Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Saturday 9-02-2000 5:00EDT ‘Coventry’ and ‘Misfit’

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Saturday 9-02-2000 5:00EDT

‘Coventry’ and ‘Misfit’


Click Here to Return to Index

Here Begin The A.F.H. postings

[From AGplusone] Jane Davitt posted a reply that didn’t show up, which she has asked me to repost for her before our Satuday meeting, as follows:

AGplusone wrote:



> There’s a lot more than just these little nagging questions in my demented mind

> to talk about concerning “Misfit” and “Coventry,” of course. What do you think

> about either of these stories?



What strikes me about the stories is that they are both about young men who don’t fit in, thanks in part to their fathers. David MacKinnon’s father is described in wholly unflattering colours; he is off stage but in a couple of paragraphs Heinlein gives us a character who seems slimy beyond belief;

“..one of the nastiest little tyrants that ever dominated a household under the guise of loving – kindness…….Convinced of his own infallible righteousness, he had never valued his son’s point of view on anything, but had dominated him in everything – always from the highest moralistic motives.”

It seems then that not all those who accept the Covenant are perfect…..not all the twisted characters are in Coventry.

Libby’s father was perhaps less culpable; I get the impression that Libby must have grown up in Coventry; he tells the Captain that he didn’t get much schooling because his family didn’t accept the Covenant until his father died and they had to. I’m not sure of the precise significance of the name Andrew Jackson, except that he seemed to be a bit of a free wheeler, an independent man. Maybe a father who valued these qualities would have found the Covenant to be an insult to a free man.

Of course, the irony of the story is that the actions of David and his attitude, which are portrayed as being dangerous, antisocial, even insane are part and parcel of our daily life. The judge says that David thinks he is, “capable of judging morally your fellow citizens and feel justified in personally correcting and punishing their lapses.” Sound familiar? His action of punching someone in the nose is described as atavistic violence, his father, who inculcated him with his anti social belief, refuses to accept responsibility and disowns him…the story starts with David in a mess.

The same goes for Libby. He is unaware of his talent; which bears some resemblance to that of Max’s in Starman Jones ( including the part where he is tested). He demonstrates his mathematical ability several times but is always puzzled by the reception he gets; it is a subconscious action, an awareness of how things should be.

“You’re pretty quick at arithmetic, aren’t you, bud?” Libby looked startled. “I just like to get things straight.”

Both men are ‘saved’ when their eyes are opened to the truth about themselves; Libby that he has an unusual gift and David when he realises that life isn’t fair, doesn’t owe him a living and that his father is not a suitable role model. Both perform acts of heroism; David in getting Fader to the Doctor’s and then risking his life to warn the nation that he rejected. Libby’s is not so much his feat at the end when his calculations save the mission IMO but his action in stopping the explosion that he knows has been calculated incorrectly. He thinks he will get into trouble, his self confidence is low enough for it to be a real effort for him to set himself up in opposition to authority but….he does it anyway.

Few minor questions, points…both stories have characters called “Blackie”. What set up is there for girls to mirror the programme that sends Libby out into space? What is the significance of Persephone’s name ( Coventry = hell maybe?) and is she not an incredibly aggravating and unrealistic character? Does Misfit suffer a little as a story from an over abundance of astrogational detail and the feeling that it’s a fictionalised maths lesson at times? It was a very early story; it predates Methuselah’s Children and, interestingly, both ITGO and Coventry; though not by much. Heinlein must have had the Covenant in mind as a plot device and he never seems to worry about writing the end first; look at Man Who Sold and Requiem.


[From AGplusone] And another reply from Jane which hasn’t shown up that she’s asked me to repost:

Here’s the one about the dates.

I hope this shows up; none of my posts yesterday have so far πŸ™ On the chat last night we were trying to work out when the stories happened. I can tell you three times that there isn’t _an_ answer as the dates just don’t match up. There are however some possibilities and guesstimates so here goes.

(LL meets Libby’s grandfather at Family Meeting 2012) Covenant signed at end of ITGO 2075 MC begins 2136 Gap containing Coventry and Misfit 61 years

MacKinnon’s grandfather fought in 2075. Assume age of 20 to 50. Assume he had a child between 2075 and 2100. Assume MacKinnon born approximately 20 years later; 2105 to 2120 . Assume about 25 at start of Coventry ; 2130 to 2145. Try to tie in with start of MC;

pretty close but barely possible. Remember that Coventry doesn’t have to be before Misfit just because that’s how they are in Revolt……

Libby’s body put in orbit by LL in 1916; a century before he was born ( NOTB). BUT in MC Libby says he was born after the Covenant i.e. after 2075. Hmm….. He was a Howard so can’t deduce much from his grandfather being old in 2012. He joined Space Navy at about 20 and was in it for 30 years. During this time he was discovered to be a Howard and had 70 years of marriage ( some overlap with time in Navy). He then met LL in 2136. 2136 less about 100 is 2036; can’t make it work. Misfit is either set in 2056 ( before the revolt) which is impossible or, assuming Libby was born in 2076 at the very earliest, it’s set about 2096; which doesn’t give Libby time to have 30 years in the Navy and overlapping 70 years of family life before 2136.

I give up…..someone hop back and ask Heinlein to change some dates…..pretty please….:-)


Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”

AGplusone has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi David

AGplusone: What ho, Dave. Do they have Alabama-UCLA on the tube there?

dwrighsr: Haven’t seen any sign of it. My wife and I have been watching ‘The Green Mile’

AGplusone: Ah, on ABC here.

AGplusone: Interesting game. Bama ran back first punt after UCLA went three and out.

AGplusone: Score is currently 21-14 …

ddavitt has entered the room.

AGplusone: Afternoon, Jane.

dwrighsr: Hi Jane. Just got through reading your afh postings.

ddavitt: Hi all; don’t know how long I can stay as David is due back from Norway any minute

ddavitt: He got an earlier flight luckily.

AGplusone: Hope he’s bring you back some lutefiske.

ddavitt: Thanks for posting them AG; I rang Netcom and it’s a glitch their end.

ddavitt: Yuck! No, goats cheese, honey and chocolate

ddavitt: Not that i like that cheese ; too sewwt.

AGplusone: I didn’t have time to look and see whether there were any replies … busy watching a football game.

SAcademy has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi SA. Welcome

ddavitt: Hi SA.

AGplusone: G’afternoon, SA.

ddavitt: Some posts about Chicon on the sff groups; my posts show up there for some reason…

SAcademy: Good afternoon.

AGplusone: I like the cheese from Norway … it’s good with crackers … triskets go well with it.

ddavitt: One reply to the chronology one but I don’t think it can be resolved.

ddavitt: David has relatives there but they were too far fro him to visit πŸ™

dwrighsr: We are getting thunder here. I might have to shut down. MaiKoshT should be ok. Its about 13 miles away.

stephen clone has entered the room.

ddavitt: We just had a huge storm; went dark but it’s sunny now.

AGplusone: I’ve good friends in Sweden. Hi, Stephen!

stephen clone: hi David

AGplusone: Beautiful sunny California day, here.

dwrighsr: Interesting name. Are there 2 of you now πŸ™‚

SAcademy: I’m having thunder, too.

stephen clone: I’m on via IRC, and can’t sign on at two places at once, and ordinary AIM wont let me connect

ddavitt: Hi Stephen. Congrats on the result; my posts aren’t showing since Wednesday so i couldn’t comment on the group.

stephen clone: thanks, jane

AGplusone: Hope everyone can stay on … thunder and lightning notwithstanding ….

ddavitt: Emerson Hough; found him in an Encyclopedia of children’s fiction.

AGplusone: What did you find?

ddavitt: 1857 to 1923 Wrote Story of the Cowboy in 1897; Roosevelt liked it

SAcademy: If it gets close, I’m going to go offline until it’s over

ddavitt: Series of young boy’s books “The Young Alaskans.”

AGplusone: Roosevelt wrote some interesting things about his two or three years in Montana.

ddavitt: First one in 1908; maybe Heinlein read them as a child

AGplusone: I’d think so.

AGplusone: None of them in print anymore, I suppose?

dwrighsr: His Roosevelt’s or his Hough’s 3 years?

ddavitt: Amazon has some on back order; not sure of which titles.

AGplusone: Roosevelt went to Montana after his first wife died, spent the years developing a ranch. Had adventures.

ddavitt: Echoes of “Young Atomic Engineers” maybe?

AGplusone: Could be …

ddavitt: Probbaly easy to get on bibliofind or similar.

