you. But our poor old zombie doesn't have it that easy. His family tree from start to finish is one person, and it's *complete*. No, I think he has more reason to stay awake at night than we do somehow.

>>If matter is never destroyed or created (merely rearranged), where did the

>>original material come from to "make" any of them?

>>

>Dunno. Where did the original material come from to make the rest of

>the universe? Is this any less plausible than that?

IIRC the theory goes that all the matter in the universe was brought into existence from the big bang in an extremely short period of time. After this time, matter is not destroyed or created, but is merely re-arranged. Carl Sagan's wonderful TV series "Cosmos" frequently referred to us as "children of the stars", since that is what we have ultimately been created from. Can our zombie friend say this? I don't think so. He is some kind of paradoxical new kid on the block. Of course, he can also ponder the big bang with the rest of us as well, if he hasn't got enough on his plate :-)

Sean

gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Exaggerations? No, I tar egg axe.

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 23:57:36 +1000, Gaeltach <gaeltach@fan.net.au>

wrote:

>

>At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am

>... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has

>the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same

>person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come

>from?"

I have always thought this question, the title question, to be the basic problem of solipcism: who are all the other people who seem to inhabit the world, the others crossing the street, the people driving the cabs, the bums in the park, etc. Our incestuous solipsisters didn't inhabit an empty city, after all.

Phebe

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 15 Jan 2001 22:36:44 GMT, majoroz@aol.com (Major oz) wrote:

>The next meetings will be on 18JAN01 at 2100EST and 20JAN01 at 1700EST. Hosts

>are not yet secured, although it looks as if it will be Bill on Thursday and

>Jane on Saturday.

>

> The topic at each discussion will be: Three Claustrophobic Tragedies: "They,"

>"By His Bootstraps," and "All You Zombies." There is already an active

>discussion on the alt fan Heinlein usenet board about these three selections.

How nice of you two! Good, I am very interested in these, although I am not sure how many decades it has been since I read Bootstraps and I hope that doesn't mean it's not in the library. Which collection is that in, please anyone? I'm okay on Zombies and They ("They" is a major favorite ----- I might be the only person who feels that way, probably a bad sign about me..........)

Well, it should be a nice break from the Inauguration!

Phebe

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Wed, 17 Jan 2001 03:24:23 GMT, smacca@lycos.com (Macca) wrote:

>Should this question be any more interesting to him than to us? Where

>did we come from? Our parents. Where did they come from? Their

>parents? Where did they come from? etc..... The Unmarried Mother

>knows where he came from. In neither scenario can we pinpoint a

>definite beginning to the cycle, but is our chicken-and-egg question

>any more understandable that his?

Standard Zen koan:

Imagine the faces of your mother and father before they were born. Very relevant to Zombies.

Phebe

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> many decades it has been since I read Bootstraps and I

>hope that doesn't mean it's not in the library. Which collection is

>that in, please anyone?

My copy is in _The Menace From Earth_, a 1962 Signet edition (50 cents). But I think it is still in print.

cheers

oz

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Replying to Phebe, Major Oz noted:

>> many decades it has been since I read Bootstraps and I

>>hope that doesn't mean it's not in the library. Which collection is

>>that in, please anyone?

>

>My copy is in _The Menace From Earth_, a 1962 Signet edition (50 cents). But I

>think it is still in print.

Like Oz I have the old Signet edition; but Baen reissued the paperback version of _The Menace From Earth_ in 1999, I believe, Phebe; and you should be able to find a copy in any large chain bookstore, or order one. I regularly see them when I check the shelves of the various chain stores I live near.

The other readings the group is taking up tomorrow may be found in the hardcover _The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein_ (1999, TOR, isbn 0-312-87245-3), or in earlier paperback collections available sometimes in used bookstores.

--

David M. Silver

AGplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AGplusone wrote:

>Replying to Phebe, Major Oz noted:

>

>>>many decades it has been since I read Bootstraps and I

>>>hope that doesn't mean it's not in the library. Which collection is

>>>that in, please anyone?

>>

>>My copy is in _The Menace From Earth_, a 1962 Signet edition (50 cents).But I

>>think it is still in print.

>

>Like Oz I have the old Signet edition; but Baen reissued the paperback version

>of _The Menace From Earth_ in 1999, I believe, Phebe; and you should be able to

>find a copy in any large chain bookstore, or order one. I regularly see them

>when I check the shelves of the various chain stores I live near.

>

>The other readings the group is taking up tomorrow may be found in the

>hardcover _The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein_ (1999, TOR, isbn

>0-312-87245-3), or in earlier paperback collections available sometimes in used

>bookstores.

I have "- All You Zombies-" and "They" also in "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" collection.

Sean gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Was it a cat I saw?

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phebe wrote:

>On Sat, 13 Jan 2001 23:57:36 +1000, Gaeltach <gaeltach@fan.net.au>

>wrote:

>

>>

>>At the end of the story d) says something to the effect of " I know who I am

>>... but who are all you zombies?" This seems a little unfair, since d) has

>>the memories of the others and therefore *knows* they are one and the same

>>person, himself. IMO, of more interest to d) should be "Where did I come

>>from?"

>

>I have always thought this question, the title question, to be the

>basic problem of solipcism: who are all the other people who seem to

>inhabit the world, the others crossing the street, the people driving

>the cabs, the bums in the park, etc. Our incestuous solipsisters

>didn't inhabit an empty city, after all.

Ok, I finally looked up the exact quote to which I was referring:

"The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail, Forever and Ever ... I *know* where *I* came from - but *where did all you zombies come from?*"

* = itallics

He thinks this after glancing at his snake ring. Hmmm ... is he referring to his other previous versions of himself (which is the way I have always read it), or is he referring to everyone else in the world? The rather cryptic sentences after this which complete the story are a little ambiguous. I have always thought he was referring to his earlier versions because that is what the whole story was about. To my way of thinking, why write a great time-travel story where the different characters turn out to be the same person, and then have him wonder about the existence of everyone else in the world? Perhaps he would, I dunno, but to me it seems extraneous to the plot.

Sean

gaeltach@fan.net.au

***************

.... and now for something completely different:

Version No. is Rev.

***************

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 18 Jan 2001 07:06:58 GMT, agplusone@aol.com (AGplusone) wrote:<

br>

>>

>>My copy is in _The Menace From Earth_, a 1962 Signet edition (50 cents). But I

>>think it is still in print.

>

>Like Oz I have the old Signet edition; but Baen reissued the paperback version

>of _The Menace From Earth_ in 1999, I believe, Phebe; and you should be able to

>find a copy in any large chain bookstore, or order one.

No need, just a few yards to the sunroom -------- got it! Thank you both VERY much! Been a long time since I read that collection, though "Menace" was always a favorite.

Phebe

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

Major oz has entered the room.

Major oz: Hi, David

DavidWrightSr: Hi.

Major oz: Are you recording ?

DavidWrightSr: Yes. But I'll be afk for a few minutes.

Major oz: no problem.......

ddavitt has entered the room.

Major oz: 'evenin, Jane

ddavitt: Hi ther!

ddavitt: First typo of the night..damn :-)

ddavitt: I'm exhausted; just scanned 16 covers to the wegrokit site.

ddavitt: I'm not comfortable with new machines and it seemed to be a real leap in the dark; I kept sending them to me first to check they looked OK

Major oz: covers ? of RAH books ? <part of the discussion of cover for Tunnel ?

ddavitt: Yes; promised Beth and Carlos i would if I ever got a scanner

ddavitt: Amazing how many versions of the covers there have been

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

ddavitt: I was surprised I had so many they didn't have because they have so many.

ddavitt: Sent the Tunnel scan off Sean; should be up in a few days

Major oz: yeah....my 6xH is 1959

Gaeltachta: Oh, great Jane........

ddavitt: Mine is 71

SAcademy has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi SA

Major oz: "evenin SA

Gaeltachta: I saw your comment above Jane......... I sent wegrokit about 19 covers they didn't have

DavidWrightSr: Hi Everyone!

SAcademy: Good evening, all.

ddavitt: Just talking about all the different Heinlein book covers; amazing variety

ddavitt: How many are there i wonder? hundreds I guess

Gaeltachta: I only have about 15 minutes....... then off to work.

ddavitt: :-(

Gaeltachta: But I will be back Saturday/Sunday........

SAcademy: Don't you know that the author of the book has nothing to do with the dust jacket? It's all the editor's doing.

ddavitt: My brother is in a mangrove swamp in Cairns now Sean; sent us a photo of a huge fish he'd caught.

Major oz: I have a book club hardback and a paperback of Friday that have the same cover.

Gaeltachta: Lots of good fishing up there......... Yum!

ddavitt: I have some favourite covers...and some that i don't like at all!

Major oz: And then a later hardback and later p-back with two more covers.

ddavitt: Tuna my husband thinks, about 4 foot long

ddavitt: The IWFNE with the skull and MC with the old man and an embryo in a glass jar are the worst

SAcademy: Now and then they send a sketch for approval--all of which means nothing. The editor has the final say.

Major oz: Tuna in Cairns? ......must be about 100 km out.

ddavitt: Well that was when he was on a catamaran trip

ddavitt: That must be why the covers are so weird sometimes!

LearethGFS has entered the room.

ddavitt: Like the cover blurbs which can be way off base

RMLWJ1 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi there.

bisaacz has entered the room.

ddavitt: And hi again:-)

RMLWJ1: Good evening all.

LearethGFS: Hi, I've only been to one or two of these and it's been a long time since then. Is there a topic?

ddavitt: Yes; three short stories

Major oz: Well, Jane, I envy him. I deeply miss Micronesia.

