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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 1) (216 comments)

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  •  I quit reading Heinlein... (14+ / 0-)

    ...after I read several of his books that ended with everybody having sex with everybody else.

    Did I stop too soon? Did he figure out some other way to wrap up a story?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:06:11 PM PDT

    •  Try the Earlier Ones (22+ / 0-)

      Sounds like you had the misfortune to start with some of his later books, which were rather self-indulgent.

      The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, for all its celebration of non-traditional marriages, has little actual sex in it; and family relationships are more important in it that copulation.

      There is, of course, no sex in his "juveniles", written for the boy's market.  Of these my favorites are Space Cadet and The Rolling Stones.  Star Beast and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel are also quite good, as is Citizen of the Galaxy.

      Many of his early short stories are quite good.  A lot of them tie into his over arcing "Future History" series.

      I also recommend Double Star, a novel that combines The Prisoner of Zenda with interplanetary politics.  Which makes it sound rather stupid, but it's actually very good.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:18:40 PM PDT

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      •  And Podkayne of Mars... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maggie Pax, quarkstomper

        ...was on the bookshelf in my high school back in the 50's and the heroine is a young girl. I think Heinlein in many ways was not simply admiring women/females for their beauty and reproductive possibilities but out of a sense of wonder and true respect.

        Podkayne was one of my favorite early Heinlein reads even though it's juvy fiction.

        "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

        by TerryDarc on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 03:33:40 PM PDT

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        •  If you ever met his wife Virginia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper

          then you know that he has a deep, powerful respect for women of all ages. He repeatedly creates women characters who are smarter, more competent, and yes, sexier, than his male protagonists. Virginia spoke seven languages and was a biochemist before their marriage. It was, in part, due to her management skills that Heinlein became extremely wealthy solely from his writing. (Was he the first sf author to become a millionaire solely from writing sf?) She was tough, beautiful, and sharp as a tack. It was an honor to meet her.

          "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

          by Maggie Pax on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

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          •  Sounds like the perfect woman for RAH! nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quarkstomper

            "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

            by TerryDarc on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:47:41 PM PDT

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            •  She was (0+ / 0-)

              They were devoted to each other. It is one of the great marriages in many ways.

              "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

              by Maggie Pax on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:59:42 PM PDT

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              •  Spouses of SF Authors? (0+ / 0-)

                Would make an interesting book. PK Dick was apparently devoted but had a screwed up life in general and Jack Vance was extremely devoted to his wife, Norma, who helped a lot on editing and critique, I believe.

                "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

                by TerryDarc on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 01:52:44 PM PDT

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                •  Joe and Gay Haldeman (0+ / 0-)

                  Joe Haldeman, author of The Forever War and his wife, Gay, used to be regulars at ICON, a science fiction convention in Iowa City I used to attend back when I lived in Darkest Iowa.  Gay used to run the annual "How to Enjoy Your First Science Fiction Convention" panel.  I never got to know Joe and Gay, but from what I've heard the two have a strong and loving partnership

                  "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

                  by quarkstomper on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 02:14:06 PM PDT

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    •  No started too late (14+ / 0-)

      As noted Stranger started pushing the boundaries by the time you got to Time Enough for Love and Friday things were way over the top.

      Starship Troopers and Harsh Mistress have their odd politico-sexual themes, but are much more than readable. But maybe they should be the starting points for a Heinlein read back or end points for a career study, either direction would made for a profitable read, but you could slice off his last six books with not much loss (though all have well written episodes, except maybe Job, which I gave up on, wrenching after a couple of decades of Heinlein being my favorite author)

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:22:52 PM PDT

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      •  Try Job again (9+ / 0-)

        He is taking fundamentalist theology as "truth" in the beginning and sees it through to the Rapture--and beyond. In short, he show how ridiculous it really is.

