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November 4, 2003

I devoured Robert Heinlein in

Daniel Radosh

I devoured Robert Heinlein in Junior High. Later I realized what an awful hack he was. But even when I was into him, I never particularly liked Stranger in a Strange Land, probably because while most of his crap is at least fun, his alleged masterpiece is equal parts icky and pretentious.

Now Jessa at Bookslut has a few choice words on the subject:

"The other thing I learned from this book is that no one bothers to edit science fiction. Over a three page spread, no one could figure out how to spell tattoo. It showed up as tatoo. Then tattoo again. Then tatto. Then back to tatoo. There were quotation marks in the middle of words. There were spaces between the end of a sentence and the period. There was an absence of capitalization at the beginning of sentences. Even simple spell check would have solved most of this book's problem. I guess they figured only geeks read science fiction, so they shouldn't waste their time.

I have to wonder, though, if this is why science fiction is so marginalized. If this is what SF fans hold up as a classic, no wonder the outside world thinks the geeks are all a bunch of loonies. Can't we have a classic that doesn't have orgies? Can we agree that Heinlein writes about free love and fascistic governments and pick another representative for the genre? Because this is obviously not working out for us. "

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