Tunnel In The Sky 12-09-1999

Tunnel In The Sky


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Subject: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Tue, 30 November 1999 11:43 PM EST

From: AGplusone

The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group

Notice of Next Meeting

Thursday, December 9, 1999, from 9 PM to midnight, in The BC Salon III, on AOL, and Saturday, December 11, 1999, from 8 to 10 PM, ET, on the Internet in an AIM chatroom.

Topic: “Developmental Themes, Revisited, in the juvenile stories”

Readings: Heinlein’s ‘juvenile’ novels Tunnel in the Sky (’55) and Time for the Stars (’56).

Continuing in our chronological discussion of Heinlein’s juveniles, one feature of Heinlein’s writings has always appealed to me. He’s never finished with a topic. No matter where you find a discussion, no matter how final his thoughts seems to be on it, read on. A novel or story or two later, you’ll find him revisiting the point, find he’s scraped a few layers off it, added some complication, and he’s discussing it again.

In Starman Jones, one novel we’ve just finished, among other character themes, there’s Max Jones’ lack of sophistication. Sam Anderson tells him at one point, “you’re a good boy, Max, but there just ain’t no demand for good boys.” In the other, The Rolling Stones, father Roger Stone has a favorite joke he uses in arguments with the Unheavenly Twins, that he’s always been fairly certain one is a ‘spare’ and might safely be left behind–a joke that, if repeated on a television program today, would likely result in some children’s psychologists, or ‘advocates’ as some style themselves, muttering about ‘esteem’ and reaching for torches and pitchforks.

In the opening chapter of Tunnel in the Sky, Rodney Walker’s teacher, Dr. “Deacon” Matson while telling him he’s truly tempted not to allow Walker to take the solo survival examination, tells him “Rod, you’re a good boy … but sometimes that’s not enough.” Matson adds he’s not sure Rod can beware the Truce of the Bear. In the opening chapter of Time for the Stars, we find Tom and Pat Bartlett, the set of twins for this novel, are not called by everyone the ‘Unheavenly Twins’ but “Useless” and “Double Useless” by their older sisters, evidently conceived by mistake, over the quota of children allowed their parents, and brought up by their father as if he deliberately wished to make them dissatisfied for the remainder of their lives.

It appears we’re off to revisit earlier themes in both novels. What do you think about Heinlein’s thematic variations in these two novels? Would it be worthwhile to encourage today’s year 2000 youth to read these stories, written almost a half century ago? Or have we gone beyond lessons about unwanted children and the Truce of the Bear? And do you know what the “Truce of the Bear” is? Rod didn’t?

Also, any other thoughts on these two novels are especially welcome. Remember, whether you attend the chat or not, we encourage you to post your thoughts for they certainly will be helpful to all of us; and please also remember to contact me at or if you need information on how to attend either the Thursday chat on AOL or the Saturday chats on AIM. I hope to see you all in one or both chats about two weeks.




“I expect your names to shine!”

[Two Posts Omitted determining which pair of books will be under discussion]

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 02 December 1999 11:19 AM EST

From: BPRAL22169

I hadn’t thought of pairing The Star Beast with Have Space Suit, but it’s a good pairing.

So the pairing this time is Tunnel in the Sky and Time for the Stars, two very memorable juveniles. Every time we get a pairing, I say to myself “that’s one of my favorites.” Then I say about the other one, “that’s one of my favorites” too. I shamelessly seem to have about 30 favorites.

Tunnel in the Sky haunts me. The people are extremely memorable. Poul Anderson has remarked, wrt Heinlein’s thesis that man is the most dangerous wild animal, that on the contrary man is the first domesticated animal. To a certain extent, Heinlein proves both theses here. Community — civilization — is something one makes. It’s equally true that each of us, in every transaction we undertake, makes civilization for ourselves. Much has been made of the book as a critique-response to Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

W (Bill Patterson)

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 02 December 1999 01:14 PM EST

From: CandyLC

It was just me stirring up trouble–and I’m only a fair-weather lurker to this group. I had spread myself pretty thin with my reading list but have been determined to keep up with the current RAH reading schedule. I just finished Star Beast, am reading Tunnel in the Sky because I thought they were paired, but no way have time will I have time to read Time for the Stars :((. I thought I was being so clever by going by the schedule, too. I just feel like griping–don’t mind me!

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 02 December 1999 03:49 PM EST

From: AGplusone


….have been determined to keep up with the current RAH reading schedule. I just finished Star Beast, am reading Tunnel in the Sky because I thought they were paired, but no way will I have time to read Time for the Stars :((. I thought I was being so clever by going by the schedule, too. I just feel like griping–don’t mind me!….

Gripe away. It’s the prerogative of we who are at Camp Spooky Smith! And remember, Sergeants like Zim have no mothers — they reproduce by fission, like all bacteria! [VEG] I think you’ll have ample fun with Tunnel, and Star Beast isn’t wasted. We’ll be there shortly!


— AGPlusOne

“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Sat, 04 December 1999 03:07 AM EST

From: AGplusone

Bill’s response:

….Tunnel in the Sky haunts me. The people are extremely memorable. Poul Anderson has remarked, wrt Heinlein’s thesis that man is the most dangerous wild animal, that on the contrary man is the first domesticated animal. To a certain extent, Heinlein proves both theses here. Community — civilization — is something one makes. It’s equally true that each of us, in every transaction we undertake, makes civilization for ourselves. Much has been made of the book as a critique- response to Golding’s Lord of the Flies…..

intrigues me so much that I’ve begun doing something I’d vowed I’d never do again. Thirty years ago when I read a copy Golding’s LOTF, about the time the movie came out, I think, I immediately sold it back to the UCLA student book store and vowed I’d never read it again. What follows might be a little objectionable to some, so mothers: please place your hands over impressionable children’s eyes. Golding’s use of so-called Freudian symbolism annoyed me, ever so much, particularly in the scene when they kill the mother pig, that I was disgusted with the author. When I was a teenage lout, aged about sixteen or so, we had an expression, “stabbing the pig” that meant something very vulgar. I was convinced that Golding knew very well what that vulgarism meant and aghast thirty-some years ago still in my mid-twenties that the entire ‘freudian school’ of criticism was heaping phrases upon an author whose works took advantage of such a low vulgarism. This was taking the cleverness of Milton in the devil’s bestial entry into paradise far too far I felt. Perhaps that simply reflects my own unsophisticated taste, or ‘cloistered upbringing’ although six years’ service in anyone’s Army is rarely thought by many to be cloistered. I’d first read Tunnel in the Sky years earlier and at a much younger age, so not only didn’t I recognize the possibility of critique-response (the dates didn’t connect in my mind), I also thought so little of Golding’s writing of the reversion of a group of twelve-year-old and sub twelve-year-old boys to barbarism that I considered most of it to be so much overstrained ‘artistic’ nonsense. Perhaps at that age I was unfair to the author, whose writings of ‘boys’ obviously are a metaphore for humanity in general.

Okay, I surrender. I’ve picked up a copy of the thing; and I’ll read it in the next day or so. I’ll let you know what I think about RAH’s critique- response, if that’s is what it was, to LOTF.



“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Sat, 04 December 1999 03:21 AM EST

From: AGplusone

While I’m mulling over LOTF, I note for your attention I did get a response on the internet afh group to my leadoff which, oddly, hasn’t shown up on AOL newsgroup servers (glitches occur). I’m copying part of it for your pleasure, and for your consternation or total confusion, my reply: Odd thing: Jane’s Dec 1 reply to the leadoff post on this topic didn’t make it through to the AOL newsserver I’m looking at, so when Alexander and Jeannette replied to it, I looked for and found it via Netscape Communicator’s newsgroups component. Because it hasn’t shown up on AOL I quote a large portion of it entirely with my response. I’m looking forward to the response I get on this board to the afh post.

Subject: Re: RAH-RG Next meeting–Tunnel & Time4theStars

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 11:44:36 -0500

From: ddavitt []

Organization: Netcom Canada

Newsgroups: alt.fan.heinlein References: 1

AGplusone wrote:

….It appears we’re off to revisit earlier themes in both novels. What do you think about Heinlein’s thematic variations in these two novels? Would it be worthwhile to encourage today’s year 2000 youth to read these stories, written almost a half century ago? Or have we gone beyond lessons about unwanted children and the Truce of the Bear? And do you know what the “Truce of the Bear” is? Rod didn’t?

I know, I know! Actually, we discussed this Kipling poem on the ng a bit ago didn’t we? About a man who takes pity on a bear and doesn’t shoot it, only to get his face ripped off by the bear who wasn’t really so pitiful after all. Moral; Don’t trust appearances; the bear seemed to be praying for mercy but obviously wasn’t doing anything of the kind…..

Yes, we did, of course, nine months ago in February 1999, in a thread orginally denominated as “Trivia, Patrick Henry” so it may be a bit hard to find for newcomers. Since most Kipling anthologies do *not* contain this poem (it was published separate from his well-known collections) you pointed out then it can be found in “The Definitive Edition Of Rudyard Kipling’s Verse” which you noted published by Hodder and Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-01157-2 (which I should note is currently also published by Doubleday as “An Anchor Book” under ISBN 0-385-26089-X [pbk.] in the United States). Later in our discussion last February, someone else was kind enough to type and post the entire poem (appearing at pg. 273 of the American published edition), which has a certain mood and tone that shouldn’t really be missed, thus:

The Truce of the Bear (1898) by [Joseph] Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) 1939, Caroline Kipling

Yearly, with tent and rifle, our careless white men go

By the Pass called Muttianee, to shoot in the vale below.

Yearly by Muttianee he follows our white men in —

Matun, the old blind beggar, bandaged from brow to chin.

Eyeless, noseless, and lipless — toothless, broken of speech,

Seeking a dole at the doorway he mumbles his tale to each;

Over and over the story, ending as he began:

“Make ye no truce with Adam-zad — the Bear that walks like a Man!

“There was a flint in my musket — pricked and primed was the pan,

When I went hunting Adam-zad — the Bear that stands like a Man.

I looked my last on the timber, I looked my last on the snow,

When I went hunting Adam-zad fifty summers ago!

“I knew his times and his seasons, as he knew mine, that fed

By night in the ripened maizefield and robbed my house of bread.

I knew his strength and cunning, as he knew mine,that crept

At dawn to the crowded goat-pens and plundered while I slept.

“Up from his stony playground — down from his well-digged lair —

Out on the naked ridges ran Adam-zad the Bear —

Groaning, grunting, and roaring, heavy with stolen meals,

Two long marches to northward, and I was at his heels!

“Two long marches to northward, at the fall of the second night,

I came on mine enemy Adam-zad all panting from his flight.

There was a charge in the musket — pricked and primed was the pan —

My finger crooked on the trigger — when he reared up like a man.

“Horrible, hairy, human, with paws like hands in prayer,

Making his supplication rose Adam-zad the Bear!

I looked at the swaying shoulders, at the paunch’s swag and swing,

And my heart was touched with pity for the monstrous, pleading thing.

“Touched witth pity and wonder, I did not fire then. . .

I have looked no more on women — I have walked no more with men.

Nearer he tottered and nearer, with paws like hands that pray —

From brow to jaw that steel-shod paw, it ripped my face away!

“Sudden, silent, and savage, searing as flame the blow —

Faceless I fell before his feet, fifty summers ago.

I heard him grunt and chuckle — I heard him pass to his den.

He left me blind to the darkened years and the little mercy of men.

“Now ye go down in the morning with guns of the newer style,

That load (I have felt) in the middle and range (I have heard) a mile?

Luck to the white man’s rifle, that shoots so fast and true,

But — pay, and I lift my bandage and show what the Bear can do!”

(Flesh like slag in the furnace, knobbed and withered and grey —

Matun, the old blind beggar, he gives good worth for his pay.)

“Rouse him at noon in the bushes, follow and press him hard —

Not for his ragings and roarings flinch ye from Adam-zad.

“But (pay, and I put back the bandage) this is the time to fear,

When he stands up like a tired man, tottering near and near;

When he stands up as pleading, in wavering, man-brute guise,

When he veils the hate and cunning of his little, swinish eyes;

“When he shows as seeking quarter, with paws like hands in prayer

That is the time of peril — the time of the Truce of the Bear!”

Eyeless, noseless, and lipless, asking a dole at the door,

Matun, the old blind beggar, he tells it o’er and o’er;

Fumbling and feeling the rifles, warming his hands at the flame,

Hearing our careless white men talk of the morrow’s game;

Over and over the story, ending as he began: —

“There is no truce with Adam-zad, the Bear that looks like a Man!”

This wasn’t exactly the tone of all that I found among the Kipling poetry republished in my literature texts in high school, even the older texts still around forty years ago. I doubt they’ll be putting it in school texts today. This is a very dark and fierce-minded Kipling.

…Roderick has to find this out when he trusts Jock and gang to behave well because he has taken them in. They repay his welcome by trying to take over the group and almost kill him. ….

