(urth) [EXTERNAL] Re: Heinlein's Universe and The Long Sun

Norwood, Frederick Hudson NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu
Tue Jan 28 08:04:08 PST 2020

Have you read Starship Troopers? Only people who have served in the military can vote. (Heinlein claims that, in this world, it has been proved mathematically that this is the best government.

I love Starship Troopers.  It’s one of my favorite books. But it does glorify the military and, as Heinlein got older, his politics got ever more conservative. In Farnham’s Freehold the nice seeming Black people turn out to  be cannibals. One area where he did become more liberal was homosexuality. In Stranger in a Strange Land Jubal Harshaw expressed the view that Mike could never have sex with another man. By Time Enough for Love, gay sex is just fine. The story is that Theodore Sturgeon, who Heinlein loved and admired, took Heinlein aside and explained to him the facts of life.


From: Urth [mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net] On Behalf Of Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:32 AM
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) [EXTERNAL] Re: Heinlein's Universe and The Long Sun

I think it is safe to say that Heinlein never "loved" or advocated a military dictatorship.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes

Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!
--Tȟašúŋke Witkó

On Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 4:57 AM Norwood, Frederick Hudson <NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu<mailto:NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu>> wrote:
Other Heinlein parallels/satires in The Land Across: Grafton is Heinlein’s classic “man who learns better” turned inside out. What Grafton learns is what Heinlein “learned” in his long career. Heinlein, like Grafton, starts out as a liberal, (who like Heinlein, loves travel) and “learns” to love a military dictatorship, with a mysterious Hitler-like dictator serving as Heinlein’s “grand old man”.

Rick Norwood

From: Urth [mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net<mailto:urth-bounces at lists.urth.net>] On Behalf Of Stephen Hoy
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020 4:47 PM
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net<mailto:urth at lists.urth.net>>
Subject: Re: (urth) [EXTERNAL] Re: Heinlein's Universe and The Long Sun

Appreciating the Heinlein connections noted by Gem and Gerry; a reminder that RAH is still relevant in the 21st century, as Christopher Nuttall might put it.

The interesting bit about the conveyor belt roads of Heinlein's The Roads Must Roll is that it has a precedent, and a much better fit with TLA, in H.G.Wells' When the Sleeper Awakens (1899). Wells' title recalls a noticeable sentence in TLA Chapter One "Now it seems to me that I must have been asleep a long time before I got into bed" followed by several "awakenings" throughout TLA.

Note that Wells and Wolfe each relate the struggle of a potential ruler of a dystopian society who gets caught up in a struggle between opposing factions. I don't think the parallels go much beyond this. It's a lot like Wolfe's choice of Baskin-Robbins as an allusion to Andromeda (Messier-31 Flavors) in An Evil Guest, or the allusion to Boris Badenov in a conversation at a cafe in TLA, "I don't trust that conductor. Why is he so short?" to draw attention to Papa Zenon's lack of stature.

Aramini's Black-Red-White trichotomy helps us think about a lot of TLA's mysteries, although I suspect there is a lot of cloning going on along with the imprinting of personalities. Imprinting is found in Home Fires, TLA, A Borrowed Man. There's cloning/imprinting of some sort in A Borrowed Man, and I think something similar is happening in The Land Across.

- Stephen

On Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 10:21 AM Norwood, Frederick Hudson <NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu<mailto:NORWOODR at mail.etsu.edu>> wrote:
Another Wolfe novel, The Land Across, is, I think strongly influenced by Heinlein, and essentially a satire of Heinlein. This is just my opinion, I’ve never heard anyone else say this. But the Rolling Roads early in the novel, which play no other part in the plot, I take as a hint.

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