Gaeltachta: SA, can an author make *any* requests regarding the cover?

ddavitt: They, All You Zombies and Bootstraps

ddavitt: Where's that Oz?

ddavitt:

ddavitt: Sorry:-)

SAcademy: Well, the author can make requestsw,. but that doesn't say he will get his way.

Major oz: formerly, the Eastern Carolines....start about 800 km east of the Phillipines and goes to the Marshalls

Gaeltachta: Seems a bit unfair.........

ddavitt: I think we assume they are all powerful sometimes...sobering thought for would be writers!

SAcademy: But really all the author wants is good sales.

ddavitt: Oops, not Australia. ignore my pitiful attempt at a joke.

ddavitt: I suppose so SA

Gaeltachta: Yes....... but it must be disappointing if the author himself does not like a cover (if that ever happens...)

Major oz: Had fun with my name in the islands, whenever we ran with the Aussies.

ddavitt: I bet!

SAcademy: Ever been to Australia, Jane?

ddavitt: No...Phil, my brother has been there for 10 years now but it's so far...

Gaeltachta: Oz....... have you been down here?

ddavitt: He went home last year and it took almost a week, what with stop overs and such

Major oz: No...almost made it during a break in my Peace Corps service. But went to Bali and fell in love, instead.

Gaeltachta: Ah!....... okey dokie.......

Major oz: ......and we have been together since.

DavidWrightSr: Have you guys seen the picture of the Earth Lights that was mentioned on AFH a couple of days ago. It's awesome and really points out how dependant we are on energy. I'll pick up the URL and post it in a couple of minutes.

Gaeltachta: We have a saying here........ "I've been to Bali too...."

ddavitt: Yes; but I think it's the sff group isn't it?

Gaeltachta: The link wouldn't work for me.........

Major oz: a sattelite pic ?

Major oz: ....of the lights?

DavidWrightSr: You may be right.

ddavitt: They keep saying Canada looks empty!:-)

Major oz: well............

DavidWrightSr: Hang on. I'll try to find the URL.

Major oz: :-)

ddavitt: We conserve electricity, OK!!

ddavitt: or go to bed early....

Gaeltachta: Hellooo.......... (echoes)........ anyone home?

ddavitt:

SAcademy: I wonder whether any of the California delegation will come tonight?

ddavitt: What's up sean?

Major oz: I know you have a station in Quebec that can power the whole eastern seaboard.

ddavitt: Yes, hear there are big power outages

ddavitt: Maybe that

Gaeltachta: I was joking about Canada being empty.......... LOL

ddavitt: is why Bill isn't here?

ddavitt: :-)

Major oz: The rolling blackouts are from midCA north.

Major oz: None in the south.

Phebe314 has entered the room.

SAcademy: Maybe So Cal has to share?

Major oz: .....never......

ddavitt: I don't understand about them buying electricity?

DavidWrightSr: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big.jpg

ddavitt: Hi phebe

Phebe314: Hi, all!

Major oz: usually, the brightest lights are in Saudi Arabia

SAcademy: What don't you understand about it Jane?

Major oz: .....gas burnoff from the wells

Gaeltachta: Nup...........still doesn't wanna work for me (the link).......:-(

ddavitt: If it's there why can't people have it?

ddavitt: Is it that they are borrowing it from other areas?

Phebe314: Newsweek says the problem in California is BANANA: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

Major oz: That's the problem.....it ain't there

ddavitt: So how can another state send it to them

Major oz: CA passed a law that requires the power companies to sell it cheaper than they buy it.

Major oz: David Silver has all the details

bisaacz: That is a neat picture of NorthAM, is it really a sat photo? or a simulation?

Major oz: Socialism gone amuck......if that is nor redundant

SAcademy: And all the power generating companies are going broke.

Phebe314: Yes, well, where is AGPLUSONE!? I worried about his participation tonight considering the power outages!

ddavitt: Oh well, just hope it doesn't last for long. I remember power cuts in the 1970's whn I was little; very disruptive

Major oz: I can't read the green stuff [editor's note: original had a light green font from bisaacz]

Major oz: who is that?

ddavitt: Well, shall we kick off and hope Bill can join us ?

DavidWrightSr: I think that it is real, although it might have the light enhanced.

Phebe314: Not me, I hope: it's not green here on my screen.

Major oz: Go ahead, Jane.....are you volunteering?

DavidWrightSr: I'll post the URL on my website when I post this evening's log.

ddavitt: I think Oz means bisisaacz

ddavitt: eek!

ddavitt: The 'v' word

Major oz: hokay

ddavitt: Well, we've had lots of input from Sean

bisaacz: Why to murder my name ddavitt

Gaeltachta: Before we start properly......... I have to go. See you on Saturday.

ddavitt: Sorry; tired fingers :-)

Gaeltachta: :-)

Major oz: As you have volunteered for Saturday, I can fill in till

bisaacz: It's okay.

ddavitt: Want to say something before you have to go Sean?

Major oz: Bill gets here.

bisaacz: Can everybody read me now?

Major oz: thank you Bis

ddavitt: Sure Oz

Gaeltachta: I'll save it for saturday.......... and read this log first :-)

ddavitt: Yes thanks

ddavitt: Cheat!

Major oz: OK

Major oz: Welcome everyone.

Gaeltachta: :-) bye........

Gaeltachta has left the room.

ddavitt: Bye!

SAcademy: Bye, Sean

Major oz: Tonight we discuss the (as Bill labeled them) the three claustrophobic tragedies

bisaacz: That pict can't be real, look how big antarctica is!

Major oz: They, By His Bootstraps, and All You Zombies

DavidWrightSr: When I read They this evening. I was struck by the fact that this theme pops up in a number of Heinlein stories. (When you stretch a spherical surface onto a flat, the top and bottom get stretched way way out of proportion)

Major oz: All conceerned with time travel, or solipcism (sp?), or "who am I and why am I here?"

ddavitt: I understand claustrophobic but why tragedies? 'They' is maybe but the other two aren't necessarily

ddavitt: Like Crooked House David?

Phebe314: Solipcism.

Major oz: I see it as so because they are unresolved.

bisaacz: Can somebody remind of these stories? I am not sure if I have read them.

ddavitt: In what sense?

ddavitt: They; man who thinks world is against him; it is

Major oz: The time stories are rings -- no beginning, no end

ddavitt: Bootsraps, man goes into future thru a gate; turns out he sent himself

DavidWrightSr: I was thinking of Beyond this horizon, and TEFL particularly, but I think that it occurred in a couple of others.

Major oz: the solipsism is just that -- never resolved, only described

ddavitt: Zombies; man who impregnated himself and the baby is him.

Phebe314: "They" is the most brilliant, I think: classic childhood then adult paranoid schizophrenic.

bisaacz: I remember Bootstraps now, I really liked that one.

ddavitt: Headache time trying to figure it all out but very entertaining

ddavitt: Does anyone agree that They is a lot like Truman Show?

BPRAL22169 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Vice versa that is.

Phebe314: BUT ----- it's all true! a wonderful reversal of all the old Poe stories of crazy people and other such tales.

Major oz: I recall as a teen giving serious thought to solipcism, long before I knew what it was.

BPRAL22169: Hello, all.

Major oz: yo, Bill

SAcademy: Evening, Bill

ddavitt: Hi Bill

DavidWrightSr: I don't really consider it solipsism. This is the notion that the protagonist is part of some 'over mind' and is playing a part.

Phebe314: VERY nice comparison, Jane, I LOVE it.

Major oz: we have begun, figuring you were caught in an elevator or in a no-traffic-light jam

BPRAL22169: Not so far, thank ghu.

ddavitt: It is the same theme; all the world a stage set, all people actors barring the star...

Major oz: I don't see him thinking he is playing a part at all.

Major oz: Rather, all the others are

ddavitt: But Truman escapes for good and the nameless guy in They doesn't

Major oz: just for him

BPRAL22169: You do seem to have it well in hand.

Phebe314: The Truman Show is very close, isn't it. He begins to feel paranoid, and it could not possibly make sense ------ but it's all true! Only in that story, we are complicit from the beginning as audience. In "They" it only develops at the end.

Major oz: Truman?

ddavitt: No Oz, all the others are actors; remmeber Truman ddidn't know that

Major oz: hokay

Major oz: I see

Major oz: I don't see the truman show as being in the same vein at all

ddavitt: Yes, in They, I thought all the time he was insane...

ddavitt: Why not?

Major oz: There is a real world out there re: Truman

Major oz: There isn't in They

BPRAL22169: That's funny -- I never had the impression he was insane -- though I did think the others thought he was.

ddavitt: I see lots of similarities. Well...a few at least :-)

DavidWrightSr: There was a real world, it just wasn't the one he thought it was.

ddavitt: True...but hey, we don't know that either!

Major oz: In they, he wasn't insane -- he was correct

Phebe314: Oh, yeah --- in Truman (and They) it seems the whole world is about him. And it is!

ddavitt: Where is it set? Could be in space, on a holdeck sort of thing

ddavitt: Too many unanswered questions in they.

Major oz: But truman is AFTIFICIALLY detached

ddavitt: And They man isn't?

Major oz: In They, the world doesn't exist.

ddavitt: Syas who?

Major oz: It is assembled and dissassembled just for him

Major oz: says the book

ddavitt: Like the stage set on truman.

BPRAL22169: Theconsensus reality worldis clearl constructed and deconstructed for his benefit.

Phebe314: So is the protag in They. I think he's a sort of angel, or a God. The Glaroon is worried about him "assimilating" them. I think they want to be separate, like Lucifer.

DavidWrightSr: But the 'set' exists in some kind of real world.

ddavitt: brb; baby alert

Major oz: But there IS a world outside Truman's bubble

Major oz: There isn't in They

Phebe314: Right

Phebe314: My favorite part is when they dismantle New York City and Harvard University; I never forgot that, as both places were important to me.

