The past week’s quotes have all been from Robert A. Heinlein, covering most of his writing career.

“It had the one virtue of having no sense to it at all.” Heinlein. Context? From The Star Beast. John Thomas Stuart IX is trying to figure out how to save Lummox.

“There are very few commercial sorcerers who can cope with cold iron.” Heinlein. Context? “Magic, Inc.” This short novel deals with a protection racket—of the magical kind. It is usually bound together with “Waldo.” Both were originally written in the 40’s.

“I was twenty-one but couldn’t figure out which party to vote against.” Heinlein. Context? Glory Road. Mid-course Heinlein (1963) about an ex-soldier (Viet-Nam era draftee) who becomes a mercenary for Star, Queen of the Universes. An interesting blend of science fiction and fantasy.

“First secret of living with a man: Feed him as soon as he wakes.” Heinlein. Context? The Number of the Beast. Hilda’s advice to Deety, when they have (temporarily) paused in running for their lives. As an aside, I wonder if part of the inspiration for this book may have been that Heinlein’s “future histories” kept getting overtaken by our history. Gay Deceiver, as the first ship able to visit multiple realities, allowed him to link all of his previous work, along with places such as Oz.

“On all time lines Dr. Malthus had the last laugh.” Heilein. Context? To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Malthus is out of favor today, but all he said was that population growth was potentially exponential (unlimited) and that resources were not. The number of the maximum population, when civilization collapses, is uncertain, and Maureen refers to different peaks on different time lines.

“Is there anyone here who can stare a bare fact in the face without blushing?” Heinlein. Context? “Life-Line.” Dr. Pinero, speaking to the University committee who all disbelieve him. The story has been anthologized more than once; I have it in The Past Through Tomorrow and The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein. It was first published in Astounding Science Fiction 1939.

“Freedom, long-term and knowing enough to stay free.” Bowling. Context? Homecoming. Snowy, born a slave, and Timi, kidnapped into slavery, are arguing about freedom. Snowy is more inclined to use their relatively kind master to work out how to stay free; Timi just wants to get away.

Next week I’d planned to quote from Anne McCaffrey, but I just heard that Lilian Jackson Braun, the author of “The Cat Who” mysteries, has passed away. In her honor I’ll be quoting from her mysteries next week.