Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Topic: Podkayne of Mars + Future Topics March 4, 2000

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Topic: Podkayne of Mars + Future Topics

March 4, 2000

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Host: AGPlusOne

n1yqh a has entered the room.

stephenveiss has entered the room.

stephenveiss: hello

AGplusone:Just setting the room up early, gentlemen … G’day!

n1yqh a: I wasn’t really planning to be here tonight, but it’s supposed to rain and so I decided that it was better to be a dry wimp than a wet backpacker (done that one quite often enough, thanks… [grin])

AGplusone:How’s mom, Stephen? Wet backpacking! Remind me to tell you about a bit of “backpacking” I did once at Ft. Benning … rains really good down there.

stephenveiss: She’s very tired, couldn’t make it. Asked me to say hi.

n1yqh a: Heh… I’m sure it does…On the other hand, not having to carry a rifle I can carry all sorts of “keep-dry” gear like a tarp and a raincoat – unfortunately, my tent has developed a leak and I decided to wimp out this time… _

AGplusone:Sorry to hear that. Tell her we’ll love to see her anytime. Enjoyed her posts this time, a lot.

AGplusone:Anyone a basketball fan, besides me? I’m in my glory. My alma mater beat Stanford, ranked number 1, at the buzzer in overtime.

stephenveiss: pc just crashed, be back in a tick once I’ve rebooted [grr]

stephenveiss has left the room.

n1yqh a: congratulations…My school considers it an excellent day when they actually get five guys on the floor… [g] ddavitt has entered the room. ddavitt: Hi all.

n1yqh a: hello…

AGplusone:LOL … that it was going to be one of those seasons for us this year.

AGplusone:Hi, Jane

AGplusone:Stephen just had to reboot … but will be back.

ddavitt: Just starting to read Bill’s post on afh about Let There Be Light.

stephenveiss has entered the room.

stephenveiss: hello again

AGplusone:That was some post!

ddavitt: Hi Stephen.

stephenveiss: hi

AGplusone:Hi, WB, Stephen.

ddavitt: Only just started it; i’ll get to it later.

stephenveiss: I could kill Gates right now….

ddavitt: Really enjoyed Sean’s ideas on Ariel links

AGplusone:I did too … talk about a d’oh moment.

TAWN3 has entered the room.

ddavitt: I’d even done a post comparing the two stories and never cottoned on….

AGplusone:Evenin’ TAWN

ddavitt: Hi Tawn

stephenveiss: Mornin’

TAWN3: Hi.

AGplusone:(emoticon – didn’t survive translation to .TXT)

ddavitt: Did you use the quick way for that smiley David?

AGplusone:” … mornin’ … wish haven’t tried it yet. On a Mac, it’ll probably crash me.


n1yqh a: what’s the “quick way”?I’ve just always typed “; – )”

ddavitt: No, hold down Ctrl, then press the numerals 1,2,3

ddavitt: (emoticon)

AGplusone:Okay … on a Mac Cntl is Cmd …

ddavitt: my mum discovered it this week…

TAWN3: doesn’t work for me.

stephenveiss: does for me _

AGplusone:let’s see if it works…

TAWN3: I’m on a PC

TAWN3: Windows.

AGplusone:Not for me

ddavitt: So am I.

n1yqh a: It works for me (PC running Win98)…

AGplusone:none of em …

ddavitt: Shame!

AGplusone:Ah well, another way they discriminate against the superior platform! Death to the Evil Empire!

TAWN3: h, must use the upper row keys and not the number pad.

ddavitt: Yes, sorry

TAWN3: (emoticon) I can do 1-4 ddavitt: But 4 repeats 1

TAWN3: (emoticon) Yes

n1yqh a: Hey!Which are you calling the “superior platform”?!?That’s Linux from my POV… [g]

stephenveiss: Right on!

AGplusone:I won’t dispute that.

ddavitt: What’s a platform in this sense?

stephenveiss: isnt it a raised flat thing?

stephenveiss: (emoticon)

n1yqh a: No, it’s the stance on various issues of a political party…

ddavitt: (or is that exposing my pitiful ignorance?)

AGplusone:Best of all world would be to run Linux on a Mac.

n1yqh a: It’s been done… _

ddavitt: Macs are the ones in pretty colours yes? [ig]

n1yqh a: (Is there anything that Linux *hasn’t* been ported to anymore?)

dwrighsr has entered the room.

stephenveiss: microwaves, maybe

dwrighsr:Hi everyone!

stephenveiss: but even that’s changing

stephenveiss: Mornin!

ddavitt: Hi there!

TAWN3: ____


n1yqh a: Just wait till that Transmeta chip gets adopted – Linux toasters…[g]

AGplusone:Macs are the ones we cannot export under national security _

TAWN3: Macs which won’t accept peripherals? What a dumb concept!Why did they do that?

AGplusone:Anyhow, why don’t we start while I keep an eye open for arrivals.

dwrighsr:Fire when ready Gridley

ddavitt: Yes, cos I’m out of my depth and sinking for the third time _

AGplusone:Macs accept all USB peripherals.

n1yqh a: Don’t the newer ones have IEEE-1388 onboard too?

AGplusone:About the hole in the story form, Jane … tell me more?

TAWN3: I thought that you couldn’t hook in “normal” peripherals.

ddavitt: ?

n1yqh a: Anybody for a new ng – “alt.fan.rah.mac- vs-pc”?

AGplusone:The flaw of the journal type narration?

n1yqh a: (emoticon)

ddavitt: Oh!


ddavitt: Not a hole, just seems unlike any diary I’ve ever seen

ddavitt: plus, she kept it up to date when Grew could’ve got it and learned the escape plan; dumb.Surprised Clark let her.

AGplusone:Do you agree with some that it does explicitly provide an inference into character development. Did Clark know she had a recorder?

ddavitt: Must have done if she was talking into it and they were together in the room.It covers a small time period; do we see many changes?

