Head on over TODAY to MyAnonamouse.net for the BEST in Audiobook, E-books and ALL things for the Musician; Lick Library,Sheet Music, Music Books, Instructional Videos, etc. Our Registration is Closed now, BUT we always have room for one more great member:) IF you want to Register, please use the IRC link provided and join our Special INVITE CHANNEL.See you there! http://www.myanonamouse.netSmall Description 2 short story collections, Posthumous writings on the real world and a TTC lecture about him
Description Assignment in Eternity
Narrated by Chuck Benson.
Assignment in Eternity, is a collection of four mixed science fiction and fantasy novellas by Robert A. Heinlein, first published in hardcover by Fantasy Press in 1953, with some of the stories somewhat revised from their original magazine publications, as follows:
Gulf (written and published in 1949 in Astounding Science Fiction, October-November 1949).
Lost Legacy (written in 1939 but first published in 1941 in Super Science Stories, November 1941 as Lost Legion by Lyle Monroe)
Elsewhen, (written in 1939 and first published in 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction September 1941 as Elsewhere by Caleb Saunders)
Jerry Was a Man (written in 1946 and published in 1947 in Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1947 as Jerry Is a Man)
Heinlein dedicated the book "To Sprague and Catherine": L. Sprague de Camp (his friend and noted science fiction author) and his wife Catherine Crook de Camp. Assignment in Eternity was almost immediately picked up for mass market paperback publication by New American Library's Signet line and is currently (as of 2007) offered by Baen Books in trade paper format, with a republication of Heinlein's Future History chart, even though none of the stories falls into the Future History as detailed in The Past Through Tomorrow and Time Enough for Love.
The four stories are loosely related as speculation on what -- that we aren't already aware of -- makes one a human. "Jerry Is a Man" makes the most straightforward examination of the theme, a court making a legal ruling on the human rights of genetically engineered intelligent creatures. "Gulf," a story connected by its story materials to Kuttner's Baldy stories and Wilmar Shiras' In Hiding, suggests that superior individuals already living among us might become a new step in hominid evolution; "Lost Legacy" suggests that every person has unused paranormal abilities that can be awakened by esoteric training comparable to that used by the supermen of "Gulf." "Elsewhen" suggests that the human mind is not bound to our here-and-now "slum of space-time" but can go voyaging into alternative timetracks of possibility. Although written in 1939, using materials popularized by John William Dunne, the story has gained new currency in the wake of the Wheeler-Everett "Many Worlds" hypothesis.
The story materials of all four novellas were revisited by Heinlein in later, more expansive novels. A number of figures of Lost Legacy, for example, are carried into Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), a book which ultimately could be said to have the same theme as the 1939 novella. Situations and individuals from both Gulf and Jerry Was a Man are examined in Friday (1982). And the multiverse concept first explored in Elsewhen gets very full treatment in Heinlein's last, World as Myth novels, particularly The Number of the Beast (1980), The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985) and To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987). (Arguably the books written between these, Friday (1982) and Job: A Comedy of Justice (1984) also belong with the World as Myth in terms of their thematic material, though Heinlein died before making the connecting material, if any, explicit).
mono recording 64kbps
Green Hills of Earth
Narrated by Dick Jenkins.
The Green Hills of Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories by Robert A. Heinlein published in 1951, although it includes short stories published as early as 1941. The stories are part of Heinlein's Future History. The title story is the tale of an old space mariner reflecting upon his planet of birth. According to an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book, the phrase "the green hills of Earth" is derived from a C.L. Moore story.
The short stories included in the book The Green Hills of Earth are as follows, in the order they appear in the book.
Delilah and the Space Rigger", a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, is one of his most explicitly feminist-themed short stories. One of his Future History stories, it originally appeared in Blue Book in December 1949 and was reprinted in his collection, The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).
Gloria Brooks McNye, a Communications Engineer, wangles a job as a radio technician and joins the all-male crew of construction workers building a space station. On her arrival she immediately has a confrontation with the hard-boiled construction superintendent, who hadn't realized she was female. He doesn't want any women "sniffing around my boys" and orders her returned on the next shuttle, only to be overruled by management. The superintendent is constantly putting his foot in his mouth with remarks like, "Mind what [Hammond] tells you. He's a good man," only to hear a brisk, "I know, I trained him." In the end, the superintendent is forced to admit that having a woman on the team has improved morale and efficiency, rather than causing a disruption, and he decides to stop discriminating on the basis of gender. He also asks that a Chaplain be assigned to the station, reasoning, "We may need one anytime
Space Jockey" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. Part of his Future History series, it originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, April 26, 1947, and was collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).
