Questions tagged [robert-a-heinlein]

For questions about Robert A. Heinlein who was an American science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of the genre. Only use for questions about the author, for questions about his works use the specific work tag instead.

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Continuity error in A Door into Summer - or very subtle clue

In Heinlein's The Door into Summer Dan is in 2000, trying to find someone he knew before he was involuntarily put into cold sleep in 1970, but he doesn't know what last name she would be using, and ...
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3 votes
0 answers
65 views

Pompeii house in Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love"

What was the actual house in Pompeii, referenced in Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, that the Boondock House on Tertius was modeled on?
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2 votes
0 answers
90 views

English-language version of film of Heinlein's "The Door into Summer?" [closed]

The Door into Summer is a 1957 science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein. Apparently it was made into a Japanese-language movie in 2021 by producer Shinji Ogawa and director Takahiro Miki. The lead is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
510 views

How many intelligent species are in the Solar System in Heinlein's Future History?

In "Blowups Happen" characters discuss evidence that a civilization once existed on the Moon. Intelligent Venusians or Venerians are seen in "Logic of Empire", different from those ...
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5 votes
0 answers
60 views

Fred Kirberger's art for F&SF serialization of Heinlein's The Star Beast (Star Lummox)

Heinlein's juvenile novel The Star Beast originally appeared in serialized form in F&SF as Star Lummox. F&SF included art by Fred Kirberger. There are a couple of strange things about the art....
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4 votes
0 answers
127 views

Did this character's name change in various printings of Heinlein's "—We Also Walk Dogs"?

In Robert A. Heinlein's "—We Also Walk Dogs" (1941), the opening scene has an operator at a company which does various tasks for people, businesses, and governments take a call. The woman ...
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8 votes
1 answer
204 views

Know a short story (Heinlein?) about a man constantly fighting alien life forms, realizing at the end that they're projections of his own feelings? [duplicate]

I just saw an old interview of Roger Waters where he describes a sci-fi short story, probably by Robert Heinlein, that he read in his youth, so dating back to the 1960s at least, and I'd really like ...
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23 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is there a Robert Heinlein story where man throws his shorts while in free fall in a space station to float over to a wall using the reaction?

Universe Today has the article Space Station Astronauts Could Get Stranded in Kibo which has this comment by Vernon Balbert dated June 10, 2008 at 3:18 PM: Robert Heinlein already covered this in one ...
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5 votes
1 answer
699 views

What is the platoon organization in Heinlein's "Starship Troopers"?

I'm re-reading Starship Troopers, and I'm wondering about the Mobile Infantry's TOE. From what I've read, so far, there are 50+ in a platoon, two sections with three squads each. Do we learn any more ...
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4 votes
1 answer
377 views

Symbolic Names of Characters in “Stranger in a Strange Land” (RAH)

In my copy of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, there is an introduction written by his wife Virginia. She writes as follows: The given names of the chief characters have great importance to the ...
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  • 191
5 votes
2 answers
188 views

Earliest example of a nomadic space trading society?

This would be no later than Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy (1957). I was recently re-reading Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky, which features the "Qeng Ho" - a society of sorts that ...
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  • 1,505
5 votes
1 answer
112 views

Is there an article that discusses the influence of Robert Heinlein on John Varley?

I just finished rereading Red Thunder by John Varley, which is a fine read, as are the other two books in his trilogy. This time, Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo flashed into my brain. Please note, I ...
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9 votes
2 answers
234 views

Is “The Pursuit of the Pankera” the novel Heinlein once claimed to have burned?

I recall reading (I think it was in the foreword or introduction to an edition of his Future History collection, published after his aneurysm procedure) Heinlein's claim that he'd burned an entire ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Heinlein, "Everything not compulsory was forbidden," in "Coventry?"

There is a satirical phrase, "Everything not forbidden is compulsory," which seems to have been a part of popular culture (in varied form) in the English-speaking world in the early 20th century. It ...
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3 votes
3 answers
201 views

When Peewee shows up, why is she wearing a space suit?

