'New' Heinlein book...

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pyan

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I seemed to have missed this...

Apparently RAH left notes and an outline for a heavily revised version of The Number of the Beast. The first third was to be the same, but then it veers away, staying with the struggle against the Black Hats encountered on Earth, which seemed to fade away in the original. I suspect that this was to do with RAH trying to squeeze in Lazarus Long and all his extended baggage and the concept of World-as-Myth...

Anyway, this new version would seem much more 'classic' Heinlein. Barsoom (the Edgar Rice Burroughs version) would seem to be featured, as is the EE 'Doc' Smith's universe of the Lensmen. Should be published mid-November, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.

Details:

The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel about Parallel Universes,
 

dannymcg

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I was waffling on about it earlier this year
 

pyan

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Apologies, you were. My memory ain't what it was - I filled in a form the other day and started the year '19...' :confused:
 

BAYLOR

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I didn't read this Heinlein book because I heard way to many negatives. But his new version, I might give it chance.
 

Vince W

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I read Number of the Beast once and I don't think I could manage a second time regardless of how it's changed.
 

pyan

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Not on Kindle yet. Actually, apparently, not available directly from Amazon in any format - the only copy they're listing so far is a 2nd-hand one from an external supplier.
 

tinkerdan

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Just ordered the hard cover--available in the US at amazon.
Also ordered the original number of the beast--the pair will be something to pass on to other generations if we all survive the virus.
 

BAYLOR

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Just ordered the hard cover--available in the US at amazon.
Also ordered the original number of the beast--the pair will be something to pass on to other generations if we all survive the virus.
No worries tinkerdan , we will survive . :)
 

Ursus

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Not on Kindle yet. Actually, apparently, not available directly from Amazon in any format - the only copy they're listing so far is a 2nd-hand one from an external supplier.
Uh... I've got it spooled up on my paperwhite, right now (USA). I've only read the preface at this point, but I ordered it March 18. Am I missing something? Shoot, I was only supposed to be lurking right now, since I just joined sffchronicles.

Oh, yeah... regional licensing. Apparently the middle of your street isn't in the U.S.

Gonna try an' slip back into the shadows, now.
 

JimC

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I'm debating whether to read it. Ginny told me that there were several things that she didn't want to see published because they were written while Robert was ill, and weren't up to snuff. She did publish the alternate versions of works that she considered to be improvements. This wasn't one of them. However, it might still be far better than the average SF novel. She set a high bar.
 

tinkerdan

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Received both books on Tuesday of last week. Let them sit for a few days.
Just finished the new book today and finished the Number of the Beast a few days ago.

Since I have read NotB that was a re-read to refresh my memory.

The new book varies in that in chapter 18 where they visit an inhabited Mars they make an alternate decision that changes the timeline; however they also seem to be in a different version of Mars(Since it had been established in the original book that things might have gone south if they had made that very decision). One thing I noticed is that the tone of the book seemed different for that portion. And of course they meet characters out of the ERB Barsoomian novels.

Also the original NotB has a thread involving command and how none of the 4 travelers were disciplined enough to follow orders all the time. That concept exists but not as a thread where each member is a trial commander. [In that respect I think it does improve the story.]

After the Mars section it almost goes back for a moment to the original story--however there are enough changes such as how they create the algorithm to hunt the many worlds.

Then the story deviates once again when they meet EE Doc Smiths Lensmen--instead of bugging out they try to reason with them and that extends their stay in that universe.

Finally the end of The Pursuit of the Pankera, is reminiscent of some of his middle work such as Puppet Masters and Star Ship Troopers where the MC is off to bring the Pankera total annihilation.
.

One thing I noticed right away was that the characters are a lot alike despite the fact that they handle command differently. They are alike in the way they narrate and that makes it difficult to remember who is narrating--causing me to constantly back peddle to find out.

My old edition of NotB --when I checked it--has the header displaying the character narrating; which is probably why I didn't notice this before.

Both of the new books do not have that and as I mentioned I too often lost track o who was narrating; though it was usually a 50 50 thing rather than 4 ways. however there were a few time I totally lost track and it could be any of the four with only a few clues when other characters were identified in the narration.

The new print of NotB has a handful of grammar/typo problems that don't exist in the original and might be due to possible OCR problems.

Overall I think I liked The Pursuit of the Pankera better than NotB.

That might help some, but not all of those who felt something missing or off when they first read Number of the Beast.
 
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JimC

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In the Publisher's note, he says no one is exactly sure why the alternate version was never published, but that there are many theories.. That isn't the case. There may indeed be many theories, but Ginny told at least six people why it wasn't published. Three of us are still alive.
 

JimC

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Even seventeen years after her death, I don't think anyone who knew her well will discuss the specifics of her business and personal choices.
 
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