This story, set in the near future, could be considered a companion to Heinlein's "It's Great to Be Back!". It realistically depicts a "day" in the life of a rocket pilot who pilots commercial passenger spacecraft on scheduled runs between the Earth and the Moon. It shows the pilot dealing with problems such as an unruly child of a VIP visiting his control room, recalculating the trajectory when the rocket unexpectedly goes off course, facing a choice between jettisoning cargo and not having enough fuel to reach the destination, and coping with the demands of superiors.
The realism of the story is increased by contrasting the exciting details of the job with the pilot's feelings of "burnout", as he writes and rewrites a letter to his wife, trying to decide whether to go along with her wishes, quit, and get a ground job. His decision, as typical in Heinlein stories, affirms the importance of work in men's identity.
The manuscript title was "For Men Must Work".
The Long Watch" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It appears in Heinlein's short story collections, The Green Hills of Earth and The Past Through Tomorrow. While it is included in collections of Heinlein's Future History, it does not appear to share continuity with it. Instead, though, it seems to share continuity with Space Cadet published a year earlier, and the story seems to have grown out of a brief episode in the book.
The story was originally written for the American Legion and published under the name "Rebellion on the Moon", and deals with an officer who faces a coup by a would-be dictator bent on nuclear extortion
The story is set in 1999, almost a half century after its writing, and deals with John Ezra Dahlquist, an officer in the Space Patrol, an international organization set up to have custody of nuclear weapons, and if need be, use them. Dahlquist, a bomb officer at the lunar base, has a degree in physics, and is somewhat proprietary about the bombs he maintains. He is apolitical, and deeply in love with his wife and young daughter.
Dahlquist is called to the office of his commanding officer, Colonel Towers, who explains the incipient plot. Towers wants to overthrow the Earth government, and plans to use the bombs to destroy "an unimportant town or two", so Earth takes them seriously. Dahlquist appears to go along with what Towers wants, but he is in turmoil within.
Dahlquist decides to stop the coup by denying the weapons to the plotters, not wanting his wife and daughter to live in a world run by Colonel Towers. Dahlquist gets out onto the Lunar surface and into the guarded bomb storage room. He barricades himself in the bunker and proceeds via radio to negotiate with Towers and the other conspirators, pretending to be still as naïve as he was a few days before. He rigs one of the bombs to be detonated by hand, threatening to blow up himself, the bombs, and anybody who happens to be within several hundred yards. His initial intent is to give the government time to react, surmising that time will not be on the plotters' side.
However, when he realizes that he is growing tired, and that if he falls asleep the conspirators may regain control, Dahlquist reluctantly comes to the conclusion that he must disable the bombs beyond Towers' ability to repair them. The only way to do that is to open them up and break the half-globes of plutonium at the core of each bomb. He does so, but in the process incurs so much radiation exposure that death is inevitable. In his last moments he amuses himself by rolling and smoking cigarettes and blowing radioactive smoke at the Geiger counter, and he dies "very happy."
The coup collapses and Towers shoots himself. Dahlquist's radioactive body is recovered and placed in a lead coffin. A robot ship bearing the insignia of an admiral carries his radioactive coffin to Earth; afterwards, the ship is "thrown away into space, never to be used for a lesser purpose". The entire world goes into mourning for Dahlquist, with all commercial broadcasts stopped and nothing but dirges broadcast on all channels for a whole week. His body is entombed in a marble monument, with an honor guard beyond the limit of safe approach.
Connection with Space Cadet
The last Heinlein's readers hear of Dahlquist is in Space Cadet. "Ezra Dahlquist" is one of "Those who helped create the Tradition of the Patrol". A display about his deed, "the day shameful and glorious in the history of the Patrol", is available to new recruits, accompanied by the Valhalla theme from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. At each roll-call of the Patrol anywhere, his name is mustered together with those of three others in addition to those actually being mustered. The protagonists of Space Cadet, though, are not familiar with his name—except one (who will prove to be an antagonist) who states that Dahlquist died due to his own carelessness, having disobeyed his commanding officer—and that if things had gone the other way, Dahlquist would have been held up as a villain.
