beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,
beamjockey
beamjockey

Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: The Man with Two Colons

One of many things I wish I could have asked Bill Patterson, now sadly and suddenly deceased, is how to punctuate the title of his new book.

In 2010, as you may know, Tor Books published the first volume of Bill's biography of Robert Heinlein, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve. As I understand it, Bill fought hard for "In Dialogue with His Century," a subtitle he intended to cover both volumes, and Tor acceeded to his wishes.


Heinlein in 1976. Photo: David Dyer-Bennet, dd_b


The second and final volume will emerge on 3 June. Many reviewers have already received "advanced reading copies," and many retailers are geared up to sell the book. So it is mentioned on many places on the Web.

Trouble is, they can't agree on exactly what the title should be, nor how to punctuate it.

Publishers Weekly:

Robert A. Heinlein in Dialogue with His Century, Vol. 2: 1948–1988, The Man Who Learned Better

Google Books:

Robert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better

Barnes & Noble:

Robert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better

An ARC is up for auction at the Con or Bust charity. Photo of Tor Advanced Reading Copy (spread out among five separate lines, with not a colon in sight):

Robert A. Heinlein
In Dialogue with His Century
Volume 2
1948-1988
The Man Who Learned Better


Kate Nepveu transcribes this as:

Robert A. Heinlein – In Dialogue with his Century: Vol. 2, 1948-1988: The Man Who Learned Better


Michael Swanwick's description of the ARC:

Robert A. Heinlein In Dialogue With His Century: Volume 2, 1948-1988: The Man Who Learned Better

Deb Houdek Rule at the Heinlein Prize site:

Robert A. Heinlein, In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 2, 1948-1988: The Man Who Learned Better

Amazon.com:

Robert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better

(At least none of these aspire to the triply-becoloned status of Amazon's title for Volume 1.)

So how should I refer to this book?* As I said, I wish I could ask the author.

Perhaps if this matter can be sorted out, I too will become The Man Who Learned Better.

*Returning the courtesy, because this book refers to me, just as Volume 1 did. On page 495, I'm cited as a source for a tiny, tiny piece of information about Robert Cornog's security-clearance troubles. Glad I could contribute a small brick to Bill Patterson's cathedral.
Tags: heinlein, history, science fiction
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