There are two guises (and two dangers) from this one set of gestures. If you visit the roads of Yellowstone Park, some zoos where the bars and, therefore, bears, are close to people, a circus or one of the infrequently rare shows of ‘performing bears’ today, you’ll see that guise assumed again and again. I suspect you’d find it up at that site up on Hudson Bay where polar bears rummage through the garbage–if they are still allowed to do so. The only comment I’d add is that in our cultures, some believe the prayerful attitude Kipling referenced seemingly taken by the hands of the bear is always more properly considered a begging, never an adoring attitude (“Jerry’s” brother is a wrathful and jealous god, he tells us) which, in the second of Rod Walker’s encounters with the brothers McGowan, Bruce McGowan takes–long after Jock (who somehow I simply cannot see begging forgiveness) had died, imploring and promising future good conduct so that he be allowed reentry to the colony, again with the consequence that forgiving Rod nearly gets killed.

The suplicant’s surprise treachery proffered by solo Bruce was always far more dangerous because of this deception than the quickly disclosed renegade’s menace maintained by Jock’s gang of four. Ironic that one can be more dangerous than four, isn’t it?

The ironic meaning is worth noting, because I’ve a theory I’ll discuss below about Tunnel in the Sky, bearing in mind that anyone’s “theory” is never more than a wild guess with pretentions.

….I like Tunnel, I like Rod, I hate the part where they get rescued and I cry at the end….

That’s odd to me, because getting on to realize the practical potential of his life in a romantic time always seems a more important point to me. There are portions of Heinlein where I do cry, but this has never been one. I kept wanting to tell the dummy to get his arse through the gate. Staying under the stated circumstances was so futile! So childish.

]The funniest bit is where Rod >muses on the Deacon and his sister getting married;

]”He decided that if two people with their lives behind them, wanted company in ]their old age, why, it was probably a good thing.”

….As she is “thirtyish” and the deacon is “old –

probably past forty” this is perhaps a little naive

even for a Heinlein boy hero but it makes me


That’s ironically funny, but not the funniest part of Tunnel. For me it’s sometimes helpful to recall the circumstances of the writing of these juveniles. We haven’t discussed it yet in any of these juvenile series threads, but Scribners, the publisher, had a gate-keeper assigned to keep watch over “Heinlein, the writer of juveniles.” Her name was Alice Dalgliesh, herself a juvenile writer of some note, in her own mind if not that of others, and very proud of the fact she’d managed to get Scribners to publish the English children’s classic, “Wind in the Willows.” A shame Disney never paid her a royalty for its cartoon adaption. Her writing forte, some of which were still in print and being sold last year according to Amazon.com’s listings, seems from associated reveiws to have been little stories sold for or to the backward five- to eight-year-old set, a typical review that intrigued me dealt with an eight-year-old boy who is afraid to walk over the hill to the other side, but nevertheless persist and overcome his infantile fears. ‘Spose we had to talk about Dalgliesh eventually, didn’t we?

There was a second familiar sticking point (the first was the ‘you’re a good boy, Rod, but …’) for me in the first chapter of Tunnel: a revisit to Malthus. The first commentary on Malthus in the juveniles was Farmer in the Sky, written 1950, five years earlier as Heinlein first really began hitting his stride as a writer of juveniles. That discussion was a rather dark lecture, delivered on the survey trip towards the end of the book, finishing with the prediction of the coming of the Four Horsemen for ‘old home Earth,’ with the speaker, a government employee, expressing his personal choice for benefit of his children and grand-children to leave his guaranteed employment with the Earth governing body to out-colonize himself. This, in large part, convinces Bill Lermer to make a final choice against returning to Earth for higher education and to remain on Ganymede. It must have been very dark portrait of the future to one whose especial forte was lecturing children of eight years to persist and overcome infantile fears. Now comes my theory: There’s nothing from the selected letters published in Grumbles from the Grave to support a theory that Dalgliesh or anyone else directly criticized RAH for the doomsdays predictions in Farmer (unless it was the fact that something not stated troubled Boy’s Life editor Crump who required RAH to submit five separate drafts before agreeing to publish it in serial form), but we know that Dalgliesh was very meddlesome about virtually everything else in Heinlein’s juveniles. There was the firestorm that arose over blanket criticisms and cuts insisted upon by her–most of which were eventually made–in the original printed version of the very popular novel Red Planet (arms bearing by Jim Marlowe’s sister and the sexual reproduction methods of Willis and the Martians were her major complaints). Miss Dalgliesh was a “Freudian” editor, seeing dark symbolism everywhere. She had “Freudian” objections to the ‘pulsing love habits’ as she termed the reproductive methods of the flat-cats in The Rolling Stones, and even objected to the name of the prospector “Old Charlie” because Charles was the name of publisher Charles Scribner. Now, old Charlie was probably capable of some odd things with those prehensible toes, but Heinlein was so annoyed at her for that he then subjected one of her girls’ books to the same bogus sort of amateur psychoanalysis. He wrote her her book was ‘dirty as hell’ citing passages [see, March 7, 1952 letter to Dalgliesh in Cp. 3, Grumbles, especially the part denominated “3”]. By the end of 1954, relations with Scribners on account of Dalgliesh’s criticism, including a letter she took upon herself to write to a critic conceding his points of criticism which Heinlein then had to disavow without calling her a liar, had soured so badly, Heinlein had long since resorted to guerrilla warfare against her editing, including his earlier use of a notorious vulgarism in naming the hero in The Star Beast, a dart that passed over Dalgliesh’s head because, in her world of simple writing for eight-year-olds, she was completely unaware of the vulgar usage.

I simply think it more likely than not that a Dagliesh criticism of the darkness of Malthusian solution was made. Or someone, at her insistence, told Heinlein to ‘lighten up’ on it. Because of all this, I believe Heinlein deliberately loaded Tunnel in the Sky with irony. Originally entitled “Schoolhouse in the Sky” the novel approaches satire at points. Aside from that, it also may have been intended as a reposte to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, published the previous year, then the current favorite of the Freudian school that Dalgliesh followed. The entire first couple chapters of Tunnel in the Sky is filled with ironic throw-away lines. Consider this: Rod plunks his ducat into the speaker in the seat and hears the commentator’s voice:

” … –the visiting minister. The prince royal was met by officials of the Terran Corporation including the Director General himself and is now being escorted to the Ratoonian enclave. After reception tonight staff level conversations will start. A spokesman close to the Director General has pointed out that, in view of the impossibility of conflict of interest between oxygen types such as ourself and the Ratoonians, any outcome of the conference must be to our advantage, the question being to what extent.”

In the American Army these days, they issue a ration to kids about Rod’s age called “MREs” (meals ready to eat). The troops, among other things, call that label a “twofer,” two lies for the price of one. The commentator hired by the Terran Corporation has just told Rod, the rest of his audience, and us, the readers, at least a ‘twofer.’

Later, the renaming of the planet to which His Serene Majesty Chairman of the Australasian ‘Republic’ has exiled two million unwanted is noted: “Heavenly Mountains” indeed! We’re told the Mongol policemen are a little too ready with their staves in urging the emigrants along; but the sheer horror is occluded. As an exercise in mathematics and the logistics of moving people and materi l figure this one out: How do you line up 2,000,000 people with bundles of their necessary possessions on their backs (the ones we all may remember seeing in newsreels of Korean or Chinese or Vietnamese civilians fleeing are usually around five feet in diameter) to squeeze them through a gate fifteen meters in width in forty-eight hours. For a starter, I suppose you could narrowly squeeze them through ranked ten across, giving each a meter and a half across the shoulders. Can you rely on them to maintain the necessary offset between files? How close together do you place them at start? Figure eight feet? Remember that five-foot bundle. How fast do they have to move? “Quick step” in the America Army is 120 thirty inch paces per minute. “Double time” is 180 per. Wanna guess how many average healthy but not conditioned eighteen year old boys will drop flat onto their faces if you double time them for as few as two minutes? Wanna go for five minutes? Possibly Chinese peasants are tougher. But how ’bout ten minutes? Ever seen an accordian? That’s what happens to unfrequently drilled troops often, even at quick step; and what happens after that starts, sometimes, we have colorful names for that I don’t really want to mention on this newsgroup, given Jani’s tastes. Waddya ‘spose is going to happen to men, women and children of all ages and states of health who are compelled to maintain that speed and spacing for a significant distance? How do you get them to the gate, in or out of that ten abreast formation? How fast and how long do they have to run to be in position for their turn? From how many different directions? How do you get them away from the second gate on “Heavenly Mountains”? How far do they have to run before they can drop? What do you do with the ones that drop out before they get into the chute? Or break their legs by tripping over their hanging tongues, if not each other? Shoot ’em? As I said, I’ll leave it to any of you as an exercise. Zim (and about twenty thousand assistant drill masters) could probably do it, with Cap Troopers–and some nifty flanking and countermarching conducted simultaneously, but … I, for one, wouldn’t want to try even with two million Cap Troopers. They’d probably shoot me within the first thirty seconds. Or give me to Helen’s Amazons. Maybe I err in calling this irony. Possibly it’s scathing sarcasm aimed at those who can’t do simple math.

Next follows, after the Conestoga interlude, Chapter 2’s description of Jesse Evelyn Ramsbotham’s invention, ending with this and one other hilariously ironic paragraph: “Ramsbotham’s discoveries eliminated the basic cause of war and solved the problem of what to do with all those dimpled babies.

[Yigads! Another twofer! Not only does he adopt the commentator’s twofer, but unless lining them up ten abreast solves the problem, we gotta threefor! They can crawl through the gates at 180 per plus, I suppose, to the newly renamed “Heavenly Crib.”] A hundred thousand planets were no further away than the other side of the street.

[Uh-huh, but getting to point where you step off the sidewalk may pose a leeetle problem tougher than simply looking to the left, or is it right, for cross traffic, as we’ve seen.]

Virgin continents, raw wilderness, fecund jungles, killing deserts, frozen tundras, and implacable mountains

[You forgot to list the ‘fires of hell’ which fit right here, Robert!] lay just beyond the city gates, [What was the reason they put gates there in the first place? Ah, I recall, to keep out the Gauls. What happened to the geese that used to be here? What’s Horatio doing over there on the bridge?] and the human race was again going out to where the street lights do not shine, out where there was no friendly cop [not even an insensitive corrupt brutal racist pig!] on the corner, nor indeed a corner, out where there were no well-hung, tender steaks [yum!], no boneless hams [yum!], no packaged, processed foods [what? no Cheezwiz! Oh, horrors!] suitable for delicate minds and pampered bodies. The biped omnivore again had need of his biting, tearing animal teeth, for the race was spilling out (as it had so often before) to kill or be killed, eat or be eaten.”

The final hilarious joke is in the next paragraph: “… and the most urbanized, mechanized, and civilized, and most upholstered and luxurious civilization in all of history trained its best children, its potential leaders, in primitive pioneer survival–man against nature.” Uh-huh, just like Imperial Rome did, say about the fourth century of the Christian era. [Well, we’ve gotta admit that Baden-Powell tried at the beginning of this century too, didn’t he?]. Oh, yes, next section of Chapter 2 we’ll meet sister Helen, in an era in which the basic cause of war has been eliminated, and in which there is “impossibility of conflict of interest between oxygen types such as ourself and the Ratoonians,” trained and ready to do exactly what when she takes that dress chrome corselet off? About this point, I’m muttering things like “Mithra take you, Robert Heinlein!” and looking around to make sure somebody like Iunio, who we’ll meet in another couple books, isn’t in the wings.

Jane continued:

….I am not so keen on Time because it seems so bleak [Snip the rest. Let’s get to Time for the Stars over the next few days. Maybe it’ll eventually show up on the AOL reader too.]….

As usual, I’m likely to be all wet in these comments; but what about the irony, what about the budding satirist stirring here? Heinlein, after he sent Tunnel off to the publisher, did write his agent that he was immediately going back to work on that Man from Mars tale he’d been working on for years. We know what came out of that. [G] And what about the comparison or contrast of Tunnel many have made with Lord of the Flies, written by Golding, darling of the Freudians? [VEG!]



“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Mon, 06 December 1999 04:02 AM EST

From: Aberffraw

AGplusone writes:

….When I was a teenage lout, aged about sixteen or so, we had an expression, “stabbing the pig” that meant something very vulgar. I was convinced that Golding knew very well what that vulgarism meant…..

Now you have to tell – what did it mean? Aberffraw

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Mon, 06 December 1999 12:27 PM EST

From: AGplusone

…Now you have to tell – what did it mean? Aberffraw….

There’s not a hope in Hades that I will!



“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Tue, 07 December 1999 04:28 AM EST

From: Freebootrr

David Silver has vowed to re-read The Lord of the Flies to assist our discussion of Tunnel in the Sky. And greater love hath no man than to read an unpleasant book to spare his brethren and sistren the trouble.

