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Interesting take on Variable Star 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
What I found interesting was where VS fits into the Future History universe as extended by World as Myth. There are obvious points of contact, as the New Frontiers exists in the world of VS, but was not hijacked by Lazarus Long and his crew of Howards. Also, Andy Libby appears as the inventor of the FTL drive, but his circumstances in this story are apparently incompatible with his history from Methuselah's Children onward.

From this I conclude that the universe of VS is a hitherto undiscovered branch of the Future Historuy timeline (was that line 2?). The most likely branch point would appear to be the establishment of the Ira Howard Foundation. This is contradictory to statements made in Heinlein's other work asserting that all the major timelines share a common history up to the early twentieth century - but that statement is wrong anyway because several of the other timelines lack the Howards.

Steve


Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
I read Variable Star for the first time a few months ago. You're right about Andy Libby and Lazarus Long and others. I need to unpack and reread some of my Heinlein and see which correlations I can make. :-)

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Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:15 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
Having read the outline Spider worked from, it is extensive -- it does have a precipice at the end, as the outline feels as if it's missing the last page, but that could have simply been RAH's often abrupt endings (abrupt until you realize the story is, in fact, finished).

Spider also had a few notecards and such.

Being the person who brought the outline to Spider's attention (on a panel about FUTL and other unpublished Heinlein treasures, so a woman in the audience at Torcon could shout out "Let Spider write it!", I can tell you Spider knew the outline quite well.

Robert


Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:29 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
RobertJames wrote:
Having read the outline Spider worked from, it is extensive -- it does have a precipice at the end, as the outline feels as if it's missing the last page, but that could have simply been RAH's often abrupt endings (abrupt until you realize the story is, in fact, finished).

Spider also had a few notecards and such.

Being the person who brought the outline to Spider's attention (on a panel about FUTL and other unpublished Heinlein treasures, so a woman in the audience at Torcon could shout out "Let Spider write it!", I can tell you Spider knew the outline quite well.

Robert

RobertJames wrote:
Having read the outline Spider worked from, it is extensive -- it does have a precipice at the end, as the outline feels as if it's missing the last page, but that could have simply been RAH's often abrupt endings (abrupt until you realize the story is, in fact, finished).

Spider also had a few notecards and such.

Being the person who brought the outline to Spider's attention (on a panel about FUTL and other unpublished Heinlein treasures, so a woman in the audience at Torcon could shout out "Let Spider write it!", I can tell you Spider knew the outline quite well.

Robert


Actually quite a number of RAH's outlines end abruptly because he used them to organize his thoughts. When his thoughts were organized enough that he could "hear the characters talking" he often broke off and started writing the book. In a few cases he starts writing dialogue in an outline and then leaves off.


Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
BillPatterson wrote:
Actually quite a number of RAH's outlines end abruptly because he used them to organize his thoughts. When his thoughts were organized enough that he could "hear the characters talking" he often broke off and started writing the book. In a few cases he starts writing dialogue in an outline and then leaves off.

I recall the first draft of MIAHM being something like that - notes, character sketches, background, and alla sudden something like the novel starts. He continued that one to the end and then completely rewrote it, changing several important details that evolved through the first draft and incorporating the Loonie dialog that showed up only at the end of the draft. I think that has to be unique in his efforts, or close to it.

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Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
JamesGifford wrote:
BillPatterson wrote:
Actually quite a number of RAH's outlines end abruptly because he used them to organize his thoughts. When his thoughts were organized enough that he could "hear the characters talking" he often broke off and started writing the book. In a few cases he starts writing dialogue in an outline and then leaves off.

I recall the first draft of MIAHM being something like that - notes, character sketches, background, and alla sudden something like the novel starts. He continued that one to the end and then completely rewrote it, changing several important details that evolved through the first draft and incorporating the Loonie dialog that showed up only at the end of the draft. I think that has to be unique in his efforts, or close to it.

Sounds right. That would make a good study someday -- how the book evolved in the writing. Heinlein's methods were extremely individual, even as such things go.


Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:45 am
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
Is Heinlein's Variable Star outline available at the archives? I started reading the book but I'd enjoy it MUCH more if I knew honestly what Spider Robinson was working from. I'm several chapters in, and so far I think SP did a fine job--but I don't like some of the publicity materials that refer to the book as a "collaboration".


Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:23 pm
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
AlexHergensheimer wrote:
Is Heinlein's Variable Star outline available at the archives? I started reading the book but I'd enjoy it MUCH more if I knew honestly what Spider Robinson was working from. I'm several chapters in, and so far I think SP did a fine job--but I don't like some of the publicity materials that refer to the book as a "collaboration".

I'm sure its available, but I couldn't say offhand what file it's in. I'm pretty sure they woulnd't have gone out of their way to make it easily accessible, but I'm also pretty sure they wouldn't have gone out of their way to hide it either.

Problem is there are about 6 titles on the page; difficult to tell how it's listed in the search engine.


Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:43 am
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Post Re: Interesting take on Variable Star
BillPatterson wrote:
audrey wrote:
Was "pay it forward" originally Ben Franklin or does it predate even him? And was it RAH or Spider Robinson that really pushed it?

The sentiment is certainly an old one, though I've never heard a specific attribution to Benjamin Franklin. I think Jerry Pournelle may have been the first one to quote RAH saying it that way -- about the help he and Niven received on The Mote in God's Eye -- though the expression is used earlier in Heinlein's correspondence. I'm not sure RAH thought of it as a motto or slogan; Jerry Pournelle turned it into a motto, and I picked it up for the Society back in 1998.

So I guess it really depends on what you mean.


I was hearing it from Jerry as from Heinlein in the 1980s, in the context of helping both Jerry and Larry.
--Mike


Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:49 pm
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