The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein
The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1966, it includes an introduction entitled "Pandora's Box" that describes some of the difficulties in making predictions about the near future. Heinlein outlines some of his predictions that he made in 1949 and examines how well they stood up to some 15 years of progress in 1965; the prediction was published in Galaxy magazine, Feb 1952, Vol. 3, No. 5, under the title "Where to?". Following the introduction are five short stories: "Free Men" "Blowups Happen" "Searchlight" "Life-Line" "Solution Unsatisfactory" In 1980, the entire contents of this collection, with an updated version of "Pandora's Box", were included in Heinlein's collection, Expanded Universe; the Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
The Number of the Beast (novel)
The Number of the Beast is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1980; the first edition featured a interior illustrations by Richard M. Powers. Excerpts from the novel were serialized in the magazine Omni; the book is a series of diary entries by each of the four main characters: Zebadiah John Carter, programmer Dejah Thoris "Deety" Burroughs Carter, her mathematics professor father Jacob Burroughs, an off-campus socialite Hilda Corners. The names "Dejah Thoris", "Burroughs", "Carter" are overt references to John Carter and Dejah Thoris, the protagonists of the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the four travel in Zebadiah's modified air car Gay Deceiver, equipped with the professor's "continua" device and armed by the Australian Defence Force. The continua device was built by Professor Burroughs while he was formulating his theories on n-dimensional non-euclidean geometry; the geometry of the novel's universe contains six dimensions. The continua device can travel on all six axes.
The continua device allows travel into various fictional universes, such as the Land of Oz, as well as through time. An attempt to visit Barsoom takes them to an different version of Mars under the colonial rule of the British and Russian empires. E. R. B.'s universe is no harder to reach than Mars is in its usual orbit. But that does not mean that you will find Jolly Green Giants and gorgeous red princesses dressed only in jewels. Unless invited, you are to find a Potemkin Village illusion tailored to your subconscious.... In the novel, the biblical number of the beast turns out to be not 666 but 6 or 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056, the initial number of parallel universes accessible through the continua device, it is theorized by the character Jacob that the number may be the accessible universes from a given location, that there is a larger structure that implies an infinite number of universes. The novel lies somewhere between parody and homage in its deliberate use of the style of the 1930s' pulp novels.
Many of the plot lines and characters are derived directly from the pulps, as referenced by the first line of the novel: He's a Mad Scientist and I'm his Beautiful Daughter. The Number of the Beast contains many references to the author; the name of every villain is an anagram of a pen name of Robert or Virginia Heinlein. As in many of his works, Heinlein refers to the idea of solipsism, but in this book develops it into an idea he called "World as Myth" — the idea that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that all fictional worlds are in fact real and all real worlds are figments of fictional figures' fancy, why Heinlein uses the Ouroboros symbology in works like The Cat Who Walks Through Walls; this plays into the ideology of "Thou Art God" from Heinlein's earlier work Stranger in a Strange Land. Jack Kirwan wrote in the National Review that the novel is "about two men and two women in a time machine safari through this and other universes, but describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish".
He goes on to say that Heinlein celebrates the "competent person". Sue K. Hurwitz said in her review for the School Library Journal that it is "a catalog of Heinlein's sins as an author. It's garbage, but right from the top of the heap". Heinlein buff David Potter explained on alt.fan.heinlein, in a posting reprinted on the Heinlein Society, that the entire book is "one of the greatest textbooks on narrative fiction produced, with a magnificent set of examples of HOW NOT TO DO IT right there in the foreground, constant explanations of how to do it right, with literary references to people and books that DID do it right, in the background." He noted that "every single time there's a boring lecture or tedious character interaction going on in the foreground, there's an example of how to do it RIGHT in the background." On 1 February 2019, it was announced that a novel entitled'Six Six Six' would be published from an unpublished Heinlein manuscript. The text of 185,000 words mirrors the Number of the Beast for the first third but deviates from this.