William Golding was a celebrated writer who achieved both a knighthood and a Nobel prize before he cashed out. He seems even to have been a rather nice chap. But his books seem to me detestable. I read Lord of the Flies (1954) around 1960 of my own volition, long before it was cemented into the official American high school syllabus, and thought it revolting. Nevertheless, I was young and pretentious and thought it was necessary to read the books that everyone said were important, imagining that the fault must be in myself, so I went on to read his second effort, the critically-acclaimed The Inheritors, and found it to be possibly even worse. There, I’m afraid, I drew the line. The Spire, Pincher Martin, and his other works I know not of, but the reviews suggest they are more of the same. Strictly speaking, I suppose, a proper critic must grant an artist his subject or theme and consider only how well it is executed. But in real life almost no one can maintain such Olympian detachment in the face of a strong philosophical antagonism, and I certainly cannot.

So, the niceness of Mr Golding and the glitter of his prizes notwithstanding, I think his books are a libel on humanity. I have no idea whether Heinlein read LotF, or whether it influenced the composition of Tunnel. We know that he read a lot and that LotF was a big deal when it was published in the US. The chronology works and it seems quite possible, although I have never seen any firm evidence. There are several critical and biographical studies on Golding, none of which I have read. But a hasty and superficial look around yields the following, which may throw some light on why he wrote as he did.

Golding (1911 – 1993) was born in a small town in Cornwall, the (only?) child of a couple of “progressive” parents, his father some sort of schoolmaster, his mother an early womens’-rights advocate. At his village school he was apparently both socially awkward and conspicuously the brightest child around, a combination which led to the usual painful consequences. It has been suggested that he modeled “Piggy” in LotF after his own younger self, which may or may not be true. He attended Oxford, his father wanting for him a career in science or medicine, but Golding opting for philosophy and literature. He did well enough, graduated, and was employed as a settlement house worker and school master before the war began in 1939.

Golding had, as they used to say, a “good” war. He was commissioned in the Royal Navy reserve, served with the Home Fleet and in the battle group that destroyed the Bismarck. In 1944 he was in command of a small auxiliary vessel engaged in the bombardment of Normandy with rockets on D-Day. Post-war, he reverted to being a master at a provincial private (in Britspeak: “public”) school in Salisbury for about ten years, until the success and money attending the publication of LotF. His students called him “Scruff,” and he was apparently a quiet, hard-working teacher and very well-liked. Golding was said to be an enthusiastic amateur musician — an excellent pianist and passable flutist. He was fluent in French and studied classical Greek. He was an accomplished off-shore sailor and made several long voyages in European waters on his own boat.

Critics have speculated, and Goldings own statements seem to confirm, that it was his wartime experiences that led to his view of the human race as incorrigibly evil. Many men have gone to war, suffered and witnessed suffering without coming to that conclusion, so perhaps we have to put it down to an unusually tender or delicate soul being worked upon by the casual brutality of warfare. In any case, Golding seems to have been concerned after the war that the victors not permit themselves any triumphalism because they (we) are at bottom no better than the Nazis we defeated, and it would be morally dangerous to think otherwise. The true Calvinist, it will be recalled, has no trouble believing in the innate sinfulness of little children — his theology demands it — and the theology that Golding worked out for himself is essentially Calvinist, I think. The treatment of this theme in LotF is well known and I won’t linger on it. The point seems to be that even the young, the innocent, the properly-reared and well-loved children of a decent community are fallen and corrupt. The children are tossed up on the island as they are being evacuated from an offstage nuclear war, so their reversion to savagery is just a small-scale variant on what their parents are doing to one another. In The Inheritors, Golding does another parable, this time set in prehistoric Europe of a million or so years back. There is a tribe of kind, decent, lovable Neanderthals, see, and they are kind, decent and lovable only because they are quite stupid and not quite human. Their intellects can’t quite manage speech or abstract thought. Their neighbors, homo sapiens sapiens, are much cleverer, fully-human, and therefore utterly depraved. They make up absurdly-false myths about the Neanderthals to justify murdering them, which they do quite brutally and systematically.

Golding doesn’t actually include a diagram to show that his h. sapiens sapiens are equivalent to that couple in the Garden who ate of the forbidden fruit of knowledge, modestly leaving it to his readers to puzzle it out. The smarter we get the more evil we become. The boys on the island are just doing what h. sap always does: murdering and torturing one another, then making up stories to justify their cruelty and refusing to take responsibility for it.

The later Mark Twain, and Swift of Gulliver, it could be argued, had at least as poor an opinion of human nature. But I find them exhilarating, while Golding is just deadening. If I had a clever way to reconcile my opinions I would insert it here, but I haven’t. My gut, or my moral imagination, or whatever, tells me that Golding, as nice a chap as he undoubtedly was, maligned all of us in some way that those two great misanthropes never did. If someone could explain this to me, I would be much obliged.

Heinlein never shrank from pointing out that man is the top predator on this world, and in many ways thoroughly wolfish; he insisted on it, and that we forget this at our peril. But we are far more than that. We not only survive, but we deserve to survive. On this point he is not classically Darwinian (there are theorists nowadays who argue that there is a Darwinian explanation for ethical altruism, but they came after Heinlein’s time). It seems to me that when Heinlein says we always survive by the skin of our teeth that he meant morally as well as bodily — that we are at least slightly better than the worst that is in us. He doesn’t have a theology or myth to explain this. Heinlein is ultimately, I think, what the theologians call a fideist; he has a deep faith in and affection for humanity that he takes to be self-justifying. He gives us examples of this over and over without really explaining it, saying, in effect, this is the world as it really is, don’t you recognize it?

I recognize Heinlein’s world, and I decline to recognize Goldings and I can’t, at the moment construct any better argument for respecting the one and condemning the other.

I will mention that one source I looked at thought that LotF was intended to be a commentary or criticism on a novel called The Coral Island (1858) by R. M. Ballantyne. This was a well-known childrens’ book in Victorian times and is said to have been a formative influence on Robert Louis Stevenson.

TCS is about three English boys, Ralph Rover (15 years old), adventurous Jack (18 years old) and humorous 14 year old Peterkin, who are shipwrecked on a deserted island. In Robinson Crusoe fashion they create an idyllic society despite typhoons, wild hogs, and hostile visitors. The boys make a fire by rubbing two sticks together and climb palm trees to gather coconuts. Then evil pirates kidnap one of the youths whose adventures continue among the South Sea Islands. Finally the three heroes return to civilization.

Ballantyne was a prolific writer of books for boys (using the pen name “Comus”) in the manner of G. A. Henty and countless writers who followed. They had titles like HUDSON’S BAY, OR, THE LIFE IN THE WILDS OF NORTH AMERICA; SNOWFLAKES AND SUNBEAMS, OR, THE YOUNG FUR TRADER (1856); UNGAVA: A TALE OF ESKIMO LAND (1857); THE DOG CRUSOE (1860), etc, etc. He wrote eighty altogether.

J. C. LeGere

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Tue, 07 December 1999 10:03 AM EST

From: BPRAL22169

Thank you for the research about William Golding.

Putting a slightly different spin on the interpretation, his thesis in Lord of the Flies was that civilization was a thin veneer,and that we are all savages at bottom.

The book made quite a splash when it was published and generated a lot of public debate. I asked Mrs. Heinlein whether the book was written as a direct response to LotF, and she said they did not have a copy of the book until after TitS was written. Heinlein may have been participating in the public debate without specifically rejoining the book.

W (Bill Patterson)

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Tue, 07 December 1999 04:35 PM EST

From: AGplusone

John (Freebootrr) and Bill (BPRAL22169) have already given us much more than I would have essayed on a comparison of LotF and Tunnel. Nevertheless, here’s a reply I made to another post (slightly cleaned up for spelling and grammar errors) on AFH on the subject:

Jane Davitt stated:

….There’s also the fact that Rod is so …unaware, that he doesn’t spot that Jackie is female; was this Heinlein making their living arrangements Alice approved? Or was he going OTT in a tongue in cheek fashion by making his hero have the reactions of a Ken doll?….

Very likely both. I think you’re unfair to Ken, btw. Even he never observed that girls are ‘poison.’ Frankly I doubt whether any boy of the times over eleven made such statements either. Even Don Harvey had stirrings of an attraction to Isobel.

….The Lord of the Flies bit, well, it’s been a while since I read it but I was always a bit sceptical of the plunge into savagery and the abrupt change when they were rescued. Still, the different circumstances and age of the protagonists make a direct comparison difficult IMO….

I wish I could say it’s been that long. Since the point was raised on the AOL boards, however, I’ve broken a vow to myself and read it again, after three decades had washed most of it from my mind. Lord of the Flies, William Golding’s first published novel, appeared in 1954, the year before Heinlein wrote Tunnel in the Sky, was selected by eminent English author E.M. Forester as his Outstanding Novel of the Year, was a best seller, later made into a movie, and was otherwise widely praised by various critics.

There’s much Freudian symbolism to the book; but I’ll skip over that leaving those interested the option to read it in privacy. The plot is simple: briefly, a plane crash-lands on a clement tropical atoll, full of fruit and fresh water, teeming with non-threatening sealife in tidepools, and apparently rather docile feral pigs. Survivors are a goodly number of British middle, possibly upper class, schoolboys aged twelve and younger down to about six, without any adults or females. The boys briefly cooperate on a simple plan for survival (signal fire, shelter, etc.) until rescue from this non-threatening environment, then divide into two rival groups over one group’s obsession with pig hunting and abandonment of the plan for survival, it having taken the pig hunters weeks, even perhaps a couple months, before they finally dispatch their first pig. The pig hunters swiftly revert into savagery following their first kill. Much more numerous, they beat two of the others to death, one smaller boy earlier having disappeared under odd circumstances. One twelve-year old, Ralph, formerly acclaimed ‘chief,’ escapes while the second is beaten. They pursue him to the shoreline and all then run into a rescue party that has landed unnoticed. The officer commanding at first treats the painted faces and primitive weapons with amusement, saying he hopes, in their playing at war, they haven’t killed anyone. When Ralph admits they’ve killed two, the astonished officer comments that “I should have thought that a pack of British schoolboys–you’re all British, aren’t you?–would have been able to put on a better show than that … .” Ralph reflects on events and weeps “for the end of innocence … .”

Golding taught children of this age. That said, he portrays amazingly stupid ones, barely capable of finding their posteriors with both hands in the dark. The children, of course, are a metaphor of all of humanity — a severely handicapped metaphor to be sure, but one that did appeal to an audience. Despite the disparity of age of the children, comparison does highlight one of Heinlein’s significant points in Tunnel in the Sky, whether he intended Tunnel to be a riposte or not. Cps. 8 and 10 of Tunnel (following the disarming and banishment of the McGowan gang) bring up the notion of government — and the attendant ‘politics’ we all pretend to despise. Having read Heinlein’s Take Back Your Government, it was amusing to watch how smoothly Grant Cowper and Roy Ripley ran their little railroad and how later Rod started balancing the slate. Cowper’s high-faluting keynote speech, after Roy recognizes him in Cp. 8, is a gem: ” … What is the prime knowledge acquired by our race? That without which the rest is useless? What fla are all important but they are not the keystone. The greatest invention of mankind is government. It is also the hardest of all.” … etc., etc., et al. Compare the dull and docile children in LOTF. They’ve always been governed by adults, regimented, never attempted to govern themselves, so none of them (fat ‘Piggy’ the second known victim perhaps excepted) know how to govern or to willingly acquiese in being governed. They cannot cooperate, the one rule they agree upon, that involving recognition of the boy holding the conch shell as speaker they gleefully shatter along with the shell just before beating Piggy to death.

I think Heinlein was extemely serious about this major point, the sine qua non of civilization. We can hate government but we cannot do without it. Comparison with LOTF highlights and makes the point impossible to pass over. Can’t say I’m happy I had to reread LOTF though … [g].

If Heinlein intended to reply to LOTF, then this response may have been his point. After all, how do you otherwise respond to a simple-minded allegory populated by small, stupid schoolboys? And to that, I’ll add the following: I’m very grateful to John for the lovely background essay. Yes, I think the model for the boy “Piggie” who is killed very well may have been the youthful Golding. Piggie is the only character drawn with human compassion who possesses anything like maturity. I’m also grateful for an explanation to that reference at the end to Coral Island. Seems to me the books written by Ballantyre would be worth looking up, for gifts to juveniles today.

As to whether RAH read LotF and was directly responding to it, like John, I knew about LotF in the 1950s, but resisted reading it until much later. There was much to do about it in periodical literature of the time. It was one of the optional reads in my tenth grade English class (1956). I suspect that even if RAH didn’t read it, he’d read reviews and commentary and may well have had portions he’d heard or read in mind while writing Tunnel. But, who knows?



