Academia

Heinlein Archives, Purchasable Online

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In what I think is a somewhat unusual move for scholarly archives (correct me if I'm mistaken), chunks of the Robert Heinlein archives are purchasable online. (You can apply for a research grant from them that might give you gratis access for specific purposes.)

The reason why they charge is given in a bracingly Heinleinian fashion in the FAQ:

Why isn't this free?

Short answer: TANSTAAFL

Long answer: Putting the Heinlein Archives online has been a huge and expensive task, from the cost of scanning hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, to creating the website, indexing the Archives, and creating the document delivery system. There are also ongoing expenses to host the site and maintain the dedicated server.

Though the Archives is provided online for research and academic purposes, The Heinlein Prize Trust, Robert and Virginia Heinlein's estate, who made the online Archives possible is not a non-profit organization. Just as Heinlein always said he wrote for money (something you'll find is true if you read through his correspondence), the Trustees have a responsibility to not only maintain, but increase the income of the Heinleins' estate.

Real good for free, see my August-September 2007 Reason magazine feature on Heinlein's career and influence, and my July American Conservative story on the relative influence of fiction on libertarians and conservatives, in which Heinlein plays a big role.

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  1. Heinlein offered to pay for Philip K. Dick’s medical costs, flat out. That was pretty cool of him.

    1. Dick was recreated by his fans in the form of a remote-controlled android designed in his likeness.[24] The android of Philip K. Dick was included on a discussion panel in a San Diego Comic Con presentation about the film adaptation of the novel, A Scanner Darkly. In February 2006, an America West Airlines employee misplaced the android’s head, and it has not yet been found.[25]

      THE INDIGNITY

      1. I hear it showed up in Ft. Worth

      2. No one ever stole A. Lincoln’s head.

  2. Just as Heinlein always said he wrote for money

    See: The Starship Troopers Movie

    1. You don’t get Verhoeven’s irony, do you.

      1. No, no I dont.

        (And yes, I understand he hated Heinlein’s politics and did what he did on purpose)

      2. I was never clear on the bottom line of the movie. (I know Verhoven’s politics and tone — it’s the plot I’m not sure about).

        Are we supposed to understand that the bugs (1) never would have attacked us if we hadn’t bothered them; (2) would have attacked us, but we could have had peace if we weren’t such macho jerks; or (3) that no peace was possible until NPH captured a brain bug?

        1. Verhoven admits that he didn’t even finish reading the novel. What do you really take away from a coming of age novel if you don’t follow the character to the end?

          1. Co-ed showers with high production value movie actresses are good?

            1. Well, besides that.

            2. after completing the rifle range in bootcamp, our drill instructor put on a screening of that horrid film for us as a treat. They were the first bare breast any of us had seen in months, at the time it was priceless.

        2. I mean, I can’t really say whether Verhoven got his satire right until I know whether the bugs are ramen or varelse. 😉 If the bugs are actually going to wipe out human life if not stopped (which is entirely possible for an alien lifeform with unknown forms of sentience), then presumably fighting is the right option. (or extinction).

          If the bugs are just tragically misunderstood people who yearn for piece (like Stalin, I assume), then we should appease them and hope for the best, I’m sure.

          1. piece -> peace

    2. Heinlein had been dead for 10 years before that movie came out. He had nothing to do with that piece of crap. Verhoeven took one of the best pieces of military sci-fi ever and ruined it all on his own. Where was the battle armor, drop eggs and mini-nukes? Bah, I can’t even talk about it.

      1. The powered suits and a requirement in the remake.

        1. s/and/are/

      2. I hated when they landed on the bug planet in one nice little bunch in a valley. It’s another of those clueless war movies that brings out my inner sergeant: “Spread out, you idiots!” But directors like to clump everybody up to make the shots look “better.”

        The scene of the destruction of the ships in orbit was almost worth the whole movie, though.

  3. I’m pitching a six hour mini-series of Jubal Harshaw taking a shit…

    1. with Anne in her Fair Witness robe just watching the whole time.

    2. Do you need a choreographer?

    3. Will he be discoursing about Rodin? You can start him in “Thinker” homage…

  4. In what I think is a somewhat unusual move for scholarly archives (correct me if I’m mistaken)

    Yes and no. While few charge you for merely examining archival material, almost all of them charge for the electronic or analog reproduction of the archives. The odd part is that they did all the work upfront; it’s usually done piecemeal at specific request.

  5. Sehr interessante Informationen, vielen Dank daf?r. Gru? Dani

  6. I hated when they landed on the bug planet in one nice little bunch in a valley. It’s another of those clueless war movies that brings out my inner sergeant: “Spread out, you idiots!” But directors like to clump everybody up to make the shots look “better.”

  7. It’s too early

  8. Affairs that are done by due degrees are soon ended.

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