[LMB] Heinlein

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Sat Oct 2 20:36:47 BST 2021

On Sat, Oct 2, 2021 at 12:49 PM Elizabeth Holden <alzurite at gmail.com> wrote:

> Pale men?  Who are you thinking of? You lost me there. Penric is
> fair-haired; is that what you mean?

Fair-haired - platinum blond, even - and pale-skinned.  There's also the
fourteen-year-old boy with the pointed ears.  Striking, certainly.

> I would argue perhaps that the problem is not so much the insertion of his
> own personality, consciously or unconsciously, but that his characters all
> seem like the same personality, regardless of their actions.

Yes.  Whether the characters are him isn't as important as whether they are
themselves, and they aren't.

> I have no problem with that. I like Heinlein's writing, and his ideas are
> interesting and I agree with a good part of them. Haven't read them all;
> I've heard odd things about some of them.

Frankly, I would have to recommend skipping *Time Enough for Love*.  Not
only for the reasons everyone else says, but there are more.

> Hated the movie.

The movie is a parody of what thoughtless people think the novel is, and
really has nothing to do with the novel.  The novel itself raises concerns,
at least partly because Heinlein insisted that 'veteran' doesn't merely
refer to military service.  Which is true, but not in the vernacular; a
whole lot of people got the wrong idea, and in communication being
technically correct doesn't help if the idea isn't communicated properly.

But one has to have some sort of emotional incentive to pick.up any given
> book. Or not.

I tended to do it out of boredom and availability.  I even once had a sort
of rule that I'd always finish a book, but eventually I encountered ones
which I found so tedious that it wasn't worth keeping the principle.

> I wish more authors followed Heinlein in his philosophical bent. Most
> fiction is bland in that regard.

He definitely has his opinions and isn't afraid to share them.  A lot of
creators are too worried about alienating customers to express any
meaningful opinions, especially unpopular ones.  Although perhaps that's
wise in today's world.

Matt G.

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