“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Wed, 08 December 1999 09:01 AM EST

From: AGplusone

….I will mention that one source I looked at thought that LotF was intended to be a commentary or criticism on a novel called The Coral Island (1858) by R. M. Ballantyne. This was a well-known childrens’ book in Victorian times and is said to have been a formative influence on Robert Louis Stevenson

TCS is about three English boys, Ralph Rover (15 years old), adventurous Jack (18 years old) and humorous 14 year old Peterkin, who are shipwrecked on a deserted island. In Robinson Crusoe fashion they create an idyllic society despite typhoons, wild hogs, and hostile visitors. The boys make a fire by rubbing two sticks together and climb palm trees to gather coconuts. Then evil pirates kidnap one of the youths whose adventures continue among the South Sea Islands. Finally the three heroes return to civilization.

Ballantyne was a prolific writer of books for boys (using the pen name “Comus”) in the manner of G. A. Henty and countless writers who followed. They had titles like HUDSON’S BAY, OR, THE LIFE IN THE WILDS OF NORTH AMERICA; SNOWFLAKES AND SUNBEAMS, OR, THE YOUNG FUR TRADER (1856); UNGAVA: A TALE OF ESKIMO LAND (1857); THE DOG CRUSOE (1860), etc, etc. He wrote eighty altogether…..

Ralph ROVER? Naw, couldn’t be! When I was a pre-teen nice little kid, before I became a teenage lout, there were a series of books called the Rover Boys. They were falling apart in the school library (Catholic schools, which is what I was attending then, never throw away anything) where I found them around fifth grade, so I didn’t really read more than one or two. But I didn’t think they were that old. Ralph Rover wasn’t an ‘original’ Rover Boy, was he, John? Or did someone file off the serial number on the name?



“I expect your names to shine!”

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 09 December 1999 06:38 AM EST

From: Freebootrr

Some Notes on Tunnel Rod’s Religion In the world of Tunnel [I suppose we should eschew TITS for our abbreviation of choice] The three major world-religions of our own time still seem to be flourishing, and most of the castaways seem to be adherents of some sect or other (there seem to be at least one Quaker, one Mormon, one Jew, among others).

There’s a Salvation Army (i.e., Protestant) operation at Emigrants’ Gap, and we see at least five of the twenty students embarking with Rod praying with a (presumably Catholic) priest. This doesn’t seem to be an age in which religion has died off. And this is pretty much standard Heinlein; he seems to believe that religion is part of the standard equippage of humanity and will always crop up in some form.

The castaways set up a nondenominational “meeting” and a designated Sabbath under the second Walker administration, and it may be slightly significant that these institutions are first described in chapter 14, entitled (un-ironically, I think) “Civilization.”

[Digression] The other prominent elements that seem to justify the C-word are the production of clothing and the inauguration of music and dancing. The pivot-point between mere survival and flourishing is the decision not to move the colony. The solo-survivalists at the beginning of the test were told to think of themselves as prey, not as predators — “not to be brave, not to dominate the wilds — but just stay breathing” as Assault Captain Walker puts it to her brother. But as an established colony the operative philosophy changes: “we’re men — and men don’t have to be driven out.” It’s only then, after declaring themselves, in effect, top predators, that there is time and opportunity for the arts of civilization to re-emerge: costume, music, organized religious rituals.

[end digression]

But it appears that at least one new major religion has emerged since our time. “The family was evangelical Monist by inheritance, each of Rod’s grandfathers having been converted in the second great wave of proselyting [sic — the standard word is proselytizing] that swept out of Persia in the last decade of the previous century.” Rod’s father “took seriously his duties as family priest.”

He lights a Peace Lamp. There is a call-and- response ritual before being seated for the evening meal. This, by the way, helps explain Rod’s considerable anxiety (he is, after all, supposed to be about 17 or 18 years old) about being even a few minutes late for dinner — this is a religious obligation, not just a meal. Tardiness is not just discourteous, but impious.

We hear only the last bit of the prayer, the senior Walker saying: ” — one Principle, one family, one flesh!”

What strikes me about this is that the ancient traditional religion of Persia is/was Zoroastrianism (it still survives, but just barely, among a small community). And Zism is usually thought of as a dualistic faith in which two opposing deities (Ahura Mazda, god of light, vs Ahriman god of darkness) duke it out for control of the universe. The reforms of Zoroaster were only one phase of the ancient Persian religion, and it included a whole menagerie of gods and demons, but in the West it’s usually just called Zoroastrianism and it’s considered a Dualism (and I won’t touch on it’s relation to Gnosticism for fear of provoking Bill Patterson!).

Islam conquered Persia (aka Iran) in the seventh century and extinguished the old religion. So Tunnel seems to imply a mighty reversal: Islam extinguished by a new Persian cult that penetrates to the West — goodbye Ayatollahs, hello — what? (this Monism seems to have nothing at all to do with Islam). But whereas the old Persian religions (Zism, plus variants, offshoots such as Mithraism and Manicheanism) were dualistic, here we have a cult that is specifically and emphatically the opposite: a Monism. And it’sapparently not a monotheism, or even a theism, because we hear talk of a (non-personal?) Principal rather than a personal God.

In European history “monism” is most often associated with the philosophies of Spinoza and Leibniz. These guys were not orthodox Jews/Christians, but were, in religious terms, really pantheists (Spinoza was kicked out of his Jewish community for heresy), for whom God is an impersonal All or Absolute, rather than a person one prays to. In fact, a monism without a personal God seems to logically slide into a sort of god-is- everywhere-and-everything pantheism that comes perilously close to atheism, since a God that is everywhere and everything is pretty much equivalent to one that is nothing and nowhere in particular. But the Walker family’s sect is a new one and perhaps hasn’t had much time to soften or mutate. So evangelical Monism seems to be nothing like the old Persian religions. And yet, we have the thing about the Peace Lamp. The “good” god in Zoroastrianism is identified with light and fire, and some variants of the religion seem to have been virtually fire-worshippers. So a lamp or flame seems to fit with the traditional Persian religion, but Monism implies that there is no Dark antagonism, just pervasive Light.

So what does this all amount to? In my opinion, not really very much. Rod is not noticeably religious. I think Heinlein’s intent here, as it often is, is just to throw in a little creative subversion. The expected reader of the mid-Fifties is, in most cases, an American male adolescent who is doctrinally, or at least culturally, Christian. Heinlein introduces a rather typical American high-schooler with whom the reader identifies in chapter one, and then suddenly says that, by the way, he worships in a “pagan” church imported from Persia (and his family has done so for two generations).

The point seems to be: religions ebb and flow over time and that the religion that you think of as so ancient and permanent — the God of your Fathers — is after all just an historical accident. I think for an average American twelve year-old circa 1955 this would have been a fairly new and radical notion, even though it goes by pretty quickly. Just another instance of Heinlein trying to de-parochialize his readers. It leads me to wonder whether, now that “multiculturalism” has become the official monoculture of public education, whether his itch to subvert might have caused him throw his weight a bit in the other direction.

Given that the flirtation with cultural relativism that seemed to be a healthy prod toward independent thought in the first half of the century has now become just another smelly little orthodoxy to be taught by rote, I wonder how Heinlein would react if he had to set up shop again at the close of the century?

Another little oddity under this head. When speculating about the abandoned cave dwellings, and what happened to their builders, one character asks rhetorically, “Where are the Selenites, Dora, What became of the Mithrans?”

Given the context, “Selenites” likely refers to ancient moon-dwellers whose artefacts have been found by humanity. So, in parallel, “Mithrans” would seem to refer to ancient, long-departed inhabitants of a planet called “Mithra.” Now, Mithraism was a sort of offshoot of Zoroastrianism that penetrated Europe around AD 100. It was more popular than Christianity in the Roman Empire of that time and was, in fact, the preferred cult of the Roman legions, for whom Mithra was a warrior-god. So, maybe a revived Mithraic sect colonized one of the many new worlds in the Tunnel universe and dubbed it Mithra. More new/old-fangled gods out of Persia? Is

this too far-fetched? I just wonder if Mr H. was reading a book about ancient Near Eastern religions about the time he composed Tunnel, and both Mithraism and Zoroastrianism were lurking in his head?

Dr Matson and Col DuBois

This is a pretty obvious parallel. What I noticed in this reading was that the survivalism course was not, as I remembered it, a strictly pragmatic, how-to-do-it proposition. As Dr Matson says: “This is a course in applied philosophy… Anybody who thinks of the world in terms of what it ‘ought’ to be, rather than what it is, isn’t ready for the final examination.” Col DuBois was also teaching “applied philosophy,” but he was working the ethics end of the street (“what ought to be” in the realm of human relations), while Dr Matson is looking at a larger picture, the disjunction between human ethics and the workings of the non-human world. From the POV of the solo-survivalist (as opposed to an organized colony) there really is no ethics in the conventional sense — just “kill or be killed,” the nonhuman law of the jungle.

The Yellow Peril

Tunnel was published in 1955 which, I think was just after the Heinleins returned from the six-month round-the-world voyage documented in “Tramp Royale.” They visited Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and Heinlein had a pretty strong reaction to what he saw of traditional Asia, as I recall (I don’t have my Tramp handy), recoiling from the “teeming hordes,” etc, as would be consonant with his Malthusian tendencies. I wonder if it was on this trip that he became acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the traditional Australian national fear that their mostly-empty continent would be an irresistable target for the populous Asiatic nations to their north and west. In the opening of Tunnel we learn that the Aussies’ worst fears have been realized. Australia is now a province of The Australasian Republic, a flourishing tyranny that is apparently a direct descendant of the malodorous People’s Republic of our own time, presided over by His Serene Majesty Chairman Fung Chee Mu. The white Aussies, we learn, have been “re-settled” in New Zealand. We should not forget, of course, that Heinlein treats various Chinese characters with considerable affection and respect in other places (e.g., TCWWTW), so that this shot at the Chinese state need not be equated with some kind of vulgar racism.

J. C. LeGere

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 09 December 1999 10:34 AM EST

From: BPRAL22169

Some extremely good points here. I think you are right, John, to identify Rod’s Evangelical Monism with Zoroastrianism. The other good candidate for a Persian origin would be Mithraism, but there is no mention of the Tauroctony, the central image of Mithraism, or the tradition of underground worship. The use of fire as an image does suggest Ahura Mazda. I also flashed on Jerry’s fire worship in JOB during your discussion.

I also quite agree Heinlein is engaging in much-needed subversion. By 1955, the complacent 50’s had already begun to shape up. Well-placed intellectual dynamite charges were necessary. By 1959 he has Johnny Rico practicing — what? Bahai? <>….the God of your Fathers — is after all just an historical accident.] In connection with this, I thought of L. Sprague deCamp’s definition of a religion as your family’s beliefs while a “cult” is anything else — a sociological distinction.

I wonder if it was on this trip that he became acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the traditional Australian national fear that their mostly-empty continent would be an irresistable target for the populous Asiatic nations to their north and west….

Heinlein had written “yellow peril” stories before — at least one: SIXTH COLUMN. Admittedly this was written from material provided by Campbell, and Heinlein tried hard to clean up the racism by making Frank Matsui one of his heroic characters. It was a prominent cultural fear in the U.S. as late as the 1920’s, but, you are right, the fear survived much longer in Australia.

….Heinlein treats various Chinese characters with considerable affection and respect in other places….


W (Bill Patterson)

Subject: Re: Reminder–Dec 9 Mtng–Tunnel and Time

Date: Thu, 09 December 1999 03:43 PM EST

From: AGplusone

….When speculating about the abandoned cave dwellings, and what happened to their builders, one character asks rhetorically, “Where are the Selenites, Dora, What became of the Mithrans?”

Given the context, “Selenites” likely refers to ancient moon-dwellers whose artifacts have been found by humanity. So, in parallel, “Mithrans” would seem to refer to ancient, long-departed inhabitants of a planet called “Mithra.” Now, Mithraism was a sort of offshoot of Zoroastrianism that penetrated Europe around AD 100. It was more popular than Christianity in the Roman Empire of that time and was, in fact, the preferred cult of the Roman legions, for whom Mithra was a warrior-god. So, maybe a revived Mithraic sect colonized one of the many new worlds in the Tunnel universe and dubbed it Mithra. More new/old-fangled gods out of Persia? Is this too far-fetched?….

Interesting thoughts. I confess I always equated “Mithra” as yet another name for the destroyed “Fifth Planet” between Mars and Jupiter, in this particular alternate solar system. Given its relationship to Zoroastrianism, perhaps your thoughts aren’t too far-fetched, however. All this time, of course, RAH was also working out in the background his great project, that novel about a Martian named Smith, that became Stranger in a Strange Land. The influence of offshoots of the old Persian religion on gnosticism’s branches of Christianity, St. Valentinus’ (“The Heretic”) brand of worship, makes a nice tie-in to what became Valentine Michael’s church that makes its appearance four years later or so.


“I expect your names to shine!”

