A Chess Grandmaster on Heinlein
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Author:  RobertPearson [ Fri May 13, 2011 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  A Chess Grandmaster on Heinlein

I am an enthusiastic chess player and have participated in rated chess tournaments for the last 30 years. As we all know, there are several chess references in the Heinlein oeuvre, including Lazurus Long v. Captain King (just the first move on each side), Lazurus Long versus his grandfather Ira Johnson (Ira recapitulates a Steinitz brilliancy when LL forgoes a computer-generated improvement).

Soem web searching brought me to an intrguing article, "All you zombies", by Dr. John Nunn, Oxford mathematician, British grandmaster and leading chess author (I have many of his books):

A couple of quotes:

In the piece "Chess and the Laws of Physics" mention was made of the short story "All You Zombies-" (1959) by Robert Heinlein. It was interesting to see a reference to this time-travel story as it is one of my favourites. Heinlein, one of the top science-fiction writers of all time, explored the theme of time-travel several times in his career, not always sticking to the 'deterministic' theory of time-travel featured in "All You Zombies-". His development of the theme of 'deterministic' time-travel is quite interesting.


Building on his earlier efforts, in 1959 Heinlein wrote the short story "All You Zombies-", which is undoubtedly one of the great classic time-travel stories.


These days, 'deterministic' time-travel seems to be out of fashion. One reason may be that by its very nature it offers fewer imaginative possibilities than other time-travel theories; another might be that Heinlein's story said all that was worth saying on the subject, leaving others few possibilities for further exploration.

He also has his SF reading list, and I'm sure many of you will be interested in his evaluations. ;)

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