BPRAL22169: There is a world outside the "They" protagonist -- but it isn't a mimesis, the way Truman's outside world is. It's real reality, the one we cannot sense with our puny five senses.

DavidWrightSr: Repeat. Yes there is. It just isn't what he percieves it to be. After the Glaroon and the others exist in some kind of a world.

DavidWrightSr: after=after all

DavidWrightSr: space, continuum or whatever you want to call it.

Major oz: Is that, Bill, like the Iliad wasn't written by homer but by another blind Greek of the same name?

Phebe314: In a sense, They is not a true solipsistic story because there ARE separate creatures.

BPRAL22169: No.

bisaacz has left the room.

BPRAL22169: Read any Emerson?

Major oz: looks like it to me

Major oz: don't remember

Major oz: ralph w ?

Phebe314: A true solipcism is probably All You Zombies, or certainly Twain's Mysterious Stranger: in the end, he was all there was at all.

DavidWrightSr: Like Lazarus and Felix, he has glimpses of a possible 'real existance' when he dreams.

BPRAL22169: There's a long philosophical tradition that says real reality is so much bigger than we can sense that we can't know anything important using our sense mechanisms.

Major oz: I just read the simple declarative sentences

Phebe314: What?

Major oz: Thus my comment about Homer

Phebe314: Or maybe I should say, what.

DavidWrightSr: I don't think Zombies is solipsistic either. He realizes that there are others. He just can't figure out where they came from!!

Major oz: Sounds like a fundamentalist illustrating why Joshua stopped the sun.

Major oz: HOW

BPRAL22169: Somebody raised an interesting point - was he talking about his earlier selves or the rest of the people in the universe?

Major oz: who?

BPRAL22169: The time operative

DavidWrightSr: I've always thought he was talking about the others not himself

Phebe314: David saying, "He realizes that there are others. He just can't figure out where they came from!!" Well, they could be made up, puppets, sims, avatars. From "They" -- "...you have set thousands of others around me whose faces are blank, not lived in, and whose speech is a meaningless reflex of noise."

BPRAL22169: I had the other impression, until that question was raised in the preparatory chats.

DavidWrightSr: But he (they) knew that there were real others.

BPRAL22169: i.e., that the Zombies were his earlier selves.

Major oz: It's been done on TV, where "they" were in blue body suits.

Phebe314: But in Zombies, there ARE other people populating the city, right?

Major oz: constructing and tearing down "sets" for the protag, wherever he was

Phebe314: I mean, it's not empty?

BPRAL22169: Sturgeon did a story that appeared in Unknown just a month or two later based on the same notion, but not nearly so subtly handled.

DavidWrightSr: Oz. actually, that is not 'They', but is very similar. I read the original for that one a long time ago , but can't recall who wrote it.

DavidWrightSr: In that story. All of the world was being torn down and recreated for all of the inhabitants, not just a single person.

Major oz: Yeah, David. The protag only discovers it because he gets in a "time stop" a la McDonald's Girl Gold Watch, and everything.

Phebe314: If there are other people in any sense in the Zombie city, then that story isn't a true solipcism either. It's an Orobourous (sp?) snake eating his tail story.

Major oz: Nah, Phebe -- there is no circle

Phebe314: Why not? Looks like it.

BPRAL22169: And of course, the operative is in Lazarus Long's Time Corps, apparently.

Major oz: show me a connect point

Major oz: now, that's cheating, Bill

DavidWrightSr: There are several loops, but no circle. You are right Oz.

BPRAL22169: Why do you say that, Oz?

Major oz: Time of authorship

Major oz: No way can I accept he anticipated the time corps of Sail

BPRAL22169: I don't understand. Wny is that a Bad Thing?

Phebe314: Loops but no circle? How do they break out of that circle? I can't see any DISconnects. Happy to have them pointed out....

BPRAL22169: Ah. He didn't. He remembered "Zombies" when writing Cat.

Major oz: I yield

BPRAL22169: I think Oz means the Time Operative lives his life after exiting the multiple loops he has just traversed.

Major oz: memory, and all that

BPRAL22169: So there's loops, but not repeating circle. Same for "They" and "Bootstraps."

Phebe314: Okay, but where does he exit? I think he's in big trouble there.....

Major oz: Definite loops in Bootstraps and Zombies

Major oz: Just a story,,,,,,no time talk at all, in They

SAcademy has left the room.

BPRAL22169: We leave him after he is finished with the loops -- it's a straight line for him from here on out. probably.

Phebe314: I agree that They is not a circle, but Zombies always seemed like one to me.

BPRAL22169: Sorry, you're right about "They."

DavidWrightSr: Follow the time line from the beginning with the arrival of the baby through to the Bar owner reporting back in and getting drunk at the end, it starts into the loop, backtracks over and over and then exits at the end

Major oz: exits ? or just stops ?

BPRAL22169: Now, there is a real circle in time with the notebook in "By His Bootstraps"

Phebe314: Okay, on reread I'll watch *carefully this time* for the exit. :-)

BPRAL22169: It was never originated -- just recopied.

BPRAL22169: But Bob

BPRAL22169: Wilson just loops himself and then exits the loops.

DavidWrightSr: exits. same as with Diktor, Dan Davis, Lazarus, Libby and others.

Major oz: Yes, Bill. I love the part where "Diktor" says he should have saved the old book when he copied it

Major oz: ....perhaps he could have broken the sequence

BPRAL22169: Yup. Makes the circle possible

Major oz: ....according to him

BPRAL22169: These are real tours de force in terms of writing technique.

Major oz: And you have to be wide awake

Major oz: ....not bedtime reading

Phebe314: Yes, they are. I wasn't so wild about the circles or loops ones, but They has always been a favorite.

DavidWrightSr: The only story of RAH's that I can think of which doesn't contain fixed time loops is Farnham's Freehold.

Major oz: "fixed" time loops ?

BPRAL22169: Has anybody read other loop in time books? David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself -- The Great Time Machine Hoax (Laumer, I think), and Harry Harrison's The Technicolor Time Machine.

DavidWrightSr: I mean they looped, but the second time around was different.

Phebe314: The Doomsday Book?

Major oz: hokay

Phebe314: by Connie Willis

BPRAL22169: Heinlein used Dunne and Ouspensky time theory a lot -- you just jump to another time track.

Phebe314: Define fixed time loops?

BPRAL22169: So the second track isn't going to be exactly like the first.

DavidWrightSr: That's what I mean. Only FF does that IIRC. the others all went over the 'same' sequence with no changes, just changes in POV

SAcademy has entered the room.

Phebe314: Farnham...it went back to a DIFFERENT situation, a time which was changed? Or DID it? Wasn't what they went back to fixed, the same world only the bombs did explode but they had time to prepare and get away from the explosion center?

DavidWrightSr: Remember her car had been an automatic, not a stick shift. and things didn't turn out exactly as they had the first time.

BPRAL22169: Was Farnham only seeing things differently or was it really different?

Phebe314: Hmmmmmmmm, I never noticed that about Farnham!

Phebe314: Okay, Door Into Summer was of course a fixed time loop.

DavidWrightSr: She said that she had never learned to drive a stick.

Major oz: Quote from Bootstraps: "If higher dimensions are required to 'hold' a four-dimensional continuum, then the number of dimensions of space and time are necessarily infinite; each order requires the next higher order to maintain it."

Major oz: What do we think about that?

Phebe314: I think Heinlein brought it into scifi and it's been a mainstay ever since.

DavidWrightSr: Same as his 'N-space' quote from Citizen...

BPRAL22169: That's Dunne.

Major oz: And it it a precursor of NOTB?

Major oz: It just makes elegant sense to me.

Phebe314: For example, Mainline by Deborah Christian uses slipsliding through multiple universes Job-style.

DavidWrightSr: Of course, I forgot the biggest one in which there are no fixed time loops. Cat...

DavidWrightSr: The circle of Ouroboros were going about changing past events.

Phebe314: About all the Heinlein stories being about time loops --- surely not all had time shifts in them.... Double Star.

DavidWrightSr: Oh no. I was just talking about the ones which had time travel, not all of his books.

Major oz: "Will the circle be unbroken, by and by, Lord, by and by" Just learned that on the dobro.

Major oz: Must have been the theme song of the Corps

Phebe314: You play the dobro!!?? Noble instrument.

Major oz: ....learning

BPRAL22169: Took a moment to look at Farnham. You were right -- things did change in the reality they went back to; it's not just seeing things differently.

BPRAL22169: Heinlein dragged a red herring across that particular trail.

Phebe314: "They" is different. It's about supreme self-confidence in a way; a metaphor for people trying to persuade you that you are crazy. But you aren't! One of life's great lessons, really.

Major oz: Didn't Farnam and company go "back" to a time AFTER he had been transported ahead?

Major oz: balay that

BPRAL22169: No -- they arrived about the time the earlier Farnhams were sitting down to Bridge.

DavidWrightSr: No. before. they had to get out of time before the Big one hit.

Major oz: just hit me when I pressed enter

DavidWrightSr: out of time=out of town

Phebe314: "Door" also has a sequence in which there are TWO sets of actors.

DavidWrightSr: Hmmm. Maybe 'get out of time' has something there after all:-)

BPRAL22169: All the things Heinlein set up so they would make sense later certainly show how tightly Heinlein planned his writing -- no random typing for that boy!

Major oz: "This time ain't big enough for the two of us........"

Phebe314: Oh, very good. :-)

Major oz: You really think so, Bill

Major oz: ?

BPRAL22169: I do. Think about it -- early in the book there is a crank doorbell with a crazy coot Farnham chases away. Tht's Farnham2 as we find out at the end.