AGplusone:He planned to kill Grew … why upset Poddy with his plans. And she didn’t bring the written copy with her did she?

ddavitt: Don’t think so.

n1yqh a: Not really, IMHO…She’s still almost as much of a idealistic romantic at the end as she was in the beginning…

AGplusone:How much could she have really learned?

ddavitt: It’s what happens at the end that has the potential to change her; and that’s when the book ends.

ddavitt: The journey and short time on Venus didn’t contain any life altering stuff

AGplusone:Who’s the real villain in the story to you?

n1yqh a: “inferred future character development”? That’s thinking out of the box… [g]

AGplusone:I agree …

ddavitt: You would say UT wouldn’t you?


AGplusone:Vote on major villain: I’ll vote last.

ddavitt: Not sure…Mrs Grew is a villain certainly.

n1yqh a: I’d almost be tempted to say Poddy and Clark’s mom…

ddavitt: Royer and Garcia


dwrighsr:IMHO, the real villains are never seen, they are the ones behind the bomb and Gruesome

ddavitt: No! poor woman….what did she do?

AGplusone:I agree with Mike, it’s Poddy’s mom.

ddavitt: As the only mother present I will defend her [g]

stephenveiss: I agree with both, Pod’s mum, plus the ‘behind the scenes’ villains

n1yqh a: The stuff that RAH preaches in all of his more adult novels is that kids come first, and abandoning them is a mortal sin (so to speak), and Mrs. Fries pretty much does that…

AGplusone:Can you guess why?

n1yqh a: Maybe not technically, but essentially… neglect, certainly.

ddavitt: No one that sloppy over the trips could have been uncaring with Poddy and Clark

AGplusone:Not so much abandoning in my view …

TAWN3: nlyqh a ? Kids in the more adult novels?

n1yqh a: Abandoning her responsibilities to bring them (esp. Clark..) up to be humans…

ddavitt: Poddy and Clark had the same parents and turned out differently because you are what you make yourself IMO.Parental abuse doesn’t help but there are no signs of that.

AGplusone:Where does Poddy get her despicable little tricks … the insincerity? The fakery? All that nonsense about inferiority of women?

ddavitt: Take away Tom’s speech at the end, which was tacked on when the end was altered and there is next to nothing critical of her parents in the rest of the book

n1yqh a: Yes, but had I ever shown Clark-ish tendencies my mom would have, er, corrected those rather quickly… [g] Mrs. Fries allowed her son to grow up with little to no decency that we see anytime other than at the very end, and even that is tentative…

AGplusone:The certain lack of self-confidence …

ddavitt: He’s only 11….

ddavitt: Not from her mother though; she succeeded in a “man’s world” without sleeping her way to her job.

AGplusone:And how dare parents teach children that dishonesty is okay if you don’t get caught!

ddavitt: Where?

AGplusone:How do you know … ? all you know is what Poddy knows.

AGplusone:Read the passage where Poddy realized that Clark had smuggled something aboard. See why she doesn’t go to anyone with it.

ddavitt: Would she have been given all those medals and the job of rebuilding the Martian moon if she was incompetent?

n1yqh a: Competent engineer != competent parent…

dwrighsr:Many of Heinlein’s characters show that dishonesty trait, iirc. Remember Lazarus

n1yqh a: “the 11th commandment”

ddavitt: Not is honest; she doubts anyone will believe her and doesn’t want to get C in trouble

n1yqh a: But, iirc, the characters that are shown “not getting caught” in a positive light are those responsible enough to not be a Clark…

ddavitt: Show me where she is incompetent? If she had put the trips into one of those awful creches I would agree.

AGplusone:I didn’t say she was incompetent … said she taught her child inferiority and lack of self-confidence … 11th commandment doesn’t apply to children, says me ex >cathedra … show me where in a juvenile Heinlein said it did.

n1yqh a: Maureen Smith in TSBtS, but she was at puberty at the time so arguably not a kid anymore.

AGplusone:and taught her children to be insincere, devious, etc.

ddavitt: Poddy firmly believes it’s a man’s world; she may be simply telling the truth and her mother is a very unusual woman.

n1yqh a: (not saying that Mrs. Fries was incompetent, just pointing out that your “she must have been a good engineer” doesn’t imply anything at all about parenting)

AGplusone:A “lap sitter” for God’s sake!

ddavitt: No, I agree with that.Poddy is a tart, yes.But that could just be Poddy; no need to blame her mum.What about her father? Why not give him equal flak?

AGplusone:Holly wasn’t, was she … true but who is the major female influence?I’ll send up enough flack for him to handle too.

ddavitt: Usually it’s not your mother….

AGplusone:No … name another.

ddavitt: Slightly older peer probably.

n1yqh a: It’s been a while since I read it (I was planning to be camping tonight, so didn’t read up for this – sorry), but IIRC Mrs. Fries’ career came first while Poddy and Clark were kids in a big way; granted, this changed when the twins came along, but…

ddavitt: Girdie fits the bill in the story.

AGplusone:Who … my mother and sister would disagree w/you btw, BIG time.

n1yqh a: Not that there’s anything wrong with a career coming first, but like anything else, if taken to excess…

ddavitt: Different families…..

AGplusone:Girdie’s a passing influence, a train in the night.

ddavitt: Why is it taken to excess? most women manage to work and have kids without the kids suffering.

ddavitt: Put it this way; when she was away just who was looking after P and C?

AGplusone:She’s got to find that devious approach from someone … but I don’t want to beat it to death. No one …

ddavitt: If it was their dad, I can’t see that anyone could complain about that.

AGplusone:Tom’s devious enough for a dozen… but someone’s the example. I nominate mom.

ddavitt: insufficient data….

stephenveiss: Devious or not, I still liked Tom as a character. But without knowing more about Pods family, I dont think well know who is to blame.

AGplusone:All the data we got … when the balloon goes up, that’s what you go with.

n1yqh a: Let’s just agree to blame whoever it was that brought them up without knowing who it was?[g]

stephenveiss: sounds fair

dwrighsr:I really think that you are all being too hard on Poddy. I don’t see her as being as that devious, tartish or any of the other opprobrious epithets

ddavitt: Only if you see a child as coming into the world as a blank slate

AGplusone:You have a reasonable position, Stephen … I’ll agree with it … she’s a tease, Dave … I don’t like that.

dwrighsr:ditto on the elder Fries.

AGplusone:It rhymes …

ddavitt: Her approach to the captain, old enough to be her father was pretty awful. There’s a word for that sort of behaviour which I won’t use in public….

dwrighsr:Not anything like the teases I knew!

ddavitt: carries on to use it on Dexter, though he doesn’t qualify for much sympathy.

