The Heritage of Heinlein

A Critical Reading of the Fiction


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About the Book

Robert A. Heinlein is generally recognized as the most important American science fiction writer of the 20th century. This is the first detailed critical examination of his entire career. It is not a biography—that is being done in a two-volume work by William Patterson. Instead, this book looks at each piece of fiction (and a few pieces of sf-related nonfiction) that Heinlein wrote, chronologically by date of publication, in order to consider what each contributes to his overall accomplishment. The aim is to be fair, to look clearly at the strengths and weaknesses of the writings that have inspired generations of readers and writers.

About the Author(s)

The late Thomas D. Clareson was a leading scholar in the fields of science fiction, 19th century American literature, and Victorian literature. A professor of English at the College of Wooster (Ohio) for 38 years and the author or editor of more than 20 books, Clareson died in July 1993.

The late Joe Sanders, professor emeritus, Lakeland Community College, wrote extensively about Roger Zelazny, E.E. “Doc” Smith, and Neil Gaiman. He lived in Willoughby, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas D. Clareson and Joe Sanders

Foreword by Frederik Pohl

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7498-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1310-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Foreword by Frederik Pohl 1
Preface 11
A Note on Texts 15
1. A New Calling: For Us, the Living 17
2. Early Professional Writing 23
3. Transitions 53
4. The Juveniles for Scribner’s 62
5. The “Classic” Period 108
6. Stranger in a Strange Land 132
7. The Final Period 140
Summing-Up 197
Appendix: Nonfiction 215
Works Cited 217
Index 219

Book Reviews & Awards

“a thorough…probing investigation…enlightening…a fine and engaging read”—SFRA Review
“a clear, penetrating, accessible, and comprehensive study of Heinlein’s fiction…invaluable”—The New York Review of Science Fiction