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Heinlein Society 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
kyger1+ wrote:
And those on who he had somewhat looked down on during his life -- science fiction "fans" of fandom -- did exactly as he thought they would do, which is to say, not a damn thing.


I know Tim explicitly mentioned Tina Black and I also know he didn't mean to implicate the other members of KACSFFS, so I'll just make it explicit here that Tim is certainly not talking about the members of KACSFFS who supported us to a tremendous degree. In an era where "I support you" has decayed in meaning to "I'll think good thoughts for you occasionally," I want to be clear that their support consisted of concrete, sweaty tasks. Moving heavy things. Driving people places. Storing stuff. Showing up hour after hour, sometimes keeping those commitments to do the job in the midst of personal tragedy. That is the kind of support that counts, and they delivered it in spades.

More on point perhaps would be the reaction of LASFS, for example. Bill and I went to LosCon several times and I attempted to enlist their assistance - after all, RAH was a member of LASFS, they do (or did) have a parking space with his name on it in front of the clubhouse for years after his death. I had to repeatedly explain that we were not the Heinlein Society; they were mad at the society for having had panel requests delivered to them phrased as ultimatums rather than requests and various other mistreatments. Even after making this point crystal clear over and over, though, there still was no return contact from LASFS. A pity, I thought, as their archives probably contained interesting material we would like to have displayed on loan.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:43 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
Peter Scott wrote:
I want to be clear that [KACSFF's] support consisted of concrete, sweaty tasks. Moving heavy things. Driving people places. Storing stuff. Showing up hour after hour, sometimes keeping those commitments to do the job in the midst of personal tragedy. That is the kind of support that counts, and they delivered it in spades.

What he said. I can't say enough on behalf of the KACSFF members who simply showed up that last week and did what they do so well: make it happen. The tremendous amount of work, both pure grunt and sweat (and lots of it) and more specialized tasks like running registration and the video room and other jobs no one who hasn't run a half-dozen cons could do... the five or six of us who occasionally credit ourselves with making the Centennial happen owe them a huge vote of thanks and a blanket admission that we stood on their shoulders that whole frantic five days.

Peter alludes to tragedy: I won't name names, but a key member of the crew lost his wife just days before the event (Wednesday?) and spent the entire weekend fulfilling his obligations of getting the mountain of necessary stuff to the venue and in place. Even understanding that he preferred to work rather than sit, how can you adequately thank that kind of dedication?

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
Oh, yes; what they said. It's what I thought *I* had said, too, but, hey, ya know...

To make it plain: The folks in Kansas City -- the fans there -- came through IN SPADES. Or whatever metaphor you'd like to cite.

But then, I KNEW they would, too. How? Um...hey, I just knew, is all. <grin>

I guess what I was refering to WRT to "fandom" was (and is) the majority core bunch, the BNFs these days, and so forth, who are interpenetrated with the "sf publishing establishment" to a huge degree. Venn diagrams come to mind...and lucikly then go away.

Anyway, I was then (and still am) appalled at the lack of *any* support on the part of the sf publishing world WRT to the HC100 event. As I said, here is this guy, 20 years safely dead, but with his books ALL STILL IN PRINT, distributed among almost all of the major publishers, and still making money for them. Fa ghu's sake, the then-recent Tor reprint of TMIAHM went to up with Charles Symoni to the International Space Station, as the ISS' first library book. Did Tor do *anything* with this for its marketing?

Mike Griffin was the first, and the only, NASA Administrator to speak at any sort of conference, or convention, or what-have-you, associated with anything that smelled even just a leeeeetle bit like it had an sf connection. Did that get reported much in the SF publishing press? Yes, just a bit; on Locus online. Because I emailed and emailed the guy there about it, and the online weekly space news magazine The Space Review was featuring Griffin's speech on the Net. If The Space Review's article hadn't been there, I'm sure Locus Online wouldn't even have mentioned it. At all.