Major oz: I think he had the luxury, in his later works, of choosing from the myriad stuff he wrote earlier.

Phebe314: Sure.

Major oz: He had written on so many subjects, that something had to be useful.

BPRAL22169: Farnham makes the comments about how it's good to have a stickshift in the mountains so his wife can later say she had an automatic so we know it's a changed past.

Major oz: I don't see any foresight

DavidWrightSr: He was a 'mining engineer'

BPRAL22169: All these little details are intricate prior planning.

BPRAL22169: Remember, the book was written in a 25 day stretch, according to Grumbles.

Phebe314: What a radical book that was.

DavidWrightSr: But didn't he say that he only wrote one book with a detailed outline. He just had the 'characters' talk to each other and when he knew what they were saying, he sat down and wrote it. I seem to recall that paraphrase from somewhere.

Major oz: Among fans, it is the least liked (maybe Job); but it is one of my favorites.

BPRAL22169: Heinlein does seem to use loops in time quite a lot. Any suggestion why that might be so? Why was the idea important (or at any rate "interesting") to him so many times over such a long time.

Phebe314: Why do you like Farnham, Oz?

BPRAL22169: I think Fear No Evil is probably disliked more than Farnham.

Phebe314: Or Job. Well, maybe you are right, I never COULD get through IWFNE.

Major oz: Because he was a person of logic in the center of emotion, with a few tragic flaws.

BPRAL22169: Job is just very, very densely literary.

DavidWrightSr: Personally, I think that you will find 'some' group of fans 'somewhere' who will dislike at least one particular book, and it simply depends on their taste.

Phebe314: Well, it was swiped from Twain's Captain Stormfield, certainly ---- anything else literary?

DavidWrightSr: Which was swiped. IWFNE, FF or what?

BPRAL22169: The first time I read Job I thought -- this is the first Heinlein book that I didn't have the feeling he was speaking directly to me. It took several readings for me to become delighted with it.

Major oz: Job

BPRAL22169: There's a lot of Milton in Job -- and a lot of Cabell, too.

ddavitt: back, sorry, David is in Boston, lauren picks tonight to be v restless :-(

Phebe314: Job was very closely modeled on Twain's Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, which was better.

Major oz: I, as I think I said here once before, gave my daughter, the Fundamentalist, a copy of Job.

Major oz: She loved it.

BPRAL22169: The Heaven part was -- the visit to Hell and the character of Satan came out of Jurgen.

Phebe314: Milton? Hint?

BPRAL22169: All the demons who make up their neighbors at the end? All out of Paradise Lost.

BPRAL22169: Also the idea that Satan and God are brothers comes from Milton, I think.

Major oz: But a different twist.

SAcademy: Love that bureaucratic heaven!

Major oz: PL was scary -- Job was fun

Phebe314: Hmmmmmm, I don't recall demons as neighbors in Paradise Lost, mostly just the tragic Lucifer falling through the seven heavens.

BPRAL22169: I thought Heinlein did a wonderful job at fleshing out Twain's Captain Stormfield.

Major oz: I have often thought, SA, that heaven would be just like that.

ddavitt: Scary thought!

BPRAL22169: Go back and read the catalog of his good neighbors. I seem to recall Beelzebub, Astoreth, others.

Phebe314: Bill saying, "Also the idea that Satan and God are brothers comes from Milton, I think." If so, it would have been heresy; I doubt Milton would have been approved reading if heredical (sp).

Major oz: I am old enough to remember the first characteristic you found about in a new aquaintence was his religion.

ddavitt: But Satan was always a fallen angel wan't he; he was God's right hand man.

Phebe314: The bureaucratic heaven was totally Twain. Captain Stormfield is VERY worth reading, really unforgettable.

ddavitt: As close as a brother in many ways

ddavitt: Yes, i enjoyed that story too

Phebe314: Bill saying, "Go back and read the catalog of his good neighbors. I seem to recall Beelzebub, Astoreth, others." Okay, I am rusty on Paradise Lost, I admit. Let's talk about Dante! :-)

Major oz: I was always sad that the Archangel Michael didn't make an appearance in Job.

DavidWrightSr: Is Stormfield available on the Gutenberg Project ? Is that the right name?

BPRAL22169: Unfortunately, not a great deal of the Divine Comedyin Dante -- though Job is a kind of divine comedy in its own way.

BPRAL22169: I got Stormfield from Gutenberg.

Phebe314: I think, as I mentioned, that the creatures in "They" are fallen angels.

DavidWrightSr: Thanks.

Major oz: why, Phebe?

DavidWrightSr: The Glaroon is mentioned in Job as I recall.

ddavitt: So is the world he remembers in sleep, heaven?

BPRAL22169: Actually, I think I've got a file I could e-mail you. Let's see if I can lay hands on it.

ddavitt: Is he an exiled angel being punished? Or a sick one being cured?

ddavitt: What is the contract?

Phebe314: Oz saying about finding out people's religion: order of important facts about everyone: gender, age, race, social class, business ---- I hadn't heard religion, but I bet you are right.

DavidWrightSr: I think that he is much more important than that.

BPRAL22169: Nah -- much more important to find out how your families are related.

ddavitt: Sorry, Treaty

Major oz: In the 40's and early 50's it was important.

Major oz: Mom would always ask of a new friend.

DavidWrightSr: What's your sign?

Major oz: ....of mine

BPRAL22169: That's very 70's.

Major oz: or my siblings'

BPRAL22169: That and "do you come here often?"

DavidWrightSr: In his dream, didn't the protagonist in They mentioned 'others'?

ddavitt: It would never occur to me to ask a person;s religion ( or sign!)

Major oz: Most people I knew didn't / couldn't date outside their religion.

Phebe314: I found it with a simple Go.com search, but the one I found wasn't on Gutenberg; it's probably there, though. Probably comes from Twain's "Pen warmed up in Hell" collection. Reasonably short. Delightful. I love the welcome traditionally given to bartenders saved at the last moment before death.

ddavitt: My parents were of different religions but it never caused problems

BPRAL22169: Delightful as it is to wander in gardens of bright images, are we not wandering afield?

Major oz: Thankfully, the world changed quickly.

ddavitt: You've been reading Wimsey!

Major oz: .....at least in North America.

Phebe314: Well, that's what I think, that it's heaven and he is a God or an angel; because he is constantly looking to merge, and that is what he dreams of, merging and total communication. This separation ---- that is rather Milton, isn't it.

BPRAL22169: Deed I do. But that's a quote from Ernst Brahmah.

ddavitt: I know; harriet quotes it to peter in gaol

ddavitt: Kai Lung?

BPRAL22169: Yes.

BPRAL22169: Exactly.

DavidWrightSr: Sayers is a favorite of mine, but I couldn't remember that quote either.

BPRAL22169: Phebe, I don't think "They" fits in the Christian cosmology at all.

BPRAL22169: It's in Busman's Honeymoon, I think.

ddavitt: packrat memory.:-)

Major oz: I'm lost (classics comix reader)

ddavitt: No; Strong Poison

Phebe314: Jane saying, " Is he an exiled angel being punished? Or a sick one being cured?" I think he is a captured angel or god. There is some sort of treaty, probably a non-assimilation treaty. They have to keep him from assimilating them or they will perish; they much fear his becoming aware of what he is.

DavidWrightSr: Not necessarily Christian, but Godly

ddavitt: So what is he? good or eveil? What he remembers seems good

DavidWrightSr: Maybe the Gods of the Jockaira :-)

BPRAL22169: I think it's more like an instance of "the world is just a game we whipped up among ourselves and agreed to forget the rules."

Major oz: Who, Phebe? The protag in They?

ddavitt: Can we assume his captors are evil?

Phebe314: Bill saying, "Nah -- much more important to find out how your families are related." Boy, that sure was true in Tennessee. In fact, NOTHING else mattered at all!

Major oz: Ain't that a bit of a stretch ?

BPRAL22169: That was another interesting suggestion -- that the long lost elder race of "Bootstraps" was the gods of the Jockaira.

ddavitt: Notice how he has no name and neither does jane really; i get the impression she's 'Jane Doe'

DavidWrightSr: In Tennessee and Georgia everyone is related to everyone :-)

ddavitt: Another example of 'everyman"/

BPRAL22169: When I was back in Missouri for my mother's funeraal, we met a strange couple at the graveyard -- within 5 minutes we had pegged each others' relations.

Phebe314: You know, my current husband actually did ask me my sign? Fortunately it wasn't Taurus (his first wife). He is heavily into astrology because he loves the math (and is Slovenian-American: I think they are a little psychic).

BPRAL22169: It's a Southern thing.

ddavitt: Yep...not a British thing.

ddavitt: Well, not in my class anyway! :-)

BPRAL22169: It could also be "plain Jane."

BPRAL22169: Of course, knowing Heinlein, it could be both.

ddavitt: Hmm...

DavidWrightSr: Only among us poor ex-patriot British southerners :-)

Phebe314: No? Well, may well not, but I was trying to make sense of very little data.

ddavitt: I was really excited when I found that typo in bootstaps; thought it was A Clue

Major oz: Interesting, Bill -- the local cemetary just dedicated a civil war memorial. Among the folks I knew there, they showed me how almost every marker in the place was related to each of the others.

Major oz: .....I'm in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Phebe314: Sorry, yes, the protag in "They."

BPRAL22169: My family comes from the same area -- Ellsinore, MO.

BPRAL22169: I was born in the Big City (St. Louis, not KC)

Phebe314: Bill saying, "I think it's more like an instance of "the world is just a game we whipped up among ourselves and agreed to forget the rules."

Hinduism: the ULTIMATE solipcism!