AGplusone:Did you envy the Breeze family btw … ? [True, about other teases, but still a real sour note in her makeup]Wouldn’t you love to be able to spend full time raising your kids, financial future secure, and still young ?

ddavitt: In what way envy?

stephenveiss: I wouldn’t trust the tanks. Reminds me too much of Cryo-Randy!

ddavitt: Sounds good but that’s what we do more now; I had Eleanor when I was 31; used to be considered a high risk, elderly prima grava. Now it’s common.

AGplusone:Cannot tell you the hours and days I had to stay at the office and file that g-d brief and how bitterly I felt later.

ddavitt: I had a ten year career, now I’m on a break until she’s full time at school except; NEWS FLASH I found out this week that I’m pregnant again; due in November.


n1yqh a: Congratulations!

stephenveiss: Congrats!

ddavitt: Thanks!

TAWN3: Congrats.

AGplusone:Sounds like your break just got extended. and yes, congrats!

ddavitt: yes, dammit, just got my SIN as well and started job hunting!

ddavitt: What do people think of the Holly tie in then?

n1yqh a: heh.. .that’s what happened to my mom, too…I came along, four years later it was my sis, four years after that my brother…[g]

AGplusone:It’s okay if you and David name him David. I rarely exercise my copyright.

ddavitt: No way! No child of mine will be called Junior (emoticon) Aanyway, we have never agreed on a boy’s name so it has to be a girl

stephenveiss: good plan

ddavitt: I still feel that Heinlein’s POV altered in the six years between the two stories.

n1yqh a: I dunno if it was his POV changing, as much as one story being about a romantic idealist and the other being about a (mostly) practical down-to-earth (err, down-to-moon?) type…

AGplusone:Not a chance. His intended audience altered.

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

ddavitt: What made Holly’s dream more realsitic though?

stephenveiss: Hi!

ddavitt: Hi Will

AGplusone:Thanks for reminding me Will. Welcome.

dwrighsr:Hi Will

n1yqh a: She had a much more realistic goal in life with regards to her background…

geeairmoe2: Sorry I’m late. Workin’ on m’ novel.

n1yqh a: And hi, Will..

ddavitt: Ship designers are not that common; probably more pilots and captains?

AGplusone:Holly was properly preparing for it, without the inferiority complex.

TAWN3: Hi Will.

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

stephenveiss: Hi!

dwrighsr:Greeting Sean

AGplusone:And Holly didn’t have a problem with ‘patience’!

ddavitt: She was doing a good job but when I first read it I thought she was playing rather than really designing.

Gaeltachta: Gidday! Sorry I’m late.

ddavitt: Hi Sean!


stephenveiss: Mornin!

Gaeltachta: Hi all.

AGplusone:Nice catch on Ariel!

ddavitt: Took a few re reads to see she meant it. Yes, I really liked that tie in Sean

Gaeltachta: Thanks David. You know I like those things.

ddavitt: Fun to spot the connections.

Gaeltachta: But have we made much sense out of it?

ddavitt: Just wonder if we’re being too clever and Heinlein didn’t intend them…_

n1yqh a: I never thought that she was just playing at the Prometheus design…

ddavitt: I think it simply hints that the two stories are linked thematically

AGplusone:How many days, btw, after Poddy enlists Clark in the revenge about the two women do they land on Venus?

ddavitt: I don’t now but at the time it seemed like a hobby, a game she was playing.

Gaeltachta: Could be. I think some writers do plagiarise themselves, at times anyway.

dwrighsr:I again think that the difference in Poddy and Holly with regards to their ambitions are not that different. You can prepare for designing, but it’s harder to prepare for piloting. And remember that she actually did try to learn astrogation when she got on board.

ddavitt: Doesn’t say I don’t think

Gaeltachta: I thought a couple of weeks?

ddavitt: Yes; much harder than she thought

n1yqh a: Preparing for astrogation is lots of math (one would presume), which is arguably quite amenable to preparation…

AGplusone:(Anyone know off hand? Could it have been about six?)

stephenveiss: I’ve only just finished the book (again), and I can’t remember

ddavitt: Holly tells us she’s very bright at maths; get the impression Poddy is good but not specially so.

ddavitt: I looked.It goes straight from that to Venus.

ddavitt: Why?

geeairmoe2: The timeframes confused me a bit. She was always updating after long gaps.

ddavitt: That how long Holly and Jeff are apart?

AGplusone:It occurred to me today that Heinlein makes a big deal about it being March 9th when she tells Clark. March 9th plus 6 = Ides of March.

n1yqh a: Holly an Jeff are only apart a few days – a week maybe…

ddavitt: Don’t they cross time zones in a space ship? [g]

AGplusone:Didn’t have time to look it up before we started today …

n1yqh a: Every 3-1/2 minutes (roughly) in LEO… [g]

geeairmoe2: It jumps from the end of the solar storm to being on Venus.

ddavitt: I would put money on it not being mentioned.

Gaeltachta: The Tricorn operated on which time? Didn’t it change to suit? Like the gravity? Dunno.

AGplusone:All those Shakespearian allusions … Romeo & Juliet, Ariel … etc.

geeairmoe2: I recall later, after Clark and Poddy are kidnaped, they talk about how close the departure date is for the ship.

ddavitt: Yes; no time given; don’t think it even says how long the journey is. On Venus she says earth is “many weeks” away; what about the conference?

AGplusone:Just a wild thought …

ddavitt: seems to me the conference must have been planned months in advance; yet Tom still thinks he can keep his part in it secret? Not likely!

ddavitt: As we see from all the sabotage efforts, not likely at all.

Gaeltachta: I actually thought the “fairy” situation, especially Titania guarding the doorway was a bit lame, so I thought there must be a more subtle meaning for the bird over the door. Anyone?

ddavitt: In mythology you mean?

Gaeltachta: Yes.

ddavitt: Harpy perhaps?Dunno.

AGplusone:Then why does he presume it’ll do any good? Is he simply dumb, lazy, or a coward hiding behind wimmen ‘n children? Knowing he isn’t going to really keep it secret.Raven?

