Robert Heinlein, Virginia Heinlein, Snowy Heinlein Pay Forward the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein --Contribute to The Heinlein Society today! Join the Heinlein Society in paying forward the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein and Virginia Heinlein. Return Home to the Heinlein Society Heinlein Society Recent Updates Go To Centennial Reader
                       

Home

Robert Heinlein

Ginny Heinlein

Directors

RAH And Me

Join Us

Pay Annual Dues

News

Education

Libraries

Scholastic/Academic

Conventions

Blood Drives

Fundraising

Pirates' Booty

на русском

Links

Contact Us

Membership

Heinlein Prize

Readers Group

Newsletters

Forum

Search

Updates

Concordance

Writing Contest

 

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group
Thursday 03/08/2007 9:00 P.M. EST
The Number of the Beast & World As Myth
Click Here to Return to Index
Return to Index

Go To Beginning of Discussion


Here Begin The Postings

From: "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com>
Date: 25 Feb 2007 22:16:55 -0800
Local: Mon, Feb 26 2007 1:16 am
Subject: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
WHEN: March 8, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
TOPIC: The Number of the Beast and the World as Myth

For the next readers group chat, we're going to discuss The Number of the Beast. There are a number of interesting facets of this book that we can explore in our discussions. There was an earlier version of this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was shelved. Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that appeared several years afterwards. In July, we'll all have the chance to see the original version of the book.

Heinlein is credited with introducing the "World as Myth" concept in The Number of the Beast, a theme which links all of Heinlein's books from the 1980s: Pantheistic Solipsism, that all myths and fictional universes existing as parallel universes to our own and that persons and beings from these various "worlds" interact with one another. The "World as Myth" concept will be a focal point of our discussion.

Some questions to start everyone thinking about this topic: Do all four of Heinlein's 1980s novels really fit into the World as Myth theme? What other authors have used the World as Myth concept, and how have they extended or adapted it? Please post your thoughts or questions about this book to get the discussion going.

Sorry, The Heinlein Society won't be sending out free hardbacks of The Number of the Beast this month, so you'll have to dust off your old paperback copies, or buy new ones! Please do join us for the on-line discussion.

One administrative note: so far no one has requested that we continue having the readers group chats on Saturday afternoons, so for now, we're going to have them only on Thursday evenings. We had quite a good turnout last Thursday. However, if there's demand for it, we'll certainly resurect the Saturday afternoon chats.

Tim Morgan, for The Heinlein Society


From: "David Wright Sr." <dwrigh...@alltel.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 07:52:52 -0500
Local: Mon, Feb 26 2007 7:52 am
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote in news:1172470614.928209.208200 @v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com:

> HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> WHEN: March 8, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> TOPIC: The Number of the Beast and the World as Myth

I think that "World as Myth" was present in a number of works long before he explicitly showed it in _TNOTB_.

The earliest example that I can think of was in "Elsewhen" when Dr. Frost spoke of the kinds of worlds that his students could 'reach' when transferring, examples being, that Martha Ross, an orthodox Christian, would remain in worlds similar to that she started from and came back to them as a 'real' angel, whereas Howard would be severely limited by his rigid way of thinking. This parallels Hilda's explanation about the kinds of worlds that they could reach via the 'continua mover'.

This also ties into the frequent mentions of Solipsism.

_TNOTB_ ends with the 'Multiple-ego Solipsism' gathering.

_Beyond This Horizon_ had a scene similar to that of LL in _Time Enough For Love_ where he was presented with a 'dream' or 'vision' that he was the only player.

Included also here would be "They".

Most poignant of all his short stories, IMHO, is "All You Zombies" which ends with the plaintive cry that he is alone and that all else appears to be fantasies.

David Wright Sr.
-- 
If you haven't joined the Society, Why Not?
http://heinleinsociety.org/join.html

Keep Up with the Latest                                                
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/updates.html

Benefit The Heinlein Society by ordering anything from Amazon
thru our link on http://heinleinsociety.org/Amazon.html 

From: Filksinger <use...@filksinger.mailshell.com>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 04:09:52 GMT
Local: Fri, Mar 2 2007 11:09 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
>  "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
>> we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
>> this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
>> shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
>> appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
>> to see the original version of the book.

> One feature of _The Number of the Beast_, the version actually
> published, that I've always wondered about is whether it can be said the
> book is truly one of the type Heinlein said he preferred to write, a
> book of character development.

> There's certainly character interaction between the four principal
> characters, but can it really be shown to be development, rather than
> mere chit-chat, however complicated and extensive? Who really develops?
> How?

> Let's consider the characters. You might even call them stock or
> stereotypes when introduced.

> There's Jake--the "mad scientist," brilliant, opinionated,
> argumentative, lacking in people skills, and pretty much in need of a
> keeper.

> There's Deety--the "mad scientist's beautiful daughter," Jake's keeper
> as we meet them, a devoted daughter taking the place of Jane, her
> deceased mother, and so willing to advance her father's goals that
> she'll seduce, by promise of marriage or otherwise, the man they mistake
> as the only scientist capable of understanding Jake's invention.

> There's Zeb--the gifted dabbler, enjoying his inheritance, but not doing
> much at all with his life and skills, who faked his way to a degree,
> playing poker to attain a certain goal, engaged in life in a casual way,
> with not much in the commitment, insight, or understanding departments;
> and little challenged in values. He's the perfect odd-man for a party,
> but we don't know much else that he's worth, other than being handsome,
> athletic, and bright enough to grab and snatch Deety as she dances
> through his life.

> And, then there's Hilda--the professional social hostess, just as much a
> dilettante as Zebbie, plainly as much a sexual predator, a manipulator,
> who mixes hypergolic guests to see how entertaining the explosion will
> be at her parties, presumably to keep from being bored, in her
> childless, spouseless, middle age. The prototype here is Pamela
> Churchill Harriman.

> Jake aside, these characters are superficially attractive social types,
> but can we really say any of them actually profit during the story by
> learning a lesson, or rising to heroism, or even establishing a
> relationship of depth and significance with a mate?

> Do they, really? What lesson? What rise to achieve what goal? How deep
> is the relationship, and how convincing is it? Why? Tim? Anybody?

Well, I'll take a stab at it, though probably only a quick one. For the most part, I'd say that Heinlein didn't give them a lot of time to show the changes, but they were there.

Zebbie grew into the role of husband and soon-to-be father. I did get the impression that he grew up a bit in the story, including his willingness to serve well in the role of "crewman". He seemed more mature by the end of the story, in my opinion.

Deety got a bit more serious, as she started looking forward to the jobs of "wife" and "mother", but didn't change that much. I suspect that taking care of Jake was a bit like both, anyway. :)

Hilda grew from a "social butterfly" to "Capt. Hilda". It is a role she clearly was good at, but she had never done anything like it before. This was a significant change in her character. She seems to have taken to it even later than Zebbie, but she finally grew up.

Jake shed both arrogance and sexism in accepting that his old friend, an now wife, who he always liked, but never really respected, the fluttering "social butterfly", was better suited to the traditional eldest male roles of family head and captain. Instead of having his life run by women who pretended he was in charge to soothe his fat ego and sexism, he finally admits that he's not the one in charge, and that a woman, even the fluttery Hilda, can be far better at being a leader and in charge than him on his best day.

-- 
Filksinger
AKA David Nasset, Sr.
Geek Prophet to the Technologically Declined

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 13:09:41 -0800
Local: Tues, Mar 6 2007 4:09 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

In article <ky6Gh.5800$PL.3...@newsread4.news.pas.earthlink.net>,
 Filksinger <use...@filksinger.mailshell.com> wrote:
> > Jake aside, these characters are superficially attractive social types,
> > but can we really say any of them actually profit during the story by
> > learning a lesson, or rising to heroism, or even establishing a
> > relationship of depth and significance with a mate?

> > Do they, really? What lesson? What rise to achieve what goal? How deep
> > is the relationship, and how convincing is it? Why? Tim? Anybody?

> Well, I'll take a stab at it, though probably only a quick one. For the
> most part, I'd say that Heinlein didn't give them a lot of time to show
> the changes, but they were there.

For a "quick stab," your reply is worth reading, David; but I've a few questions as to it.

> Zebbie grew into the role of husband and soon-to-be father. I did get
> the impression that he grew up a bit in the story, including his
> willingness to serve well in the role of "crewman". He seemed more
> mature by the end of the story, in my opinion.

There's some things I think were missing for Zebbie to really develop in character. For one thing, there's no one here, except brief walk-on roles, to teach him. Hilda's too like him. Deety's too amenable. Jake's got nothing for him to learn and a lot he should avoid in Jake's character.

Zebbie needed more of the Lensman, or perhaps, the real J.C. of Mars, or Lazarus unoccupied with Sharpie to learn from.

One of the problems in assessing character development, or anything else, in this work is the shifting points of view. Here, we have Heinlein engaged in some "New Wave"-ish experimentation, generally unrecognized by earlier critics who wanted to maintain a high wall between earlier writers and those identified as "New Wave," Moorcock, Aldiss, Disch, Ellison, Le Guin, etc., et al.

Anytime you have a first person POV you have a problem of determining whether that POV is reliable. Here you have four, all of whom have their own axes to grind and secrets to hide, give and withhold information based on their own biases. Changing points of view aren't really all that new--the first novels in the form of letters, and many picaresque collections, e.g., Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Boccascio's Decameron, contain shifting narrators. And everyone in the 1960s was still agog over the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon, which gave an account of the ambush of a great samurai and his wife by a renowned bandit who kills the samurai and rapes the wife, from four different characters' points of view--with four significantly different stories unfolding.

The point of Rashomon is the impossibility of obtaining the truth about an event when there are conflicting accounts. Any lawyer who really thinks about it knows that. What the jury "finds" is simply a decision in whom they choose to believe. "It's ain't necessarily so," isn't just a lyric from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.

Probably the most unreliable here is Jake, who spends an awful long time justifying himself and derogating the others; but all of the narrators are somewhat self-conscious and seem to spend a lot of time trying to convince the reader that they act solely or mainly from salutary motivations. Frex, Hilda in Cp. VI: "We giggled, and talked with the frankness of women who trust each other, and are sure no men can overhear. ... I had better leave out our conversation; this memoir might fall into the hands of one of the weaker sex, and I would not want his death on my conscience." Hah-ha. Why don't you just tell us it's none of our business, Hilda? Just as they try to convince each other. Hilda to Deety, on whether she's ever had an affair with or been the recipient of a pass from Zeb: "Piffle, dear. I don't have morals, just customs. I don't wait for a man to make a pass; they fumble around and waste time. But when I met him I picked Zebbie for a chum--so I gave him an opening; he made a polite pass, I carefully failed to see it, and that ended it."

Yeah, sure. What else are you going to tell a bride the morning after her wedding night? The real question is whether Deety bought that evasion. This is 'naive' Deety, remember, who admits to sexual precocity at around age twelve--oh, you missed that? She slipped it by pretty quick. Read closely the part following her wedding night to Zeb where she admits to the reader to having an affair with one of her instructors three years earlier who taught her that she'd really learned very little in the _seven_ years _prior_ to that. Fourteen-year-old Maureen Johnson was a piker compared to our Deety.

> Deety got a bit more serious, as she started looking forward to the jobs
> of "wife" and "mother", but didn't change that much. I suspect that
> taking care of Jake was a bit like both, anyway. :)

Deety, to me, is at once the most attractive and the least paid attention to of all the characters. She's seemingly the one with the most potential, the most loyal, trusting (_not_ trustworthy), and youngest.

She still believes in Oz, so strongly, that they wind up visiting the place to satisfy her mind.

> Hilda grew from a "social butterfly" to "Capt. Hilda". It is a role she
> clearly was good at, but she had never done anything like it before.
> This was a significant change in her character. She seems to have taken
> to it even later than Zebbie, but she finally grew up.

"Command," or "leadership," even "management" has a lot to do with manipulation, and skills used therein. As a Pamela Harrington clone, I suggest she had highly developed manipulatory skills. Whether she actually succeeded or not in successfully achieving a goal is something I question. She seems to have overcome their difficulties on Barsoom, and she seems to have negotiated Lazarus Long to a standstill; but ... was that really a victory in the British Empire colony on Barsoom?

"... E.R.B.'s universe is no harder to reach than any other and Mars is in its usual orbit. But that does not mean that you will find Jolly Green Giants and gorgeous red princesses dressed only in jewels. Unless invited, you are likely to find a Potemkin Village illusion tailored to your subconscious... ." So saith Lazarus Long, conscious of the "telepathically adept" Barsoomians. Were those humans they dealt with? Or slaves? Or all Black Hats?

This is a manuscript originally titled by Robert Heinlein _The Panki-Barsoom Number of the Beast_. The gypsy phrase is "Hakk'ni panki" means "big con." Black Hats which turn out to anagrams of Robert or Ginny Heinlein, or his pseudonyms. Lazarus Long allowing himself to be defeated by a jumped-up social hostess?

I just wonder.

> Jake shed both arrogance and sexism in accepting that his old friend, an
> now wife, who he always liked, but never really respected, the
> fluttering "social butterfly", was better suited to the traditional
> eldest male roles of family head and captain. Instead of having his life
> run by women who pretended he was in charge to soothe his fat ego and
> sexism, he finally admits that he's not the one in charge, and that a
> woman, even the fluttery Hilda, can be far better at being a leader and
> in charge than him on his best day.

I don't trust Jake, the Ordnance Colonel, any more than I trust any of his sort. Remember Colonel Calhoun, from _Sixth Column_. Give Jake a chance and he'll start believing he's the Great God Mota, too. Well, maybe that's harsh, but ... Hilda needs to keep an eye on him--always.

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td

From: "Dr. Rufo" <bay...@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 03:45:40 GMT
Local: Mon, Mar 5 2007 10:45 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
>  "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

>>There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
>>we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
>>this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
>>shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
>>appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
>>to see the original version of the book.

> One feature of _The Number of the Beast_, the version actually
> published, that I've always wondered about is whether it can be said the
> book is truly one of the type Heinlein said he preferred to write, a
> book of character development.

I've spent the past few/four/five days re-reading TNOTB in large doses to assuage my Oscar night-time syndrome. These are some dam-fine questions, Dave.

> There's certainly character interaction between the four principal
> characters, but can it really be shown to be development, rather than
> mere chit-chat, however complicated and extensive? Who really develops?
> How?

> Let's consider the characters. You might even call them stock or
> stereotypes when introduced.

> There's Jake--the "mad scientist," brilliant, opinionated,
> argumentative, lacking in people skills, and pretty much in need of a
> keeper.

> There's Deety--the "mad scientist's beautiful daughter," Jake's keeper
> as we meet them, a devoted daughter taking the place of Jane, her
> deceased mother, and so willing to advance her father's goals that
> she'll seduce, by promise of marriage or otherwise, the man they mistake
> as the only scientist capable of understanding Jake's invention.

> There's Zeb--the gifted dabbler, enjoying his inheritance, but not doing
> much at all with his life and skills, who faked his way to a degree,
> playing poker to attain a certain goal, engaged in life in a casual way,
> with not much in the commitment, insight, or understanding departments;
> and little challenged in values. He's the perfect odd-man for a party,
> but we don't know much else that he's worth, other than being handsome,
> athletic, and bright enough to grab and snatch Deety as she dances
> through his life.

Dave, we have variances in our appreciations of friend Zebadiah. Zeb says in the text that he pretty much had to become a rich man (through his own efforts) in order to "qualify" for his inheritance at which point he became twice as rich. Regardless of how he EARNED the necessary chinks, he EARNED them! That ain't a "dabbler".

After that, he indulged in academic fraud/dishonesty risible only to those who have never attempted to stay the course in that particular life-arena. A doctorate is, as Jake says in the text, a "union card." It's obtained by an individual's demonstration that s/he is capable of successfully fulfilling a demanding "academic exercise". Nowhere, as I recall, is there any specific provision that "practicality" enter the effort or be the result.

Academics who sneer across departmental or disciplinary lines have existed since the establishment of separate departments/disciplines. Sneering at academics has an equally long tradition (from at least the 5th century before the Common Era in Greece). Or, if you like, the ever-unpopular medieval English "benefit of clergy" (most academics were in, at least, minor orders). This lessened a bit when anyone who could read or pretend to read the Miserere-"neck verse"-Psalm 51 and through that demonstration save him/herself from swinging by the neck until dead, dead, dead.

Otherwise, as you say, Zeb is a charming conversationalist, physically attractive and bereft of commitment.

> And, then there's Hilda--the professional social hostess, just as much a
> dilettante as Zebbie, plainly as much a sexual predator, a manipulator,
> who mixes hypergolic guests to see how entertaining the explosion will
> be at her parties, presumably to keep from being bored, in her
> childless, spouseless, middle age. The prototype here is Pamela
> Churchill Harriman.

I regret that I recall the name but not the likeness of your cited prototype. I judge it ain't worth the Google.

You add above that Zeb and Sharpie are "sexual predators" to which classification I demur. Sharpie, perhaps, is capable of using her dinero to roll in the hay with whatever she wants; but recall she repeatedly claims she only goes after "older men." Such choice may reflect her lack of self-esteem in this area. The Napoleonic domination she claims to exercise on campus may be the other half of that lack of self-esteem.

She invites folks to her parties to watch them ignite on contact. "Funny once" at the very best. She says she doesn't allow fighting at her parties -- just displays of invective. I find nothing even superficially attractive in such behavior by any such individual.

> Jake aside, these characters are superficially attractive social types,
> but can we really say any of them actually profit during the story by
> learning a lesson, or rising to heroism, or even establishing a
> relationship of depth and significance with a mate?

> Do they, really? What lesson? What rise to achieve what goal? How deep
> is the relationship, and how convincing is it? Why? Tim? Anybody?

Now I know that this may be just over the line and a little bit tooooo outré for some of the audience; but here's a suggestion I'd like run past you -- low, fast and across the inside corner.

"The Number of the Beast" is a Heinlein novel written specifically with the intention of publishing a "Heinlein novel" without writing a "Heinlein novel." RAH is presenting a "real-life" (what's "real") example of Friend Zebadiah's doctoral dissertation.

RAH writes stories of character development.
     There is no character development -- in any major character.

RAH writes of characters who learn a lesson.
     There is no lesson learned -- by any major character.

TNOTB is a fugue on reality/imagination.
     TNOTB is an imitative many-voiced composition in which a theme or themes are stated successively and fully in each voice. ?;-)

Rufe


From: TheBookman <thebook...@kc.rr.comNULL>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 15:57:25 -0600
Local: Tues, Mar 6 2007 4:57 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 03:45:40 GMT, Dr. Rufo wrote:

>    Now I know that this may be just over the line and a little bit
> tooooo outré for some of the audience; but here's a suggestion I'd
> like run past you -- low, fast and across the inside corner.
>    "The Number of the Beast" is a Heinlein novel written specifically
> with the intention of publishing a "Heinlein novel" without writing
> a "Heinlein novel." RAH is presenting a "real-life" (what's "real")
> example of Friend Zebadiah's doctoral dissertation.

> RAH writes stories of character development.
>    There is no character development -- in any major character.
> RAH writes of characters who learn a lesson.
>    There is no lesson learned -- by any major character.

> TNOTB is a fugue on reality/imagination.
>    TNOTB is an imitative many-voiced composition in which a theme or
> themes are stated successively and fully in each voice. ?;-)

Are you suggesting that RAH wrote a literary version of a musical "round"?

Rtb


From: "Dr. Rufo" <bay...@mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2007 23:47:23 GMT
Local: Tues, Mar 6 2007 6:47 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

TheBookman wrote:
> On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 03:45:40 GMT, Dr. Rufo wrote:

>>        Now I know that this may be just over the line and a little bit
>>tooooo outré for some of the audience; but here's a suggestion I'd
>>like run past you -- low, fast and across the inside corner.
>>        "The Number of the Beast" is a Heinlein novel written specifically
>>with the intention of publishing a "Heinlein novel" without writing
>>a "Heinlein novel." RAH is presenting a "real-life" (what's "real")
>>example of Friend Zebadiah's doctoral dissertation.

>>RAH writes stories of character development.
>>        There is no character development -- in any major character.
>>RAH writes of characters who learn a lesson.
>>        There is no lesson learned -- by any major character.

>>TNOTB is a fugue on reality/imagination.
>>        TNOTB is an imitative many-voiced composition in which a theme or
>>themes are stated successively and fully in each voice. ?;-)

> Are you suggesting that RAH wrote a literary version of a musical "round"?  

Rusty:

From: http://www.answers.com/topic/round
Round: A composition for two or more voices in which each voice enters at a different time with the same melody.

From: http://www.answers.com/topic/round
Canon: Piece of music where one voice repeats the part of another, throughout the whole piece.

From: http://www.answers.com/topic/fugue>
Fugue: An imitative polyphonic composition in which a theme or themes are stated successively in all of the voices of the contrapuntal structure.

I was suggesting not a "round" but a "fugue."

Rufe


From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net> Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 07:42:24 -0800 Local: Wed, Mar 7 2007 10:42 am Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

in article <Et5Hh.7011$PL.5...@newsread4.news.pas.earthlink.net>,
 "Dr. Rufo" <bay...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> David M. Silver wrote:
> > In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
> >  "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> >>There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
> >>we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
> >>this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
> >>shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
> >>appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
> >>to see the original version of the book.

> > One feature of _The Number of the Beast_, the version actually
> > published, that I've always wondered about is whether it can be said the
> > book is truly one of the type Heinlein said he preferred to write, a
> > book of character development.
>    I've spent the past few/four/five days re-reading TNOTB in large
> doses to assuage my Oscar night-time syndrome. These are some
> dam-fine questions, Dave.

Why, thank you, although I wish I'd gotten some more responses. The chat is only one day off, this Thursday. The thing about pre-chat posts is the more the responses, the more ideas, the better the chat. I've tried in these posts to not impose a view but to open areas of exploration that are a little off the beaten path some may have been down before.

> > There's certainly character interaction between the four principal
> > characters, but can it really be shown to be development, rather than
> > mere chit-chat, however complicated and extensive? Who really develops?
> > How?

> > Let's consider the characters. You might even call them stock or
> > stereotypes when introduced.

> > There's Jake--the "mad scientist," brilliant, opinionated,
> > argumentative, lacking in people skills, and pretty much in need of a
> > keeper.

> > There's Deety--the "mad scientist's beautiful daughter," Jake's keeper
> > as we meet them, a devoted daughter taking the place of Jane, her
> > deceased mother, and so willing to advance her father's goals that
> > she'll seduce, by promise of marriage or otherwise, the man they mistake
> > as the only scientist capable of understanding Jake's invention.

> > There's Zeb--the gifted dabbler, enjoying his inheritance, but not doing
> > much at all with his life and skills, who faked his way to a degree,
> > playing poker to attain a certain goal, engaged in life in a casual way,
> > with not much in the commitment, insight, or understanding departments;
> > and little challenged in values. He's the perfect odd-man for a party,
> > but we don't know much else that he's worth, other than being handsome,
> > athletic, and bright enough to grab and snatch Deety as she dances
> > through his life.
>    Dave, we have variances in our appreciations of friend Zebadiah.

Don't be too sure we have variances. I didn't say I don't like the guy. I'd have probably lumped him in with ROTC types from rich boy colleges if I'd run into him in the service, but I had friends among those. "Some of my best friends are Air Force ROTC types from the University of Virginia." (Well, that's not true, but substitute USC for Virginia, and it could be--so long as they let their loyalty to alma mater sucker, er, blind them into making some really bad college basketball bets--I was in college while Lew Alcindor played for Wooden; and, then, after Wicks, Rowe, Bibby, Patterson and Vallely, came Walton. So I lose a little, maybe, on the one football game I bet to keep them on the hook for basketball. There's two basketball games each year.) It's just Zebbie's capable of so much more than we see.

>    Zeb says in the text that he pretty much had to become a rich man
> (through his own efforts) in order to "qualify" for his inheritance
> at which point he became twice as rich. Regardless of how he EARNED
> the necessary chinks, he EARNED them!
> That ain't a "dabbler".

A dabbler is a non-professional. I'll concede to have won the amount he won playing poker, he was very probably a "pro" in poker and I'd watch his hands closely if I lost enough of my mind to get in a game with him.

But would you really call him a professional at anything else? Where, Rufo, were his "drops"? That's the big difference between him and Colin Campbell, for example. Oscar, on his own scale, likely playing against mainly sergeants, probably found it harder winning that pile--and walking away with it in his pockets--while enshipped between Singapore and Rome than Zebbie, against college boys and pilots who had the money and lacked the good sense to play at the stakes he had to play to 'earn' one million dollars in those few years. Ever play against sergeants? Zebbie was skinning kids. Sergeants'll skin ya, and eat ya, if you give them the chance, even if they can afford only dime chips.

What does he tell us he taught? Utility-infielding? Jack-of-all-trades and master of none. They keep him around because he's amiable--like Ed Masterson, and we all know how Ed ended up--Ed wasn't a "pro," he was a politician. (We know how both Eds ended up here--and Zebbie's forgetting about his little duty to "do something" about Ed troubles me a lot.)

>    After that, he indulged in academic fraud/dishonesty risible only
> to those who have never attempted to stay the course in that
> particular life-arena.

