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Heinlein at the Cocteau

They used to call Robert A. Heinlein "the Dean of Science Fiction."  For writers and readers of my geneation, and those before, Heinlein was a towering figure, the most important and influential of the 'Big Three' of the Golden Age.

The first SF book I ever read was Heinlein's classic juvenile, HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL.   It made me a SF reader for life.  For decades thereafter, RAH was my favorite writer.  He was the first writer to win the 'Big One' -- the Hugo Award for best novel -- four times.  (A record later equalled, but still never surpassed).   But like many of his contemporaries, Heinlein did some of his best work at shorter lengths.

"All You Zombies" is one of those classic short stories.   Like time travel yarns?  Time paradoxes?   "All You Zombies" was... is... will remain THE last word on all those subjects.  And now, improbably, it has been made into a movie.

PREDESTINATION opens this week at the Jean Cocteau.  I haven't seen it, but those who have (friends from Australia, where the film opened last summer) tell me that it's 1) quite good, and 2) quite faithful to the Heinlein story.

Must admit, I don't much like the title.  I can see why they changed it -- "All You Zombies" would have had people thinking it was a George Romero picture or a WALKING DEAD ripoff, when actually the use of 'zombie' is entirely metaphorical -- but I wish they would have changed it to something a bit catchier.

But a rose by any other name... I am looking forward to this one.  If you're a Heinlein fan, or a time travel fan, don't miss it.

See you at the movies.

(No spoilers in the comments, please).


Jan. 6th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC)
HAVE SPACE SUIT was my first RAH exposure too. My 3rd-grade teacher loaned it to me, and got it back the next day. And I had trouble staying awake in class because I was up most of the night reading it.

Edited at 2015-01-06 02:52 am (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:12 am (UTC)
I think this was at 2014's FantAsia Festival here in Montreal - but alas while it was on my long list, it didn't make my short list because, probably, of time problems (ironically enough). I didn't know it was based on Heinlein, though....

BTW, George, if you're ever in Montreal (back, I mean - I know WorldCon here sucked but it's a good city, honestly!) come in July/August when FantAsia is running; about 3 weeks of "genre films" from around the world, by which they mean all the sf/f/h stuff (that's the "Fant" part) and Asian (that's the "Asia" part) they can get, and a LOT of what they get are World or North American or Canadian premieres. Just a plug for my favourite film festival (and no, I'm not affiliated in any way other than as a fan who stands in line outside in July heat for 2 hours to get my favourite seats)....
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:24 am (UTC)
I did love the city of Montreal and would love to come back.

Not, however, for a worldcon. Montreal is bidding again for 2017, but the last worldcon there was terrible, one of the worst in recent memory, and they don't deserve to be rewarded with another. Helsinki and DC are much better alternatives for 2017.

But maybe I will get back to Montreal for a book tour some day.
Jan. 7th, 2015 02:55 am (UTC)
Yay, Montreal!
Definitely if you come to Montreal on a book tour, I'll be standing in line for hours to say "hi" {g}. Forget about the WorldCon, don't think of coming in winter (unless you really LIKE walking on {thick} ice for sidewalks, as a non-driver I can't speak for the roads but, well....) and *do* walk around this place if you have the chance. I moved here from San Francisco almost 20 years ago now - why? love, of course, and my love and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary next year - and while I regret leaving The City from time to time, I never regret moving to Montreal. It's vibrant, fucked up and beautiful, as all true cities should be. (Yeah, and Tourism Montreal isn't paying me either {g})
Jan. 8th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
Just come for ComicCon, you have a huge following here in MTL. Also I could get my books dedicated. Would love that.
Jan. 6th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC)
Heh, I saw this a few weeks ago and it kinda did my head in.
Entirely subjective, but I have to say, I didn't like this movie despite liking the main character.
David Sidebottom
Jan. 6th, 2015 04:00 am (UTC)
sweet! wearing my kilt in honor of my fav Heinlein hero!
Jan. 6th, 2015 05:38 am (UTC)
The Dean
My introduction to RAH was a short story from Boy's Life magazine called, "Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon". It was about two boy scouts in a Lunar survival situation.
I remember reading "All You Zombies" for the first time and being unable to explain what I had just read to my friends. I agree about "The last word". Given all the bally hoo that transposition from book to media gets these days, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds visually.

For Winterfell
Jan. 6th, 2015 09:40 am (UTC)
Ditto. Self, aged 10 and 'Starman Jones' :-). Then I found Ray Bradbury....
Mary Ellen Wofford
Jan. 6th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
I liked RAH's longer novels. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND and
TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE are 2 I've read over and over. I thought he got a bit caught up in working some kind of fascination with an Oedipal fixation in his last few books but then he'd been shooting down incest taboos in many of his books.

He gave me many hours of reading pleasure, and still does.
Jan. 7th, 2015 01:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, Heinlein's later books were... well... odd.

But his earlier work, up to and including MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, remains unsurpassed. And the best of his juveniles -- HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL and CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY -- are classics.
Scott Bradley
Jan. 7th, 2015 04:04 am (UTC)
Re: Heinlein
As a fan of Heinlein's work - I couldnt agree more. His early works has purpose and direction while his later books felt bloated and wayward.
Mary Ellen Wofford
Jan. 7th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
I have certainly encouraged first my children and now my grandchildren to read the "juvenile", "young adult", whatever they're called now works by RAH. He's a good place to start a lifelong adventure with science fiction!
Jan. 6th, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
George, I am currently reading one of your own Science Fiction novels, Dying of the Light.

So far it's great!
Jan. 6th, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
Reading Have Space Suit, Will Travel right now.

P.s. Will you be traveling to Tennessee any time in the future ?
Jan. 6th, 2015 06:36 pm (UTC)
Well, from the trailer it looks like the actual story of "All You Zombies" has been (sub)merged into an action-adventure plot. Sigh.

Edited at 2015-01-06 06:36 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC)
I really liked Predestination. It made me want to discuss it with friends, it's a rare feeling nowadays, at least for me.
Jan. 6th, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
(double ditto -- we probably read Have Spacesuit Will Travel about the same time; “All You Zombies” may be the most definitive story ever)
I'd sort of heard about the movie, but Hollywood . . . well, you've been there and done that. Unfortunately, you've probably even seen "Starship Troopers". This is the first report I've heard, even second hand, that it's any good.
fingers crossed
Jan. 7th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)
All You Zombies still floors me every time I read it. That was my wacky introduction to Heinlein in a scifi course I took in college.
Roderick Tracy Long
Jan. 10th, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC)
"No spoilers in the comments, please"
Rosebud was his sled -- from the future!


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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