View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:01 pm



Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Manhattan Project and Heinlein 
Author Message

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Manhattan Project and Heinlein
Apparently, Heinlein's (and Cartmill's) stories about atomic weapons were discussed by the participants in the Manhattan Project -- a point I've never seen made before.

And Benford's novel looks interesting.


Sun May 14, 2017 6:07 pm
Profile
Heinlein Nexus
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2232
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Post Re: Manhattan Project and Heinlein
Good spot. Is the novel about the 3rd Reich getting the bomb first?


Sun May 14, 2017 8:15 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:33 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Evanston, IL
Post Re: Manhattan Project and Heinlein
Thanks for the heads-up on the Benford book, BillMullins! It's now on my amazon.com shopping list.

_________________
Tom Kendall
www.mostlyclassics.net
tom.kendall@mostlyclassics.net


Mon May 15, 2017 6:34 am
Profile
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:46 am
Posts: 540
Location: Aurora, IL, USA, Terra
Post Re: Manhattan Project and Heinlein
BillMullins wrote:
Apparently, Heinlein's (and Cartmill's) stories about atomic weapons were discussed by the participants in the Manhattan Project -- a point I've never seen made before.

I'm not aware of any previous direct evidence that these SF stories were discussed. Ed Wysocki has been alert to any such evidence, and so have I.

It's easy to make a circumstantial case for the idea. "Blowups Happen" was published in 1940, "Solution Unsatisfactory" in 1941, these preceded the start of the Manhattan Project proper, scientists were commonly SF readers, and we can name a few who read Astounding regularly.

Gregory Benford heard from Teller, who was at Los Alamos, that scientists talked about Heinlein's stories (among others). I believe this is the first solid testimony I've seen. Wish he had said more than one sentence about it. Perhaps he could be persuaded to write more.

Wells's atomic-bomb story The World Set Free does appear in accounts of the era, notably from Leo Szilard.

_________________
Bill Higgins
bill.higgins@gt.org
http://beamjockey.livejournal.com


Tue May 16, 2017 11:50 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 240
Location: Alabama, USA
Post Re: Manhattan Project and Heinlein
Thanks. Benford's book sounds like something I will enjoy.

_________________
Dan Thompson
Thunderchild Publishing (http://www.ourworlds.net/thunderchild)


Fri May 19, 2017 8:35 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Re: Manhattan Project and Heinlein
There's an interview with Benford at Scientific American's website here.

In it, he confirms (without sources or details) not only that Von Braun had a subscription to Astounding through the German embassy in Stockholm (which I thought had been discussed here, but cannot find), but also that Von Braun read of the use of radioactive material as a weapon in RAH's "Solution Unsatisfactory", and passed the idea on to Albert Speer, who would have been able to relay it to the highest levels of the Nazi leadership. Again, something I've never seen confirmed before. (and I've read most of the biographies of Von Braun, but not of Speer).

(and I'm currently at chapter 5 of The Berlin Project, and enjoying it)


Sun May 21, 2017 11:19 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 6 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF