Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better



❴PDF / Epub❵ ✅ Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better Author William H. Patterson Jr. – E17streets4all.co.uk Robert A Heinlein Babelio Robert A Heinlein est mort dans son sommeil, des suites d un emphysme Ses cendres ont t disperses d un navire de la marine amricaine, au large de Robert A HeinleinVaste rflex Robert Heinlein: In Dialogue with MOBI :ò A Heinlein Babelio Robert Heinlein: In PDF/EPUB å A Heinlein est mort dans son sommeil, des suites d un emphysme Ses cendres ont t disperses d un navire de la marine amricaine, au large de Robert A HeinleinVaste rflexion sur la politique et les passions humaines, l histoire et la science, Robert A. PDF or Rvolte sur la Lune est le quatrime roman de Robert Heinlein avoir obtenu le prix Hugo L un des livres de rfrence de la Robert A Heinlein WikipediaRobert A Heinlein Auteur, Illustrateur Amricain Lesmeilleurs livres de Robert A Heinlein livresEn terre trangre Robert A Heinlein Babelio En terre trangre, A. Heinlein: In PDF ↠ qui obtint le prix Hugo en , est gnralement considr comme le meilleur roman de Robert Heinlein, lui mme l un des crivains amricains de science fiction les plus fameux Ce fut le livre culte des campus durant les annes soixante et soixante dix, et ilBetween Planets Robert A Heinlein Livres NotRetrouvez Between Planets et des millions de livres en stock surAchetez neuf ou d occasion Robert A Heinlein Starship Troopers Kindle eBookIn Robert A Heinleinrsquo s controversial Hugo Award winning bestseller, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universemdash and into battle against mankindrsquo s most alarming enemyJohnnie Rico never really intended to join upmdash and definitely not the infantry Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein provides an in depth analysis of the works of Robert Heinlein, perhaps the most important SF writer ever and certainly the most important for the yearsuntil aboutor thereabouts Farah Mendlesohn s book looks at his works from a number of angles, looking at how, while in some ways he changed over the years, in others his views were.Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better

William Heinlein: In Dialogue with MOBI :ò Patterson lived in San Heinlein: In PDF/EPUB å Francisco, California He published numerous articles and two books on the works of Robert A Heinlein, and he was a frequent public speaker on Heinlein and his works.

Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2:
    If you re looking for a CBR and CBZ reader Heinlein Auteur, Illustrateur Amricain Lesmeilleurs livres de Robert A Heinlein livresEn terre trangre Robert A Heinlein Babelio En terre trangre, A. Heinlein: In PDF ↠ qui obtint le prix Hugo en , est gnralement considr comme le meilleur roman de Robert Heinlein, lui mme l un des crivains amricains de science fiction les plus fameux Ce fut le livre culte des campus durant les annes soixante et soixante dix, et ilBetween Planets Robert A Heinlein Livres NotRetrouvez Between Planets et des millions de livres en stock surAchetez neuf ou d occasion Robert A Heinlein Starship Troopers Kindle eBookIn Robert A Heinleinrsquo s controversial Hugo Award winning bestseller, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universemdash and into battle against mankindrsquo s most alarming enemyJohnnie Rico never really intended to join upmdash and definitely not the infantry Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein provides an in depth analysis of the works of Robert Heinlein, perhaps the most important SF writer ever and certainly the most important for the yearsuntil aboutor thereabouts Farah Mendlesohn s book looks at his works from a number of angles, looking at how, while in some ways he changed over the years, in others his views were."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 672 pages
  • Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better
  • William H. Patterson Jr.
  • English
  • 06 August 2019
  • 0765319616

10 thoughts on “Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better

  1. says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Disclaimer I was recruited into my professional career by reading Heinlein in my formative years, especially the juveniles I didn t even pretend to be unbiased when writing this So read on at your own peril When modern SF began, there were two kinds of SF writers those who broke into print at the top of their powers, like Burroughs and Van Vogt, and those whose later work showed significant improvement In spite of Heinlein s ear If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Disclaimer I was recruited into my professional career by reading Heinlein in my formative years, especially the juveniles I didn t even pretend to be unbiased when writing this So read on at your own peril When modern SF began, there were two kinds of SF writers those who broke into print at the top of their powers, like Burroughs and Van Vogt, and those whose later work showed significant improvement In spite of Heinlein s early reputation, his writing grew steadily in skill and power, particularly in stories at the longer lengths Heinlein s early stories were better than those of a beginner, perhaps because he was 32 when he started, but they were appealingfor their philosophy, toughness, and ability to evoke societies economically these societies were bigger than his narrative skills This is not to say that Heinlein did not publish significant fiction in his early years He soon was producing short stories of revolutionary insight and developing artfulness Coventry , The Roads Must Roll , The Long Watch , Solution Unsatisfactory , The Man Who Traveled In Elephants I still remember my first reaction when I read The Puppet Masters first in Portuguese, and later on in English Oh, no not the parasitic aliens again And then my surprise faded into admiration at the way Heinlein had rejuvenated that ancient idea Heinlein had a talent to rehash old ideas and making them new again solipsism, time paradox, immortality, superman, you name it His skill made the parasitic aliens the reader s nightmare as well.The rest of this review can be found elsewhere

