beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,

A Free Taste of Minor Heinlein

For some years there’s been a project to publish the complete works of Robert A. Heinlein. I understand that it faltered when the original publisher, Meisha Merlin, went out of business in 2007. But then a publishing company was invented by Heinlein’s estate. and it has produced 46 fancy volumes of "The Virginia Edition."

The other day, Deb Houdek Rule announced that a Virginia Edition sampler PDF is now available to showcase some of the art, commentary, and shorter Heinlein writings (including a selection of his letters) prepared for the edition. (Robert Pearson alerted me to the news.)

The reviewer's cliché "for Heinlein completists" is true by definition in this case, and a lot of items in the sampler are very, very minor-- but some may be of interest to the casual Heinlein reader.

Here's the table of contents:

Ray Guns and Rocket Ships
An essay about science fiction for a library newsletter.

Letter to Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle about The Mote in God’s Eye
Lengthy critique of a draft of the novel, suggesting many improvements.

Beyond Doubt
A story written with Alma Wentz that Heinlein classed among his "stinkeroos."

Letter to F. M. Busby on Freedom and Race Relations
I haven't read this one yet.  People are always trying to divine Heinlein's real political opinions; this may serve as fodder for such discussions.

Letter to John Arwine On the Atomic Age
15 September 1945:
"We stopped off at Los Alamos and saw some of the scientists who devised the atomic bomb and were elated to discover that the overwhelming majority were of our viewpoint and had already organized to make their views known and felt. They believe that the secret techniques of atomic weapons must be turned over to an international world authority at once, surrendering whatever sovereignty is necessary, and that this world government must have the authority to poke into every plant, laboratory, mine, factory, etc., on the face of the globe in order to insure that atomics is a complete monopoly of the global government. Then and only then may atomic power be used, under license, for commerce. The Global authority and no other shall have atomic weapons. They believe that and believe that no other possible way is out."
Why Buy A Stone Axe
One of several unsold articles written in Heinlein's feverish postwar attempt to influence the U.S.'s nuclear weapons.

Brave New World
Unpublished doggerel.

"All You Zombies—"
Heinlein's best short story, and science fiction's best time-travel story.

If any of this sounds interesting, download the sampler.
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