Talk:Robert A. Heinlein

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 Definition (1907–88) American author of science fiction; wrote Stranger in a Strange Land. [d] [e]
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A Topic Informant article concerning Robert Heinlein exists at [1] if any Editor or Author wants to make use of it for this article

(Please do not delete the above notice. --Larry Sanger 02:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC))

Original research?

Hey, great! About time! (I was too lazy to do it myself....)

Here's a question that was discussed (and argued) over for months at various WP forums and articles:

I added to one of the RAH articles a brief statement that Robert told me personally (while we were drinking rose wine in Tahiti) that Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was his best book.

Cries of Original Research! Hoohah to the nth degree! Some people took my side. Some didn't. It was inserted, removed, reverted, etc. etc.

At first I couldn't understand how anyone could *possibly* remove it. Finally I grew to understand the WP view of Original Research, so I shrugged my shoulders and said the hell with it.

What do we want to do about it here in this more civilized environment?Hayford Peirce 15:33, 5 March 2008 (CST)

If he's alive, ask him! If he's dead... hold a seance. *shrug* I do not know. --Robert W King 15:35, 5 March 2008 (CST)

Very simple indeed. You are a Topic Informant for the RAH article. You write up the story of your interaction with RAH (wow!) and put it in the TI: namespace. I would recommend putting it on a subpage of TI:Hayford Peirce; perhaps TI:Hayford Peirce/Heinlein (but this page should be descriptively linked from TI:Hayford Peirce). Then, we (not you) interpret what you have written in the TI: namespace and, if it looks legit, we will add the new fact and footnote the TI: page. That, anyway, is my interpretation of how the Topic Informant policy is supposed to apply to this situation. --Larry Sanger 15:39, 5 March 2008 (CST)

I am partial to Stranger in a Strange Land, myself. I can't grok why no one has made a kick-ass movie out of that yet. It's such rich material. --Larry Sanger 15:41, 5 March 2008 (CST)

Hey, great! How nice to have an answer that makes sense! I'll do it later today. I myself am a Harsh Mistress man, like RAH. (I have the first edition, STILL with dust jacket -- I have a vivid memory of myself circa 1961 or so buying the first editon of Stranger (before anyone outside of weirdos had ever heard of RAH), sitting down in my mother's easy chair, taking off the pristine new dust jacket, and dumping it (and a thousand dollars' worth of value) into the wastebasket beside the chair.) As for the movie value of Stranger, I believe that it has been under continual option since being published. Mike Jagger was gonna do it at one point, I think. I think the first half of it is about as good as any SF ever written (I think people such as Kingsley Amis agreed with me), then I lost most interest in it. Hayford Peirce 15:54, 5 March 2008 (CST)
PS the Tahiti photo of RAH and Ginny in the WP article was taken by my stepson at my house. WP airbrushed me out of the pict. But I have the original.... Hayford Peirce 15:55, 5 March 2008 (CST)
MiaHM is definitely one of his best. Not sure which I would consider his best - I'd have to go over the list. When I was younger, "See you all in Tycho Under" was my rallying cry.... Hmm, maybe we should nickname CZ "Tycho Under"... :-) J. Noel Chiappa 20:38, 5 March 2008 (CST)

Uploaded pictures

I've uploaded two photos of various Heinleins and Peirces taken by my 12-year-old stepson in Tahiti around 1979 -- he was somewhat jittery as he took the pix, so they're a trifle blurry. Some camera guru at WP did a lot of reworking of at least one of them for the Heinlein article there; hopefully someone here can do an even better job. Feel free to crop out any extraneous people who appear in the originals!

They can be found at:



Image:Douchka Peirce, Robert Heinlein, Virginia Heinlein.jpg

Hayford Peirce 23:27, 5 March 2008 (CST)

I am willing to take a stab at them when I get home. They're a real snapshot of history!--Robert W King 10:11, 6 March 2008 (CST)

Another genre accounted for?

Stephen King described Heinlein's The Puppet Masters as "in fact, a horror novel". Danse Macabre (London: Warner Books, 1993), p. 360.Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 13:37, 8 March 2008 (CST)

He exaggerates -- it's pure S.F., one of the greatest ever written. But it *does* have macabre, scary moments. Eggheads have always linked it to the anti-communist hysteria of the early 1950s also, and they're welcome to do so, but I think they're overreaching.... Hayford Peirce 14:19, 8 March 2008 (CST)

topic informant -- finally did something about it

Some time ago, at Larry's request, I wrote a lengthy Topic Informant article about some of my dealing with St. RAH. After that it was like the feather dropped down the well -- nothing. I occasionally asked, in various places, such as Forums and discussion pages, what might be done with this, or how it could be made known to other people that the damned thing even existed in the first place, but, once again, another feather was thrown down the well.

It seems to me that unless Topic Informant articles are actually made use of one way or another, there's absolutely no point in creating them. And if they are to be made use of, how can anyone other than the author even learn about their existence, short of what I have just done, which is to put a header, in red yet, at the top of the Heinlein page, notifying people that the article actually exists somewhere. I'm not trying to be self-aggrandizing about this -- I'm just trying to see if I can goose anyone into doing anything about this.

My own suggestion, of some time ago, was yet a third feature thrown down that well: that a subpage tab, like Related Articles or External Links or Recipes be created, so that it could be added to the tabs at the top of a relevant article to let people know that a Top Informant article actually existed somewhere.

Any comments and/or suggestions? Or, if you speak French: Comment? Hayford Peirce 19:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

My sympathies. I enjoyed reading the stuff. Your suggestion seems like a good one. Ainsi. Ro Thorpe 20:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
This would presumably be a fine resource for Grumbles from the Grave. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I doubt if Robert ever grumbled as much as I do -- he was always too busy doing things! Hayford Peirce 03:12, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Bibliography vs. related articles; formatting

I started out putting R-templates for his works under Related Articles, since I think they all eventually merit articles. Actually, I look forward just to doing Related Articles for the predictions, such as tadiological weapon to "Solution Unsatisfactory".

Then, I had a second thought, and moved them to Bibliography. Now, I'm undecided, as in the producer who wanted an understudy for the title role in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

What are our conventions for titles that include punctuation — and I don't remember if some of these end with an ellipsis or emdash — such as "We Also Walk Dogs" and "I Shall Fear No Evil"? Howard C. Berkowitz 02:12, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

About Bibliography vs. related articles, I'd say that bibliography points to external resources (e.g. a printed book) while related articles points to internal resources. I'd list books and stories on both tabs. i.e here's our article on such and such story in related articles and here's where you can find it in a library or on the on the web in bibliography -Derek Hodges 03:01, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC)