Military SF is a complicated sub genre and despite the problems with Starship Troopers, it remains a favorite story of mine. I’ve been working recently to get an anthology of modern war stories, and I was interested in seeing where the modern movement came from. Unsurprisingly, it’s the product of both the 2nd World War, the Cold War and the style of American politics that emerged from that era.
BOOK REVIEW: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The first of two volumes of Robert Heinlein’s life.
PROS: Detailed; exhaustive.
CONS: Volume 2 is still in the works.
BOTTOM LINE: A comprehensive and serious look at an author’s life and legacy.
I received a copy of Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve following its publication in 2010, intending on reading and reviewing it then. After cracking it open and starting it, I… stopped. There’s no good reason for this; it’s detailed, interesting, and does much to shed light on a very notable author in the science fiction community. But, it’s a dense read, and not really something that’s conducive to sitting down and reading cover to cover. I set the book aside at one point, intending to return shortly thereafter, and the break stretched out.
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I came across an interesting tidbit a while ago, while reading something about Robert Heinlein: he served as a researcher during World War II, alongside fellow SF authors Isaac Asimov and L. Sprague de Camp. At the NAES, they all worked on various experimental projects, working in the high-tech, cutting edge of R&D that’s so often portrayed in the genre at the time. It’s a neat story, one that tells quite a bit about each of the authors.
Read all about it over on Kirkus Reviews: Asimov, de Camp and Heinlein at the Naval Air Experimental Station.
Variety is reporting that a film adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies” will begin production early next year. Predestination stars Ethan Hawke and is being written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers).
Variety describes it thusly:
[The] story centers on a secret government time traveling agency designed to prevent future killers and terrorists from committing their crimes. Pic chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career for all eternity.
I’m really excited about this news…not just because I like time travel stories, but also because this is one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t read it, do so. Escape Pod has an audio version. Or seek out the story in The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, a collection that contains the story (as well as the titular story, which is also being adapted to film).
Variety is reporting that Alex Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot and Knowing) will be directing a film adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1942 novella The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. According to Variety, the original story also served as inspiration for his film Dark City.
Here’s the synopsis for The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag:
“Hoag” centers on the title character being struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. He contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him — leading to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry.
- Comic Book Resources interviews Chris Roberson (I, Zombie) and profiles Charlie Huston and his work on the upcoming comic Deathlok. Sez Houston: “While the ’90s versions of Deathlok mixed superhero elements with science fiction ones, Huston’s series is strictly a science fiction story. ‘This is science fiction in the broadest possible sense,’ Huston stated. ‘It’s not Hard Sci Fi, where you take a science concept and try to extrapolate it to its natural conclusion. It’s two-fisted, pulp-adventure, science fiction.’”
- Teresa Nielsen Hayden talks about the original inventor of the slidewalk. No, it’s not Heinlein. YouTube links included!
- Real Science: Hubble reawakens, snaps image of Jupiter scar, created when comet or asteroid plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
- Dumb Little Man lists Eight Reasons to Read Fiction.
- Genre film dominate Speckyboy’s lists of 24 Lego Stop Motion Films Mimicking Cool Movies Scenes. Here’s the Lego trailer for The Dark Knight: