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04:30 pm: back in Lesta now.

have discovered that USB cablemodems tend to work better if you plug them into the machine you are actually trying to use them in. introduced secretlondon to sudoku and strangely whilst explaining it got better at it.

read most of Stranger in a Strange Land now. this is probably the least-well-ageing science fiction book i've ever read, due not to any technical advances or anachronisms or suchforth, but to the pervading misogyny in the work. you can tell stuff changed a lot between 1961 and 1966.

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[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2005 10:06 am (UTC)

Yeah, Robert Anson Heinlein is very much a child of 1930's Middle America. Forward-thinking, visionary at times, but never really radical: the 1950's are very much his decade.

And he never drew a convincing female character.

Misogynist? Not quite. RAH had one and only one POV: his own, and all the first-person characters in his books view and are viewed through that lens. Perhaps in a more open society he might have had the chance to meet - or confront - genuinely different points of view, and the one woman he really knew - Ginny Heinlein - might have become more than the perfectly respectable and loving 1950's American wife that she was; but I suspect that the books and the characters would still have be the brainchildren of the same Naval-Officer-Turned-Engineer-Turned-Writer.

If you see the Book as dated - and it is indeed forty years out of date - remember this: teenage boys with brains read 'hard' Science Fiction, and that means they are going to read Heinlein. 'Stranger in a Strange Land' and 'Friday' are the only source for a view of alternative sexuality and lifestyle (poly- and otherwise) that they will enounter in their formative years, and it's just one or two books books alongside the welter of soft porn on MTV and the hardcore material that they sneak off password-cracked sites on the web.

Of all things 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' has, to date, been the only other medium available to teenagers that goes beyond presenting them the perfect life of the straight suburban consumer.

So knock Heinlein a little, but not quite enough to make libraries and paperback publishers have second thoughts about keeping it on the shelves.

[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
All Heinlein's work is misogynistic and fascist. Does not necessarily mean it is without value. For example, he held the opinion that the draft should never exist. If the country is not great enough people are willing to die for it, it should not be defended. Valid point, there.

His misogyny is less defensible. In his worldview, reflected in his writing, women were adjuncts, helpmeets, and reflections of men. But can we really blame him for holding the views of his period?
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2005 11:15 pm (UTC)
Quite, hence me continuing to read it. I do notice a difference between Stranger and the other one I've read of his, the Moon is a Harsh Mistress - I didn't get this reaction from that. I shall have to re-read and compare.
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