Locus Magazine on Robert Heinlein

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hobbit, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    11,261
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Interesting article about Robert Heinlein from Locus Magazine: http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2012/11/the-joke-is-on-us-the-two-careers-of-robert-a-heinlein/

    Claims that whereas most people follow the Panshin idea of Heinlein's work, that it was in three phases:
    Westfahl suggests that actually there were two:
    Whilst I'm not totally convinced by the argument, it's a good article and the argument is put forward well.

    Thought others might be interested, though I do like this part from the beginning:
    (Even though they are not that available in the UK.)
     
  2. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    3,671
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    73
    The most famous science fiction authors the field has ever produced are H.G. Wells and Arthur C. Clarke (a few decades ago we might have said Verne as well, but he's not as prevalent today). Even if people don't know the names, if you say, "The guy who wrote War of the Worlds," or "The guy who created geostationary communications satellites (sort of)," (or, for older people, "The guy who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey") they'd at least get the importance of them.

    Robert Heinlein is comfortably in the second tier of famous SF authors, standing comfortably next to Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick in the 'almost all serious SF fans will have heard of them' category, which remains an impressive achievement. A very important author in the historical development of the field, most certainly, but not someone who you can comfortably recommend to readers today beyond perhaps Starship Troopers. As quite a few people have been discussing on Twitter today, Heinlein wrote an inordinate number of books that were 1) total garbage (most of the last decade of his career, if not longer), 2) have dated horrendously (Stranger in a Strange Land is so much of its time it physically hurts to read it today) and 3) were on the 'uncomfortable' side of skeevy.
     
  3. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,935
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Heinlein may be famous to people into SF but not very much to non-SF types.

    psik