I'm spraying opinions all over the place here and barely being coherent, for which I apologize. But let me make a final point, or perhaps beat a dead horse one more time. And that is this: That the underlying zeitgeizt of sf publishing now and for the past several decades completely precludes any appreciation of Robert Heinlein, his writing, or his opinions, or of the kind of SF that he wrote and represented. All the while, his books are on these same publisher's backlists, selling slowly but steadily, helping their bottom lines.

All the while being studiously ignored.


Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
Just to follow on Tim's comments:

Although the core organizers were busy, well, organizing, all of us at one time or another took part in the efforts to contact other "parties of interest" to get them involved. Some of this contact was naked self-interest, that is, seeking direct support or funding for the event should it be available. But in almost every case, we made it clear that we were asking not just for that direct support of our effort, but the collateral involvement of whoever it was we were contacting - to their own benefit and ends.

While we would have LIKED to have Tor, Baen and the other publishers whose catalogs ran to a full page of Heinlein titles to have chipped in on the event, we would have been happy to see them promote their own Heinlein interests as well in that significant year. Publicity for one is publicity for all in such a case.

With only the scantiest exceptions, there was a resounding silence all through sf fandom, from the many well-established fan groups (some of which had famous involvement with Heinlein) to the many publishers whose bottom lines were, have been and are buoyed by continuing Heinlein sales. LASFS? Silence. NESFA? Silence. Analog, Asimov's, F&SF? Silence - although Analog did actually manage to put a listing for our event in the July 2007 issue, which hit stands DURING the event. Locus? Silence. (I'm sure Charles Brown's deadweight presence on the THS board had nothing to do with that.) Tor and Baen? Silence.

Understand again, I don't mean silence towards us or the event - which there was. I mean that not one of these institutions, every one of which owes a debt to Robert Heinlein of one size or another and for one reason and another, not one so much as acknowledged Heinlein's 100th birthday in any timely and meaningful manner.

We could be accused of a form of myopia, like any group focused on a single person or topic and thinking that subject was just SOOO important. But we're not talking about celebrating John Scalzi's fifth year as a published writer or even Spider's 25th... we're talking about the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the true titans of modern sf.

You'd think that someone besides us would have noticed and cared. But nope. LASFS, NESFA, Analog, Asmimov's (that's a joke), F&SF, Locus, Tor, Baen... oh, and THS... all had better things to do that year, that weekend, that day.

Dunno about you, but I'll remember that.

Now, if we'd attracted nobody as guests and speakers and celebrants, you could say that it was just obvious that our subject figure and we weren't big enough, interesting enough and generally worthy of these august institutions' attention.

Then I remember that the sitting head of NASA, as well as the movers and shakers behind the southwestern space industry - Peter freakin' Diamandis and one of the world's first two private astronauts, Brian Binnie, along with Jeff Greason and others... they had time to come celebrate. Busy people, all. They had time and inclination to honor Heinlein's Hundredth.

And they say sf fandom is stale, jaded and inbred. ...oh.


Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
I've been actually reading some of the postings here in NitroForum, finally. I should be out patrolling (I'm a security guard these days; it's a job...) but I've got cameras all over the place outsied, and I'm looking even as I type.

I'm in Albuquerque, and the building is the Forest Service's.

A lot of folks thanked us for the Centennial over in the, a-hem, Centennial topic (and I'll go over there, and to the 2,007 topic and do this also) but I wanted to thank *them* for thanking *us.*

Yeah, I got snookered in to "doing" the HC100 by Bill Patterson. Well, I owed him. In the fall of 1975 he was in the hospital with pnemonoia (sp, sorry), mostly from his then-heavy cigarette habit (this was what made him quit). It was there that I talked *him* into bidding for a World Science Fiction Convention. We conned a lot of other people in Phoenix into thinking well of the idea, and it happened back in 1978 (no. 36). We won the bid, BTW, at MidAmeriCon in Kansas City. So Heinlein was in the backdrop of our working to win our WorldCon.

Anyway, Bill had an excuse -- nicotine withdrawal. Me? All I can say for myself was I was only 20, and a young idiot.