BPRAL22169: 29 miles northwest of Poplar Bluff.

Major oz: hokay -- swamp country

ddavitt: What exactly is solipsism? I'm real, you aren't?

ddavitt: Kind of hard to prove if so...

BPRAL22169: Hindusim, sure, a bit -- but much closer to Emerson's Over-Soul. Remember Emerson was Required Reading for everybody until about 1940.

Major oz: not only that, but nobody else is

DavidWrightSr: Solipsism, It would have to be 'a world I whipped up myself' wouldn't it?

ddavitt: Arrogant.

ddavitt: lonely.

BPRAL22169: Theoretically, the Over-Soul splits bits of itself up in time (it lives outside of time) so it can play this game with itself.

Major oz: the only other existence is to build the "sets" to make it look like there is something.

ddavitt: Nope, i don't like it. Ipso facto, not true.

ddavitt: (Since if it is true, I get to make up the rules...i can't lose!)

Phebe314: Jane saying, What exactly is solipsism? I'm real, you aren't? Great definition! Let's go with it.

DavidWrightSr: I once entertained the idea that all people were simply a single 'soul' going back and forth through all creatures, or at least all humans.

Major oz: The clinical cases are those who think that all creation exists to serve them.

BPRAL22169: Very Emersonian -- very Hindu, too.

Major oz: .....like my ex

BPRAL22169: Must have been a cat in a previous life.

Phebe314: "Kind of hard to prove if so..." Right, leading to "I think, therefore I am" sort of pondering.

Phebe314: I don't know about Over-Soul, but Emerson was an American Buddhist.

SAcademy has left the room.

ddavitt: Not flaming, Phebe :-) but one of sawyer's books has this as an ending; all of us die and become part of God again; we were just on holiday whilst living sort of thing.

BPRAL22169: I think you're working it from the wrong direction, Phebe -- take it from the other end: you can know yourself -- the cogito -- but can you know anything -- and particularly any one -- else?

Major oz: not only "I think....." but "I am the only one who is"

BPRAL22169: Exactly, Oz.

ddavitt: But if it is just me....what's the point in being nice to others? No motivation to be good.

Major oz: exactly

Major oz: like my ex

BPRAL22169: It's amusing -- it's entertainment. it's an esthetic judgment -- and we are right back to JOB.

ddavitt: maybe all murderers are solipists at heart

DavidWrightSr: That's why I agreed to forget all of that so I would think that there are others :-)

Major oz: some of the sociopaths are !!!!

Phebe314: Oz saying, " The clinical cases are those who think that all creation exists to serve them." Well, no ---- they can also be people who think all creation exists to track their thoughts, spy on them, and make them do bad stuff, and they can only keep themselves safe by wearing aluminum foil hats.

Major oz: It is a common diagnosis in sociopaths.

DavidWrightSr: Some of the time, I'm nice and some of the times I'm not :-)

BPRAL22169: Certainly many sociopaths don't have any sense of the reality of other human beings.

ddavitt: Certainly was a theme in Heinlein for whatever reason.

BPRAL22169: But Heinlein had a great sense of the reality of other human beings, It seems to me.

Major oz: Close, Phebe, but no. There may be others, but they are constructs, not real.

BPRAL22169: Oher is mystery. Other, in fact, is the Big Mystery.

DavidWrightSr: 'automatics' as Felix Hamilton called them

ddavitt: Going back to bootstraps, what does happen after the story 'ends'? I see you discussed if it was closed or not but there are still two people there when there is only one Bob. Will they live there together? If so what about the other versions? Where are they?

Phebe314: Bill saying, "but can you know anything -- and particularly any one -- else? " Not logically, of course ----- hence the fun of writing solipsistic stories and thinking such thoughts.

Major oz: or Zombies.......and we have a tie-in

BPRAL22169: Gentles, I feel the need of a short break. What is the consensus?

ddavitt: OK

Major oz: one hour?

Major oz: ga

Phebe314: "like my ex" ------ :-)

BPRAL22169: About. Oz, you want the conn?

Major oz: hokay

BPRAL22169: I've got 7:05; let's reconvene at about 7:10-ish.

Major oz: What happened to Sean

ddavitt: Work

Major oz: He got browser problems

Major oz: hokay

ddavitt: No; time to start work

DavidWrightSr: Reminds me of a particular beef I have with the series '7 days'. Although I enjoy it on one level, it really bugs me that each time he goes back, he himself is not there. i.e. no loop in the RAH sense.

Major oz: work is the curse of the drinking class

ddavitt: Never seen that one

Phebe314: Bill saying, "Certainly many sociopaths don't have any sense of the reality of other human beings." Is that true in the sense of solipcism, or just that they don't identify, don't empathize? I mean, they believe in the *existence* of people, I suppose, don't think they are avatars....

Major oz: what is that, David

DavidWrightSr: It's on UPN, so I don't know how many people have seen it.

Major oz: Phebe, some pathological types, even though they man have a 70 IQ, and couldnt pronounce solipcism, have a well developed case of it.

DavidWrightSr: Actually, I have always preferred the 'no changing the past' approach to time travel as in 'bootstraps' and 'Zombies'

Major oz: man=may

Major oz: Anybody recall a movie dealing with time travel which centered aroung air crashes, and the comcept of "time quakes"

DavidWrightSr: Varley's Millenium I believe.

DavidWrightSr: They pulled the people out and substituted 'fakes' to take them into the future to save mankind. as I recall

Major oz: something like that

ddavitt: bit like maureen's clone body

Major oz: was that Varley ?

DavidWrightSr: I'm pretty sure, but I could be wrong. I had the book, but gave it away.

Major oz: Never read the book, only saw the movie.

Major oz: One of the few that completed a thought in SF

DavidWrightSr: I didn't read it either. Can't recall why not.

DavidWrightSr: 'Completed a thought'. How so?

BPRAL22169: back

Phebe314: I'm back, too.

Major oz: Usually SF stories taken from novels cannot get the ideas across in the time constraint. Now, I may be uninformed, as I didn't read the book. But I thought it was coherent and complete, unlike most.

DavidWrightSr: I'm always here, but sometimes all of you go away :-)

ddavitt: :-) laz or lor?

Phebe314: Aaaaaak! David is a solipcist!

Major oz: yes

BPRAL22169: I thought that was Bova's Millennium.

DavidWrightSr: No just quoting Laz or Lor, IIRC

ddavitt: So, anyone up to answering my question about Bootstraps?

DavidWrightSr: Which question was that Jane?

Phebe314: I didn't reread it this afternoon yet.

ddavitt: Scroll back to just before we broke

ddavitt: too long to retype :-)

Phebe314: As the price on the cover is 75 cents, that means I have a problem with discussing that one.

ddavitt: Going back to bootstraps, what does happen after the story 'ends'? I see you discussed if it was closed or not but there are still two people there when there is only one Bob. Will they live there together? If so what about the other versions? Where are they?

ddavitt: Cut and paste rules!

BPRAL22169: The basics of the question is what happens after the end of "Bootstraps" with a second question --

BPRAL22169: You got to it.

BPRAL22169: I think the others are back there in their personal timelines, and Diktor is going forward with his own timeline.

BPRAL22169: "rule wisely."

ddavitt: But there is no Bob who stays in the past.

Major oz: Diktor and Bob#1 will re-enact the story, but what will happen to Diktor is a guess.

ddavitt: Is there?

DavidWrightSr: That's simple he starts the younger Bob out into his first loop. and then he lives happily ever after by himself.

DavidWrightSr: and his girls :-)

ddavitt: But that Bob will eventually return...

Phebe314: So David, at least, prefers timelines that don't change, that

stay the same as in Door Into Summer?

DavidWrightSr: not to that time.

Major oz: and continue

ddavitt: Why not?

Major oz: don't think linearly, think parallel (ly)

BPRAL22169: Too bad one cannot draw in this medium -- it would help to be able to illustrate the loops.

ddavitt: I see that it's like a linear progression that you can sidestep and rejoin arlier

Major oz: ....would look like a Kline Bottle

BPRAL22169: If really necessary, I think I could talk you through the diagram.

ddavitt: There is a continous Bob, like Pinero's pink worm

BPRAL22169: But it's a complicated diagram.

Phebe314: I've been knitting Moebius scarves....a Kline Bottle would make a good cowl.....

DavidWrightSr: Exactly, each loop goes back and side steps the earlier existence.

ddavitt: That's why you can cut it up into segments; Bob 1, 2 3 ,Diktor

Major oz: I see it as a time equivilent of the rolling roads -- just get on the one that strikes your fancy. Who knows, you may meet yourself.

BPRAL22169: There is only one Bob -- and occasionally he jumps into the past and jumps back. it's the jumping back that guarantees it's a loop and not a circle.

ddavitt: As i said on afh, I am not the jane of a year ago; in a sense it's a lot of freeze frames

BPRAL22169: Like B lives through o then loops back to be with b.

ddavitt: So when the Bobs meet face to face they are all part of the overall entity that is Bob.

DavidWrightSr: same as in Zombies. baby--Jane--Unmarried Mother--Bar owner. one entrance and one exit.

ddavitt: Different aspects of him

Phebe314: The Long Man, Christmas Humphreys

Major oz: A friend of mine had her picture taken, nude in profile, each week during her pregancy. Flipping them in a stack is really neeeeet.

ddavitt: I need tylenol....

ddavitt: Yes! good analogy Oz

BPRAL22169: I think they had just introduced tylenol when Zombies was published.

ddavitt: we don't step forward each moment leaving an empty space behind us. there isn't one us, there are a myriad

DavidWrightSr: Do you think that there was a causal effect to that? :-)

ddavitt:

BPRAL22169: With the Circle of Ouroboros around, you never can tell, can you?

ddavitt: Wonder why Heinlein went back to that in cat?

