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- View topic - The Door into Summer
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The Door into Summer 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 545
Post The Door into Summer
Door Into Summer

Because of another thread, I just re-read The Door Into Summer. It's been probably 20 years since I last cracked its covers, and it holds up well. I'm an engineer by training, and perhaps I identify with the protagonist in ways that I don't with other Heinlein books.

It's also just full of ideas. Heinlein gets credit for "inventing" Autocad via Drafting Dan (they solve the same problem, although Drafting Dan does it mechanically [remember, Heinlein's Annapolis training led him to call himself a "mechanical engineer specializing in linkages], and Autocad does it via software). But he also should get credit for the Roomba (Hired Girl). He almost got the ATM -- I believe there is passing reference to a sort of stored value card. But at one point in 2000, Davis has to look for a 24 hour bank with tellers to get cash.

He completely missed the Internet (as have so many authors). Davis spends much time researching patents in people in 2000 that you and I could do in minutes with Google.

Other random thoughts:

Semantics. When Dan explores getting Cold Sleep for the first time, the sales agent suggest he have the contract reviewed by a "licensed semanticist". Semantics plays a big role in several Heinlein stories, but I had forgotten this passing reference.

John and Jenny Sutton. When Dan drops into 1970 via Twitchell's time machine, the first person he meets is John Sutton. "It was a man, about forty, bald-headed but well built and lean. . . There was a woman standing by the man, a pleasant pretty woman somewhat younger than he." They are nudists. Remind you of any science fiction authors and their third wives you can think of? I know that Heinlein explicitly writes himself into one or more of the World as Myth books. Is there any other place where he places himself into the text?

Belle Schultz. When Dan meets Belle in 2000, the whole sequence reads as if Heinlein is taking personal revenge on someone who used to be sexy, bright, attractive, but has let herself go and is now an overweight vain alcoholic. Is anyone else reminded of Leslyn here? (We've covered the Dan-Ricky situation elsewhere, but it's worth noting that during this meeting, after 30 years, Belle remembers it as Dan loving Ricky).

McBee. The chief engineer of Hired Girl in 2000 is a Scot named McBee. Where did the stereotype of Scots engineers come from (Scotty on Star Trek, a series by Charles Sheffield I can't remember, Andrew Ferguson in The Man who Sold the Moon, Archie MacDougal in The Green Hills of Earth, McIntyre in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, McPherson in The Roads Must Roll, etc.) Does this stereotype exist outside of science fiction?

"Further deponent sayeth not." This sentence shows up enough in Heinlein (I recall it specifically in Tunnel in the Sky, and am sure it is elsewhere, in addition to DiS) that I figure it is a quote. But what is the source?


Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:24 am
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PITA Bred
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Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:33 am
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Heinlein Nexus
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Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:29 am
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Heinlein Biographer

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Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:00 pm
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NitroForum Oldster

Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:55 am
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
Bill,

Door has always been a favorite of mine and my recomendation of a good first RAH book to read.

You brought up some points about Belle and the Suttons that I had never thought of,
I will read the book next time with a new mind frame, thanks


Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:32 am
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
Does anyone else see echos of The Door Into Summer in the new movie "The Time Traveler's Wife?"

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"Being right too soon is socially unacceptable." - Heinlein, Expanded Universe


Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:04 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:57 pm
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Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:21 pm
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Centennial Attendee
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
Well I'm impressed....


Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:36 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: The Door into Summer
Me too...

And let's not forget -- he served for a time as a defense attorney on board the Lexington, so his knowledge of maritime law may be why he keeps using that phrase...


Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:44 pm
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