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Old 07-06-2008, 12:19 PM   #14
DMcCunney
New York Editor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
Maybe it's a chick thing. But, I really honestly thought they were so awful, I wished I could get my money back. I felt like I had wasted the time I spent reading them ... that sort of awful.
A lot of this does seem to break down along gender lines.

A female writer I corresponded with on another forum once commented "Heinlein is a sexist. He thinks women are superior." I think she was right, but she was also a little unhappy with some of the reasons RAH seemed to feel women were superior.

I was less pleased with later works than earlier ones, but I saw it as part of the process. Heinlein was raised in the Bible Belt portion of the midwest, and a lot of his work can be read as him systematically examining the assumptions he was raised with, and asking "Does this make sense?" The answer was often "No", though his reactions didn't always hold up under scrutiny. For example, there are other reasons besides recessives and genetic defects for incest taboos.

I kept reading despite quibbles because Heinlein was still reaching for new things and attempting to grow as a writer, even at the end. I don't think he found what he was reaching for, but the fact that he was reaching counts for a lot. I'd rather read an interesting failure than a boring success when an author is simply turning out one more of a proven formula.

Quote:
And, I know that authors write for the money ... even the greats. But, it just bothers me to see a great author turn out dreck just because people could make money on the dreck.
I wasn't referring to why RAH wrote it: I was talking about why editors bought it.

By the time of the later books, Heinlein was financially secure. He would certainly want to make money, since he was a selling pro, but he didn't have to write to survive.

An example in a different context, take Isaac Asimov. Isaac had to write. Even when he no longer needed to sell regularly to get money, he wrote. I heard a story years back that his wife complained because he took a typewriter when they went on vacation. If he didn't write every day, he was uncomfortable and unhappy.

Quote:
However ... life being what it is .... I suppose I'll just have to get used to it and learn to shut up.
No, no. You're welcome to express the opinion, and you have valid reasons for feeling that way. This is intensely subjective. The fact that I don't necessarily agree doesn't make you wrong.

One of the reasons I like places like this is precisely the disagreements. I'm delighted when someone can express a view of a book I didn't like that gives me a different perspective, and a handle by which I can successfully grab it. "Hmmm. I didn't think of it that way. You're right!"
______
Dennis
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