The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group Chat Log

Thursday, December 9, 1999 9 PM to midnight, EST

Tunnel in the Sky and Time for the Stars (fifth juvenile series meeting)

Part I of two parts

12/9/99 5:29:10 PM Opening “RAHChat Log 12/9/99”

OHostZim: Thursday, December 9, 1999, 5:30:06 PM, PST ** * * *

OnlineHost:”Astyanax12″ has entered the room.

OHostZim: G’evening, Astyanax

Astyanax12:Good evening

OHostZim: How’s the vision on your new monitor for this room?

Astyanax12:Terrible time getting here–lost in a maze

OHostZim: How did you go … via Oprah?

Astyanax12:The monitor is just perfect!

Astyanax12:No, I have it on my favorites list–direct

Astyanax12:How are you this evening?

OHostZim: Just fine now that I’ve got my tea out of the microwave

Astyanax12:I think Ron is on his way

OHostZim: Some evenings red wine is necessary … but tonight, perhaps tea will do. That’s good.

Astyanax12:I use lemonade.

OHostZim: Arrgh! Forgot to put sugar in it. BRB

Astyanax12:Okay, I’ll wait.

OHostZim: Done … if was something besides standard tea bag tea it might not need it, but it’s bag.

Astyanax12:What is the difference?

OnlineHost:”Seanspanks” has entered the room.

Astyanax12:I sometimes use coffee bags

OHostZim: Some of the bulk teas are very nice tasting … the standard commercial tea is very bland.


OHostZim: Hi, Sean. Welcome.

OHostZim: And usually pretty stale.

OnlineHost:”HutsonOp” has entered the room.

Seanspanks:HutsonOp here!

OHostZim: Sean, met Astyanax … Hi, Cristi

HutsonOp: Hola

HutsonOp: Hi Zim

OHostZim: Heck of a message about Crown Point …. Have fun there.

HutsonOp: A GI Party, you say?

HutsonOp: :grins:

OHostZim: Astyanax: HutsonOp is the nice lady who got Joe Haldeman to come visit us.

HutsonOp: I’m not a nice lady

Seanspanks:She can get almost anyone to do almost anything!

HutsonOp: But I did get Joe to drop by

HutsonOp: 🙂

OHostZim: Well … everyone’s nice sometimes [g]

Astyanax12:Anyone else you’d like to have visit?

HutsonOp: Actually I’m feeling very very wicked at the moment

Astyanax12:Maybe it could be arranged.

OHostZim: Yes! Connie Willis maybe this year to discuss her dedication in this year’s Hugo.

OnlineHost:”CHASGRAFT” has entered the room.

OHostZim: It might be very nice to set something like that up.

OHostZim: Hi, Charles … nice to see you.

HutsonOp: Shall I ask?

CHASGRAFT: Cheers. An unusual schedule made my visit possible.

OHostZim: If you wish … and anyone else anyone can think of who might enjoy it.

HutsonOp: It’ll have to wait until after Christmas

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HutsonOp: I’ll be out of the country

OHostZim: Glad to hear that … all sorts of surprises during the Christmas season. Hi, Bill.

OHostZim: Hope you’ll be home a while, Hut

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BPRAL22169:hi — I had to start a log running.

OHostZim: Evening, Ron.

BPRAL22169:Hey – Dehede’s back.

HutsonOp: I wish I could stay, but I really just dropped by to say hi

BPRAL22169:Hi, Ron.

OHostZim: We’re filling up nicely tonight.

BPRAL22169:Hi, Hut.

HutsonOp: My mind’s really on other things at the moment

Dehede011: Yes, it is I.

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HutsonOp: Hey B!

OHostZim: I wish you could too, Hut. What time to you have to leave for the Point?

Dehede011: Hi LucyLou

OHostZim: Hi, Lucy!

HutsonOp: I catch it at 11:30

Lucylou98: Evening, Dehede

Lucylou98: Zim!

HutsonOp: But I know these guys and if I’m not ready on deck then they’ll ditch me

HutsonOp: And I’ll have to go commercial

Dehede011: Hey Bill and Dave, hello.

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OHostZim: Okay … about three more minutes free chat … then we’ll start.

Seanspanks:Better move, then Hutson!

OHostZim: Evening, John. Nice you made it.

HutsonOp: Oy!


HutsonOp: Hasta

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Seanspanks:Be safe!

Dehede011: Zim, not many posts but the quality is way up.

BPRAL22169:But what there was, was *cherce*

BPRAL22169:It’s really too bad John can’t make it to the chats.

OHostZim: Well, hope someone read Time for the Stars too … we never quite got there.

Freebootrr:what am I? Chopped liver?

Lucylou98: only read Tunnel

OHostZim: [—no, I have that honor.

BPRAL22169:John — delighted to see you. I didn’t look through my log.

BPRAL22169:Happens I’m reading Slusser on Time for the Stars right now.

OHostZim: Okay …

Lucylou98: Who is John?

OHostZim: Freebootrr

Freebootrr:C’est moi.

BPRAL22169:That was a really excellent post you made yesterday.

OHostZim: Welcome to the Robert A. Heinlein Reading

OHostZim: Group. Tonight our chat subject is RAH’s

OHostZim: juvenile novels Tunnel in the Sky and Time

OHostZim: for the Stars, comparing the themes

OHostZim: with those in other works written

OHostZim: before and after by Heinlein.

OHostZim: :::

OHostZim: Any questions before we begin?

Freebootrr:open bar?

Lucylou98: love those macros, Zim

OHostZim: Okay, open bar always … who wants to start?

OHostZim: Raise hands … like this “!”

Lucylou98: well…

Dehede011: BRB

OHostZim: You win, GA Lucy

Seanspanks:Well, I’d say Tunnel is deeper.

Lucylou98: Do you think Tunnel was very realistic?

Freebootrr:But Time is longer.

OHostZim: About what, Sean? The population question?

Seanspanks:…it offers a broader canvas for RAH to discuss societal contract issues,

Seanspanks:I think Tunnel is pretty realistic…A Lord of the Flies of an elite group of youngsters

OHostZim: Okay … figuring out how many issues are there is fun … I see issues really dealing with the question of consensual government worked out from scratch being major.

Lucylou98: I was about to say I read the posts about LOTF.

Freebootrr:How about the issue of authority — where it comes from?

BPRAL22169:And it’s very “classical liberal” American

OHostZim: Has to be either of force imposed from above or consensual …

Freebootrr:Not really from scratch like Locke – they carry notions of constitutional government “in their bones.”

BPRAL22169:But they are literally seeking “to form a more perfect union.”

OHostZim: In Tunnel there’s a lot of time devoted to the question of what government Grant will create is that important?

Lucylou98: yep

Seanspanks:Yes, and a lot devoted to dealing with the antisocial.

OHostZim: Questions about limiting franchise … and, yes, questions about what penalty you impose on the antisocial, Sean.

Freebootrr:Is the switch of Grant from greasy ‘pol’ to martyr convincing?

Seanspanks:And the Stobor provide the common enemy that makes a common defense essential.

BPRAL22169:Quests we pioneers of the Internet deal with every time we log on.

BPRAL22169:Maybe not Stobor . . .

OHostZim: Rod would have been better off in the fight with Bruce if they’d simply allowed him to kill instead of imposing rules.

Seanspanks:I don’t think Grant was all that greasy … at least as politicians go.

Dehede011: Zim, wasn’t that because RAH wanted to work out the problems of governing

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OHostZim: He was effective in grabbing power, though, wasn’t he? Yes, I think so, Ron.

Dehede011: Instead of doing a martial arts novel?

OHostZim: I think so … I sat there thinking: Miranda rules, so help me.

OHostZim: Miranda rules=no bone breakers ????

Seanspanks:Yep … but Roddie really was ‘a romantic, not a practical sort’

Dehede011: Very timely Zim

Freebootrr:Rod’s forbearing to kill McGowan, I think, marked him as suitable for leadership –

OHostZim: Rod was acting in a ‘police power’ capacity. The equivalent does work in a way.

Freebootrr:preference for law over vendetta

Dehede011: Killing would have kicked RAH into a different kind of novel

Lucylou98: I was surprised the antisocial folks didn’t storm the settlement after exiled.

Seanspanks:There were only 3 or 4 of them.

OHostZim: I think he was getting pretty practical by then, Sean. That’s true … although there’s a lot of killing if you think about it in earlier juveniles. How many do they kill on the Moon in Galileo …

Freebootrr:They had no real cohesion — part of the point.

Lucylou98: but they were mean and nasty.

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Seanspanks:Yes, but Caroline would have kicked their arses.

Dehede011: NO ability to take on a cohesive group?

OHostZim: … as RAH pointed out in a letter to either his agent or Dalgliesh.

Seanspanks:The Nazi’s killed in Galileo were mere ‘pop-up targets’ … not developed characters.

OHostZim: True, but dead is dead.

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Freebootrr:True. And they were Nazis.

OHostZim: [G]

CHASGRAFT: Most groups seem to want to divide themselves into “Leaders” and workers.

OHostZim: Hi, Bev … we’re talking about the rule of law in Tunnel in the Sky, …


CHASGRAFT: “Leaders” seem to need privilege to separate themselves from the “serfs”

BPRAL22169:Very blurry!

Lucylou98: Reading a story about that now, Chas.

OHostZim: … and how the Bruce McGowan situation develops.

BPRAL22169:That is the predominant and most common “model” for group dynamics — but not the only one.

BEVTESS: oh yes I vaguely remember that, been awhile since I read it

Seanspanks:[trying to figure out a good sight picture with my M1, with a goldfishbowl on my head…]

BPRAL22169:Bev, your print is very faint. Could you change your color to something more readable?

Freebootrr:How about the development of Rod as politician?

Freebootrr:He learns fast.

BEVTESS: this better?

BPRAL22169:Very readable, Bev. Thanks.

OHostZim: I think he did … liked the way he negotiated that position as Chief of Police …

OHostZim: and let Grant know that a loyal

opposition was in the offing.

BPRAL22169:Reminds me a little of the mutiny section in Time for the Stars

Dehede011: Strange but I am seeing that same rapid development in TFTS on a different subject

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OHostZim: One great example of how bright both Rod and Tom were is how adaptable they both became once they started being ‘political.’

OHostZim: Hi, Dice. Welcome.

CHASGRAFT: “Stars” was a pre-planned society; “Tunnel” was accidental.

BPRAL22169:Well, you can’t become political without being adaptable.

Dice716: hello all

BEVTESS: That also reminds me of the book he wrote about Mars and Willis

OHostZim: Agree, Charles.

OHostZim: How so, Bev

Freebootrr:Yes, the “strike” of the telepaths is another good bit of politicking.

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OHostZim: How Uncle handled it was beautiful, then how he handled the Captain was classic …

BEVTESS: How the boys saw what was going on and tried to correct it

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BPRAL22169:I like the fact that Heinlein always took on the hard problems — he’s always “herding cats” with the individualists rather than playing with the quiet children.

Freebootrr:True Bill, always upping the ante.

BPRAL22169:I like that all his societies are communities of individualists.

OHostZim: In Time4theStars, you go from the commo specialists, to the first Captain, to the last …

BPRAL22169:(strike that “all”)

OHostZim: Captain who was really difficult to handle.

OHostZim: Probably the least flexible of all to negotiate with.

BPRAL22169:We don’t really have good models for being cooperative individuals. It’s not in our social paradigms anymore.

Seanspanks:Roddie’s gear: “vest pack…belt canteen…tube up left suspender…nipple near mouth “…

Freebootrr:Gear exactly like that is being sold now.

Seanspanks:…. anticipated by years today’s military Load Bearing Vest and Camel-Back drinking system.


OHostZim: (Ever wish you had that instead of six pounds of steel and water in a canvas bag?)

Dehede011: Thanks, Sean. I hadn’t noticed that.

OHostZim: Hitting you on the hip whenever you take a stride.

OHostZim: They have it now!???

Seanspanks:Well, I carry that, PLUS a bunch of extra crap … it ain’t any lighter! LOL!

Seanspanks:Just carry more ammo and radio batteries.

OHostZim: Just having it not banging on your hip would be a relief!

Freebootrr:Doesn’t matter how clever you are planning your load.

BPRAL22169:I opt for stillsuits.

Freebootrr:Somebody always comes around with another hundred rounds for the MG.

OHostZim: I’ve always opted for the couch, lately.


OHostZim: But … I loved the description that went into the camping gear. A hammock that rolled into something that goes in your pocket was a beautiful thought.

Lucylou98: I was thinking what I would have chosen to take on the test.

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Freebootrr:Jumping ahead. My favorite poignant bit in T4S is …

Dehede011: Do we actually have anything like that hammock?

Freebootrr:… the starship captain who’s suddenly obsolete.

CHASGRAFT: I’ve always felt “Tunnel” was unrealistic in allowing youngsters to go off with no penalty for such behavior as murder.

Lucylou98: I would have taken a gun…..not thought how Rod’s sister thought.

Seanspanks:I have a hammock like that … but it is pretty tippy

OHostZim: One of the most touching scenes … I went over and shook his hand, suddenly you realize exactly how useless the fellow must feel.