Major oz: I agree, Jane, with the "...isn't just one of us..." but I put it in parallel and they are tracks I can leap laterally on. AND each track moves at a different speed.

Phebe314: He really loved time paradoxes.

ddavitt: Why different speed?

DavidWrightSr: Think of Pinero's long pink worm. Put in on a flat surface and let it extend from the front. it can circle around, cross over or under itself any number of times and eventually start out in a straight line away from all of that crossing.

BPRAL22169: I think it's part of the larger structur eof the World as Myth books -- he was cuing us that the overall structure of the completed story would involve a major loop in time.

Major oz: He set the gate to two hours, a week, and ten years.

ddavitt: OK

ddavitt: Took him a while to suss it out didn't it/ Not a nice man really.

BPRAL22169: He was a frelk.

ddavitt: And looks like he was working on a Zeb type thesis

DavidWrightSr: ?? frelk

Phebe314: klerf?

BPRAL22169: I think that ws slang from Door Into Summer.

ddavitt: Not that i remember but ...

Major oz: Procedure: I am coming up on my two hour limit. I will try to get back, but the ISP has been acting gooberingly lately.

ddavitt: Good luck

BPRAL22169: Didn't Belle call Dan that when he visited her last year?

BPRAL22169: Good luck, Oz.

ddavitt: frimp?

ddavitt: hang on..

Phebe314: I don't know if Dan was a frimp, but Belle was by then a frump.

BPRAL22169: Oh, good, somebody else gets to pull down his/her entire library during one of these chats!

DavidWrightSr: Mine's behind some computer boxes, or I would have jumped to it.

Major oz: what are we looking for?

ddavitt: shiker

Phebe314: Door slang

BPRAL22169: I usually have a stack of books on my bed by the time we're finished.

DavidWrightSr: A quote from Door into Summer

Major oz: hokay

ddavitt: and the naughty word of the time was'kink'

Phebe314: Well, he got that right!

DavidWrightSr: like 'service station' in Zombies ?

ddavitt: But was it when he wrote it?

BPRAL22169: Well, I don't know where my "frelk" came from. I refuse to tink about it.

ddavitt: Yes, that was funny.

Phebe314: No.

Major oz: among some about the time of its writing, "kink" meant homosexual

Phebe314: Oh. I guess that was my sheltered years. I remember when I found out about Pinky Lee...very traumatic.

ddavitt: I thought H was picking a word at random just to show how language could change

ddavitt: Like the obviuos; 'gay'

BPRAL22169: I think that's just what he was doing -- but he may have had reason to think 'kink' would develop a kink.

Major oz: could be --- I wasn't asserting that he used it as such.

Phebe314: Tad Williams does that brilliantly in Otherland: scan is a dirty word and they use it very creatively: scanmaster, scanning, scans utterly....

ddavitt: Wonder why he went to lenghts to make Bob nasty?

BPRAL22169: it has a kind of Kerouacian ring to it, doens't it? Kink, I mean.

ddavitt: unusual to have an antihero that early in your career :-)

Major oz: Why do you think he made Bob nasty?

ddavitt: Wouldn't know...

ddavitt: Kerouac I mean

BPRAL22169: Maybe he had to deserve his isolation. Non serviam and all that.

DavidWrightSr: As a linguist of sorts, I am always amused when writers, I'm particularly thinking of H. Beam Piper, assume that 'recording technology' will freeze language. RAH was never guilty of that one.

ddavitt: I'm not sure...so we don't feel sorry for him being exiled?

BPRAL22169: Just glad I don't have to deal with him.

DavidWrightSr: Well, his 'exile' wasn't that bad as I recall.

Phebe314: Well, it seems to be time for me to coalesce in front of the fire with spouse, so I'll leave you good people reluctantly. Looking forward to the next chat!

BPRAL22169: But there is a degree of "freezing" going on -- look how American midwest accent has taken over television.

DavidWrightSr: Night

ddavitt: Poor girlfriend...and the shops he cheated...and the libraries he stole from ( worst of all)

Major oz: nite Pheve

Major oz: Phebe

Phebe314: Night, all.

Phebe314 has left the room.

ddavitt: Night Phebe

BPRAL22169: Before you go -- any suggestions for the next chat.

Major oz: I'llget it right

BPRAL22169: Too late.

DavidWrightSr: That's not freezing. just coalescing(?). Because of the increased intercommunication, language will probably change faster. Typically the larger the number of speakers, the faster it changes.

ddavitt: Or we'll all be on the net and it won't matter

BPRAL22169: Don't think so. Look at French -- hasn't changed all that much in 250 years.

ddavitt: On a related note, my handwriting is now appalling

ddavitt: just don't write anymore; all typing...

ddavitt: I noticed when i did handwritten thank you notes for baby gifts and christmas...

BPRAL22169: And the difference between late Medieval Latin and classical Latin is there -- but you can still read one by knowign the other.

ddavitt: The frenh have made it a priority though; don't they only allow certain baby names too?

BPRAL22169: I don't think that thesis holds much water, David.

BPRAL22169: you're right, Jane -- the Academie Francaise makes a vigorous effort to hold the line.

Major oz has left the room.

ddavitt: that really put my back up when i read about it...

BPRAL22169: The French have been mad for a very long time.

ddavitt: Unwarranted invasion of human rights.

ddavitt: Though Fifi trixiebell type names do make me wonder sometimes if parenbts should be allowed to do that to their children...

ddavitt: we're wandering again aren't we? :-)

BPRAL22169: I was just thinking -- we don't seem to be picking up a second shift this chat. Why don't we talk about possible topics for the upcoming chats?

ddavitt: Fair enough

BPRAL22169: Floor is open for discussion. Any ideas?

ddavitt: umm....

ddavitt: What about some of those that got put forward on afh?

BPRAL22169: How about a word from the lurkers?

BPRAL22169: spin me a tale, jane?

ddavitt: maybe the variuos worlds mentioned in NOTB and why heinlein liked them?

ddavitt: i think i suggested villains..

ddavitt: can't remember all of them but deja might have it

BPRAL22169: How about the worlds of NOTB for a month or six weeks from now -- give people a chance to get up the gumption to re-read it.

ddavitt: :-)

BPRAL22169: Villains is good.

BPRAL22169: howabout Female Villains?

BPRAL22169: Mrs. Grew.

BPRAL22169: Belle Darkin.

BPRAL22169: I can't remember the movie star in "Jeff and the Menace from Earth."

ddavitt: Yes...no arch enemy types as such

ddavitt: Ariel

ddavitt: Not an enemy! she was nice

BPRAL22169: I think he deliberately tried to avoid villains in his earliest stories.

ddavitt: Are there more female villains than male?

ddavitt: lost legacy was an exception

BPRAL22169: Oih -- that reminds me: Mrs. Keithly.

ddavitt: Legless horror...think he realsied that was a bit cliched

BPRAL22169: And the Sons of the Bird.

ddavitt: Then went full circle with Galactic Overlord

BPRAL22169: How about a general topic: Villains and Antagonists

ddavitt: Yes...they were supernatural too

ddavitt: Could be fun.

BPRAL22169: And of course the master villain of all -- The Beast.

DavidWrightSr: Is there any possibility that there is any patterns by pseudonyms? Just a guess

DavidWrightSr: In the early stories, I mean.

ddavitt: Which was worst? Wormfaces or three council?

BPRAL22169: How do you mean?

ddavitt: Oh, interesting david

ddavitt: H wrote certain stories for certain pseudonyms.

BPRAL22169: I think Campbell tended to use them whenever he had two stories by the same writers in the same issue.

ddavitt: Generally best ones under RAH

DavidWrightSr: I'm not sure exactly, but wasn't Hoag and Lost legacy under psn.

RMLWJ1: Do svidania, all.

BPRAL22169: Hoag was "Jonathan Riverside."

ddavitt: but bootstraps was Anson macdonald so not always the case

BPRAL22169: V syevo xoroshova

DavidWrightSr: s'pokoijni nochi

ddavitt: Er..goodnight

RMLWJ1 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: You speak Russian too Bill?

BPRAL22169: I think he (Campbell) intended for all the Future History stories to be RAH.

BPRAL22169: Just a few words -- from hanging around Russian students in college.

BPRAL22169: I never learned the new orthography for transliterating.

ddavitt: "great language for thinking paranoid thoughts in'; triv quiz!

DavidWrightSr: I can't transliterate worth a darn. NOTB. Hilda

BPRAL22169: Not buying "Let There Be Light" kind of threw a monkey wrench in that one.

BPRAL22169: I think that's how the Lyle Monroe pseudonym was exposed.

ddavitt: Gold Star

BPRAL22169: Lyle Monroe was reserved for non-astounding sales at lower rates. His "fire sale" stories.

ddavitt: So, is there a correlation between pseudonyms and type of villain then?

BPRAL22169: So there really isn't a "pattern" in his pseudonyms -- just the convenience of the moment.

DavidWrightSr: Maybe the type of story sort of conditioned who would buy it and therefore which psn he would use.

BPRAL22169: I think Beyond This Horizon was Anson MacDonald -- but Methuselah's Children was RAH. Let me look.

ddavitt: But again he came full circle; evil villains at the start, normal human evil in the middle, evil on a grand scale at the end

ddavitt: of his career I mean

ddavitt: back to circles..or maybe spirals

DavidWrightSr: Interesting. Most of his protags were 'special' people, but tied to 'everyman' by using names like Smith or Jones.

ddavitt: End up at the same point but floating above it so to speak.

DavidWrightSr: Spirals is the way to look at it.

