Library of America
The Library of America is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature. Founded in 1979 with seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, the LOA has published over 300 volumes by a wide range of authors from Mark Twain to Philip Roth, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Saul Bellow, including the selected writings of several U. S. presidents. The Bibliothèque de la Pléiade series published in France provided the model for the LOA, long a dream of critic and author Edmund Wilson; the initial organizers included American academic Daniel Aaron,Lawrence Hughes, Helen Honig Meyer, Roger W. Straus, Jr.. The initial board of advisers included Robert Penn Warren, C. Vann Woodward, R. W. B. Lewis, Robert Coles, Irving Howe, Eudora Welty. Officers included Richard Poirier, Jason Epstein, Daniel Aaron, Cheryl Hurley; as of 2017, Hurley remains president of the Library of America. The first volumes were published ten years after Wilson's death. Besides the works of many individual writers, the series includes anthologies like Reporting World War II and Writing Los Angeles.
The publisher aims to keep classics and notable historical and genre works in print permanently to preserve America's literary and cultural heritage. Although the LOA sells more than a quarter-million volumes annually, the publisher depends on individual contributions to help meet the costs of preparing, marketing and maintaining its books; some books published as additions to the series are not kept in print in perpetuity. The Publisher of Library of America is Max Rudin. LOA volumes are edited by recognized scholars on the subject. Determined efforts are made to correct errors and omissions in previous editions and create a definitive version of the material. Notes on the text are included and the source texts properly identified. For instance, the LOA text of Richard Wright's Native Son restored a number of passages, cut; the LOA commissioned a new translation of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America by Arthur Goldhammer for their edition of the text. Each volume includes a chronology of the author's career or significant incidents in the case of the anthology volumes.
Each volume in the series is printed on, but durable paper. The paper meets the requirements for permanence set by the American National Standards Institute; the binding cloth is woven rayon. The books are Smyth-sewn for permanence and flexibility, each includes a ribbon marker; each volume has an identical trim size, based on the golden ratio, which the ancient Greeks considered to be the ideal proportion. Each volume contains 700 to 1,600 pages; the typeface used for each volume is Galliard. Writing New York ISBN 978-1-883011-62-8 American Sea Writing ISBN 978-1-883011-83-3 Baseball ISBN 978-1-931082-09-9 Writing Los Angeles ISBN 978-1-931082-27-3 Americans in Paris ISBN 1-931082-56-1 American Writers at Home ISBN 978-1-931082-75-4 American Movie Critics ISBN 978-1-931082-92-1 American Religious Poems ISBN 978-1-931082-74-7 American Food Writing ISBN 978-1-59853-005-6.
The Green Hills of Earth (short story collection)
The Green Hills of Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1951, including short stories published as early as 1941; the stories are part of Heinlein's Future History. The title story is the tale of an old space mariner reflecting upon his planet of birth. According to an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book, the phrase "the green hills of Earth" is derived from a story by C. L. Moore; the short stories are as follows, in the order they appear in the book: "Delilah and the Space Rigger" "Space Jockey" "The Long Watch" "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" "The Black Pits of Luna" "It's Great to Be Back!" "—We Also Walk Dogs" "Ordeal in Space" "The Green Hills of Earth" "Logic of Empire" Boucher and McComas described the collection as "an outstanding book", noting that the "slick" stories published in non-genre magazines included "classics in a new form". P. Schuyler Miller noted that most of the contents were "simple stories of human reactions".
The Green Hills of Earth title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database The Green Hills of Earth on Open Library at the Internet Archive
James Benjamin Blish was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is best known for his Cities in Flight novels, his series of Star Trek novelizations written with his wife, J. A. Lawrence, he is credited with creating the term gas giant to refer to large planetary bodies. Blish was a member of the Futurians, his first published stories appeared in Super Science Stories and Amazing Stories. Blish wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling Jr, his other pen names included: Donald Laverty, John MacDougal, Arthur Lloyd Merlyn. Blish was born on 23 May 1921 at New Jersey. While in high school, Blish self-published a fanzine using a hectograph, called The Planeteer; the fanzine ran for six issues. Blish attended meetings of the Futurian Science Fiction Society in New York City during this period. Futurian members Damon Knight and C. M. Kornbluth became close friends, Blish's relationship with other members were bitter. A personal target was fellow member Judith Merril.
