Nitrosyncretic Laboratory

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An obscure reference to an obscure book, “Nitrosyncretic Laboratory” is a shibboleth for Heinlein fans. It didn’t appear in any of his books, and he didn’t coin it, so if you get it, you’re one of the cognoscenti.

Where it did appear was in H. H. Holmes’ 1942 mystery novel, Rocket to the Morgue, a roman à clef in which a thinly disguised RAH figures as a central character, sf writer Austin Carter. Carter, bothered by door-to-door salesmen, scared them off with a sign on his door:

      !!! DANGER !!!
       ! KEEP OUT !

While nitrosyncretic — check your favorite dictionary for nitro and syncretic — was a coinage of Holmes’ (aka Tony Boucher aka William Anthony Parker White), Heinlein’s California home did have such a sign. (It actually read “Xozylophone Laboratory,” according to Walt Daugherty.)

The Slan Shack’s denizens labeled their kitchen “Nitrosyncretic Lab.”

Fiction 1942
This is a fiction page, describing fictional ideas and characters