Thursday, April 30, 2015
Robert Heilnlein must've been a curmudgeonly old fart from the day he was born. A grandmaster of SF and a founding father of the genre, Heinlein loved to hear himself pontificate on the state of the country and the ills of society. His views on voting ( voting is not a right but a privelege that should be earned ) are particularly worrisome. As Isaac Asimov said, any system where a voter must prove himself worthy is problematic - just who decides whether you are worthy enough to enter the booth? But all this is beside the point. Heinlein earned his place in the pantheon of great SF writers and this collection offers one more glimpse into the stories that raised him to that high estate. Definitely worth the read for those interested in the early years of science fiction.
Since childhood I've believed I was born too late. I missed out on all the major innovations like the invention of radio, first flight, the digital computer, the Golden Age of Science Fiction. This little book is a prime example of the latter. To have been present during the formative years of SF, to have known young Asimov, Fritz Lieber, Lester del Ray, etc., would have been incredible to say the least. I found this little book only a few days ago at my favorite used book store and inhaled it with great relish. I searched out and have ordered two more in the series - 1939 and 1941. I will continue searching until I complete the collection. Highly recommended for lovers of vintage SF, for the stories themselves as well as Asimovs' commentary on each.