Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
- Jul 17, 2013
Wow! A 10 year old thread. This thread is older than I was when I started reading science fiction.Haven't read that many books by Heinlein, non of his late ones.
However I greatly enjoyed "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" and his juvinale "Red Planet".
But I think my all time favourite is "Orphans Of The Sky" closely followed by "Citizen Of The Galaxy", a sort of SF version of Kippling's "Kim".
I think that is a major point of SF. The Golden age of science fiction is 12.
I searched this thread for "idea", "orphan" and "age"
I think SF can be very important in relation to the AGE at which a book introduces a child to ideas.
Orphans of the Sky may not have been the first Heinlein book I read but if it wasn't then I don't know what it was. That book introduced me to the idea that a society has a paradigm of reality and it might be completely wrong. The obvious comparison to the real world is Galileo's conflict with the Catholic church.
It was my first introduction to the concept of mutants, generation ships and artificial gravity by rotation. So SF is useful for the introduction of ideas. I am not sure grade school kids care that much about the quality of the writing but the quality of the story FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE could matter a lot. The story might not interest people over 30 very much.
Next for ideas is Citizen of the Galaxy. This introduces ideas about child rearing and education and touches on reality with Samuel Renshaw. He was a real psychologist whose developments were used to train soldiers in World War II but now we never hear about him.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress mentions Loglan which if researched leads to Alfred Korzybski whose ideas interested Heinlein as far back as the 1940s.
Good science fiction is not just fiction. Modern stuff has become shallow junk.
What is there really of any depth to Hyperion?
This is from Torch of Freedom by David Weber:
The right sci-fi books provide an expanded view of the universe of ideas not just stories."You just . . . don't really know, Anton. That's not a criticism, it's just an observation. From the time you were a kid, you lived in a world with wide horizons."
Zilwicki snorted. "Not usually the way the highlands of Gryphon are described!"
"Try growing up in a Dolist slum in Nouveau Paris. Trust me, Anton. The difference is huge. I'm not talking in terms of any scale of misery, mind you. I'm simply talking in terms of how narrow a view of the universe you're provided with. When I entered StateSec Academy, for all practical purposes I had no real knowledge of the universe beyond what I'd grown up with. Which wasn't much, believe me. That's . . ."
Heinlein did that better than most.