        "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

        by Maggie Pax on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:39:04 PM PDT

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      •  What, you know more than Social Security? NT (3+ / 0-)

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:54:44 PM PDT

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        •  Nan da? (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mythatsme

          "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

          by quarkstomper on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:02:14 PM PDT

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          •  Bruce Webb is Soc Sec expert. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, Angie in WA State

            Check out his diaries. They're great.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:13:32 PM PDT

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            •  Back in 1992 I was maybe the world's (13+ / 0-)

              third best expert on ninth century Welsh dynastic history.

              Of course there were maybe four or five people writing on the topic at the time, but still---.  And before that:

              By the time I was a sophomore in college I had a truly massive collection of science fiction including most all of the Golden Age writers. This would have taken me up to around 1976 when IMHO things in the genre started dropping off the cliff. Though the term wasn't around then a lot of the sci-fi dropped the action for the emo. Or maybe I was just getting too involved in the medieval Celtic thing to keep up. Either way I left most of the sci-fi and Celtic stuff behind when I left Berkeley in 1993 and a few years later picked up the kind of odd hobby of Social Security policy.

              Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

              by Bruce Webb on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:46:49 PM PDT

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              •  Good to see you here (5+ / 0-)

                I drifted to Military sci fi, starting late '80's, after reading thru my Moms sci fi from the 50's and 60's, and going thru Clark, Brin, the large concept stuff during the 70's.

                6th Column is a fav of mine, from my Moms collection.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 10:32:35 PM PDT

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              •  Bruce, got to disagree with you about the value (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Maggie Pax

                of SF written after 1976.

                Greg Bear
                David Brin
                Connie Willis
                Charles Stross
                C J Cherryh

                To name just a few authors with significantly good writing, who came after (some of them long after) the mid-1970s.

                I started reading SF in grade school, circa 1972, with the Madeline 'l Engle tale, "A Wrinkle in Time", and read through the whole science fiction and fantasy section before the end of my school days at Lincoln Elementary.

                I found Issac Asimov, Robert A Heinlein, Frank L Baum (did you know there are dozens of Oz books?), Ray Bradbury, Brian Aldiss and a whole host of authors (many of them from the Golden Age of SF). I've found many more in the decades that came after. Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Naomi Novik, Robert Asprin, Ben Bova... the list runs into serious triple digits.

                I fell in love, for the first time in my life. It was magical. I'm convinced that falling in love with books at a young age affected my life more than anything else ever has. It opened my mind to ideas, strange and odd and new ideas...

                I'm so sorry that for you, the magic left the room sometime during the era of Jimmy Carter.

                :(

                I like paying taxes... with them, I buy Civilization

                by Angie in WA State on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:49:50 AM PDT

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              •  Specialization is for insects (0+ / 0-)
                I am saying that there's a lot more to teenage girls than the above (or the narrator of "The Menace from Earth," who's supposedly boy crazy AND a mathematical genius with the discipline to design a starship AND is what, fourteen and has found the love of her life already?) would indicate.  
      •  Job was my favorite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maggie Pax

        until I dug into the juveniles.

        I began with "I Will Fear No Evil" when I was 10 (!!!), pored through the "naughty" and undisciplined Heinlein when I was a kid, and came to the juveniles last, loving them best.

        "Wrenching" is a good description, since I adored Heinlein, but ess and less, the more progressive I realized I was. Reading about Heinlein's real views (as op[posed to those of his characters) has helped me reconcile my convictions with why I enjoyed his oeuvre so much.

        Sometimes a .sig is just a .sig.

        by rhubarb on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

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      •  Revolt in 2100 AD (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, JDog42, Maggie Pax

        Try Revolt in 2100 AD (a collection of novellas published elsewhere).  Then think about Huckabee, Bachmann, and Perry and get very worried.

        sPh

    •  Yes. (9+ / 0-)

      This is actually one of his stronger endings.

      Besides, sex is great! Happy endings indeed!

      "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

      by Maggie Pax on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:27:41 PM PDT

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