AGplusone: “Hough” is one of my favorite authors–Arthur Hugh Clough, Victorian poet, a friend of Arnold, wrote “Easter Morn”

ddavitt: Not heard of him before.

AGplusone: “Christ is not risen, no, he lies and moulders low … ”

AGplusone: Beautiful poet

ddavitt: Arnold of Rugby?

AGplusone: yes

AGplusone: the son

ddavitt: Ah.

ddavitt: Have you ever read Psmith books by Wodehouse?

AGplusone: a few ..

ddavitt: One has an advert in a paper written by psmith that’s v similar to the We Also Walk Dogs one.

AGplusone: Really, how so ….

ddavitt: Might mention it in a post if I’m ever able to post again.

AGplusone: ?

ddavitt: Just similar layout and language; very funny books.

ddavitt: “Leave it to Psmith” is the book

AGplusone: I still think, “Are You a Coward?” is the best advertisement I’ve ever read.

ddavitt: One line in the advert is “Someone to take the dog for a walk”

ddavitt: “Someone to Assassinate Your Aunt?”



ddavitt: πŸ™‚

AGplusone: “If we have to come find you, you won’t like it” more or less ….

ddavitt: Yes; can see why it got Oscar intrigued.

AGplusone: How did that go in Friday?

ddavitt: The adverts that counted down to a death?

AGplusone: Yes

ddavitt: “Make your will, you have X days to live”

ddavitt: Or something similar

AGplusone: About MacKinnon’s father … do you really think he was as bad as you expressed him to be, Jane?

ddavitt: Well it’s the narrator talking not MacKinnon so I guess so

ddavitt: Don’t you think he sounds bad?

AGplusone: POV is always important, and I think MacKinnon’s POV is suspect … do you really think that’s a 3P talking and not MacKinnon?

ddavitt: The Doctor seems to think he’s responsible for M’s trouble too

ddavitt: Definitely; take a look

AGplusone: Doctors have bedside manners

ddavitt: He says world would be better place if more kids told their parents to go to hell

AGplusone: I had trouble thinking that it wasn’t MacKinnon. I really wasn’t very sympathetic to MacKinnon and felt that MacK really could have don better ….

AGplusone: Who “he”?

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

ddavitt: Sorry; david here, got to go. maybe pop in later. Bye!

ddavitt has left the room.

AGplusone: The ‘romantic’ viewpoint seems what is being attacked here … the view from ‘academia’ that always seems more wish-fulfillment than fact, albeit well documented …

dwrighsr: Hi. Berl.

AGplusone: Hi, Berl

dwrighsr: Welcome to the Heinlein Readers Group.

Berllan5UD: evening folks. just remembered how to get in here

dwrighsr: We are a little light tonight. Where is everybody?

AGplusone: MacKinnon’s attitude in “Coventry” really is a major issue, I think, the attitude he starts with ….

AGplusone: College football season?

AGplusone: [says the fellow with the portable TV on about five feet away from where he’s seated]

AGplusone: … the ‘professorial’ attitude, of a view of the world that doesn’t survive ‘academia’ but prevails in the literature that ‘everyone’ reads who ‘matters’ ….

dwrighsr: Like that fellow in ‘Time Enough…’, the Literature Professor

AGplusone: and changes to reflect the ‘flavors’ that a from time-to-time depending on what ‘school’ of thought is in favor.

AGplusone: Exactly like him, what was his name?

dwrighsr: Clyde Leamer

AGplusone: The old saying, “Those who can’t do, teach; and those who can’t teach decide what textbooks will be purchased …. ”

AGplusone: I thought it was a name with an “L” and got held up on Billl Lermer.

dwrighsr: I had to look it up.

AGplusone: I think more than anything else, these criticisms lead to the hostility RAH’s stories receive from the academics who are now deciding what ‘science-fiction’ will become literature …. I recently noticed a poll on a website asking ‘who is the greatest sci-fi writer?’

AGplusone: Bradbury of course was listed …. Wells, Clarke, Asimov, but guess who was completely left out.

AGplusone: Instead they had some fellow I’d never read …. recent author … forget his name.

AGplusone: Ah, I remember. Was on historychannel.com

DenvToday has entered the room.

SAcademy: Brafnury never wrote a science fiction story. He didn’t know any science.

DenvToday: Hello everybody.

AGplusone: And then of course, there’s the SFWA … hehehe ….

dwrighsr: I’ll have to check that one out. For my money, Heinlein *alone* is the true literature writer among them.

AGplusone: Hi, Denver!

dwrighsr: Welcome aboard

DenvToday: Howdy David.

stephen clone: hiya

DenvToday: Thanks dw and stephen.

DenvToday: Sorry I couldn’t make it Thursday.

AGplusone: Good to see you. We were talking about MacKinnon’s father’s not being sympathetic to his choice of career … and why …

AGplusone: In “Coventry” the author is unsympathetic to the profession of English literature teacher … in TEFL, the same portrait of Clyde Leamer, and in Expanded Universe there’s a lot of those who can’t write are teachers and those who are even worse are critics … what do you think about this criticism? Founded, or simply a trite saying?

DenvToday: Interesting…

AGplusone: We do have a similar saying in law. “A” students become professors, “B” students go into business, “C” students become judges, and “D” students become rich lawyers ….

DenvToday: In Starship Troopers, one of the moral centers is a teacher. Of course, he’s a retired Lt. Col.

DenvToday: In TNOTB, um…whathisname gets a doctorate in Education just to prove it can be done without any scholarship.

dwrighsr: I think the major criticism was for teachers of ‘creative writing’, ‘literature’ etc. who had no talent whatsoever in writing. He contrasted them with say, teachers in medical schools, who had to be doctors.

dwrighsr: And I agree πŸ™‚

DenvToday: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can do neither become critics.

dwrighsr: Didn’t Major Oz say that he had done exactly as Zeb had done (in getting a degree that is)

DenvToday: Yes, Zeb. Thanks. Couldn’

DenvToday: Couldn’t remember his name.

AGplusone has left the room.

DenvToday: RAH always maintained that any degree worth having involved mathematics.

DenvToday: Without mathematics, it was just conversation.

dwrighsr: But he also said that mathematics had no content πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: just covenient, sometimes, in describing real events.

DenvToday: Yes, but he also maintained it was the only way to express absolutes. Yes or no.

AGplusone has entered the room.

dwrighsr: WB

DenvToday: David, we missed ya. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: Thank you.

KultsiKN has entered the room.

AGplusone: Did you get my “D” students get rich crack?

DenvToday: In your absence, I declared myself Emperor of the Galaxy.

dwrighsr: Hi Kultsi

DenvToday: Yep. lol It’s a good one.

AGplusone: Hi, Kultsi … that’s good … Bob of course disputes that.

SAcademy: Hello, Kultsi

KultsiKN: Hi all! Just got home — have just driven 500 miles…

dwrighsr: I saw that BillP was on for a couple of seconds. Thought he was at Chicon

DenvToday: Howdy Kultsi

AGplusone: We were talking about ‘teachers’ as a profession, and of course ‘professors’ and whether they are deserving of the criticism.

AGplusone: I did too

DenvToday: While you were gone David, I said that RAH maintained that any degree worth having necessarily involved mathematics.

DenvToday: Only mathematics can express absolutes. All else is mush.

stephen clone: hiya Kultsi

Berllan5UD: 01111000110000011 is what I say!

AGplusone: Interesting concept … one to the things I disagree about btw … I had a pretty good teacher who did think that English actually was a worth-while major … for the communication properties it does teach.

DenvToday: I agree with you. However…there are many “disciplines” in academia that hardly rate that classification.

DenvToday: Sociology, education, ethnic studies….

AGplusone: What you bring to your written communication, of course, is important; but logical thought is important, as well as understanding of meaning, nuance, etc.

DenvToday: All mushy, and anybody who can stay in school long enough can get a Ph.D. in them.

dwrighsr: I don’t think that he would have criticised ‘good’ English teachers.

AGplusone: Anyone can stay in school long enough, but the degree can be rather worthless … I agree, Dave, no more than he criticised Mrs. Hernandez, that Latin teacher in HSSWT

DenvToday: I agree dw. But, as always, RAH liked making a point about the then-current state of academics.

dwrighsr: Remembe, he was the first to bring those fields into ‘science fiction’

AGplusone: But MacKinnon is one of those ones who seems to visualize an idylic world based on his studies that isn’t consonent with reality.

AGplusone: Two “l’s” in Idyllic

AGplusone: … and I haven’t a clue on how to spell ‘consenent’

dwrighsr: His ‘mathematics’ of reality, namely literature, didn’t accurately describe real events.