They joke about piling it "higher and deeper," but I don't think those who worked decently hard to achieve it tolerate superficial scholarship or teaching in those who didn't. You know the ones who didn't work decently. Slick, immensely popular with the students who take their courses to earn the "mic" grade that goes with them, but denied tenure after a few years, and now teaching at junior colleges, or--more likely--doing something else. I remember one who taught an enormously popular modern culture reading lower division course at UCLA--it was called "Humanities 30" or something, and the lecture hall seated about 500. You turned in a project for your grade--a paper if you were anal, but it could be a clay pot you'd slapped together and fired the night before. Everybody got an "A." The shame of it all was on the reading list was _Stranger_. They came out of his class wanting to grok and share water with you. It was tempting, looking at some of the co-eds and the spaced out competition, when I heard about it, for about three seconds; but I wondered how I'd explain it to any subsequent teacher who looked at my transcript. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth among the sophomores when he was denied tenure a year later. But no one thought of burning a bra or marching to take over Ackermann when it happened.

> A doctorate is, as Jake says in the text, a
> "union card." It's obtained by an individual's demonstration that
> s/he is capable of successfully fulfilling a demanding "academic
> exercise". Nowhere, as I recall, is there any specific provision
> that "practicality" enter the effort or be the result.
>    Academics who sneer across departmental or disciplinary lines have
> existed since the establishment of separate departments/disciplines.
> Sneering at academics has an equally long tradition (from at least
> the 5th century before the Common Era in Greece). Or, if you like,
> the ever-unpopular medieval English "benefit of clergy" (most
> academics were in, at least, minor orders). This lessened a bit when
> anyone who could read or pretend to read the Miserere-"neck
> verse"-Psalm 51 and through that demonstration save him/herself from
> swinging by the neck until dead, dead, dead.
>    Otherwise, as you say, Zeb is a charming conversationalist,
> physically attractive and bereft of commitment.

> > And, then there's Hilda--the professional social hostess, just as much a
> > dilettante as Zebbie, plainly as much a sexual predator, a manipulator,
> > who mixes hypergolic guests to see how entertaining the explosion will
> > be at her parties, presumably to keep from being bored, in her
> > childless, spouseless, middle age. The prototype here is Pamela
> > Churchill Harriman.
>    I regret that I recall the name but not the likeness of your cited
> prototype. I judge it ain't worth the Google.

You judge wrong. She was a real piece of work. One of the legends.

>    You add above that Zeb and Sharpie are "sexual predators" to which
> classification I demur. Sharpie, perhaps, is capable of using her
> dinero to roll in the hay with whatever she wants; but recall she
> repeatedly claims she only goes after "older men." Such choice may
> reflect her lack of self-esteem in this area.

Older men have money, sometimes die and leave all or part of it to young wives or mistresses. Nicole Smith. How'dya suppose Sharpie got hers? Maybe she inherited it--she seemed to have more than Jane while in college--she employs legions of attorneys and accountants as the story begins; and even Jane herself inherited a chunk that passed to Deety in turn.

Jake's the only one who seems to have made financial success without inheritance; and he's been aided by some very imaginative bookkeeping by his daughter and, presumably, his wife before her. They're all tax chiselers. The claim, we pay more tax than our salaries, means little when the money comes from investments. I bet Mrs. Keithley pays more tax than her salary too. And, while I'm at it, our new friend: Conrad of Conrad.

> The Napoleonic
> domination she claims to exercise on campus may be the other half of
> that lack of self-esteem.
>    She invites folks to her parties to watch them ignite on contact.
> "Funny once" at the very best. She says she doesn't allow fighting
> at her parties -- just displays of invective. I find nothing even
> superficially attractive in such behavior by any such individual.

> > Jake aside, these characters are superficially attractive social types,
> > but can we really say any of them actually profit during the story by
> > learning a lesson, or rising to heroism, or even establishing a
> > relationship of depth and significance with a mate?

> > Do they, really? What lesson? What rise to achieve what goal? How deep
> > is the relationship, and how convincing is it? Why? Tim? Anybody?

>    Now I know that this may be just over the line and a little bit
> tooooo outré for some of the audience; but here's a suggestion I'd
> like run past you -- low, fast and across the inside corner.
>    "The Number of the Beast" is a Heinlein novel written specifically
> with the intention of publishing a "Heinlein novel" without writing
> a "Heinlein novel." RAH is presenting a "real-life" (what's "real")
> example of Friend Zebadiah's doctoral dissertation.

About the same time he rewrote Number he also dictated to Baen the expanded parts of Worlds of, that became Expanded Universe. There's a passage in there about college education, reflecting poorly on the local university, UC Santa Cruz, and college professors. Perhaps you're on to something here; but I think possibly it's a little more than that.

There is, after all, the writing of a metanovel here. We have to pay attention to those stories-within-the-story. Why write them in?

Simple homage? A farewell to old friends? Or, something else?

> RAH writes stories of character development.
>    There is no character development -- in any major character.
> RAH writes of characters who learn a lesson.
>    There is no lesson learned -- by any major character.

> TNOTB is a fugue on reality/imagination.
>    TNOTB is an imitative many-voiced composition in which a theme or
> themes are stated successively and fully in each voice. ?;-)

All originally scored by RAH the writer (and the Black Hat), imitating other writers, per omnia sacula saculorum, eh? Maybe so. Interesting conceit.

> Rufe

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 08:08:18 -0800
Local: Wed, Mar 7 2007 11:08 am
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

In article <ag.plusone-219D5C.07422407032...@individual.net>,
 "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net> wrote:

> > TNOTB is a fugue on reality/imagination.
> >       TNOTB is an imitative many-voiced composition in which a theme or
> > themes are stated successively and fully in each voice. ?;-)

Perhaps it would be useful here to ask: what are each theme--not only those of the four POVs, but also each story-within-the-story?

What do you think?

Zeb: his theme?
Deety: her theme?
Jake: his theme?
Sharpie: her theme?

British Empire Barsoom: its theme?
Oz: its theme as portrayed by Heinlein?
Dodson: his theme as portrayed by Heinlein?
The Grey Lensman: his theme as portrayed by Heinlein?
Lazarus Long, Libby and the twins: their theme as portrayed here by Heinlein?

Are they repetitious? Do they contrast or compare? Do they reinforce or lead to a point of some sort?

And what's the theme of L'envoi?

> All originally scored by RAH the writer (and the Black Hat), imitating
> other writers, per omnia sacula saculorum, eh? Maybe so. Interesting
> conceit.

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 12:50:14 -0800
Local: Fri, Mar 2 2007 3:50 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
 "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
> we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
> this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
> shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
> appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
> to see the original version of the book.

> Heinlein is credited with introducing the "World as Myth" concept in
> The Number of the Beast, a theme which links all of Heinlein's books
> from the 1980s: Pantheistic Solipsism, that all myths and fictional
> universes existing as parallel universes to our own and that persons
> and beings from these various "worlds" interact with one another.  The
> "World as Myth" concept will be a focal point of our discussion.

I'd say you might argue the "World as Myth" might have to be a focal point since the story, or plot, goes to hell in a hand basket in _The Number of the Beast_, pretty much mid-way through the book.

Let's look at the plot: without going into what Heinlein might have originally intended in this story (we'll find out after July 7th) the components of plot usually, assuming a linear plot that doesn't begin in media res, look something like these:

1. Initial Incident. The beginning incident that makes the story start to move.

Here, we have (after the oldest opening cliche in SF, the "mad scientist's beautiful daughter") the story begin with a literal bang. Somebody tries to kill Jake, his daughter, and--it turns out--destroy his invention, time and multiverse travel.

2. Conflict or Goal. The goal the main character (or characters) have to achieve.

There's three or four potential goals or conflicts here. First, there's a little matter of immediately escaping the unknown enemies who are trying to destroy the mad scientist and his beautiful daughter and, incidentally, identifying who those enemies are. Second, there's the mandatory Heinlein complication of "women and children first," protecting newly-wedded Deety and Hilda and their newly-conceived unborn children by--it turns out--running and hiding. Thirdly, almost buried amid the clutter, and ultimately forgotten is Zeb's family obligation to "do something" about the murder of his cousin, Ed. Lastly, when it appears that another species is the enemy, there's a goal of protecting humanity, in all its time lines among the multiverses.

All this might be subsumed into a overall goal of defeating, once the enemy is identified, the Black Hats, or eradicating them. But, how?

Running and hiding isn't exactly what I expect from Heinlein, nor is forgetting about that obligation to do a little something about Ed.

Instead I expect it to end: "Puppet masters--the free men are coming to kill you. _Death and destruction_." Or, at least, "So tomorrow we are heading up that Glory Road, rocks and all. Got any dragons you want killed?"

Was there something in the original novel, the unpublished and allegedly unpublishable one (which we are told heavily involves Barsoom, the real E.R. Burroughs version (in whatever story the "Panki" or Pankera appear), and the Lensmen Universe of E.E. Smith) having to do with meeting the potential goals rather than meeting up with the World as Myth?

3. Complications. Identify the enemy, the Black Hats? Find out how far they've spread among the multiverses? Seek out where the Black Hats come from, and perhaps seek out allies? Meanwhile, choose the course you plan? Do we run and hide? Do we reconnoiter and plan?

No, it seems, none of the above. We get side-tracked into the "World as Myth"?

4. Climax. The high point of the story.

I'm sorry, but it never comes, unless L'Envoi is a climax. SF conventions are a lot of things, but climax, unless they've decided to award you a Hugo, isn't one of them.

5. Suspense. It arouses the interest of the reader.

There's no suspense, really, just a series of somewhat intriguing episodes, rather like a picaresque novel. If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium, er, Barsoom. It's Saturday, so it's time for Lazarus Long.

6. Dénouement or Resolution - what happens to the character after overcoming all obstacles/failing to achieve the desired result and reaching/not reaching the goal.

They don't achieve any goal, primarily, I suppose, because one is never defined. Instead, they fall into another story after another story--one involving ultimately rescuing Maureen. Then they go to an SF convention in the sky. Is this Heaven? Is this Hell? Shades of _Job: A Comedy of Justice_.

7. Conclusion. The End of the story. An SF Convention in the sky. Well, it could be "The Man Who Traveled in Elephants," but if "both Heinleins" wound up there, I'll bet Ginny was kicking and screaming all the way.

What's with this plot? What's wrong with this plot? Why did whatever it was get changed?

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td 

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 12:50:14 -0800
Local: Fri, Mar 2 2007 3:50 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
 "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
> we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
> this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
> shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
> appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
> to see the original version of the book.

> Heinlein is credited with introducing the "World as Myth" concept in
> The Number of the Beast, a theme which links all of Heinlein's books
> from the 1980s: Pantheistic Solipsism, that all myths and fictional
> universes existing as parallel universes to our own and that persons
> and beings from these various "worlds" interact with one another.  The
> "World as Myth" concept will be a focal point of our discussion.

I'd say you might argue the "World as Myth" might have to be a focal point since the story, or plot, goes to hell in a hand basket in _The Number of the Beast_, pretty much mid-way through the book.

Let's look at the plot: without going into what Heinlein might have originally intended in this story (we'll find out after July 7th) the components of plot usually, assuming a linear plot that doesn't begin in media res, look something like these:

1. Initial Incident. The beginning incident that makes the story start to move.

Here, we have (after the oldest opening cliche in SF, the "mad scientist's beautiful daughter") the story begin with a literal bang. Somebody tries to kill Jake, his daughter, and--it turns out--destroy his invention, time and multiverse travel.

2. Conflict or Goal. The goal the main character (or characters) have to achieve.

There's three or four potential goals or conflicts here. First, there's a little matter of immediately escaping the unknown enemies who are trying to destroy the mad scientist and his beautiful daughter and, incidentally, identifying who those enemies are. Second, there's the mandatory Heinlein complication of "women and children first," protecting newly-wedded Deety and Hilda and their newly-conceived unborn children by--it turns out--running and hiding. Thirdly, almost buried amid the clutter, and ultimately forgotten is Zeb's family obligation to "do something" about the murder of his cousin, Ed. Lastly, when it appears that another species is the enemy, there's a goal of protecting humanity, in all its time lines among the multiverses.

All this might be subsumed into a overall goal of defeating, once the enemy is identified, the Black Hats, or eradicating them. But, how?

Running and hiding isn't exactly what I expect from Heinlein, nor is forgetting about that obligation to do a little something about Ed.

Instead I expect it to end: "Puppet masters--the free men are coming to kill you. _Death and destruction_." Or, at least, "So tomorrow we are heading up that Glory Road, rocks and all. Got any dragons you want killed?"

Was there something in the original novel, the unpublished and allegedly unpublishable one (which we are told heavily involves Barsoom, the real E.R. Burroughs version (in whatever story the "Panki" or Pankera appear), and the Lensmen Universe of E.E. Smith) having to do with meeting the potential goals rather than meeting up with the World as Myth?

