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The Door into Summer 
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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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Post Re: The Door into Summer
BillMullins wrote:
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?

In reality, perhaps. For the entire era of steam navigation, the best engineers (both design and operational) were Scots.

Good points, all, about one of Heinlein's best books.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:33 am
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
BillMullins wrote:
Door Into Summer
"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?


I remember looking for this phrase several years ago without any luck, but Google's cache has gotten bigger now. It's a standard, possibly dated, legal phrase used in deposition transcripts, that means, "this person (the one being deposed) stopped speaking." Not hard to figure out from Heinlein's context, of course, but googling the phrase will now turn up plenty of instances of actual usage.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:29 am
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
BillMullins wrote:
"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?

Further Deponent sayeth not is an antiquated formula from English law about the end of testimony. RAH must have read Blackstone at some point.


Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:00 pm
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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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Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:04 pm
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
JackKelly wrote:
Does anyone else see echos of The Door Into Summer in the new movie "The Time Traveler's Wife?"


Actually, the description reminds me more of a decent little TV show called "Journeyman" that was on last year.

It started showing signs of intelligence, so of course it was cancelled.


Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:57 pm
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Post Re: The Door into Summer
BillMullins wrote:
Door Into Summer
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.

aw hell, did RAH ever claim to try to predict the actual future? well ok, he did according to Expanded Universe, but that was in a non-fiction article. I prefer to look at books featuring the future as alternate-world stories. Like when RAH's characters go to the drugstore to get a soda, then come home and get into a spaceship.
BillMullins wrote:
"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?

Here's some references within Heinlein's oeuvre, including the ones you mentioned:

The Door Into Summer
That seemed to settle one thing. Somehow those birds had managed to get the stock away from little Ricky.
My assignment of the stock would have had to go through the Bank of America, the way I had written it.
But it had not. Poor Ricky! We had both been robbed.
I made one more stab at it. The records office of the Superintendent of Instruction
in Mojave did have record of a grade school pupil named Frederica Virginia Gentry. . .
but the named pupil had taken a withdrawal transcript in 1971. Further deponent sayeth not.


Farnham's Freehold
Karen joined her, carrying a flashlight and moving carefully on the slant. "How's Daddy?"
"No change."
"Knocked cold, I guess. So was I. You okay?" She played the flashlight over Barbara.
"Not hurt."
"Well! I'm glad you're in uniform, too. I can't find my pants. Joe ignores it so carefully, it's painful. Is that boy square!"
"I don't know where my clothes are."
"Joe has the only pants among us. What happened to you? Were you asleep?"
"No. I was here. We were talking."
"Hmm- Further deponent sayeth not. I'll keep your grisly secret. Mother won't know; I gave her another hypo."

Paul Dirac, Antimatter, and You
AFTERWORD
I am precluded from revising this article because Encyclopaedia Britannica owns the copyright; I wrote it under contract.
But in truth it needs no revision but can use some late news flashes.
1) Jonathan V. Post reports (OMNI, May '79) that scientists in Geneva have announced containment of a beam of antiprotons
in a circular storage ring for 85 hours. Further deponent sayeth not as today (Nov. '79) I have not yet traced down details.
The total mass could not have been large (Geneva is still on the map) as the storage method used is not suited
to large masses - or, as in this case, a massive sum total of very small masses.

Time Enough for Love
"Suits." He grinned at her. "E.F., or F.F.?"
"Both!"
"That's my Dora! Anything worth doing is worth overdoing."
"And doing again. But just a moment, dear. You told me that Captain
Briggs is your son, and consequently my stepson. I suppose he is, but I
really can't think of him as such. But -- and you needn't answer this; we
agreed not to quiz each other about our pasts -- "
"Go ahead and ask. If it suits me, I'll answer."
"Well... I can't help being curious about Captain Briggs' mother. Your
former wife."
"Phyllis? Phyllis Briggs-Sperling is her full name. What do you want
to knew about her, dear? Very nice girl. Further Deponent Sayeth Not. No
invidious comparisons."
"I guess I'm being snoopy."
"Perhaps you are. Not that I mind, and it can't hurt Phyllis. Dear,
that was a couple of centuries ago; forget it."


The Number of the Beast
"I said 'girl.' Zebbie, this monster is either female or
hermaphroditic. A fully developed uterus, two-horned like a cat, one ovary
above each horn. But there appear to be testes lower down and a dingus
that may be a retractable phallus. Female -- but probably male as well.
Bisexual but does not impregnate itself; the plumbing wouldn't hook up. I
think these critters can both pitch and catch."
"Taking turns? Or simultaneously?"
"Wouldn't that be sump'n? No, for mechanical reasons I think they take
turns. Whether ten minutes apart or ten years, deponent sayeth not. But
I'd give a pretty to see two of 'em going to it!"


[Alex H. takes an awkward bow]


Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:21 pm
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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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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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