Monday, May 14, 2007

RAH 100

Kevin Drum points out something that I should have known - Robert Heinlein's 100th birthday is coming up July 7 with a celebration scheduled for (of course) Kansas City. I can't say that Heinlein was my introduction to Science Fiction - I'd read at least one Andre Norton and some quite good short stories by Ted Sturgeon and Isaac Asimov before one of Mom's friends introduced me to Starship Troopers when I was about 11 or so. For Christmas that year (I believe I'd just turned 12) I got a 5 book boxed set of I Will Fear No Evil, Stranger in a Strange Land, Farnham's Freehold, Glory Road and, best of all, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The latter remains one of the best novels of any kinds I've ever read, and introduced me to agnosticism, revolutionary theory, computer theory and any number of other concepts that still stick with me. I've read a number of his other stories and novels, some of which suck but most of which at least have some redeeming qualities (except for To Sail Beyond Sunset - I'm assuming he was massively drugged when he wrote that one). I often disagree (sometimes vehemently) with his politics and much of his social commentary, but he always made me think of WHY I disagreed. And some of his ideas, like the evangelical theocracy that the US becomes in Revolt in 2100 are frighteningly prescient.

There's a lot to like and a lot to dislike, but I put myself firmly in the like column.




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