Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's Robert Heinlein Week

Maybe you had forgotten that July 7, 1907 was the birthday of SF great Robert Heinlein? I certainly had, but thanks to the InterWebs, now I know.

The always-iconoclastic Steve Sailer gives snapshots of Heinlein's novels, including Stranger in a Strange Land, which had such an effect on the American Pagan movement via the Church of All Worlds:

- Heinlein's 1961 Stranger in a Strange Land evolved much like Nabokov's Lolita. Both writers began working on their respective scandalous magnum opuses about 1949, figuring that while they weren't publishable at present, American norms were changing fast enough that they would be publishable eventually. Both ended up long and self-indulgent.

- After a fast-paced opening, Stranger in a Strange Land bogs down badly. It reads like a few cokeheads lecturing some credulous potheads on everything under the sun. Still, what a great title it has, maybe the best by any novel ever. The Prophet Abraham's description of himself is borrowed to describe a new prophet, a human raised by Martians, who comes to a satirical America. And one plot detail -- how the First Lady's astrologer was influencing the President -- turned out to exactly foreshadow the situation under Ron and Nancy Reagan!

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Blogger Carol Maltby said...

What better time to break out a cool, refreshing link to Whence Came the Stranger:Tracking the Metapattern of Stranger in a Strange Land by Adam Walks Between Worlds. Heinlein meets Thelema.


9:18 PM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

Ah, the Jack Parsons connection. It was an interesting time for some people.

8:50 PM  

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