AGplusone:He did like Poe.

ddavitt: I don’t know; weak part in the plot if you ask me.

Gaeltachta: The raven?

AGplusone:quoth the Raven: nevermore

ddavitt: I thought it was another illusion shattering

geeairmoe2: I thought: the fairy not letting her through the door was a way of saying: Beware, your childhood ends if you pass through that door. You can’t believe fairies are nice any more.

ddavitt: fairies; cute, pretty, longing to see one; turns out to be a vicious thing who attacks her

geeairmoe2: Give up your childish impressions.

ddavitt: Yes, something like that. Symbolic.

Gaeltachta: The fairy (illusion) must be killed to get through the door.

ddavitt: That’s what the whole book is about; not judging on appearances.

Gaeltachta: But Poddy goes back to save the child of the fairy?

AGplusone:… and his eyes have all the seeming of a demon …

stephenveiss: She’s sentimental

Gaeltachta: Does not want to give up childhood?

ddavitt: Mrs G seems fat and jolly like Santa; evil, mercenary murderess.

ddavitt: Who does?

AGplusone:Just like Long John my namesake

geeairmoe2: Adulthood means things like political kidnapings and people who torture little boys.

ddavitt: I have to confess I’ve never read TI or Kidnapped.

geeairmoe2: Better to believe in fairies.

ddavitt: yes, who else finds it hard to think of C as 11?Would he have had the physical strength to kill her that way?

Gaeltachta: Isn’t C only 11 in Marsyears?

Gaeltachta: How old in Earth years?

ddavitt: No, six in Mars years, 11 in earth terms

AGplusone:I think in many ways Clark is the author’s voice … sure! Clark’s eleven in Earth years.

Gaeltachta: Ok

geeairmoe2: I’ve never known any 11 y’olds with 160 IQ to compare him against.

ddavitt: His IQ is 160, hers is 145. How do they rate?

AGplusone:Bigger than Poddy … how much is 60 kilos at Venus gravity …

Gaeltachta: He uses his youth to his advantage.

ddavitt: Is that pretty good?

geeairmoe2: Isn’t 130 IQ genius?

ddavitt: They are heavier but I’m thinking of the neck snapping of a fat woman.

ddavitt: Don’t know…

AGplusone:It’s excellent … 160 is really beyond the scale … all problematical there.

ddavitt: So Poddy is super duper too?


ddavitt: In that case why not make a pilot?

stephenveiss: who says it the same IQ scale we use?

AGplusone:Lacks patience … Clark says so …

Gaeltachta: We would have to assume that re. IQ.

geeairmoe2: There seems to be a difference between “Captain” and “pilot”.

AGplusone:She doesn’t think things through because she lacks patience …

n1yqh a: The numbers seem to make sense in that she was supposed to be really smart and he was supposed to be totally brilliant…

ddavitt: Yes, pilot she told people about, captain she kept quiet for fear of ridicule

ddavitt: I take it there aren’t any female captains; none get mentioned as role models anyway.

ddavitt: Holly tells us her mother is nearly as bright as she is….pinch of salt needed?

AGplusone:… pilot met the expectations she thought they though a foolish little girl might have … what a way to think. I cannot threaten a man!

ddavitt: Or just honest self appraisal a la Peewee?

Gaeltachta: Why the difference to ST, where females in fact make the best pilots?

ddavitt: Why indeed.And Farmer in the Sky has women pilots.

AGplusone:And Poddy’s readers surely had read ST.

geeairmoe2: What was the point, during the solar storm, of having Poddy help out with the babies?

n1yqh a: I don’t suppose anybody knows if anybody’s done any actual research on who would be better pilots?

AGplusone:And Hazel in Stones.

ddavitt: H created a nightmare world for Poddy IMO.We are supposed to have better reaction speed

AGplusone:They done research. Reactions are better.


n1yqh a: G-tolerance also?

ddavitt: Maybe, I would say it’s down to an individual.

AGplusone:So they say …

ddavitt: But once a month we’ll crash the plane….

stephenveiss: would g’s be a problem on spaceships? The ones in RAH dont seem to get much of an acceleration (0.1 G for tricord, iirc)

n1yqh a: Just that women tend to be slightly less suicidal so they don’t strap on jets as often these days?[g]

dwrighsr:I think that Jane is right.The big differences I see in Holly, Poddy, ST and others are the differences in their world environment. Poddy’s simply didn’t provide for female pilot’s, much less captains.

Gaeltachta: RAH had problems with the editor at Scribners (who was a female) – any connections here?

AGplusone:But look at what that Navy pilot who killed herself in the crash ran into, posthumously.

ddavitt: So why did Heinlein put her there? What was he telling us?He says he liked Puddin so much he sent her to Mars; this is what you do to a character you like?

geeairmoe2: Maybe RAH was saying: have your dreams, but realize the limits of reality.

dwrighsr:Puddin’s world was not that much different _

AGplusone:Maybe just a family environment? How can daughter of a super-engineer grow up thinking that … ?

ddavitt: She has brilliant parents but it made her self reliant.So did Peewee

AGplusone:All we know is what Poddy tells us… for all we know, the Rolling Stone passed them outbound.

geeairmoe2: Poddy may have been “rebelling” against the unforgiving rationalism of engineering.

ddavitt: Yes, it’s frustrating not knowing which timelines the books are on; wish sometimes they all fitted into the same framework.

AGplusone:With Hazel looking over Roger’s shoulder and Meade studying piloting …

Gaeltachta: I can’t help feeling PoM was finished in a hurry, perhaps to work on something else? What did RAH work on next? He may already have been thinking about it?

ddavitt: Still, the Little people and the dragons are both good characters. Hate to lose one race.

geeairmoe2: I had that “hurried” sense about PoM, too.

