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Joe Libertarian - 'new' Heinlein novel

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  • Joe Libertarian - 'new' Heinlein novel

    Hey Mike (and fellow posters)-

    I've never asked your thoughts on one Robert Heinlein. What do you think of him, his writing, and the creation of the Libertarian Party?

    This comes up as I just discovered a 'found' novel, published just last year (decades after his passing) called For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs (Robert and Virginia Heinlein, Scribner, 2004, ISBN 074325998x). Haven't read it yet, but I'm next on the Holds list at Ye Olde Library. Novel was written 1938-39 and apparently boxed, shelved and lost.

    Oh, yeah - side question. You and Uncle Walter are going to be able to publish a hardbound collected Elric once the current four=parter is published? Hopefully? (Me get library to buy. Me still broke.)

    Still sailin',
    -M.
    Miqque
    ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

  • #2
    Wow. Smokin' hot topic, this. Ennywhoo- I done read it. Reads like a pastische of Heinlein's later novels, complete with bungee-jumping Oedipal issues, exceedingly long conversations and some politics. Only part I agreed with wholeheartedly was the "heritage check" idea, wherein everybody was issued a monthly stipend by the government adequate to cover basic needs. (It also kept the money pump going for the economy, so overproduction in- or deflation was kept in check.)

    But as a novel, I am not at all surprised that it did not sell until this form, where it can be seen as part of a lagacy. (I got a few of those in a box somewhere. I hope they don't surface while I'm still alive.)

    Hey, this isn't just to Mike, y'know! I don't chat a lot 'cause I only have a few minutes online a couple times a week - but I know you folks!
    Beware when I get me own connection!
    Miqque
    ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll answer you, Miqque!

      I read nearly everything that RAH wrote in my teen and caught up with what he was writing and read it as it came out.

      His early work was very good reading at the age I was, when his political views went over my head as they were insinuated in his work. Looking back its the bad predictions that make me nostalgic for them. Things like losing the books in 'Starman Jones' jeopardising the whole flight, working things out on slide rules. Moving sidewalks! Quite popular with a number of writers as I recall.
      I thought his later work became a bit too cutesy, like he was trying too hard to make his characters recognisably modern. There just wasn't the same adventure happening at the same pace and there was too much talking. Disillusionment with him lead to me selling all his books to a second-hand bookstall. I had an almost complete collection and I still deeply regret it. I think the last one I'd bought was 'Friday' which was a disappointment, what with all that rubbish about bellybuttons.
      I enjoyed them immensely when I first read them and wish I could again, but I think I'd have to refresh my memory with some of his work before I'd even think about reading this latest one.
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

      Comment


      • #4
        I have never, I'm afraid, liked Heinlein. I think I came to his work too late and his politics were pretty obnoxious, as far as I was concerned.
        Much like Ayn Rand, in fact. I found myself vaguely at odds with Heinlein in that our politics were profoundly different -- you could call me a left libertarian while he was a right libertarian. Oddly, I find myself in alliance with right libertarians over Bill of Rights issues and have been at political meetings in the past year or two sitting side by side with the
        'over my cold, dead body' brigade who, happily, rarely bring their M16s to meetings. They are astonishingly naive about the workings of society and clearly wouldn't last a minute if all their demands were met. They remind me rather of left hippies, for much the same reasons. Any simplistic position raises pretty much the same issues -- 'how will you ensure basic rights ?'. Although I take a philosophical position which depends heavily on Kropotkin, which allows me to make moral decisions pretty quickly, I take a more practical democratic position for day to day politics. However, temperamentally, I am very much opposed to Heinlein's position and you can find an essay I wrote for an anarchist publication in which I hold his militaristic views, for instance, up for questioning. It's called Starship Stormtroopers and was reprinted in The Opium General, a collection which I believe was only published in the UK but shouldn't be too hard to find via John Davey.
        Incidentally, our local congressman is a right libertarian, which means he has not voted most of the time he's been in Congress and the few times he has voted it's been 'Against'. He's a bit of a hero amongst anti-war people because he voted against American's involvement in Iraq. I'm inclined to have a soft spot for him but he's also against Medicare and seat-belts and seems a perfect example of radicals of both left and right who put principle before common sense. His name's Ron Paul and he has his own website.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

        Comment


        • #5
          So does this guy, and he's dead. Well, his own web PAGE anyway...

          http://www.legis.state.ia.us/GA/76GA...Cornelius.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Governor of Rowe Island
            ... Moving sidewalks! Quite popular with a number of writers as I recall. ...
            They became very popular in Texas... then Billy Gibbons went on to form ZZ Top...

