2 Sam Moskowitz, "Heinlein and Me," Niekas No. 33, 1985.
3 Personal communication from Norman Metcalf
4 For a key to the real identities that inspired Boucher's characters, see Jack Williamson, Wonder's Child: My Life in Science Fiction (Bluejay Books, 1984, pp. 127-129). He even reveals who served as the model for the murder victim, and tells why Boucher selected that person.
5 Mrs. Heinlein says on page x of that book, "Some names have been left out for legal reasons." On page 189, a letter by Robert Heinlein lists the couple's activities during a trip as including "seeing ---- ----'s new baby"! The legal reason for omitting this name, if there was one, would make an interesting story in itself.
6 The speech appeared in a stapled mimeographed edition with no copyright notice, as was common for fanzines in those days. Under the copyright law then current, it presumably entered the public domain. Such must be the fate of most extemporaneous speeches, if any record is made of them at all. The cover on my copy of the Ackerman publication reads:
The Discovery of the Future
by Robert A. Heinlein
In 1973, the speech appeared in the first issue of Vertex, a short-lived slick SF magazine; Heinlein apparently did not know it was to be printed, and discovered after its appearance that Forrest Ackerman had received money for supplying the text to the magazine. Heinlein demanded that Ackerman turn over the money he had received, which Heinlein then donated to Navy Relief. The UCSC archives contain a scathing letter by Heinlein to Ackerman, dated November 17, 1973, and saying near the beginning: "Knock off the injured-innocence pose," and concluding, "Keep your hands off my property." (Emphasis in original.) Despite the pride shown in the 1946 book at the attention given to preserving his words, the 1973 letter suggests that the original 1941 publication was unauthorized: "Without telling me ahead of time and without my permission you mimeographed my '41 Denver speech; one such copy you sold to Vertex. [...] You will not use that property again nor permit, encourage, or sell any 'right' to reproduce it. I will take any violation to court." Despite the previous publication, the magazine secured a copyright on the speech, which it assigned to Heinlein.Ltd. lst edit. (200)Speech delivered by Guest of Honor at 3d World Science
Fiction Convention, Denver, Independence Day 1941
Recorded on discs by Walter J. Daugherty
Transcripted by Assorted Services
Presented by Forrest J Ackerman
A Novacious Publication
The curious thing about this letter is that the speech itself, as published by Ackerman, shows that Heinlein was aware as he spoke that he was being recorded. "That isn't going to look so good on the platter, is it?" he says after correcting himself on the first page; and on the fifth page he says, "I'll be getting a frozen face on that one. That went on the platter too -- someone just took a picture of me . . . for the benefit of those who otherwise wouldn't understand that remark." (Ellipsis in original.) For whom was Heinlein making these clarifying remarks if he did not expect the speech to be transcribed and reproduced from the recording? (These sentences have been edited out of the Requiem version.) At any rate, it is interesting to view this three-decade transition: from embarrassment at having his impromptu remarks recorded, to pride in having them published, and finally, thirty-two years later, to fury at the person who had preserved his words by publication. Proof that the version in Requiem derives not from a manuscript but from Ackerman, by the way, can be found on page 166 in the note that some words were lost due to a break in the transcription, exactly as noted by Ackerman.
7 The cross-filing rules can be found summarized in the Los Angeles Times for Thursday, September 1, 1938, Section 11, p. 3, column 6, in a story concerning a race in which neither candidate won the Republican nomination; the Democrat, Ray Rogers, got more votes in the Republican primary, thus denying the nomination to the Republican candidate, but failed to win the Democratic primary. The Republican Central Committee was called upon to pick the Republican nominee.
8 The candidate that the Los Angeles Times preferred to Lyon was Murray M. Chotiner, a public-relations man who was later to become Richard Nixon's right-hand man in his campaign against Jerry Voorhis in 1946 and an advisor throughout Nixon's career. Chotiner got 3,891 votes to Lyon's 5,695; even the votes of the other two Republicans in the race (totaling 858) would not have won the nomination for Chotiner. If Lyon had lost to Chotiner, he would have been denied the Democratic nomination as well (cross-filing candidates had to win their own party's nomination before they could claim that of other parties), and Heinlein (to whom the Democratic Central Committee would have surely awarded the Democratic nomination) would have faced the future Nixonite in the November election. Parallel-universe authors can imagine a world in which Heinlein trounces Chotiner so resoundingly that he gives up all involvement in politics, and Voorhis then does the same to Nixon in 1946.
9 Los Angeles Examiner, August 29th, 1938, Sec. I, p. 7.
10 The fact that the race was not on the ballot in November can be ascertained from the sample ballot that the Los Angeles Times ran on the Sunday before the election.
11 Yorty got 5,789 votes for the Democratic nomination and 1,762 for the Republican one, with 130 of 142 precincts in -- for Yorty also cross-filed, though he failed to knock his Republican opponent out of the race in the primary and had to continue his campaign until November.
12 In Xignals: Communications from Waldenbooks Otherworlds Club, Vol. XV, Dec./Jan. 1986, "Citizen of the Universe: An Interview With Robert A. Heinlein" (kindly provided to me by Peter Heck, the editor), there isa similar suggestion that the mortgage was tied to the campaign.
Xignals [Heck]: I understand you got your start as a writer from a story contest.
The house, by the way, had the address of 8777 Lookout Mountain Avenue, in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles; thus it would be next door to Quintus Teal, the innovative architect of the tesseract home in "--And He Built a Crooked House," whose address was given in the story as 8775. (No house now stands with that number; perhaps Teal folded it up into the fourth dimension to frustrate unwanted visitors after Heinlein published his address.) The house at 8777 fits the brief description of Austin Carter's home in Rocket to the Morgue, as well as a more detailed one of Potiphar Breen's in Heinlein's story "The Year of the Jackpot":
The link between the election and the writing career takes tangible form in drafts of some early stories in the Heinlein archives, which were written on the backs of mimeographed instructions to Democratic poll workers.
13 Greg Mitchell, The Campaign of the Century, Random House, 1992, p. 391. The issues of the EPIC News for 1934-38 list the publisher as the End Poverty League.
14 Personal communication from Norman Metcalf
15 Further down on the list appears the name of Assemblyman Hubert B. Scudder, who may have supplied the last name for the dictatorial First Prophet in "If This Goes On." Issues of EPIC News contain many names, issues and theories that found their way into early Heinlein fiction. A phrase that Heinlein later used several times, "makers, takers, and fakers," was the title of a speech given on several occasions by Edward McLarty Sr., who ran against Assemblyman Lyon in the 59th District before Heinlein.
16 Heinlein's dislike of his opponent may be surmised from what seems to be a common form of harmless "writer's revenge" found in some of his books. For instance, in the uncut version of Stranger in a Strange Land, there is a paragraph that reads: "Douglas shut up and went back to his newspaper. He read that the Los Angeles City-County Council had voted to petition the Federation for aid in their smog problem, on the grounds that the Ministry of Health had failed to provide something or other, it did not matter what -- but a sop must be thrown to them as Charlie was going to have a difficult time being re-elected with the Fosterites running their own candidate -- he needed Charlie. Lunar Enterprises was off two points at closing, probably, he decided, because of--" (p. 84). In the cut version published in 1961, this paragraph, seemingly ripe for cutting in total or at least down to the first and last sentences, loses only nine words (p. 73). Considering that Heinlein was challenged with shortening the manuscript version from 220,000 words to 160,000, and that the Los Angeles politician named simply Charlie never appears again in the book, it's notable that this paragraph survived -- and easy to imagine that the character Charlie was a private allusion to Charles Lyon.
Again, in The Rolling Stones (which was written in the same period as the first part of Stranger) there is a sneaky, dirty old prospector known as Charlie in the Asteroid Belt sequence. This naming takes significance from the fact (which we learn from letters that appear in Grumbles From the Grave, pp. 64-65) that his editor at Scribner's tried to get him to change the name to Danny, and he resisted. It's true that Heinlein's argument against making the change is strong (Alice Dalgliesh wanted it changed because Charles Scribner was the publisher -- but it's also true that Heinlein had made more substantive changes at her request, as evidenced by other correspondence in this book and by the uncut version of Red Planet. Heinlein says in one letter, "I happen to like the name Charlie better than the name Danny" -- he doesn't say why.
17 Xignals, op. cit.
18 Robert Glass Cleland, California in Our Time (1900-1940), Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, p. 232.
19 Heinlein's political how-to book contains praise for Voorhis (pp. 101-102). It's also interesting to note, as a reminder of the temper of the times, that Nixon's 1946 campaign literature identified the future president as "a pragmatic liberal"; right-wingers had not yet succeeded in turning "liberal" into a dirty word.
"My task [of defending America to foreigners] was made more difficult by
the fact that many Americans with other attributes of a horse than horse
sense were asserting loudly that McCarthy had indeed created a 'reign of
terror.' Are you terrified? I am not, yet I have in my background
much political activity well to the left of Senator McCarthy's position.
The worst that Senator McCarthy can do to me is to ask me a lot of questions
and demand answers under oath. I may resent some of the questions but I
can answer them without taking refuge in the Fifth Amendment; there is
no treason in my record. [...] I think that a Senate investigation of communism
in the United States would have been fought by propaganda just as angry,
just as vicious, had the investigation been chairmanned by Thomas Jefferson
with Daniel Webster as his chief counsel." --Tramp Royale,
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