AGplusone:Let me check Bill’s sketch

ddavitt: Glory Road maybe?

geeairmoe2: Noticed in “Grumbles” the original ending didn’t have Uncle Tom reaming the parents for neglect.

dwrighsr:He did Glory in 23 days or so I have heard.

ddavitt: Unbelievable isn’t it?

n1yqh a: I don’t know how good a parent an engineer would make (speaking as one); as a stereotype which is regrettably accurate lots of times, we tend to favor logic over emotion, which isn’t necessarily the way to raise a kid…

ddavitt: especially with a typewriter not a PC

dwrighsr:A PC would have taken 2 months. what with crashes etc. _

ddavitt: Yes, that’s why I say if you ignore that ending then there is precious little else in the book to condemn them on.I just read the new Poddy with all the essays on the endings; fascinating reading.

geeairmoe2: Her mother seemed quite solicitous of the triplets.

stephenveiss: As I said, we dont know who to blame

ddavitt: quite; in my experience you’re a baby person or you’re not, doesn’t switch on and off for different kids.

Gaeltachta: Sorry all – gotta go for now. Sunday lunchtime here, and the parents have arrived. Can someone send me a log of this discussion please?

n1yqh a: Her mom seemed much more solicitous of the triplets than Poddy and Clark…

ddavitt: Bye Sean, see you later.

stephenveiss: Bye!

dwrighsr:There is no evidence to say that Poddy’s mother didn’t spend the time with her and Clark in their early years

ddavitt: They were babies! they take over your life those first few weeks.

Gaeltachta has left the room.

AGplusone:Sure will. Think I’ll start sending out a log to everyone if you all don’t mind.

ddavitt: Remember they weren’t expected or planned for and three at once is a hell of a lot of work.

geeairmoe2: I was wondering about the mother’s “neglect”. Poddy does say she watched over him a lot, but doesn’t any older sibling feel they waste too much time looking after the younger?

ddavitt: If she was a bad parent they would have been in that creche, pick them up in a year.I looked after my little brother; I empathised with Poddy in that area.

geeairmoe2: Reading the “original” ending made me think RAH just tacked the “neglect” part on.

TAWN3: Bye

ddavitt: It was suggested that it was to be a subtle message, culminating in P’s death. when she lived it had to be rubbed in more firmly.

dwrighsr:Supposedly, he was trying to show that through her death, but when that ending had to be changed, he added in that part to show it more directly.

ddavitt: So, if we vote, who here thinks Poddy should’ve died?I vote no.

stephenveiss: Not me, but I’m always the optimist

geeairmoe2: Tough call, but I’d say ‘no’.

dwrighsr:I just read the essays myself. Frankly, I agree that her death would have really turned me off on the book, In fact, I actually thought the first time that I read it that she had died and it was only on re-reading it did I catch it correctly.

ddavitt: Same here.

dwrighsr:My shock at her ‘dying’ was awful.

ddavitt: We are not voting the way the readers did then. Strange.

n1yqh a: I would prefer to have seen her live, but I think having her die fit the book better…

geeairmoe2: If he had killed her off, and PoM was my first Heinlein, then I doubt I would have read anything else he wrote. dwrighsr:Yeah. I noticed that. Most of them seemed to think she should have died for ‘literary purity’s sake’ or did I mis- read that too.

ddavitt: Because she was a girl?

AGplusone:I think the tale works either way …

ddavitt: goes against instincts to have her die?

dwrighsr:Save the women and children _

n1yqh a: Makes a much stronger point to have her die….

geeairmoe2: I think the parents should have the opportunity to redeem themselves. A dead Poddy might have made them too guilty.

ddavitt: The essays were very good but I maintain any lesson which needs a child’s death to be learned is not worth the price.

dwrighsr:Frankly. I guess that I am an ‘escapist’, much as I hated that tag when I was young, but Life sucks and I would just as soon read something that wasn’t the same

ddavitt: Yes but look at it; what did they do that made Poddy go out and rescue Clark alone? Not the act of an insecure person.

ddavitt: Why are they to blame for her decision?

AGplusone:Author of Romeo & Juliet might disagree.

ddavitt: Clark kills a bad person but up to then he’s done nothing wrong morally; just practical jokes. He could’ve really hurt Royer and Garcia instead of humiliating them

ddavitt: Juliet was an adult in her era.

ddavitt: Spelling getting worse here…

geeairmoe2: I think it was impressed too deeply on Poddy that she was responsible for Clark. She did, however, tried to contact others before she went after Clark herself.

ddavitt: Her mother had J when she was 13; J was 14.Yes and where the hell was Tom? How did he get there before her? Or was she kept drugged while he was captured?

AGplusone:Neither’s Poddy. She graduated high school. Letting her jump on his stomach … pervert!


ddavitt: She’s only 15 nearly 16; in our culture that’s a child.Might be different in her world.She can have a limited marriage at 16 but so can we in the UK; well, a full marriage actually.

AGplusone:What was it that he put at the beginning of Glory Road?

geeairmoe2: Something about some peon of Caeser thinking his morals are everyone’s morals.

ddavitt: Just checked; Glory Road was written after POM but Poddy was serialised first; what ending was used in the magazine?

AGplusone:s’thin like that …

AGplusone:The same one as the Putnam novel.

TAWN3: Hey all, I have to go. Verrrry tired. It has been nice just kicking back and listening.See you all in two weeks!

ddavitt: Is GR as depressing?I suppose it is in some ways.

geeairmoe2: Caesar is not proper…. How? …. … he is a barbarian and thinks his customs are the laws of nature.

dwrighsr:So long

AGplusone:See ya, Tawn …

ddavitt: H reacting to world events?

ddavitt: Bye

TAWN3 has left the room.

stephenveiss: bye

geeairmoe2: What are we doing for next time?

AGplusone:So in her culture, which is the frontier, she’s an adult… Doing “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

ddavitt: What is the connection between those two stories David?Two major inventions and how they affected society?

dwrighsr:BTW, I just saw the new Baen releases of ‘The Man who Sold…’ I thought the cover was atrocious

AGplusone:First two in FH chronology …

ddavitt: Not seen that; rarely check H in a bookshop as I’ve got them all _

ddavitt: Ah!

AGplusone:We’re going to alternate FH stories every other meeting from now on … and have ‘deep’ themes on the odd date … _ whatever that turns out to be.

dwrighsr:I’ve had some odd dates in my time (emoticon)

ddavitt: Pat the sell by date huh?That was quite funny when I thought it…..

dwrighsr:Must be that Brit sense of humor

geeairmoe2: Made me chuckle.

ddavitt: We get packages of dates at Christmas, sticky and brown, never get eaten. Traditional….