The Number of the Beast title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database The Number of the Beast on Open Library at the Internet Archive
If This Goes On—
"If This Goes On—" is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in 1940 in Astounding Science-Fiction and revised and expanded for inclusion in the 1953 collection Revolt in 2100; the novella shows what might happen to Christianity in the United States given mass communications, applied psychology, a hysterical populace. The novel is part of Heinlein's Future History series. At the 2016 WorldCon the story won the 1941 Retro-Hugo Award for Best Novella of 1940; the story is set in a future theocratic American society, ruled by the latest in a series of fundamentalist Christian "Prophets". The First Prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, a backwoods preacher turned President dictator. John Lyle, a junior army officer under the Prophet, is stationed at the Prophet's capital of New Jerusalem. Devout at this point, he finds himself questioning his faith when he falls for one of the Prophet's Virgins, Sister Judith. Judith, new to the vocation, faints when she is called upon to render sexual service to the Prophet and is confined to her quarters until she sees the light.
John confides in his far more worldly roommate, Zeb Jones, not only not shocked, but who assists John. A clandestine meeting with Judith goes awry when they are forced to kill a spy, leaving them no choice but to seek aid from the Cabal, an underground revolutionary movement; the two men are inducted into the Cabal. Judith is arrested and tortured as part of the investigation into the death of the spy, John and Zeb rescue her, though leaving enough clues that John is soon arrested and tortured himself, he gives little away, is himself rescued by the Cabal. Zeb and Magdalene have evaded arrest, thanks to a clandestine distress signal that John manages to leave for Zeb while being arrested. Judith is spirited out of the country before John regains consciousness, John is given a false identity in order to make his way to Cabal headquarters, he is detected en route, forced to flee, arrives safely after several misadventures. He finds that Magdalene, who he assumes are a couple, have made their way there before him.
All take on significant roles in bringing to fruition the revolutionary plot, John as an aide to the commander, General Huxley. While working there, John receives a literal "Dear John" letter from Judith, informing him of her impending marriage to a Mexican man she met while getting refuge in his country, he learns that Zeb and Magdalene have no marriage plans, begins a romance with Magdalene. The revolutionary plot is successful, the country, other than New Jerusalem, is seized, but the capital must be conquered lest it serve as a rallying point for loyalists. As constitutional discussions go on, tempered to provide the greatest possible individual freedom, the new regime's troops prepare to take New Jerusalem. John and Magdalene are married just before the assault. During the fight, Huxley is wounded, John must take over temporary command, though not entitled by rank to do so, he gives the orders. He turns over command to the senior unwounded general, leads a squad invading the Prophet's private quarters.
They find. The Cabal uses terminology associated with Freemasonry, there are hints that the Masons are one of the groups involved in the loosely organized revolt against the government. Damon Knight wrote of the novel: Revolution...has always been a favorite theme in science fiction. It's romantic, it's reliable, and—as a rule—it's as phony as a Martian princess. Who but Heinlein pointed out, as he does here in detail, that a modern revolution is big business? And who but Heinlein would have seen that fraternal organizations, for thirty years the butt of highbrow American humor, would make the perfect nucleus for an American underground against tyranny? While set in Heinlein's Future History, the story is self-contained and has little connection with other works in the series. However, it is noted in Methuselah's Children that, during the time of this story, the secret of the Howard Families was held close, that the Cabal assisted in helping the Howards maintain their Masquerade, the concealment of the existence of the Howards.
Lazarus Long mentions that he spent the period of the Interregnum, when the Prophets ruled the United States and space travel was forbidden on Venus. The story depicts the start of the negotiations which would lead to the Covenant, the somewhat idealized basis for government depicted in "Coventry", "Misfit", Methuselah's Children. Scudder was mentioned in passing in the short story "Logic of Empire" and on in Heinlein’s final novel To Sail Beyond the Sunset. A story about the rise of Scudder, "The Sound of His Wings", is contained in the Future History timeline, but was never written by Heinlein, who stated in the afterword to Revolt in 2100: "I will never write the story of Nehemiah Scudder, I dislike him too much". A story called "The Stone Pillow", which would have depicted the earlier foredoomed opposition to the Theocracy, never got written, Heinlein noting that there was "too much tragedy in real life"; the 1940 version of "If This Goes On—" was believed to be Heinlein's first novel until the unpublished work For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs was discovered in 2003.
