Robert A. Heinlein

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(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.

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. His "official" biography, in 2 volumes (2010, 2014), was written by William H. Patterson, Jr., co-founder of The Heinlein Society.

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 used the latter in the early 40s for some of his most well-known stories when they were not in a recognizable Heinlein universe: "Solution Unsatisfactory", "By His Bootstraps", "Sixth Column", "Waldo", "Goldfish Bowl", and "Beyond This Horizon". The name is derived from his full name: Robert Anson MacDonald Heinlein.

Video of GoH speech at Midamericon (IA)

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person Reasonator 19071988
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