Garrison didoes

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Oct 14 15:18:07 UTC 2002

n a message dated 10/14/2002 12:26:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
dave at WILTON.NET writes:

> In Chapter 23, there is the line, "They came in on tight
>  Garrison didoes, skimming the peaks; I barely saw the chop-off for Luna
>  City."
>  I wouldn't be so sure that Heinlein's "Garrison" refers to the horse race
>  finish though. He has a habit of using proper names in his writing to give
>  his universe realism. Although, when he does this he tends to use the same
>  names throughout several books (e.g., Forward, Shipstone) and I don't
>  remember another Garrison.

I don't think it's a matter of reusing NAMES.  Heinlein was in the habit of
reusing universes (that is, the science, politics, geography, etc. that form
the background of a story).  "Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" is set in the same
universe as a book he wrote years earlier, "The Rolling Stones".  (The
connection is that both books share a character, named Hazel iirc, who is a
grandmother in the earlier book and then is a child in the later one.)
Similarly "Stranger In A Strange Land" is in the same universe as "Red
Planet"---again, apparently only a matter of economizing by reusing

(Then of course there is the "Future History" series, which dominated the
first half-decade of Heinlein's writing career, and to which he returned
after a gap of three decades).

I do not recall the name "Forward" and I only recall "Shipstone" from
"Friday."  Could you please tell me which books they appeared in?  It would
be interesting to see if these books are another case of a repeated universe.

>  Heinlein also uses the word "dido" to refer to a spaceship landing (or
>  making some manuever on final approach or perhaps to a landing beacon the
>  ship deploys) in the book "Starship Troopers."

My guess is that "dido" is a US Navy or US Naval Academy slang term for a
fancy maneuver.  (Heinlein was an Annapolis graduate who served several years
in the Navy in the 1930's).

>  in the book "Starship Troopers." I can't find my copy of it,

No great loss.  Actually, I won't say it's a bad book, although it is
didactic to the point of tedium.  The problem is that, although the book
makes some valid points (I'm sure I could find a few if I bothered to reread
the book) it espouses a, shall we say, unappetizing philosophy.  I do not
recommend the book except to people who like to read books with the intent of
analyzing the author's philosophy.  In other words, Heinlein has written a
book that is readable by literary critics and no one else!

     - Jim Landau

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