AGplusone:Like fruitcakes in the US. You get one from grannie, and send it to aunt Jane next year.

ddavitt: We have them too; my mum makes ours in August and feeds it rum weekly till Dec. Very nice too.

AGplusone:What else in Podkayne?

ddavitt: What about the politics of Venus?

geeairmoe2: We keep getting holiday tins of popcorn: buttered, caramel, or cheese.

dwrighsr:Poddy turned into a ’empathy therapist’

in NOTB didn’t she?

geeairmoe2: Venus didn’t have politics. There was THE


ddavitt: Reminds me of the system in NOTB on the

planet where they do eye for an eye


ddavitt: Yes, whatever that is.

geeairmoe2: “I feel your pain.”

ddavitt: Nothing much is illegal; but you pay for

your fun

AGplusone:Yes! The difference between free

capitalism, nearly the Golden Rule in

Cat, isn’t it.

geeairmoe2: Do what you will; just make sure the

House gets its cut.

ddavitt: H definitely used it over and over but

with less approval when it came to Golden

Rule.Still, Colin was happy there until

he met Gwen.Or until his world got

turned upside down by ….something or


AGplusone:Until they evicted him … so solly Charlie …

ddavitt: STILL don’t get all of that; they went after him because he would save Mike. If they hadn’t gone after him he wouldn’t have saved Mike…. Would have told Hazel to get lost and gone back to writing I think…

geeairmoe2: RAH seemed to say: We all have larceny in our hearts, and the world will be a better place if we just accept that notion, and cater to it.

ddavitt: Paradox.Could be; legislate for people not angels.

geeairmoe2: After all, when the rubber meets the road, we are our own highest priority.

AGplusone:I maintain RAH was an anti-corporation type from birth to his dying day, despite the flavor of folk he voted for … little “p” Populist.

dwrighsr:I doubt that ‘free capitalism’ bureaucracy is anything more or less obnoxious than ‘our democratic’ bureaucracy. Just had my run in this last with Social Security. According to them I married my wife when she was six.

ddavitt: Enterprising of you!

AGplusone:LOL … what’s the statute of limitations on that.

ddavitt: look at shipstones in friday.

dwrighsr:And all of her earning records before her birthdate are gone!

ddavitt: Bill Gates like in many ways.

geeairmoe2: Social Security still had my mother married to her first husband after she’d and my father had been married 35 years.

AGplusone:Which is great if you know “where do you want to go today!”

ddavitt: I used to work for Soc Security in the UK; hard to change stuff, I know, I’ve tried.

geeairmoe2: Privatise! Privatise! privatise!

dwrighsr:Well, at least, ‘our bureaucracy’ does it for noble purposes, not crass commericialism [Heavy sarcasm]

ddavitt: Let’s move to Venus and take our chances with the fairies and the happy dust.

AGplusone:I’m f’um the guvm’t. I’m here to he’p you. Jane doesn’t want to know what lie number three is.

dwrighsr:One of my biggest disappointments was that Venus and Mars didn’t turn out like I had read them in Heinlein

ddavitt: Do! Do!

AGplusone:Actually I was from the NLRB for years.

ddavitt: Yes, reality isn’t half as much fun.

geeairmoe2: Mars still has possibilities.

dwrighsr:That’s was I said. Give me a good story any day, not reality

ddavitt: But no bouncers….

n1yqh a: I’m still hoping that all of the Mars probes we’ve lost mean that there’s something there…. [g]

geeairmoe2: But we can’t even land a probe on there.

stephenveiss: we managed one or two, didn’t we?

ddavitt: That proves it, doesn’t it? _

ddavitt: David helped build one of them…

geeairmoe2: 25 years ago.Is that an indictment of current education, or what? We need to call back all the Apollo people.

n1yqh a: I saw a great cartoon a couple of months ago – “a successful Mars probe landing is followed by a sudden crash research project in interplanetary nuclear weapons” (the picture was some Pokemon type things pointing ray guns at the lander)

n1yqh a: We landed one about two years ago – Pathfinder (and the amazingly popular rover, Sojourner)

AGplusone:I dont think it proves much of anything … we still don’t know what’s there … and we are going cheap is good … silly us.

geeairmoe2: And we got the moon, just sittin’ there, doing nothin’.

ddavitt: waiting for the convicts….

dwrighsr:Where’s Harriman when you need him?

stephenveiss: Some lucky alternate NOTB universe…

n1yqh a: The moon is kinda useless, in many ways – no significant hydrogen or nitrogen that we know of…My vote’s for Mars, or the asteroids…

AGplusone:On the front cover of TMWSTM … the new one?

ddavitt: I’ll buy one of those cards he had the kiddies saving pennies for…

dwrighsr:Talk about dishonesty _

ddavitt: Mars has possibilities but we need to be able to cut down the journey time a bit.

n1yqh a: Read sci.space.policy sometime – they argue about this stuff all the time… _

dwrighsr:’swindling kids’ as I recall the phrase from his associate

AGplusone:Bet they paid off finally …

geeairmoe2: We can use the Moon for practice, to find out what works best, then go after bigger things.

ddavitt: logistics of keeping a colony alive until the next ship arrives would be tricky.

AGplusone:with deeds to swamp land in Newer Florida crater.

ddavitt: we aren’t going because there _are_ diamonds there and the diamond monopoly is blocking it.[g]

geeairmoe2: How about a series of “stepping stone” space stations to lessen the danger. “Misfit” had a plan like that, moving asteroids around and using them for stops.

n1yqh a: All we need is a Holly to design us a Prometheus and her dad to discover a star drive for it… [g]

ddavitt: Sounds good to me.

n1yqh a: By the time we *can* move asteroids, we won’t *need* to…

stephenveiss: Asteroid mining, perhaps?

geeairmoe2: What I’d prefer is the “gates”, like in Tunnel. Step through, and you’re there.

stephenveiss: would be easier if the asteroids were in earth orbit

ddavitt: That’s life; now I can drink all I want and stay up late, I haven’t got the energy.

n1yqh a: Mining, sure, but to move an entire asteroid would require enough propulsion to make the need to move them for way stations unnecessary (if we can do that, travel time wouldn’t be long enough to need them)

geeairmoe2: Staying up all night was a triumph. Now its called insomnia.

ddavitt: can’t remember the last time I did that…way way back.

