April 18, 2006

Heinlein Biography

Check out this detailed biographical sketch of Robert Heinlein, whose centennial will take place on the somewhat magical date of 07/07/07.

I like this introductory paragraph:

Heinlein is a principal builder of my own mind and spirit. Like many another, I think of him as my "intellectual father." The complexities of his actual life, the weaving together of his interests and activities, frame for me a context to his written words, distinct from the words themselves. Those words stand on their own, to be sure, but I view Heinlein's life as an "and I really meant it," worth studying for his example of a self continuously under construction. I corresponded briefly with him on two occasions and met him only once, in 1976, but he is a living influence on my daily life. For me, this sketch is a form of grokking together. I hope this biographical sketch will supply the needs of other of Heinlein's "children."

Heinlein is a unifying theme for this blog, and was my first libertarian influence, preceding Ayn Rand and exceeding her in importance to my way of thinking and living.

Early on in the study of literature, my teachers drilled into me that the "voice" of the protagonist should not be confused with the author's own voice. That's not the case with RAH, and you can hear quite a bit of his own voice speaking through his characters. Reading this biography, you can also see that in many ways he lived the life of those characters.

Hat tip: SFSignal.

Posted by JohnL at April 18, 2006 08:43 PM | TrackBack

I noticed an interesting name mentioned in 1984/1985. G. Harry Stine wrote the "Handbook of Model Rocketry" which is considered the bible of rocketry. He practically invented hobby rocketry as we know it today.

Great link!!! Thanks for pointing that out.

Posted by: Ted at April 20, 2006 09:43 AM

Yup I got the Handbook of model rocketry. I havent built or flown any in about three years now. But they are still on my mantle piece.
As for Heinlein, I am a libertarian and used to read a lot of SCi Fi, but for some reason I only mildly liked his books. My favorite authors in the 1970's were A E Van Vogt. Frederick Phol, and Ron Goulart.
Goulart in particular was real good in his predictions of the near future. He forsaw all the gadgets we have now, only in his world, none of them ever worked right.

Posted by: kyle8 at April 26, 2006 03:44 PM
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