  2. says:

    This is a personal essay but it also serves as an introduction to Robert Heinlein and as a mini review of Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century by William H Patterson, Jr Volume Two of which was just recently published I want to tell you about something that won t mean much to you or anyone else, but it knocked me off my feet So I m sharing it here in the belief that if it s so important to me, then maybe my friends, blog readers and radio listeners might also find it interestin This is a personal essay but it also serves as an introduction to Robert Heinlein and as a mini review of Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century by William H Patterson, Jr Volume Two of which was just recently published I want to tell you about something that won t mean much to you or anyone else, but it knocked me off my feet So I m sharing it here in the belief that if it s so important to me, then maybe my friends, blog readers and radio listeners might also find it interesting.As all of my close friends know, throughout my life I have only had a few idols The biggest one is Robert A Heinlein Many consider him to be the most important American science fiction author of all time I also like the other two of the Big Three Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke and have been reading them since I was a boy But for me Heinlein is the undisputed master He sthan just a writer His book Space Cadet was the first novel I ever read It fired up my young imagination in a major way, and put me on the path for a lifelong love of sci fi, space exploration, and scientific progress.I was sort of a wimpy, non athletic kid, so while my friends were out playing softball or whatnot, I tended to be reading Eventually my literary world expanded to take in authors of all kinds, but Heinlein remained my favorite I loved his voice, which always radiated core values of love, patriotism, and personal responsibility, while spinning a good yarn He s best known for Stranger in a Strange Land, which wound up being a cornerstone of the Free Love movement back in the 60 s to Heinlein s immense surprise he was not of that generation and had no intention of being anyone s guru But Heinlein isenjoyable, and understandable, if you don t start with that book I was fortunate to be able to read Heinlein s worksor less in order, from his early juveniles which hold up as adult novels forward to hisexperimental adult work So I was able to watch his philosophy and world view evolve in real time, in parallel with my own I have a copy of absolutely every book and compilation he published, and each volume is well worn The man probably hadinfluence on me than any other human being aside from my parents I never had a chance to meet Heinlein, but in 1982, when I was 25 years old and just starting out as a television news producer, I wrote him a letter the one and only true fan letter I ve ever written to anyone I poured out my heart to him, letting him know how important his works had been to me I did not expect a reply, and didn t include a stamped, self addressed envelope But I got a reply anyway His wife Virginia composed it, but Heinlein signed it The letter stated that while Virginia composed all of his correspondence so as to allow him time to write, he did read every letter The two of them said that I was receiving a reply precisely because I had asked for nothing With so many people in his life demanding slices of his time which, I would later learn, was a sore subject for him the fact that I had asked for nothing apparently impressed him and Virginia They said they appreciated my comments and were touched by them.In 2010 William H Patterson, Jr published the first of a two volume authorized biography of Heinlein I snapped it up and read it with great interest Afterwards, I sent the author a quick email containing two or three lines letting him know how much I had enjoyed learningabout my idol I must have given a quick summary of who I was I was news director at KGUN TV in Tucson at the time Patterson wrote back thanking me for my comments and asking me whether I would do him a favor It seems Heinlein had given an interview to KGUN9 in the late 70 s, during a sci fi convention He asked me to see whether that interview still existed.I agreed to check This required a quick trip to the Arizona Historical Society, which maintains the old KGUN archives Alas, nothing was there I wrote him back with the news Patterson asked me to write up a quick article for his journal, which I did Afterwards, we maintained a correspondence I was eagerly looking forward to the second volume of the biography, and by the end of 2013 Patterson told me he was scrambling to meet his deadlines with the publisher for a book due out that summer He completed the work, but alas, he died just before the book came out I was very sad to hear that.I bought the book, of course It s taken me longer this time to get through it, because I have a lot of things going on in my life starting a new blog and radio show while also trying my hand at writing sci fi, something I ve always wanted to do When I got to the passage where Patterson mentions Heinlein s trip to Tucson, I saw that he had referenced a footnote So, out of curiosity, I looked it up.And there was my name Patterson had credited me for the tiny bit of regrettably unsuccessful research I d done trying to track down the Heinlein interview Yes, it is a tiny, tiny, tiny thing But words really fail to express its effect on me There will be only one authorized biography of Robert Heinlein This one is it And my name is in it Yes, yes, it s only in a footnote that absolutely no one but the most rigorous scholar or researcher will ever see But it s there, just the same My name In Heinlein s official biography.You may think it is the rankest exercise of ego to crow about this I can t say you re wrong But this is not about showing how important I am This incident is marvelous precisely because I am so unimportant The miracle is that a nobody like me could wind up being named in book about his personal idol, a man who happens to be one of the most influential writers of our age.So that this can serve as a review of the Patterson books, let me also say that if you are a scholar or a die hard Heinlein fan, as I am, these works are fabulous and indispensible to an understanding of the man, his life, and his works Parenthetically, one of the things I learned was that my favorite Heinlein short story, The Man Who Traveled in Elephants, was also his favorite And one of his hardest to sell The book is filled gems of that nature that will be important to the true fans and to researchers.The experience and thrill of seeing my name in that tiny, inconsequential little footnote has left me feeling as if I ve experienced real magic It s impossible to explain, really, why I would feel that way But I ve spent my entire life admiring this person If there has been a steady guiding star in my life, Heinlein is it And once again, I find that my orbit has intersected briefly, admittedly insignificantly, but definitely with a major public figure who has been so important to me, and to the lives of countless others.It reinforces, once again, what a wonderfully interconnected and mysterious place our universe really is.Forrest CarrHost journalistTucson s PowerTalk 1210

