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Shout Outs 
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Post Shout Outs
In reviewing Space Cadet, Jo Walton mentions Bill's biography many times, saying that his book delivered a great deal of insight about Heinlein's approach to the story, and led her to see the original story under the one that Heinlein delivered.

Likely there will be more discussions like this.


Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:50 pm
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Heinlein Biographer

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Post Re: Shout Outs
I read the review and the comment thread. If anybody is seriously interested in discussing any of the issues they raise, I'd be happy to take it/them up here.

In my opinion, the question of Ginny's inflluence on the biography is the most interesting one raised. In very brief, I found Ginny's taped interviews enormously useful as an outline of the information contained in the biography, clarifying relationships that were sometimes obscure in the documents themselves.

As to the factual material in the interviews, I treated them exactly the same as other factual material and subjected them to the same critical scrutiny.

One poster wondered if there was going to be disagreements with Ginny's positions -- well, there were several, but only a few of them show up in the writing because all that deliberation went more to framing the narrative than to the kind of factual recitations the poster was talking about (here's an exception: there were several figures given for the cost of the automobile purchased for the trip back home to KC in 1927; I have a footnote pointing out the inconsistencies adn identifying the sources of the different figures)

One of the most difficult and yet charming incidents from the research was that Ginny nearly withdrew from the project entirely (not to stop it, just not to participate in it) because her memory played her false with respect to the Galloping Gertie incident, which she though RAH had said happened while he was in Seattle. It happened in 1940, whereas Heinlein hadn't been there since 1933, and that so shook her confidence in her memory that she wanted to stop entirely.

It's not something that bothered me, because I knew that I would be treating all the data together, including testimony from other witnesses and not relying on her testimony exclusively, but it shook her very badly.

I was also very aware that in relying on Heinlein's correspondence so heavily, I was not writing history in the most rigorous sense -- but I made a considered decision to continue with that, because the whole focus of this book was to unfold the mind of the man to the greatest extent possible.

There is a notation of Heinlein to the Archive that the material he is forwarding is only the master ms. with more material to follow, but so far as I can tell no further material relating to Space Cadet was ever forwarded, so that's all the data anyone has to work with. But Ginny was present for literally the entire development of that book.

Finally, a point that has not surfaced in that discussion is that Space Cadet is a fictional presentation of materials in the article co-written with Laning earlier that year, "Flight Into the Future."


Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:26 am
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Post Re: Shout Outs
BillPatterson wrote:
Finally, a point that has not surfaced in that discussion is that Space Cadet is a fictional presentation of materials in the article co-written with Laning earlier that year, "Flight Into the Future."

I could be snarky and point out that that issue has been in the published lit since at least 2000. (pp. 85 & 175)

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:55 am
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Post Re: Shout Outs
JamesGifford wrote:
BillPatterson wrote:
Finally, a point that has not surfaced in that discussion is that Space Cadet is a fictional presentation of materials in the article co-written with Laning earlier that year, "Flight Into the Future."

I could be snarky and point out that that issue has been in the published lit since at least 2000. (pp. 85 & 175)

I don't expect *research* of these *fans* but the problem is widespread in academia as well. The Joe Sanders piece on Farnham's Freehold in the current NYRSF references, aside from yourself, only the "usual suspects" that existed in the 1980's. JoeSanders receives the Journal for SFRA and ought to know about the fair amount of work done on FF in the last fifteen years or so.


Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:55 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
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Post Re: Shout Outs
Bill, if we can't trust Ginny, or the correspondence, your bio would be very short.

History is often based on limited recollections. We'd like to have more, but it is what it is.

You've done a great job. Anybody who says otherwise isn't paying attention.


Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:48 pm
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Post Re: Shout Outs
BillPatterson wrote:
Finally, a point that has not surfaced in that discussion is that Space Cadet is a fictional presentation of materials in the article co-written with Laning earlier that year, "Flight Into the Future."


I should not have overlooked this point in writing my own comment over at Tor.com. Ouch.

Bill Higgins


Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:27 pm
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Post Re: Shout Outs
http://networkedblogs.com/7Gmvy

A new one for you. The author is Happy.


Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Shout Outs
TinaBlack wrote:
http://networkedblogs.com/7Gmvy

A new one for you. The author is Happy.
This author is Happy, too. "demythologizing the man without gutting him" pretty much says I got the effect I was aiming at. But the secondary cascade of ideas about how it remade his own relationship with Heinlein was just as gratifying: the book prompted him to the kind of gnothi seauton that Heinlein was always after --

Mark Tiedemann is a Reader, which pleases me.


Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:53 am
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Post Re: Shout Outs
I'll add these links as I find them. I liked Mark's article, and thought that particular comment was right on the nose.


Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Shout Outs
More a shout out than a review, the Biography is mentioned :

http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2010/08/polyamory-robert-heinlein-and-his-new.html

Rob


Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:00 pm
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