Anyone interested in a Heinlein reading group?


I am only an egg
Mar 25, 2007
I have been reading and re-reading Heinlein since I first picked up one of his books. Every time I read one of his books I glean something new from it. I've never been on a site like this before, and have only been here a week...but I'm finding discussing aspects of his books with other people that are genuinely interested in his works stimulating as all hell.

Considering that many of his works are quite a manageable size and can be read within a relatively short period of time, I was wondering...

would anybody be interested in forming a little reading group?

I was picturing something like...we bounce back and forth a couple titles, pick a work, agree to get it read or re-read as the case may be, say within a week or two, and then get back here to discuss it.

How many, if any, would be interested in something like this?

Or maybe this isn't the right venue for something like which case maybe somebody could point me in the right direction...maybe an existing reading group that you know of or something?
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Oh, dammit, TT! You would do this, wouldn't you....:p

I've got to admit, I'm overloaded as is, but it's not often I get a chance to discuss Heinlein with anyone these days... most people who've read him around here don't care for his work, or read it so long ago that they don't remember it well. *sigh*

I'm reminded of a note Poul Anderson apparently sent Lin Carter when asked for a story for the first in his Flashing Swords! anthologies. I don't remember it word for word, but it went something like this:

"Dear Lin:

With all the various things I've got to do, the book projects due out, publisher's deadlines breathing down my neck, etc., taking time out to write 25,000-word S&S story right now would be absolutely insane. Therefore...


I'll caution you that I do have tons of things on my plate, so I have no idea how quickly I can read even the shorter things (let alone something like Stranger, I Will Fear No Evil, etc.), but I'd love to join in a discussion, if possible. I hope, in the meantime, that enough others sign up to where there's no lag, as I'd like to take part in such a discussion, even if I can't keep up with rereads all the time....:eek:
I'm in.
Started reading RAH about 35 years ago, and re-read the whole canon about every 18 months - but since you popped up, TT, I've been so piqued by the comments you made on various subjects, that I've had to re-read NOTB, TCWWTW, and just finished Friday this morning. I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of the disruption in my reading plan that you've caused!:p
I'm in.
Started reading RAH about 35 years ago, and re-read the whole canon about every 18 months - but since you popped up, TT, I've been so piqued by the comments you made on various subjects, that I've had to re-read NOTB, TCWWTW, and just finished Friday this morning. I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of the disruption in my reading plan that you've caused!:p

Now, Pyan... you don't expect him to let that one stand, do you? You know good and well what Heinlein would answer to that.... (and he'd be right, in both our cases...);)
Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
Lazarus Long: Notebooks of LL - TEFL
Or, more appositely

...whatever you've done, whatever you've been, is all, totally, one hundred percent, your own fault. All.
Colonel Richard Colin Campbell Ames: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Haven't really thought this through, just know I'm craving good Heinlein discussion. I'd particularly appreciate having atleast one who has read little Heinlein and might be reading the work for the first time, give us fresh perspective maybe. You guys have already made my morning...having you two agree has already guaranteed stimulating discussion.

You guys have been around this site for awhile, how likely is it that we'll get more?

Oh and Pyan...definately both quotes apply! Although I did jump to the second one in my head at JD's comment. Disruptions in reading plan...this site has obliterated mine, and JD keeps adding titles to it! As far as the re-reads...since I've been on here I've had to re-read the interview, Galileo, Strangers, Troopers, Door Into Summer, and was just finishing up Farnham's when I got sucked into that World Affairs I'm having trouble finishing that. God knows where I'm going to find the time to keep the businesses running!

But I really WANT to try this out...never read a book at the same time as someone and discussed it...seems like a form of communion that will promote me to read, and more importantly get MORE out of the reading than I could if I just read it myself. More return for same investment..greater value? Sounds like I'm still thinking in the World Affairs thread!
I’ll give it a go. I’ve read a fair sampling of his work (15 books), but there’s a lot I haven’t read. I have not participated in any book clubs or discussion groups before. I’m interested to see how this goes.