DenvToday: kahnsonint

AGplusone: A point, by Gad, a palpable point!

AGplusone: Which is interesting, as Jane might say ….

dwrighsr: Of course, literature can do so, but it takes a lot of working with to interpret correctly.

dwrighsr: can and does do so. especially RAH’s O:-)

DenvToday: IMHO, RAH was more comfortable with the clarity of discliplines that can be expressed in mathematics.

DenvToday: All of his heroes and heroines are clear-thinkers.

AGplusone: Literature is always dependent on POV … and MacKinnon’s POV is very suspect … someone mentioned in the chat Thursday, that, really, life under the Covenant wasn’t nearly as bad as MacKinnon seemed to think ….

MacKinnon isn’t a real clear thinker.

DenvToday: And most of them are proficient in math. Usually more than proficient.

dwrighsr: Does anyone know if ‘Calculus of Statement’ which was so prominent in ‘Blowups Happen’ has any basis in reality or was that an invention of Heinlein?

DenvToday: I haven’t a clue.

dwrighsr: He also described ‘Theory of Morals’ in ST as being mathematical.

AGplusone: Must be in Korzybski … but I haven’t read him more than in summary. These all seemed to be things he hoped would be derived.

AGplusone: But haven’t …

dwrighsr: I don’t believe that Korzybski ever reached that level, but I could be wrong. Haven’t read it in more than 35 years. Don’t remember that much.

AGplusone: Much like the psychometricians he talked about in If This Goes On …

dwrighsr: He had them in ‘Farmer in the Sky’ also.

AGplusone: What I can remember from Korzybski was derived from Hayakawa’s text used in Freshman English, and I don’t know if it’s even used anymore.

dwrighsr: I tend to think that ‘CofS’ was Heinlein’s extrapolation of where K’s work could lead, but again, I’m not sure and that’s why I asked.

DenvToday: If something is yes or no…if it works or doesn’t work, that necessarily weeds out foolishness. You can have all the opinions you want about how best to rate this author or that one. But either a plane flies or it doesn’t. Either a bridge stands or it doesnt.

dwrighsr: I’m not sure I see what you are driving at.

DenvToday: We were talking about MacKinnon’s father and his opinions.

Berllan5UD: All very interesting but a bit heavy to go to bed on. see you all some other time

DenvToday: And it sort of led to RAH’s opinion of academia…

AGplusone: And “pegasi” rarely fly, no matter how much of an ediface you create academically, to make it seem so …

DenvToday: Bye Berllan

AGplusone: Bye, Berl

Berllan5UD has left the room.

AGplusone: But the criticism seems important … romanticism, remember when Deacon tells Rod he’s a ‘romantic’ born in the wrong age? MacKinnon’s one like that.

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hello Gael

AGplusone: Thinks he’s “right” of course, and that his ‘knowledge’ is sufficient to survive. Hi, Sean.

dwrighsr: And both of them had to learn the hard way.

Gaeltachta: Hi to all.

dwrighsr: Hi Sean

Gaeltachta: I haven’t read these 2 in years, so just being sociable (and prob quiet today).

dwrighsr: Don’t let that stop you. Just pitch right in.

DenvToday: Lack of knowledge has never stopped me from expressing an opinion. lol

Gaeltachta: πŸ™‚ Small class today?

AGplusone has left the room.

DenvToday: Well….I hope it wasn’t something I said. πŸ™‚

Major oz has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hiya Oz

dwrighsr: The more I think of ‘Misfit’ and ‘Coventry’ and those comments about Libby’s folks not signing the Covenant, it seems to me that when Heinlein wrote ‘Misfit’, that he hadn’t worked out all of the consequences of just what the Covenant meant and that accounts for the somewhat inconsistent ideas about Coventry.

Major oz: yo, all

dwrighsr: in the two stories. Or it could just be me.

KultsiKN: The revolving door, perhaps — no ’twas just David morphing into

Major Oz… πŸ˜‰

dwrighsr: Hi Maj.

KultsiKN: Hi, Oz!

Major oz: hi, hi

DenvToday: dw, which consequences are you referring to?

dwrighsr: David’s having problems it looks like.

Major oz: “mac,mac,mac”went the duck

dwrighsr: We talked about this Thursday and David (AG) mentioned part of it when he talked about his notion that Libby had grown up in Coventry, because his folks hadn’t signed it. I had never had that impression myself and thought that it was inconsistent to be banished to Coventry just for not signing.

DenvToday: Oh, I see.

Major oz: agree

dwrighsr: Yet it seems that Libby was somehow deprived because of it. I just don’t like the idea that people would be banished simply for refusing to signing it.

Major oz: Another thought was that those who didn’t sign were denied certain things, like school past certain levels, unrestricted travel, etc. but were allowed to live in “normal” society

dwrighsr: That doesn’t feel consistent with what was presented in ‘Coventry’.

Major oz: Similar to the way noncitizens in ST couldn’t vote, teach, or hold public office.

Major oz: Neither, David, does banishment for what appears a provoked assualt.

Major oz: appears to be…….

dwrighsr: Similar, yes, but I think, different. Noone in ST was denied education etc, because they didn’t serve. They simply had no say in running the govt.

Major oz: true……I was just pointing out distince categories that may be in place……

Major oz: distinc”t”

DenvToday: That’s one of the reasons RAH was unfairly branded a fascist by many reviewers.

Major oz: ……many of whom didn’t read the books…….

dwrighsr: I don’t believe that it was the actual hitting that got MacK banished, but rather his idea that that was the correct way to settle problems.

Major oz: It is vague……it may have been, and the society had regressed to psychobabble pacifists.

Major oz: Or…….he may be a sociopath, by even our standards.

Major oz: I lean towards his complaint of the soft-womb society.

dwrighsr: My impression, and of course, I formed this when I was only 15, was that the rules worked out for Coventry were quite reasonable.

DenvToday: Hmmmm…..any parallels to today’s America?

Major oz: very many

Major oz: slow removal of testicles and the purging of all testosterone.

Major oz: As Coventry is so vague as to what the interpretation is, I can’t assert much in the way of Mac’s violation of it.

DenvToday: The transformation of pioneer America into the risk-averse nanny state that the left envisions as paradise.

Major oz: yeah, what he said

Major oz: as someone has asserted on afh, there is a great difference between being civiliaed and being domesticated

Bdelloguy has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hello Bd

Major oz: …civilized…..

SAcademy: Hello, Mark

DenvToday: Oz, excellent point.

dwrighsr: Greetings Mark

Bdelloguy: Hi All. Sorry to be out of the loop, but my wife and I just had a baby boy a few weeks ago!

DenvToday: RAH made that point loud and clear in Farnham’s Freehold.

DenvToday: Congrats!!!!

Major oz: Congretulations

Major oz: Agree, DT

Bdelloguy: Check out the boy at:

dwrighsr: Same here. You’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Bdelloguy: www.momartin.oxy.edu/f1

DenvToday: Will do! ironmike12345 has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hello mike ironmike12345: how ya doin

dwrighsr: Hi Mike ironmike12345: hi

Gaeltachta: Aw…. what a cute baby. Congratulations.

DenvToday: Well well well…

DenvToday: A handsome body!

Bdelloguy: Thanks. Hope you like the name!

DenvToday: Anson Robert!!

dwrighsr: How neat!

DenvToday: You should write Mrs. Heinlein and tell her.

DenvToday: I’m sure she would be pleased.

Bdelloguy: I already did that, and she was so very pleased (and as always, most polite).

SAcademy: Oh, I know about it. ironmike12345 has left the room.

SAcademy: I held Mark’s hand for days before the event.

Bdelloguy: Thanks!

SAcademy: On the computer, of course.

TAWN3 has entered the room.

DenvToday: lol Mini doc

dwrighsr: Hi Tawn

DenvToday: Hello Tawn

TAWN3: Hi everybody!

SAcademy: Good afternoon, Tawn.

DenvToday: Mark, are you a doctor?

Bdelloguy: “Doc” is my nickname in lab and class, so the students came up with “mini-doc.”

DenvToday: Very cute.

Bdelloguy: Actually, I am a geneticist and professor. I teach at Occidental College in LA.

Bdelloguy: RAH’s Beyond This Horizon had the “Mendelian Oath,” which always made me smile.

DenvToday: I don’t remember that oath. (I sheepishly admit)

Bdelloguy: It is at the beginning of a chapter in BTH. It kinda stuck out for me, since I am a geneticist. I was always amazed by RAH’s interest in that field.

DenvToday: Does it refer to Gregor Mendel?

Bdelloguy: Yes.