3. Complications. Identify the enemy, the Black Hats? Find out how far they've spread among the multiverses? Seek out where the Black Hats come from, and perhaps seek out allies? Meanwhile, choose the course you plan? Do we run and hide? Do we reconnoiter and plan?

No, it seems, none of the above. We get side-tracked into the "World as Myth"?

4. Climax. The high point of the story.

I'm sorry, but it never comes, unless L'Envoi is a climax. SF conventions are a lot of things, but climax, unless they've decided to award you a Hugo, isn't one of them.

5. Suspense. It arouses the interest of the reader.

There's no suspense, really, just a series of somewhat intriguing episodes, rather like a picaresque novel. If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium, er, Barsoom. It's Saturday, so it's time for Lazarus Long.

6. Dénouement or Resolution - what happens to the character after overcoming all obstacles/failing to achieve the desired result and reaching/not reaching the goal.

They don't achieve any goal, primarily, I suppose, because one is never defined. Instead, they fall into another story after another story--one involving ultimately rescuing Maureen. Then they go to an SF convention in the sky. Is this Heaven? Is this Hell? Shades of _Job: A Comedy of Justice_.

7. Conclusion. The End of the story. An SF Convention in the sky. Well, it could be "The Man Who Traveled in Elephants," but if "both Heinleins" wound up there, I'll bet Ginny was kicking and screaming all the way.

What's with this plot? What's wrong with this plot? Why did whatever it was get changed?

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td 

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 12:58:25 -0800
Local: Mon, Mar 5 2007 3:58 pm
Subject: Re: R.G. MEETING NOTICE, "The Number of the Beast"

In article <ag.plusone-F0EE89.20204302032...@individual.net>,
 "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net> wrote:

> So, what about this critique of theme? Is it a maze? Narcissism? Or is
> it the dying rattle of 20th century American thoughts and values?

If you belief _The Number of the Beast_ is the dying rattle of 20th century American thoughts and values, in 1980, then, of course, when Heinlein wrote his next novel, which was _Friday_, you leap at the chance to again express your thesis that American is dying by reviewing it.

I wonder why any of us think of it. Here's H. Bruce Franklin's next essay on Heinlein's work:

GENIUS AND SUPERGENIUS
Published: July 4, 1982, NY Times Review of Books
FRIDAY By Robert A. Heinlein. 368 pp. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. $14.95. By H.BRUCE FRANKLIN

YOU have to admit this about Robert A. Heinlein: He provokes strong reactions. Whether or not he is still the most popular and influential living author of science fiction, as he has probably been for four decades, Mr. Heinlein remains the most controversial, with hordes of fans and foes. "Friday" will convert few from one camp to the other. One of Mr. Heinlein's self-images is that of a lone genius in the role of a carnival showman, providing fun for the masses, money for himself and deep truths for the select few who penetrate his disguise. So "Friday" is meant to have something for everyone: laughs and tears, thrilling adventures, titillating sex, delicious fantasies of power, and profound messages.

Like most of Mr. Heinlein's heroes, Friday is a superbeing. Engineered from the finest genes, and trained to be a secret courier in a future world of chaotic ferocity and intrigue, she can think better, fight better and make love better than any of the normal people around her. The Earth she inhabits has become a nightmare in which some 400 "territorial states," including the tyrannical Chicago Imperium, the madcap California Confederacy and the Mexican Revolutionary Kingdom, endlessly struggle for the power actually held by the "corporate states," gigantic multinational conglomerates that are all secretly controlled by one interlocking interstellar cartel, originally founded by "the most American of myth-heroes," a "basement inventor." The best values the world has ever known - being, of course, the values of Midwestern farming communities at the time of Mr. Heinlein's childhood in the early 20th century - have been overwhelmed by the evils already dominant in the late 20th century: too much government and too many people, bureaucracy, alienation, welfare, cities, religious cults, socialism, monopoly capitalism and, worst of all, mediocrity and incompetence. As usual, the highest virtue is supreme competence. Fighting to hold back the forces of evil is a mysterious organization controlled entirely by the iron will of "the Old Man," Friday's crusty "Boss," Hartley Baldwin. Friday, despite her mental powers, which dwarf those of the most advanced computer network of this supertechnological future, never discovers this man's true identity. But Heinlein readers soon recognize him as none other than "Kettle Belly" Baldwin, leader of the underground organization of genetic supermen who defeated Communism and seemed destined to replace Homo sapiens in Mr. Heinlein's 1949 novella, "Gulf." Being one up on a superbeing is one of the rewards you get for the price of admission.

Kettle Belly is still pontificating that "geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules," the same words that he, and other Heinlein wise men, have been using for decades. But Baldwin, perhaps speaking for Mr. Heinlein, now renounces the belief in salvation through a genetic elite, ruefully admitting, "When I was younger, I thought I could change this world." He instructs Friday, when she is to make her inevitable emigration to another planet, not to choose Olympia, where "those self-styled supermen" went. Yet Baldwin has had Friday designed mainly from the genes of two of the supermen who did save the world in "Gulf" - a secret courier and a professional assassin.

Besides many references to Mr. Heinlein's oeuvre, there are lots of other half-hidden meanings lying around. Friday herself suggests her namesake, Frigg, the Norse goddess associated with marriage, motherhood and sexual license - the ultimate gal Friday.

The bulk of the novel describes Friday's amours. Unfortunately, Mr. Heinlein has a knack for the difficult task of making sex boring. Neither Friday's sexual partners (as in effective romance) nor the details of her sex life (as in effective pornography) are of interest. Her numerous partners, male and female, are all interchangeable, and the details are coyly vague, unlike the precise descriptions of her sexy clothes, elegant meals and artful fighting techniques. Some readers may decide to skip the sex to get to the good parts.

But the espionage plot is also disappointing, being a mere contrivance to get Friday from one liaison to another as she moves toward her ultimate goal. This goal, as always in recent Heinlein, is escape from the world of the future or developing present to the world of the middle-American mythic past - pioneering, rural or small-town. For Friday, this means abandoning her supposedly exciting job and the adventure plot, along with the Earth. She finally finds happiness as a "colonial housewife" in a group marriage on a faraway planet, where she can have her fill of sex while writing a cookbook and working in the local town council, girl-scout troop and P.T.A.

Mr. Heinlein's latest apocalypse goes beyond all those practical best sellers telling us how to survive and prosper amid the developing doom. For him, the only place to hide is in a fantasy of the mythic past on a faraway planet. His increasingly monotonic message is: Stop the world, I want to get off.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
H. Bruce Franklin's most recent books are "Robert A. Heinlein: America
as Science Fiction" and "Prison Literature in America: The Victim as
Criminal and Artist."

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td

From: "David M. Silver" <ag.plus...@verizon.net>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 15:32:02 -0800
Local: Sat, Mar 3 2007 6:32 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

In article <1172470614.928209.208...@v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
 "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The Number of
> the Beast.  There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
> we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
> this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
> shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
> appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
> to see the original version of the book.

The unpublished version is referred to, we are told by former archivist Patterson, without further explanation, as the "Panki-Barsoom" version of "The Number of the Beast--" The title pages Bill prepared for the remnants left in the archives contain that term. Gifford doesn't happen to mention that phrase in his Reader's Companion.

A search of E.R. Burroughs' Barsoom novels fails to reveal the word "panki" or what perhaps is its plural, "pankera."

Panki is the name of an administrative block (Palamu district, Jharkhand) in India and a city and a lake (Ozero Panki) in Belarus. But other than as a name, the word seems to exist only in Romany, the Gypsy language, and as a word meaning "little pan" or "lordling" in Kashubian dialect of Polish.

Hakk'ni panki, also hokkani boro, hokkani bâro, or huckeny boro, is a Romany ("Gypsy") expression meaning "great trick", which can be loosely translated as "big con." [It's suggested the term derives from Church Latin: "Hanc est meam panem" (This is my bread). It supposedly is used for anything magical or not understood.]

You probably recall seeing a version of one possibility performed in the movie "The Sting" involving a hankerchief, an envelop, and, supposedly, a big wad of money. The Redford character keeps a maladroit con artist trying to perform it from getting a beating, or worse, when the little sting starts to go bad.

See, the English phrase, hanky-panky, as in something someone--perhaps your teenager--is "up to."

I have one idea [and I've read the unpublished version, so I know how Heinlein used the word(s), but I'm going to leave that a mystery here], but I wonder if anyone else might have a thought on why Heinlein, assuming he did, would refer to the version of Barsoon he creates (both in the original and the rewritten _The Number of the Beast_) as a "Panki-Barsoom"?

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
"The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
     Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
     Lt.(jg), USN, R'td

From: "JaneE!" <aggi...@mac.com>
Date: 7 Mar 2007 14:37:15 -0800
Local: Wed, Mar 7 2007 5:37 pm
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

On Feb 25, 11:16 pm, "Tim Morgan" <morgan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> WHEN: March 8, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> TOPIC: The Number of the Beast and the World as Myth

> For the next readers group chat, we're going to discuss The Number of
> the Beast.  There are a number of interesting facets of this book that
> we can explore in our discussions.  There was an earlier version of
> this book that Ginny declared to be "unpublishable," so it was
> shelved.  Quite a bit of it was rewritten to form the version that
> appeared several years afterwards.  In July, we'll all have the chance
> to see the original version of the book.

> Heinlein is credited with introducing the "World as Myth" concept in
> The Number of the Beast, a theme which links all of Heinlein's books
> from the 1980s: Pantheistic Solipsism, that all myths and fictional
> universes existing as parallel universes to our own and that persons
> and beings from these various "worlds" interact with one another.  The
> "World as Myth" concept will be a focal point of our discussion.

> Some questions to start everyone thinking about this topic: Do all
> four of Heinlein's 1980s novels really fit into the World as Myth
> theme?  What other authors have used the World as Myth concept, and
> how have they extended or adapted it?  Please post your thoughts or
> questions about this book to get the discussion going.

> Sorry, The Heinlein Society won't be sending out free hardbacks of The
> Number of the Beast this month, so you'll have to dust off your old
> paperback copies, or buy new ones!  Please do join us for the on-line
> discussion.

> One administrative note: so far no one has requested that we continue
> having the readers group chats on Saturday afternoons, so for now,
> we're going to have them only on Thursday evenings.  We had quite a
> good turnout last Thursday.  However, if there's demand for it, we'll
> certainly resurect the Saturday afternoon chats.

> Tim Morgan, for The Heinlein Society

Forgive how I have jumped in here sort of willy nilly. I just finished reading all 511 pages, in small print.

I am not surprised that this would be one of the either love 'em or hate 'ems. I am looking forward to the chat tomorrow evening because I have lots of questions.

I haven't completely formulated my opinion, I still must chew on a few things. The writing style is definitely familiar. The choice of presenting first person narrative with dialogue and then changing that voice with each chapter was a bit disconcerting. I had to look up, often, in order to be able to keep track of who it was.

Someone here in another thread complained about the endless description of how to play a saxophone in Variable Star, I got a little weary of the minutia of information relating to all forms of math. Get on with the story, I would think. Where the hell are we going!!!

Anyway, I plan to be there to gain some insights I hope.

JaneE!


From: "Francesco Spreafico" <l...@libero.it>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:51:33 +0100
Local: Fri, Mar 9 2007 8:51 am
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING NOTICE

Tim Morgan wrote:
> In July, we'll all have the chance
> to see the original version of the book.

I must have missed something important here! (And I can't seem to find any reference to this elsewhere.)

You mean it'll be published?

Francesco

Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "heinleinreadersgroup."

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: afk

morganuci has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Tim

DavidWrightSr: Or do I have you confused with Tim Morgan or are you the same?

morganuci: That's me.

DavidWrightSr: That's good. I thought I was having another Senior Moment :-)

SedaGave has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Welcome Richard? Did I remember that one?

SedaGave: Hello, David! Yes, that's right.

DavidWrightSr: Good. I was just experiencing a Senior Moment trying to remember where morganuci was the same as morgan. But I had it right.

SedaGave: Thank you for the invitation

DavidWrightSr: If you are on a PC, you can save a link to the room by clicking on File-->Create Shortcut

aggirlj has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: and then you won't have to wait for anyone. Hi Jane.

SedaGave: Done, ty

aggirlj: Hi, took a while to get this screen.

DavidWrightSr: What was the problem?

aggirlj: just a little delay, could be my connection. We'll see.

aggirlj: I was afraid I might have scared some people away after my post in AFH.

DavidWrightSr: Ah so. It's been an interesting week. My wife and I are on a number of Yahoo Groups and they were fixing! something and stopped sending the posts to a bunch of groups. Was dead for almost two days.

ichiban slug has entered the room.

ichiban slug: *wave*

IrishBet has entered the room.

aggirlj: <-----Jane. Hi.

aggirlj: Hi Pam.