Gentlemen, Be Seated!" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It was first published in the May 1948 issue of Argosy magazine. It was later included in two of Heinlein's collections, The Green Hills of Earth (1951), and The Past Through Tomorrow (1967).
The story tells of a visit to a tunnel on the surface of the moon which goes awry when a pressure seal fails, trapping three men (a supervisor, a reporter, and a tunnel worker). The title of the story derives from the way they plug an air leak while awaiting rescue: by sitting on it.
The phrase "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" is the opening line of the interlocutor in a traditional minstrel show. It was also, at the time the story was written and while Heinlein attended, the opening line for all classes at the military and naval academies (as well as classes for officers at the various service schools) in the United States.
The Black Pits of Luna" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein about a Boy Scout on a trip to the moon and his novel way of finding his lost brother. Included as part of his Future History, it originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, January 10, 1948, and was collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).
It's Great to Be Back!" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. One of his Future History stories, it was first published in The Saturday Evening Post in the July 26, 1947 issue and later reprinted in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow)..
A physical chemist and his wife (the MacRaes), who have been in residence in Luna City on the Moon for some time, spend much of their time volubly regretting having ever left Earth. When this attitude results in social conflict with "Loonies" who love their home, the pair feel isolated, misunderstood, and put-upon. They decide to return "dirt-side", only to discover that the Earth of their imaginations bears only the faintest of resemblances to the actuality, which includes things unheard of in Luna, like smog, unpleasant weather, the common cold, and repairmen who refuse to make house calls. Ultimately, they discover that all they really want is to go back to Luna City, where they are welcomed with open arms by their peers (now that they have stopped complaining all the time) and settle down to be happy "Lunatics".
The story is, in many ways, fairly typical of Heinlein's work in this vein: He was working hard to present Life Off Earth in a positive light, in hopes of luring humanity into investing in the Space Program, which was one of his major interests.
We Also Walk Dogs" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. One of his Future History stories, it was first published in Astounding Science Fiction (July 1941 as by Anson MacDonald) and collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).
A company that provides various personal services such as shopping for you or walking your dogs or supplying a host for a party, is asked to do the impossible: enable an interplanetary conference to be held on Earth, whose strong gravity is inhospitable to the native races of other planets in the solar system.
Much of the action of the story is not, as one might expect, about the science or engineering of creating an antigravity device, but about how to persuade the world’s leading physicist to undertake the job. It turns out he’s fond of a museum piece, "The Flower of Forgetfulness".
Ordeal in Space" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, originally published in Town & Country, May 1948. It is one of Heinlein's Future History stories and appears in his collection, The Green Hills of Earth.
A spaceship's crewman is called to repair an antenna while his ship is still under spin. He is unable to hold on, despite supreme effort; he drifts away from the ship and has far too much time to ponder things. When he returns to Earth, he is unable to work as a spaceman, and has a fear of heights. However, he is called to rescue a kitten stuck on a ledge 35 stories up.
Originally titled "Broken Wings", the story was rejected by The Saturday Evening Post.
A reading of this story was broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on June 15, 2009.
The Green Hills of Earth" is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, and the title of a song, "The Green Hills of Earth", mentioned in several of his novels. One of his Future History stories, the short story originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post (February 8, 1947), and it was collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently in The Past Through Tomorrow).
It is the story of "Noisy" Rhysling, the blind space-going songwriter whose poetic skills rival Rudyard Kipling's. Heinlein (himself a medically-retired U.S. naval officer) spins a yarn about a radiation-blinded spaceship engineer crisscrossing the solar system writing and singing songs. The story is presented as a magazine article.
Heinlein credited the title of the song, "The Green Hills of Earth", to the short story "Shambleau" by C. L. Moore (first published in 1933). In the story Moore's character, a spacefaring smuggler named Northwest Smith hums the tune of "The Green Hills of Earth".
The events of the story concern the composition of the titular song; An aged Rhysling realizes that his death of old age is near, and hitchhikes on a spaceship headed to Earth so he can die and be buried where he was born. A malfunction threatens the ship with destruction, and Rhysling enters an irradiated area to perform repairs. Upon completing the repairs, he knows that he will soon die of radiation poisoning, and asks that they record his last song; he dies just moments after speaking the final, titular verse.
