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As last we saw, the Citizens of Free Luna have just beaten off Earth's punitive strike to put down their rebellion.  Now the Loonies are striking back.

They're going to throw rocks.

"A maximum of instructive shrecklichkeit with minimum loss of life.  None, if possible" -- was how Prof summed up doctrine for Operation Hard Rock and was way Mike and I carried it out.  Idea was to hit earthworms so hard would convince them -- while hitting so gently as not to hurt.  Sounds impossible, but wait.

Critics of Harry Truman's decision to bomb Hiroshima have argued that it would have been just as effective and less deadly so simply allow representatives to witness a test explosion of the Atom Bomb.  I'm sure Heinlein had heard this argument, and I suspect he probably disagreed with it.  Yet here he has the Loonies to do something similar:  demonstrating their capability to deploy a Weapon of Mass Destuction without actually killing any more people than they have to.

Perhaps this analogy is unfair.  A closer analogy would actually be Pearl Harbor.  The original Japanese plan was to strike the U.S. Navy so hard and so decisively that America would lose the will to fight.  It didn't work.  

Prof's concern about inflicting unneccesary casualties is precisely because he does not want to galvanize the people of Earth into anger and retaliation.  Luna cannot survive a fight to the death with Earth as its enemy; so they have to leave Terra room for the possibility of becoming friends.

Luna has no spaceships of it's own, and no weapons, other than a few laser drills modified into defensive artillery.  But it does have one important advantage:  it's position on top of Earth's gravity well.  This is the ultimate high ground; and they are going to take the old chestnut of dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building and multiply it by a factor of millions.  (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle used a similar idea in their novel Footfall).

Using Mike's powerful radar telescopes, they have identified unidentified target locations on every continent, in every major nation on Earth.  For the past two months they have been preparing canisters similar to the ones formerly used to ship grain to Earth, filled with rock that they will fire at these targets.  Hitting the targets should be no problem; it's just a matter of ballistics, and aiming Luna's catapault was the first job for which Mike had been programmed.

They flood the airwaves with warnings to stay away from the target sites, mixed with propaganda.  They want everyone on Earth to know what's coming.

Manuel is well into implementing Operation Hard Rock when he finally makes contact with Prof.  Communication with the city of Hong Kong Luna was disrupted during the attack and Mannie had feared Prof had been killed.  But he also learns that Ludmilla, the youngest wife in his family was dead, shot by one of the invading soldiers.  Manuel returns to be with his family in mourning.  Most Loonies "conserve" their dead, recycling the body's components into the Lunar ecosystem.  Little 'Milla's atoms will now be mingled with those of Black Jack Davis and the rest of the family members now gone in the Davis family greenhouse, providing nutrients for the roses.

Back to the attack.  The initial barrage of rocks will take three days to reach Earth.  So far, None of the nations of Earth have come to terms.  So as not to distract Mike from the delicate task of monitoring and correcting the trajectories of the missiles, Manuel suits up and goes on the Lunar surface to watch.  The Sun is mostly behind the Earth and the North American continent lies in night as Mike counts down.

And suddenly that grid burst out in diamond pinpoints!

We hit them so hard you could see it, by bare eyeball hookup; didn't need binox.  Chin dropped and I said "Bojemoi!" softly and reverently.  Twelve very bright, very sharp, very white lights in perfect rectaungular array.  They swelled, grew dimmer, dropped off towards red, taking what seemed a long, long time.  Were other new lights but that perfect grid so fascinated me I hardly noticed.

Mike is delighted.

"A bull's-eye.  No interception.  All my shots are bull's-eyes, Man; I told you they would be -- and this is fun.  I'd like to do it every day.  It's a word I never had a referent for before."

"What word, Mike?"

"Orgasm.  That's when they all light up.  Now I know."

This sobers Mannie and he cautions Mike not to get to like it too much.  "If it goes our way, we won't do it a second time."  Mike has other sobering news:  one of Earth's Peace Cruisers has just left Earth orbit and is on it's way and will arrive in a day or two.

Manuel returns to the sub-basement of the Complex where the bulk of Mike's mainframe resides but is soon called up to the Administrative Offices for an emergency Cabinet meeting.  It seems that initial reports from Earth are claiming that Luna used atomic weapons and that thousands or more are dead.  One of the Cabinet members, a self-impotant representative from Novylen named Wright who claims to speak for the "intelligentia", is howling that the rock strikes have made Luna guilty of crimes against humanity.

The reason for the casualties is that it seems thousands of sight-seers deliberately went to the targets to watch.  As for the claim of atomic weapons, Prof is puzzled.  Luna has no nukes.  

