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Heinlein Reinvented 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein Reinvented
Well, FUTL is just Connecticut Yankeee in reverse.

Really, right from the beginning (even if we didn't know it for another 65 years) he's telling you the whole genre thing is just a device for him, and whatever marketing gimmick it takes for any given story to hang the message on he's fine with.

I once talked to UC Riverside Eaton exploring a journal idea called "Golden Age", that obviously Heinlein would have a large part of, but not entirely.

Those guys, at least the serious practioners, were trying to change the world --all else was tactics. Even if some of them (including, at times, RA Heinlein) tried to deny it later. The contemporary letters are pretty bald on the matter.

When Bill (and/or RJ) and I do our occasional Abbott(s) and Costello, and he mentions Heinlein's "World-saving phase", I always come back with "As near as I can determine, Heinlein's 'world saving phase' was roughly 1907-1988". Hasn't failed to score for me with an audience yet.

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Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:02 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Heinlein Reinvented
We exist but to serve....


Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:16 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Re: Heinlein Reinvented
To revive an old thread . . .

William Lindsay Gresham is mentioned above as possible source for the carney material in SIASL (as is Fredric Brown). Heinlein used a short quote from Gresham and mentioned him somewhat in his essay "The Happy Days Ahead."
Quote:
"You never get rich peddling gloom." - William Lindsay Gresham
The late Bill Gresham was, before consumption forced him into fiction writing, a carnie mentalist of great skill. He could give a cold reading that would scare the pants off a marble statue. In six words he summarized the secret of success as a fortuneteller. Always tell the mark what he wants to hear. . . . Bill Gresham was right but he told only half of it: you not only don't get rich peddling gloom; it isn't any fun.


Note the mention of consumption -- Gresham spent a year in a TB ward (source material for his novel Limbo Tower). He was a pulp writer throughout the 1940s but broke into the slicks later. So there are some deep parallels with Heinlein's life.

Does anyone here know if they knew each other? I searched his name in the archives and got nothing, but OCR isn't perfect -- is anyone aware of any correspondence between them?

And FWIW, Gresham [in his introduction to his biography of Houdini, The Man Who Walked Through Walls], said he got most of the carnival material from pulp writer Walter Gibson -- another contemporary pulp writer. I don't know how true this is -- Gresham did much first-hand research at various touring carnivals, and most bios of him say that he was good friends with a former carnival worker that he met during the Spanish Civil War and got the material from that relationship.


Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:18 am
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