IrishBet: Hi, Jane

aggirlj: going for a refill, brb

DavidWrightSr: Hi again to all. SedaGave is new. His name is Richard.

ichiban slug: --<bethany pepper stuck in mississippi here...=-)

SedaGave: *waves to all*

IrishBet: Hello, Richard and Bethany

DavidWrightSr: Agplusone is signed on, but is afk.

IrishBet: I'm afk a minute. Neeeeeed coffee

georule1861 has entered the room.

aggirlj: Hey, Geo

georule1861: Hey.

aggirlj: I actually read this one, recently.

georule1861: Kinda busy tonight, but I'll try to contribute.

ichiban slug: georule, doll you are hurting my retnas...

DavidWrightSr: In case anyone hasn't read the pre-discussion posts. here is a link: http://tinyurl.com/ynjexv

georule1861: Too small?

ichiban slug: too yellow,lol

aggirlj: He's blue on mine.

ichiban slug: whoa..

georule1861: Yeah, not sure I can do anythign about the color.

ichiban slug: aol is a wacky place...

ichiban slug: donna worry

ichiban slug: i have sunglasses

AGplusone: It's that windows version of AIM. Some how they think it's cute to have different colors. Hi, everyone.

DavidWrightSr: Colors are arbitrarily assigned by your AIM client. I've never figured out how it does it. Seems to be purely random for everyone.

aggirlj: Hi, David.

DavidWrightSr: Hi David

ichiban slug: no, not his font, it is his name, i think it denotes when one showed up to the room...

AGplusone: On a Mac version, everyone else is blue. I'm red.

georule1861: The thing that strikes me about this book, is how many Heinleiners I know who claim they don't like it all that much. . .but will then admit that after reading it they went out and read Gray Lensman and Barsoom series because of it.

IrishBet: Everyone's name is blue on my screen.

AGplusone: You must have the good windows version. What version did you download.

IrishBet: I read Barsoom before it -- but read Gray Lensman after

georule1861: I'm actually using Trillian tonight.

georule1861: Which is a nice all-in-one.

georule1861: AIM/MSN/IRC etc

IrishBet: I'm in directly from AOL

aggirlj: Once again, I am not familiar with either reference for Barsoom and/or Gray Lensman.

aggirlj: My loss I suppose.

georule1861: There is a J in your universe tho, presumably?

AGplusone: Ah. Good. I read various Lensmen and various Barsooms millions of years ago, and after Number reread them.

IrishBet: Barsoom was a series of ooks written by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- "barsoom" is the Martian name for mars

IrishBet: books

aggirlj: TY, TY

georule1861: And Gray Lensman is E.E. Smith, who RAH had a great deal of affection for.

AGplusone: After I read all the Tarzans I read the Barsooms ... there were no Tarzans to read.

SedaGave: I think I reread Burroughs series after reading it...I admit to not having read the Lensman series

AGplusone: Before I knew there was such a thing as SF, there was Princess of Mars, etc.

DavidWrightSr: I read one or two of the Lensman series around 1955. wasn't impressed and never re-read.

IrishBet: Dejah Thoris -- the Princess of Mars in the Barsoom books, Janie -- that's the reference -- and the hero was John Carter

georule1861: Smith had that kind of position in the field that Heinlein would later enjoy.

aggirlj: [again, thanks, helps.]

georule1861: Tho Heinlein and Campbell so remade the field as to make Smith's work archaic.

georule1861: But still fun.

DavidWrightSr: They were close friends also. Smith helped him pick out his first new? car after the war. He tells an interesting account of the test ride.

AGplusone: There was a lot of magnificant scope to the Lensmen stories ... space opera was fun to read, for a while, but Heinlein took it away with stories about people. The Lensmen were too perfect, too powerful, like Supermen in spaceships.

DavidWrightSr: That must have been it. Once I started reading Heinlein, most everything else seemed bland.

morganuci: Methuselah's Children was dedicated to Smith.

georule1861: I think Smith had a great deal of impact on his own willingness later to play the grand old man of the field role.

georule1861: And be generous to younger colleagues.

georule1861: That "paying it forward" thing, again.

AGplusone: I reread them a few times--but I'd read Heinlein first, and only got to them after I finished with the Heinlein that existed. Closest I found to Smith's operas was "If This Goes On ... "

georule1861: Well, I think the Space Cadet stuff owes a bit to the Lensmen.

georule1861: Without the mysticism of the Lens

AGplusone: And John Lyle was nothing like Kimball Kinnison, or any of the Lensmen.

georule1861: That's true.

georule1861: Smith's heroes were bigger than life

georule1861: Whereas Heinlein always wanted you to think you could be this guy.

georule1861: Even if you really couldn't.

starfall2 has entered the room.

AGplusone: The dedication to order and society, the Wellsian "samuri class" is what you're referring to, Geo. Have you ever read A Modern Utopia--I think it's called, by Wells?

georule1861: Nope. I'll put it on the list.

aggirlj: Is that Stephanie? Hi.

starfall2: No, unless you're looking at somebody else. This is Jackie.

starfall2: And hi to you, too

aggirlj: That was my next guess. Sorry.

aggirlj: <-----Jane

AGplusone: Wells spends a chapter or more on the 'guardians' in A Modern Utopia and you'll find that Heinlein filed the serial numbers right off when he wrote Space Cadet for what the Academy indoctrinated Dodson and the rest of the cadets to

AGplusone: believe.

AGplusone: Hi, Jackie.

starfall2: No problem at all.

AGplusone: A Modern Utopia reads a lot like For Us, the Living, in makeup. That kind of lecture masquerading as a fiction.

DavidWrightSr: Jane. I had the same problem you mentioned about trying to remember who was talking at any given point. That helped me dislike it for a while at least. Dislike is too strong, just didn't like it as much.

AGplusone: Wells wrote a lot of those.

aggirlj: Thanks, I knew I wasn't the only one. Had a hard time with it.

AGplusone: I think a lot of people educated in the first half of the century believed in a class dedicated to peace preservation and defense. Probably a lot of teachers at the service academies used it to lecuture.

DavidWrightSr: There was a decent documentary on Wells and Verne the other night. Showed Wells as being extremely frustrated at the end of his life because nobody paid much attention to what he saw as coming down the pike.

AGplusone: What did he see, David?

SedaGave: I saw that, too, it was good! Wells wrote cautionary tales

georule1861: Bit of the old aristocratic nobless oblige in that generation too.

DavidWrightSr: the Atomic bomb for one and its likely use in warfare. Supposedly, he even used the words 'Atomic Bomb'. At least, that's what they said.

AGplusone: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6424 is a link to a copy of A Modern Utopia.

SedaGave: And tanks and their use in war

AGplusone: When Oscar asks what did the Hemingway generation have to worry about--they didn't know, he was a little wrong, wasn't he? Wells told them what to fear.

leetheflirt has entered the room.

leetheflirt: Hello?

aggirlj: Hi.

ichiban slug: *wave*

SedaGave: Hi

starfall2: hi

AGplusone: 'lo, Lee. Waiting for our leader to start ball rolling on Number of the Beast ...

georule1861: Maybe that's why all the post WW1 stuff is so damn depressing.

morganuci: I have some warm-up questions before we get to the meaty stuff. Ready for the first one?

georule1861: Whereas post WWII at least there's a sense of "Jesus, we survived at least"

georule1861: shoot

DavidWrightSr: Fire when ready Gridley!

georule1861: /me goes for some adult lubrication

ichiban slug: yesssh!

AGplusone: I'd think so. Oscar's view to the contrary notwithstanding. Pessimism stems from Wells and others after WW I writing about further horrors.

morganuci: End of the 1st chapter, "I like your hair-splitting games with words----you sound like Whorf debating Korzybski with Shannon as referee." Who are the three people referred to?

ichiban slug: lol, i never looked them up!

aggirlj: [backpeddling really fast]

AGplusone: 'tisn't the serving Klingon in Star Fleet.

aggirlj: I thought that had to be one reference.

DavidWrightSr: Whorf was Benjamin Lee Whorf, who wrote on Linguistics and Shannon was an expert in communication theory. Korzybski created the discipline of General Semantics.

leetheflirt: Ye gawds, let's leave Jesus out of this - I seem to be in the midle of ground zero with Carlie Pelligrino's latest misive

DavidWrightSr: Whorf and Korzybski's notion about language influencing perception were very similar even though neither had read the other until much later after they began publishing.

ichiban slug: i was not interested in word splitting games...

IrishBet: We should have a link to Korzybski on our website.

SedaGave: I knew about Korzybski, but was mystified by the other two

morganuci: Me too. At first I wondered if it were one of those situations where he mixes a real person, book, etc., with a fictional one, but they're all real.

IrishBet: Bethany, "word splitting games" were three-quarters of the book. ;-)

leetheflirt: Um, I disagree about the pessimisim - I think pessimism'salways been part of the human conditin

aggirlj: He ennumerates so many towards the end.

SedaGave: *nods*, me too

ichiban slug: ask anyone who has learned a second language, i'm sure they will agree thier world veiw changes when "in that language"

morganuci: Whorf believed that the language you used influenced how you thought.

ichiban slug: yup, i'm on that

leetheflirt: It does

ichiban slug: dude

aggirlj: 'splain more of that Tim, please. What influences the language to make you who you are. Interesting?

DavidWrightSr: Most definitely real. Whorf was educated as an engineer as was Korzybski. Whorf worked for an insurance company dealing with fires. He is responsible for having the word 'inflammable' changed to 'flammable' as many people thought ..

DavidWrightSr: inflammable meant 'not burnable'.

ichiban slug: bloody brits

georule1861: I once plaid around with a book idea i called "Variations on a Theme"

ichiban slug: can't tell an 'e' from an 'i'...

georule1861: That would be Heinlein lists.

morganuci: Heinlein brings that up in several other books, w/o mentioning Whorf. I can't think of a good example though.

AGplusone: But Heinlein was, at least early on, with his writings on Korzybski, and he adopted a lot of what K believed, including the notion of "time-binding" which is what he was doing with his writing to speak to us today.

DavidWrightSr: There are hundreds of references to Korzybski in Heinlein's works. I know. I have written a book about it.

georule1861: Like all the stories that a ref to Korzybsi appear

leetheflirt: sory, brb, crisis central here

ichiban slug: hmm, irishbet, you say word splitting games, i see folks trying to understand how the other person thinks,lol or explain what they think...

IrishBet: Janie, language defines a culture (or sometimes the other way around). Like the Japanese (or Chinese?) not having a word or phrase that specifically means "sorry.

aggirlj: 'k

ichiban slug: ohh japan can say all kinds of sorry gomen nasai

AGplusone: and having a lot of circumlocutions to avoid saying directly "I'm sorry."

georule1861: "Gulf" here we come!

ichiban slug: dunno 'bout china...

georule1861: ;-)

morganuci: I read an article in Scientific American a few years ago about this subject, but it had more to do with how you store memories. There is some tribe that doesn't have words for left and right.

leetheflirt: Sory must leave chat I have a serious mess on my hands. Some other time.

DavidWrightSr: K is mentioned by name in at least 3 works. "Gulf", TNOTB, Coventry

IrishBet: Maybe Chinese ... either way, they have expressions that we translate to "sorry"; but they aren't really. They express varying levels of resentment.

ichiban slug: nihon has a scarsity of personal pronouns

morganuci: When you show them a picture, they want to know how the objects in the picture were oriented because they always give relative references as North South etc.!

aggirlj: [ahhhhh, this is good. Learning]

SedaGave: bye, lee

leetheflirt has left the room.

ichiban slug: hmm, sounds chinese. i'll ask tommorow!

morganuci: Ready for another question, or more on this topic?

starfall2: i believe japanese is similar in terms of "sorry"

ichiban slug: go for it mr. morgan!

aggirlj: Ready for question.

DavidWrightSr: Korzybski's main focus was in how we use language to accurately reflect the reality around us. Think of how many times Heinlein said, 'something can only be expressed by math'

aggirlj: yessssssssss

SedaGave: RAH mentioned that in some book....resentment for ...oh, wait, I think it was for "thank you" rather than sorry ??

AGplusone: expressed exactly is what he means there

aggirlj: righto

ichiban slug: hmm, japanese will not get translated exactly into any other language..

starfall2: sedagave - that's right. i was confused, it's been a long day. it's thank you that i think is an issue for japanese

ichiban slug: same goes for all languages, we see through a lens darkly

DavidWrightSr: But it applies to ordinary language. If the words you use do correctly reflect reality, then you are thinking 'unsanely'.

starfall2: I'm pretty sure I remember my Japanese professor also mentioning that "thank you" is different in Japanese

DavidWrightSr: do --> do not

morganuci: Isn't the bit about resentment in Podkayne?

IrishBet: No foreign language gets exactly translated. I was once native-fluent in French, and there are things I can say in French that I can only approximate in English.

ichiban slug: nod to that!

aggirlj: Alright, it becomes clearer.

