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Favorite Heinlein Short Story 
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
freesharon wrote:
There are already discussions of favorite and least favorite books, but for many of us the short stories were the first contact.
[...]
I'm sure this was 'done to death' on the older forum, but does anyone else want to talk about what shorts they hold most dear, or which they least like, or which they think would make the best movies or animations? I'd love to hear.

I've been trying to figure out why this wikipedia issue won't go away and now I see that some of you are responding to it in the context of a debate, so your position is completely understandable.
However.
I started this particular thread because I hoped to learn something new about Heinlein's short stories by hearing what they mean to others. I had no intention of debating the relative merits of the stories, or trying to convince those who responded that they should appreciate other stories more. I only hoped that their reasons would reveal aspects of the stories or of Heinlein's writing that I had missed.
I posted the wikipedia link because someone mentioned they were unsure of a title and for several days no one else posted a link to a title list. (This rather surprised me, as I knew there were authorities on the subject among us.)
The story title list later posted is accurate in every detail -- thanks! The wikipedia list I posted first is perhaps less accurate, but each title is itself a link and goes to articles full of more links, all with people's opinion's about the stories -- which was what I was soliciting when I started this thread in the first place.
Perhaps a debate on the merits of various references and the dangers associated with mislabeled information sources would be more appropriately persued in another area.

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Thu May 08, 2008 6:13 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
[quote="Nick Doten"]I'll have to cast my vote(s) for "Jerry Was a Man"(sheesh tried to verify title but didn't find the volume in my quick search- help anyone?).

Nick, "Jerry Was a Man" appears in the short story collection "Assignment in Eternity".

Jerry is also a favorite of mine. As an aside there an anthology series on ABC last summer that did a broadcast of Jerry that was faithful to the story.


Tue May 27, 2008 9:16 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
TexasScot1952 wrote:
As an aside there an anthology series on ABC last summer that did a broadcast of Jerry that was faithful to the story.

Erm, perhaps, for some values of "faithful." I've not seen the episode but have heard of some egregious changes - such as Jerry being proved as human because he would/could lie. Heinlein's original ending would come off as horribly patronizing and head-patting racist today, and I can see that the show needed to change that, but... well, getting the point exactly backwards doesn't fit within "faithful" to me.

It's almost as bad as the scene late in Puppet Masters where Sam just watches his friend sink into the pit of parasites. I don't think there's any question that had "faithfulness to Heinlein" been on the makers' minds, Sam would have shot him.

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Tue May 27, 2008 9:32 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
TexasScot1952 wrote:
Nick Doten wrote:
Jerry is also a favorite of mine. As an aside there an anthology series on ABC last summer that did a broadcast of Jerry that was faithful to the story.

I also had a problem with the adaptation. For me, legally testing/proving the human status of manmade androids did not equate to establishing the same status for genetically enhanced apes.
I see the difficulty and added expense inherent in sticking closer to the original story, but I would prefer to wait for the CGI version of the Heinlein story, rather than seeing the title used for a different story.
An aside: Did anyone else find the draft animals in Number of the Beast reminding them of Jerry?

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Wed May 28, 2008 4:48 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
freesharon wrote:
An aside: Did anyone else find the draft animals in Number of the Beast reminding them of Jerry?

Do you mean the mules in Time Enough for Love?

I think they were bred with strictly limited intelligence and, lacking opposable thumbs, were dead-end sentients. But yeah, I think there is some similarity between the characters.

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Wed May 28, 2008 10:20 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
James Gifford wrote:
freesharon wrote:
An aside: Did anyone else find the draft animals in Number of the Beast reminding them of Jerry?

Do you mean the mules in Time Enough for Love?

No, I had forgotten about the mules. (I did love that Buck.) I was thinking of the creatures kept docile with a weed/drug, who worked the crops for the British colony on one of the parallel Mars/Barsoom worlds the Gay Deciever took the four main characters to. I don't have it unpacked right now and can't remember their name, but they were like a domesticated version of the beast of the title.
Now that you mention it, the mules might actually be a better parallel, but my first thought was the drugged workers for the colonialists.

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Thu May 29, 2008 7:02 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
freesharon wrote:
I was thinking of the creatures kept docile with a weed/drug, who worked the crops for the British colony on one of the parallel Mars/Barsoom worlds the Gay Deciever took the four main characters to. I don't have it unpacked right now and can't remember their name, but they were like a domesticated version of the beast of the title.

Oh, right. For some reason "draft animal" threw me there - I couldn't get past four-footed, furry, long face... :D

Yes, there's definitely an echo of Jerry in there. Interesting thought.

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Thu May 29, 2008 7:22 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
The link in my mind was that Jerry smoked, and the beast used (chewed?) weed. They both had addictions, and somehow that made them seem less animal and more human. I know elephants and apes like fermented fruit, but still....

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Fri May 30, 2008 4:53 am
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
I see there's not been much here recently, but I thought I'd weigh in.

This is hard topic, since there are so many very good stories. There's funny stories like "--And He Built a Crooked House." As an aside, did Heinlein know Frank Lloyd Wright? Or was there some OTHER architect he had in mind for this story? It's fascinating to contemplate the Heinleins attending a soire at Falling Water with the Kaufmans, Wright, and Diego Rivera, especially if, say, Trotsky dropped in.

Then there's stories that make you question reality. I loved "--All You Zombies," "They, and especially "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag."

One story that I found memorable that no one has mentioned is "Water Is For Washing." Heinlein wrote other stories about heroism, but this one seems to me to be more genuine, and truer to his quintessential hero: the everyman who sacrifices self to save others.

Sorry, there's too many inspiring and well crafted stories to choose one favorite!

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Tue May 19, 2009 9:55 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Heinlein Short Story
MaxGriffin wrote:
I see there's not been much here recently, but I thought I'd weigh in.

This is hard topic, since there are so many very good stories. There's funny stories like "--And He Built a Crooked House." As an aside, did Heinlein know Frank Lloyd Wright? Or was there some OTHER architect he had in mind for this story? It's fascinating to contemplate the Heinleins attending a soire at Falling Water with the Kaufmans, Wright, and Diego Rivera, especially if, say, Trotsky dropped in.

Then there's stories that make you question reality. I loved "--All You Zombies," "They, and especially "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag."

One story that I found memorable that no one has mentioned is "Water Is For Washing." Heinlein wrote other stories about heroism, but this one seems to me to be more genuine, and truer to his quintessential hero: the everyman who sacrifices self to save others.

Sorry, there's too many inspiring and well crafted stories to choose one favorite!
I don't know for 100% sure that RAH was personally acquainted with FLW, but Wright's name is on a list of contributors reported for RAH's 1938 campaign for Callifornia assembly seat -- and they definitely did know Olgivanna: Ginny loaned her a leapard coat once. Olgivanna came to Colorado Springs for a Gurdjieff group nearby during the fifties. FLW didn't pass away until 1957,but he made Taliesen West in Phoenix his home base for a decade or so before he died. I think the leopard coat in question is one that Dr. Amy still has.


Wed May 20, 2009 6:09 am
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