BPRAL22169: Checked -- I remembered correctly. Plus Sixth Column was Anson macDonald.

ddavitt: He used the comic book villains at the start out of inexperience, at the end deliberatley to make a point

ddavitt: same villains, different motivations.

DavidWrightSr: 'File off the serial numbers, dress them up differently'

ddavitt: Maybe we should stop or there won't be anything to discuss in 2

weeks :-)

DavidWrightSr: or something like that. Like I said, he was a 'mining engineer' :-)

ddavitt: Yep; high grading is fun to spot in his works

DavidWrightSr: Nah. gets us off to a good start to think about it.

BPRAL22169: Ok -- jane, will you organize the kickoff post in afh?

ddavitt: Sure

ddavitt: Shall i wait until after saturday to avoid confusion?

DavidWrightSr: Yes Please.

BPRAL22169: I don't think it matters one way or another.

ddavitt: On a side note, when is the Journal out?

BPRAL22169: But why don't we try to schedule another one before the Worlds of NOTB?

ddavitt: My mum and dad visit soon and I'd like them to see it.

DavidWrightSr: It makes my life easier as I pick up all of the posts to add to these logs. Having two subjects at one time complicates things

ddavitt: No problem David; i'll wait.

BPRAL22169: The theoretical press date is 1/7, but I still haven't gotten in one of the major articles. And now it will have to wait until I get back from Santa Cruz -- arly inFebruary.

DavidWrightSr: Spasibo Bolshoye.

DavidWrightSr: Danke Schoen

ddavitt: De nada:-)

ddavitt: OK Bill.

ddavitt: i can scan it to them ( or would that bother you?)

BPRAL22169: ??

ddavitt: Copyright and such

BPRAL22169: ??

ddavitt: i can just send them my article I guess

BPRAL22169: Oh, I see what you mean. Who is "them"?

BPRAL22169: I can always send an offprint to anyone you want to see it.

ddavitt: My parents

ddavitt: No, if it's OK with you, i can scan it so they can see how it looks.

DavidWrightSr: You've got me confused. I thought you said they were coming to visit you and you were going to show it to them when they got there?

BPRAL22169: Fine by me. I release the copyrights back to the authors.

ddavitt: But they will have gone home by the time it arrives

DavidWrightSr: Ah. Got it now.

ddavitt: They come a week today

ddavitt: for a fortnight

DavidWrightSr: you mean two weeks? :-)

ddavitt: So, we need one more topic then?

BPRAL22169: Yours is all set up in type -- only the page numbers will be different.

ddavitt: American!

ddavitt: :-)

BPRAL22169: Yes. For end of February.

ddavitt: David?

ddavitt: Any thoughts?

BPRAL22169: Is it time for Friday again?

ddavitt: Or leareth?

DavidWrightSr: on the next topic?

ddavitt: You're very quiet!:-)

ddavitt: Yes

BPRAL22169: After villains and before NOTB

ddavitt: Friday...didn't we just do that, with Gulf?

BPRAL22169: Too soon, I guess.

DavidWrightSr: Not offhand. I'll try to think of something and let you know

ddavitt: How about a juvenile? Compare his first one and his lasy

ddavitt: Last

ddavitt: RSG and...err...

ddavitt: HSSWT?

BPRAL22169: yeah -- or how about Red Planet versus Starship Troopers?

ddavitt: See how his style evolved

DavidWrightSr: Well, ST was supposed to have been his last.

BPRAL22169: Or ST versus Podkayne, that could be inside the box and outside the box at the same time.

ddavitt: Ooh...could be fun...but which RP?

BPRAL22169: The juveniles that aren't juveniles

BPRAL22169: Sorry -- I mean RSG

ddavitt: He KNEW it wouldn't fly as a juvenile though!

BPRAL22169: I was thinking about your article.

ddavitt: :-)

BPRAL22169: Not so -- it was written to juvenile length and conventions.

ddavitt: Didn't he do it deliberately to break free of Scribners?

BPRAL22169: He wrote the last third of the book when it was picked up by Putnam's

DavidWrightSr: I'm not sure. I think that he was really surprised that it was rejected.

ddavitt: From Grumbles I didn't get that impression somehow

DavidWrightSr: He was certainly annoyed by the rejection.

BPRAL22169: If so, he hedged his bets. It was written so it could have been published by them.

ddavitt: Oh yes. annoyed

ddavitt: understandably so...but more because they didn't seem to be gratefiul for all he'd given them

ddavitt: I don't think he thought they'd publish ST as a juvenile and I don't think he wanted them to; wanted a larger audience

DavidWrightSr: Then you think that he knew, (or suspected), that it would be rejected, but was po'ed by the way in which they did it?

ddavitt: It was a message book, aimed at adults

ddavitt: Basically yes

BPRAL22169: That sounds like a potential topic -- not the books per se, but what was happening in his life between 1958 and 196, how the tings he wrote fit into the things he was experiencing.

ddavitt: But that's just my reading of Grumbles

DavidWrightSr: Hmmm, Never got that myself.

BPRAL22169: I think there's enough material in Expanded Universe and Grumbles to make it possible to discuss the subject.

ddavitt: Yes; they don't write in a vacuum do they?

DavidWrightSr: But what do I know, as Odeus once told me

ddavitt: :-)

ddavitt: He's mellowing..that happens to trolls who stick around. we civilise them :-)

BPRAL22169: There is a true Socratic -- one who knows that he doesn't know squat.

ddavitt: Cross relate his life with his books...sounds interesting

BPRAL22169: Of course, the rest of us know it, too, which somewhat takes the edge off.

DavidWrightSr: Maybe we could take 'Grumbles' or 'Tramp' or Expanded themselves for discussion

ddavitt: Good idea

BPRAL22169: Good idea. I don't recall doing any of those.

BPRAL22169: I wonder how many people have Tramp Royale?

DavidWrightSr: It's like my knowledge of Unix. After 3 years I had learned about 30 percent of what it was all about, and it's been going downhill ever since.

ddavitt: I do...I was looking at a post i did a year ago where I pointed out all the bits of TR that got recycled into later books. very good fun spotting them!

DavidWrightSr: 'Tramp Royal' to be a nitpicker

ddavitt: It's in the non fiction in my library; might be worth people who don't have it checking there as well as Sf shelves

BPRAL22169: You're right -- it's Kipling's Tramp-Royale

BPRAL22169: I think it's back on amazon.com

BPRAL22169: For awhile you had to get it from remainder tables.

ddavitt: No; my copy is Royale

DavidWrightSr: I called it 'royale' for the longest time myself and didn't realize that it was 'royal'

ddavitt: It isn't!!

BPRAL22169: Too bad.

BPRAL22169: Hold on a sec. Let me check bibliofind.

DavidWrightSr: Damn. you are right. I could have sworn that someone corrected me earlier and said it was 'royal'. My apologies.

ddavitt: S'Ok

ddavitt: I get agitated over details...sorry

ddavitt: :-)

DavidWrightSr: Me too. :-)

ddavitt: I jsut had to jog into my library room and back:-)

DavidWrightSr: I had to move those boxes I mentioned.

ddavitt: books in boxes ,shudder.

ddavitt: I had mine unpacked 2 days after we moved...

ddavitt: all on the floor, in long rows but in alpha order.

ddavitt: Then i nagged david to put up shelves...

BPRAL22169: I just checked -- no new listings at all. And only 1 used.

DavidWrightSr: I did see it briefly once in a travel section of a bookstore, but haven't seen it since. I can't recall where I got my copy. No books in these, just empty computer boxes. Nothing worse than books in boxes, especially National Geographics.

ddavitt: Now i have one room with nothing but bookshelves and a chair and a lot moe in the basement on shelves that used to be in what is now lauren's room

ddavitt: I got mine when it came out, from an import shop in the Uk

BPRAL22169: I, sadly, have 2/3 of my books in boxes, scattered all over California.

ddavitt: It all depends on if the regular chat people have it or not

BPRAL22169: I keep having to buy replacement copies when I set up housekeeping again.

BPRAL22169: I think Tramp Royal might be hard to acquire and so maybe we should put that one off for the moment.

ddavitt: My books go with me. I have a few childrens books at my parents, less than 20, rest are with me

ddavitt: it's Royale Bill

BPRAL22169: *sigh*

DavidWrightSr: When I moved from Maryland to Arizona in the early 70's, I sent about 50-60 boxes of books through the mail at book rate. Only 1 or 2 failed to make it.

ddavitt: david and I fought it out and I won:-):-):-)

BPRAL22169: You picked a battle worth fighting.

DavidWrightSr: I apologized profusely. ;-)

ddavitt: Mine got shipped and if they hadn't made it i would've emigrated back to the UK!

BPRAL22169: I guess the home is where the heart is!

BPRAL22169: Grumbles might be a good topic.

ddavitt: Yes..david is used to it now. Luckily he's a book person too. And a cat person.

ddavitt: Quite an eye opener that book

BPRAL22169: Yes. It confirmed a lot of the things I had suspected earlier.

ddavitt: I heard about it and just had to have it. tried all ways to get hold of it ( this was pre internet)

DavidWrightSr: Anytime we want to discuss the juvies, count me in. I was weaned on them and they are my particular favorites.

ddavitt: Finally that shop got it.

ddavitt: me too david

BPRAL22169: Asimov commented he wished Ginny hadn't published that because it made RAH seem a smaller person. I didn't see it that way at all.

ddavitt: That afh post about Tunnel resonated with me; always one of my favourites too

BPRAL22169: Mine too

DavidWrightSr: Which was that?

ddavitt: I read that Asimov was astonished H had so many problems with editors. didn't asimov?

ddavitt: Guy who said he poicked it up at school and forgot everything else till he'd finished it. thread called Digiing the tunnel cover

BPRAL22169: I don't think Asimov every challenged his editors the way RAH did. I've always had a particular affection for Rolling Stones, Farmer in the Sky, and Starman Jones.