TAWN3: Sorry to stop in and then run everybody. I just wanted to stop in and say hello. I have to go for a prior engagement. I look forward to reading the log when David posts it. Have a good chat and good Labor Day weekend for the US folks!

DenvToday: The breadth (bredth?) of his knowledge was pretty amazing.

Eeyore3061 has entered the room.

Major oz: c ya tawn

DenvToday: Thanks Tawn!

AGplusone has entered the room.

dwrighsr: I’ll have it on later tonight. use the same URL as thursday but change the date in it.

KultsiKN: Bye, Tawn!

Major oz: wb mac user

DenvToday: David, welcome back!

TAWN3 has left the room.

AGplusone: Nothing like a power outage.

Bdelloguy: Yes, RAH always seemed to do his homework.

Major oz: in San Diego ?

Eeyore3061: Storms are a pain also.

Merfilly8 has entered the room.

AGplusone: HI, Eeyore … no, in Los Angeles … deregulation means nobody builds more capacity.

dwrighsr: Hi Eeyour, Filly. WB Dave

Merfilly8: hello to all

Bdelloguy: Hiya.

DenvToday: Hello Meri.

AGplusone: Hi, Mark, Filly

dwrighsr: I thought LA was all set and was even selling power to everybody else.

Merfilly8: Denv, Filly works

DenvToday: Hello Filly. πŸ™‚

Merfilly8: πŸ™‚

Major oz: yo, filly

AGplusone: Yeah, well … price is still down, but the reserves are built.

Eeyore3061: Bleck, I was hoping someone would get the idea and build gas turbin/ MHD power plants.

AGplusone: aren’t build

AGplusone: built

Major oz: Just buy more from Columbia River folks

AGplusone: fingers have totally lost their cunning

dwrighsr: That MAC sure has problems with the keyboard πŸ™‚

Bdelloguy: Filly, thanks for the kind words about that boy of mine.

AGplusone: right, Dave

DenvToday: Reminds me of “Once Upon A Mattress.” The heroine, played by Carol Burnett, told Prince Charming that her name is Winifred. The prince asks, “People call you Winnie?” “No,” she replies. “Fred.”

Merfilly8: Hey, we can’t afford to go for a son, so we admire the other cuties

AGplusone: Fair enough ….

AGplusone: Where are we now?

Major oz: cruising……..

Merfilly8: NC

KultsiKN: and surfing…

Merfilly8: πŸ™‚

AGplusone: [I did get to watch UCLA go back ahead of Bama while the desktop was rebuilding from the crash … ]

Eeyore3061: Where in NC?

Merfilly8: Left of Fayettenam

Major oz: agreeing about 80 / 20 that Andy Libby was not raised in Coventry

Eeyore3061: How far left? I’m in Greensboro.

AGplusone: Eeew … I’ll concede it isn’t totally clear.

DenvToday: I always preferred Andy after he became a woman in later novels. It seemed to suit him/her better.

Merfilly8: (I’m in Raeford.)

Merfilly8: Misfit did not catch me at first

Major oz: Isn’t that a prison?

Eeyore3061: Cool

Merfilly8: too much technical detail, I guess.

KultsiKN: Why not, Filly?

Merfilly8: I’m not a math person

Major oz: Interesting…..Jane had the same comment.

AGplusone: I didn’t. Was annoyed, always thought there was nothing particularly feminine about Andy, he was just a thinker, not a macho male.

DenvToday: And I’ll admit…RAH made me rethink some of the preconceptions about what makes a person a man or a woman.

Merfilly8: But I did like Libby…as intimated by Lazarus, rather than as seen in the books

DenvToday: Hey, just your basic super-genius. lol

Merfilly8: His gender was irrelevant to me

Major oz: But didn’t he “retire” as a woman. I don’t recall him living up to the moniker of “slipstick” Libby after his transformation.

Merfilly8: My perception of Libby as a woman was strictly as Deety’s “not-twin”

Eeyore3061: Very little kiss and tell, just hints as to what happened at that point.

AGplusone: It’s not a particularly popular idea, but for many ‘shy’ boys, the ‘army’ or some form of ‘basic’ doesn’t always ‘make them a man’ and I always wondered and was annoyed that Libby was turned into a woman.

Gaeltachta has left the room.

Major oz: I don’t remember the particulars……wasn’t he given a choice?

AGplusone: I rather liked the concept that Libby was respected for his mind, not for his macho-ness in “Misfit”

Merfilly8: I think it was just RAH playing with the concepts of yin and yang, as perceived in humans

AGplusone: Agree, Filly

Major oz: I saw Him as contrasting brawn and brains.

AGplusone: … but then when RAH turns him into a woman, I didn’t agree with it … and felt cheated, and let down.

Merfilly8: in Misfit, he was.

DenvToday: I always thought that RAH’s point was that it didn’t really matter. In his later works, such as TNOTB and TEFL and TSBTS, everybody was everybody’s half-brother/sister/cousin. It just made it more interesting.

AGplusone: It did … ambivalency is something underappreciated.

Merfilly8: I’m working on TMiaHM currently, and it reminded me of the way later works tweaked charcters who did not need it

Major oz: But throughout, all characters found it very necessary to BELONG.

Major oz: from shy andy to VM Smith

AGplusone: The stereotypes *are* limiting, and sometimes very tiring.

Bdelloguy: I think it is important to remember that Andy Libby wasn’t that well fleshed out in Misfit, appeared again in Methuselah’s Children in more detail…and then RAH did still more with him/her later. I see it as the changing views of the author over time!

Major oz: Belonging was the travial of Friday’s life.

DenvToday: Filly, THIAHM has always been one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. It helped shape me politically as a young boy.

Bdelloguy: whoops, diaper duty calls…later

Bdelloguy has left the room.

DenvToday: TMIAHM, that is.

dwrighsr: I, personally, think that Heinlein’s greatest skill in storytelling was the ability to set the stage just enough to let the reader really fill in with his/her own ideas and conceptions.

Merfilly8: It is my very favorite, but for personal shaping rather than political

AGplusone: That’s true, Mark, but how do you think was unnecesarily ‘tweaked’ in later novels, Filly?

Major oz: Agree, David……like old time radio

AGplusone: how-who

DenvToday: When I say “politically,” I mean it taught me the value of individualism vs. collectivism.

Merfilly8: Hazel for one

Major oz: Thank goodness for Prof de la Paz

Merfilly8: Lazarus’s evolution is another story, and not all together a pleasing one. But Libby’s does leave something to be desired

dwrighsr: Does that mean ‘Professor of the Peace’?

DenvToday: Yes. If I had to pick my very favorite RAH character….I couldn ‘t. lol But de la Paz is right up there with Lazarus Long and Jubal Harshaw.

AGplusone: I think that very important, Denv. Why isn’t Hazel’s being tweaked an improvement. In Stones, she’s rather a stereotype, one-dimensional, crusty old grandmother type. Gabby Hayes without the beard.

AGplusone: I like, really like, Gwen ….

Merfilly8: I was referring to her Gwen phase in TCWWTW

Merfilly8: I didn’t

AGplusone: Why?

DenvToday: David, good point. I ‘ll have to give it some thought.

Merfilly8: My favorite snapshot of her comes from Moon

dwrighsr: Maybe that’s the problem. My ideas of Hazel were formed in ‘RS’. And they didn’t quite fit with the later presentations. Same with Lazarus and others.

Merfilly8: Gwen, to me, seemed lacking in character

Merfilly8: even against the crabby old woman in NOTB

AGplusone: As a teenager … inspiring young lady … but Gwen is complex and interesting and figuring her out is sometimes a kick.

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hi Berl

AGplusone: She’s more than a match for Campbell … Hi, David.

Merfilly8: Her naivete over the whole Bill thing bugged me…threw the character out the window

Berllan5UD: hullo again

Merfilly8: But then Colin is not my favorite protagonist

dwrighsr: Is that another David ? I’m going to have to shoot a couple.

DenvToday: Would Schrodinger agree? lol

AGplusone: Somebody had to make a mistake … ever try to ‘make’ an old friend do the right thing, or redeem someone … I thought it a revealing episode. David Tibbetts=Berlan5UD

Merfilly8: OT: saw a schrodinger reference in a McCaffrey novel…

Merfilly8: surprised me, since her science is sometimes lacking

Berllan5UD: i’m a David

Berllan5UD: shoot the other one

DenvToday: I haven’t read much of her, at least not in many years. She’s more fantasy, isn’t she?

dwrighsr: Just kidding. WB

Merfilly8: three Davids? There has to be a rule

Merfilly8: πŸ™‚

DenvToday: Her dragons simply cannot compare to Sir Isaac Newton. lol

dwrighsr: And Jane has gone off to be with her David

Merfilly8: I read her for fluff nowadays

AGplusone: [Foster is murdering Bama] LOL, almost as bad a Bills.