  3. says:

    Back in 2011, I reviewed the first volume of William H Patterson, Jr s biography, Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century Volume 1 1907 1948.It s been a while getting here, but now, over three years later, we have the second and final volume In this volume we look at Heinlein s reaction to mounting celebrity and fame, his progressivelyconservative political views, his increasingly confounding and increasingly weighty novels.Whereas Volume One explained Heinlein s life up Back in 2011, I reviewed the first volume of William H Patterson, Jr s biography, Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century Volume 1 1907 1948.It s been a while getting here, but now, over three years later, we have the second and final volume In this volume we look at Heinlein s reaction to mounting celebrity and fame, his progressivelyconservative political views, his increasingly confounding and increasingly weighty novels.Whereas Volume One explained Heinlein s life up to his forties, we begin Volume Two on October 21st 1948, when Heinlein begins his third marriage, this time to Virginia Ginny Gerstenfeld In terms of publication, things were also in the ascendant Space Cadet had just been published in August, and Robert had also begun to move away from the juvenile SF market, which he had dominated, to amainstream andpopular adult market New markets were opening too, and Heinlein had just spent the summer working on his Destination Moon screenplay.This is probably the volume most fans have been waiting for, as it deals with the time when Heinlein was at his most popular and famous, until his death in 1988.So at the end of this enormous, small printed tome, what do I know now that I didn t at the beginning Quite a lot, actually, although much is covered in less detail in the Introductions to the Virginia Editions that I am currently rereading Like the first Volume, the second is lengthy, detailed and readable I readthan half in one sitting.Whilst the second volume does still, like the first, occasionally veer into hagiography or, at its simplest, give glib over statement as fact, it is still a major achievement, evenso when you consider how private Robert Heinlein was in his lifetime Much of this is not only based on RAH s own correspondence, but also personal comments made to Patterson through unprecedented access to the Heinlein Archives and phone calls, letters, emails and interviews gleaned over years of research, as shown in the 150 pages of footnotes at the back of this book There s enough here to keep even the knowledgeable fan interested, even if at the end I can t help feel that, whilst I know , I m no closer to understanding the man.So Does this biography tell me about the writing process of some of my favourite and not so favourite Heinlein work Yes We have here points that have not been made before Writing Red Planet was, for example, dull , the excitement for Heinlein seemingly being excised from the outline draft RAH knew that Starship Troopers was likely to displease quite a few people Ginny thought that Farnham s Freehold was better than Glory Road.And whilst we re writing on such matters, the debacle of the Destination Moon movie, for which Heinlein wrote an outline script, is jaw dropping It is small wonder that Heinlein soon became dissatisfied with the Hollywood machine process Whilst the end product is not perfect, by any means, the point that it was seriously being considered as a musical comedy at one point tells us that it could have been much, much worse The productions of the television series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet where he was anonymously involved and Project Moonbase, aborted after a poorly received Pilot episode, as well as various other aborted projects, did little to improve RAH s view on the visual media business, although a point Patterson fails to expand on with Tom Corbett he was happy to grit his teeth and accept the cheques as they came in.Also of importance, and explained indetail here than ever before, is RAH s varying relationships with his peers What is noticeable is that as the book progresses, Heinlein, through increasing age or bad health, becomes increasingly irascible It is clear that Heinlein is rather judgemental Many of these disagreements are fascinating, although we are often only given Heinlein s or Patterson s perspective on such matters.Examples here are many Forrest J Ackerman he saw as a likeable fellow yet increasingly irritating More famously, Alexei Panshin s fan letters and rather infamous criticism of Heinlein s work Heinlein in Dimension is also mentioned here, if rather one sidedly David Gerrold s Tribbles in Star Trek were nothingthan a rip off of Heinlein s own Martian flat cats from The Space Family Stone, which Heinlein regretted allowing without some sort of compensation.Interestingly, this book shows an age old conflict in the world of publishing namely, how difficult it can be for a writer to balance his personal integrity against populist revision and marketing The well known and seemingly constant difficulties between RAH s juvenile librarian editor in the 1950 s the library market was seen as muchimportant read bigger than the domestic sales , Alice Dalgliesh, and Heinlein are documented here, but so too an increasingly fractious relationship between RAH and Horace Gold, Galaxy Magazine s editor, who edited The Puppet Masters and other prose for his publication without telling RAH Shasta Press, under Erle Korshak, also get short thrift here too.Patterson s book works best when describing directly from Heinlein s own notes and correspondence which Patterson had unlimited access to However counterviews to the points made here are often uncommon, even when those who made such comments would be available ie still living to clarify such points.Personally, I was most interested to read of Heinlein s relationship with Arthur C Clarke, another of the Big Three I am interested of, and one who Heinlein famously fell out with towards the end of his life when discussing Ronald Reagan s missile defence program SDI Such events are often put forward without critical analysis or thorough checking As critic Jeet Heer points out in his review of this book,Patterson conveys the false impression that Clarke came to accept Heinlein s arguments He ceased speaking out against SDI Volume 2, 446 Yet if we look up Clarke s essay on Heinlein in the volume Requiem edited by Yoji Kondo, 1990 , we ll see that Clarke maintained the same position as always, that parts of SDI might be needed but the program as a whole was being oversold by Heinlein and his allies Kondo, p 264 Clarke s own view, as I understand it, was that he was deeply upset by RAH s reaction to his point of view, but that fences were being mended up to the point when Heinlein died In 1990, in Requiem, Sir Arthur saidI realised that Bob was ailing and his behaviour was not typical of one of the most courteous people I have ever knownWhilst Patterson does not skip over these spats, this example is typical of the book in that Patterson is rather