Heinlein wrote several fragments of lyrics and one full stanza for the song.
— harsh bright soil of Luna —
— Out ride the sons of Terra, / Far drives the thundering jet —
— Saturn's rainbow rings —
— the frozen night of Titan —
We pray for one last landing/ On the globe that gave us birth/ Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies/ And the cool, green hills of Earth.
The fragments have been filled out and additional stanzas added by the filk community. The song's meter allows it to be sung to a number of popular tunes including: "Amazing Grace"; "Greensleeves"; "The House of the Rising Sun"; "The Rising of the Moon / Wearing of the Green"; Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (in his Ninth Symphony, fourth movement); "Oh My Darling, Clementine"; "Semper Paratus"; "The Marine Corps Hymn"; "The Yellow Rose of Texas"; "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"; "Ghost Riders in the Sky"; and the theme song from the TV show Gilligan's Island.
The story features several other partial songs and a number of titles attributed to Rhysling. These are:
The Grand Canal (10 lines)
Jet Song (14 lines)
The Skipper is a Father to His Crew (title only)
Since the Pusher Met My Cousin (title only)
That Red-Headed Venusburg Gal (title only)
Keep Your Pants On, Skipper (title only)
A Space Suit Built for Two (title only)
Dark Star Passing (title only)
Berenice's Hair (title only)
Death Song of a Wood's Colt (title only)
Several are described as sexually-explicit songs excluded from the official edition of Rhysling's works — which might be a hint of Heinlein's own position at the time, facing editors' and publishers' censoring of such material in his stories and books.
Four collections of Rhysling's works are mentioned. They are:
Songs of the Spaceways (published the week he died)
The Grand Canal, and other Poems
High and Far
References in other Heinlein works
Both the song "The Green Hills of Earth" and the character of Rhysling are mentioned in the novel Time Enough for Love. At an early point in the novel, Lazarus Long bemoans the fact that he cannot "pray for one last landing" because the "Green Hills of Earth" have deteriorated and the planet is uninhabitable. Later, Lazarus tells the story of a blind accordion player who temporarily takes residence in a bordello that he owned on Mars almost two thousand years ago. Although Heinlein readers can easily recognize the character, Lazarus himself does not "recall his right name, if he had one."
The song "The Green Hills of Earth" is referenced thrice in Farmer in the Sky as a piece that Bill Lermer plays on his own accordion. Later in that same novel, Lermer is trying to identify a quote ("I have lived and worked with men" and guesses that it was written by Rhysling or Kipling.
Joe-Jim Gregory, the two-headed mutant in Universe, are both fond of "Rhysling, the blind singer of the spaceways." This reference to the character appeared six years before Heinlein actually published "The Green Hills of Earth."
 Film, TV, radio/audio and theatrical adaptations
The story was adapted for the Dimension X radio series (episode 10). It also appeared on the 1955-07-07 broadcast of the NBC Radio Network program X Minus One and CBS Radio Workshop. This version is told from the point of view of a friend of Rhysling's, and has Rhysling using a guitar instead of an accordion. As well as part of the title song (including the origin of a stanza about Venus), two verses of The Captain is a Father to His Crew are sung, plus choral verses of Jet Song, and a complete and particularly beautiful version of The Grand Canal. The songs were composed and sung by Ron Glazer; Kenneth Williams played Rhysling as a backwoodsman from the Ozarks, an area not far from Heinlein's Missouri birthplace. The broadcast is available on the Old-Time Radio Classical Favorites release in the Smithsonian Institution's Radio Spirits series.
The song "The Green Hills of Earth" which appears in the story was also used in the 11th episode of the third series of the British radio series, Journey into Space.
The 1951-1952 television series Out There (episode aired December 2, 1951) had a loosely-adapted version of the story (Rhysling is on a mission to the asteroids with a crew which includes a beautiful blonde biologist) which starred singer John Raitt.
In 1977, actor Leonard Nimoy recorded a dramatic reading of the story as the title track of an album for Caedmon Records. Nimoy narrated the song lyric excerpts as originally written by Heinlein without singing them.