In ch. 4 of Heinlein's Have Space Suit, Will Travel, two flying saucers land in the field behind the protagonist Kip's house. Two figures come out of one. We later learn that these are the Mother ...
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12 votes
1 answer
348 views

Story similar to a Canticle for Leibowitz, maybe by Heinlein

For many decades I have remembered reading a science fiction story that I had thought was A Canticle for Leibowitz. Having just watched an Extra Credits video about that novel, I realized I have been ...
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11 votes
2 answers
524 views

Robert Heinlein character quote about Hell and kittens

I keep vaguely remembering a character in one of Robert Heinlein's books saying something along the lines "there was a special place in hell for child molesters and people who drown kittens." I just ...
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8 votes
1 answer
164 views

Was "Orphans of the Sky" intended to parallel the Bible?

Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky contains some things that, to me at least, appear to be direct religious commentary / allegory / parody. For instance, the name of "Jordan" being God, and the mention ...
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13 votes
0 answers
370 views

Story with quote about oral sex and eyelashes, possibly Heinlein

Maybe fifteen years ago I read a story in which a character says, of the act of performing oral sex on a woman, that if your eyelashes don’t get wet, you’re doing it wrong—or words to that effect. In ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Heinlein works where slide rule is used to calculate navigation in space

A question on Space.SE; Is it possible to navigate space travel with no computer? got me looking for a list of works where Heinlein solely relied on a slide rule to calculate navigation in space. I ...
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38 votes
2 answers
2k views

Meaning of P.R.S. Aes Triplex in Heinlein's Space Cadet

I picked up an old library copy of the illustrated Scribner's edition of Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet and am having fun reading it and pondering the seemingly artless and unresolved juxtaposition of ...
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8 votes
0 answers
151 views

Heinlein's Have Space Suit -- Will Travel, illustrated edition?

I'm 52, and like a lot of American guys my age, I first fell in love with SF by reading the Heinlein juveniles, which my grade-school library had on the shelf. Recently, for nostagia, I've been ...
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15 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why do readers of Starship Troopers think Juan/Johnny is Filipino?

I have commonly heard that people think the lead is Filipino. I read Starship Troopers and recall the main character living in Buenos Aires before shipping out for military service. I recall later ...
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6 votes
1 answer
221 views

What are the oddities of Mannies speech pattern?

While reading Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, I noticed something is off in Mannie's speech pattern. But I can't really put my finger on all these oddities as I am not a native English ...
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15 votes
0 answers
1k views

Evolution of Heinlein's treatment of homosexuality?

IIRC the treatment of homosexuality in Heinlein's writing changed a lot over time. My recollection is that in an early book (possibly Stranger in a Strange Land?), a sympathetic or authorial ...
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6 votes
1 answer
642 views

Did Robert Heinlein write about his real-life cats?

Robert Heinlein must have known and loved many cats. Pete, in The Door into Summer is a fully realized character, and Pixel in two of the Lazarus Long books is also memorable. The title of The Door ...
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20 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did Heinlein intend to portray men and women as equals?

Heinlein's writing career spanned 49 years. Some of his work was written before the Women's Liberation movements of the 60's and 70's, some of his work was written after. His casts of characters ...
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12 votes
1 answer
235 views

Why Kansas City in The Puppet Masters?

In Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" the protagonist realises that the Masters don't need to be directly attached to the base of the spine. That makes it easier but they can control you from any contact....
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12 votes
1 answer
444 views

Info about the incident that inspired Heinlein's "Starman Jones"?

According to Heinlein, "Starman Jones" was inspired by a real life incident: This book was written without an outline from a situation in the early 19th century. Two American teenagers took off ...
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1 vote
0 answers
157 views

Was Stranger in a Strange Land the first sci fi novel to deal with the mind body concept of visualized intention and its effect on the physical body?

The protagonist in Stranger in a Strange Land JMS comes from Mars, taught by spirits that sail across the landscape (sages? Monks? Gurus?). Shortly after arriving he starts to grok what's going on ...
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13 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is this quote from Robert Heinlein's writing? "I never learned from a man who agreed with me"

Can anyone provide a source for this quote, supposedly from Robert Heinlein or from one of his works? "I never learned from a man who agreed with me." Or similar wording. I don't recognize it, and I'...
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11 votes
1 answer
487 views

Starship Troopers Choose Your Own Adventure with RPG aspects

I read this in the late eighties. It was official Starship Troopers branded, based entirely on the book, not the movie. Unlike a traditional Choose Your Own Adventure, in this you had units, ...
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  • 543
12 votes
1 answer
466 views

What is a rolligon and why do people travel using it?

“Rolligon” is mentioned a few times in the novel. One mention is in chapter 9, about the site of the big secret construction project. Nevertheless many people were there, during and after ...
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7 votes
2 answers
109 views

How many people live in Luna?