Dehede011: Our teachers in Navy Escape and Survival in the mid fifties used to advise some of us to keep our knife and get rid of our pistols if shot down behind the lines.

Freebootrr:I wrote about Twain as river pilot. Exactly what happened to them after civil war.

Seanspanks:Yes, an entire education and career, to command an obsolete ship.

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CHASGRAFT: I would have expected at the very least a review of their actions upon their return-if for no other reason, as feedback on the preparation they got from their instruction.

Lucylou98: I have a question

GCEMS909: howdy

OHostZim: What do I do at 40 years old … ? Suddenly obsolete, familiar sight,

OHostZim: Hi, John. What question Lucy?

Lucylou98: When rod went thru the gate, his friend was dead….Who killed him?

OHostZim: We never know, do we?

GCEMS909: Someone who wanted the big gun

Lucylou98: Yes, but who?

OHostZim: Could have been an animal … someone could have come along later and picked over the bones.

Dehede011: I thought RAH made it pretty plain that one of the students had turned predator.

Lucylou98: Was that person part of the settlement?

Freebootrr:Are we supposed to infer murder? Or just plunder of a corpse?

GCEMS909: I think the point made was that the gun was not good protection, skill in the wilds is more important.

OHostZim: All we know is Jackie finds a body later with the gun and exhausted powerpack.

OHostZim: Could be any possibility … and maybe the plunderer wasn’t the killer.

Lucylou98: So we agree Jackie did not kill for the gun and knife?

OHostZim: Although Jackie finds Rod’s knife on the body and some rope that could have been his.

CHASGRAFT: True. But there was someone who fully expected to get away with murder.

CHASGRAFT: (He probably didn’t, but he expected to.)

OHostZim: Killing Rod anyway.

OHostZim: We know something hit Rod on the head.

OHostZim: We presume someone bushwhacked Johann and Thor.

Lucylou98: right

OHostZim: But, it might not have been so ….

Freebootrr:I didn’t find that fully convincing. It implies that some HS kid went through the gate fully intending to start killing.

Lucylou98: Free, that’s what I thought.

BPRAL22169:No — there were several groups there.

Freebootrr:Not impossible. But not plausible.

BPRAL22169:Both older and younger.

OHostZim: My theory was that there was a McGowan conspiracy from the beginning … and they might have taken Johann out.

Seanspanks:Yep, as Colonel Jeff Cooper noted, approximately one in 100 random strangers is quite willing to bash your head in. For their own reasons.

Lucylou98: You think they waited at the gate and took what supplies they needed? Plundered as newbies came thru?

CHASGRAFT: And fully intending to not to have to pay for it.

Dehede011: Yes, Lucy I think that is possible.

GCEMS909: The course was not teaching ethical living; as for high school students, remember Columbine High.

OHostZim: Did anyone ever think about how ironic it is that in a course entitled “solo” survival … first thing everyone seems to do is try to figure a way to make it not ‘solo’ by teaming, etc.

CHASGRAFT: The gate moved between drop-offs.

OHostZim: Yes, the teachers were wise to that, and they moved it to prevent teaming.

OHostZim: “Teaming” was an illusion.

Freebootrr:Yeah, and we know the gate was malfunctioning.

BPRAL22169:The gate was not malfunctioning — there was a nova in the way.

OHostZim: Spend time looking around for your teammate, maybe you get killed and fail.

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Lucylou98: Then why send numerous groups there if wanting to test solo survival?

CHASGRAFT: Spread them out of walking range of each other.

Freebootrr:They’re spread out over a lot of territory.


CHASGRAFT: You have a whole planet to play with….

Freebootrr:Yes, economic constraints

BPRAL22169:This is a cooperative intramural event, remember?

OHostZim: Introduce humans into the mix and you have an extra danger. Bet there was always someone trying to survive by being pirate, even cannibal.

OHostZim: Part of the test ….

Lucylou98: Just send a bunch of youngsters out into unknown territory with guns, knives….what else could happen?

CHASGRAFT: Intramural event? This was not a sports contest.

BPRAL22169:Intramural in the sense that several schools — college, university, high school — were using the same facility.

Freebootrr:Consider the contrast btw the survival course and anything faintly hazardous in our current schools.

BPRAL22169:I suspect that fatalities were beyond the liability standards even in 1955.

Freebootrr:They gave up organized ski trips at a local school. Insurers wouldn’t let them.

OHostZim: Closest we have is probably walking to school in some neighborhoods.

Lucylou98: Of course these kids were exceptional

OHostZim: We had shooting teams in the 50s, … camping, hiking and the like.

Seanspanks:Also, it was a gov’t requirement, for any “outland professions.”

BPRAL22169:No more exceptional, arguendo, than ROTC

Freebootrr:Yeah. And it was “really” a college course.

OHostZim: “advanced placement” course.

Freebootrr:Advanced Placement for the High Schoolers

CHASGRAFT: So was ROTC. But I attended a high school that required it in 1959.

Lucylou98: You remember the list of courses these kids had under their belts?

OHostZim: Physical Education isn’t required anymore.

Lucylou98: Is it not, Zim?

Freebootrr:Some satire there, maybe, regarding Rod’s math courses. He didn’t have any “advanced” math. Just tensor Calculus.

OHostZim: I recall some very interesting lists of courses that all the kids in various of the juvenile novels had! I drooled over them when I read them in my teens, and wondered why not? History of Science!

Lucylou98: OK…I give, what is Tensor Calculus?

Lucylou98: Different from The calculus?

BPRAL22169:Calculus that deals with statements like E=MCexp.2

Seanspanks:It makes you more tense

Freebootrr:An obscure branch of math that Einstein stumbled on when he was working on relativity.

OHostZim: (I haven’t a clue … all the math in all the books far beyond where an English major goes).

Lucylou98: hmmm…. sounds interesting.

Freebootrr:I think RAH just liked the sound of it.

BPRAL22169:No – he was a mathematics nut from ‘way back.

Lucylou98: I did too, Free.

OHostZim: Remember Bill Lermer noting that he had grammar school calculus?

BPRAL22169:And he and Virginia calculated Hohman transfer orbits by hand for SPACE CADET, remember —

BPRAL22169:that’s hairy stuff.

Lucylou98: grammar school calculus! LOL that takes the cake.

BPRAL22169:Butcher paper time.

OHostZim: I had algebra in third grade. Understood it through quadratics. Never saw it again until 7th grade.

CHASGRAFT: Latin in the 6th grade was not uncommon in one room schoolhouses

OHostZim: [—special school run by Case-Western Reserve.

Lucylou98: maybe we should go back to the one room schoolhouses.

OHostZim: Always thought there was no reason why those subjects couldn’t be taught to some earlier.

Dehede011: With computer instruction we may.

CHASGRAFT: We could do worse. Our current mega-schools are a failure.

Seanspanks:The HS grad of 1890 was better educated than most college grads of today.

Freebootrr:Re T4Stars: I’ve always assumed that the basic plot was based on published pop sci accounts of how relativity worked re time dilation.

Lucylou98: My son is learning addition and subtraction in Kindergarten.

Freebootrr:One twin travels at light speed, one stays at home.

BPRAL22169:Rhine was still publishing every few years in the fifties, wasn’t he?

Dehede011: Lucy, the kids can handle that. It is the teachers that have problems.

OHostZim: Haldeman’s Forever War works the same way, doesn’t it? And he’s a physicist ….

Lucylou98: it did….years out in space…

BPRAL22169:And Anderson’s Tau Zero.

Freebootrr:Yes. I just seem to recall pop books using exactly that scenario by way of illustration.

Lucylou98: Didn’t read that one, BPR.

BPRAL22169:The Laurentz-Fitzgerald contraction isn’t that hard to understand.

Freebootrr:I mean stuff from the 30s and 40s when the public was just learning about relativity.

BPRAL22169:(Lost the Hugo in 1969 to Ringworld, I think)

OHostZim: What did you think about the ‘pecking order’ business in T4TS? Was that important?

Lucylou98: LOL

Lucylou98: T4TS

OHostZim: Older brothers …. younger siblings … domination.

Freebootrr:RAH and his brothers?

OHostZim: Castor and Pollux revisited with a dark side to it?

OHostZim: And the definition of the ‘unconscious’ mind causing Pat to have that paralysis?

Freebootrr:It was a Freud-drenched era.

OHostZim: Is that believable still today?

BPRAL22169:To me, the Long Range Foundation was the most fascinating idea in that book.

OHostZim: Yes, ’twas.


OHostZim: Me too, and I thought … how do we get a LRF to start? All the scientists form a cooperative?

CHASGRAFT: Tax reforms?

BPRAL22169:Some of the things it was invested in are now being researched by NASA. They have an “alternative propulsion” section now.

Lucylou98: tell about that?

Freebootrr:I don’t think a LRF is ever going to be birthed by a govt.

OHostZim: True, but unless the LRF had financing from rights to its own inventions, and they’d have to be gangbuster inventions, there wouldn’t be a chance.

Freebootrr:It would take a few private individuals and a whopping lump of case.

OHostZim: lumps of cash=licensing rights to inventions

BPRAL22169:It’s a crapshoot but it’s based on a very sound observation: money invested in basic research ALWAYS pays off.

BPRAL22169:I read a Chase Econometrics study in the early 1980s that showed NASA’s technology transfer program had paid back $14 for each $1 put into the space program — and that was before personal computers came out of it!

Freebootrr:Yep. It you’ve got a big enough pile to ride out the bad bets until the good ones come up.

OHostZim: Anyone think it odd that there was a “Howard” in charge of the LRF?

Lucylou98: pretty good return!

Seanspanks:LRF reminds me CalTech Consortium in Pournelle’s stories

Freebootrr:Yeah, it’s a question of who captures the benefits, though.

Dehede011: I under stand the Space Industry is over $100 billion per year at this time

BPRAL22169:Yeah – the limitation on commercial activities conducted by a foundation runs into problems.

OHostZim: When they were shutting down Lawrence there was some talk of something like an LRF, but that never developed, did it?

Freebootrr:The LRF has to get enough comeback on its intellect property to self-finance.

Dehede011: Not bad return on the NASA moon program.

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You have just entered room “The BC Salon III”

Dehede011: Shouldn’t NORMAL be defined simply by what the market will bear.

Lylanthwol:you’re making me dizzy David 🙂

Lucylou98: GA, BPR, I’m listening.

OHostZim: And tries again to return.

Freebootrr:So how bad a guy was Pat?

BPRAL22169:What topic, Lucy?

Lucylou98: what you were typing

CHASGRAFT: “you can always tell a government program– Short term benefit at the expense of long range costs.”

BPRAL22169:About investment horizons being too technical for this chat?

Lucylou98: yes

Lucylou98: I was listening.

OHostZim: (Just Tom with his hand on the control throttle! Or Castor run amok).

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BPRAL22169:Perhaps a chat by e-mail might me more profitable — e-mail Freebootrr and me.

Seanspanks:Pat was not too bad, just a greedy person.

Freebootrr:If we went any further it would be obvious I don’t know what I’m saying. So we changed the subject.

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Lucylou98: LOL



Lucylou98: I was absorbing knowledge:)


OHostZim: Space flight is always an interesting subject … and how to finance it. Big mystery to some: how come it stopped?

Lucylou98: Big arguments about that around here, Zim

CHASGRAFT: “if we can afford to send a man to the moon we can afford to….”

Seanspanks:Because the motive was to beat Soviets to the moon. That was done.

OHostZim: I think Pat was not much unlike any ‘older’ brother, any first born.

BPRAL22169:I think Pat just evolved along the lines he was already going at the start of the book. And got crankier as he got older and richer.

OHostZim: Any Alpha male …

CHASGRAFT: Short range goal and the expense of long range development. (The space program.)

OHostZim: Simply got used to having people ask “how high” when he said jump!

Freebootrr:Yeah, but he liked it.

BPRAL22169:Like Tom – who did jump pretty high.

OHostZim: But the fun part is when Tom and Vicky marry. Tom marries what’s left of Pat.

BPRAL22169:Is there anything in the fact that Thomas Jefferson went to space while Patrick Henry got rich for both of them?

[ed.: Been more clear if it had been Alexander Hamilton, Bill].

OHostZim: Anyone think it coincidence that T4TS written in late ’55, and Door into Summer written ’56?

OHostZim: Both time travel … both marriage endings.

Lucylou98: The gate was supposed to be a time machine wasn’t it?

BPRAL22169:winter early into the next year — does everybody know the story of how it came to be written?

Seanspanks:Hmm…RAH’s little girl period, perhaps?

OHostZim: Not the gate, Lucy. The time differential between Pat and Tom. Pat stays home and Tom got to go into space at barely minus light speed. Pat is in his nineties when Tom comes home still under 21. Pat &Tom=twins. Vicky who Tom marries at end is Pat’s great-granddaughter.