restrained and uncritical towards RAH in his judgements.Some of the issues mentioned in the review of the previous volume become bigger or at leastnoticeable in this volume It is clear that Pattinson is a fan of Heinlein, and a rather uncritical one at that, which is presumably why this is an authorised biography I can see the point made by some reviewers that Patterson is perhaps too close to the subject to give a critical view of Heinlein and his work It is, at best, an imbalanced view, although this was evident to me from the first page of the first book as mentioned in my first review when Patterson claimed that the death of Heinlein was akin to the event of landing on the moon in 1969 and the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963.Troublingly, when Patterson is given a free rein, some comments are purported to be facts, without any evidence or supporting substantiation One of thefrustrating and intriguing elements of Heinlein s life here is the role played throughout of Leslyn Heinlein, Robert s second wife, who spends most of the book dealing with alcoholism and writing poison pen letters to Heinlein s friends and colleagues There is no counterview given here indeed, Heinlein reportedly destroyed most of Leslyn s correspondence to him so we are left with details based on things predominantly from Robert and presumably Ginny s view As you might expect, this does not show Leslyn in a positive light, yet we are unable to see events from a different perspective.The Appendices and the back of the book and the 150 pages of footnotes are very useful in filling in the gaps, because if nothing else they clarify some of the points made in the main text Really these need to be integrated with the main prose, simply because some of the details given in the footnotes can give a different slant on what is being said by Patterson in his text I spent a lot of time flicking between the front and the back of the book to compare the different points made.With a book of this size and complexity it is not uncommon for key ideas to be lost in the mass What is a surprise here is that elements which have been seen as quite important are not always given in detail One of the key aspects of the biography is Heinlein s various flirtations with politics, initially to the political left, but after travelling around the world, seeing Communism at work in the USSR and marrying Ginny, increasingly right wing Patterson s take on this is interesting in that certain aspects are given in detail, such as his interest in Goldwater, and his view on the Kennedys and the Cuban Missile Crisis, whilst others are not Heinlein s flirtation with The John Birch Society, a rather radical right wing group, for example, is a point made without detailed analysis Heinlein is quoted as saying that he felt that they were a fascist organization and so he soon lost interest, but it is also stated that even though he thought this, Heinlein also thought they were far preferable to liberals or moderate conservatives.How much such views were integrated in his later writing is an always ongoing point of debate amongst Heinlein fans, but not really addressed by Patterson here It is clear that, for good or bad, Ginny was a major guide in Robert s writing, and that she is, in part, the reason for Heinlein s continued writing in SF there are many times in this book where RAH looks towards writing outside SF as well as his evolution into what we generally now see as Heinlein, the later writer Patterson, deliberately or not, shows a growing influence of Ginny on Robert s work as it progresses, and as RAH s health deteriorates badly towards the end it is often Ginny that keeps him going It is Ginny in the end that is left to maintain Heinlein s legacy after his death.This last volume of the biography shows how both Heinleins suffered with deteriorating health towards the end of their lives, Robert in particular almost dying whilst writing I Will Fear No Evil in the 1970 s It is frankly amazing that RAH continued to write, to continue to strive to write the best he possibly could, right up to his death, even when many of those around him were confused and disappointed by what he produced.The amount of information given in these books, about someone who would treat with derision anyone outside his close circle of friends who attempted to understand him, is unprecedented It is what Patterson has done with the quantity of material that may be an issue Like Volume One there are comments made by Patterson and again often presented as if they were Heinlein s own views that are stunning in their naivety and inanity.Take this one, for example, from Robert and Ginny s global travelswhat the Heinleins did not realize they were overlooking, Rio s favelas, some of the worst slums in the world, so legendary in their poverty, violence, and crime that they are still being used as the setting for many shooter video games page 105 It is breath taking in its clumsiness.Reflecting on what I have read here, it is clear that RAH was a complex and, at times, contradictory person There are times in this book where I admired him for his loyalty, his tenacity and sticking to what he believed in, but then I would find that only a few pages later that there are aspects of the man I really didn t like Fiercely loyal to those he trusted, most of the time, decidedly brusque to those who he felt had betrayed him, my overriding opinion of Robert Heinlein in the end, despite the positive spin given here, is one that is uncomfortably rather unpleasant Whatever the quality of the actual writing, for what it is worth, I don t think, as people, Heinlein and I would get on.When I was a teenager, based on my feverish reading of as many of his books as I could get my hands on, I hoped that one day it would happen and I would meet my hero When he died I was 24, and was sad to think that it would never happen Now aged 50, and based upon the information here, I have the horrible feeling that if it had happened it would have been a meeting doomed to disappointment, with the author I had looked up to in my teens coming across as an aggressively belligerent, hectoring old man, who would shout down anyone who dared to disagree with him Such is the way of one s dreams, I guess.In the end, I suspect that this is as close to a biography of Heinlein as we re going to get Whilst my inner imp mischievously makes me wonder how critical an unauthorised biography would be like, I have to admit that it is most unlikely that we will get athorough one, although it would perhaps be nice to have acritical one It s not perfect, but there s a lot here to enjoy reading about Even when I didn t like what I was reading, I kept reading.Heinlein, for good or ill, was one of the iconic SF writers of the 20th century To paraphrase the title, Heinlein clearly learned better, although the finished product is not always something that is clearly understood nor liked The legacy of his writing is there forever, whatever his personal views and attitudes This is an intriguing epitaph, to both its subject and its biographer