I’d like to nominate The Puppet Masters for the first book. I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen some good comments on it. I also have a copy at hand.

Great! Glad to have another one in! And someone who hasn't read all the Heinlein out there, too! All my desires being fulfilled...what is going on here? Sounds like that "The Secret" stuff. Puppet Masters...haven't read that one in years and years...can only vaguely remember it now. Good food for thought in that one Pyan, JD?
Suits me - I think I know where my copy is!:D
Well, as I (thanks to you, TT) recently dug my Heinlein out of storage and have it on a shelf in my room... yes, it's accessible, and it's a quick read. However ... are we going for the original version, or the restored (1990, I think) version? I've not read the latter, but it apparently replaces material that the publisher insisted be cut from the original. Preferences?
I've got the 1969 Pan paperback, ISBN 0 330 02235 0 with this cover:

I assume it's the cut version, yes?
I warned you guys I'm a freak...I have a 1970, 1986, 1987 (UK Version), and a 1990 (plus one older that I can't date, I'm guessing the 1963 printing). I was going for every printing of every book at one point, love those covers...have since given up my militant search, but still snatch any printing I don't already own if I find them. You guys decide.

Added: Oops, missed your posts while checking my library!

Now I'm going to have to read revised and unrevised to see the differences.
Well, I don't know how many Heinleins I still have left (disadvantage of being a touring engineer - lots of books get put in storage and never get out again) but if we land on any, a reread certainly won't do me any harm.

Unfortunately, the selection of second hand books in english here is a bit limited; I might end up finding them in french (now, that could give some points of comparison - imagine "Farnham's freehold" or "revolt in 2100" in french.
I warned you guys I'm a freak...

P.S. If you guys happen to spot any really unique or interesting Heinlein out there in your used book stores, drop me a line would you. Regarding PuppetMasters, I'm still looking for an original 1951.

Chrispenycate, glad you're going to join us! Leon Stover...this is going to sound weird coming from a self-proclaimed RAH freak...but I've never read much ABOUT him...never cared what others thought really...was more interested in his work...outside his books, I've only read his speeches, letters, etc. and The Robert Heinlein Interview, and that was because I heard somewhere that it was his longest published interview...I wanted to hear his own words instead of one of his character's.
I think I've changed my mind. This forum along with that essay you linked me to, have made me see that reading other people's thoughts and opinions is ADDING to my understanding and appreciation of his work. I think it may be time to get another bookcase to put beside my current Heinlein case...and Stover's will be one of my first.
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Very disappointing, I fear. I crawled round my "H" section (my books are where I sleep, not where I work and log on.
Stranger, sunset, requiem, Grumbles from, number of the beast, time enough for love, Cat wwtw, Job.
None of the juveniles, no man who sold, no Waldo and Magic, inc (I've a vague idea where that one went) no orphans, farmers or tunnels in the sky…
And no convenient second hand book stores either.
I thought I still had "between Planets" and "Methusela's children, but evidience suggests otherwise.
I'll join in when I can; I think I can borrow "Friday"
TT: That's one of the things that I find most enjoyable about literary criticism, and Stover (again, despite some factual errors) is right about this: it shouldn't be to bash or to one-up; it should be to find new levels for people to enjoy the books on... things they might not have thought of themselves. Heck, even writing the stuff, I find that, in looking up citations and things, I'll spark a new way of thinking that had never occurred to me before... and this on works that I've been reading for the past 35 years or more!

Good criticism is an art form in itself; and it can be both entertaining and informative and challenging -- it's a pity so many people who do it professionally still feel they're there to do a glorified newspaper movie critic's job.....

Oh, and Chris... I'd especially like to see you join in here, whenever you're able. With your scientific acumen, and your insights into good prose, etc., plus your long familiarity with Heinlein, I'd be very interested in what you've got to say on these....
Chrispenycate, would hate to lose you and I have an idea. I'll PM you.

JD..."despite some factual errors"...interesting! I don't know if I want to ask if you have more info regarding this statement, or whether I just want to read it and see if I can figure them out.
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