In which, various WikiMaster
s discuss how ineffably bad this RobertHeinlein
oh well, maybe not quite so literally ineffable after all - witness the very effable comments below
had a quote about the ineffable. But my quote is, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do TheDayAfterTomorrow
'The Day After Tomorrow' rings a bell but doesn't appear on my bookshelf or in any RAH bibliography I have - Keith can you check the title? I have a feeling you're talking about 'BeyondThisHorizon?
Nope. BTH is poor, there's no doubt, but TDAT is disgusting, racist, bigoted, narrow-minded shit
that I'm not likely to forget in a hurry. And
it's badly written. My copy states that it was originally published as "Sixth Column". --Keith
Perhaps your objection is that a non-white race is depicted as fascist and racist. The book was written directly after the Japanese defeat in WWII. I won't argue the point much other than to point out that gaijin
means both foreigner and "worthless barbarian". --EdPoor
Ah, found it now. Haven't read it since I was twelve, when I may have been a tad more credulous. Let me subject myself to this wretchedness and report back.
Okay, reporting back: TDAT is aweful. If RK were to address his criticisms to this book, I could only agree that Heinlein was fascist, racist, and generally a great nitwit. The writing, especially, stinks to high heaven. It's not like it's bad for RAH - like SST or Rocketship Gallileo - no, it's just outright bad writing. No character development, horrendous sentence structure, stilted dialog and a 2-bit pulp plot. Plus an explicitly christian outlook. If you took the covers off and asked me to identify the author of the book, I would never guess. I'm not saying Campbell wrote it and RAH put his name to it quid pro quo for a car or for some literary service ... but I'd sure prefer to think so. Yuck.
'''Why does an "explicitly Christian outlook" automatically make one's writing
style bad? I smell rank prejudice here.'''
It doesn't automatically make one's writing bad. I mention it because in all other known works RAH is rabidly critical of all organized religion. Many of my favourite SF authors - Blish and Card for two - were passionate Christians, so UnmoteMyEyeAlready
. -- Pete.
TDAT also reportedly bears the influence of John Campbell, the editor who published it. I recall (perhaps in RAH's bio) that Campbell wanted to stress the racial overtones more. -- PeteHardie
I've read that John Campbell took an existing (wretched) story by a 'unknown' writer and gave it to Heinlein to rewrite. I haven't read it in a long time, but I seem to recall that the racist stuff in the book was attributed to the military occupiers of USA, or expressed by American characters who are obviously not perfect human beings.... Heinlein -- as much as possible for a man of his times -- was not a racist. --KeithRay
I don't believe that Heinlein was a racist. Wether he was or not is orthogonal to wether or not TDAT/SC is a book expounding or pandering to racist ideas, which I believe it is. --KeithBraithwaite
- "Street & Smith had forbidden Campbell to publish any more of his own stories. Campbell described over the phone the story of his now unpublishable novelette, "All," and suggested that if Heinlein re-wrote it, there would be enough money in it to buy a new car he wanted at the time. The result was the serial novel "Sixth Column," published in book form under that title but more often as THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. It was not a story Heinlein was ever fully satisfied with [...]" --http://members.aol.com/agplusone/robert_a._heinlein_a_biogr.htm
Anyone have pertinent excerpts from this book to share?