Dehede011: I see both women as VH

CHASGRAFT: And he usually preferred happy endings! (G D & R VVF)


Dehede011: His wife from the little we know of her.

Freebootrr:How does Virginia equate to attraction to barely pubescent girls?

Dehede011: The personality. Didn’t they seem a little mature for you? They did for me.

BPRAL22169:I don’t think it was particularly a nymphet compulsion going on there.

OHostZim: I’m not sure an attraction to barely pubescent girls exists in either book. Ricky is over 21 by a few days when she marries Daniel Boone Davis, and Vicky is of age at least.

Dehede011: No, I don’t either.

BPRAL22169:About this time, I think RAH solved a problem he had been thinking about for 20+ years.

Freebootrr:Yes, but the thread begins much earlier. Freebootrr:Which problem?

BPRAL22169:A provisional solution anyway — stop mothers from ruining their daughters at the age of puberty.

Lucylou98: ?

OHostZim: ‘splain, Bill.

BPRAL22169:The problem was: why (what is the mechanics) are women so susceptible to self-image problems? He had been chewing that over since at least 1939 — Mary Lou Martin in “‘Let There Be Light.'”

Dehede011: Yes he talked about that in other novels.

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Lucylou98: it’s not because of their mothers.

Freebootrr:And the solution is?

DenvToday: Good evening everybody.

Seanspanks:Yes, many mothers DO ruin daughters! At least in the US.

Lucylou98: I know the answer. Very simple.

Freebootrr:We’re breathless, Lucy.

Dehede011: I never knew of but one case of that — my wife. LOL

BPRAL22169:The solution he came to can be argued: I’m just saying this is the solution he came to at that time, so it shows up in his fiction.

BPRAL22169:Yes, Lucy, tell us, do!

OHostZim: Molly—Kathleen—Vicky, 3 generations of telepaths. Surely they could communicate with Vicky.

Lylanthwol:Hi Den, I agree Sean … my “MIL” tried her very best

Lucylou98: Mostly the expectations placed on women by society…but I suppose…our mothers do perpetuate this in a way.

DenvToday: Hi Lyl.

OHostZim: Yet, Vicky keeps her plans to marry Tom secret from them until she announces it.

Lylanthwol:Mothers are the primary factor in setting the “societal” expectations on their daughters

OHostZim: Although Kathleen is looking at her a little funny a few minutes before … errant vibe?

Lucylou98: OK, … to a certain age they are, but then peers have more influence

Dehede011: Gotta go guys, Morning comes early around here.

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OHostZim: Okay, Ron. Nice to have you.

Lylanthwol:Well … how many women are always trying to catch up to mom?

Lucylou98: Not I

Lylanthwol:LOL Lucy … she’s probably trying to catch up to you!

Freebootrr:Or running in the opposite direction — which often comes to the same thing.

OHostZim: Dunno … but Maureen, for example, seems to supplant ‘mom’ in some ways so far as Dr. Johnson was concerned.

Lucylou98: Free, that’s more what I do.

Lylanthwol:excellent point Free

Lylanthwol:Not all that uncommon on the male side of things either

Lucylou98: Fathers have a huge impact on their daughters’ self view.

OHostZim: (or maybe the former Miss Pfeiffer wasn’t impressed with her husband any more?)

OHostZim: Shame we don’t have more of Vicky to see in the novel.

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OHostZim: Hi, Candace

Lylanthwol:hi Candy

CandyLC: Hi all

Lucylou98: Hi, Candy

OHostZim: On the point of Dusty Rhodes, any one have anything to add to his development?

DenvToday: I have to go for a bit. I hope I can pop in later.

CHASGRAFT: Today he would be a computer nerd…..

DenvToday: Bye for now…

Freebootrr:T4 Stars and he was the artist, right?

OHostZim: Parents told him and his twin that they were ‘so perfect’ and never taught either manners.

OHostZim: See ya, Denv

DenvToday: Bye Zim

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Astyanax12:Being thrown off-line–

OHostZim: Yes, John

OnlineHost:”Lylanthwol” has left the room.

OHostZim: (I never saw him enter the room)

OHostZim: What you have to do is restart …

Astyanax, and return.

Freebootrr:Was he spoiled, or just very young?

Seanspanks:Dusty reminds me of the twerp in “Farmer in the Sky”

OHostZim: The psychologist thought the parents spoiled him. Or the Captain. Forget whom.

OHostZim: Captain told Tom to whack him if needed … but I didn’t say that.

BPRAL22169:It’s very hard to raise very bright kids.

Lucylou98: That it is

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OHostZim: Clark Fries ….


BPRAL22169:In that case, the parents just weren’t paying attention to what they were doing.

Freebootrr:Yeah, but Clark Fries was a lot more focussed than Dusty Rhodes.

OHostZim: … and the twerp, Hank Jones, in Farmer.

Freebootrr:Dusty Rhodes doesn’t really have an agenda, he’s just a pain.

BPRAL22169:In the Schulman interview, Heinlein said Clark Fries was one of his favorite characters.

OHostZim: I would think so!

Freebootrr:I can understand why he’d be proud of him as a lit creation. He was a complicated and unusual character.

Lucylou98: Finals this weekend, no discipline, must go study.

CHASGRAFT: Didn’t he claim Clark was based on himself?

Lucylou98: Good night.

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Freebootrr:You just contradicted yourself, Lucy.

OHostZim: The potential with the ‘Dusty’ and ‘Clark’ character is so much greater to make an interesting character.

OHostZim: He obviously used some incidents of an adult woman to model some of the stunts Clark got into.

Freebootrr:how so?

OHostZim: Ginny, in that cigarette smuggling incident in Tramp Royale is Clark leaving Mars with the A-bomb smuggling going on.

OHostZim: Slight difference in what they were smuggling, of course.

Freebootrr:Ah. Yes. The willfulness. RAH admired it and pretended to be appalled.

OHostZim: I agree. He obviously thought it was funny, and used it later!

Freebootrr:Maybe Clark (in particular) was a vent for RAH feeling his juvenile heroes had to be blander than he would have liked.

OHostZim: Wonder who he modeled Dusty on?

BPRAL22169:Himself, maybe?

OHostZim: I think he vented in Podkayne a lot out of the juveniles.

BPRAL22169:I always thought he modeled his protagonists after Tom Sawyer.

OHostZim: Podkayne is the only tragic hero who is a juvenile.

Freebootrr:Yes. But I sometimes think the constraints of doing the Scribner books compelled him to be more subtle than he otherwise would have been.

CHASGRAFT: Gonna drop out here, people. See you some other time.

BPRAL22169:I agree — I know it is heresy, but I think he got good use out of those restrictions.

OHostZim: Which may have twisted him towards satire … night Charles.

Freebootrr:Bye Chas.

OHostZim: Thanks for coming.

CHASGRAFT: Later maybe…………..

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OHostZim: What other ways did he benefit from the restrictions, Bill?

Freebootrr:Yeah. He had to find strategies and ways of saying things indirectly. I think it made him a better writer.

BPRAL22169:’What he said.’

BPRAL22169:He had to learn to tighten his stories, too — to keep in what MUST be said.

Freebootrr:Yes. Length. They are really more short novels or novellas.

OHostZim: I mentioned the plot ‘hole’ in Farmer on the AFH board today, only because someone raised

BPRAL22169:yes — around 50 – 60,000 words. Quite short.

OHostZim: … a point to which it was germane. Originally when I thought about it, I said: “Yes, that’s a hole, but who cares how Uncle Chet got off the farm and into space?”

OHostZim: If becoming an astrologator was hereditary … how’d he get off the farm?

Freebootrr:Not so much a hole as just an untold story.

OHostZim: Why have a digression about a dead man’s youth … not necessary.

BPRAL22169:Maybe Max’s father lost a bet.

OHostZim: Exactly.

Freebootrr:Are we conflating Starman and Farmer?

BPRAL22169:I meant “lost the toss.”

OHostZim: Exactly again. Starman again.

BPRAL22169:I thought you meant Starman, even though you said Farmer.

BPRAL22169:No Uncle Chet in Farmer.

OHostZim: Yes.

Freebootrr:What about the overall tone of T4S and Tunnel. Do they seem darker than earlier books?

OHostZim: Tunnel certainly …

BPRAL22169:I don’t know . . . the society portrayed in BETWEEN PLANETS wasn’t all that sweetness and light.

OHostZim: I couldn’t agree on Time4 because the story I thought was full of hope in a way.

Seanspanks:Tunnel seems so much more solid. It is one of the very best of the juveniles.

BPRAL22169:There are many story arcs in the expansion of humankind into the cosmos.

OHostZim: Just because Magellan lost most of his ships and crews circumnavigating the Earth didn’t mean the story was ‘dark.’

BPRAL22169:But not his press agent!

Freebootrr:I agree, Sean. It’s very well crafted. As good as anything he did.

OHostZim: In that way, losing everyone on the “Elsie” was sad, but not dark.

OHostZim: And Tom and Vicky have that glorious future ahead of them.

Freebootrr:Yes. But the wreck of Pat sitting there. The ghost at the wedding.

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Seanspanks:Well, he’ll soon be light years in the dust…

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OHostZim: I always felt a little disappointed in how Rod ends up. Up on his horse alone saying ‘good-bye’ to Jackie.

BPRAL22169:Both Pat and Tom have accomplished hard tasks — Tom was at risk, and Pat made the risk remunerative.

BPRAL22169:Why? He’s doing what he always longed to do.

Freebootrr:It’s a lovely image, though. Right out of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.

Seanspanks:Rod will get jumped by a pretty frontier lass, either that trip, or the next contract.

OHostZim: Even if she married his best friend, and even if Jimmie says we’ll see you maybe.

BPRAL22169:The Eternal Frontier Experience.

OHostZim: ’tis, Free

OHostZim: Pat had a full life! And a much better one than he’d have had otherwise. He was born to be the boss. And he got to be a success at it.

BPRAL22169:And Tom was better off without a boss.

Seanspanks:Good point!

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OHostZim: Earlier I mentioned Door Into Summer … and the comparison of points with it and Time4

Seanspanks:”Tunnel”… 1955, height of Westerns and Davy Crockett hats.

OHostZim: Silly thing: I just thought of it, after all these years, last night. Any other developments of themes you see other than the obvious ones: marriage to the young girl, etc.

Freebootrr:Yeah. But the plainsman on horseback is an image that goes way back into the 19th Century. We haven’t quite lost it yet.

OHostZim: No, we haven’t.

BPRAL22169:It’s quite remarkable that these books are still in print and selling.

Freebootrr:For how long, I wonder?

BPRAL22169:I give it another 30 years.

OHostZim: Virginia said they are thinking about selling all the juveniles again. Think they can get a publisher(s) to release a full set of ’em?

BPRAL22169:Already done. To Simon & Shuster, I believe.

Seanspanks:For a long time, I think…there are people who hunger for something good

BPRAL22169:One of the “S” houses.

BPRAL22169:I think these books say — LOUD — things kids need to hear.

OHostZim: Any chance of a hardbound series. I’d like to replace my paperbacks.

Freebootrr:Instead of just pushing them out piecemeal, they need a real marketing campaign. And somebody to write some strong new introductions.

BPRAL22169:You can do that on Ebay anytime — Scribners’ brought out the Hudson River line in the 1970s. They sell for $8-$15 each.

OHostZim: Only managed to pick up three of the Hudson River hardbounds back then ….

OHostZim: I hate to buy used Heinleins … want new!

Seanspanks:One of RAH’s secrets was not “writing down” to kids. Just compare that to today’s pap.

OHostZim: Yes!

Freebootrr:I was just looking at the cover art on this here Del Rey paperback of Starman.

Freebootrr:Sucks big time.

OHostZim: I never felt he wrote down to me and I read them all when I was in my teens.

OHostZim: The Hudson River edition repeats the original black and white art ….

OHostZim: Nice line drawings …

OHostZim: Fairly simple though …

Freebootrr:The name of the original Scribner artist eludes me.

Seanspanks:On the Del Reys, it appears the artist used the same model for all the covers!

OHostZim: I’d like to know. Also like to know if the copyright is still valid.

BPRAL22169:Yes — just renewed, most of them.

OHostZim: Um …

Freebootrr:I know the name. Just having a senior moment. Day.

OHostZim: The lines would make nice background for webpages. Darn!

OHostZim: Wasn’t Cheslie Bonesteel, was it?

OHostZim: One who did the backdrops for Destination Moon?

Seanspanks:I bought all the Del Reys as they were published in the late 70’s. Still got ’em.

BPRAL22169:No — I know the name, too, but it’s gone completely out of my mind.

Freebootrr:Clear, bold line drawings.

BPRAL22169:Somebody else did RSG, then Scribners got this guy (after turning down Rogers) for Space Cadet

OHostZim: It’ll come back … let me know if either of you ever remember it. Cannot tell from my Hudson Rivers.

OHostZim: And they used those lines for the covers too.