DavidWrightSr: Got you.

ddavitt: Tunnel, HSSWT, Rolling Stones

ddavitt: Desert island discs...

BPRAL22169: Let's not leave out Space Cadet and The Star Beast.

ddavitt: Which heinlein's would you take and why. Good thread maybe..

ddavitt: IOW, all of them Bill!

DavidWrightSr: to this day, I don't know if 'Between Planets' or 'Starman Jones' was the first that I read. but after all, it's been nearly 50 years ago

ddavitt: I have to go now...late here 11.17 and I can hear lauren making wake up noises on the monitor.

BPRAL22169: Well, yes, you start with one favorite, and often you do wind up lovingly caressing each and every one of them.

BPRAL22169: With me it's eithe rStarman Jones or Farmer in the Sky.

ddavitt: :-)yep!

ddavitt: Night then, see you sat, have a good trip Bill

BPRAL22169: Let's do Duelling Favorites as the next but one topic -- will you set it up with Oz?

DavidWrightSr: I have never been able to pick a favorite. To parapharse a character from Finian's Rainbow, "whenever I'm not near the book I love, I love the book I'm near"

ddavitt: Nice one.

BPRAL22169: Good one. I settled long ago on having 54 favorites.

ddavitt has left the room.

BPRAL22169: And now I know how a parent can love each of the children equally.

DavidWrightSr: Some are a little less favorite, but I would say that the juvies are more my favorites than the adults, just by a little margin.

BPRAL22169: I couldn't make a distinction like that -- where would life be without Stranger, for instance?

BPRAL22169: or TEFL?

BPRAL22169: Door into Summer?

BPRAL22169: Don't get me started -- there are 37 titles to go!

DavidWrightSr: Actually, I misspoke. Forget what I said, there are too many exceptions. :-)

BPRAL22169: Gotcha!

BPRAL22169: Welll, it's not 8:30 yet, but I say we've done as much damage as we can do for one evening. Let's close up shop.

DavidWrightSr: Well, unless we can get our resident lurker to speak up, I guess that's it. Leareth? you there?

BPRAL22169: Ok -- I'm outta here. Have a good one.

BPRAL22169 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: I guess not. so long Bill. So long Leareth.

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 11:23 P.M. EST

Final End Of Discussion Log

================================================================================

[Editor's Note] During the course of the discussion, I mentioned similar themes to They in other Heinlein works. The following are the three excerpts I had in mind.

THEY - pp 149-150 in 6xH Pyramid Edition August 1961 Reprinted May 1971

Gladness! Gladness everywhere! It was good to be with his

own kind, to hear the music swelling out of every living

thing, as it always had and always would--good to know

that everything was living and aware of him, participating in

him, as he participated in them. It was good to be, good to

know the unity of many and the diversity of one. There had

been one bad thought--the details escaped him--but it was

gone--it had never been; there was no place for it.

The early-morning sounds from the adjacent ward pene-

trated the sleepladen body which served him here and

gradually recalled him to awareness of the hospital room.

The transition was so gentle that he carried over full recol-

lection of what he had been doing and why. He lay still, a

smile on his face, and savored the uncouth, but not

unpleasant, languor of the body he wore. Strange that he

ever forgotten despite their tricks and stratagems. Well,

that he had recalled the key, he would quickly set

things right in this odd place. He would call them in at once

announce the new order. It would be amusing to see

old Glaroon's expression when he realized that the cycle had

ended--

The click of the peephole and the rasp of the door being

inlocked guillotined his line of thought. The morning attendant

pushed briskly in with the breakfast tray and placed

on me tip table. "Morning, sir. Nice, bright day--want it

bed, or will you get up?"

answer! Don't listen! Suppress this distraction! This

is part of their plan--But it was too late, too late. He felt him-

slipping, falling, wrenched from reality back into the

fraud world in which they had kept him. It was gone, gone

completely, with no single association around him to which to

anchor memory. There was nothing left but the sense of

heart-breaking loss and the acute ache of unsatisfied

catharsis.

"Leave it where it is. I'll take care of it."

"Okey-doke." The attendant bustled out, slamming the

door, and noisily locked it.

He lay quite still for a long time, every nerve end in his

body screaming for relief.

At last he got out of bed, still miserably unhappy, and

attempted to concentrate on his plans for escape. But the

psychic wrench he had received in being recalled so suddenly

from his plane of reality had left him bruised and emo-

tionally disturbed. His mind insisted on rechewing its doubts,

rather than engage in constructive thought. Was it possible

that the doctor was right, that he was not alone in his

miserable dilemma? Was he really simply suffering from

paronoia, delusions of self-importance?

Could it be that each unit in this yeasty swarm around

him was the prison of another lonely ego--helpless, blind,

and speechless, condemned to an eternity of miserable loneli-

ness? Was the look of suffering which he had brought to

Alice's face a true reflection of inner torment and not

simply a piece of play acting intended to maneuver him into

compliance with their plans?

Beyond This Horizon pp. 102-103 Signet[New American Library] No date given

CHAPTER TEN

"--the only game in town"

IT WAS pleasant to be dead. Pleasant and peaceful, not mo-

notonous. But a little bit lonely. He missed those others--

serene Mordan, the dauntless gallantry of Phyllis, Cliff and

his frozen face. And there was that funny little man, pathetic

little man who ran the Milky Way Bar--what had he named

him? He could see his face, but what had he named him?

Herbie, Herbert, something like that--names didn't taste

the same when words were gone. Why had he named him

Herbert?

Never mind. The next time he would not choose to be a

mathematician. Dull, tasteless stuff, mathematics quite likely

to give the game away before it was played out. No fun in the

game if you knew the outcome. He had designed a game like

that once, and called it Futility--no matter how you played,

you had to win. No, that wasn't himself, that was a player

called Hamilton. Himself wasn't Hamilton--not this game.

He was a geneticist--that was a good one!--a game within

a game. Change the rules as you go along. Move the players

around. Play tricks on yourself.

"Don't you peek and close your eyes, And I'll give you

something to make a surprise

That was the essence of the game--surprise. You locked

up your memory, and promised not to look, then played

through the part you had picked with just the rules assigned

to that player, Sometimes the surprises were pretty ghastly,

though--he didn't like having his fingers burned off.

No! He hadn't played that position at all. That piece was

an automatic, some of the pieces had to be. Himself had

burned off that piece's fingers, though it seemed real at the

time.

It was always like this on first waking up. It was always a

little hard to remember which position Himself had played,

forgetting that he had played all of the parts. Well, that was

the game; it was the only game in town, and there was noth-

ing else to do. Could he help it if the game was crooked?

Even if he bad made it up and played all the parts. But he

would think up another game the next time. Next time .

His eyes didn't work right. They were open but he couldn't

see anything. A hell of a way to run things--some mistake.

"Hey! What's going on here?"

It was his own voice. He sat up, the cloth fell from his

eyes. Everything was too bright; his eyes smarted.

p. 102

"What's the trouble, Felix?" He turned m the direction of

the voice and strove to focus his aching eyes. It was Mordan,

lying a few feet away from him. There was something he

wanted to ask Mordan, but it escaped him.

"Oh. Claude. I don't feel right. How long have we been

dead?"

"We aren't dead. You're just a bit sick. You'll get over it."

"Sick? Is that what it is?"

"Yes. I was sick once, about thirty years ago. It was much

like this."

"Oh!" There was still something he wanted to ask Mor-

dan, but he couldn't for the life of him recall what it was.

It was important, too, and Claude would know. Clande knew

everything--he made the rules.

That was silly. Still, Claude would know.

"Do you want to know what happened?" Mordan asked.

Maybe that was it. "They gassed us, didn't they? I don't

remember anything after that." That wasn't quite right--

there was something else. He couldn't recall.

"We were gassed, but it was done by our own monitors.

Through the conditioning system. We were lucky. No one

knew we were under siege inside, but they could not be sure

that all of the staff were out of the building--else they would

have used a lethal gas."

His head was clearing now. He remembered the fight in

detail. "So? How many were left? How many did we fail

to get?"

"I don't know exactly, and it's probably too late to find

out. They are probably all dead."

"Dead? Why? They didn't burn them after they were

down, did they?"

"No... But this gas we took is lethal without an imme-

diate antidote--and I'm afraid that the therapists were a lit-

tle bit over-worked. Our own people came first."

Hamilton grinned. "You old hypocrite. Say! How about

Phyllis?"

"She's all right, and so is Martha. I ascertained that when

I woke up. By the way, do you know that you snore?"

"Do I really

"Outrageously. I listened to your music for more than

an hour. You must have had a heavier dose of gas than I

had. Perhaps you struggled."

"Maybe. I wouldn't know. Say, where are we?" He swung

his legs out of bed, and attempted to stand. It was a foolish

attempt; he just missed falling on his face.

"Lie down," ordered Mordan. "You won't be fit for sev-

eral hours yet."

"I guess you're right," Hamilton admitted, sinking back

on the cushion. "Say, that's a funny feeling. I thought I

was going to fly."

p. 103

Time Enough For Love p. 588 Berkeley Publishing [Missing date of publication]

"You still don't understand," the Gray Voice droned on.

"There is no time, there is no space. What was, is, and ever

shall be. You are you, playing chess with yourself, and again

you have checkmated yourself. You are the referee. Morals

are your agreement with yourself to abide by your own rules.

To thine own self be true or you spoil the game."

"Crazy."

"Then vary the rules and play a different game. You cannot

exhaust her infinite variety."

"If you would just let me look at your face," Lazarus mut-

tered pettishly. -.

"Try a mirror."

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