At the time of the events told in Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (not counting the epilogue), approximately how many people live in Luna? I seem to remember that the number was ...
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14 votes
1 answer
307 views

Who gets the fine Stuart pays for not learning the local customs?

In Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress chapter 11, we hear the story of Manuel serving as a judge. Manuel fines Stuart Rene LaJoie 50 Hong Kong dollars for making advances on the girl ...
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11 votes
1 answer
217 views

How did main character of "The Door Into Summer" take his own place in cryo chamber?

Long story short, in The Door Into Summer, the main character freezes himself and wakes up in the future. Then he goes back to the past using an experimental time travel, does his clever business, and ...
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4 votes
0 answers
273 views

Why is Bob Wilson afraid when he sees a High One in "By His Bootstraps"? [closed]

In Robert Heinlein's 1941 short story, By His Bootstraps, the main character Bob Wilson, is afraid after searching the past and finally seeing a High One. What about this sighting invokes a feeling of ...
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  • 471
7 votes
3 answers
479 views

In The Rolling Stones, did Heinlein deliberately try to confuse the reader with nicknames?

Robert Heinlein's novel The Rolling Stones has two or three unrelated names for six out of the seven main characters. The narrator and different characters use different names for calling each other. ...
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6 votes
0 answers
166 views

In The Rolling Stones, who put the note on the bicycles in the name of the Galactic Overlord?

In Robert Heinlein's novel The Rolling Stones, when Mr. Stone retrieves the bicycles he'd jettisoned from the spaceship, he finds a note on them signed by the Galactic Overlord, a fictional character ...
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12 votes
2 answers
513 views

What was the Free Trader society's debt to Baslim in Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy?

Did Colonel Richard Baslim rescue a Free Trader starship's crew from slavery or were the free traders trying their hand at slave trade and Baslim stopped them? If the former, why were the traders so ...
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13 votes
1 answer
384 views

First Story which Featured a Generational Ship where the Crew Have Forgotten

Is Heinlein's 1941 story Orphan's of the Sky the first instance of a generation ship where the current inhabitants have almost completely forgotten how to run the ship, and are mostly unaware of ...
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

(Robert Heinlein?) story about a corporation made rich by investing in unlikely research projects [duplicate]

In this story, a corporation or group becomes extremely rich by investing in long-shot research projects that, against all odds, keep succeeding. Almost like a science fiction version of Brewster's ...
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Longer version of Robert Heinlein's 1951 "The Puppet Masters"

It appears that both the Galaxy Science Fiction serialization and the original novel version of Heinlein's The Puppet Masters were edited down from 96,000 words to about 60,000. According to Wikipedia,...
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  • 4,473
6 votes
2 answers
451 views

What are they mining for in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress?

I read Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress some time ago and recall the mining operation but cannot for the life of me remember what they were digging up. Can anyone help me?
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Inspiration or antecedent for title of Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"?

I'm fairly certain that I know the answer to this question, but I want to appeal to the collective wisdom here before I definitively file this in my mind as solved. Is there an earlier source or a ...
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  • 4,473
6 votes
2 answers
860 views

Does "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" depict a socialist revolution?

I recently saw a meme with a girl's face saying "Slams socialism because there's no such thing as a free lunch... Doesn't realize the line comes from a novel about socialist revolution." This is a ...
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  • 161
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a movie that is based on or very similar to Robert Heinlein's "Tunnel in the Sky"? [closed]

One book that I've always wished there was a good movie for, was Robert Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky. I was just wondering if there was ever a movie adaptation that they maybe changed the name and I ...
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  • 1,039
5 votes
3 answers
901 views

Structure of Heinlein's ship Vanguard (Orphans of the Sky)

I have a question regarding the structure of the spaceship Vanguard featured in Heinlein's 1941 novel Orphans of the Sky (Wikipedia' synopsys here). The ship is described as a huge cylinder with many ...
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  • 161
8 votes
2 answers
657 views

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Was Prof Controlling Mike?

Some other questions touched on the subject of Mike's absence near the end of the book. My question relates to the sudden absence in relation to Prof's death. Here's why I think this: Prof dies, ...
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  • 191
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What were the thirty-one crash landings in Starship Troopers?

In Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers reference was made a few times to "the thirty-one crash landings", the thirty-one offenses that warranted the death penalty for the soldier who committed them. ...
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