I turned to Wright.  "Did your brainy friends tell you what happens when you release a few billion calories in a split second all at one spot?  What temperature?  How much radience?"

"Then you admit that you did use atomic weapons!"

"Oh, Bog!"  Head was aching.  "Said nothing of sort.  Hit anything hard enough, strike sparks.  Elementary physics, known to everybody but inelligentsia.  We just struck damnedest big sparks ever made by human agency is all."

The Cabinet accepts his explanation, (Except for Gospodin Wright, who is a putz), but Manuel isn't finished.  He's tired, hasn't slept in days and has had enough.  Pointing at Wright he says:  "Either that yammerhead goes... or I go.  ...you don't seem to understand issue.  You let this yammerhead climb on my back -- and didn't even try to stop him!  So either fire him, or fire me."

It's an ugly scene.  One by one, the other members of the War Cabinet side with Manuel.  "Manuel, it works both ways," Prof says sadly.  "What you are doing is forcing me to resign.  Goodnight, comrades.  Or rather, 'Good morning.'  I'm going to get some badly needed rest."

Everybody needs rest by this time.  After a good nine hours of sleep, they reconvene.  Prof is there.  Nobody mentions what happened the previous night.  Nobody mentions Gospodin Wright.  In fact, Manuel observes that he never saw Wright again.

But there are still matters to discuss.  Stu has been secretly negotiating with Doctor Chan, the Chinese representative Manuel met on his trip to Earth.  China might recognize Luna, but wants them to cancel the bombings on Chinese soil first.  The Cabinent discusses the matter intently and decides to stick with their plan.  More immediately, Luna has to prepare for the upcoming attack, now less than 24 hours away.  The most vulnerable domes must be evacuated; but Prof insists that all evacuation must be voluntary; he refuses to coerce people out of their homes.

They expect the Earth cruisers to bomb their catapault; this is why they built the second one.  Since there is a danger that "David's Little Sling" might get cut off from the rest of Luna, they have already transported an auxillery computer to the site to handle launches from it.  The auxillery is a mainframe formerly used by the major bank in Hong Kong Luna.  Mike affectionately refers to it as "my idiot son."  It is not and will never be self-aware as Mike is, but it's smart enough to run the neccessary ballistics programs.  Mike asks Manuel to go out to the site and ride herd on the auxillery computer in case it needs help.  On all levels, Prof and the others are executing a radical decentrilzation of vital systems and government so that if any part of the Luna Colony is destroyed, the rest can carry on.

The bombing of Earth continues, still limited to uninhabited targets, with one big exception:  the North American Space Defense Command in Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado.  It's a military target, and fair game.  It had taken a hit during a limited nuclear engagment of the previous century (called "The Wet Firecracker War") and so the mountain itself is empty of life.  Mike keeps hammering the mountain with rocks until he apologetically tells Manuel that the mountain isn't there anymore.  Manuel would also like to drop one on the Federated Nation's Administrative Headquarters in Agra, but because of its close proximity to the Taj Mahal, he knows Prof would never forgive him if he did.

But the Loonies only have so many rocks prepped to shoot out of the catapault; and the next attack from Earth is on it's way.  The defensive laser gunners are able to bring one down by blinding its sensors; but several recieve fatal or near-fatal radiation burns when the cruiser's H-missiles detonate.  A second cruiser manages to damage the main catapault before it too is brought down.  Earth is now announcing that the threat from Luna is ended.  It's not; Little David's Sling is still operational; but with at least two more cruisers orbiting Luna they have to be careful when to use it, lest the cruisers get a fix on the catapault's radar.  The war now becomes a game of Chicken as Mannie hopes that Earth backs down before they run out of rocks to throw.

Then the announcement comes:  Great China denounces the actions of the F.N. and announces that it will recognize Free Luna and is ready to negotiate.  India quickly follows suit, followed by Egypt and others.  Before long the F.N. itself accepts armistice and withdraws the orbiting warships.  The revolution is over!

Manuel returns to L-City in triumph and there Prof delivers a victory speech.  It occurs to Mannie that the destruction of the main catapault very well might have been part of Prof's plan all along:  now it won't be possible to ship Luna's resources to Earth at all; at least for a long time.  Prof joyously announces that Great China has committed to building an Earth-based catapault to permit two-way shipping between Luna and Earth.  "But that lies in the future.  Today -- Oh, happy day!  At last the world acknowledges Luna's sovereignty.  Free!  You have won your freedom --"

And then... right there on the podium, he dies.

