Saturday, July 07, 2007

Special Birthday: Robert A. Heinlein

Some centenary notes:

· With Heinlein, the narrator is often middle aged. When I was little, we were instructed in survival in case of nuclear attack, so I never expected to see 50.

· A search of the Internet turned up my hero with his wife, Ginny. They are appropriately middle aged.

· Ginny was the inspiration for many of his heroines. They were strong, lusty women, and I identified with them completely.

· One of my coworkers reacted oddly when I said Heinlein was my favorite science fiction author:

"Guy's a pervert." I responded that he was dead.

"Well, he was a pervert." I didn't say anything else.

"He was a nudist." Anyone who read Heinlein would know that was a distinct possibility. Apparently it was a huge disappointment for my friend.

· In my twenties I suffered overwhelming homesickness for New England. At the very worst of it, I remembered this poem, and took comfort.

[It begins:]

Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth…

[A spaceman describes his life and concludes:]

…We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the friendly skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

· I thank my stars our home is lush and green, and absolutely overrun with crazy people who make for good stories.

Happy Birthday, Lazarus Long. May you live forever!
Happy Birthday, Robert A. Heinlein, godfather of my writer’s soul.

pb
Little Pond

4 comments:

Granny J said...

Thank you, thank you for the reminder! t\tonight, I shall drink a small toast to one of my most favorite authors.

Starstuff said...

G.F. would say that. He's entirely, correct, too, Heinlein was a "dirty old man" and he reveled in it, God bless 'im. You can always spot Heinlein's alter ego in his stories. Although he went a lot more than a little too far in Farnham's Freehold to suit me.

Still, I'm on my third copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, in my opinion the finest SF novel ever printed, and I still recall my giddy delight in finding a good, cheap hardcover copy of my fave of all his juveniles, The Door Into Summer. Wish I could remember where I put it...

Well, anyway, Pat, thanks for the reminder about R.H.'s birthday. Coincidentally, it's also the birthday of my lifelong best friend, who died almost five years ago and whom I still think of often. It was she who introduced me to Heinlein. I adore life's little winks.

pb said...

God, I hope GF doesn't read, but why should he? He told me recently that he thinks bloggers are stupid for posting "all that personal stuff."

Maybe he's right.

But a writer's gotta write....

pb said...

BTW, non-Heinlein readers, "Farnham's Freehold" presents a post-apocalyptic world in which both Asia and the America's lost the war,and cannibalism and totalitarianism hold complete sway, with whites as the enslaved underclass.