AGplusone: But, do you think, Tim, that answers Jane's posted implied question about why are we looking at all these math calculations?

DavidWrightSr: Hopefully, one day, I;ll get my book published and you can all see where GS influenced (adv)

aggirlj: :-D

AGplusone: Instead of having a plot or story continue to unfold before us?

IrishBet: I'll uy a copy, David, if you'l autograph it. :-)

DavidWrightSr: I've got to get a publisher first.

morganuci: David, explain further?

AGplusone: Read her pre-meeting post?

morganuci: Not sure---I thought I read them all.

AGplusone: http://tinyurl.com/ynjexv

AGplusone: No. 16

aggirlj: I usually kill a post, it's the last one.

IrishBet: Jane said: I got a little weary of the minutia of information relating to all forms of math. Get on with the story, I would think.

DavidWrightSr: I'm not sure of what you were referring to Jane. Nothing comes to mind. (could be another Senior Moment).

aggirlj: There's an awful lot of math and codes.

morganuci: I read that. Maybe that math is the language you need to understand the universe?

aggirlj: I am certain of that.

DavidWrightSr: Where in the story were you talking about?

aggirlj: Throughout

aggirlj: forgive spelling.

IrishBet: Throughout, David. How many "arc tans" and conversions from miles to kilometers, etc, etc, etc were there?

AGplusone: There's for example several times when they multiple out 6^6^6. Who cares after the first time? Who cares that there are two different ways to count above millions (i.e., "Millards" whatever the hell those are).

DavidWrightSr: Oh are you referring to the fact that Star called her 'magic' simply applied mathematics?

aggirlj: I am a numbers person. Maybe my mind just reels with it too much anyway.

AGplusone: or that the expression to the base 6 is more elegant than to the base 10?

DavidWrightSr: Okay, now I get you.

aggirlj: Personal prejudice perhaps. [wow, what alliteration!]

DavidWrightSr: Sorry Star was another story. :-D Said I was having Senior Moments.

SedaGave: Imagine if it had been written with the current theories and 11 dimensions instead of a mere six ;-)

aggirlj: Please!

SedaGave: lol, sorry

IrishBet: More than 11 now, Seda. An infinite number, probbly.

AGplusone: ":elegant " math doesn't exactly take one's breath away ... bet it bored Hilda to death, although Deety, Dad, and Zeb were probably in love with what they were talking about.

DavidWrightSr: His siz dimensions comes from Ouspensky's work.

DavidWrightSr: His earlier formulation was from Dunne's work which postulated endless dimensions.

morganuci: Another interpretation is that since it's a reference to early SF, where a lot of the story was about the hardware instead of the people & their relationships, he's doing the same with throwing in a lot of math?

aggirlj: Exactly.

AGplusone: Yeah, but whoever heard of Ouspensky? Or Dunne? But, that's probably as good an explanation as I've heard, Tim.

AGplusone: "in-jokes"

morganuci: Avid readers of The Heinlein Journal :-)

DavidWrightSr: Well, he mentioned them explicitly in "Elsewhen"

aggirlj: Re-fill time?

AGplusone: tongue in cheek 'we few understand what we're talking about' and the hell with the rest of you?

AGplusone: Is it satire of the cry for harder SF, more hard SF, instead of all this wishy, washy, people stuff?

morganuci: Yeah, it makes you feel good to get the in-jokes. The anagrams and L'envoi list fit that bill too.

DavidWrightSr: It might be possible that the discussion between Elizabeth and Deety was meant to show another minor variation between universes like without a 'J'.

aggirlj: Okay, wait a min, Elizabeth. I just read it and I am not making the connection.

AGplusone: I mean, that's what some of Heinlein's readers from back in the late 1930s had been complaining about for years with his 'new stuff,' eg, Forrie Ackerman who said of everything after 1945, whatever it is it isn't SF and I hate it.

ichiban slug: i don't think mr. hienlein wanted us unwashed masses to go to hell, i think he wanted to stimlate~entertain ~embarass us into pulling on our bootsraps a bit...,eh?

DavidWrightSr: Libby Long-->Elizabeth Long after sex change.

aggirlj: Thanks.

IrishBet: Elizabeth is an incarnation of a male character from an earlier Heinlein, Janie -- he/she is a mathematician. Deety's "twin"

aggirlj: got it.

DavidWrightSr: Sorry should have said 'Andy Libby' from 'misfit' and _Methusaleh's Children_

aggirlj: [I am parched, brb]

AGplusone: The one they explain got killed by the cave bear and then when they grew the clone it turned out was a XXY and really wanted to be a girl.

DavidWrightSr: It's always struck me kind of funny that so many critics have such different points at which Heinlein 'went off the track'. Ackerman in 1945, Panshin in 1958 and others I've read about. One started with 1965.

ichiban slug: off the track? or expanded his audience?

aggirlj: b

ichiban slug: or got less hands on editors...

AGplusone: exactly ichiban ... and left behind a few reactionaries at every expansion

DavidWrightSr: Depends on your particular 'taste' 8-)

SedaGave: expanded sounds right, ichiban

ichiban slug: i like lots of tastes

aggirlj: me 3

AGplusone: "I want my MTV" just like the one who married dear old dad.

morganuci: Not a question but a comment: in Chapter 3, in describing the huge amount of memory in Gay, Zebbie says she "stores sixty million bytes"! Now iPods have 80 billion bytes, but still no flying cars (not counting Moller's).

xarophti has entered the room.

aggirlj: That was some sports car.

xarophti: good evening, all

aggirlj: hi

morganuci: Hey!

xarophti: ran a bit late tonight.

SedaGave: Hi, xarophti

AGplusone: Evenin' xaro, I'm David.

xarophti: yes, remember you from last time.

xarophti: (I'm Shelly, btw)

AGplusone: or sometimes "AG" or sometimes nasty, or sometimes nice, depending on what I've been eating or drinking.

AGplusone: Nice to meet you, Shelly.

aggirlj: <-----Jane

xarophti: so, did I miss any good discussion on Number?

aggirlj: Still proceeding, and it is pretty good.

xarophti: oh, good! Glad to hear it.

morganuci: I have one more warm up question. Ready?

ichiban slug: yessh!

xarophti: yup

AGplusone: Yeah, Tim, but that's been going on since he referenced cogs to steer the ship in Galileo, technology goes far further than he imagined throughout.

DavidWrightSr: Tim. when Heinlein was writing, no one could possibly imagine that memory could get so large in such small space. Not even the experts in the field. I listened to several lectures around 1978 that were predicting perhaps a megabyte

DavidWrightSr: tops

DavidWrightSr: sorry 1968

ichiban slug: huh, you live in the universe with a ''j'' don't you ag?

AGplusone: megabyte, hell. The 1401 had two, count 'em, kilobytes.

aggirlj: And the main frame was huge

morganuci: It's hard to avoid that---it's sort of related to Hofstetter's second law

AGplusone: I first learned to program on one.

DavidWrightSr: The first hard drive I encounterd had 256 kilobytes, was the size of a refrigerator and cost 14,000 dollars. 1969. Idiots didn't strap it down and hit a speed bump.

aggirlj: ewwwwww

xarophti: speed bump? was this thing mobile?

AGplusone: LOL and ROFLMAO!!!

SedaGave: lol...mobile phone

DavidWrightSr: They were delivering it.

xarophti: ah.

morganuci: OH!

aggirlj: lol

xarophti: ouch

starfall2: lol

ichiban slug: hmm, one hard drive....

IrishBet: First "desktop" I use had 5K. Cost $7,000. One year later I paid $100 for 64K.

georule1861 has left the room.

xarophti: Even that surprises me. Back at that time, it was usually "build in place"

morganuci: OK, new question. Chapter 6: "[our universe] has been known to be non-Euclidean at least since 1919. Or 1886 if you prefer." What happened in 1919 and 1886 that this references?

georule1861 has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Honestly, prior to Moon, Heinlein's notions of computers were always lagging behind, but then again so was everyone elses'. By going ahead to the self-aware computer, he pretty well put himself in front of the curve.

SedaGave: einstein for 1919, I'd say

ichiban slug: ohhh, sounds intersting, what happened? mr.einstein?

AGplusone: I wondered about that reference, guessed Einstein for one date, but wondered who the other was.

DavidWrightSr: 1886 was michaelson-morley experiment that proved light went at constatnt speed

SedaGave: He published around that time, Special Theory

morganuci: Right! 1919 was when they observed a star's light bent by the sun's gravity during an eclipse. Special was in 1905, general published in 1915. This was to test one of general's major predictions, and it came out just as predicted

SedaGave: ohhhh

DavidWrightSr: I believe that 1919 was the year in which they proved that gravity could warp space by observations around a solar eclipse.

DavidWrightSr: GMTA

morganuci: Sorry, what's GMTA?

DavidWrightSr: Great Minds Think AlikeO:-)

AGplusone: I like the little bon mots Heinlein is always dropping off.

morganuci: Oh! OK, my next topic suggestion was to discuss your post about how the World as Myth theme has been in many books prior to Beast. So why are the 1980s books referred to as that?

aggirlj: There were a lot in this one.

AGplusone: Things to intrigue the mind--Dr. Cargraves reads a book while waiting for boys ... find myself looking up and reading H. Rider Haggard myself.

AGplusone: (Cargraves in R.S. Galileo).,

aggirlj: Now, I need to ask . . . .

DavidWrightSr: Tim, are you speaking of Heinlein's works before the 80s or others?

DavidWrightSr: GA Jane. I can wait

aggirlj: . . the theme of World as Myth. Is that referenced in TNOTB only or I need to know something about this reference.

aggirlj: I am not as well read as all a you.

aggirlj: Could you give me a synopsis of this.

morganuci: Yes, I meant H's books from TNOTB onwards are typically called the World as Myth books. Why those, if that theme was present previously?

xarophti: specifically referred to as "World as Myth", I believe that phrase is only used in TNOTB and Time Enough for Love, yes?

ichiban slug: that an author creates the world, yes?

aggirlj: Okay, I see that come shining through in TNOTB.

IrishBet: Or that the observer creates the world, Ichi

ichiban slug: hmm, because it is rubbed in your face a bit more? =-)

AGplusone: When Hilda starts, towards the end, talking about how everything might possibly be the creation of an author's mind ... or an artist's mind ...

georule1861: Jonathan Hoag. . .

IrishBet: The theme, though, Janie was in alot of the books at the time. And in earlier books, occasionally.

ichiban slug: hmm, i got observer affects what is observed, but is not the 'Author'...

georule1861: Arguably All You Zombies

AGplusone: we're talking about something other writers have possibly suggested as well, e.g., the bubble ending in Twain's Mysterious Stranger, which Heinlein imitates at the end of I Will Fear No Evil.

aggirlj: [are we having fun?]

xarophti: ooh, intriguing. I never really thought about Hoag

morganuci: Does Hoag say that there are parallel universes, or "enclosing" one(s) like a chinese puzzle?

georule1861: It certainly would be implied.

georule1861: It's failed art.

DavidWrightSr: Hoag says that our world was created by an 'Author' and he was the critic judging it.

aggirlj: I read that one.

ichiban slug: or older parts that are pulling puppet strings mr. morgan?

georule1861: It seems unlikely there was only one artist.

georule1861: or a critic wouldn't have much work, or reference.

morganuci: Well, that's what I mean by enclosed. If I created a universe, it would be contained within this one (in a sense) rather than just-as-big, parallel to it.

ichiban slug: yup, one maker of the planet earth in 'job' but several 'actors'...

DavidWrightSr: Although he doesn't speak of 'authors', in Elsewhen, he as many parallel worlds which are accessible according to the personality involved, just as in TNOTB.

IrishBet: Job posits a number os creators -- or "Authors"

morganuci: Yes, Elsewhen certainly fits my understanding of WaM.

georule1861: Job is post TNOTB tho.

xarophti: I guess I have a tendency to forget about Hoag. I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my brain around that one, for some reason.

georule1861: We're talking about hints in that direction pre-

AGplusone: (yeah, we're having fun, Jane). Goes back to a group of skeptics in Greece, who challenged the established order, called Sophists.

IrishBet: :-P

morganuci: So is there something distinctive about all the books after TNOTB that make them "World as Myth" books, compared to the previous ones? How about Friday?

aggirlj: Haven't finished that one.

IrishBet: I want shipstones.

DavidWrightSr: TNOTB essentially tied together *all* of RAH's works, so technically, any one could be WAM, even if restricted to a single timeline.

AGplusone: Well, we have to wait for Cat Who Walks before it becomes plainly obvious that he's tying all the stories he'd previously written together, and intends to do so--although he telegraphs it in Number, assuming it didn't just grow like

AGplusone: Topsy.