Merril would dismiss Blish's self-description of being a "paper fascist". She wrote in Better to Have Loved, "Of course was not fascist, antisemitic, or any of those terrible things, but every time he used the phrase, I saw red." Blish studied microbiology at Rutgers University, graduating in 1942. He was drafted into Army service, he served as a medical laboratory technician; the United States Army discharged him for refusing orders to clean a grease trap in 1944. Following discharge, Blish entered Columbia University as a masters student of zoology, he did not complete the program, opting to write fiction full-time. In 1947, he married a fellow Futurian, they divorced in 1963. Blish married artist J. A. Lawrence in 1968, moving to England that same year. From 1962 to 1968, Blish worked as a writer and critic. Much of his work for the institute went uncredited. Blish died on 30 July 1975 from complications related to lung cancer, he was buried in Oxford. The Bodleian Library at Oxford is the custodian of Blish's papers.
The library has a complete catalog of Blish's published works. Throughout the 1940s, Blish published most of his stories in the few pulp magazines still in circulation, his first story was sold to fellow Futurian Frederik Pohl for Super Science Stories, called "Emergency Refueling". Other stories were with little circulation. Blish's "Chaos, Co-Ordinated", co-written with Robert A. W. Lowndes, was sold to Astounding Science Fiction, appearing in the October 1946 issue, earning Blish national circulation for the first time. Blish was what Andrew Litpack called a "practical writer", he would revisit and expand on written stories. An example is "Sunken Universe" published in Super Science Stories in 1942; the story reappeared in Galaxy Science Fiction as "Surface Tension", in an altered form in 1952. The premise emphasised Blish's understanding of microbiology, featured microscopic humans engineered to live on a hostile planet's shallow pools of water; the story proved to be among Blish's more popular, was anthologized in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, edited by Robert Silverberg.
The world of microscopic humans continued in "The Thing in the Attic" in 1954, "Watershed" the following year. The fourth entry, "A Time to Survive", was published by The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1957; the stories were collected, edited together, released as the fixup The Seedling Stars from Gnome Press. John Clute said of all of Blish's "deeply felt work" explored "confronting the Faustian man"; the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction asserts that it was not until the 1950s, the Okie sequence of stories beginning their run, "did it become clear would become a writer of unusual depth". The stories were loosely based on the Okie migration following the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, were influenced by Oswald Spengler's two part Der Untergang des Abendlandes; the stories detail the life of the Okies, humans who migrate throughout space looking for work in vast city-ships, powered by spindizzies, a type of anti-gravity engine. The premise and plot reflected Blish's feelings on the state of western civilization, his personal politics.
The first two stories, "Okie", "Bindlestiff", were published in 1950, by Astounding. "Sargasso of Lost Cities" appeared in Two Complete Science-Adventure Books in April 1953. "Earthman, Come Home" followed a few months published by Astounding. In 1955, Blish collected the four stories together into an omnibus titled Earthman, Come Home, published by Putman. More stories followed: In 1956, They Shall Have Stars, which edited together "Bridge" and "At Death’s End", in 1958, Blish released The Triumph of Time. Four years he published a new Okies novel, A Life for the Stars; the Okies sequence was published as Cities In Flight. Clute notes, "the brilliance of Cities in Flight does not lie in the assemblage of its parts, but in the momentum of the ideas embodied in it." Blish continued to rework older stories, did so for one of his best known works, A Case of Conscience. The novel originated as a novella published in an issue of If, in 1953; the story follows a Jesuit priest, Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez, who visits the planet Lithia as a technical member of an expedition.
While on the planet they discover a race of bipedal reptilians that have perfected mor
Orphans of the Sky
Orphans of the Sky is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, consisting of two parts: "Universe" and its sequel, "Common Sense"; the two novellas were first published together in book form in 1963. "Universe" was published separately in 1951 as a 10¢ Dell paperback. These works contain one of the earliest fictional depictions of a generation ship; the gigantic, cylindrical generation ship Vanguard destined for "Far Centaurus", is cruising without guidance through the interstellar medium as a result of a long-ago mutiny that killed most of the officers. Over time, the descendants of the surviving loyal crew have forgotten the purpose and nature of their ship and lapsed into a pre-technological culture marked by superstition, they come to believe the "Ship" is the entire universe, so that "To move the ship" is considered an oxymoron, references to the Ship's "voyage" are interpreted as religious metaphor. They are ruled by an oligarchy of "officers" and "scientists". Most crew members are simple illiterate farmers or never venturing to the "upper decks", where the "muties" dwell.