AGplusone:What would be easier… terraforming Mars, or terraforming EM-3 in earth orbit?

ddavitt: OT; did you see Sir Stan’s funeral Stephen? It wasn’t on Canadian TV which surprised me.

stephenveiss: If you were prepared to wait, or used something like Jupiter’s gravity to slingshot it, you wouldn’t need that much delta vee

stephenveiss: No, I didn’t, I’m afraid.

ddavitt: Distant relative on dad’s side…

AGplusone:For that matter, why not move Venus to one third point, Mars to the other, and we’d have three in orbit at Earth orbit?

n1yqh a: Depends on the composition of EM-3; Mars we know (well, think) has lots of water; that’s kinda needed for terraforming.

AGplusone:See above

ddavitt: Do what Zeb and Jake were planning you mean?


n1yqh a: “By the time we could….”[g]

geeairmoe2: In “Misfit”, didn’t they just stick little rockets on the asteroids?

ddavitt: Wouldn’t that have adverse effects on the other planets?

n1yqh a: Yeah, atomic rockets IIRC.

stephenveiss: Haven’t read “Misfit,” but they did something similar in Asimov’s “The Martian Way,” to move ice asteroids

AGplusone:Or for that matter we could use the planet that got rotated 90 degrees after a decade or so …

n1yqh a: Not really – moving Jupiter would, but Venus and Mars are small enough that they wouldn’t have *too* much of an effect.

AGplusone:waste not, want not.

ddavitt: Moved planets and stars in Doc Smith as weapons.

ddavitt: BIG bang!!

n1yqh a: Why go to Uranus (?) for ice?Just grab a passing comet…

AGplusone:Think how happy the ghosts of the wormfaces would be ….

ddavitt: Poor things!

n1yqh a: (maybe it was Saturn… oooh, goody, time to reread “The Martian Way” again! [g])

AGplusone:_= (emoticon)

ddavitt: Think of them when you minch your next steak….

ddavitt: munch.

AGplusone:I cannot make my vampire here!

ddavitt: (emoticon)

geeairmoe2: Steak through his heart?

n1yqh a: yep, drive it right through with a meat mallet.

ddavitt: They thought of us as steak; and died for it. Veggies unite!

AGplusone:Speaking of which, Stephen. Get Jani that Operation Chaos!

stephenveiss: ? Operation Chaos?

ddavitt: I’m looking for that too; sounds fun.

AGplusone:She’ll love it.

ddavitt: Poul Anderson stories.

n1yqh a: Oh, yeah, I just read Operation Chaos and Operation Luna a few weeks ago – they were great…

AGplusone:by Poul Anderson

stephenveiss: I’ll look in our bookstall for it…

ddavitt: Do you ever get to Fantasy World in Hanley?

dwrighsr:They are the ones in the “Magic, Inc.” universe?

AGplusone:We’re probably going to have them, Magic Inc, etc., for one of the ‘deep’ topics, Mike.

ddavitt: has lots of US imports (or it did)

stephenveiss: No, only my local market stall


ddavitt: Is Stoke far from you?

stephenveiss: But about half of it is scifi.Not too far, but rail access to Stoke isn’t fun.

ddavitt: No, all change at dear old Crewe

n1yqh a: So when exactly do you have to wake up tomorrow morning, Stephen?_

stephenveiss: EEEK! I have seen enough of Crewe for one lifetime!! (but Wolverhampton is worse)

ddavitt: Yes, you’re very alert!

stephenveiss: Tommorrow? some time in the afternoon _

ddavitt: One visit is enough for Crewe station. I once spent New Year’s Eve in the waiting room at Stone station; not recommended.

n1yqh a: Err – “later today”, sorry.. [g]

stephenveiss: [g] At least I dont have to drag myself to school tomorrow

n1yqh a: It’d be good practice for college (assuming yours are anything like ours… [g])

stephenveiss: (emoticon)

ddavitt: well, all this talk is making me sleepy now so I’ll disappear. Enjoyed the chat, ee you next time!

stephenveiss: Bye!

dwrighsr:See ya!

n1yqh a: later…

ddavitt has left the room.

AGplusone:I’m ready to go “pop” guys …

geeairmoe2: I need to get back to my word processor anyway.

n1yqh a: And you’re in a time zone about as early as anybody, too…(so am I, but that’s besides the point…)

AGplusone:It was a great basketball game! Took a lot out of me watching it.

geeairmoe2: Until next time . . .

AGplusone:One point diff, last second shot. Thanks for coming Will, as always.

dwrighsr:So long. Farewell. auf Wiedersehen, Good night

geeairmoe2: I’ll try to be on time next time.

stephenveiss: G’Morning

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

AGplusone:Do you know what the Eidelweiss was a symbol of, David.

n1yqh a: G’Evening (is that an acceptable contraction?[g])

AGplusone:During WWII, in Germany?


AGplusone:Substitute for a masonic pin. Hitler outlawed them.

dwrighsr:Neat. Never new that.

dwrighsr:knew not new

AGplusone:We oughta have a topic on “If This Goes On … ” some time.

dwrighsr:Were you around when I told the story about my father and ‘IF…’

AGplusone:Masons, oldest subversive organization in the world.

AGplusone:No … GA.

dwrighsr:My father was no reader. I doubt that he ever read a book in his life. He derided me quite a bit about my having my nose in a book all the time.. more to come

AGplusone:okay … I’m eagerly awaiting this …

dwrighsr:He was a mason. One day he saw me reading ‘Revolt…’ and said ‘that guy knows a lot about the Masons’. He said nothing more. I have always wondered just how he knew what was in it. My best guess was that it was common knowledge around the lodge where Dad picked it up.

AGplusone:It is … we think he was one of us, despite lack of proof and Ginny’s denial.


AGplusone:But ’tain’t necessarily so … there are enough ‘expose’ masonry books that he could have researched it and come close.

dwrighsr:I suspect that he was, probably before he married Ginny.

AGplusone:Like there’s no proof in currently available Boy Scout record from KC that he was a scout. But he was.He tells us so in the note in the Scout story in Requiem.

dwrighsr:That bit in the AOL log about his family being put out of business by International Harvester. Do you know more about that?

