James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Oct 16 21:13:33 UTC 2002
I can't resist citing some Heinleiniana:
The "Future History" contains all Heinlein works until about 1945 not
published under pseudonyms, plus "Time Enough For Love", "To Sail Beyond The
Sunset", and maybe "The Cat Who Walked Through Walls" (which I haven't read.)
It does not contain "The Number of the Beast"
"Number of the Beast" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" share the character of
"Gulf" and "Friday" share a universe, or at least the character of
"The Rolling Stones" and "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" share a universe, or
at least the character of Hazel
"Between Planets" and "Star Man Jones" share a universe, or at least the
Horst-Milne-Conrad space drive
At some point in the 1970's a magazine (then perhaps still a fanzine) named
"Locus" reported that Heinlein had had surgery to correct a blood circulation
problem in his brain, and went on to state "Gone were all traces of what many
had thought to be failing mental powers".
I read "Starship Troopers" in 1964, when I was finishing a project to read
all of Heinlein's published work. I have not reread it since. However, for
all its flaws, it had some vivid writing, and I can recall a fair amount of
it to this day.
- anyone reading the book purely for the action would be turned off by the
lengthy and tedious philosophizing.
- the philosophy was "controversial" when written (circa 1960) and in these
post-Vietnam days has to be considered "politically incorrect"
- the philosophy is so highly idiosyncratic that even in 1960 it must have
found few if any believers among people smart enough to analyze philosophy
(as opposed to those who simply regurgitate it)
- as Alexei Panshin pointed out (in his book "Heinlein in Dimension")
Heinlein a couple of years later wrote a book ("Glory Road") which succeeds
in demolishing the philosophizing
In other words, Heinlein with "Starship Troopers" created a tour-de-force---a
book which annoyed everybody including himself!
A suggestion to get some use out of the book: take those people who are
unable to distinguish between "militarist" and "Fascist" and punish them by
forcing them to read the book.
Somewhere in "Starship Troopers" (I think the opening scene) Heinlein
describes the soldiers as using an encrypted radio in which "the frequency
wobbled under the control of an atomic clock" so that communications could
not be intercepted.
Such a technology was invented---and patented---during World War II, although
it did not come into use until the 1980's. The technology is called
"frequency hopping" (it is the most common form of "spread spectrum"). What
very famous person was the inventor?
- Jim Landau
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