AGplusone: as Bills

DenvToday: I just got L. Neil Smith’s latest, The Forge of Elders. It’s excellent, as always.

DenvToday: And he reminds me of RAH in many ways.

DenvToday: The Forge of the Elders, that is.

AGplusone: I’m going to have to read Smith one of these days.

Berllan5UD: never heard of him

Merfilly8: Reading Moon has me wanting to read Emergence by David Palmer again

DenvToday: David, you should. The Probability Broach and Pallas are excellent.

Merfilly8: Mannie’s lingo reminds me of the shorthand Emergence uses

DenvToday: Smith does a sly parody of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe in “Forge.”

Major oz: My SO is watching _The Day of the Triffids_ on FLIX ………the original Britt version.

Major oz: I can hear it from here.

AGplusone: Anything in “Misfit” or “Coventry” we haven’t really covered … ?

Merfilly8: we watched it at work this morning

DenvToday: Filly, I always chuckle when I think of Manny. RAH let’s us think he’s a young man throughout the entire novel…then lets us know he’s a century old in the last paragraph!

Merfilly8: I caught the clues thrown throughout

Berllan5UD: the one with Howard thing in it?

DenvToday: I did the same–the second and third times I read it. Not the first.

Major oz: were they (the covenant people) or were they not risk-averse socialist nannies?

Merfilly8: When he spoke of being opted and Grampaw was still vigorous and lively, having been married longer than his assumed age, etc.

DenvToday: Berl, no, not in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. No Howards there.

AGplusone: I really didn’t think about the clues … knew he was writing, but thought the “I’m only a century old” was a very ‘young’ attitude. The Moon’s gravity I think had something to do with that longevity ….

Berllan5UD: sorry. i was still with triffids

Berllan5UD: it’s my fave book

DenvToday: Oz, I’ve seen both versions. Both are good in their way.

AGplusone: There’s a lot in there about low gravity leading to a longer life.

dwrighsr: And that was a fairly long time since the revolution, wasn’t it?

Major oz: only two generations

dwrighsr: Howard Keel. Ah so. That was a terrible version.

AGplusone: which is really only forty years …

Major oz: That’s part of the mystery — how they moved from liberty to socialism

AGplusone: so, how old is Mannie when the revolution starts?

Major oz: social(in the psychobable sense)ism

DenvToday: dw, it depends. I still enjoy some of the terrible z-grade SF movies from the fifties. I guess for the same reason I like mac and cheese. I grew up on them.

AGplusone: And how old is he when he shows back up in Cat?

Major oz: mannie?

AGplusone: Yes

DenvToday: And what is the very best SF movie of the fifties? Let us all repeat in unison: “Destination Moon”!!!!

AGplusone: Has to be older than 100 because of what happens with Mike Selene at the end of the book?

Merfilly8: I guessed him at being in his sixties or late fifties

KultsiKN: About forty-five in Moon, perhaps two centuries in Cat?

dwrighsr: He has to be very old. After all, Hazel had grown old, been rejuvenated.

Major oz: Someone has to lay out a football field sized chart lookina at all these characters and their times.

Berllan5UD: Day the Earth Stood Still

DenvToday: Um..somebody tell Berl. lol

dwrighsr: I don’t think we can look too closely, there are going to be inconsistencies as Jane pointed out that simply can’t be reconciled.

Major oz: Nahhhh, Day Earth Stood Still is and anthem for peacniks

KultsiKN: And there’s the irrelevant time thing…

Major oz: ….who can spell better than I

dwrighsr: You can’t possibly compare ‘Day’ with Howard Keel’s ‘Triffids’.

Merfilly8: exactly…but at least they don’t happen in the same book, as with other authors

DenvToday: Actually, I’ve always hated The Day the Earth Stood Still. It’s a well-made film…but I find the philosophy repugnant.

Berllan5UD: but set in a London newspaper office

Berllan5UD: actually Daily Telegraph is quite rightwing

Major oz: anti-nuke extrravaganza, staring Michael Renee

ddavitt has entered the room.

DenvToday: More than anti-nuke. It’s pro-Big Brother. Be good little boys and girls. Don’t dare too much, or daddy will kill you.

Berllan5UD: should have set it in the Observer offices

ddavitt: Hi again.

Merfilly8: Hi Jane!!!!

Major oz: DT right wing (maybe for England — but isn’t everything?)

DenvToday: Hello dd.

AGplusone: [Ucla upsets # 3 rated Alabama … 35-24. “Over blue Pacific’s golden waters … Loyally we stand, her sons and daughters … Hail, the emblem of our Alma Mater … Might Bruin Bear, rah-rah-RAH!]

ddavitt: What are we discussing now then?

Major oz: yeah, yeah

dwrighsr: WB Jane. You need to get your husband on-line. We need another David

AGplusone: Anything …

Major oz: Anyone that beats Bama is good (for a couple days)

ddavitt: He’s flopped on the sofa; his body clock is at 1.00 am

DenvToday: David, sit down. You’re scaring the children. lol

Berllan5UD: do four Davids beat a flush?

AGplusone: Okay, Denv

DenvToday: lolol

ddavitt: He’s just got back from Norway Kultsi

AGplusone: Beats five of a kind

ddavitt: Horten on the E coast

KultsiKN: For how long?

ddavitt: He flew out on tuesday s o he’s not have time to get used to their time really

ddavitt: Eleanor and the cats are jumping on him to keep him awake

Berllan5UD: so how would have RAH written ‘Day Earth Stood Stilll’?

KultsiKN: πŸ˜‰

DenvToday: Berl, he would have changed the concept completely.

dwrighsr: I think he did. ‘Have Space Suit, will Travel’.

ddavitt: Or puppet masters?

dwrighsr: I’

dwrighsr: I

DenvToday: However he would have changed it, he would have been on the side of Earth’s pioneer spirit “To sail beyond the sunset, and baths of all the western stars….”

Berllan5UD: must read puppet masters. next RAH book for me

ddavitt: Try to get the revised edition with more words; IMO it’s a better story

AGplusone: A good one, David, and you’ll see how influential it was, by how many books and movies copied its plot. Jane’s right.

DenvToday: He would not have made a hero out of a Stalinist who threatens to destroy the upstart humans.

dwrighsr: I mean a Galactic civilization which is either going to get rid of us as troublemakers or help us get past some trouble spots. But we have to do it ourselves.

AGplusone: The unedited version is much richer.

ddavitt: And darker….more adult.

Major oz: John Dann McDonald wrote a VERY Heinlein(esque) novel called _Ballroom of the Skies_. some of the ideas therein would have transformed TDTESS into something realistic.

ddavitt: As it wasn’t a juvenile i don’t know why it got snipped..can understand it with Red planet …

Merfilly8: I thought it was a juvie…seen it adverted that way

AGplusone: I did like that thought, Denv … that maybe the interval before we reexamine them may be too long to ensure our survival …

labert8 has entered the room.

DenvToday: Oz, thanks. I’ll check it out.

Merfilly8: hey labert

ddavitt: PM? Not seen it on the usual list of juveniles…and no H boks are in the children’s section anymore

AGplusone: … they might mutate into something really very dangerous. Hi,


labert8: hey, everyone

ddavitt: Ironic really

ddavitt: Hi labert

dwrighsr: No H books in the children’s section. That’s blasphemy.

Berllan5UD: i’ve just realised. i was thiking of a different film

ddavitt: No, no, they’re in the adult section instead….

Berllan5UD: bugger 50s scifi

Major oz: where, Jane?

AGplusone: Which one, David?

Merfilly8: brb…got to grab ZoΓ« before she gets mad at me

ddavitt: Personally, i think the juveniles are adult books too; be good to see them in both sections tho I agree

ddavitt: Of any bookshop

Major oz: hokay

labert8: H’s juveniles are far above most of what’s foumd in children’s sections these days.

DenvToday: David, I don’t think (IMHO) that Heinlein’s characters would have given a tinker’s dam what “superior” civilizations thought of us. We’d do what we’d do, and we’d probably have the pluck and ingenuity to get away with it.

ddavitt: Libraries tend to put them mostly in adult as well, tho I have seen Tunnel in the children’s library

labert8: Sweet Valley High, etc

Berllan5UD: or i am? hell, they all seem alike. Day the Earth Caught Fire maybe its title

dwrighsr: One of my other random thoughts about THS and promoting more reading of H was to try to get more of his books donated to schools and libraries. Be nice to have a good inexpensive set of Juvies and Adults to do it with.