AGplusone:What Bill printed in his sketch in vol 5 of the HJ

dwrighsr:Unfortunately, Haven’t read it. I’ll have to see if I can get a subscription.

AGplusone:And Phillip Owenby put in his PhD dis. Write or e mail or to Bill Patterson,602 West Bennett Ave Glendora, CA 91741

stephenveiss: gtg…bye

stephenveiss has left the room.

AGplusone:g’nite steve

AGplusone:Twice yearly, Jan and July. I think they’re well worth it.

dwrighsr:To be truthful, Bill’s analyses are pretty deep for me. As I said, I am not an analytical person. I just like good stories and whatever else you say about RAH. He was a ‘story teller’

n1yqh a: a latter day bard, so to speak…

AGplusone:I do too, but the journal isn’t all that esoteric.Some very hard-headed writing in it.

dwrighsr:I’ll give it a try.

n1yqh a: I might too…

dwrighsr:Jane had a couple of articles, didn’t


AGplusone:I’ll try to get some of it up this month. Yes, she did.

dwrighsr:nlyqh a? is that a Welsh name _

n1yqh a: Heh… err,no.It’s my ham radio callsign, with an “a” because I lost the password for the original one… _


dwrighsr:Keep it clean, David

n1yqh a: Err – Just a “tech” license, which means that I never bothered to learn Morse and all the abbreviations that go along with it…

dwrighsr:I tried to learn to be a ham about 50 years ago. Learned Morse, but was never able to get any speed. My brother-in-law is a ham from way back W40YX

n1yqh a: (that and it’s N[numeral one]YQH… [g]

dwrighsr:In those days, you had to learn Morse first.

n1yqh a: I just got the license so I could play with an HT – 5 watts out at a choice of 144MHz or 440MHz beats the hell out of those Motorola “family band” radios… [G]

n1yqh a: It’s only about five years ago that they made the “no-code tech” (i.e. what I have).Just about a month ago, they vastly reduced the Morse requirements for all classes such that even the highest classes only require 5 words/minute (down from 30 or 40 iirc)

AGplusone:That signal means: what is the strength and legibility of my signal? … in Morse. I pounded a bug a long time ago for the Army.

n1yqh a: I’ve always been more into building them then using them… _

dwrighsr:How long have you been reading Heinlein?

AGplusone:Wouldn’t know the transmitter from the receiver if it wasn’t labeled.

AGplusone:me, since eleven, ’53

n1yqh a: I rather suspect that both of you have been reading RAH longer than I’ve been alive – I’m only 22…Been reading RAH since middle school, so about eleven years ago (Space Cadet or The Star Beast or Farmer in the Sky would have been my first, as they were the ones that the middle school library had)

dwrighsr:Yeah both of us Davids are old guys. I will be 60 in May, and I also started reading him in 53

n1yqh a: I guessed from the “dwright*sr*” that you weren’t a kid…

dwrighsr:But don’t worry about being young. As Poddy said that old age is a condition that everyone gets to sooner or later _

AGplusone:I’m class of ’42 … a leetle younger.

n1yqh a: I’d prefer to be compared to Holly rather than Poddy, given how they ended up… _

AGplusone:But you have to have good eyes to tell the difference.

dwrighsr:Yeah. When I went on-line. my son already had dwright and my isp wouldn’t take dwrightsr so I had to shorten it to dwrighsr

n1yqh a: Stange, I never seem to have the problem of somebody else having “n1yqh”… _

dwrighsr:I presume you have a first name other than n1…

AGplusone:I finally got my full name on AOL

n1yqh a: “Mike” – I post to afh as “” Ewwww… AOL….[g]

AGplusone:Haven’t used it yet … but it’s mine!

dwrighsr:Yeah. I was going to say.

AGplusone:Ewww too ….

n1yqh a: I’ve had to talk waaay too many of my friends through simple stuff that AOL has trouble supporting – the most infamous being MIME-encoded email files…

dwrighsr:And look what you had to do to get it AOL!

AGplusone:. Well, if loop.com, my ISP ever gives me enough letters ….

dwrighsr:However, I have to admit that my ISP is not the coolest in the world. I had to abandon their news server as it was dropping about 70% of my afh messages.

n1yqh a: I just use my account from school for mail and news – telnet in – and whatever is local for an ISP…Usually NetZero, but I’m in one place for six months this spring so I splurged on a cable modem…

AGplusone:Everyone was having trouble that week. Ten of my posts never showed up. Wonder if Y2K really happened and no one admitted it.

dwrighsr:I encountered a holdover y2k problem with my own software yesterday. One of my programs uses a construct with an error that doesn’t recognize the leap year this year and the date filed in the record was one day later than the actual date. Got to find it and fix it.

dwrighsr:What school is wpi.edu ?

n1yqh a: It’s nice being an end-user – I can just go and complain to the IS department if the computer at work stops working right… (emoticon)(nothing critical on the home machine, and I manage to break it quite enough anyways just for fun.. [g])

dwrighsr:That’s the trouble with writing software. I have to deal with people using it _

n1yqh a: Worcester Polytechnic Institute – a small (2400 undergrad, ~400 grad) engineering college in Worcester, MA.Just graduated in December, taking the spring and working, and starting grad school in the fall.

dwrighsr:Congrats. I’m a Georgia Tech grad myself, (among others)

n1yqh a: Engineering, so the only software I write is embedded microcontroller code.The microcontrollers very rarely call me up to ask how to run themselves… (emoticon)

dwrighsr:Lucky you. Keep the dates out of them ’embedded chips’.

AGplusone:Where grad school?

n1yqh a: I don’t think the one I’ve been using recently even has a date function available…

n1yqh a: Back to WPI – they offered me a TA job which pays tuition and a stipend, so what little motivation I had to look around went away… _

AGplusone:Nice not to have to uproot. I’m going to fade, guys … okay?

n1yqh a: Funny… I spent all of last summer and last fall off campus, and this spring – this spring will be the first time since last May that I’ve lived in one place for more than ten weeks… [g]

AGplusone:Thanks for coming … I enjoyed it. Nite …

n1yqh a: Thank *you*, for all your work putting these together…

Final End of Discussion Log

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