However, in the earlier, unpublished novel Scudder, though coming v
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
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
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long is a 1978 selection of aphorisms from one of Robert A. Heinlein's main characters; these were published as two "intermissions" in the 1973 novel Time Enough for Love. In the context of the novel, these quotes were selected from Long's much longer memoirs; some of the phrases are humorous, some philosophical, some quirky. They range in length from one sentence to multiple paragraphs. For example: Cheops' Law: Nothing gets built on schedule or within budget. Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes and not make messes in the house. Rub her feet. If the universe has any purpose more important than topping a woman you love and making a baby with her hearty help, I have never heard of it. Never try to teach a pig to sing—it wastes your time and annoys the pig. In 1978, these "notebooks" were published as a standalone work, with some selections illuminated by D. F. Vassallo. More excerpts were published in New Destinies, Vol. VI/Winter 1988—"Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Issue", edited by Jim Baen.
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
The Roads Must Roll
"The Roads Must Roll" is a 1940 science fiction short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, it was selected for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964 anthology in 1970. The story is set in the near future, when "roadtowns" have replaced highways and railways as the dominant transportation method in the United States. Heinlein's themes are social cohesion; the fictional social movement he calls functionalism, advances the idea that one's status and level of material reward in a society must and should depend on the functions one performs for that society. In the first section of the narrative, the protagonist Larry Gaines is entertaining Mr. Blenkinsop, an Australian, looking into Road technology on behalf of his government. Gaines's explanation of the Road machinery to Blenkinsop is a device to bring the reader into the world of the Roads. Larry Gaines, Chief Engineer of the Diego-Reno roadtown, is dining with a guest from Australia, Mr. Blenkinsop, in a moving restaurant on the road, when one of the moving sidewalk strips unexpectedly stops.
This causes a chain reaction of people falling from the stopped strip onto the fast moving strips next to it, vice versa. The entire length of the Road becomes a scene of carnage. Gaines learns that the stoppage was sabotage and that the technicians who maintain the Stockton section of the road are responsible, they have been persuaded by a radical social theory, that their role in maintaining the nation's transport infrastructure is more important than that of any other workers and that they should therefore be in control. Blenkinsop is left behind at one of Road stations as Gaines takes charge of the advance on the Stockton office; the roads are managed by the Transport Cadets, an elite paramilitary organization formed by the US Military to keep this crucial infrastructure running. The rebels have stopped the strip as a demonstration to encourage their fellow technicians around the country to rebel against the Cadets, start the Functionalist Revolution. Going into the machinery under the roadway that runs it, Gaines takes command of the response.
He doesn't order the Road stopped, since that would leave millions of commuters stranded, but instead has the military evacuate the riders, a time-consuming procedure. In command of a hastily gathered corps of armed cadets, he proceeds up the underground access tunnel toward Stockton, on "tumblebugs," motorized and gyroscopically stabilized unicycles much like the real-life Segway; as the military advance proceeds, they arrest rebel technicians and cross connect the wiring of the machinery, motor by motor, to take control away from the rebels in the Stockton office. Gaines calls the Stockton office and learns that the leader of the rebellion is "Shorty" Van Kleeck, the chief deputy engineer of the Sacramento sector. Over the videophone Shorty threatens to kill millions of people with a button that he has rigged to blow up the Road if Gaines doesn't capitulate. Gaines doesn't understand. Gaines realizes that Deputy Shorty was able to move revolution-prone workers into his sector because, as deputy, Shorty had access to the psychological files on the technicians.
Gaines accesses Shorty's psychological profile and studies the neurotic traits that have made him a demagogue. Asking for a parley, Gaines faces Shorty. There he uses his knowledge of Shorty's psychology to push him into a nervous breakdown, overpowers him, gaining control of the'suicide' button; the Cadets attack the rebellion is ended. Gaines ponders the changes that will have to be made to make sure there is never a recurrence of these events: more psychological testing, more careful oversight, more esprit de corps, he concludes. Damon Knight, in his introduction to the paper-back edition from the New English Library edition of The Past Through Tomorrow, Vol 1. Compares the story to the then-current power of Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters Union, he notes that Heinlein predicted urban sprawl driven by cheap and efficient transport, as well as the development of'pseudopods' of urban development between communities. "The Roads Must Roll" was adapted for the radio shows Dimension X in 1950 and X Minus One in 1956.
Slidewalks Moving walkway Silverberg, Robert, ed. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, Tom Doherty Associates, ISBN 0-7653-0537-2 "The Roads Must Roll" title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Astounding Science Fiction, June 1940, scan of issue including full text of "The Roads Must Roll" The Roads Must Roll - Radio Play from 1950