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What made me a serious Heinlein 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Dig into the short stories; you'll fall in love again.

KeithJones923 wrote:
I have always loved Sci Fi. I grew up on a book diet of Roald Dahl and John Wyndham. Then I discovered Asimov and was amazed. Then I read what has become my 2nd favorite book of all time - The Door Into Summer. (Sorry but JW tops the list with The Day of the Triffids). Since reading RAH for the first time I have read most of his novels, not so many short stories though.

I got confused by SIASL, but love the World As Myth sets, and seriously think I am in love with Mamma Maureen! I totally empathise with Starship Troopers (I am an ex soldier) - I also think that the movie totally missed the point of the book, and was not very good (probably a totally different set of posts for that topic!) and wish that Starman Jones was longer! I read Friday, Sail Beyond Sunset, Number of the Beast and TEFL again and again.

But like a favorite pair of slippers I turn to my 10 year old well worn paperback copy of Door whenever I want to escape for a few hours, I even wanted to call one of our cate Pete - but my wife wouldnt let me!


Thu May 05, 2011 3:52 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Welcome, Robert! Browse around here; feel free to resurrect old threads (I am constantly reminded that the permanence of our discussions is what sets us above Facebook...). I am just south of you in BC; no oil dividend for us though!


Fri May 06, 2011 6:06 am
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Thank you very much Peter, I will!

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Fri May 06, 2011 8:11 am
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
I have an introduction story similar to Jack Kelly. Sitting on my butt on my parent's couch, enjoying a summer vacation as an aimless teenager. My older brother comes up to me, hands me an open book, and says "Read this."
"Sure, Chris. Whatever."
"Read. This story. NOW."

So I did. And it was a Future History compilation, open to Black Pits, monument date 8/11/84 in my edition (Not '65). Which was of course, that day's date. My brother had noticed, waited, sprung the trap. And I was hooked. Chris and I wore the cover off that book.


Tue May 14, 2013 3:32 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
welcome to the group sandie ! did ya ever thank your brother ? :)


Tue May 14, 2013 5:50 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Welcome, Sandy!

It was one of the juvies that hooked me, as I recall, after I was thoroughly weirded out by Stranger in a Strange Land -- at fourteen years of age. <wry grin> Fortunately after I grew up, I reread Stranger and loved it, although The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is definitely my favorite of Heinlein's work, with Friday and several short stories vying for second place.

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Tue May 14, 2013 9:59 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Welcome Sandy! You're among kindred spirits :-)


Wed May 15, 2013 6:04 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:57 pm
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Interesting thread. Please forgive me for using this venue as a method of introduction.

Hi. I'm Richard.

DavidWrightSr wrote:
• What was it especially about Heinlein’s works that made you into a serious reader?


In spite of growing up with my Mother's full SF collection on the living room book shelves (full collections of Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Pohl, etc. but she would NEVER allow L. Ron Hubbard in the house), I was mainly a fantasy reader until 1991. I was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, broke due to a recent divorce but with time on my hands and a base library near at hand. Starting with the USMC's recommended reading list for NCOs I found Card's Ender's Game and Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I read Ender first, then ST, chucked the list and went right on down the shelf of Heinlein's work and never looked back.

This was the time of Desert Shield/Storm. I had joined the Marine Corps in 1986 not out of any kind of patriotism but more to piss off my father who was decidedly anti-military and had visions of my becoming a Doctor which I had no desire to accommodate. At that particular point in my life I was already at loose ends because of the divorce, but was caught in the cognitive dissonance of playing the role of Marine Sergeant that wanted to go fight and the inner dialogue that was absorbing information around him and very clearly could see and understand the difference between the propaganda and the factual reality.

Heinlein gave me not only a bit of escapism to enjoy, but an outlet for modes of thought and critical investigation that jumped outside of the unthinking mores of not only the Marine Corps, but also those disquieting aspects of the society in which I was raised. I especially appreciated TEFL as badly needed tales and advice from a kindly older man to the younger man that I was. TEFL is still my favorite for that reason, although I tend to ignore the end of the book.

I served out the remainder of my contract, was honorably discharged in 1993, and went straight to college on the GI Bill.

Since then I have followed several professions depending on my interests (computers, psychology, sociology), and plan in the fall of 2014 to return to school to obtain credentials to teach High School math and physics. This decision is mainly due to my disgust at the current level of math education in my local schools and the lack of critical thinking skills the 'graduating' students display, but also because I recently had the pleasure of tutoring and helping a very bright young lady who has goals of becoming an aeronautic engineer and is currently going to the University of Washington as a Gates Millennium Scholar.

DavidWrightSr wrote:
• What other ideas/viewpoints etc., do you particularly like and/or agree with in his works?


Overall, I appreciate the most-often unexpressed goal of reaching higher and/or making things better, whether it is individually, socially, politically, or scientifically. To always strive to not only know more and to grow, but to use it in beneficial ways. To always question one's assumptions when and where they are found and if possible improve them.

DavidWrightSr wrote:
• What other ideas/viewpoints etc., do you particularly dislike and/or disagree with in his works?


As others have mentioned, the incest. The sex itself doesn't bother me, per se. I have worked with too many incest survivors.

I can understand the projection of a society whose basis was a breeding program such as the Howard Foundation into one where the desire for favorable progeny has turned into a social norm, and therefore sex for enjoyment is accepted (why merely breed if you aren't good at it?). This would turn our current sexual mores on their end, which I personally think was RAH's goal in writing in those aspects.

BUT... it would require the genetic understanding of an Ishtar to make that work without the infrequently referred to culls dominating resources. RAH conveniently built that into the equation.

Two glaring aspects that he did not build in, or not adequately to my personal understanding and preferences, was child-rearing and the psychological pressures inherent in polygamy.

The child-rearing aspect I can forgive him for considering that he had no children of his own. I agree with the simple fact that children need to be loved, supported, and nurtured, but also need discipline and rules in order to thrive. This is a topic all on its own, so I will cut it short there.

The psychological stresses involved in group marriage, at least from what I have observed first and second hand, are underestimated. In a two person relationship you have the health of three factors to work with (each person and the relationship itself). In a three person relationship you have ten (each individual, the relationships of each pair, the relationship of each individual with the other pair, and the relationship between the three). This grows almost exponentially with each person added. Add children into the mix and mothers treating their own children differently than others (such as in Friday) and you have a real mess on your hands.

With only one exception the group and alternate marriages I have encountered have fallen apart if not explosively in case of emotional instabilities, then quietly of too much complication.

Like Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism, group marriage like the Long Family works great on paper, but not so much when real human foibles and weaknesses are applied to it.

There's my two cents. ;)


Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:29 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Welcome! You are among kindred spirits.


Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:27 pm
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Post Re: What made me a serious Heinlein
Thank you, Peter.

I have been reading various threads on the forum for most of the weekend, which should show you exactly how interesting my 'real' life is. I hope I in some way measure up to what I have read thus far.


Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:19 pm
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