It is quite a while before Manuel has the chance to call up Mike; and when he does he learns that all phone service to the Complex is out; the Complex was a major target for the last round of orbital missile bombardment.  He goes down in person to talk to Mike... and gets no answer.

He works just fine ... as a computer.  But won't talk.  Or can't.

Wyoh tried to coax him.  Then she stopped.  Eventually I stopped.

Don't  know how it happened.  Many outlying pieces of him got chopped off in last bombing -- was meant -- I'm sure, to kill our ballistic computer.  Did he fall below that "critical number" it takes to sustain self-awareness?  (If is such; was never more than hypothesis.)  Or did decentralizing that was done before the bombing "kill" him?

I don't know.  If was just matter of critical number, well, he's long been repaired; he must be back up to it.  Why doesn't he wake up?

Can a machine be so frightened and hurt that it will go into catatonia and refuse to respond?  While ego crouches inside, aware but never willing to risk it?  No, can't be that; Mike was unafraid -- as gaily unafraid as Prof.

Now years have passed and Mike is still silent.  Manuel knows that Mike is as dead as Prof  -- but how dead is Prof?  The yammerheads wound up more competent than Prof expected and are turning Luna into a law-and-tax-ridden government just like the ones on Earth, depsite Prof's best intentions.  It turns out that Heinlein's Libertarian Utopia was possible only under the iron dictatorship of the Warden; once the Loonies could govern themselves, as Prof feared, they began forging new chains of their own.

The novel ends much as Huckleberry Finn does, with Manuel considering "lighting out for the Territories" to find a less-civilized place to live.

NEXT:  Something different!

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

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Comment Preferences

  •  References to earlier parts (7+ / 0-)

    ..aren't showing as links. You may want to fix them.

    We are not given mercy because we deserve it, but because we need it.

    by Ahianne on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:05:15 PM PDT

  •  I Find It Interesting..... (16+ / 0-)

    That while Heinlein gave the Loonies elements of what is believed to be his own libertarian philosophy, he didn't make them pure or noble. In fact, they're arguably just as corrupt as the Federated Nations.

    The Loonies lie, cheat, steal and fabricate events to help their cause. And the Loonies also rationalize away any decision which seems to cross the rules they set for themselves. The bombardment of Earth feels like one of those rationalizations made by the characters. The book was written in 1966, so maybe Heinlein didn't understand exactly what happens when an object impacting at 3 km/sec delivers kinetic energy equal to its mass in TNT. But even if you warn beforehand, you can't throw mass drivers at Earth in a nearly bloodless or antiseptic way. The impacts would be devastating.

    In "Babylon 5," one of the big turning points of its story arc is the end of the Narn-Centauri War, in which the Centauri bomb the Narn homeworld with asteroids. In the show, it's treated as an egregious war crime, and it marks a point where Londo (Peter Jurasik) finally begins to realizes the horror he's wrought to achieve his dream for the Centauri.

    •  Heinlein Made His Characters Human (16+ / 0-)

      I think Heinlein was honest enough to realize that any political system that relies on perfect people to work isn't worth anything.  He made his Loonies human characters with human failings and motivations.  And he also understood which direction the road paved with good intentions leads.

      As for what effect the rocks would really have; I suspect Heinlein did the math; but he might not have fully grokked how the numbers would translate in terms of the full effect on the target.  He did say that the impact was similar to an atomic explosion and that the repeated pounding of Space Command completely obliterated a mountain.  He did not, however, say what would have happened to the nearby city of Colorado Springs or how the resulting dust cloud would have affected the Great Plains.

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

      by quarkstomper on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:41:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heinlein knew (16+ / 0-)

      as much as anyone did when he wrote it. He wrote a series of "world-saving" articles just after WWII. He was one of the first to recognize exactly how horrible a nuclear war could be. But he also was well aware that there was--is--no way to prevent an attack from space--whether from rockets or from the moon. He feared what the Soviets could do if they got to the moon first. And he lived at Cheyenne Mountain--had friends and neighbors who worked there.

      If he wasn't explicit enough, it might be that he couldn't stomach it.

      He has to postulate the ecocide of Luna (and the resulting human catastrophe) to justify these actions. To get this published, he had to obey certain publishing conventions that we no longer have today.

      I found it quite graphic enough. YMMV.