AGplusone: Number could be just a farewell, this is my last work, and what I enjoy about SF, as I thought it was, when I read it in 1979.

xarophti: no, I couldn't say Friday was a World as Myth book. But some of the other Fantasy shorts may qualify. Magic, Inc., Waldo, The Man Who Traveled in Elephants

DavidWrightSr: That's what I thought too when I first read it. Made me very sad.

morganuci: Me too (that it was a farewell).

AGplusone: It was what Dave Potter thought too.

aggirlj: I think I'd rather a world as myth.

starfall2: Number didn't seem like a farewell to me, although maybe that was a result of knowing there were later books?

SedaGave: I felt that way, too, he was getting all his friends, characters together....it seemed like a wake

AGplusone: I think you had to have the sensitivity to mortality to see it, of a certain age or disposition. I've heard others say they never imagined that it was sayonora.

IrishBet: It did to me, Star -- I was genuinely surprised when another came out.

starfall2: for me, i'd already ready some of the later books, so that might have affected me

AGplusone: That's why I thought Rufo had a point about the structure perhaps being a fugue.

georule1861: I think they were nearly all "farewells" from Fear No Evil on, actually.

morganuci: But To Sail was much more explicitly so, in the title reference

georule1861: But then, happily, he kept not dieing.

AGplusone: Oh, yeah.

starfall2: very nice of him, to keep not dying

SedaGave: yes

aggirlj: This one being re-written and published after his brain surgery. It is no wonder.

AGplusone: And, while he had time enough, heh, he did what he loved, and went back and starting tying them together, as Cabell did.

DavidWrightSr: Potters article can be found at http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/numberbeast.html

morganuci: Yeah, I read that in prep for tonight.

AGplusone: But, I'm beginning to think that TNOTB isn't just what Potter thought it was.

morganuci: OK, David, how so?

aggirlj: Thank you Tim.

AGplusone: Well, there's all this stuff that doesn't exactly fit with tributes to and appreciations of ... we got the four points of view, and we got the visits to specific places, at specific times, and we got them forgetting the mission.

AGplusone: Or being subsumed into Lazarus Long's mission, whatever it is at the time they run into him ... and what time, exactly, is it when Laz actually does pick them up.

AGplusone: ?

morganuci: Dunno?

aggirlj: After they had settled on a world.

AGplusone: Have we got a Circle of Ourboros functioning at the time. Is Laz out recruiting troops to run operations?

DavidWrightSr: Well, it's over 2,000 years in their future, although different time lines.

morganuci: When you can travel through time, what does it mean to ask if something is the case "at the time"?

AGplusone: Did he really need Gay Deceiver and the continua device ...

AGplusone: yeah, but where in the loops are we?

aggirlj: Yes.

aggirlj: Teh?

IrishBet: Jane, have you read The Cat who Walks Through Walls?

aggirlj: Not as yet.

aggirlj: Maureen, I know.

AGplusone: They go get Maureen, but ... they could have done that with Dora, who was good enough to get them there for Time Enough For Love.

xarophti: well, he states Dora won't go back in close enough to attempt the rescue of Maureen (having been shot at the first time they tried to get close enough) I think Dora is also too large.

DavidWrightSr: That can drive you crazy trying to figure out loops. I know, I worked for days on the AYZ and BYB timelines. But he saw the picture of Gay doing the pickup also.

starfall2: I'm going to get going. Goodnight!

xarophti: goodnight!

AGplusone: And what was our Four doing when they visit Barsoom, and the Lensman universe, and Oz, and Dodson while Alice is away down some rabbit hole.

morganuci: Bye!

SedaGave: bye, star!

AGplusone: By Jackie

aggirlj: By Jackie

AGplusone: Like By Jove!

starfall2 has left the room.

morganuci: I hope you're leading up to something, David!

IrishBet: Once you figure out the loops, though, David, it's perfectly clear.

AGplusone: Why do they leave the 2 Henry VI world, really? (poo to you, Pam ... :-)

IrishBet: This is always the problem with time travel. Ever read The Man Who Folded Himself?

xarophti: yes, I'm not sure what you're getting at, either, David

AGplusone: 2 Henry VI, "let's kill all the lawyers"

aggirlj: Right and find a good doctor.

AGplusone: There once was a plot here ... maybe in the old version. What were the Four doing?

DavidWrightSr: They left there because they were bored.

AGplusone: What about the Black Hats, what about avenging Ed? What about saving humanity?

xarophti: They don't really leave that world. THAT world is Beulahland

aggirlj: Initially they were looking for Black Hats . . . too slow in typing.

georule1861: Well, they'd be saving all that against the Author.

georule1861: As the black hats are all Heinlein.

AGplusone: If you like to call it that, yes. I like Willy the S's version better.

georule1861: Unless you're saying that got welded on later.

xarophti: Yes, they eventually settle with the Longs on Tertius, but it is obvious in Time Enough that a pied-a-terre is maintained on the Beulaland timeline.

AGplusone: Yeah, but maybe the anagrams did get welded on later, as another joke, when he decided to end at a SF convention in the sky.

aggirlj: Geo, what do you mean "as the black hats are all Heinlein"?

ichiban slug: hey all you zombies, i'm gonna crash, 'night all! *wave*

IrishBet: They're anagrams, Jane.

SedaGave: Bye, ichiban!

aggirlj: Okay. I'll have to study that.

IrishBet: Nite, Ichi

aggirlj: Bye ichiban

ichiban slug: oyasumi nasai all

DavidWrightSr: They're all anagrams of either Virginia or Robert. Wait a second, I'll get a link.

morganuci: Good night.

ichiban slug has left the room.

georule1861: That came out of Stover's book.

AGplusone: Bennie Hibol = Bob Heinlein

georule1861: RAH told him and gave him the list of anagramss.

georule1861: Neil O'Heret Brain, etc

AGplusone: Neil O'Heret Brain = Robert A. Heinlein

DavidWrightSr: http://www.dimensionedelta.net/heinlein/lenvoi.html

aggirlj: Thank you all.

morganuci: It's sort of a giveaway that all the names are strange in some way.

IrishBet: It bypassed me completely.

IrishBet: I'm not big into anagrams.

AGplusone: Almost all the bad guys turn out to be anagrams of either Robert or Ginny or one of Robert's psuedonyms.

DavidWrightSr: Me too, when I first read it. In fact, I thought one of them was a corruption of L Ron Hubbard.

IrishBet: LoL

georule1861: So it's possible what was "the plot" early on was just a device to discover the true nature of the universe. . . world as myth.

aggirlj: Wouldn't it be interesting.

AGplusone: L. Ron O'Leamy, or something.

georule1861: Unless early versions the Black Hats weren't heinlein.

DavidWrightSr: Right

AGplusone: In which case, Heinlein had another end in view. What would it have been?

xarophti: Leemy

aggirlj: Build another world.

xarophti: Special Agent L. Ron O' Leemy, InterSpace Patrol

AGplusone: Typically, as I suggested the end in Puppet Masters, "we're coming to get you ... "

xarophti: I've never been able to figure that one out

morganuci: Well, since David has read the earlier version, let's hear it---did it have the anagrams?

AGplusone: Nope.

JJ Brannon has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, JJ.

morganuci: Hey!

IrishBet: {{ JJ }}}}}

aggirlj: Well, hi JJ. Long time no see [Jane].

JJ Brannon: Better late than never. :>)

georule1861: Ah, the smoking gun then.

JJ Brannon: I just got in from work. "Little Y2K" stuff.

IrishBet: NoTB was both, you know. A farewell and a prelude.

AGplusone: Or the dog that didn't bark in the night.

georule1861: The Daylight Savings Thing?

JJ Brannon: Yes.

IrishBet:

georule1861: Suprising how much grief that's causing.

georule1861: Our Network guys were pulling their hair out too.

AGplusone: Windows .... snerk.

georule1861: Particularly over Outlook/Exchange

aggirlj: Yeah, snerk

JJ Brannon: I'm interested in the "farewell and prelude" bit.

AGplusone: Yes, what did you mean, Pam?

JJ Brannon: Fred Pohl referred to NotB as the first of his "omni gatherum" phase.

DavidWrightSr: That's the wrong URL I gave you. That is the list of people at the convention.

IrishBet: JJ, we were saying earlier that it reads like a farewell -- a gathering of all his characters. But it also laid the clearest groundwork for another "expansion"

xarophti: Did anybody figure out the L. Ron O'Leemy?

xarophti: I just located the reference.

JJ Brannon: Not me. I thought it merely a gloss on L. Ron Hubbard.

aggirlj: give

JJ Brannon: Lyle Monroe

IrishBet: xaro, so what is the reference?

JJ Brannon: Gifford lists all the anagrams. I missed them and so did all the critics.

xarophti: nope. That, and the "Mellrooney" that Sir Issac turns it into anagram of his old pseudonym Lyle Monroe.

xarophti: sorry. typing difficulty

SedaGave: It did seem like an ending....RAH even herded all his critics into the Critic's Lounge at the convention....like a Klein bottle, decorated by Escher--- an inside but no outside....I suppose many writers would like to do that ;-)

IrishBet: Oh . . . . damn -- I said I wasn't all that hot at anagrams. And it's a pretty clear one.

JJ Brannon: Actually, I think it was both at the same time.

xarophti: he does claim that the writers can escape IF THEY CAN READ.

SedaGave: lol, true

aggirlj: Very good. i got a chuckle on that one too.

IrishBet: Nevertheless, he laid all the groundwork for another whole series of books.

xarophti: I've tried to figure that one out, but couldn't quite nail it down. It could have so many possible meanings.

JJ Brannon: The critics can escape, you mean...

aggirlj: No, actually I believe he wrote 'writers'.

IrishBet: I originally read it as a farewell -- and (given his health) that wasn't so implausible.

IrishBet: But, in retrospect, it was a prelude to another series of stories.

IrishBet: Leave it to RAH to cover all the bases. It was a literary mobius strip.

xarophti: sorry, my error. It's critics. He says book reviewers can't get in, and Hoag is checking credentials

AGplusone: Let's say you wrote it, up to Beulahland, or somewhere better where prenatal care is available, and you get the kids born. What then? Do they do a Friday, and join the local Girl Scout troop?

xarophti: (tired and other people in the room. distracting)

morganuci: That's what I'd normally expect

xarophti: I can't even go there.

AGplusone: Toowombah ... To the womb ... really, Tim? I'd expect Puppet Masters we're coming to get you, now that the kids are safe.

DavidWrightSr: I think their personalities were more like Oscar. They needed to have goals to strive for, places to visit and things to see.

morganuci: Most of the time, it's "get to a virgin planet, escape the bad guys, then live happily ever after popping out kids and farming".

JJ Brannon: p. 497 of the trade pb -- "critics"

AGplusone: I mean, as nicely as I can say this, this is Heinlein, not Spider Robinson.

aggirlj: I have it handy JJ, looking.

xarophti: Agreed. (personally, with personalities like that, I can't even get behind the whole "kids" thing, but that's my problem)

JJ Brannon: Me, too, xaro.

AGplusone: But not when they're facing a direct threat to mankind.

IrishBet: The story couldn't have ended at Beulahland -- this wasn't Friday or Farmer in the Sky. The bad guys weren't disposed of.

xarophti: (I already said I goofed, jj)

morganuci: Well, didn't Spider's book say they were going to try to figure out how to fight back?

IrishBet: In a Zen sort of way.

JJ Brannon: I know, Xaro. I was out of the room grabbing my copy when you replied. I'm tired too.

AGplusone: sorta kinda after we hid and pretend we're peasants keeping our heads down for a long, long time.

DavidWrightSr: What could they do about the bad guys. They had pretty well decided early on that the best they could do was to move on. And what about all of the 'black hats' in other worlds, not like the ones on mars who might take it into their.

DavidWrightSr: minds to conquer someone?

AGplusone: Peasant Budhism. (sorry if I misspelled that).

aggirlj: The black hats just seemed to fade into the mist.

IrishBet: David, that was only because the women were pregnant. Absent that, they would have been fighting.

IrishBet: It foreshadows the Circle.

AGplusone: No, what they pretty much decided was protect the women and children first.

xarophti: I don't know about that. The whole conference was staged to bring out the Beast (black hat). Of course, TNOTB postulated only one.

aggirlj: Well, I think the women had something to say about that and they did. There were a few times the fellows were going to go off on their own and were stoped.

AGplusone: "We're coming too"

georule1861: If you've got a multi-verse, it's hard to see how humanity can actually be threatened.

aggirlj: Right.

AGplusone: like a fungus, it grows

georule1861: Now, we can resent the hell out of a "watcher" race that might be keeping us down.

georule1861: But existance isn't really threatened. . .

DavidWrightSr: So what really did happen to the Beast?

AGplusone: The occasional H-bomb to destroy Snug Harbor, kill Ed, and all that.

georule1861: And, really, we don't know the black hats are actually bad guys.

AGplusone: You gotta wait to July, David ...

georule1861: We never get to hear their sside.

