On August 17, Tor Books will publish the first half of William H. Patterson Jr.’s two-volume authorized biography of Robert A. Heinlein, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1, 1907-1948: Learning Curve. In commemoration of this, we’ve convened a kind of online panel discussion of Heinlein and of the biography—of his work, his methods, and his legacy, and of what light the biography sheds on all of those.
Kicking things off will be longtime fan, Heinlein reader, and tech-industry journalist Mitch Wagner, followed by award-winning novelist (Tooth and Claw; Farthing) and prolific Tor.com blogger Jo Walton. Over the next several days, possibly as soon as today, we’ll also be hearing from John Scalzi (author of Old Man’s War and several other SF novels), Pamela Dean (author of Tam Lin and the Secret Country trilogy, and several other works of fantasy), Charles Stross (author of Halting State, the Merchant Princes series, and the Laundry series), and Sarah Hoyt (author of Ill Met by Moonlight, Death of a Musketeer, Draw One in the Dark, and many other works of SF, fantasy, and historical romance).
|The Heinlein children, 1910 or 1911: Larry (tallest), Rex Ivar (middle), Louise, and Robert (seated). Courtesy of Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust|
All of our panelists are people who’ve been reading and thinking about Heinlein for a long time, and all of them have read Patterson’s book in advance of its publication. Once they all get past their initial statements, we hope to see them start batting notions back and forth between one another. And if you want to nudge the discussion in a direction that particularly interests you, don’t be shy—post in the comment section. We’ll be paying attention.