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

      by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:49:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Strategic Defense Initiative (12+ / 0-)

        One thing I noted this read-through, is that we have hints in this book of what became known during the Reagan Era as the "Star Wars Defense".  The occasional mentions of "The Wet Firecracker War" say that most of the missiles in the limited nuclear exchange were knocked out of the sky America's defenses.  Similarly, Finn and his laser crews use high-powered heavy lasers to burn out the sensors and controls of oncoming spaceships and missiles when Earth Attacks.

        On the other hand, when Earth's defenses attempt to stop the falling rocks with interceptor missiles, the results are far from satisfactory.  Only a few are destroyed; the rest are either nudged off-target (therefore doing more damage than they otherwise would have) or missed alltogether.

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

        by quarkstomper on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SDI (12+ / 0-)

          Heinlein was a big supporter of SDI. He didn't know whether it would work, but he felt we had to try. I think Pournell put together a book called "The High Frontiers" supporting SDI; Heinlein wrote an intro, if I recall correctly.

          Really this is the thing that seems to have worried him the most. And he does have Federation ships armed with nukes heading for Luna. Mannie notes that all it would take is one ship, one nuke (in the right place) for total devastation for Luna.

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

          by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 08:03:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Earth wouldn't have destroyed Luna domes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quarkstomper

            with their inhabitants. Luna was too important as a source of major foodstuffs.

            For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

            by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:02:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Killing the Cow (3+ / 0-)

              When Manuel met with the Lunar Authority rep on Earth, the rep admitted that they would not "kill the cow" in order to get more milk, as Prof put it, but that they would be willing to let the cow know she could be hurt.

              The missile attacks Earth used against Luna both in its initial attempt to re-take the colony and in it's response to Luna's rock-bombing was aimed primarily on taking out the connections between the domed cities rather than cracking the domes themselves.  In the second strike the objective was to cripple Luna's rock-throwing capabilities by destroying their catapault and their radars, but they also bombed Luna Complex, where the Warden's old office was and where the main computer -- Mike -- was located.

              But the Loonies had to worry about the possibility that Earth might decide to waste one of the domes to make an example for the others; and at least one dome was mostly above-ground and might have been damaged enough by nearby strikes to lose pressure

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

              by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:44:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No working prototype of an SDI weapon was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quarkstomper

            every made. However, it was worth something as a bluff in nuclear arms control negotiations with the Soviets. They thought we could make it work, after seeing what our PC's and software and industrial lasers could do.

            For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

            by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Just like the projected SDI in the 80s, this was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper

          a new technology. The lasers were originally designed and built for a different purpose.

          For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

          by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:00:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was not aware of this series on DKOS (14+ / 0-)

    You really put me in the WayBack machine. I hadn't read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress since I was kid (and the novel had just come out). I'm definitely going to go back and reread it.

    Thanks!

    In fact, much more would be accomplished if just half the energy that goes into this internal battling went into the real activism that we see recounted or proposed in diaries every day. - Meteor Blades

    by Bill in MD on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:29:45 PM PDT

    •  I'm Glad You Enjoyed It (10+ / 0-)

      I need to go back to some of the earlier installments and add links the the rest.  Maybe I'll also create an index somewhere for the previous books we've discussed in this series.

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

      by quarkstomper on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Check the earlier diaries (8+ / 0-)

      Quarkstomper did a great job and the discussions have been terrific.

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

      by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:50:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If You Become a Follower of R&BLers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quarkstomper, Maggie Pax, RunawayRose

      by clicking the HEART symbol next to our Group Name, you will automatically receive all installments of this series (and the others) in your personal profile stream.  And never miss a thing!

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:28:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read it in the 80s. I thought it was interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quarkstomper

      and thought provoking in many ways, but there were strong hints of Heinlein's Libertarianism, especially in the end where Mannie complains that Loonies have to pay taxes now and get various services in return for them.

      It was apparent to me then, as now, that in an environment as hostile as the moon, resources that we take for granted -- like oxygen and water -- would have to be carefully managed, husbanded, and recycled to make the domes and connecting tunnels habitable. As we know even from Earth experience, the unregulated marketplace cannot provide this. A government role of some sort is inevitable. Mannie takes this as an imposition, since for me it looks like common sense.

      BTW, Anarchism isn't rational because people aren't rational, not entirely, though we're capable of reason. Jefferson, which "the Prof" claims as an inspiration, never advocated the abolition of government.

      A non-statist society would have to be a tribal society, a loose confederation of clans (kinship groups) reinforced by marriage alliances and perhaps other ties. As we know from Earth history, it would be a society of very low technical development; not a futuristic society like Heinlein's Luna with self-aware computers.