AGplusone: Never get to hear the Bugs' side, either.

xarophti: When you get further into later World as Myth books, you see more opposition; directly opposed to the Circle of Obourous.

georule1861: That's one view.

aggirlj: Yeah, not a peep out of the one who made the mistake of touching his side arm.

georule1861: What about Have Space Suit?

georule1861: Were they bad guys?

IrishBet: Anybody dropping an h-bomb on my house is a bad guy; I don't care how pure-hearted they are. It's a matter of perspective.

georule1861: They were THAT close to ending the race.

AGplusone: Wouldn't keep us from listening, if we could communicate, but with the Bugs, efforts to communicate don't work. They suicide.

georule1861: And we do actually get a bit of a "look into a bug's mind" at points. Not pretty.

xarophti: well, the mother-thing did say they had been very naughty

JJ Brannon: Heinlein hinted that they were a necessary function of reality.

AGplusone: Different bunch. That's a cop on the beat, but I'd bet if the cop

started acting like the ones in Stranger who land on Jubal's roses, then, maybe they ;get their hair parted one day with a 357

DavidWrightSr: The question seems to be not were the 'wormfaces' evil, but what about the 'three galaxies one law' people?

georule1861: Well, that's sort of my point. We don't know that the Black Hats aren't cops.

xarophti: really?

JJ Brannon: The Beast/boojums, that is.

georule1861: Or if not cops, per se. . . CIA?

xarophti: interesting idea. To keep us from playing with n-dimensional geometry they feel we shouldn't be playing with?

morganuci: Yes, that's what I had thought.

AGplusone: Because they are out there colonizing, and erasing homo sap?

JJ Brannon: The Evil Overlord is an element of the hero: no black hats, no white hats.

AGplusone: How do we know on the Barsoom we visit that they're really just degenerated into the equivalent of Jerry Was a Man apes?

morganuci: brb

georule1861: Heinlein was never overly comfortable with evil.

georule1861: Conflict, yes.

JJ Brannon: Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls

AGplusone: Remember, Laz points out they could have been mind deluded by the Barsoomians.

AGplusone: And saw the Potemkin Village the Black Hats wanted them to see.

xarophti: well, I think I need to call this a night, folks!

xarophti: good night, all

DavidWrightSr: Night Shelly

aggirlj: One of the interesting things about each world is that most everyone welcomed them with open arms.

xarophti has left the room.

georule1861: Darn it, David, I'll be dipping into that box now.

IrishBet: On the other hand, what if the Barsoomian boojums were Black Hats at an earlier point in evolution?

AGplusone: Nice to have you, xaro

JJ Brannon: Night

morganuci: b

AGplusone: And what if all the 'humans' were drugged ...

AGplusone: like the governor's wife was.

aggirlj: I thought she was alcoholic.

IrishBet: Jane, the Russians weren't so welcoming. But, Glenda knew Deetie

AGplusone: alcohol, drugs, it's all the same

SedaGave: But Black Hats can't access Oz, IIRC

aggirlj: Well Russians!!

aggirlj: [joking]

IrishBet: They could access Oz, Seda, but Glenda would see them and expell them.

SedaGave: ahhh, ty

aggirlj: They weren't in her book.

IrishBet: And if they appeared in her Book, they'd be expelled into the desert.

aggirlj: True.

SedaGave: *nods*

AGplusone: But, in Oz, there's always that guy behind the curtain, generating the illusion.

IrishBet: An Authr.

IrishBet: Author

AGplusone: So, anyway, I'd like to look really hard at Rufo's idea about the fugue, here.

AGplusone: And see what juxtapositions appear, what variations that might be heading to a point, other perhaps, than the intermission that is L'envoi.

AGplusone: Looking back and looking forward, as Pam put it.

AGplusone: But, that's just me, and I'm a little weird ...

morganuci: Well, what themes do the 4 characters represent?

DavidWrightSr: A thought just occurred to me. Do you suppose that Heinlein was thumbing his nose at some critics who said that all of his characters were the same. So he says, 'yeah, so what'?

AGplusone: Wisdom, Strength, Beauty and Sneakiness ... j/k

aggirlj: That's a very tough one.

aggirlj: They are all pretty smart.

IrishBet: Who is wisdom, David?

AGplusone: Jacob

DavidWrightSr: They might correspond to Mike, Prof, Mannie and Wyoh. Another thought from out of the blue.

SedaGave: He's smart, but not wise

aggirlj: I am not sure.

AGplusone: altho that's pushing it

IrishBet: Ooooo . . . . I dunno. Jacob doesn't strike me as al so wise.

AGplusone: remember "j/k"

morganuci: I'm not so sure---maybe you're on to something :-)

aggirlj: Could be a woman thing Pam.

IrishBet: I don't know, Jane. Didn't David say on AFH that Jake was not to be rusted?

IrishBet: trusted

aggirlj: Too unpredictable.

aggirlj: Or too predictable.

AGplusone: No, I'm not serious about WSB&S. But they may stand for something, or their development may auger something ....

IrishBet: Oh, I think he was very predictable. All the makings of a Hitler.

DavidWrightSr: On the contrary, very predictable, always saying or doing something to upset Hilda.

IrishBet: He was very self-centered.

AGplusone: They might indeed correspond to Mike, Prof, Manny ... and Wyoh.

IrishBet: He didn't have a clue how abrasive he was.

aggirlj: I think there was a thought by Hilda that she wished she had a 2x4 or did I dream it.

DavidWrightSr: If she didn't the readers sure did.

IrishBet: I could correspond Jake to Mike.

IrishBet: Easily

DavidWrightSr: Ah, but who do the others correspond to? Prof=Hilda? Manny=Zeb and Wyon=Deety? Doesn't seem right now that I think about it.

AGplusone: Anyway, it's something to play around in the mind with ... Prof and Hilda are both untrustworthy to the same extent. I don't believe half what each says.

AGplusone: Prof the bomber ...

AGplusone: let's start a little 'insurgency' gets him exiled.

aggirlj: I am not sure that DT is any more trustworth.

IrishBet: They each had agendas, no matter how they denied it.

SedaGave: Well, if there's a theme the four have in common, it's rugged individualism, they are each that...which precipitates much of the conflict among them, until Hilda settles in as ruggedest...no one else could ride herd

AGplusone: They just lacked evidence to hang him.

AGplusone: No one else had the tools

aggirlj: The strongest character, to my way of thinking, is Zeb.

aggirlj: And the most trustworthy.

morganuci: Why the strongest, Jane?

aggirlj: He watched all of it and acted with logic.

aggirlj: Very even, not totally beguilled.

AGplusone: Falls into an appropriate role fast, plays by certain necessary rules, stable.

aggirlj: Exactly.

AGplusone: or more stable than others

IrishBet: More disciplined

morganuci: OK, I'll buy that.

AGplusone: cheats when necessary, that laser canon.

AGplusone: Gay Deceiver

IrishBet: Good poker player

AGplusone: ... but plays the game.

AGplusone: and only incidentally the people ...

DavidWrightSr: Capable soldier, but not exactly suited to command.

AGplusone: Hilda plays the people, first last and always

aggirlj: Don't kid yourself David W.

SedaGave: Sharpie makes her own rules, tho, and even flummoxes Lazarus

AGplusone: Not trained well, but he's a pilot.

IrishBet: >:o

aggirlj: He waits for the right time.

AGplusone: Not trained to lead as a pilot even if he has a "command" rating.

AGplusone: A captain can't lead you to a chow line in the Air Force.

AGplusone: (or, shouldn't try to)

aggirlj: Probably the most dangerous as well.

IrishBet: Janie, I think Zeb was a lousy commander.

georule1861: We talked about that before. That character is around a lot in Heinlein.

georule1861: At different stages of development.

DavidWrightSr: And he essentially admitted it.

georule1861: Depending on the situations thrust at him.

aggirlj: Oh, I agree. You don't have to be The commander to command sometimes.

AGplusone: Yes, he's Oscar before the mind games Her Wizzy and Rufe play on him ...

georule1861: Sam, Zeb from ITGO, Manny

georule1861: Oscar rather, sorry.

georule1861: Not Manny.

georule1861: Maybe even Gulf guy before Kettle Belly gets him.

IrishBet: brb

AGplusone: yes

georule1861: I forget his name right now. . .

AGplusone: Joe Greene

JJ Brannon: Joe?

georule1861: Right.

AGplusone: Even the Great Lorenzo

georule1861: Hmm!

JJ Brannon: Joke. Guiseppe Verdi.

AGplusone: Now all you got to do, JJ, is figure out what opera goes with Gulf.

aggirlj: Okay, my head is starting to nod. My neck is hurting, I may have to go soon.

AGplusone: My spousal overlord has called and said I can come pick her up anytime now.

IrishBet: b

JJ Brannon: The Force of Destiny?

AGplusone: Oh, and Pam, I have a deposit going in. Just a few. Four or so.

IrishBet: Good. I want to be up-to-date before I pummel further. ;-)

AGplusone: Join Heinlein Society, Fun, Travel, Adventure, and have Pam pummel further for dues.

aggirlj: Go girl.

IrishBet: :-D

AGplusone: :D

AGplusone: see, GMTA

IrishBet: LoL

AGplusone: Mr. Morgan, sir, what topic next?

aggirlj: Alrighty, I have to go. This was a blast. Gee, it helps if you read the book;-)

IrishBet: Oh, (totally off topic) JJ, do you have some notes for me about panels? Or did you forget?

morganuci: I haven't thought of a next topic yet. Any suggestions? This was great!

JJ Brannon: No, I started compiling it.

IrishBet: Let's do TFL

IrishBet: TEFL

AGplusone: Got someone you might want to talk to in Philly, JJ. Give me a call. Number in Newsletter, please.

aggirlj: Spell Ms. Somers, please. My mind is mush.

AGplusone: Seda, nice to meet you.

SedaGave: bye, aggirlj!

morganuci: TEFL is fine by me. Anything specific, or just that book in general?

IrishBet: JJ, can I get concepts tomorrow or Saturday? I have to give something to Balticon.

aggirlj: bye Seda

AGplusone: Time Enough For Love.

SedaGave: Ty, AG, me too

JJ Brannon: Yes, Mr. Silver. [Too many Davids, all Goliaths extinct.]

AGplusone: heh

aggirlj: Bye for now.

JJ Brannon: Saturday.

AGplusone: Just call me David Lamb

DavidWrightSr: SedaGave do you want to have your name on the mailing list for notifications for this group?

IrishBet: Balticon mtg is saturday night.

IrishBet: Saturday is great!

JJ Brannon: They're working me into the ground.

SedaGave: Yes, please! :-)

aggirlj has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Will do.

AGplusone: need full email, Seda

DavidWrightSr: I've got it already David

AGplusone: okay, got log Dave?

DavidWrightSr: In the bag!

georule1861 has left the room.

JJ Brannon: David, Michael Flynn told me he'll be in India during Balticon.

AGplusone: 'kay, hope he has fun. Envy him.

IrishBet: :-( He was supposed to be there. I sent him an e-mail to which he hasn't responded.

IrishBet: JJ, ask him to check the e-mail from "HeinleinMembers"

JJ Brannon: Last minute. He told day before yesterday. I was going to hand out DVDs at Balticon.

AGplusone: Say hi to Mike for me, please.

SedaGave: everdream@earthlink.net I think is the one I gave you....and sorry for the initial spamblock, it does that to everyone, first time

JJ Brannon: Are you attending, David?

AGplusone: possibly

JJ Brannon: I have to send his to Easton.

AGplusone: spousal overlord unit calling again ... bye, everyone.

JJ Brannon: He said in Chennai in the week before and after Memorial Day. Heck of a commute, saith Himself.

IrishBet: JJ, it might be you an' me. I need your help.

SedaGave: Bye, AG!

IrishBet: Nite, David

morganuci: Goodnight all.

IrishBet: Love to Andi

JJ Brannon: Goodnight.

AGplusone: will give it to her for you, thanks for coming everyone

AGplusone: poof

DavidWrightSr: Night David

JJ Brannon: I'll email you, Pamela.

JJ Brannon has left the room.

AGplusone has left the room.

IrishBet: {{{ JJ }}}}}

IrishBet: Nite, all.

IrishBet has left the room.

morganuci has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: ------------Log officially closed at 11:36 P.M. EST ---------------

SedaGave: Nite!

DavidWrightSr: Do svidanija
SedaGave has left the room.

End of Discussion


Click Here to Return to Index
Return to Index


  Join The Heinlein Society and Pay Forward the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein and Virginia Heinlein.
 
 

©2001-2010 The Heinlein Society
3553 Atlantic Avenue, #341
Long Beach, CA 90807-5606

 
 

The Heinlein Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein on behalf of her husband, science fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, to "pay forward" the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein to future generations of "Heinlein's Children."