The song was echoed on Paul Winter's 1982 album Missa Gaia/Earth Mass, in which Susan Osborn sang the lead on The Blue Green Hills of Earth. The connection was suggested to him by astronaut Rusty Schweickart, who walked in space on the Apollo 9 mission, inspired by Schweickart's view of Earth from orbit.
In his book Learning the World, Ken MacLeod pays homage to Heinlein by having a spacecraft evade an attack with the background intercom saying "All Hands! Stand by!" ... "Free Falling!" and the chapter concluding with "And the lights below us fade."
Heinlein revealed in the liner notes to the Leonard Nimoy-read album "The Green Hills of Earth," that he partially based Rhysling's unique abilities on a blind machinist he worked with at the Philadelphia Naval Yards during World War II. He never identified him beyond the name "Tony." Heinlein was amazed that Tony had a perfect safety record and a production record equal to sighted machinists, and could identify all his co-workers solely on the sound of their footsteps and other aural clues, without need of them speaking to him first. Tony also occasionally played the accordion and sang for the assembled shop.
In real-life space travel, references to Rhysling and "the green hills of Earth" were made by Apollo XV astronauts.
Rhysling has been given another kind of recognition: the speculative fiction poetry Rhysling Award.
Logic of Empire" is a science fiction novella by Robert A. Heinlein. Part of his Future History series, it originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction (March 1941), and was collected in The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).
Two well-off Earth men are arguing about whether there is slavery on Venus, and one of them gets shanghaied there--or so he believes; they later find out that they've bet one another about the topic, gotten drunk, and signed on. Upon his arrival, he finds his contract sold to a farmer. His discovery that it will take him years to work off his debt is compounded by his realization that he cannot get to sleep at night without rhira, an expensive local narcotic, thus increasing his debt every day.
Ostensibly a tale about a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his struggle to free himself from the oppressive circumstances in which he is plunged, this story also serves to explain how slavery develops in a new colony.
Even in the future, the technology available to a new colony is always initially low. If a machine to do a necessary job is too expensive to import (say a wheat harvester, a water pump, or even a washing machine), a human must do it instead. If too many jobs must be done by hand and there is a shortage of labour compared with independent resources that free labour could take up ("land", although this condition is not clear in the story), a market for slavery develops. Decades later, while there is still an abundance of land, this market remains because the colony itself has quotas to meet and debts to repay - they cannot spare the resources to develop local industries to make the machines themselves and free labour does not have to bid its price down enough to outcompete slave labour.
Throughout the story, Heinlein takes the view of the objective narrator when describing Venusian society. Logic of Empire places different rationales on the people who participate in slavery. There are no real villains; everybody's just doing their job, trying to maximize income in a capitalist system. Even the plantation owner who owns the hero is portrayed as a struggling — and failing — small businessman, whose main motivation is to secure a livelihood for his daughter.
Grumbles From The Grave
Grumbles from the Grave is a posthumous 1989 autobiography of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein collated by his wife Virginia Heinlein from his notes and writings.
The work is the closest that Heinlein, an ex-naval officer and prominent science fiction writer, came to writing an autobiography. The book contains a wide range of correspondence, notes and memoirs edited by Heinlein's wife Virginia, and was published a year and a half after his death.
Beginning with a short biography of Robert by Virginia, the bulk of the book consists of excerpts of correspondence from the period from 1939 to 1970, from when he began writing science fiction until the onset of his first major illness. There is considerable information provided into how the 13-year gestation of Heinlein's famous novel Stranger in a Strange Land evolved. Additionally there is the original postlude to Podkayne of Mars and a discussion of cuts made to his novel, the Red Planet.
Grumbles from the Grave is notable for the insight it provides into Heinlein's writing process (and the editorial/publishing process with which he was often at odds). In addition to writing, it also contains evidence of his philosophy as applied to his life and personal opinions. There is much detail to interest readers familiar with Heinlein's fiction and people interested in the history of the science fiction field.
"How long has this racket been going on?" — Heinlein's remark after receiving a $70 US check for his first published story on page 3.
"I expect this to be my last venture in this field; 'tain't worth the grief" — Heinlein's response to attempts to censor his juvenile novel Red Planet for language, violence, and references to reproduction among Martians on page 53
And the Winner is Robert A Heinlein
From the TTC lecture series: Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature’s Most Fantastic Works
Section: Science Fiction Literature of the Technological Imagination: Lecture 5.