Among the crew, all identifiable mutants are killed at birth. The story centers upon a young man of insatiable curiosity, Hugh Hoyland, selected as an apprentice by a scientist; the scientists ritualistically perform the tasks required to maintain the Ship while remaining ignorant of their true functions. On a hunt for muties, Hugh is captured by them, he avoids getting eaten, instead becomes the slave of Joe-Jim Gregory, the two-headed leader of a powerful mutie gang. Joe and Jim have separate identities, but both are intelligent, between them have come to a crude understanding of the Ship's true nature. Having become convinced of the Ship's true purpose, Hugh persuades Joe-Jim to complete the Vanguard's mission of colonization, having noticed that there is a nearby star that Joe-Jim remember as growing larger over the years. Intent on this mission, he returns to the lower levels of the Ship to convince others to help him, but is arrested by his former boss Bill Ertz and sentenced to death, he is viewed as either insane or a unrecognized mutant – he was a borderline case at birth, with a head viewed as too large.
Hugh persuades his old friend. He shows a view of the stars. Convinced, Bill enlists the captain's aide, Phineas Narby, to Hugh's crusade. Inspired by one of Joe-Jim's favorite books, The Three Musketeers, they manufacture swords, superior to the daggers everyone else has, overthrow the captain and install Narby in his place, they embark on a campaign to bring the entire Ship under their control. But things go wrong. Narby never was only playing along as a means to gain power. Once in control, he treacherously sets out to eliminate the muties. Joe is killed in the fighting. Jim sacrifices himself to hold off their pursuers long enough for Hugh, Bill and their wives to get to a automated lifeboat. Hugh manages to land on the habitable moon of a gas giant; the colonists disembark to uneasily explore their alien surroundings. Avram Davidson described Orphans of the Sky as "a modern classic", praising "the magnitude and magnificence of Orphans' concepts" despite expressing disappointment in "the limitations of its conclusion".
Damon Knight said: "Nobody has improved on Universe, although a good many reckless people have tried, because Heinlein said it all." Algis Budrys said that "Many hands have worked at improving Heinlein's impeccable statement of this theme", with none succeeding until James White's The Watch Below. A paragraph at the start of the novel shows an excerpt from "The Romance of Modern Astrography", explaining that the ship was part of the "Proxima Centauri Expedition, sponsored by the Jordan Foundation in 2119". A discovered ship's log begins in June 2172. In Heinlein's novel Time Enough for Love, the Vanguard is mentioned as the sister ship of the New Frontiers, commandeered by the Howard Families in the novel Methuselah's Children, it never landed colonists there. The Vanguard has been discovered, with its crew long dead due to some unexplained failure in its mechanisms, its records destroyed or illegible, its path is traced back, the descendants of Hugh's people are found, flourishing as intelligent savages, on a planet which scientists dub "Pitcairn Island".
This was the only star where settlement was possible on the Vanguard's path. This conversation takes place in 4291, it is mentioned that the settlers have been there for 800 years. Another reference to Heinlein's Future History is a passage describing Joe-Jim's enthusiasm for the works of "Rhysling, the blind singer of the spaceways", a poet and the central character of the Heinlein story "The Green Hills of Earth". "Universe" was performed as a radio play on the NBC Radio Network programs Dimension X and X Minus One. These versions have several drastic changes to the story in their conclusions, in which Hugh is killed showing the crew of the Vanguard the true nature of the Ship. Two-headed humans do exist – one variation of conjoined twins; the physics of The Ship are correct: it spins to give artificial gravity, w
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, retired Naval officer. Called the "dean of science fiction writers", He was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction, his work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, on modern culture more generally. Heinlein became one of the first American science-fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s, he was one of the best-selling science-fiction novelists for many decades, he, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke are considered the "Big Three" of English-language science fiction authors. Notable Heinlein works include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, his work sometimes had controversial aspects, such as plural marriage in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, militarism in Starship Troopers and technologically competent women characters that were strong and independent, yet stereotypically feminine – such as Friday.
A writer of numerous science-fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell at Astounding Science Fiction magazine, though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree. Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought, he speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices. Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. Four of his novels won Hugo Awards. In addition, fifty years after publication, seven of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok", "waldo", "speculative fiction", as well as popularizing existing terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", "space marine".
He anticipated mechanical computer-aided design with "Drafting Dan" and described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel Beyond This Horizon, though he never patented nor built one. In the first chapter of the novel Space Cadet he anticipated the cell-phone, 35 years before Motorola invented the technology. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for television. Heinlein was born on July 7, 1907 in Butler, Missouri, he was a 6th-generation German-American: a family tradition had it that Heinleins fought in every American war starting with the War of Independence. His childhood was spent in Missouri; the outlook and values of this time and place had a definite influence on his fiction his works, as he drew upon his childhood in establishing the setting and cultural atmosphere in works like Time Enough for Love and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Heinlein's experience in the U. S. Navy exerted a strong influence on his writing, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, with the class of 1929.
Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign by the U. S. Navy, he advanced to lieutenant, junior grade while serving aboard the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked in radio communications in its earlier phases, with the carrier's aircraft. The captain of this carrier was Ernest J. King, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet during World War II. Heinlein was interviewed during his years by military historians who asked him about Captain King and his service as the commander of the U. S. Navy's first modern aircraft carrier. Heinlein served as gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS Roper in 1933 and 1934, reaching the rank of lieutenant, his brother, Lawrence Heinlein, served in the U. S. Army, the U. S. Air Force, the Missouri National Guard, reaching the rank of major general in the National Guard. In 1929, Heinlein married Elinor Curry of Kansas City. However, their marriage only lasted about a year, his second marriage in 1932 to Leslyn MacDonald lasted for 15 years.
MacDonald was, according to the testimony of Heinlein's Navy friend, Rear Admiral Cal Laning, "astonishingly intelligent read, liberal, though a registered Republican," while Isaac Asimov recalled that Heinlein was, at the time, "a flaming liberal". At the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Heinlein met and befriended a chemical engineer named Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld. After the war, her engagement having fallen through, she moved to UCLA for doctoral studies in chemistry and made contact again; as his second wife's alcoholism spun out of control, Heinlein moved out and the couple filed for divorce. Heinlein's friendship with Virginia turned into a relationship and on October 21, 1948 — shortly after the decree nisi came through — they married in the town of Raton, New Mexico, shortly after setting up housekeeping in Colorado, they remained married until Heinlein's death. As Heinlein's increasing success as a writer resolved their initial financial woes, they had a house custom built with various innovative features described in an article in Popular Mechanics.
In 1965, after various chronic health problems of
Beyond This Horizon
Beyond This Horizon is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, it was published as a two-part serial in Astounding Science Fiction and as a single volume by Fantasy Press in 1948. It was awarded a Retro-Hugo award for best novel in 2018; the novel depicts a world where genetic selection for increased health and intelligence has become so widespread that the unmodified'control naturals' are a managed and protected minority. Dueling and the carrying of arms are accepted ways of maintaining civility in public; the world has become an economic utopia. The chief economic problem is in fact using up the economic surplus: many high-quality goods cost less than those of lower quality. Many people use lower-quality goods as status symbols; the government invests in scientific research, but this has the side effect of further increasing productivity a decade or more so long-term projects with no expected economic return are favored above anything but medical research, on the theory that longer lifespans will consume more surplus.
The story's protagonist, Hamilton Felix, is the archetypal übermensch. Felix is the penultimate step in a "star line" designed to breed for the highest-quality human characteristics. However, he lacks eidetic memory, which disqualifies him for what many consider to be humanity's most important occupation: that of an "encyclopedic synthesist", one who analyzes the sum total of human knowledge for untapped potential; as such, he finds his life -- and the society he lives in -- to be meaningless. However, when one of these synthesists seeks him out, inquiring when he plans to continue his line, he finds himself drawn into an adventure which not only gives him purpose but convinces him that his society is worth saving after all. Major themes in the novel are reincarnation, the immortality of the soul, telepathy. Hamilton Felix is the product of generations of genetic engineering, he is but not quite the perfect human. In the second half of the book his genetically engineered son is born; the son is the climax of generations of genetic engineering and selective breeding, is a genetically perfect human.
As the son grows he begins to develop superhuman mental abilities and a surprising telepathic ability. As the novel draws to a close, it becomes apparent that the son senses that Hamiton Felix's second child, a daughter, is the reincarnation of a wise elderly government official who foresaw her own death and arranged to die shortly before Felix's daughter was born; this official understood that the soul is reincarnated, in preparation for her own death and reincarnation she was instrumental in the genetic engineering of the son and daughter. Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas characterized Beyond This Horizon as among "the finest science fiction novels of the modern crop." P. Schuyler Miller reviewed the novel favorably, saying "in true Heinlein manner the basic theme of the book smashes the screen of action only in the closing pages." In the Japanese visual novel Eden*, the term'Felix' is used in the setting to refer to genetically engineered humans with abilities similar to those described in the book, the connection to Heinlein's work is referred to in dialogue.
For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs Beyond This Horizon title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Beyond This Horizon on Open Library at the Internet Archive