BPRAL22169:BTW, Dave, which of the HR editions do you have?

OHostZim: Time, Citizen, and HSSWT

Freebootrr:The rendering of the torchships was memorable. Very simple and stylized.

BPRAL22169:The same three I own.

OHostZim: Yes. In Time, very nice. I also love the spacesuited HSSWT line

BPRAL22169:Space ships “the way God and Robert Heinlein intended them.”

OnlineHost:”PhillipOwe” has entered the room.

OHostZim: Exactly, I always thought.

Seanspanks:ROCKET Ships!

OHostZim: Hi, Phil. Meet John LeGere, aka Freebootrr

OHostZim: And you know Sean from last time.

Freebootrr:I was amused to learn that the RN vessel William Golding commanded was, technically, a rocket ship.

PhillipOwe:Hi, John–and everyone else.

Freebootrr:Yo, Phil.


BPRAL22169:Geary — that’s the name. Clifford Geary.

BPRAL22169:Hi, Phillip


OHostZim: I thought that was great! Wavy Navy Lieutenant gets reply from RN Lieutenant. [ed. The RNVR (Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve) officers, like Golding, during WWII wore wavy bands (or stripes) on the bottom of their sleeves denoting rank instead of the familiar straight bands. “Wavy Navy” was a term used to describe them.]

OHostZim: … if it happened.

Freebootrr:I used to live on Geary St in San Francisco, can’t believe I forgot it.

BPRAL22169:So did I — Gearly/Arguello.

OHostZim: Been there.

Freebootrr:Very funky neighborhood.

Seanspanks:What’s that about William Golding? I lost track there.

OHostZim: We were talking about who did the line drawings in the original juveniles, Phil, that were reproduced in the Hudson River editions.

BPRAL22169:1 block away from Clement.


Freebootrr:William Golding commanded a little ship in WWII.


Freebootrr:It fired rockets. Hence: a rocket ship.


OHostZim: One of the bombardment vessels at the D-Day landing.

PhillipOwe:I bought all the Scribner Juveniles at one point factory new, but lost several later.

Seanspanks:Like those LST’s with pipe-organs…? [ed. ‘xactly!]

BPRAL22169:Golding’s name came up because we’re talking about Tunnel in the Sky.

OHostZim: Who makes the ‘big comparison’ between Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Tunnel?

Freebootrr:David, You think I was too hard on Golding?

OHostZim: No. You said what I couldn’t for two reasons: (1) I didn’t have the skill to say it succinctly, and (2) I didn’t want to get into my own very angry objections to that book.

OHostZim: (And state of mind.)

OHostZim: Plus, I never got to Golding book #2.

Seanspanks:I am interested in your objections to Flies, particularly the source of your anger.

OHostZim: I wasn’t about to give him a second chance after I read the first one.

Freebootrr:Oh. I guess the sort of people who swooned over Sartre in the 50s would have loved Golding.

OHostZim: I think it’s fundamentally stupid to put all that great weight of metaphor on 6 to 12 year olds … like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.

Freebootrr:I think it’s more a philosophical problem than an artistic one, Sean.

Seanspanks:I didn’t think Flies was really nihilistic, or existential, or any of that crap, seemed

BPRAL22169:Well — that’s when the veneer is thinnest, according to his thesis.

OHostZim: And I knew 11 years olds at least who would not have acted that way.

Seanspanks:It was realistic to me, as a kid, as I looked at MY classmates and envisioned them on the island.

OHostZim: Can you imagine the two boys in Two Little Savages doing any of that?

Freebootrr:As to whether young children can do bestial things, Sean — no argument.

Seanspanks:Yes, but I can tell you, MY eleven year old classmates, in a MASS, would have been savages.

OHostZim: I think Golding had an overprotected childhood and a strange concept of what kids are/were like.

Freebootrr:We’ve got twelve year-olds standing trial for murder in this country.

Seanspanks:It’s the group dynamics.

OHostZim: I can remember 11 year olds who wouldn’t have tolerated that for an instant. The subnormal 12 year olds standing trial to the contrary.

Freebootrr:My objection is to making it a parable about the essential level of humanity.

OHostZim: Mine too.

Freebootrr:As I wrote, The Inheritors purveyed the same thing.

PhillipOwe:Bradbury’s views of children could be chilling–read The Playground.

Seanspanks:When I remember the brutality of how mobs of kids treated others, I have no doubt of “Flies”

OHostZim: Is that the one with “Ashes, ashes … ” Phil, or am I thinking of something else.

PhillipOwe:A man takes his son’s place so he doesn’t get brutalized on the playground.

Seanspanks:My first great lesson in military leadership was leading a charge in a dirt-clod fight once.

OHostZim: The one with “Ring Around the Rosie” … probably something else.

OHostZim: We had a good knowledge of how to govern ourselves in fifth grade. We didn’t need adults for that. I thought the confusion in LotF was surreal.

Seanspanks:.. We DROVE our enemy off the field! God, what a rush of blood and VICTORY!

PhillipOwe:Paints a dismal picture of kids–like the one that kicked Hoag in the shin —

Freebootrr:The cruelty of children is proverbial. But Golding wasn’t writing as a naturalist or reporter.

OHostZim: And it detracted from Golding’s points.

BPRAL22169:roman a these

Freebootrr:He was making an argument about the nature of Man. And I don’t buy it.

PhillipOwe:the girls had “tattletale written in their faces” or something.

OHostZim: True, but that makes it bad poetry if it’s not believable.

OHostZim: And it wasn’t to me.

OHostZim: Particularly among private (public school) schoolboys. They govern themselves quite well, thank you.

Freebootrr:David, you mention on the BB the homoerotic subtext you saw in LotF.

OHostZim: All the prefects, etc. …. they know how to do things, get things done.

OHostZim: Yes ….

Freebootrr:the relation to the Brit Pub school experience is obvious.

OHostZim: I thought so too.

Seanspanks:they ARE private (public) school boys.

OHostZim: But, I went to a boarding school in the States for a time … it’s present, even then, elsewhere.


Seanspanks:with strong traditions of good, and rotten, things.

Freebootrr:I did some time in such a place as well. It’s a world of its own.

OHostZim: I’m not too sure about tradition … a lot of those kids in the states are ‘troubled’ kids.

Seanspanks:I was more disturbed by the INDIVIDUAL evil/nihlism in “A Separate Peace”..

PhillipOwe:What does Tunnel say about RAH’s view of socialism in small groups?

Seanspanks:..than by the GROUP evil of “Flies.”

OHostZim: Who get put to the tender mercies of the priests who run the schools because their parents cannot run them.

Freebootrr:Good question, Phil. I noted that one of Grant’s first measures was to win over a constituent by providing some public housing by cutting the defense budget.

Seanspanks:Not necessarily “socialism” but “team” or “pioneer neighbors”

OHostZim: ‘socialism’ doesn’t compute once you have someone who won’t go along … i.e., Bruce McGowan.

Seanspanks:LOL. Boot

Freebootrr:They were two of Rod’s allies, and he co-opted them with public “funds”

PhillipOwe:But Rod started it, and later continued it.

PhillipOwe:I mean, their weapons and food were common.

OHostZim: Up to a point … wonder about all Jimmie and Goldie’s talking about starting their own firm and driving along being pulled by a team of whatever those animals were that Cliff was domesticating.

Freebootrr:At the beginning, they were really more like a military garrison than a civilian commune.

OHostZim: Or Waxie’s steel mill … how do you account for his incentive?

Seanspanks:Yes, there is a complete progression shown, first Rod, then Jackie, then more..then a village.

BPRAL22169:Finding out what you can do is much stronger incentive than any amount of money.

OHostZim: Somewhere down the line … Waxie will want to stop working … will he want a reward?

Seanspanks:”Galt’s Gulch”?

OHostZim: For Waxie it was! And proving himself more useful than those who laughed at him.

Freebootrr:Well, the only “currency” going there is really prestige within the group.

BPRAL22169:Why should he? Stop working, I mean.

BPRAL22169:There is no stronger “currency” among us primate-types.

OHostZim: Approval, stroking … ?

Freebootrr:Agree. Money is a poor substitute.

PhillipOwe:RAH’s point was maybe that socialism only works in small groups.


OHostZim: Maybe …

PhillipOwe:and in survival situations.

BPRAL22169:Perhaps not “only” — but it’s natural for small, tightly knit groups.

Freebootrr:”socialism” is a word so elastic and provocative that it’s hard to use it usefully.

BPRAL22169:He says the same thing essentially in STRANGER

PhillipOwe:But complex societies screw it up.

OHostZim: Once you have individuals who have time to ‘resent’ like Shorty and think, then you have to modify it.

BPRAL22169:Besides, I don’t think Heinlein was agin’ socialism — but he was agin’ Marxism.

PhillipOwe:In 1955, RAH wasn’t done thinking about it.

Freebootrr:You could argue that Rod’s community looked a lot like a kibbutz.

OHostZim: If frontier cooperation was socialism … barn raisings, etc., then I think he never was agin’ it.

PhillipOwe:You may be right, Bill.

BPRAL22169:There are a couple of major non-marxist models for socialism — Saint-Simonean socialism must have had some attractions for him.

BPRAL22169:Wells’ certainly was, and that was S-S derived.

Freebootrr:Recall that anyone was free to secede and hive off a new group.

Freebootrr:It was often discussed.

BPRAL22169:But the American social radicals were communitarians without S-S’s division into industriels and — les oissifs.

OHostZim: oissifs=others?

PhillipOwe:Yeah–RAH doesn’t hate cooperatist socialism, just coercion.

BPRAL22169:I think it comes from “useless” but recollection’s vague.

OHostZim: okay

Freebootrr:I think that’s a very fair summary, Phil.

BPRAL22169:Hold on a sec. I’ve got Stover’s edition of SLEEPER I’m sure it’s in there.

OHostZim: keep talking while we’re holding …

OHostZim: I’m listening.

Freebootrr:There’s a vast gap between voluntary cooperation and forced labor, but both things have been called socialism.

PhillipOwe:I gotta go, folks–6 a.m. comes early. I’m gone.

OHostZim: In TEFL when Secundus splits to Tertius is that a socialistic S-S derived model? Phil?

Freebootrr:And that voluntary cooperation, IMHO, is morally much more like what goes on in a private company than what goes on a compulsory socialist state.

OnlineHost:”PhillipOwe” has left the room.

OHostZim: Ah, well, missed …

BPRAL22169:oisifs = useless

BPRAL22169:A pleasure, Phillip.

OHostZim: okay … but in some ways the Boondock setup is socialistic bolstered by a lot of capital.

OHostZim: accrued capital

BPRAL22169:I don’t think so — it’s basically captured by the hospital industry, except LL’s home, which is a benevolent dictatorship, i.e., a family.

Freebootrr:Gentlemen, I’m afraid I have to bail, too. Thanks for the company.

BPRAL22169:Good chat.

OHostZim: But the hospital is what the industrials do … good chat. Glad you made it, John.

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BPRAL22169:Boondock’s economy serves settlers and runs the rejuvenation clinic, I believe.

OHostZim: Yes … and until the Circle gets going, that’s what everyone does, except Laz who takes vacations back to old home Earth.

OHostZim: and the twins who capture C & P and go pirating …

BPRAL22169:(or slaving)

OHostZim: Be interesting to figure out what plans he might have had … slaving Thorby?

BPRAL22169:No – Cas & Pol get outmaneuvered and have to become their wives’ slaves — instead of selling them on Iskander.

OHostZim: Been fun to read that novel!


BPRAL22169:Well, what say we close out a little early tonight?

OHostZim: We’d have seen how different Lazuli and Lori were. Sure, what about you Sean?

OHostZim: :::::waving::::: Sean?

OHostZim: He’s probably getting rid of used beer.

BPRAL22169:I’d say we’ve already been left behind.

Seanspanks:uh..bailing out!

OHostZim: Okay … no meeting Christmas.

BPRAL22169:It’s on Thursday this year? I hadn’t looked ahead.

Seanspanks:getting IM’ed by a spankablle female RAH fan, actually. 🙂

OHostZim: Next one after that is Jan 8 I believe.

BPRAL22169:Ahah – well, it’s definitely time to leave then.

BPRAL22169:I think we’re ready for a bit of vacation again. ** * * *

BPRAL22169:Well, gentles, I’m about to go into that Good Night.

BPRAL22169:Good Night.

OHostZim: As soon as Maureen arrives in the irrelevancy bus.

OHostZim: Nite all.

BPRAL22169:Oh — we’re getting somewhat effete in our old age, are we?


BPRAL22169:(Though I wouldn’t mind having a jaw with Jubal Harshaw…)


OHostZim: Thursday, December 9, 1999, 8:43:44 PM, closing log. My broom doesn’t work so well anymore

OHostZim: Nite.


OnlineHost:”BPRAL22169″ has left the room.

12/9/99 8:44:34 PM 99Closing “RAHChat Log 12/9/99”

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