  4. says:

    I ve seen some comments to the effect that this is not a literary biography, which is puzzling how can a writer s biography not be literary What the reviewers mean, of course, is that there is no extended discussion of Heinlein s works in the book Patterson sticks to the events, people and things in Heinlein s life, and that s quite all right Heinlein incorporated all those elements into his writing, and you can see the steady ripple of experiences into his work a year or two later That ki I ve seen some comments to the effect that this is not a literary biography, which is puzzling how can a writer s biography not be literary What the reviewers mean, of course, is that there is no extended discussion of Heinlein s works in the book Patterson sticks to the events, people and things in Heinlein s life, and that s quite all right Heinlein incorporated all those elements into his writing, and you can see the steady ripple of experiences into his work a year or two later That kind of chronicle is invaluable to anyone who wants a sense of what was on Heinlein s mind as he wrote It s also leavesroom for charming anecdotes and personality sketches, of which thethe better.That said, this book should be approached with caution Patterson is an honest biographer who carefully sources most of his text, but he is also a fan portraying his subject in the best light possible From his viewpoint, Heinlein wins all the arguments, and the sometimes imperious personality described by his contemporaries is glossed over or dismissed There are many insights into what Heinlein s thought process here, but as Heinlein himself would have said usually sincerely, and far better than I can read with care Pay attention to who s selling what idea, and why By the way, it s oddly reassuring to see that the science fiction community of the sixties was just as riven with ego and umbrage as it was in the eighties, nineties, and today The genre may be about the change, but the human element is a constant

  5. says:

    This is the conclusion of Patterson s Heinlein biography, picking up with his third marriage in 1948 and continuing for the duration of his life It s a bit longer than the initial volume, but it held my interest better, perhaps because I wasfamiliar with the works and events It s a really massive work, with hundreds of pages of footnotes and appendixes that are frequently as entertaining as the main text I kept two bookmarks in place, one for where I was in the text and one in the corr This is the conclusion of Patterson s Heinlein biography, picking up with his third marriage in 1948 and continuing for the duration of his life It s a bit longer than the initial volume, but it held my interest better, perhaps because I wasfamiliar with the works and events It s a really massive work, with hundreds of pages of footnotes and appendixes that are frequently as entertaining as the main text I kept two bookmarks in place, one for where I was in the text and one in the corresponding point in the footnotes I think Patterson abandoned any pretense of impartiality as he went along, and tended to present everything in a very pro Heinlein light I was surprised to learn how much difficulty Heinlein had in getting along with some people fans, contractors, politicians, editors, etc., etc I was also amazed that he spent so little time actually writing, taking years off to pursue other interests and dealing with medical problems and travelling He was a fascinating figure, and this book was filled with insights into his beliefs and actions For example, one thing I found interesting was that he bought a typewriter for Philip K Dick I can t think of any writer of the time that was further from Heinlein s character than Dick, but perhaps due to that kindness Dick went on to have incredible success with film adaptations something that always eluded Heinlein He didn t seem to have much interaction with organized fandom the book states that he was unaware his work had been nominated for a couple of his Hugo Awards His marriage to Virginia is also interesting she was apparently responsible for much of his success Also, obviously, it s a good picture of life in the U.S in much of our recent history, and makes one think how modern technology and social conventions might have affected Heinlein All in all it s a fascinating book, a good portrayal of the man who is arguably the most important figure in the history off the sf field I was sad to read that Patterson died just days before this volume was published

