Heinlein et al.

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 4 04:57:01 UTC 2009

On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> At 11/3/2009 08:58 PM, Eric Nielsen wrote:
> >Towards the end of his career, RAH's novels got very long, very
> meandering,
> >explicitly sexual, and very weird. Turned out, he had a *tumor* that was
> >blocking the flow of blood to his *brain* (really!) and after it was
> >removed, his fiction (and, reportedly, his personality) really changed
> >again.
> Did his politics change also?  Might this be the explanation for,
> say, George Bush Jr., Rush Limbaugh, Mark Sanford, ... ?

In the comments on that page it says:

#5 posted by sdswmr <http://dynamic.boingboing.net/profile/sdswmr> , November
10, 2008 11:41 AM<http://boingboing.net/2008/11/10/saturns-children-str.html#comment-326807>

The idea that Heinlein had a brain tumor which affected his books and his
personality is a type of urban legend.

According to his site: "In 1975 he showed first symptoms of diminished brain
perfusion, in 1977 he had a transient ischemic attack. So he decided to
undergo carotid artery surgery for removing the blockage of the vessel. He
was in better mental shape thereafter, up to his death from emphysema and
related disabilities on May 8, 1988."

this condition is more like a stroke, in that it is diminished blood flow.
How much effect this had on his personality was not described on the


I read through all of Heinlein's fiction chronologically, and while there
are obvious developments in his writing (for better or for worse), I didn't
get the impression that his writing got worse and then suddenly back to
"normal".  There were novels that weren't as good, and some that were
excellent, but generally there is a continuous arc of development.
Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
Manchu studies: http://www.bjshengr.com/manchu
Chinese characters: http://www.bjshengr.com/yuwen

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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