Robert A. Heinlein

(July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988)

RAH was one of the major writers of John W. Campbell's Golden Age of Astounding. The first third of his career (which made his reputation) was focused on short fiction. During the second third he created the Heinlein Juveniles, some of the best YA sf ever written as well as his best adult novels such as Double Star and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The last third of his career was characterized by twilight of long books which he did not permit to be edited. It is a measure of the strength of the first two thirds of his career that he is still remembered as one of our greatest writers.

He was Worldcon GoH three times: at Denvention, Seacon, and MidAmeriCon.

He won the 1951 Best Novel Retro Hugo, the 1956 Best Novel Hugo, the 1960 Best Novel Hugo, the 1962 Best Novel Hugo, and the 1967 Best Novel Hugo. He was nominated for the 1959 Best Novel Hugo, the 1964 Best Novel Hugo, the 1966 Best All Time Series Hugo, the 1966 Best Novel Hugo, the 1974 Best Novel Hugo, the 1983 Best Novel Hugo, the 1985 Best Novel Hugo, and the 1990 Best Non Fiction Book Hugo.

Heinlein in Dimension by Alexei Panshin was the first book-length study of an SF author and still one of the best. Heinlein greatly disapproved of it and attempted to force the publisher, Advent, to suppress the book. His own self-examination resulted in the posthumous autobiographical work, Grumbles from the Grave, which, unfortunately, seems to have been an accurate portrayal of him in later life.

He was awarded the SFWA Grand Master Award in 1975 and for most of his career was called the Dean of Science Fiction.

After being invalided out of the Navy before World War II, he did engineering for the Navy near Philadelphia and after the war lived in Colorado for nearly twenty years before moving back to California where he lived for the rest of his life. While in Colorado, he was a member of the Colorado Fantasy Society. Austin Carter, one of the characters in Boucher's Rocket to the Morgue is directly modeled after him in his days in the Manana Literary Society. He may have originated the idea of a history of the future in sf. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Lyle Munroe and Anson MacDonald.

He was "ghost" of honor at Denvention 3.

Video of GoH speech at Midamericon

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:

SF Encyclopedia entry

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