AGplusone: I agree … thought the passing thought in Kip’s mind … “we’ll figure out how to do without a sun” really embodied that spirit!

ddavitt: Great speech of his!

ddavitt: Love to see that book filmed properly…

dwrighsr: Or die trying !

AGplusone: Yes

DenvToday: Yes, absolutely.

Berllan5UD: which book?

labert8: lets examine the idea of a “book filmed properly,” Jane πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Have Space Suit – will travel

AGplusone: In Have Spacesuit–Will Travel, David … supposedly a children’s book.

ddavitt: The way _I_ like it of course πŸ™‚

DenvToday: I still hear rumblings every now and then that TMIAHM will be made into a film. If only it were true…

Merfilly8: Name one book you’ve seen done that way, Jane

ddavitt: Paying attention to what the book says, using the same plot and some of the dialogue, appropriate actors….

labert8: I’m not convinced it can ever be done. A short story, maybe. The Shawshank redemption comes to mind

Merfilly8: I can name a few that improved on the book

Berllan5UD: The Godfather is a better film than the book

ddavitt: Hmm..tricky. Some of the BBC series have done a good job with Austen

AGplusone: Oz and I are partial to “A River Runs Through It” maybe somebody could talk Redford into doing MIAHM

Merfilly8: Funny, a couple of King’s make the list of improved in Hollywood

dwrighsr: I think that my comments earlier about H’s storytelling technique makes it very difficult to adequately film his works. Films, IMO, are inconsistent with that style.

ddavitt: It could be done, keeping that 50’s feel to it….

Eeyore3061 has left the room.

Major oz: H’s books are known, not for the BIG scenes, nor for high levels of nuance. How does one make a film that gives proper place — actually center focus — to a collection of nuances?

Major oz: grrrrrrr

ddavitt: Easy to do a good Mother Thing and Wormface; plenty of description in the book

Major oz: nor for action, but for nuance…….

DenvToday: dw, perhaps. But there’s not much internalizing in TMIAHM. It could easily be made into an excellent film.

Berllan5UD: we’ll see what scifi channel has done with Dune soon

ddavitt: But HSS is quite a fast moving adventure

Merfilly8: Or Glory Road

ddavitt: Yes…

AGplusone: It is … lots of room for FX … and for the makeup artists …

Major oz: not the BANG, CRASH, kind of adventure

dwrighsr: But there is an awful lot of stuff in HSWT that goes on in Kip’s head. Hard to film.

Major oz: GR may be an exception

AGplusone: Yet, still 1960s in setting for much of the movie.

Major oz: …..but only if what really counts is left out.

labert8: Glory Road is brief, active enough , but they’d hollywood-ize the ending

Major oz: the adventure parts are not what makes them good.

Merfilly8: maybe not

Eeyore3061 has entered the room.

DenvToday: Filly, I’d hate to se what Hollywood would do to Glory Road. They’d destroy it into a standard sword and sorcery flick.

ddavitt: Is it impossible to transfer a story from one medium to another? Book to film, film to book? maybe it is….

Berllan5UD: what about filming them as hour-long ‘outer limit’ type stories?

Major oz: I can be done.

Major oz: Hanks did it with Apollo 13

AGplusone: You’re probably right … ending with a well, maybe I’ll take another journey on the ‘glory road’ would be hard for Hollywood to accept.

Merfilly8: Well, nothing mentioned of Heinlein’s works have me as bothered as knowing Disney is sitting on Princess of Mars

ddavitt: Could expand the ‘talks” with oscar the space suit to give an idea of what Kip’s thinking

Major oz: But it cannot be done in 2-4 hours in a moviehouse

labert8: It needs to be accepted, I suppose, that the story will *always* be a different one, when transferred

Major oz: It must be 15+ hours as a miniseries

AGplusone: But they’ve done all the Burroughs novels before … Flash Gordon was a rip-off.

DenvToday: Two words: Television miniseries.

dwrighsr: But Dammit, you can be faithful to the spirit of the book.

ddavitt: Major problem is that, as a reader we are all reading a different book.

DenvToday: lol Oz. gmta

Merfilly8: Ebontress says hi to all

Berllan5UD: Flesh Gordon was fun though

ddavitt: Hi back

AGplusone: The real Flash Gordon … not the pseudo-porno

dwrighsr: Jane, that’s what I meant about H’s style.

Eeyore3061: Producers are burned out on TV Minis

AGplusone: The old black and white serials ….

Merfilly8: I could see TEFL as a play, but not a movie

ddavitt: I will forgo seeing the Singing waters on screen if it means being spared another ST experience

Berllan5UD: Asimov’s ROBOT stories are ripe for a TV miniseries

Eeyore3061: Now cable or sat companies…

AGplusone: I think the ones RAH wrote should be produced … the 12 or so that were never filmed.

Merfilly8: Need a tv show that serializes SciFi books into hour long episodes

ddavitt: Could the scripts be published?

AGplusone: You could do a great play with a story like “The Long Watch”

Berllan5UD: RAH wrote Flash Gordon scripts?

Merfilly8: excellent play material in a lot of the Future History shorts

AGplusone: No …

ddavitt: maybe if some of the stories were linked

DenvToday: Hmmm..if any of you are MST3K fans, there was one of the early episodes that used a Heinlein film from the early fifties. RAH didn’t have his name on the film, but I know it had been his script before some producer destroyed it. It was about one of the first orbiting space ships..but because of weight considerations, the girl becomes the Colonel, and her love interest is her subordinate.

AGplusone: That’s Project Moonbase, Denv.

AGplusone: I’ve a copy of it.

ddavitt: So have I πŸ™‚

Eeyore3061 has left the room.

AGplusone: πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Pretty awful in spots with that love interest….

ddavitt: But fun to watch

AGplusone: More ’50s than awful … I thought the ‘spy-subplot’ was far more stupid than the love interest.

ddavitt: Not up to destination Moon

AGplusone: No

DenvToday: Am I correct in remembering (it’s nearly ten years ago) that RAH’s name wasn’t on the credits?

ddavitt: She was so pouty and foot stamping….

AGplusone: Yes, he threatened a lawsuit to get it off.

DenvToday: I felt so proud of myself at the time. lol. I recognized RAH’s style in the dialogue.

Merfilly8: Well folks, I need to spend time off here. See you around.

AGplusone: It was supposed to be a pilot for a TV series based on the Future History stories, but his partner tried to capitalize on the feature movie market, rewrote the end, added some garbage to make it longer and released it.

DenvToday: Bye Filly.

dwrighsr: Bye Filly.

Merfilly8 has left the room.

AGplusone: Night Filly

ddavitt: Wonder if we would have spotted his pseudonyms if we’d been reading the pulps in the 1940’s?

ddavitt: Night mer

DenvToday: David, no wonder he wasn’t crazy about Hollywood. lol

AGplusone: Yes … actually I like the “Briteyes” character, the woman who outranks the pilot.

ddavitt: That name!!!

ddavitt: Yes and didn’t tehy hate it that she outranked them?

AGplusone: That too. It was just the cutesy fifties way they did it.

DenvToday: Yes…it’s coming back now. I sat there watching it…the smartaleck banter…thinking, “OMG, that’s Heinlein!”

dwrighsr: Wasn’t that a flat cat’s name in RS?

ddavitt: Think it might have been

DenvToday: There’s one thing about the fifties movies I’ve always liked–the absence of cynicism in the characters.

AGplusone: There’s another character in Project Moonbase that reminds me of someone … the Admiral back on Earth (who turns out to be the pilot’s dad) reminds me of “The Old Man” in Puppet Master and his relationship with Sam.

Major oz: You must never have watched Bogie

DenvToday: There was often a dopey innocense in them.

DenvToday: Yep, I remember him David.

Major oz: ……or are you talking only SF movies

stephen clone: BRB..gotta reboot

stephen clone has left the room.

DenvToday: Oz, good point. But I’m talking about the silly SF movies of that era.

labert8: Yes, but doesn’t that word dopey invalidate the concept?

AGplusone: As a matter of fact, the relationship between the pilot and Colonel Briteyes is reminiscent of Sam and Mary

DenvToday: Dopey from out perspective, labert.

ddavitt: Have to go again; night all.

labert8: innocense is nice, but not real

DenvToday: our perspective, that is.

AGplusone: Night Jane

ddavitt has left the room.

Major oz: nite, Jane

labert8: bye jane

KultsiKN: Still fast on her feet…

AGplusone: <g>

Major oz: In DM there was an absolute dummy (with a Brooklyn accent). I often wondered why H would have allowed that.

labert8 has left the room.

