Thursday, August 16, 2007

Robert Heinlein at 100

I thought about it a few times, but I managed to let the 100th anniversary of Robert Heinlein's birth (on July 7) slip by without notice on this blog. Fortunately, Brian Doherty over at Reason was more conscientious, producing a balanced appreciation in the Aug/Sept issue.

Heinlein was the acknowledged dean of American science fiction writers, but he transcended the genre and actually had a significant impact on popular culture. Two novels, "Stranger in A Strange Land," and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," were especially influential, and both had an impact on me back in the 1960s. "Time Enough for Love" was also fun. I've often chided myself that I never sought out Heinlein to meet him, though my friend Sharon Presley did.

Heinlein blended hippie-like peace-and-love sentiments in "Stranger" with a firecely icoclastic individualism and love of liberty. If you haven't read him, I recommend it highly.

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