  6. says:

    If you are into Heinlein and have read most everything he wrote some several times , you ll probably want to read this Otherwise, you won t If you re looking for insights into the books themselves, you won t find them here This is not a literary biography, along the lines of Brian Boyd s bio of Nabokov, or Edel on Joyce or James But then again, Heinlein was no Nabokov or Joyce Still, Patterson never really gives you an idea of why Heinlein is worth the biography Oh, he does tell us about If you are into Heinlein and have read most everything he wrote some several times , you ll probably want to read this Otherwise, you won t If you re looking for insights into the books themselves, you won t find them here This is not a literary biography, along the lines of Brian Boyd s bio of Nabokov, or Edel on Joyce or James But then again, Heinlein was no Nabokov or Joyce Still, Patterson never really gives you an idea of why Heinlein is worth the biography Oh, he does tell us about the effect many of the books had, but he doesn t really delve into their details If you haven t read every specific book, you won t learn much about them here Rather, the book is a wealth of details about Heinlein s life The details are good and important, and this will be fodder forbiographies, andliterary criticism I did get a bit tired of some of the score settling that went on, towards Alexei Panshin and Sam Moskowitz, and Heinlein s second wife, who was a sad character and who tormented Heinlein long after the divorce It s worth noting that you should at least skim the Notes section of the book, wherein he sometimes fleshes out some events, and even gives their other sides.Alexei Panshin kind of sums up my feelings about this book in his review of Heinlein s Expanded Universe If you grew up on Heinlein, if the Future History or the Scribner juveniles or even Stranger in a Strange Land was your basic education, if you are one of those who have followed Heinlein through his entire career, marveling, if you really care about Heinlein, then Expanded Universe is a book that you might save pennies from your lunch money in order to buy He goes on to say what an unhappy book that one was I don t remember that book well, but I did feel this way about the biography You ll also learnabout Heinlein s juveniles my favorite of his works from Jo Walton such as at than you will in this book.So a very good biography, and maybe the one Heinlein and his wife wanted it is authorized , and it ll stand as a reference for biographical facts, but as a source of insight about Heinlein s books, you should look elsewhere

  7. says:

    I much preferred the first volume, but this one s definitely worth a read too.As the reviews say, it is indeed fun to read through and find out oh, so that s where he got ________ It s also worth reading if you plan to write there is actually a surprising amount in there about Heinlein s writing process However, I just didn t learn much If you ve read the stuff published after Heinlein s death Tramp Royale, Take Back Your Government, Grumbles from the Grave, Requiem and Fred Pohl s remin I much preferred the first volume, but this one s definitely worth a read too.As the reviews say, it is indeed fun to read through and find out oh, so that s where he got ________ It s also worth reading if you plan to write there is actually a surprising amount in there about Heinlein s writing process However, I just didn t learn much If you ve read the stuff published after Heinlein s death Tramp Royale, Take Back Your Government, Grumbles from the Grave, Requiem and Fred Pohl s reminisces at The Way the Future Blogs, you probably won t find out much that you didn t already know I understand that this volume required four years of cutting , and was originally much longer Unfortunately, the cutting left me with the feeling that I was being raced through a travelogue I frequently found myself realizing that a single paragraph was actually coveringthan one event, or wondering why didn t the author dig deeper into this issue It also left me hoping that I will live long enough to see the day when his protected papers are opened up I think the book said 50 years after his death Heinlein was famously private about his personal life, and I rather suspect that Heinlein s friends, out of loyalty to him, never mentioned a lot of things that would have made for deeper understanding of the man and the work As a result, this biography suffers from the same issues as Grumbles from the Grave As Fred Pohl said with respect to that book, somebodyhad washed his face and combed his hair and turned whatever it was that Robert might have wanted to say into the equivalent of thank you notes for a respectable English tea I felt the same way about the biography no fault of Patterson s, but still a disappointment

  8. says:

    I m a fan of Heinlein s books and I have been long fascinated by the man himself, but this hagiography of the man and his wife does not serve his legacy well It also completely misses the context and influence of his work, with long detailed passages about the Heinleins every illness, and blow by blow descriptions of every time someone offended them, however minor or petty the insult Aappropriate title would be Robert A Heinlein, The People Who Offended Him and How He Showed Them Th I m a fan of Heinlein s books and I have been long fascinated by the man himself, but this hagiography of the man and his wife does not serve his legacy well It also completely misses the context and influence of his work, with long detailed passages about the Heinleins every illness, and blow by blow descriptions of every time someone offended them, however minor or petty the insult Aappropriate title would be Robert A Heinlein, The People Who Offended Him and How He Showed Them The author s flattery and adulation of Heinlein is so over the top, I went from being annoyed to incredulous to amused I d recommend the Wikipedia article about Heinlein to this boot licking tedium