So Bill called in his chit from IguanaCon II, trying to use his chit for the HC100, but I still resisted. Hell, I wasn't even going to *attend* the HC100. I didn't have the money and I didn't see how I'd be able to spend the money and justify it to the family either. But I was sure glad that Bill was working to bring an HC100 off, as I thought Heinlen sure deserved it.

Bill then played *that* card. "The Old Man deserves it, Tim. Don't you think? Don't you think you have an OBLIGATION?!, hmmmm?"

Damn. He was right. At least from my point of view anyway.

After 30 years of being in politics (in one way or another) I also knew, from Bill's quick sketch, what the issues were WRT the Centennial and The Other Factors. When it's a situation like that, you just have to go and do it all yourself and damn The Other Factors.

So I was in, and we all worked, and the Centennial occured, and I am *happy* as hell that others enjoyed it and thought well (and think well) of it.

The Old Man deserved it. That's the bottom line.


Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:18 am
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
Jack Kelly ---

Thank you for YOUR kind words about *my* words. I do appreciate it.

I see elsewhere you were once in Sunnyvale. I lived in Sunnyvale for several years, and worked there for...wait for it...Western Electric.

Anyone remember the Bell System? <grin>

This was in 1979-1981. I worked in Silly Valley throughout the 1980s, letting me drive by the Heinlein House once, over in Bonny Doon. And etc. -- since at one time I was on the L5 Society's Board of Directors, and RAH was also, at that time, I got to meet him several times and to talk to him -- and to get berated by him too! <grin>


Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:52 am
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
kyger1+ wrote:
Jack Kelly ---

Thank you for YOUR kind words about *my* words. I do appreciate it.

I see elsewhere you were once in Sunnyvale. I lived in Sunnyvale for several years, and worked there for...wait for it...Western Electric.

Anyone remember the Bell System? <grin>

This was in 1979-1981. I worked in Silly Valley throughout the 1980s, letting me drive by the Heinlein House once, over in Bonny Doon. And etc. -- since at one time I was on the L5 Society's Board of Directors, and RAH was also, at that time, I got to meet him several times and to talk to him -- and to get berated by him too! <grin>

Oh, did you get the by-then standard lecture about L-5 not wanting to get behind High Frontier? I don't think Heinlein comprehended any of the issues -- but he was getting things filtered through Jerry Pournelle, which is always apt to get an . . . er . . . *unique* perspective on things.


Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:51 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
Consider this: not one member of the Kansas City Science Fiction & Fantasy Society [KaCSFFS] has now or ever been a member of THS. Robert Heinlein paid dues and belonged to KaCSFFS, however. Ipse dixit & Q.E.D, as himself has been wont to say.

We voted to support the Centennial. I guess it landed on me because I had the skills and I didn't have to go to work at the time, so the Centennial became my work for awhile. I basically ended up drafting the entire committee, one by one -- people I knew could do the job right and without me looking over their shoulders.

I actually only volunteered to sort the e-mail that came in to the Centennial, and it 'just growed'. I told Jim that my main concern was making the sucker run.

Besides, I promised Jim Gunn it would happen, and I have no intention of failing when I say something will happen.

:shock:


Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Society
TinaBlack wrote:
I have no intention of failing when I say something will happen.


That about sums the whole HC up right there!


Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:18 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Re: Heinlein Society
I've always felt the best picture of the Freemasons is in Laurel and Hardy's "Sons of the Desert."

And as for the Heinlein Society, it does indeed seem to be dead as a group, which is what usually happens when any organization is tied to one individual too tightly. They did some interesting things in their time, and they served as a conduit for many forces to come together -- for example, I doubt I would have met Art Dula at the critical stage that I did had David Silver not introduced him to me. I met Bill Patterson through Jim Gifford, when they were both highly involved in THS, iirc. I got convinced to go to the first SF cons I ever attended because David and Bill invited me. I met Geo and Deb Rule through the HS, and all of these are relationships I treasure to this day.

That said, the machinations and intricate power struggles are probably best left undiscussed, beyond what's already been said. They ranged from the cautious to the ridiculous, and I wish none of them had happened. It serves no purpose to whip a dead dog.

Robert


Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:35 pm
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