AGplusone: [I’ve learned if I want to say ‘goodbye’ to Jane to start typing immediately when she say … “have to go”

DenvToday: Yeah Oz. Dick something or other. He was in lots of fifties films and TV.

DenvToday: lol David

Berllan5UD: egalitarian reasons

Major oz: The idea of a non-tekkie aboard a spaceship (especially a pioneering one) is ludricous.

AGplusone: That actor always reminded me of Bob Feller, the Cleveland pitcher, facially … but I remember him in a lot of movies.

Major oz: ….yeah, silly……

DenvToday: Dick Wesson. That’s it.

DenvToday: Just came to me.

labert8 has entered the room.

Major oz: yeah, he does look like him

dwrighsr: Well, in the novella, he was the radio/radar expert

AGplusone: WB Bert

DenvToday: Yep dw.

DenvToday: wb Bert

labert8: sorry bout that

labert8: shouldn’t ignore those autodisconnect boxes <g>

DenvToday: Interesting fact: John Archer, the star of DM, is the father of Anne Archer.

AGplusone: He was a replacement tho, for the one who was supossed to go, and they grabbed him at the last moment.

Eeyore3061 has entered the room.

AGplusone: Really! I like Anne.

Major oz: Is that the one where, when they turn off the ground station radar, the disk stopps, but the sweep stays in place??

DenvToday: Not sure, Oz.

dwrighsr: I just read that one the other day, along with RAH’s tribute to Irving Pichel who made the movie possible.

Berllan5UD: Anne Archer. hubba

DenvToday: Yes, Pichel was an interesting person.

Major oz: hubba ??? someone older than me?

AGplusone: Which one was Archer … there were two handsome guys … one owns the company and there’s another whose role I wasn’t always too sure of …

dwrighsr: The one who owned the company.

DenvToday: The one who owned the company.

AGplusone: Okay

DenvToday: lol

dwrighsr: Great minds thimk alike.

labert8: don’t feel bad Oz, I don’t think I was born when these flicks came out

AGplusone: Have I ever mentioned my theory about Project Moonbase?

dwrighsr: No. GA

DenvToday: No.

Major oz: hokay, labert……

Berllan5UD: i’ve never heard of DM or PM?

dwrighsr: Destination Moon and Puppet Mastes

AGplusone: There’s an uncredited actor in a scene when the ship gets to the station, wearing a Commodore’s star and a Navy anchor … who gives them a briefing …

Major oz: Project Moonbase

Berllan5UD: project moomnbase

dwrighsr: Oh that PM

AGplusone: looks a lot like a graduate of USNA ’29 ….

Berllan5UD: hold on. off to look at IMDB

SAcademy: Tell us your theory and I will tell you whether you’re right.

DenvToday: No kidding?

AGplusone: I think that was Robert

labert8: What age would he have been then?

Major oz: OK David, you are on the spot,now

DenvToday: He would have been 45 or so.

AGplusone: I sure am.

Major oz: tick, tick, tick………………….

stephenveiss has entered the room.

DenvToday: Hi stephen

dwrighsr: WB Stephen

stephenveiss: thx

KultsiKN: Bated breath…

stephenveiss: Got AIM to work after reboot

labert8: puff, puff, puff <bated breath>

stephenveiss: back to lurk πŸ™‚

DenvToday: Wasn’t….Dr. Bellows….um…Hayden Roarke in PM?

labert8: wups, kultsi beat me

Major oz: anything to add, David?

Major oz: anything else required, SA?

AGplusone: Nope … waiting to see if another of my theories bites the dust.

labert8: Was it just looks that lead to your belief? did he have lines?

labert8: accent?

DenvToday: Can PM be gotten on video?

AGplusone: His lines sounded a lot like a Navy officer’s … a real officer’s.

DenvToday: I have Destination Moon. Who can ever forget the sterling performance of Woody Woodpecker in it? lol

AGplusone: Delivered like someone who’d done it or had it done to him.

AGplusone: … a lot of times.

DenvToday: Wouldn’t Mrs. Heinlein know?

labert8: You’ve probably heard other voice clips of H, any way to tell from that angle?

AGplusone: A certain versimilitude of character …

Berllan5UD: Destination Moon doesn’t exist

DenvToday: I have it on tape, Berl.

Berllan5UD: it’s a fasntasy you’ve all dreamt

labert8: Then what’s on that tape over there? <g>

AGplusone: There was no particular ‘corn-belt’ rasp in diction, but my experience is, that can be turned off.

Berllan5UD: like Bobby in the shower for 2 years

AGplusone: Especially when you’re giving orders.

labert8: lol

SAcademy: Couldn’t be. we weren’t in Hollywood when it was made.

AGplusone: Okay, I surrender …

labert8: <long whistle, big boom>

AGplusone: and will deliver all my battle flags.

SAcademy: But maybe he wrote the lines.

AGplusone: That could be!

Berllan5UD: oops. would help if i spell destination correctly

Berllan5UD: aha. got it

AGplusone: But he sure do look like him …

AGplusone: Do you know what the name of the actor was, SA?

SAcademy: I think you’re thinking of later pix of Robert.

SAcademy: Which doctor?

AGplusone: Could very well be … time is hard to separate at this length.

AGplusone: The actor who played the Commodore …

SAcademy: No, I don’t remember.

AGplusone: he’s not credited in the copy of the film I have.

SAcademy: Seaman made a lot of mistakes.

AGplusone: He did a credible job. Looked and acted like his role.

Berllan5UD: mike miller?

SAcademy: Might very well have been a retired Navy officer.

AGplusone: I’d agree with that … in the 50s there were a lot around.

dwrighsr: David Lamb, maybe?

SAcademy: Yes. They retired a lot after WWII

labert8: <g>

AGplusone: LOL! They sure did.

dwrighsr: Doing his ‘noblesse oblige’ act

SAcademy: No, he was still in the Navy.

Berllan5UD: ted ward?

SAcademy: Don’t know.

SAcademy: But Delos Wait was still on active duty then

SAcademy: He was the model for David Lamb.

dwrighsr: Is that where Robert got the name Delos for Harriman?

SAcademy: He wrote me a couple of years ago and asked me whether I knew that,

SAcademy: Yes. That’s where Delos came from.

SAcademy: He was captain of the fencing team at USNA.

SAcademy: Class of 29–classmate of R’s

SAcademy: Man Who was too Lazy to Fail was a true story. Only a little embellishment.

SAcademy: I loved that story, and asked R. to write it up.

AGplusone: It’s a glorious story … one I really love.

Major oz: What did Delos Wait think of the story?

KultsiKN: One of my faves.

Berllan5UD: is Project Moonbase a film title?

SAcademy: Me, too.

labert8: That makes Delos Wait a rather amazing person, even if it was embellished

SAcademy: He was proud of it.

AGplusone: Wait attended the Navy “poop” school, on Severn … I went to the Army one at Belvoir and always had an affinity for that one.

dwrighsr: I understood that Robert could do that ‘minutes to graduation’ trick.

AGplusone: The “prep” school for enlisted men.

SAcademy: The Navy prep school is still run, I believe.

AGplusone: Yes, it was last I heard.

SAcademy: Yes, only it was seconds–not minutes.

dwrighsr: My captain at Monterey ran his own ‘prep school’ for West point. He had several likely candidates whom he was prepping.

DenvToday: Berl, yes it is.

dwrighsr: Seconds, That’s even more amazing

SAcademy: He said it was easy.

SAcademy: He could do all sorts of arithmetic in his head, while I was looking for pencil and paper.

AGplusone: Yeah, like balancing quadratics in your head …

AGplusone: or redox equations …

SAcademy: That sort of thing.

DenvToday: I was always fascinated that a Captain would be promoted to Rear Admiral–only for purposes of retirement.

AGplusone: They do that a bit …

AGplusone: Used to actually do it to Commodore before they did away with that rank.

SAcademy: But he did it aloud and he always finished while I was still looking for that pencil and paper.

Major oz: It’s called ROPA — Reserve Officer Promotion Authority. Complicated.

AGplusone: The Army used to do it to BGen … not any more.

SAcademy: Doesn’t the Army have promotion zones and selection boards?

AGplusone: Yes …

Major oz: You can be Permanent Captain, Temporary Major, and ROPA Colonol, all at the same time while on active duty.

SAcademy: I remember Andy Ahroon telling us once that he had been dressed down by a senior admiral, and he turned to leave, and the senior said, :Just a minute, yung man!”

AGplusone: You can be Temporary 1st Lieutenant, permanent Specialist 4, at the same time while on active duty too, Oz …. <g>

SAcademy: So Andy came to attention gain.

Berllan5UD: at least you’ve got an army still in the US

SAcademy: Andy was a Rear Adm. at the time.

Major oz: I had an E-5 working for me who was a ROPA LTC and retired as such.

DenvToday: lolol It’s difficult to imagine a Rear Admiral coming to attention that way.

SAcademy: Yes, they pulled some nasty ones back then.

AGplusone: We had an E-7 who retired O-6 …

AGplusone: But I don’t know anyone on post who thought he was ‘working for them’ …

SAcademy: I remember that Charles Dedi was reduced from Col. to some sort of a sergeant.

AGplusone: occasionally he told the Post Commander (another 0-6 about twenty years younger) what to do.

DenvToday: I hear they make jokes now about one-star admirals being “Rear Admiral, lower half.” I can imagine the jokes are pretty obvious.

dwrighsr: A friend of mine in high school in the 50s. Her father was a captain, but had to finish out his retirement as a sergeant.

Berllan5UD: There’s a Commodore Carlson character in Project Moon Base. is that the one you were on about David?

AGplusone: The one I’m talking about was one of those reserve Engineer officers who MacArthur commissioned in the Philippines in ‘

AGplusone: 40.

AGplusone: Could be … is his name listed, David.

Berllan5UD: James Craven

AGplusone: Um … good.

DenvToday: Craven…not a good name for a military man. lol

Major oz: Tens of thousands of aircrew were Reduced In Force (RIF’ed) after WWII. They wound up as enlisted men of various ranks. If they had 10 or more as officer, they retired as such, less meant they retired at tyeir enlisted rank and were upgraded at 30 years retirement.

labert8: that seems rather a cheap trick

SAcademy: That was the time that Col. Dedi caught it.

AGplusone: Yes. Was common in early 1960s that your first sergeant was ‘really’ a commissioned officer.

AGplusone: We retired two first sergeants in Germany one day in 61, both as Captains.

SAcademy: They stayed in to get their 20 years and pension.

AGplusone: 0-3 types … yes, that’s what they did. Both had enlisted in 41

Berllan5UD: Craven was in the Day Earth Stood Still too

DenvToday: My uncle was in the air force reserve. I remember the day they promoted him to Lt. Col., all he did was complain about having to buy a cap with thunderbolts on the visor.

SAcademy: Well, this time I’ve really put myfoot into it, haven’t I?

Major oz: how so?

labert8: why?

SAcademy: Now all of you know who I am.

AGplusone: [hehehe “thunderbolts=scrambled eggs=ovian by-product] … I think we can all keep that secret.

DenvToday: Me? I don’t know nuttin’. πŸ™‚

labert8: wel, at least the perceptive ones aong us <g>

Major oz: But we are low key about it.

labert8: among

AGplusone: Welcome “G” ….

dwrighsr: I think most of us knew. If you wish, I can edit all of this out before I post it.

Berllan5UD: i’m in the UK. you’re safe with me

labert8: all I can say is, very glad you join us.

SAcademy: STet.

DenvToday: lol Berl. If Tony Blair finds out, we’ll know who to blame.

AGplusone: We’re fairly bright folk … we read Robert!

SAcademy: My screenname is different, anyway/

DenvToday: And may I say, I consider this a very great treat, SA. (Whoever you are) πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: I could change it to something totally different.

SAcademy: Thanks to all.

Berllan5UD: Tony was on holida last i heard. got more than enough on his plate with a troublesome 16 year old

AGplusone: It’s a lovely Saturday …. and a nice treat!

DenvToday: After reading “Tramp Royale,” I felt I knew you a bit.

DenvToday: And I was entranced.

Berllan5UD: can someone let me in on the secret please?

DenvToday: SA is really Margaret Thatcher.

SAcademy: Very good of all of you, but sometimes you have to come out with the truth.

labert8: lol!

dwrighsr: SA is the lovely red-head and gracious lady. Virginia Heinlein

Berllan5UD: that’s Baroness Thatcher to you

DenvToday: lol Sorry Berl.

AGplusone: πŸ˜€

AGplusone: It’s not every day we get a visit from a Baroness …. πŸ™‚

SAcademy: Is that my nickname now?

AGplusone: And, seeing as it fits, why not?

DenvToday: Yes!

Major oz has left the room.

Berllan5UD: it’s a better one than Edward Heath!

AGplusone: Next meeting, we do Methuselah’s Children ….

DenvToday: lol Berl. What isn’t?

AGplusone: I’ll post early, so we can build up some replies …

SAcademy: Or Tony Blair?

DenvToday: lolol

AGplusone: and we’ll get a few reports on whatever happened at ChiCom

Berllan5UD: Mr Cherie Booth πŸ™‚

AGplusone: and maybe something about The Heinlein Society!

DenvToday: Wouldn’t Momma_Maureen be better?

SAcademy: I’;ve been having some already. Bill has been sending IM’s all through this.

AGplusone: … been a great day, hehehe … UCLA 35, Alabama 24 ….

AGplusone: Say hi to Bill for us.

SAcademy: I’ll do that.

SAcademy: But he’s off somewhere now.

AGplusone: It being Saturday, September 2, 2000, at 5:10:54 PM, PDT, I’m a closing the log.

SAcademy: Thunderstorm coming. Have to leave. Nite all

SAcademy has left the room.

DenvToday: Wow…that was incredibly neat.

AGplusone: And thank everyone for coming …. Night SA, Baroness

labert8: exactly

AGplusone: It was!

Berllan5UD: hell, 1.10am here. no wonder i’m tired

KultsiKN: Woops! She’s quite as fast as Jane!

KultsiKN: 3:13 here…

DenvToday: David, I meant to ask you–where did you get your copy of Project Moonbase?

AGplusone: Enjoy your sunrise …

DenvToday: Can it be gotten at some web site?

labert8: I was amazed she kept saying things that so clearly id’ed her, glad she feels comfortable

Berllan5UD: read the details on internet movie database

DenvToday: Thanks Berl.

AGplusone: I don’t think it’s available anymore Denv

AGplusone: But it may be … someone said they had copies available once when I looked.

stephenveiss: okay, I’m outta here..cya πŸ™‚

stephenveiss has left the room.

labert8: night steve

AGplusone: Room’s open as long as you all wish, folks …

KultsiKN: Me 2! 500 miles and this … I’m a goner. Bye all!

dwrighsr: Night Kultsi

KultsiKN has left the room.

Berllan5UD: destination moon is available on #video

labert8: I think I taped DM off AMC, or some such, a few years ago.

labert8: American Movie Classics, that is

Berllan5UD: i’m really impressed at you getting her to your chats

DenvToday: Not to sound too sappy, but her being here let us be with a part of history. I hope I don’t sound too…idiotic saying that.

AGplusone: G’nite, all. We’re just Lucky, Dave.

Eeyore3061: You don’t

DenvToday: Night David!

Berllan5UD: nos da pawb

dwrighsr: It has been one of the thrills of my life to have corresponded with her. Almost makes up for not ever having told Robert how much he meant to me.!

AGplusone: Thanks everyone for coming …. night. Gotta call my wife and gloat about the Bruins knocking off the Crimson Tide!

labert8: I end up feeling like a goofy fan, all sorts of silly questions come to mind, so mostly I just shut up

DenvToday: lol David.

DenvToday: By the way, the bearskin coat looks great. Ditto the waving pennant.

labert8: David, does that mean you spoke or corresponded with him?

AGplusone: She’s very nice … and will talk to you, but she’s shy … remember, LARGE CLEAR TYPE

DenvToday: dw, I envy you that.

dwrighsr: No. I didn’t. That’s been one of the regrets of my life.

DenvToday: I mean I envy that you correspond with her. I really meant it about Tramp Royale. She seemed like such a wonderful woman.

labert8: so I should enlarge type for these chats too?

Berllan5UD: will remember next time

labert8: I’ll have to figure out how

DenvToday: labert….I felt exactly the same way.

AGplusone: [Dave Wright: I don’t have a back-up for you … all those boots … but could you include Jane’s two addy posts to the log … ] No, she’s got her preferences set to enlarge everyone’s.

DenvToday: I do hope she’ll come again.

dwrighsr: Bold and large. Of course in the posting I do afterward it all looks the same, but she can enlarge it to read easily.

AGplusone: I think she will …

DenvToday: Excellent!

AGplusone: I think she enjoys our prattle

End of Final Discussion Log

Click Here to Return to Index


Leave a Reply