  9. says:

    b Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century Volume II The Man Who Learned Better b by William H Patterson, Jr.This naturally enough takes up where the first half, B Learning Curve B ended exactly half way through Heinlein s eighty year life, just married to his third wife, Virginia nee Gerstenfeld.These are the years of Heinlein s gradual triumph, encompassing arguably his most influential books, the juveniles B Destination Moon B a strange mixture of triumph and disa b Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue with His Century Volume II The Man Who Learned Better b by William H Patterson, Jr.This naturally enough takes up where the first half, B Learning Curve B ended exactly half way through Heinlein s eighty year life, just married to his third wife, Virginia nee Gerstenfeld.These are the years of Heinlein s gradual triumph, encompassing arguably his most influential books, the juveniles B Destination Moon B a strange mixture of triumph and disappointment his four Hugo winners b Double Star b , b Starship Troopers b , b Stranger in a Strange Land b , and b The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress b and the late, World As Myth books that many readers dismiss as self indulgent or senile ramblings To be quite clear I do not though they are self indulgent in the sense that Heinlein was writing what he damn well pleased and let editors go hang But they are also the years of his, and Mrs Heinlein s, gradual physical decay It is sad and at times painful to read about this man, a father figure to many, gradually declining to his death The facts about his various illnesses make clear that he was lucid through the writing of his last books though some of them notably B I Will Fear No Evil B were rushed into print with insufficient rewriting and cutting due to health problems.The book is also a paean to the love of Robert and Virginia Heinlein, a couple who claimed to have limited telepathy to each other, and who completed each other in a way that is rare even among happily married couples The first Appendix contains a letter Mrs Heinlein wrote to her husband eight weeks after his death, which I found beautiful and heartbreaking.Patterson writes clearly and well The biography is fearsomely complete in its annotations And the subject is fascinating.I am grateful to Mr Patterson, and to whoever authorized this biography presumably Mrs Heinlein

  10. says:

