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
> 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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