      For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

      by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prof's Anarchism (3+ / 0-)

        Prof calls himself a "Rational Anarchist" not because he believes anarchy itself is rational, but because he is willing to ditch his anarchist principles when he feels it is rational to do so.  In the same manner, he is a "rational vegetarian."  He generally doesn't eat meat; but if he hasn't eaten in nearly a day and he smells ham cooking... "Manuel, may I have some of that 'pink salmon'...?"

        Other than that, I agree with what you're saying.

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

        by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:50:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you! (14+ / 0-)

    Interesting.  In stories with "sentient" computers, I am always scared what they might do on their own after HAL.

    I guess Mike came first by two years.  

    The silence or "death" is sad.  Asimov's robot who wants to learn what it is like to be human always made me tear up and I didn't see the movie.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:33:45 PM PDT

  •  Another fine summary (14+ / 0-)

    Many consider this Heinlein's best work.

    Certainly, libertarians embrace many of the ideas espoused herein, but Heinlein does make it clear that the libertarian "paradise" is fleeting--if not illusory.

    Prof's definition of rational anarchy from Ch. 6--an appealing philosophy--recognizes that most people are far from perfect. And even Prof engages in serious political and financial fraud. He justifies his actions by pointing out that the alternative is environmental catastrophe--with the resulting human catastrophe. Do the ends justify the means? In this novel, yes. Prof is depicted as a good and nobel man acting in the best interest of Luna's people (who are kept unaware of the big picture).

    I wonder, would we be willing to sacrifice our political and financial freedom to prevent our own environmental catastrophe? Prof had (via Mike) a 1 in 10 chance of success. Our odds are becoming increasingly poor. And it is increasingly difficult to recognize who is actually acting in our best interests.

    Prof is willing to take personal responsibility for the decisions he makes (although he is able to keep most of his actions secret). In his case, the gamble paid off. In our case, as we face the ultimate catastrophe, how many of our principles--if any--will we sacrifice for the greater good? And who will judge us?

    No one, if we fail.

    And don't think Heinlein didn't understand the price of failure.

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

    by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:37:59 PM PDT

  •  I love "Moon". (12+ / 0-)

    As a leg amputee, it is rare to find a compelling amputee protagonist. Plus it's just plain fun. The libertarian bent has always been troubling, but I was never deep enough to consider the idea that the libertarian bent of the loonies was a matter of convenience while they were under oppression and had no stake in things.

    (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

    by homogenius on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 08:45:21 PM PDT

    •  Mannie's Arm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, RunawayRose

      A couple weeks ago there was another R&BLers diary which commented on how some authors turn their characters' disabilities almost into super-powers, to the extent that they aren't inconvenienced by them at all.

      Heinlein, to his credit, doesn't do this.  Mannie's prosthetic arm does give him certain advantages; chiefly that he can use specialized tool-arms on his job and that he can hide mini-recorders in them at convenient moments.  But Heinlein also makes clear that Mannie doesn't have the same physical strength with his prosthetic as his old arm did.  And the scene in which he wakes up en route to earth and is a nightmare because whoever put him in his pressure suit removed his prosthetic first and he has to do everything one-armed.

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

      by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heinlein has several characters (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper, homogenius, RunawayRose

        who are missing limbs or physically challenged in some way.

        Never are they "handicapped" or "disabled" (at least, not for long). They just have to do some activities differently, often quite successfully. Heinlein acknowledges their limitations, but never pities them. Often, they continue to be heroic, in one fashion or another.

        Given how many of his classmates were injured or killed in WWII, this makes perfect sense.

        Check out Baslim in "Citizen of the Galaxy" as one prime example.

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

        by Maggie Pax on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 12:20:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's also a rumor.. (0+ / 0-)

          That Heinlein was attracted to amputees or people with disabilities.

          (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

          by homogenius on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:31:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hum. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Maggie Pax

            Really.

            That's one I never heard.  Can't say it's wrong, because I don't know that much about Heinlein's personal life; but since I've never really seen evidence of this in his writing, I can't say it's terribly relevant to anything even if it is true.

            I mean, in Ian Fleming's Bond novels, each of the girls in it has some sort of physical imperfection of some sort; some minor little physical flaw that he points out.  You could argue this is a fetish on Fleming's part.  (Or it could just be a quick and easy method Flemming used to differentiate his Bond Girls).  I don't see that sort of thing occurring in Heinlein's novels.

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

            by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:58:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Even the Fog of War (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper

    exists in the "atmosphere" of the moon.  Are warfare and tyranny the real hallmarks of civilization?

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:25:16 AM PDT

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