    Here, at last, is the long awaited second volume of the authorised biography of Robert A Heinlein Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 1 1907 1948 Learning Curve told the story of his boyhood, his time in the navy and the beginnings of his writing career Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 2 1948 1988 The Man Who Learned Better starts in 1948, by which time he was selling short stories to high paying magazines like the Saturday Evening Post a Here, at last, is the long awaited second volume of the authorised biography of Robert A Heinlein Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 1 1907 1948 Learning Curve told the story of his boyhood, his time in the navy and the beginnings of his writing career Robert A Heinlein In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 2 1948 1988 The Man Who Learned Better starts in 1948, by which time he was selling short stories to high paying magazines like the Saturday Evening Post and had an arrangement with the publisher Scribner to write one juvenile novel a year, timed for the Christmas trade Soon, he was working on the screenplay for Destination Moon, the film version of Rocketship Galileo and also got a job as a technical advisor on the production Volume 1 also covered his personal life the first brief marriage, the second longer one to Leslyn and the advent of Virginia, who became his third wife Ginny moved in with Robert and Leslyn under their open marriage arrangement and when the Snow Maiden got her skate in the door, things were different according to one correspondent Leslyn slept in the studio whilst Bob and the femme fatale cavorted in the master bedroom Later, Ginny casually mentioned to Bob s old friend, Cal Lanning, that they had lived together before they were married Heinlein was furious He was always very keen on keeping his private life private.As well as being a private man, Heinlein was also rather madly patriotic and could not abide with anyone speaking against his country, even natives He told Asimov off for complaining about the food when they worked in the Navy shipyards and, much later, he fell out badly with Arthur C Clark when that worthy opined that the so called Star Wars missile defence system might not be a good idea When I read Grumbles From The Grave , the posthumous collection of Heinlein s grumpy letters, I had the impression that he had cut off all contact with John W Campbell, Jr., following criticisms of the navy by Campbell during World War II In fact, contact with the editor of Astounding Science Fiction continued, usually in letters about L Ron Hubbard s Dianetics system, something Heinlein wisely avoided No one was messing with his brain He needed it However, he certainly counted Hubbard as a good friend in 1948 because he loaned him 50 at a time when the Heinleins were pretty hard up themselves.Many examples of his generosity are cited in the book He gave money to Theodore Sturgeon when he was broke and also handed him a few plot ideas He was generous to Sturgeon s widow when she was in financial difficulties He bought an electric typewriter for Philip K Dick and loaned him money He quietly supported the SFWA Science Fiction Writers of America through hard times, even though a few of the other authors were highly critical of his political views He really didn t seem to care about money for its own sake As soon as it was earned, he and Ginny would go off and spend it, usually on travelling around the world if they weren t building a house Later, a lot of it went on medical expenses.The above examples of how nice Heinlein was highlighted the main enigma about him He didn t practice what he preached The latter books seem to advocate selfishness, greed, looking after number one, etc and to sneer at altruism as pure foolishness Lazarus Long regards lesser mortals nearly everyone as stupid and deserving of their Darwinian fate poverty, famine or death But Robert A Heinlein wasn t Lazarus Long or Jubal Harshaw or even Valentine Michael Smith He spent a lot of time and money on recruiting blood donors He went out and campaigned for political causes he believed in, though they were usually right wing As mentioned above, he was generous with his money In real life, he waslike the teenage idealist in a Heinlein juvenile than he was like the sour old heroes of the later novels That is to his credit.Heinlein always wanted his works to speak for him and avoided as much as possible any delving into his private life That was quite interesting in Volume 1 political campaigns, marriage and breaking into the Science Fiction field and rising to the top In Volume 2 , the life is really a bit boring Many squabbles with Shasta Publishing and Hollywood finance men over his share of the loot for the products There s a lot about house building and trouble with contractors There are family visits, family squabbles and loads of world travel Volume 1 concentratedon Science Fiction writing as he was learning his trade and to an extent on the Science Fiction fraternity of the time As he became popular in the slicks and book publishing, Heinlein largely left hard core SF fandom behind Forrest Ackerman played a large part in this by being a pain in the neck, acting as agent for Heinlein properties when he had no right to do so, this despite repeated attempts to make him stop By this stage, Lurton Blassingame was the agent for virtually everything and was doing a very good job of making his client richer, obtaining foreign sales for the Scribner s juveniles and getting good rates for serialisations of them in Boy s Life magazine These had to be cut considerably and slightly amended to make the instalmentsfitting but getting paid twice for the same novel was a good gimmick The adult novels were usually serialised in the top SF magazines of the day so they also paid off twice.Heinlein s fame comes from his work as a Science Fiction writer This biography reveals that he didn t spend a whole lot of time writing The very successful run of juveniles for Scribner, one a year, were usually knocked out in a month For example, he started writing Star Beast on August 26th 1953 and had it finished by September 26th The adult books didn t take much longer He wrote The Puppet Masters in about five weeks beginning October 1, 1950 Glory Road took three weeks However, the time spent bashing out the first draft isn t the whole story Heinlein kept a large file of index cards on which he constantly made notes when he had an idea Further, he seems to have spent almost as much time cutting the first draft for publication as he did writing it Certainly, this was the case with Stranger In A Strange Land He also spent a lot of time and emotional energy arguing with Scribner s editor Alice Dalgiesh about her censorship of his work, though it seems to me that she knew the restrictions of the time and her cuts were designed to get the book safely past spinster librarians and other guardians of public morals in fifties America.Of course, the time taken to write a work is no reflection of quality, for by now he had become a master of his art All of Heinlein s juveniles are intelligent, exciting adventure stories, easy to read and still popular today The literati may criticise the lack of similes, metaphors and deep Freudian meaning but that stuff isn t necessary to the average reader The adult books of the fifties still had to be mostly about plot and characters By 1960, Heinlein was fairly secure financially and ventured to include a bitlecturing in Starship Troopers That won a Hugo and his course was set Thereafter, the books wereabout his views than about plots and character There were honourable exceptions, notably The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress but, in general, the adult novels from Stranger In A Strange Land onwards are the thoughts of Chairman Heinlein.It should be noted that as Heinlein is an intelligent, witty writer and the books are very charming and readable I like them all, even though I don t agree with his politics It s worth pointing out, though, that his reputation was mostly built on the fifties work and I believe that is what will stand the test of time Stranger In A Strange Land remains a classic and marks his zenith, the equivalent of Sergeant Pepper for The Beatles After the fact, people may argue about its worth but no one doubts its importance The comparison is apt, too, because, like that popular beat combo, Heinlein was at the top of the field and had sufficient clout with the men in suits to experiment They could be sure that any Heinlein book would sell It was also like Lord Of The Rings , very much a part of sixties pop culture.There is a theory, backed up by information here, that with the later works, especially the very latest, he was not interested in melodrama and the usual stuff of adventure butin ideas and social satire That being so, criticism of I Will Fear No Evil or The Cat Who Walks Through Walls for not being like Starman Jones is futile They weren t meant to be Heinlein knew what he was doing and if some people in the so called SF community didn t like it, he didn t give a damn.The main thing lacking in this authorised biography is any definite opinion by the author about his subject The general tone is reverent, which is okay, but many biographies are extended essays which put forward a particular point of view Sometimes the biographer may not like his subject That s okay, too Patterson has done wonderful research as evidenced by the extensive notes accompanying each chapter but doesn t have a conclusion or any analysis of what Heinlein was about The two books might be called What Heinlein Did and What Heinlein Did Next On the other hand, there are plenty of opinions about Heinlein and his work out there and the facts assembled here are useful in their own right Volume 2 contains some interesting stuff but, probably because the life of a struggling artist isprecarious than that of a successful rich one, the first book was better.Eamonn MurphyThis review first appeared at

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