            Cheers, y'all,
            Ant

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Steeplechaser
              ... However, temperamentally, I am very much opposed to Heinlein's position and you can find an essay I wrote for an anarchist publication in which I hold his militaristic views, for instance, up for questioning. It's called Starship Stormtroopers and was reprinted in The Opium General, a collection which I believe was only published in the UK but shouldn't be too hard to find via John Davey.

              ....
              I first read that article in The Opium General. It's available on one, or two, Anarchist Websites.

              This one manages to spell Mike's name correctly:
              http://recollectionbooks.com/siml/library/Moorcock.htm

              A younger and angrier Mike wrote that piece. :) It was an eye opener for me, as I remember.

              Back in the Sixties, Robert Heinlein was one of the most common authors to be found on the SF shelves in the Children's Section, of our local library. I used to love his stuff, as a pre-teener. Have Space Suit - Will Travel (1958), is one of my all time favourite kid's SF books. Stirring tales of youngsters pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and free enterprise in space. Not "get on your bike", but fix up your own spacesuit and get out there to the Asteroid Belt, "and look for work!"

              To my shame, I also used to enjoy the works of:


              :oops:

              Comment


              • #8
                Soddin' anarchists. You can't trust any of them not to liberate your work.... :D
                You mean I was angrier in the 70s ? Haven't you read King of the City?
                We all read terrible stuff when we're young. I never could get on with Enid Blyton but I have friends who did. Again, her class assumptions upset me. Maybe that's why I preferred Edith Nesbit, who was an early Fabian.
                I have the same trouble with 'classic' detective story writers like Christie and Co. Full of conscious and unconscious snobbery. Not something I find in Allingham, whom I like (esp. Tiger in the Smoke).
                But then Orwell predicted that I'd grow up a raging fascist from reading the Greyfriars stories in the Magnet. Somehow those and Burroughs's
                racism didn't seem to take very well.... :)

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steeplechaser
                  Soddin' anarchists. You can't trust any of them not to liberate your work.... :D
                  You mean I was angrier in the 70s ? Haven't you read King of the City?
                  Since King of the City was beautifully angry, some people might have missed the venom :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Phew, suddenly so many points I want to answer!

                    Originally posted by GuyLawley
                    So does this guy, and he's dead. Well, his own web PAGE anyway...

                    http://www.legis.state.ia.us/GA/76GA...Cornelius.html
                    Is that what Jerry's doing now, Mike?. He seems to have moved into another sphere of late and I must say he scrubs up well. He doesn't look as though he,s enjoying it, though.
                    By the way, those press clippings about JC in various of the books - were they real?

                    Originally posted by Ant
                    They became very popular in Texas... then Billy Gibbons went on to form ZZ Top...
                    I've got The Moving Sidewalks 'Flash' on cd. It's a great album. In fact , Billy, on the cover, looks very much like how a dear departed friend of mine once looked.

                    Originally posted by AndroMan
                    Back in the Sixties, Robert Heinlein was one of the most common authors to be found on the SF shelves in the Children's Section, of our local library. I used to love his stuff, as a pre-teener.
                    This is exactly how I came about them (in the '70's), they were about the only things that looked interesting on the shelves of the mobile and local lending libraries. It's nostalgia for my youth really, but I have to admire (and critics have mentioned it, which is why I recognise it) his ability to create a society one is familiar with in a few paragraphs.
                    The movie adaption of 'Starship Troopers' captures his gung ho attitude to the Vietnam war, while actively portraying the way the officially presented face of the US was perceived by many outside of it when the film was released.
                    I though it was quite enjoable escapist bollocks, too. (Unlike the follow up, which was weird escapist bollocks.)
                    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                    -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                    Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                    :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                    "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Doc
                      Originally posted by Steeplechaser
                      Soddin' anarchists. You can't trust any of them not to liberate your work.... :D
                      You mean I was angrier in the 70s ? Haven't you read King of the City?
                      Since King of the City was beautifully angry, some people might have missed the venom :D
                      To be perfectly honest, I sailed through the first third of King of the City then sort of ground to a halt. Nothing to do with the book, much more to do with being a full time, house-husband. I haven't had the time, or the peace of mind, to sit down and read a book right through, for months and months!

                      What I really need is a long sea voyage, with my pile of books and a steady supply of Chateau du Bilges for company ... :(

                      Thatcher gets a mention in Mike's StarShip Troopers article, but in 1977 she was still only a hand sized cloud on the horizon. Who could possibly have imagined, back then, just how much that woman and her monetarist, free marketeer, spawn, would alter the British social map? There's more of a sense of warning in the article, less exasperation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fuuny thing is that RAH was one of the "important" authors (as in significant in some way) and with whom I never particularly agreed. I find most of his characters cartoonish, as most situations he writes about. The thing is, I'd read many of his juveniles (starting with The Rolling Stones)(which I quickly found was not about a band) and kinda pegged him there. When the teen angst hit it was Christmastime, my dad had just passed, and I was deep into the "is this all there is to life" syndrome. By 'chance', I came across paperbacks of Stranger In A Strange Land and Glory Road. Needless to say, as an introduction ot adult science fiction these were a bit of a jolt after Tunnel In the Sky et al. Cured me once and for all of that particular angst.

                        Now it seems I have somehow gotten an education, and many of the political ideas seem quite naive and left in the oppositionist category. My own thing is that if one is going to complain about a problem (or set of problems) bring some sort of solution to the table. (I just refuse to sit there and look stupid when someone asks "So what would you do about it?" I like to have something to offer besides negativity.)

                        Even so, it seems the far right and left both have some concept of a basic lack that needs to be filled- that lack being taking care of the basic needs of humans for the bulk of the world population. There have been many proposed solutions (even the communistic style of the early Apostles, where they sold their property to support their own evangelistic community). The problem always seems to boil down to that of a bureaucracy. I think this is the one area where Heinlein and many other just completely lost all sense when they became so outraged at the bureaucrats (and especially the ones with sticky fingers). Heinlein would just as soon shoot a bureaucrat as look at one, and I really can't say I blame him or disagree. The intent (to take care of self and others) is a noble one, yet handling charges somehow invariably go against the grain, as if there is some sort of magic need for those who provide the mechanism of those basic needs should be doing so purely altruistically. Making wages from such a duty somehow taints it.

                        I know this is kinda convoluted, but I think that the moral core of the ideas tends to get messed up with the moral demands upon both providers and recipients. Moral evaluation always seems to be the elephant in the room when it comes to social services. There is constant judgment and nosiness going on, but everybody is regulated into some sort of politically correct stance, thus inhibiting pure giving and receipt, and there are "issues". Emotions boil up and get in the way.

                        And this is related to Iraq how? Well, the way I figure the dollar cost, every person in America is approaching spending the equivalent of a $200,000 house. The numbers change constantly, but basically we could have fed and housed all the homeless and needy in the whole blasted country with the funds we have so far expended in Iraq.
                        Miqque
                        ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Heinlein seems to me to be the ultimate manifestation of the kind of anarchist who thinks that to gun down a thousand starving kids trying to storm a mansion to find food is a valiant defense of "the ultimate manifestation of freedom" (to own private property), while a 0,1 % income tax for the richest 0,1 % of the population to provide clean water for the poor is an atrocity and the worst form of state-bureaucrat-communist repression.

                          I also come to think of him every time I see Red Forman in "That seventies show".
                          You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tend to prefer an earlier sf writer called Philip Wylie, who is almost forgotten now, though his book Gladiator was the origin of Superman and he put a lot of ideas into the common pot. He and his collaborator also wrote When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide. He also did the script for The Island of Doctor Moreau and wrote some interesting 'straight' (ish) novels. In Generation of Vipers, a book which is now considered un-PC because of its attack on 'momism' (which wasn't an attack on women but on American sentimentality) Wylie says that it costs about as much to 'make peace' as it does to 'make war' but that you can drum up more votes by going for war. I quote him, incidentally, in Firing the Cathedral, the Jerry Cornelius story in The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius (and also in the anthology Cities). I think he's worth reading. An example of an American radical who was more of the left and influenced all the many left-wing American writers like Pohl & Kornbluth, Sturgeon, Merril, Wollheim and others -- a tradition which seems to have been buried in recent years. Just as the tradition exemplified by Woody Guthrie has been either sentimentalised or forgotten. I'd like to see a revival of that left American tradition, which has its roots in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have heard of Philip Wylie but have never got round to reading any of his work.
                              Did you ever read any Stanley G. Weinbaum, Mr. M? I remember reading the 'A Martian Odyssey' collection and being quite impressed with his ideas. Things such as the carry-unit that plugged into the base of you spine so it would follow you over any terrain. The predominance of fungal infections in a jungle shrouded Venus. I think he was very highly regarded in the time leading up to and following his untimely death, but he is largely forgotten now, too.

                              Here is some biographical info for anyone interested -

                              http://www.gwillick.com/Spacelight/weinbaum.html
                              You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                              -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                              Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                              :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                              "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

                              Comment

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